Friday, December 17, 2010

My Early Christmas Gift

As many of you already know, my little bundle of joy arrived before any of us anticipated.

No, I didn't go into spontaneous labor as I had hoped.

I had my routine appointment on November 30th, totally oblivious that I was going to get some BIG news.

My blood pressure was still high (150/90) and it had been increasing the longer I was pregnant. I started out lowish (110/70's) and progressively got higher and higher. Yes, I had to do the dreaded 24 hour urine collection twice to rule out pre-eclampsia. All my labs had come back normal, but my doctor was very concerned about my blood pressure at my appointment Tuesday.

"I want you to go in tonight at 10 and we'll get things started." said Dr. Egbert.

I stared at her and blinked fast.

"What do you mean "go in tonight at 10?" I stuttered.

"Now, don't freak out," she said calmly. "Relax, go home, take a nap and pack."

HA! Don't freak out! PSHAW! "Freak Out" is my middle name! I freak out over the slighest things like when I run out of liquid eyeliner, does this woman really think I'm going to be calm knowing I'm going in TONIGHT to have my baby?!

So, I did the necessary things like make phone calls, send out texts, pack and repack and hyperventilate.

Danny came home at noon to be the supportive husband that he is. We laid in bed and tried to nap, clutching on to one another for dear life knowing things were going to get a lot more interesting very soon.

While we were napping, he kept receiving text messages. If you know my husband at all, he barely talks on the phone let alone send or receive texts. I gave him the side eye and said "Who's texting you?"

His face got red and he stammered "No one."

I was really suspicious now.

"WHO was that??"

He lept out of bed, ran to the bathroom and said "Don't you DARE look at my phone!"

Oh, right. Like that's going to be possible.

It was then I discovered it was Julie who was texting Danny. Saying that she was here. As in AT MY HOUSE! I was overjoyed that my BFF had come to support me! She had somehow arranged to come spur of the moment and had wanted to surprise me. And she almost pulled it off! Too bad my darling husband can't lie to save his life. And I'm too nosy for my own good. Lethal combination when it comes to surprises.

Danny's mom had also come to help out, once again being a lifesaver. Between she and Julie, everything was taken care of.

It was really surreal eating dinner that night, hanging out and watching Glee. Like it was any other normal Tuesday evening. But it wasn't. I was going to be a mother soon.

Fast forward to the hospital. They didn't waste ANY time. As soon as I arrived, I was told to pee in cup and put on my gown. And it was a flurry of events from that moment on. I was hooked up to monitors, and started on an IV of Pitocin. My contractions started and they were very mild at first. The nurse had been in contact with my doctor and had been told to inform me that "if I wanted an epidural to get it before she came in at 8am to break my water."

No pressure or anything, sheesh.

I was terrrrrified of getting an epidural. I hadn't banned the idea completely, but I knew it scared the crap outta me. Needles in my spine just gives me slight worries. I had to get to the point where I knew the pain was going to be too much before I would succumb to an epidural.

Well, the second stage of contractions kicked in and I was starting to get uncomfortable. My nurse was fantastic and she talked me through everything. The pros, the cons...and let me make up my own mind. I decided at 5 AM (labor had been about 6 hours at this point) to get the epidural.

I have to say that the actual epidural did not hurt at all. I thought getting the IV was a lot more painful. But alas, I had the "weird" epidural...the half-sided epidural. It only took effect on the right side of my body. I was in major pain at this point. My doctor came in promply at 8AM to break my water, and it was very apparent to her that my epidural was NOT working as I was crying in discomfort. My nurse knew my epidural was obviously not working when I could feel my urinary catheter being inserted. So, the anesthesiologist came in and gave me a bolus of medication. This still didn't work. She finally "tweaked" the epidural catheter and finally, it helped. However, the medication still only took effect on half my body for an hour at a time and would fade.

So my labor was very unique. I got to experience true contractions AND what it felt like to have an epidural. And let me tell you---I prefer having the epidural fo sho.

After nearly 20 hours of labor, it was TIME. I told my nurse repeatedly that I was going to die and that I was too tired. I informed her that I was sorry, there was no way I was going to be able to push. But somehow, I did. I don't know how. I pushed and I pushed and I pushed. And pushed. I could hear the nurse talking about how I needed to get the baby to a certain point and that the doctor would be able to help with forceps, but I was nowhere near that point yet. I was so tired. I heard the dreaded words "C-Section" and there was NO WAY IN HELL that after nearly 20 hours of labor and 2 hours of pushing was I going to have a C-section. So, I found that extra "oomph" and determination deep inside and just kept on keeping on. I wouldn't have been able to do it without Danny and Julie cheering me on.

Finally, after nearly 3 exhausting hours...Avery Paul was born at 8:09pm.

I will never forget what it felt like to hear his cry for the first time.

It was the most beautiful sound in the world. I could hear Avery crying to my right. And to my left, I heard the sounds of my emotional husband weeping in joy.

The first thing I uttered when they placed my son in my arms was "He has my nose!"

And he did. It's a little button nose that looks just like mine, just tiny. And he has his Daddy's chin and his blue eyes. Yes, his eyes may change to brown. But for now, they're blue. Which is unusual for an Asian baby.

They did have to keep him in the NICU for the night. He had a little respiratory distress, probably due to him being a little early. He was born at 37 weeks and 5 days gestation. He was a nice, healthy 7 lbs 3 oz and 20 inches long. That's not too shabby for being born 16 days before his due date!

So, we've been home now for over two weeks and we are all adjusting well.

He's already well over 8 lbs, gaining over a pound in just 1 week.

In January we are meeting with the pediatric surgeon at Children's Cincy to see what the next steps are for his CPAM diagnosis. We are very optimistic. Maybe we won't have to have surgery at all...? We are hoping and praying!

To all you moms...I finally see what the fuss is all about. Being a mom is thrilling, rewarding, and a blessing.