Tuesday evening, as we left the 1st birthday party of our pal Jacob, I felt a weird "pressure" low in my pelvis. (Is that awkward to say? It's the only way to describe it--pelvic pressure.) I wasn't feeling contractions beyond the contractions that I've been having for months. I didn't sleep that night--like, not at all. (Nothing new. I had stopped taking Ambien the Friday before because I knew the withdrawal process would suck and I didn't want to deal with it at the same time as a newborn and c-section recovery.) So, insomnia plus the pain I was experiencing kept me up all night. When Kyle got up to go to work I told him to keep his phone on because I was feeling weird--but I didn't really mean it. I did not think that labor was imminent that day. I felt like Jane had dropped, but I thought it was weird that the pressure was so intense that it hurt to walk. I was also experiencing some lower back pain. I called my mom a few hours later to tell her my symptoms, and she encouraged me to call the advice nurse at my OB's office and see what she said. I called Christy and asked what she thought, and she said to definitely call my OB. I then called Celia to make sure that she could watch Ruby that day in case the nurse told me to go to Labor & Delivery. I knew for sure that I would, because they always told me to go straight there if I felt worried about anything. Celia also said to for sure call my OB because she didn't feel any contractions when she had the twins, all she felt was pelvic pressure and back pain. SO I was reluctantly convinced by these women I trust to call. (I hate calling. I never call.)
After my OB's office should finally have opened (all these phone calls were taking place very early in the morning) they kept not answering--until I realized it was Pioneer Day and they were closed. LAME. It's one thing to reluctantly go to Labor & Delivery because my doctor told me to, but it's entirely different to just show up there because I'm a hysterical pregnant woman. I felt so stupid but I also felt worried enough that I wanted to go. I called Kyle and gave him the option of coming with me, and he came home as soon as he cleared it with his boss. We sent Ruby over to Celia's house, feeling like we'd see her in an hour or two because OBVIOUSLY I wasn't going into labor.
We got checked into Labor & Delivery and they set me up on monitors to see my contractions and Jane's heart rate. I was at a pathetic measly 1, and if I hadn't progressed an hour later, I'd get sent home. I PRAYED for no progression. I told every nurse how desperately I wanted to get sent home, which is the opposite of what every other woman wants when they go in. I wanted to go home, be miserable for a couple more days, and go in on Monday to have my c-section, with my mom and sister there. My nurse confidently told me not to worry because she highly doubted I would progress at all.
An hour later, I was at a 1.5. CRAP. Dr. Broberg wanted them to keep me for another hour to see if I would progress even more. At that point, I started freaking out. NO WAY was I in labor. NO WAY was I going to have all my plans ruined. I was in near-constant contact with Christy and my mom while we were waiting. Earlier that morning, Mom had told me that if labor happened that day, she would drive to Utah but Christy wouldn't be able to come. With 3 kids at home, it was too tricky to figure out child care. That devastated me and was the main reason I was so intent on keeping Jane inside. But while I was being monitored, they were frantically trying to find a way that she could come with Mom. Thanks to Katy, Danny, and Aunt Sally, they were able to work it out. They then had to pack their stuff and the tons of things they were bringing for me (like a dresser, bassinet, car seat, etc.) and jump in the car. BUT I hadn't been told yet that I was going to deliver that day! It was very stressful. I was at a 2 the next time I was checked. Again, Dr. Broberg wanted to keep me monitored for another hour before the decision was made. Mom and Christy started driving anyways, at around 2 in the afternoon.
My sweet nurse Dani told me that if they decided to admit me and do a c-section that day, it would all happen really fast. Because we're brilliant, Kyle and I hadn't brought ANYTHING with us. We didn't even have our bags packed (that was on my to-do list for that very day). I called Celia, who luckily has a key to our house, and she ran and threw my things in a bag and brought them over. I knew that if Mom and Christy couldn't be there to hold my hand after the surgery, I needed Celia there. We realized we didn't have a boppy (what happened to our old boppy?!?) so we called Kelsie and she went to buy one and bring it over, because it would be awesome to have her there too. (She didn't make it before the surgery, but I was so happy to see her there when I was in the recovery room.)
Pretty soon after Celia got there, the doctor decided that I was fully in labor and should have my c-section stat. Oh, I forgot-- I was having painful contractions at this point. Kyle really enjoyed being able to watch them happen on the monitor. I enjoyed that less, as I was in massive pain. (The monitor only freaked us out because it reminded us of Ruby's birth--watching her heart rate was so scary because it was dangerously low. Luckily, Jane's stayed right where it should be.)
The decision finally made, it was like BAM, let's cut this girl open! They jammed an epidural in me as soon as possible. I was nervous, as I should have been. That shiz HURTS. But it sure beats surgery with no anesthesia. Plus the anesthesiologist is freaking awesome. He was able to calm me down a lot at every stage. We said goodbye to Celia and I was wheeled to the operating room, which was freezing cold.
