My due date was October 29th, and we did not find out what I was having while I was pregnant - although I was pretty confident that it wasn't puppies. Sorry, had to say it. I had visions of myself pushing through labor being so excited to find out the sex of our baby. I looked forward to hearing the words, "It's a ___!"
For a couple weeks before my due date, I was supposed to be taking it easy and monitoring my blood pressure, which had been high. I also had to go to the hospital every few days for a "stress test". As part of these tests, they would do an ultrasound. During one of the ultrasounds, the nurse commented that my baby had big feet. This didn't surprise me, because my husband is tall.
October 29th came and went, and I had to go in for a stress test on October 30th. I hadn't slept all night, and really hadn't slept well for the few nights leading up to that because I had such horrible heart burn that I couldn't even lay down comfortably. I tried to sleep sitting up, and even that was tough. I was too tired to take a shower before I left for my appointment that morning. I had planned on coming home, and take a nice warm shower and trying to rest. Well, I didn't make it home, because at the stress test they told me that I had to check in because my blood pressure wasn't good. I called my husband, and told him to meet me at the hospital.
They proceeded to induce me, and labor started quickly. I didn't have a lot of break between contractions. Bring on the pain meds. I started with Fentanyl. It didn't really take away the pain, it just made it oh so much more bearable. Fentanyl got me through an episode of my favorite show, Survivor. My contractions continued, but I had only dilated to 2 centimeters. That's when the tall, bald, Russian anesthesiologist (the best in the hospital) came in to talk to me about an epidural. I asked if he thought it was too early for an epidural. He simply said "You have pain. You have epidural." I realized then why he was the best in the hospital.
My blood pressure continued to be a problem and they had to put me on magnesium sulfate. At one point, I was hooked up to what we lovingly called "the Christmas tree" of drip lines. My OB - whom I loved - came in and asked if there was any orifice they hadn't stuck something in yet. Nice.
Finally, around 11pm, my OB told me that I had to have a c-section. It actually turns out that I had HELLP syndrome - hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes and low platelet count. Basically, I could die. Nice. It turned out that the "heart burn" I thought I was feeling, was actually my liver. Distending. I was perfectly fine having a c-section, because I really wasn't set on a specific birth plan. I knew enough to know that anything can happen, and every birth is different and most likely not what anyone expects. All I wanted was my baby to be born healthy. Oh, and also to live to be my baby's Mother!
Thing was, we were so close to midnight at that point, that we really wanted to hold out so that our baby would be born on Halloween. As luck would have it, my OB had another patient right next door who also needed to have a c-section, but she was desperate to not have her baby born on Halloween. I heard my OB telling the nurses - ok, we need to get this one born before midnight, and this one out after midnight.
At 1:46am on October 31st, we welcomed our beautiful daughter into the world. I sort of remember the doctors saying "It's a girl!", but apparently I was so hopped up on the mag, and whatever other medications they had me on, all I said was "Does she have big feet?". I do distinctly remember my husband bringing her over to me and just touching her cheek in disbelief. She was amazing.
She still is.
Happy Birthday my little pumpkin! You are my heart, my joy, my muse, my hope. I love you with all my heart!!!