First of all I wanted to say that, again, I was BLOWN away at the response and the support that I have received. You all are truly my bright spot through all of this, and I can honestly say that each and every one of your comments brought tears to my eyes, and each one of them was exactly what I needed.
I've been trying for over a week to get this post out, but we were all sick last week, Ava wasn't sleeping, and then Saturday I strained all of my lower back muscles bringing Christmas decorations up and was flat on my back in bed on muscle relaxers for 2 days. It's just been one thing after another. I'm breaking this into two parts, because let's be honest, I have alot on my mind, I have alot to say and I don't want to forget a single moment of that day.
It all started on November 13. I started having some more bleeding, and had been having light contractions for a few days. I paged my doctor and he told me that he wanted to see me the next day. I didn't sleep that night. Somehow I just knew that this was the end, and I wanted to cherish every last minute that I had with my baby. Wednesday rolls around and when I get into his office he does an exam, and realizes that YES I am indeed leaking fluid. This was both good and bad news. The good news was that they now had a reason to admit me to the hospital to induce labor, the bad news was that even though I thought I had prepared myself for this, I would be losing my baby the next day. I still look back and wonder how I didn't know this was happening. I was NOT ready, at all. We did everything that we could. This baby just would not make it without the fluid, and as much as we wanted this baby, this pregnancy, we didn't want for her to suffer. If we would have made it to 26 weeks they would have considered it a viable pregnancy and the baby would have been born and would have struggled to breathe without the lung development. I was not willing to let my baby suffer and at this point the Doctor told me I had no other choice. They diagnosed me with fetal demise, sent me home with a prescription of Cyto.tec and told me to report to the hospital at 6:00 AM that next morning. I should also mention that this same day (Wednesday) my father was in the same hospital have 3 more stints put in. Who would have guessed that my dad and I would be patients at the same hospital at the very same time.
Walking into labor and delivery brought me back to the day when Ava was born, but this time we knew we were not going to have a happy ending. We knew we would not be bringing a baby home with us, yet I still had to put my body through the whole labor process. I got to my room, looked at baby warmer and all of it's surroundings, looked at the heart monitor that wouldn't get used, and realized this was going to be even harder than I had imagined. My nurse came in at that point and right away she put me at ease. She answered alot of questions we had, and she had some tough ones for us. Did we want to see the baby, did we want to hold the baby, were we going to name the baby, were we going to bury the baby or did we want the hospital to take care of it for us. Alot of questions that up until then we really hadn't thought much about. She also mentioned to us that she put a sign on our door with a purple heart, an indication for all staff that this was a dead pregnancy. As horrible as it was, it saved alot of grief we could have encountered if someone came in and tried to congratulate us. We continued through the 8000 questions and then at about 8:00 came my first cervical check, and another round of Cyto.tec. At this point I had dilated enough for her to determine that the cord was actually pushing through my cervix. She told me that if this was a full term pregnancy I would been rushed straight to the operating room for a C-section.
My doctor came in about 8:30 and I could just see the sadness in his eyes. He did another check to see how I was progressing, gave me a hug and told me he would be back around lunch time. From here we just sort of hung out. I had been having contractions since the night before, but they weren't anything to write home about. I assumed this is sort of what it felt like to naturally go into labor. Contractions spaced out, not lasting very long, etc. My labor with Ava was induced and it was fast, hard and furious. Another story, another post. Things started to get a wee bit uncomfortable at about 11, and my nurse all but shoved the Sta.tol in my IV. I didn't think much of it because I had it with Ava and I actually kind of enjoyed. This time IT WAS AWFUL. I felt it immediately, and within 3 minutes I was shaking, sweating and on the edge of throwing up all over the place. I wanted it to go away so badly I started crying. I was miserable. I managed to get them to give me some Reg.lan for the nausea which helped, but then as I started to get more lightheaded my blood pressure machine was going crazy and the next thing I knew she was giving me Ephed.rine as my blood pressure was dropping pretty low. When I finally realized who I was again, I found out it had dropped to 86/50.
It was about this time that she also was convincing me to get an epidural. I went in there telling myself that there was no need for me to have one, I could handle the contractions and it wasn't like I was going to be pushing out a 7 lb. baby. I mean how bad could it be right??? Well what they forgot to tell me was that more than likely after all of this I would be wheeled to the OR for a D&C. Apparently when you deliver this early the placenta does not often detach and that procedure is necessary to get it all out, so I was advised to get the epidural then so that they would be able to do the procedure promptly after the birth while my cervix was still dilated. All I kept thinking to myself was "what now!" The epidural lady came in and it was much worse this time than my last time. I wasn't in a whole lot of pain and I could feel everything she was doing, not to mention it seemed to take forever. I had only had the Sta.tol for about 30 minutes when I got the epidural so at this point I could barely keep my eyes open. I tried and tried to sleep, and every time I would close my eyes I felt like the room was spinning. And it's not like I could use the old school drunk trick of putting my foot on the floor. I was numb (at least my right half was). Once my leg did fall of the side of the bed and it wasn't pleasant. I think my doctor might have come in at some point during all this, but I was beyond out of it by this point.
I managed to sleep for a little while and then woke up when they shift changed for nurses. The doctor had said he would be back at about 5 so I thought we had plenty of time and I sent Matthew off to lunch. I had a nice little chat with my new nurse and after hearing about her pregnancy nightmare, I promised myself never to complain again. She had such severe hyper.emesis that she puked at least 30 times a day. She said she was hospitalized 4 times for dehydration, had to give herself IV fluids on all of her breaks, and literally could not keep food or water down. She lost 14 pounds, had placenta previa early on, and then ended up having to deliver 8 weeks early. Her little boy spent 4 weeks in the NICU but is okay now. She went on and on, I could not believe this poor girl went through that. We kept chatting and it was about this time I noticed I could feel each contraction on my left side, and they were getting stronger and coming closer together. (Something about my left side does not take too well to the epidurals. That happened with Ava too) So I asked her for some more medicine, she went to check and of course the anesthesiologist was in an emergency C-section so I was going to have to wait. No biggie. This was about 3:30. At about this time my doctor happened to peek his head in, and I asked him to check because of all the pressure. He did his thing and at that point he just pulled the baby out. All I could see was a precious, tiny little baby who looked perfect to me, even though I knew it was dead. I knew the exact moment that it died, just something I felt.
It wasn't until about 3 minutes later that they told me it was a little girl. I was crushed, yet somehow I knew it was a girl long before this happened. We had decided that we did want to see her, so they took her for a while to get her cleaned up and pictures taken. He decided at this point he wanted to try and get the placenta out, to alleviate the need for me to have a complete D&C. Lord I had no idea what I was about to see, and feel. I was still numb and I don't want to get into the gory details of it all, but I felt like I was a pumpkin being carved. There was blood and yucky stuff everywhere. Matthew was still not there, he missed the whole thing and as much as I needed him, part of me is glad he didn't have to see me like that. My doctor and I had plenty of time to chat, and I learned some pretty personal things about him that he apparently doesn't talk about too often. I know I've talked about how much I love my Doctor, but hearing his stories about his own heartache brought it to a whole new level. He understands, he's been there and he really was sorry about what we were going through. He went and cleaned up, came gave me another hug and he was on his way.
Matthew got back right before the doctor left, the procedure was complete, yet we still hadn't gone through the hardest part of it all.