This surgical experience was entirely different from Ruby's birth. Different and AWFUL. I was so much more aware of what was going on--I wasn't fearing for the life of my baby, I was just focusing on how horrible everything was. I was freaked out of my mind. I was entirely too aware of how naked I was. The sheet they put up to guard my eyes from my internal organs was all up in my face. I hated being moved from the bed to the table. I felt like I was going to roll off. And when the actual cutting began. OH MY GOSH. I know the same thing happened last time, the exact same procedure--but this was so much worse. I was fighting a panic attack the entire time. I was clenching Kyle's hand really hard, but he says he lost feeling early on so he didn't mind. I felt way too much tugging and pulling. Again, I felt that last time, but it didn't bother me. I thought I was prepared this time but wow, I sure wasn't. They lifted Jane up above the curtain so I could get a glimpse of her, and then they took her to the next room to get her weighed and cleaned and whatnot. Kyle went with her, so I had to fend off my panic attack by myself. The assisting doctor came in at this point, running a little late. It was...DR. THORPE! Hurrah. He delivered Ruby and I love him. I was very happy to see him walk in the door. Then I heard Dr. Broberg ask the nurse in charge of me how much the baby weighed, to which she replied "They're still working on her." Excuse me? This was several full minutes after she was born, I thought they'd be done by now. I asked what was wrong and she explained to me that she wasn't breathing well and they were deciding if they needed the special respiratory team to come take care of her. Holy shiz, that did not help calm me down. It was really hard to not freak out. But it turns out it's not uncommon for c-section babies to have fluid in their lungs that makes it hard for them to breathe at first.
Also while I was getting closed up, Dr. Broberg told me that the umbilical cord had a knot in it (referred to as a "true knot") and had been looped around Jane's neck THREE TIMES. Again, holy shiz. He told me that it was lucky I had gone into labor that day, because if we had waited until Monday, it was possible/likely that she wouldn't have made it. It was also lucky that I hadn't labored long or tried for a VBAC, because without a quick c-section, it was possible/likely that she wouldn't have made it. I know it wasn't luck, it was a huge blessing. Just like with Ruby, Heavenly Father intervened to get my baby here safely.
They took Jane to the NICU right before I was taken back to my room. Kyle showed her to me for 2 seconds and then they had to go. I'm so glad I had a friendly face in my recovery room because I was completely spent and emotional and would have lost it if I was alone. But I had Celia, and soon Kelsie was there too. Celia was in close contact with my mom and Christy, sending pictures and calling them with updates. We eventually got to go to the Mother/Baby room downstairs with all our stuff. On the way down, I got to visit Jane in the NICU. They took off her Bane mask when I got there to allow me to breastfeed right there--apparently, she was starving before she could even breathe. The nurse said the knot in the cord probably contributed to her hunger; the poor baby wasn't getting all the food she needed in the womb (but hopefully not for very long). Soon she got to leave the NICU and went to the nursery downstairs before I got to have her in my room.
I was never left alone. Kelsie stayed with me while Kyle and Celia grabbed dinner in the cafeteria. Celia stayed with me while Kyle took Kelsie to the nursery to see Jane. I am so grateful that even though things didn't work out how I planned, they worked out just fine and I had my 2 best friends with me. (3 if you count Kyle.) And all this time, Nathan was taking care of Ruby as she played with Eliza. She spent the night there and had the time of her life.
Kyle went home to sleep and Kelsie went home to her family that night. Celia stayed with me and, unfortunately for her, had to listen to my BATSHIZ CRAZINESS for most of the night. Seriously, I was out of my mind. I hadn't slept for a million hours and I was off of Ambien and on a million other drugs (I'm blaming the morphine for my trippiness) and was anxious for Mom and Chris to get there and basically just emotionally freaked out. I don't remember much of anything, besides thinking about how insane I sounded. I was so. tired. and just couldn't sleep. Poor Celia. Things got better when Mom and Christy showed up at around 2 in the morning. Having my mom there relaxed me enough that I was able to sleep for a couple hours.
When I woke up, I was so happy to see Christy sitting in a chair across from me. I don't remember much from that first day in the hospital when I was still drugged up, but I remember that feeling. The next 3 days are kind of a blur of pain and fatigue and then clear moments of happiness. Mom and Christy took turns spending the nights with me while the other one went home to sleep. They coached me on breastfeeding, which went great-- Jane was born to latch.
Every day Kyle brought Ruby to visit. We prepped her well and it paid off. She loves Jane and constantly asks to hold her and kiss her and touch her. She really can't get enough of her little sister. She only calls her "Baby Jane" which I think is very cute.
Kyle's parents drove from Wyoming to see Jane. They visited for a couple days, content to just hug their newest grandbaby.
My peeps brought me Zupas every single day. All I wanted was a Honey Bacon Club-- no tomatoes. (HBC--NO TOM.) I didn't sleep much, but I was still so happy. I love the hospital. I love the medication being brought to me by kind nurses. I love not being expected to do anything but rest. I conquered walking on the 2nd day because I just had to get those blood pressure cuffs off my legs. I LOVE the hospital bed. The hardest thing about coming home has been the loss of that magnificent bed.
Not gonna lie, this recovery has been a lot worse than last time. It's taking so much longer to be in less pain. It's like 3 years passed and all of the sudden I have a decrepit old body that can't bounce back from things. Luckily my mom is here taking care of us. I sleep a lot during the day and still have medication brought to me. I mostly go from my bed to the couch-- any movement beyond that is still a bit much. Standing up for more than a few minutes makes my incision really hurt, and the stairs to my house are difficult, so I think I'll be home-bound for a while.
So that's the experience. Next I'll blog about this tiny wonderful girl.