Monday, March 6, 2017

My Bucket List

January 24, 2016:

We escaped from our snow covered neighborhood to go to Target because I absolutely had to pick up the chair for the baby's nursery. We got the chair home. I had to vacuum and mop the nursery. Bryan set up the chair and I rocked in my chair, imagining the baby I would hold in my arms.

And then the pain started.

I must've overdone it. I think I stood up at a weird angle while vacuuming. I tried to sleep. I felt sick. I texted my boss and told him I wouldn't be into work. Bryan went into work, believing me when I said I must've pulled a muscle. I tried to sleep.

I couldn't feel the baby move.

I texted my best friend, after walking into the kitchen and seeing a magnet I had on the side of the fridge. It explained the signs of preterm labor. Well...maybe I'll just call the nurse and see what she says. Left message.

Still couldn't feel the baby move.

I called the nurse again. I asked the operator to overhead page her. She called me back, "Have you taken Tylenol?" "I haven't felt the baby move. I don't know how long it's been. I just can't feel him."

I rushed to the doctor.

The ultrasound tech couldn't find a heartbeat. I start to sweat. She gets another tech. They adjust the monitor. Ah, there he is. They tell me I will relax in the recliner, letting the machine monitor the baby for about 45 minutes. 20 minutes pass and she's unhooking me. All must be fine.

Immediately in walks my doctor. No small talk. She asks me about pain. I start to cry. I NEVER CRY. I'm not a crier. She knows I'm not a crier. She tells me I'm having very quick contractions (they felt nothing like what the books said they would feel like), and I'm 3 centimeters dilated. She tells me about the NICU and how they will take such great care of the baby. I cry more. She hugs me (she's not a hugger) and I get dressed. I call Bryan as I'm putting on my pants. I have no idea what I said, except, "Meet me at the hospital." I think I'm calm. I'm 2 days shy of 34 weeks pregnant.

I call my mom. I never call my mom during the workday. She answers. I have no idea what I told her. I text my boss. I text my closest friends. I drive.

I pull up to the emergency room. There's no parking. I walk in and an elderly man explains to me what to do. I park. I walk into the ER. They're waiting for me. I immediately see another OB from my practice, "We're going to go ahead and give you the steroid shot for the baby's lungs." OK. I wait for Bryan and my room.

I get into my room. Steady contractions. They want to treat me with vancomycin since I'm too early in my pregnancy to know if I have group b strep. OK, sure. Go for it. Whatever you need to do.

My head starts itching. Gosh, my skin must be dry. I'm so itchy. Ah, I'm kind of hot. So. Itchy. Ohh! the nurse asked me a question, I try to answer, and my words are slurring. Oh... and my tongue is too big for my mouth.

Huh. That nurse moved quickly. Oh, and who are all these new doctors? "No, I didn't realize I had hives all over my body." Oops. Guess I'm allergic to penicillin AND vancomycin. Lesson learned. (Bryan is still mad at me for how I downplayed this allergic reaction. I seriously didn't realize anything was wrong until I went to speak. I was stressed, husband!)

A night in the hospital passes. I start wondering what I'm really going to name this baby. I can't keep calling him Oscar Clyde. He has to have a name. I don't sleep.

The next morning, another OB from our practice sits down with us and explains everything. He thinks the baby will come today. In fact, a few hours after this conversation, he prepares to move me to the delivery suite based on the quickness of the contractions. My mom is almost here.

And then everything stops. The pain lessens. The contractions slow down and become irregular. We wait. "I can let you go home since you live close. Bed rest. 3 weeks. But I plan to see you before the week is over."

I go home. We wait.

For 7 (painful) weeks.

March 12, 2016

40 weeks and 4 days pregnant. I wake up early. I want to shower, blow dry my hair, do my make-up, have some alone time. It's induction day. After all of that, Oscar Clyde decided to hang out for as long as possible. For months I walked around at 3-4 centimeters dilated, 100% effaced. Try telling a girl with that kind of  pressure that the baby will come when he wants. Prepare to duck when she hits you.  

Bryan gets up, he showers, we load up the car. He makes me a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich. I probably had a cup of coffee. I sat at my dining room table and wrote the baby a letter, still referring to him as his nickname, Oscar Clyde. We went to the hospital.

7:00 AM: We check into the hospital. We are looking at each other, nervously laughing while the poor admissions guy takes himself way too seriously. We go upstairs to our room. I meet our nurse. "What do you wish to happen today?" "Excuse me?" (I'm thinking, I want to have a baby, woman.) "Do you have a plan? What you hope for today to be like?" Oh. "I want a healthy baby and a healthy mommy." "I can work with that. We're going to have this baby by the end of my shift." Ha, OK. That works for me.

10:00 AM: 5 centimeters dilated, 100% effaced. Pitocin starts sometime around 10:15 AM. My mom, stepdad, and sisters come to visit. I'm starting to get a little uncomfortable, sweating. They hug me, tell me good luck and they leave. (I had a pretty strict "I don't want visitors until I want visitors" policy. I was pretty dramatic about this.)

11:00--ish: I'm laughing with my nurse. We're bonding over my melanoma and her breast cancer. I'm totally distracted, laughing about something. I'm still sweating, becoming a bit uncomfortable, when we find out that a helicopter is on its way with a mom pregnant with twins. Anesthesia will be in the operating room with them for a while. If I want an epidural, now is my chance. Uh, yes. Please and thank you.

Epidural is easy peasy. I look at Bryan, "Gosh, I feel better than I have in months!" We're laughing and carrying on. I have no idea what we're talking about. I look at Bryan in alarm. "Oh my GOD. I just peed!" The nurse and my sweet husband laugh. Oh.... that was my water breaking. Right. I'm so glad I read all of those pregnancy books.

We tell our families to go on to lunch. Enjoy the day.

2:00 PM: I'm ready to deliver...or so the doctor and nurse claim. I am NOT ready. This is happening way too quickly. My family is somewhere eating lunch! (My whole visitor thing changed at this point.) Bryan says, "Like ready ready?!" Ah, false. The baby is sunny side up. Gotta try to get him to turn. The OB puts me in this funky position with a yoga ball and tells me she'll see me in a few hours.

The nurse promised me I would have this baby before the end of her shift, remember...

2:30 PM: We're practicing pushing. We're laughing. I have no clue what I'm doing. The OB is back. The nurse is having me practice pushing again. We're all still joking. The OB is playing with OC's hair, telling me it's almost time to meet my boy. More nurses enter the room. It's suddenly full of people. They put oxygen on me. "I need you to give me one big push right now or something-something-something C-Section."

All I heard was C-Section. I pushed.

 And then I met my baby.

"He looks like a little bird." (If anyone has ever wondered why I call him my bird, that's why. It was one of the very first things I said. Y'all. I'm weird. I know.)

I remember somewhere in the last few minutes of pushing, an arm reached across my forehead. I recall seeing my purple iPhone pass in front of me. These photos are why. One of the nursery nurses took it upon herself to snap these (and so many others) without being asked. Maybe it was a spontaneous decision. Maybe she does it for everyone. Whatever reason, I am forever thankful. She captured the moment I became complete.

My blog friends, you've been with me for the last 6 years, and now (a year overdue) I introduce you to my sweet baby bird:

He is my bucket list.