The Final Weeks & Birth Story
~ February 19 - March 10 and beyond . . .
Week 39 . . .
The sleep helped, though the next day I still felt miserable. The cold was still fully raging, lasting much longer and stronger than any cold I had had in years. We had to get up that afternoon to go back to the OB's office for yet another blood pressure check, and I don't know if it was my rested mind suddenly snapping back into action, but it finally occurred to me on the way over that what most likely was going on with me was that I had a sinus infection. Duh, stupid me, I should have guessed this from the beginning - I never get Strep Throat, but am prone to getting bad sinus infections. I asked about it at the office, and they said to go have it checked out at the Quick Care clinic. So we headed over to yet another doctor's office, and saw our three millionth doctor that week. Sure enough, I had a sinus infection. Finally I had an answer! Thank God! With my diagnosis, we were able to get a prescription for an antibiotic to help clear the infection, and help me sleep. It was a huge relief to know that wellness was now on the horizon.
Tuesday and Wednesday came and went relatively calmly. I still felt miserable, but surely with more sleep, I was finally getting better. Then, sooner than I could have ever believed it would come, it was Thursday, induction day.
Now, we had known from our Dr. Hess' original instructions how it was going to work. The hospital usually scheduled all c-sections in the morning, and then inductions after that. We were told that, depending on the day's surgery schedule, we would be given a call ASAP to come in and start our induction. The down side is, it could be at any time during the day, and we'd just have to wait it out. The night before I had spent at home alone, getting all my things packed, and doing some last minute house cleaning. Aaron came home around midnight, and we both just sat together in this weird vacuum of nervous tension. We didn't really talk at all, but were excited and freaked out, and still the whole thing didn't seem real at all. After all the drama, all the waiting, tomorrow we were going to have our baby. We had been up until three in the morning attempting to read our books before we finally went to sleep, but I was up again by seven, too nervous to spend any more time in bed. I took the phone and went out to the couch to lay and wait for my fate. Around nine, it rang. I panicked, scrambled for the phone, and AGAIN it was Chelsea! Her timing for giving me a heart attack with the phone calls is impeccable. I filled her in on the day's plan, and assured her she'd be called once the baby was born. Too wound up to just sit there any longer, I got up and had some cereal. They had advised a light breakfast and nothing else, so I ate a small bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats with Almonds, and waited. And waited. And waited. How Aaron was able to at least sleep decently late, I'll never know, because I was dying! Finally I got him up so we could get showered, and go out to run a few quick errands. I was so sure that the second we attempted to step out of our house, the phone would immediately go off, but no luck. We raced to the bank, raced to the store, and still nothing. So we risked it and drove over to the bookstore to get Aaron something to read. I begged him to browse quickly so we could get out of there and get home, because they were surely going to call us any minute now, but still, after half an hour looking at books, no phone call. I was going absolutely nuts, and wanted to grab someone and shake them and yell, "don't you know I'm going to have a baby tonight?!" I contained myself, but still, the urge was there. Finally, we left the bookstore, and by then it was mid-afternoon, with no news. I was starving! The tension was insane, and I was starting to get really irritated, so I told Aaron to drive to Wendy's so we could get lunch, light breakfast be damned! We took our food back home, and I practically inhaled my baked potato, the lightest thing I could think of on the menu. Then, as if the hospital had a Naughty Jennifer Eating When She's Not Supposed To monitor, the call came just as I was finishing my last bite.
It was around 3:30 in the afternoon, and an overly cheery and completely nonplussed nurse came on the line saying that they were ready for us to come in now. I told her we would grab our things and be there within in 15 minutes. Five minutes later, we were pulling up outside the hospital! (I had failed to take into account how much all the adrenaline would make loading our suitcases in the car so much easier, and not to mention faster!) I sat in the passenger seat waiting while Aaron hopped out to talk to the valet about parking the car. In his excitement, he told the valet that we were having a baby, but failed to mention that I was an inducement, and I was not actually in labour at that particular minute in time. All of the sudden I had a valet rushing over to me with a wheelchair to take me in to the labour and delivery unit. I laughed and laughed, and explained that I was fine, but as we all thought it was so funny, I let the poor guy wheel me into the hospital anyway. I wanted the whole birthing experience! We were wheeled right up to the main desk in Labour and Delivery, and from there the nurses took over.
They showed us to our room, and gave me my hospital gown to get changed into. I sat down on the bed, and Aaron and I stared at each other nervously until the nurse came back in to do all the paperwork with us. With that out of the way, she outlined what our schedule for the evening was going to look like. Because of my Group B Strep, the standard procedure is to start the mother out on an antibiotic for four hours before starting labour, to make sure there was plenty of medicine in the system to keep from transferring the bacteria from mother to baby. The antibiotic was going to be administered through my IV, so they wanted to start that as soon as possible. Besides the epidural needle, the IV was what I had been most nervous about, so I cringed in horror that all this antibiotic business could not be done with a pill like in any other civilized society. Lucky for me, the nurse was awesome, and she and Aaron talked me through the insertion of the IV, and I must admit, it really wasn't all that bad. After that, we were left on our own to wait for Dr. Abbott to come by and check in with us and let us know when we would be starting the induction.
My mom came by briefly to see how I was doing, and then left again with our keys to go over to our house. Because she is the most awesome mother ever, she had not only taken off the entire next week to stay and help me at home with the baby, but she had offered to clean our entire house for me while I was in the hospital, so that I could come home to a nice clean house. (We seriously came home to not only a clean house, but also new sheets on the bed, and new towels in the bathroom - she is a genius!) So she left again with strict instructions to call her immediately as soon as anything interesting happened.
We waited some more in our weird nervous tension until Dr. Abbott arrived a little after six. He came bustling through the door, and just looked at me for a moment before he announced, "Well, I'm shocked. Shocked! I had no idea that you were being induced today." Yipes. Not exactly what you want to hear your doctor say when he walks through your door, though we still obviously had immense faith in him that he had everything under control. Lesson learned, however. If your doctor is out of the office ever, and his associate suddenly changes things around, make sure that your doctor gets the message! Dr. Abbott recovered his wits brilliantly, and let us know the game plan. At four hours after we had started my IV and antibiotics, around 8:30 that evening, the nurses would begin my labour. He did a physical check, and decided that, although my monitor was picking up contractions, he wanted to start me out on a lighter version of pitocin before he broke my water and got things really moving. My cervix, though nearly completely effaced, was still only dilated 1 cm. So he recommended that I eat some dinner, then rest as much as I could, because he didn't expect anything to really start happening before midnight. He said he would check in around then, and left. Aaron and I ordered dinner, turned on the TV, and waited.