It all started on Tuesday 1/9. I saw my doctor for my 37 week check up. I had my first internal check of the entire pregnancy in the office and was dilated to a 1 and 30% effaced. I’ll spare you the rest of the girly details but my body (ie: cervix) was showing signs of readiness which the doctor expected since this is my 4th go around. We discussed the possibility of me getting admitted to the hospital at 39 weeks to ensure I didn’t labor too fast and not make it to the hospital if I continued to progress over the next 2 weeks. I had some contractions that night and figured it was because I had been checked that day and the doctor just irritated my cervix. No big deal.
Wednesday 1/10 I had contractions 10 min apart all day long and started spotting. They weren’t painful, just uncomfortable and consistent all day long. We ended up going in to the hospital in the middle of the night to get checked since the contractions didn’t stop and there was a bit of bleeding. When I got checked there, I was dilated to a 2 and 50% effaced. We got discharged Thursday morning to come home. That was sleepless night #1.
Thursday 1/11 I was having more contractions and started bleeding just a bit. Contractions were 10 min apart all day long and still not very strong. I went to drill at the fire station Thursday night and they got a bit stronger as the night continued. After I got home and went to bed, they hit really hard and I labored all night long at 10 minutes apart. Sleepless night #2.
Friday 1/12 was more of the same. Contractions 10 min apart for the whole day. We played poker at the house on Friday night and I continued to time contractions all night but they weren’t that bad yet. Until I went to bed. Again, they hit HARD and I labored all night long with extremely strong contractions all night long. Sleepless night #3.
Saturday 1/13 they eased up when I got up and walked around. Bo and I ran some errands, went out to lunch and had a nice day of timing pretty strong contractions. Saturday night, it hit HARD again. When contractions got to less than 10 min apart (I think it was around 4am?) I told Bo it was time to go in. I had 3 nights of severe contractions already and they were finally getting closer together. Sleepless night #4.
Sunday 1/14 – (around 4am I think?) I notified my friend and photographer who was going to be taking our pictures and told her we were going to go back in to get checked again since the contractions were changing and at about a 9-10 on the pain scale. I told Bo the only way they could get any worse was if they got closer together. They had bounced between 10 min or 20 or 30 min apart the hours leading up to. My friend told me to pick her up on the side of the road, that she was ready to go. I told her no, she could come down later, no need to waste her entire morning when I wasn’t progressing that fast. She persisted and won the battle and we picked her up outside of her house on our way. From the time we got in Bos car, I had a contraction as soon as we got in, I was having another while we arrived at her house (5 minutes away) and yet another when we drove through Starbucks 5 minutes later. I was serious about having a real mocha as soon as I could again. I had text her on the way and said “birth may not be imminent but starbucks certainly is” then placed a mobile order for the 3 of us. :) LOL. I stuck my REAL, full sugar mocha in the cup holder and hung off the ceiling of the car having intense contractions while driving out of the Starbucks drive through. They got to about 4-5 min apart in the car on the way there, it was a very quite ride with just the sound of me groaning and breathing through the contractions. Not much chatter going on anymore.
This is where it gets a bit blurry for me. We arrived at the hospital and I completely lost it. It was just 1 big long contraction that didn’t really ease up anymore. I was trying to give the gal at checkin the info she needed and the gal at triage the info she needed but was trying to breathe and crying so Sara did all that for me while Bo parked the car. They got a nurse from OB down to the ED to escort me up pretty quickly. Delivering at St Joes, you have to enter through the Emergency Department and wait for an escort to bring you up to the 14th floor for Labor & Delivery. When we had been there prior, it took them about 16 minutes to get a nurse down. I think we had a nurse within 5 minutes this time and she took us on a shortcut route through the entire labrynth of the hospital to the elevator to the towers. I, of course, refused the wheelchair transport and walked (waddled) my way to the elevator having to stop and hang off the wall to make it through contractions that were 1-2 minutes apart a lot. Bo didn’t think we would even make it to the elevator to have this kid. At least we made it to the hospital!
