On Monday January 6, I went to the doctor for my week 39 appointment. I had another NST, and Noah did great! I was slightly dilated, so the doctor told me I had a couple options. I could go to the hospital on Wednesday night and be induced on Thursday the 9, or I could go into the hospital on January 13 and be induced on Tuesday the 14th (my actual due date), or I could come back to the doctor's office on Monday January 13 and see if I was dilated any further. Aaron and I had talked earlier that morning about what we would choose if I was given any options. We decided that I would take the earliest opportunity to induce in order to give Noah a chance to control his own blood sugar levels and not rely on me for them. Aaron wasn't able to come with me to the appointment, so I had to make the decision based on our conversation. So I chose to go into the hospital on Wednesday January 8th and be induced on Thursday January 9th. The doctor agreed with our decision to go ahead and deliver Noah so we would be rid of the gestational diabetes. I realized that the delivery would be taking place at the hospital right across the parking lot from the doctor's office-- which is not the hospital we were intending to deliver at. The doctor said he already had 2 inductions scheduled for Thursday, and it would be too difficult to have me deliver at a hospital 7 miles away. I was a little nervous for the change. Fortunately, my mom knew of some nurses who worked at this different hospital, and she assured me that it was a good place. She spoke with a nursing friend who worked in the nursery there, and that friend volunteered to come be the nursery nurse in our room on Thursday!
Since I had only been in this hospital one time (8 years ago), I felt nervous about knowing where to go on Wednesday night. I had chosen to take off work on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of that week since we were experiencing icy weather, and I didn't want to risk getting in a car accident or slipping in the parking lot at work since I was so close to the end of the pregnancy. So, since I was going to be off, my mom suggested that she and I go to the hospital on Tuesday and ask for a tour. I was so impressed! The nursing staff at the post partum floor and on the labor and delivery floor were all so nice! I got to see what a post partum room looked like-- and they were twice as big as the post partum rooms at the hospital I had planned to go to. I also got to see the two kinds of labor and delivery rooms, and look in the window of the nursery. After the tour, I was pumped! I wished I had gone to this hospital for Michael's birth!
On Wednesday night, Aaron & I packed up Michael's suitcase and took him to Aaron's mom's house where he would stay until we got home from the hospital. Earlier that day, my mom came over and took our dog back to her house where he would stay until we had been home for a couple days. Aaron and I packed up our hospital bags, and made our way to the hospital for our 9:00pm appointment. We got to wait in a private waiting room on the labor and delivery floor. Within 15 minutes, a nurse came to get me. Aaron got to stay in the waiting room while I filled out paperwork, got weighed, went to our labor room, got my hospital gown on, got an IV (in my forearm rather than my hand-- which I was so excited about!), and gave our family medical history. I was hooked up to the monitors that measured Noah's heart rate and my contractions. The nurse checked my progression. I as dilated to 1cm. She said all of her other patients weren't dilated at all, so at least a 1 was something. Then, Aaron got to come to the room. There was a pull out couch for him to sleep on. We played half a game of "Phase 10" and then decided to go on to sleep. It was about 10:30.
I got to get out of bed to use the bathroom on my own--which I wasn't able to do at the other hospital. I didn't sleep too well, but that was to be expected. Around 5:45, I started feeling contractions. The nurse came in to give me my petocin. She checked my progression. I was dilated to a 2 or a 3, she said. She said I was having huge contractions on the monitor and she would probably be back to dial down my petocin level instead of raising it if it looked like I was progressing too fast. The doctor came in at 7:30 and broke my water. I told him I was feeling the contractions. He checked my progression and said I was dilated to a 3. He said he'd call around 9:30 and be back to check on me around noon.
The day shift nurse arrived and said I could have pain medicine if I needed it while I waited for the epidural. They told me I had to have another bag of fluid through the iv before I could get an epidural. I didn't understand why since I had a full bag of fluid overnight through the iv, but I didn't question them and I didn't complain. Around 8:00, I asked for the pain medicine. She gave it to me and informed me that I might feel drowsy. I instantly felt dizzy and had a hard time keeping both eyes open at the same time. I was still feeling the contractions and didn't feel any relied from the pain meds. Around 8:30, the anesthesiologist arrived. Aaron was able to take a shower at this time since I didn't want him to see the epidural needle. The contractions were very strong at the point, and the nurse had to help hold me steady so the anesthesiologist could properly insert the epidural. I wobbled when he initially inserted it, so he had to start over. By this point, the contractions were so intense that I was shaking. The nurse had to grab my shoulders and press her forehead against mine in order to hold me steady enough to have the epidural inserted. Once it was in, the anesthesiologist hung around. By this time, Aaron was out of the shower and my mom had arrived. The nurse checked my progression. I was 9 and a half centimeters dilated. I didn't understand at first what she meant by "nine and a half." When I realized that I had progressed from 3cm to 9.5cm in a little over an hour, I was scared. My mom assured me that Noah was doing great. The anesthesiologist was watching me endure the contractions, and he said he was going to administer lidocaine since it would start working in a few minutes whereas the epidural was still going to take 20 minutes to kick in. I kept waiting for the lidocaine to be administered so I would feel some relief. I never felt relief, and Aaron told me later that the anesthesiologist gave me the lidocaine right when he said he would. The anesthesiologist could tell that it wasn't working. He hung around in the room asking me if I felt pressure or pain during the contractions. I said pressure, but very intense pressure and it was painful. A call was made to the doctor. Mom called her friend who had offered to come be the nursery nurse in our room. Mom's friend said she would be there in 15 minutes. I said I didn't have 15 minutes. Her friend arrived in her normal clothes--- she didn't even have time to put on her scrubs. The doctor came right over from the office. He was shocked that I progressed so quickly. It was so difficult to push since the pain was so intense. During each contraction I yelled out where I felt pain "pressure in my back!" or "pressure in my hips!" The doctor was encouraging me to keep pushing and told me it wouldn't be long until the pain was over. He said the pressure I felt was the baby making his way out. I kept asking my mom and Aaron to tell me I could do it. They did so over and over. Finally, the doctor told me that he could see the head and I just needed to push once more. He told me to give a gentle push- and I totally couldn't figure out how to push gently since I was in so much pain. I remember raising my head to look at him and saying "gentle push?" I'm not sure how I did it, but the push must have been gentle enough for the doctor to assess Noah and then I heard the screams of my newborn. With that last push, my pain was gone. He was placed directly on me, and cried and cried and cried. So I did too. I was so happy to have him here and have him healthy and safe. the doctor said I could have breakfast and eat whatever I wanted. Gestational diabetes was over! I told him I brought Christmas cookies with me, and he laughed because during the pregnancy, I talked about bringing cookies with me.
My mom's friend took Noah to the area to warm him and measure him. His APGAR scores were 9 and 9! He weighed 7lbs 4oz and was 21 inches long. So, a pound and 10 ounces less than Michael, and the same length. He was placed back on me and Aaron and I got to have a great amount of time with him before he was taken to the nursery. He was called the pinkest baby in the nursery. After 6 hours of recovery time, we ere moved to our super large post partum room.
Michael got to come visit us the next day around lunchtime. He instantly liked his baby brother. It was wonderful for Aaron and I to see Michael because we surely missed him! On Saturday, we were able to come home. Since then, we've been happily figuring out our life as a family of four.
I'll upload pictures later of Michael's first meeting with Noah.
Much love, Reba