Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Birth Story Part 2

Chris didn't show back up at the hospital for another 3 hours.  I knew I had given him quite a list of things to accomplish on top of getting my stuff and getting Maverick to the kennel.  Since we were completely unprepared for Jackson's pending arrival, I had also told Chris to wash all the newborn clothes and sheets and anything he thought we would need as soon as we got home.  Needless to say, by the time Chris got back to the hospital, I was beside myself.  Here I was in labor in the hospital alone.  I was not happy.

The rest of Tuesday went on pretty much the same.  I had contractions.  I was uncomfortable and I was tired.  But nothing was happening.  I wasn't dilating so the labor was progressing.  Even though I wasn't in a lot of pain, I was uncomfortable enough that they gave me a couple of sedatives so that I could relax and get some rest.  After the second sedative wore off, I told the nurse that the contractions were stopping.  She thought I meant the pain until I explained to her that no, it wasn't the pain so much as the contractions were coming one right on top of the other.  There was no break in them.  At that point, she ordered the epidural.  That was somewhere around 9:30 Tuesday night and they still hadn't started the piticon yet.

Getting the epidural was no walk in the park.  I was having what they referred to as labor shakes where I was shivering like I was cold only I wasn't cold and I couldn't control it.  There was nothing I could do to stop shaking which is bad when they are trying to insert a needle into your back and you need to be still for it.  Apparently the anesthesiologist had a hard time getting the epidural lined up properly because I kept feeling a stinging sensation above my left hip.  Once it was in, I started to feel relief from the contractions and I was much more comfortable than I had been.  I would later learn, however, that the epidural didn't work properly for me and only numbed portions of my body, not the area that needed to be numbed.

I should also mention that I was having other issues while all of this was going on.  Because of the preeclampsia, I was placed on a magnesium sulfate drip immediately upon entering the hospital to reduce the risk of seizure from my elevated blood pressure.  My labs also revealed that my potassium level was really low so that was added to my IV as well.  I had to have a drip of potassium for 4 hours and then my blood would be drawn 4 hours later to check my levels.  I guess they never got high enough because I ended up having 3 potassium drips during the time I was labor.  I also apparently don't breathe well while I am asleep (I blame that on the swelling because I also snored while I was pregnant) so I had to have oxygen on top of everything else.  Between the IV in one arm, the blood pressure cuff on the other arm (that took my BP ever 15 minutes), the oxygen mask, and the baby and contraction monitors, I was covered in stuff.  It was no wonder I couldn't get comfortable or get any rest.  Every time I moved they would have to reposition the baby monitor to make sure Jackson was OK.  I definitely didn't like having all of these contraptions attached to me.  It required an act of congress every time I moved which was often because they kept making me lay in different positions in order to help things progress or to get a better reading on my BP.

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