Birth Story! Don’t say I didn’t warn you

Rainbow Baby is here! I’m thrilled and Captain has PTSD.

On my due date we went for a regularly scheduled check-up. RB (Rainbow Baby) was doing well and I was doing well. My midwife was happy for us to wait to go into labor naturally, which is what I was hoping for.

Four days later we went for an ultrasound to make sure everything still looked good. RB was doing well and there was plenty of amniotic fluid. I felt relieved. Then they took my blood pressure: 160/90. My midwife was alarmed. She asked,

“Are you anxious?”

“Now I am!”

She gave me some time to calm down and then she checked again, 160/90.

She told us to go to the hospital to get blood work, a urine test and a non-stress test for RB. She recommended taking our bags with us in case they wanted to induce me.

I started freaking out. I was already on the verge of a freak out at any point in this pregnancy.

The day was not supposed to be going like this. I had been looking forward to an afternoon nap and then an anniversary dinner with Captain.

And the least of it, but not helping my anxiety, was that the next day was our Angel Baby’s birthday. A year to the day that she died. I was becoming a hormonal, emotional wreck.

We went home, had lunch, packed our hospital bags. I got in the car and told Captain,

“I don’t want to go. I have a really bad gut feeling about this.” I was feeling like my blood pressure was up because I was anxious and that instead of calming down I was just getting more and more anxious. I felt desperate to stay home and rest.

Captain felt strongly about going to the hospital and getting tested. I agreed to go with the stipulation that we’d leave if I wanted to.

The non-stress test showed baby was still doing well. My blood pressure was still 160/90. The blood work was normal but there was protein in my urine and they diagnosed me with preeclampsia.

I understood the severity of this. I also understood that no one was whisking me away for a c-section.

It was 5pm. The midwife wanted me to stay at the hospital and start an induction. She said it could take up to 2 days. I said,

“If it could take 2 days, then I’d like to go home, get a good night’s sleep and start the induction in the morning.”

“We don’t recommend that.”

They wanted to monitor the baby and me in case things got worse. The doctor came to talk to me. He said that if I were 30 weeks pregnant they’d hold off on inducing me.

I knew if I stayed in the hospital I wouldn’t sleep and how the heck am I supposed to have the stamina for a 2 day induction if I start off by pulling an all-nighter? I felt desperate to be well rested for this.

Against the doctor, midwife and Captain’s better judgment, I went with one of the strongest gut feelings I’ve ever had. I signed myself out of the hospital and agreed to come back at 9:30am the next morning to start the induction.

We got take-out. Not the anniversary I’d imagined, but at least I was home. Captain was terrified. I became a little more nervous. If anything bad happened now, I was 100% responsible and what would that do to our marriage if we both blamed me?

I took a long hot shower, followed by a long hot bath. I was determined to relax. So you can imagine how that went. Captain was snoring in no time and my mind was racing. At 11pm I got crampy. Nothing too bad. At 11:40pm I was too uncomfortable to stay in bed and also excited that maybe labor was starting on its own.

I began tracking my contractions. They seemed really close together for having just started. They were coming every 3-4 minutes, but only for 35-40 seconds. I wasn’t convinced this was for real, although the intensity felt for real. I figured I should track them for an hour to see if there was a regular pattern, but by 12:30am I told Captain we should go to the hospital.

Even if it weren’t for real, I was nervous enough about my blood pressure and RB.

Captain woke my mom up at 12:40am. I repacked my bag, changed my pants, told my mom she could go back to sleep, turned off some lights, told Captain to let my OB office know we’re headed to the hospital.

At 12:55pm we left. After the fact my mom said she was one minute away from making us stay and calling 911.

I knew from BB that contractions in the car are no fun. So when a really bad one hit me half way through the 15 minute drive to the hospital I figured I probably had one more to get through and then we’d be there. I moaned through a third as we drove up the hill to the hospital. Captain asked,

“Can you walk in?”

“Yes.”

Another contraction as we pulled in by the emergency room and with that my water broke. I screamed at Captain,

“The baby’s coming I can’t walk in!” I ripped off my pants.

He sprinted for the emergency room and came back with a man and a woman pushing a wheelchair. I climbed into the wheelchair, wearing one of Captain’s undershirts and nothing else. I instructed Captain on what bags we needed and we were off.

I was told that the woman said to stop screaming and asked what happened to my pants. All I remember is her trying to cover my crotch with my t-shirt and keep a hand there in case Baby popped out.

Later, multiple nurses asked me what happened to my pants. Baby was coming out so I took them off. I am unclear on how I was supposed to have a baby with pants on.

I left a trail of blood through the halls. Days later a couple drops were still there.

The ER peeps rolled me into an empty maternity floor. Staff appeared out of nowhere.

I’d seen meconium in my amniotic fluid and was terrified that RB wasn’t ok. I screamed at the nurse,

“Is my baby alive?”

“I have no idea.”

RB was crowning as I threw myself onto the triage table. I knew I wanted to be on my side.  My midwife had said that’s the best bet if I want to minimize tearing.

The triage “bed/chair” was in an upright position. I was on my side diagonally across it. Captain had one of my legs which he handed off to a nurse and I was resting my head on a side table thing.

I was given the all clear to push and RB came right out. It was 15 minutes since we left home and 2 hours since labor started.

RB was whimpering! They cut her cord and whisked her away. Captain went with her. He came back to report all was well. She swallowed meconium but hadn’t inhaled it.

The doctor who was there for the delivery wasn’t part of my OB practice, so she peaced out.

I asked Captain for the angelica root tincture that my midwife had recommended I take to help release my placenta.

The gruff nurse said,

“You’re not putting anything in your mouth, I don’t even know who you are.”

“I don’t know who you are!”

The doctor from my practice showed up. The same doctor we’d seen a few hours earlier who didn’t want us to go home. He was so kind and funny. He said if my midwife said to take it, I could take it. He asked,

“What time was the baby born?”

Everyone looked at each other. I looked at the clock. I have NO idea. No one knew. A nurse said,

“1:10?”

So let it be written.

The doctor started the task of inspecting the damage. I cringed and waited to hear the worst. I knew I was supposed to push the baby out slow and easy and nothing about this had been slow. Although fairly easy!

The doctor sent the gruff nurse for anesthetic. There was some misunderstanding and she came back without it. He sent her away again. When she came back he said,

“You took so long that the patient is all healed up.”

And that is how I found out the most amazing news: NO STITCHES!

I’d been hoping for minimal tearing, but I didn’t have the audacity to begin to hope for NO tearing.

Our healthy rainbow baby was placed on my chest at 1:30am, 20 minutes after she was born. And as for her sharing a birthday with our angel baby, it feels miraculous. I wouldn’t change a thing, except maybe leaving for the hospital 10 minutes sooner so as not to traumatize poor Captain. But maybe this cured him of the temptation for a third.

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