I had a horrible pregnancy, one that required me to be hospitalized twice due to pre-term labor for a total of three weeks. I was on bedrest for the last three months of my pregnancy and just could not wait for all of this to be over. I was due on Sunday, April, 4, 1999, and was only a couple of days late, still this to me seemed like an eternity.
My husband had decided to stay home with me on Monday since we had a doctor's appointment. I got out of bed at 8:30 just like any other morning and was putting waffles in the toaster when suddenly I felt a gush of water. I started calling my husband who told me to take a shower as he called the doctor. Since I was having no contractions the doctor decided I should come to her office. So we headed out to her office with my hospital bag expecting to be sent to the hospital immediately.
We arrived at the doctor's office and she saw me immediately; she checked me and I was only 1 cm. She also did a ferning test to see if indeed my water had broken. I was stunned to hear her say the test was inconclusive. By now it was 11:30, and I was famished. She told us to go home and wait and see if either my contractions started or I felt another gush of water. Well my husband took me to McDonald's around the corner from the doctor's office and no sooner had we ordered than I felt another gush of water. So we took our food and headed back to the doctor's. She was out to lunch and her nurse practitioner saw us; she did
the ferning test and sure enough my water had broken! I still had no contractions so they paged the doctor. When she arrived at the office, she checked me and I was still at 1 cm with no contractions. She sent me to the hospital and told me I would be put on Pitocin to induce the contractions.
I was nervous about the Pitocin since I had read so many horror stories involving inductions. I got to the hospital and was put in my birthing room and given the Pitocin as well as antibiotics (I was positive for Group B Strep). I started to feel contractions and for the first couple of hours they were not bad; I could still talk through them. This made me fell like I might actually be able to handle the birth without any pain medication. About four hours later the contractions were much stronger; I had to breathe through them (thank God for the birthing classes!!). Still they were not as bad as I had expected. The doctor came in to check up on me and see how much I had progressed, and I was disappointed when she told me I was still at 1 cm!!!!
About nine hours into our hospital stay, I felt I could no longer manage the pain and was begging my husband to get me an epidural! Another doctor came in to check me and said I was at 3 cm. I was also informed that my HMO did not give an epidural until you were at 5 cm!!! This was the last straw, I went ballistic on the doctor and told him that if he did not get me the epidural I would check out of the hospital and go somewhere my wishes were taken into consideration!! The doctor huffed out of my room and my husband ran out after him. About 10 minutes later, the anesthesiologist came into the room, apparently one of the nurses had taken pity on me and called the HMO and explained my situation to them. They authorized the epidural. I knew the needle would be big, but I was not prepared for the three huge needles on the tray!! I asked just what the anesthesiologist planned to do with those things. He explained the procedure to me and I started to have second thoughts. At that moment the contractions started to come more intense so I braced myself for the epidural. It was actually far easier than I expected.
By the time the anesthesiologist was packing up I was wonderfully numb from the waist down. I was so happy to be able to rest, so I took a long nap. About 15 hours into the labor, the doctor walked in and told me they were having problems with the fetal monitor. Since my baby was not cooperating they wanted to give me an internal monitor. Well this was not going to happen. I definitely did not want a probe screwed into my baby's scalp!! So reluctantly the doctor gave me a different type of internal monitor that goes into the uterus beside the baby and not into the baby's scalp. So I'm laying in the bed with tubes and IV's everywhere! I was not happy. The doctor suggested I get some rest. I was checked and was at 7 cm. I was relieved to know most of the labor was behind me, or so I thought. I slept for a few hours and was checked again about 20 hours into the labor. I was still at 7 cm. The doctor said they would give me a few more hours and increase the pitocin to see if the baby would drop into the birth canal.
Six hours later I'm exhausted and I'm starting to worry. The doctor came back and decided we would have a c-section. I was relieved, terrified and disappointed all at the same time. But I was not progressing past 7 cm. The baby did not drop, and I would not be able to deliver vaginally. So they put something into my epidural catheter and I went numb from the chest down. In a matter of minutes I was wheeled to the operating room where a team of people was preparing to bring my baby into the world. My husband was sitting at my side holding my hand while the doctors did their thing. I felt a lot of pressure and could not believe it was over when the doctor held out a beautiful baby girl and said "you have a daughter." Both my husband and I started to cry. They cleaned her up as they stitched me back together again. Haley Alyssa Babilonia was born at 11:30 am, April 6, 1999, and she weighed 7 lbs. 12 oz.
I just stared at her as I heard them tell me she was perfect. She was not crying much so I thought something was wrong and I kept asking if they were sure. Finally they brought her over to me and I got to touch her sweet little face. I have never felt that much love. I just started to cry harder! She was perfect and beautiful. They took both of us to the recovery room where my husband picked her up and handed her to me to hold for the first time. I was still groggy and nervous but I took her and looked into her perfect little face. I knew at that moment that all of the pain and agony was worth it.
We were finally a family!