Thursday, February 4, 2010

In honor of our due date

This post has taken me forever to finish, but I have a good excuse, well maybe two excuses.  1. one adorable newborn and 2. Blogger crashed when I tried to compose this two weeks ago.  Lack of sleep+lack of computer savvy nearly pushed me over the edge, and I am only now finding the strength to rescue the paragraphs that were saved and recreate those that were not so lucky.

Today is the day I have been looking forward to since May 14, our BFP on the digital. The first thing I did after I collected myself and allowed myself to believe that it was true was to go online to the Bump and use the due date calculator. JANUARY 23, oh so far away. And then after our first ultrasound on June 10 and learning that we were having twins, I moved up the date to Christmas, and somehow, having the due date in the same calendar year made it less far away. Our dream of two holiday babies was short-lived when we learned the term "vanishing twin", and we lost the heartbeat of our little angel. So January 23 was our date again, and sometime in December I began to believe that I would go past my due date. Actually, I bounced back and forth between my doctor and several acquaintances telling me that babies with Down syndrome are very often premature and the knowledge that this was my first little one and often that meant an induction after 40 weeks. Never in my thinking did my story include 3 weeks of bedrest, followed by an induction at 38 weeks, 1 day due to pregnancy induced hypertension. It's a crazy story, and on my little boy's thirteenth day of life, it is time to tell it. CAUTION: **** LOTS OF PICTURES GOING FORWARD****

Two funny things I did before our induction: 1. I went for a mani and pedi. Everyone was asking me when I was due, and when I told them the baby was coming in 2 days I could see the fear in their eyes. I explained that I was being induced and that there was very little chance that I would be going in to labor in right then and there. When they agreed to do my nails, I had to decide what the appropriate toe color was for greeting my son. Of course I came to the obvious

I was instructed that the night before the induction that I could not eat after midnight. Of course I probably had not seen midnight since the second tri, so there was little chance I would be scarfing down anything at that time anyway. However, the mere mention that I was not allowed to eat made me frantic. That coupled with the knowledge that the induction might very well last past dinner time the next day, and well, I was starving! We went out to dinner, and I proceeded to eat everything in sight. I ate the most wonderful bowl of jalapeno soup and could not possibly drink enough water afterward. When we got home I was contacted by the anesthesiologist who told me that since I was coming in at 5 am that I should stop eating/drinking immediately because midnight would be too late. Crap! Needless to say, I walked in to that hospital the next morning with the taste of jalapeno soup still radiating through my throat. I have already apologized to my son for that. But isn't a spicy meal supposed to help encourage labor?

So we arrived at the hospital at 4:45, and my dear Pierce informed me that he had left the camera at home. Anything else but the CAMERA, seriously? So I told him to turn around and go back. If we were a few minutes late, they would have to get over it. The reason we had forgotten the camera is that I had asked Pierce to take some final belly shots of us. After he took them, he left the camera on the counter.

So after a very speedy ride home and equally fast trip back, I wandered in to registration with my hospital bag and two pillows. Pierce parked and met me several minutes later. After completing the paperwork, we took the elevator to Labor and Delivery and found our nurse, Stacey. She showed us to an awesome suite that seemed to be able to fit an army. I would later understand that it takes an army to bring a child into this world. I put on my oh-so-glamorous hospital gown and hopped up on the bed. I gazed over at the baby warmer that looked oddly like the fry warmer at Wendy's and thought "OMG, my baby will be right there some time today." It was all too surreal. Stacey hooked up my IV and connected a fetal monitor and another monitor to follow my contractions. I also had a blood pressure cuff that routinely checked me every, I think, ten minutes. Needless to say, I had stuff hanging off of me everywhere, and it was an enormous challenge when I had to pee, which was often. Stacey checked my cervix, and I was still only a fingertip dilated, as I had been two weeks earlier at my OB appointment. Great. This is going to be a long day, and I am already hungry. Sigh.....

Stacey started the pitocin, and I was mesmerized by the two monitors. I watched the peaks and valleys of my contractions and kept an eye on my son's heart rate. At one point his heartbeat wasn't being detected consistently, and when it did register it was in the 80's. Stacey said that the monitor wasn't picking him up properly, and I shouldn't panic. All I knew was that I had spent $49.00 a month on a doppler at home, and I knew what his heartbeat should sound like. Something was not right. After only a half an hour of pitocin, the drip was turned off because our little guy was not tolerating the contractions. At this point I could see the writing on the must endure contractions to give birth unless they have a c-section. I began to mentally prepare for something I truly did not want to go through.

I was given oxygen, and my OB stopped in to check on me.  The pitocin drip was restarted, and she asked if I was OK with a possible c-section.  Well, yeah, he has to get out somehow.  I can be brave.  She said she would be back at noon to check on me and, possibly, break my water.  Little one seemed to tolerate the pitocin better going forward.  I was feeling miserable and being subjected to a game of being rolled from side to side to keep his heart rate up.  After my third trip to the bathroom and feeling like I must be the world's biggest wimp for complaining, I surrendered to my greatest fear: THE EPIDURAL. According to Pierce's notes, the epi was administered at 9:20.  I was in so much pain already but kept waiting for the painful and scary part.  It never came.  Instead I felt warm and fuzzy and fabulous!  I rested comfortably for awhile, and the next thing I knew another nurse was injecting medicine in to my IV line and the oxygen mask was back.  It turns out that this time the mask was for me.  My crazy high BP had crashed to 75/45.  I learned later that this led them to believe I was bleeding out.

What happened next was beyond crazy.  Once I was stable, Stacey decided to check my cervix again to see if we were beyond 1 cm., and OMG we were!  She left to get another nurse to double check because she didn't think it was possible:  My cervix was gone, and it was time to push.  Barbara, who had been my nurse for my egg retrieval back in May, entered the room, checked me, and announced, "Oh, yeah, I can feel an ear".  It was only 10:30.  I was told NOT TO PUSH as everyone started frantically trying to contact my OB to no avail.  Stacey and Barbara spent the next hour and a half distracting me by talking about egg/embryo donors, among other topics.  At one point they asked Pierce if he wanted to see Baby Sunshine's head, and he was all game.  Seriously, y'all can see his head, and all I can do is lay here and hope I don't accidentally shoot him out of my completely numb girly parts?

True to her word, my OB returned at noon.  She was shocked at my progress and prepared to deliver my patient baby.  After three little pushes that I barely even felt, Miller Christian came into the world.  When I heard his cry,  I teared up and really wondered if it was a dream.  All the positive tests and ultrasounds and carrying him and feeling his kicks and hiccups and listening to his heart beat every single day were not enough to convince me up to that point that I would actually give birth to a beautiful little person.  Our beautiful little IVF miracle.  I challenge anyone who questions whether or not God exists to experience the birth of their very own Sunshine.  I am sure our infertility made his birth that much sweeter and nothing short of miraculous, and I know that I will never take his life for granted.  Welcome to the world, Sweet Boy!


  1. Amazing birth story! All that pain was transition - imagine. Love it! Thanks for the pics and I love the blue toes.

  2. Absolutely amazing... I am currently in my Two Week Wait of my 8th IUI and know that I too will have a story like this to post and cannot wait :)