I've received so many sweet messages, comments, texts, and e-mails from you all, and I really do appreciate it, from the bottom of my heart. It makes my heart smile to know that you do care, that you've been reading, following along week by week, that I have helped many of you in one way or another, and that you want to hear more. So, for the lot of you, be it 10 or 1,000 of you, this is the story of Peyton's birth.
My pregnancy was not an easy one. Understatement of the year. Bleeding in the first trimester, gestational diabetes, preterm labor, and the plot thickens...
After going into preterm labor during week 29/30 (read about it here) I was placed on bed rest until week 36 at which time I was supposed to return to work and go into labor naturally, but Peyton had other plans.
I woke up on December 11th not feeling so well. I had been battling a headache since the day before that would just not go away even with the max dosage of Tylenol I was allowed to take. I had noticed increased swelling in my hands and feet which was odd, since I hadn't experienced swelling almost my entire pregnancy and I realized that I had been drinking tons of water but not using the restroom as much should have been.
I knew something was wrong, so I dialed my doctors office. I suspected that I was exhibiting symptoms of preeclampsia, but that was just me expecting the worst. The nurse took down all of my symptoms and told me that she would call me back with instructions from my doctor. Just as I suspected, twenty minutes later the nurse called and instructed me to go to the hospital to be tested for preeclampsia. Great.
Since I was on bed rest I wasn't supposed to drive. I asked the nurse if I should have someone drive me and she of course told me yes. I hesitated to call my husband because he had been off with me for a few days and had a really big meeting that day. I didn't think it would be a big deal, but I knew he'd be upset with me if I didn't call him. I called his cell and then his office number with no answer. Okay, what now? I call one of my girlfriends, Mandy, who works from home and isn't too far away. No answer. Cue panic. I then call another girlfriend, Khrystal, who is a SAHM but lives a little further away. No answer. What the heck! I really start to panic and think, "how the heck am I going to get to the hospital?!" I start to cry and call Khrystal one more time. Finally, she answers! "I need you to take me to the hospital I sob into the phone." Luckily I didn't scare her too much. I had talked to her earlier that morning, sharing my concerns that I may have developed preeclampsia. We both didn't think it was true, but we weren't surprised it was a possibility.
An hour later Khrystal arrived and we headed to the hospital. I packed my hospital bag and Peyton's bag just in case. On our way, Mandy called me completely upset that she had missed my call. I told her what was going on and she insisted that she wanted to meet us at the hospital. Minutes after hanging up with Mandy she called me back and put her friend Robin on the phone who is a nurse. I let Robin know my symptoms and she let me know that she was 99% sure I had preeclampsia and wanted to forewarn me that she was pretty sure I would deliver Peyton that day. Um, what?!
We arrived at the hospital, checked in to Labor & Delivery and began testing promptly. I changed in to the oh so familiar hospital gown, you know the one, the one that makes you look like a whale! Blood was taken and then a urine sample, which by the way looked like the color of amber beer, even after drinking tooonnsss of water. While we waited, I called my mom to let her know what was going on and that her grandson might be here soon! About an hour later the doctor returned with the results....and of course I had preeclampsia, surprise, surprise.
The doctor sat down and explained that the only option we had was to deliver early, but first they wanted to put me on another magnesium sulfate drip for 24 hours to prevent me form having seizures since my blood pressure was so high and we needed to get it under control. I knew it was necessary for Peyton and I's health and safety, but all I could think was "why God, why!?" Magnesium Sulfate is the devil's drug and I had an absolute terrible experience with it when I went into preterm labor the first time. This time the nurses were instructed to take my blood every 2 hours to monitor the mag levels so that I didn't slip out of the therapeutic zone and end up with 10 to 12 grams in my system like last time. After all of my issues during pregnancy I was willing to bet that Peyton would have come early, but I never would have guessed he would come 6 weeks early!
24 hours came and went and I was finally free of the drug from Hell! This time was much better, not great, but better. And then the waiting game began.
I was still only about 1 to 2 cm dilated so we only had 8 cm to go! At his point I have no recollection of time. It kind of all just runs together. I do remember them inducing labor and receiving the epidural. I was pretty nervous about this part. I'm not bad with needles, I'm bad with the unknown, the anticipation of pain. Seriously though, the epidural was a piece of cake, for me at least. The hardest part of the epidural was leaning forward far enough so the nurse could find the right spot on my spine. They kept saying "lean further, just a little further"...ladies, I have a big ass belly (pardon my french), I can't lean over any further!
From that point it was smooth sailing. Contractions weren't painful, but whoa buddy, the more and more I dilated I could feel Peyton's head sinking further down into my pelvis. It. Felt. Weird! I felt like my butt was going to fall off! Strangest feeling in the world! That was the most uncomfortable portion of labor, not very pleasant. After what seemed like an eternity of waiting to dilate the doctor comes in takes a look and says it's time to break my water. Again, another very strange sensation.
Finally, Peyton was coming! I remember there was a flood of women in the room. The doctor and the two nurses that would help her deliver. Then four more nurses from the NICU stood waiting at the ready in the background. Since Peyton was 6 weeks early he was going to need extra attention to make sure everything was working properly, mostly breathing.
I remember one of the nurses saying "okay daddy, you can hold this leg and help mommy push." Yeahhhh...no. I quickly said "No, no. I'm good with him back here by my head!" I did NOT need him seeing that mess going on down there. That's not a knock to any of you who had/or want your husband to watch, it's just my personal preference...we all know there is a really good chance you're going to poop while pushing...that's why there's a big ole bag at the end of the bed you're laying on...not something I want old hubs seeing.
Labor for me was pretty quick. Five contractions, three pushes each and welcome Peyton! The sweetest sound was hearing that first cry. I watched as they held up my little man and Justin cut the cord. Quickly, they cleaned him off and made sure he was breathing okay and then they handed him to me.
In that moment I forgot everything. All of the nausea, all of the pain, the torture of not being able to eat whatever I was craving because of my stupid gestational diabetes, it all vanished and I just looked in amazement at that perfect little boy that we had made.
Whew this is a long story and there's still so much more to tell! I'll see you later for Part 2!