On Monday morning, we woke up and started getting all of us ready to be gone for most, if not all, of the day. It was gut wrenching to get my girls ready to drop off with friends and to pack a hospital bag to go deliver a baby I would not be bringing back home. I tried to eat something but only got half of a granola bar down before feeling like I would be sick. We dropped the girls off at 8 a.m. and headed to the hospital.
While we were in the car, I reflected on the last time we made the drive to the hospital. Both drives were excruciating--one physically, one emotionally. A small part of me kept hoping we would get to the hospital to find out it had all been a big mistake--that they had made some terrible error in judgment and that everything was fine. It's funny what your mind can do with the smallest shred of hope, even in a hopeless situation.
We arrived just before 9 a.m. and they took us to the back corner of labor and delivery. I changed into a gown, gave a urine sample and got into bed. The nurse attempted to put an IV into my right hand but it didn't work. She called in another nurse who attempted to put the IV into my right arm. That attempt was worse than the first and I have a lovely bruise to show for it. They finally got an IV into my left hand. They used the site to draw blood--about 11 or 12 tubes of it. They were going to run a lot of tests to try to figure out what went wrong. After the blood was drawn, they started me on IV fluids, which I remained on for nearly 24 hours.
My doctor came in and reviewed all of the possible scenarios we could face during the course of the day. We signed consent forms about all kinds of things, including, if necessary, a trip to the OR. Finally, she inserted two tablets next to my cervix in order to induce labor. Pitocin doesn't work as well in earlier stages of pregnancy. At this point it was 10:30 a.m. and the waiting game began.
It didn't take long before I started to feel mild contractions. They weren't particularly painful but I figured if I was going to get an epidural (which my doctor strongly recommended based on the unpredictability of the day), I might as well get it early and be as comfortable as possible. The anesthesiologist (who I happen to share a birthday with) came in close to noon to start my epidural. Getting the epidural was a much more pleasant experience than Abby's birth as I wasn't in very much pain.
As the morning progressed, I was spiking a fever that eventually reached 102. They said this was a common response to the medication but they started me on antibiotics just to be safe. Between IV fluids, antibiotics and eventually, Pitocin, my IV was very busy.
Throughout the day, nurses were in and out, checking my temperature, blood pressure and pain level. Sam and I spent most of our time sitting quietly. We read for a little while and tried to rest. I'm not sure I ever fell asleep but I was able to relax. Our minds were clear and our hearts were at peace and the day went by quicker than I expected. It didn't even phase me when I heard a baby being born in another room.
The doctor inserted new tablets every 3 hours to keep my contractions going. She didn't want to break my water because she thought the delivery would go more smoothly if the water remained intact. At around 5:30 p.m., I felt a gush of fluid. I had felt a few tiny leaky sensations before that, but this was more substantial. It was the only time in my life that I wished I peed my
At 6 p.m. I felt a much larger gush and was pretty sure the baby had come out. Sam got the nurse, she checked under my sheet and went to get the doctor. I can't begin to describe what it feels like to have your tiny baby just laying under your sheet while you wait for the doctor to come in. When Dr. Cadieux arrived, she cut the umbilical cord, put the baby on the warming table (the same place they put healthy babies) and started to check me out. She really wanted my placenta to come out, fully intact, in order to send it to the lab for testing. She had me sit up, as much as one can sit with an epidural, to see if gravity would help.
After about 30 minutes or so, I felt another sensation of something coming out and called the doctor. She thanked God when she came in to check me. Everything had happened in just about the best way possible. She got me cleaned up as best she could. She wanted everything to be perfect. In her words, "We need to use this uterus again."
They started me on Pitocin to help my uterus tighten and to help with bleeding. At this point, there were other things that needed to be done and decisions that needed to be made but as I've thought about those things, I've decided they are too personal to write about. We were left to talk, to cry and to get some food in our bellies.
When all was said and done, everyone decided it would be best for us to stay the night. They kept my antibiotics going and it took a while for the epidural to wear off. We rested as much as we could.
After we were discharged in the morning, we went to pick up our sweethearts. It felt so good to hug them, especially after our painful departure from the hospital. We went to get on the elevator at the same time as a girl with her new baby--the way one is supposed to leave labor and delivery.
The last week has had it's ups and downs. I have been healing well physically. There is definitely something to be said for no pushing and no stitches. Our hearts are healing slowly, though I don't think I'll ever quite recover emotionally from this experience. It helps to have an unbelievably wonderful husband and two little ladies willing to give lots of hugs and kisses.
I am so grateful for the amazing people we have in our lives. We have received an outpouring of love. Your thoughts and prayers have been felt and have brought us so much strength.
I don't know why this happened and I probably never will but I have learned a lot about myself, a lot about suffering, a lot about love and, most importantly, a lot about my Savior.
The words from John 14:27 have come into my mind a lot during the past few days:
"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."
I welcome any questions you might have. I can't promise I'll answer them but there are more details I'd be willing to share, especially if it could help someone in a similiar situation.