We finally make it up to the 14th floor and get into a triage room. They wanted me to lay down on the bed to get the baby monitor on. Ummmmm, no. Nope. Sorry. No can do. There will be no laying down for me. I wanted to be hunched over leaning on something. Memories get a little more blurry here so I’m not 100% how accurate this all is, this is just how I rememeber it in my head. The nurse finally got the baby monitor on my belly (I’m pretty sure I was still dressed in my own clothes) and instantly there was a problem. A big problem. She was pushing hard on my stomach to try to get a heart rate on Gideon and when she could get one from time to time, it was in the 70’s. I was yelling at her for how bad she was hurting me and she was yelling back at me that she needed to find a heart beat. Not good. Emergency buttons were hit, doctors and nurses poured in by what seemed the dozens and they said we were heading off to have an emergency C section right away. I remember seeing the anesthesiologist in his little blue surgical hat saying he was going to give me a spinal. I didn’t even care. I said do whatever, I was ready to let them cut me open without anesthesia at all just to make the pain stop. When I saw Bos face, I knew it was BAD. The NICU team was in the room, the surgery team was in the room, anesthesia team and the regular labor & delivery team was in the room as well. The triage room, we hadn’t even made it as far as the labor & delivery room yet and they didn’t even have me pulled up in the computer yet to be able to place orders or anything. They flipped the locks on the wheels for the bed and said “lets go!” to rush me down the hall for an emergency C section and I said “I have to push!” They said “oh! lets check you!” and someone promptly shoved a whole arm up inside my you know what and said “There’s no time for a C section, you’re having this baby right now.. PUSH!” So I pushed. Then I remembered to tuck my chin (I forgot to do that with Solomon and had to push much longer with him) and hold my leg and pushed again and out he came. He ws born at 9:41am. With the cord wrapped 3x around his neck. Then I was done. I flopped down on the bed and just tried to breathe. Gideon gave a big cry, I cried for relief because that was what we were most scared of, that he wouldn’t cry and I was just happy to hear him scream. They laid him on my chest for a minute then the doctor reminded me that I needed to deliver the placenta. If you’ve never had a baby, you labor that out just like a baby so you still have to push more to get the placenta out after you get the baby out. I was DONE. All done. There was no more left in me so he pushed on my uterus hard enough to pop it out on it’s own. Then they made me start stripping my own clothes off as I hadn’t had the chance to do that yet.
After that there was quite a blur as well. The NICU team wanted to take him to the NICU because his O2 sats were low but the cardiologists we had met with prior said he would be in the low 80’s until after he has his surgery in 6 months, that’s just normal for him because of the defect in his heart where it’s missing the crux in the center of his heart. All his blood mixes, the oxygenated with the deoxygenated and it all gets pumped out mixed together, that was to be expected, was normal and ok for him. The NICU team said they have hospital policy they had to follow and he met the criteria for being admitted into the NICU so we debated for a while and they got a hold of the cardiologists to see what needed to be done.
A new (to us) Seattle Childrens cardiologist showed up pretty quickly (within a couple of hours) to do his first Echo. We were still in the triage room with very little space and he did his best but it was crowded and bright and busy in there and he wasn’t getting the images that he wanted, he needed a darker, quieter space and thought he saw some additional things that needed to be checked and recommended that Gideon be taken to the NICU. So off he and Bo went to the NICU while I was supposed to be transferred to a post partum room. It took a while to get me transferred and Bo called me on our way from the floor to say the cardiologist needed to speak with us and I needed to get to the NICU. I hadn’t even checked into the post partum room and got taken to the NICU instead where the cardiologist explained there were some anomalies with his heart that were concerning and of an urgent manner. He said he was going to send the study off to the cardiology team and have a meeting with them that evening and if what he saw was true, we would need to get to Seattle Childrens for emergent surgery for these additional issues he found that hadn’t been seen before.
Around 4pm, we received word that the study was confirmed, Seattle Childrens was sending us an emergency Cardiac Intensive Care Ambulance to transport Gideon to Seattle at 6pm. I hit the nurse call button in my room and told them I had to go. Just 7 hours after delivery while still hooked up to a bag of pitocin which I had been on since delivery to stop the bleeding (I hemorrhaged after Solomon so they were treating me for hemorrhage again). The cardiologist told us he would work with us to try to get me discharged as long as I was ok so I could go to. I have absolutely no idea who delivered Gideon, there were probably 20 people in there but whoever it was deemed it ok for me to be discharged as long as they got another set of vitals and discontinued the pitocin. I signed my discharge papers at 4pm and the ambulance arrived right at 6 to pick us up. The cardiologist and the NICU team both said they had spoken to the transport team who said I would be able to ride with them in the ambulance but when they arrived, they weren’t so keen on letting me go with them. I promised I would be a perfect rider, I would sit down, shut up, wear my seatbelt, and not say a word. They said that’s not what bothers them, it’s post partum moms who pass out in the ambulance during the transport and cause them another big emergency. I told them I would drink water the whole way up and kick back and keep my feet out as much as I could and promised to not pass out so they let me go.
That’s the gist of it. It was fast. And it’s been totally crazy since. One of my biggest fears was being separated from Gideon after he was born in case there was an emergency so I’m so thankful I was able to be discharged with him to go to Childrens. The Saturday before I had him was sleepless night #4 for me, then we had 6 more nights in a row of no sleep with all the alarms sounding from his bed all the time and the staff in and out of his room every 15 minutes at least. He had surgery on Friday 1/19 and by Saturday, sleepless night #11, I started feeling worn down and thought it was best to get out of there before I got booted out of there and get home to get some rest so I didn’t get sick. Oops, I was too late for that one too and did get sick and was stuck at home in isolation for 4 days. We are so blessed my parents had the big boys for over a week and have shared them even with 2 of my friends who offered to help and take some time during the day as well. Now that it’s been a couple of weeks, Bo and I are rotating shifts at the hospital for a few days each and time at home with the big kids.
That’s it for his birth story! He was 5 lbs 2 ozs, he’s quite a little nugget. 17 some inches long. BLOND hair, very light blond hair, it’s so cute and fuzzy.
I never did get a taste of that mocha we picked up on the way to the hospital…