38 Weeks: Illegal Orange Wedges and Babies

12 January 2015

At 38 weeks 2 days, I woke up again after a night of "this is it" contractions to find myself still pregnant. I began to give up the hope that these babies would arrive on their own. Flashback to my 7 month of pregnancy and I was sure they were coming out any day. I didn't think I would survive the modified bedrest that my doctor ordered. My cervix was thin, I had been losing and no doubt re growing my mucus plug for weeks and I was contracting all the time but it was12 days before my due date and I was still pregnant.

My mood on December 11th was horrible. I had been seeing my doctors three times a week. I had several NSTs and Bio Physical Profiles which are ultrasounds. In addition a few pelvic exams to check my progress. All of which gave no indication on how soon the babies would get here. So as I dragged myself out of bed for yet another trip to the perinatologist. I didn't even bother with getting my bag or preparing for the chance that I could be delivering this day. 

When I got to the office my doctor and her staff all gasped! "Omgosh you're still pregnant?!" I looked at them exhausted and annoyed at the question. Pregnancy though a marvelous experience has a way of getting tiring at the end. My good friend and I speculated that the discomfort that comes along with the third trimester is a way to make you excited to meet your babies. Excited was an understatement, I was down right athirst for the face to face meeting with my babies. 

While waiting to be seen I stood in the crowded waiting room. A man offered me his seat and I declined several times. He looked at me strangely. I finally explained that I had tried everything to bring on labor now I was hoping gravity would help. Everyone in the waiting room laughed.

When I was called back the doctor hooked me up for the NST to monitor the hearts of the babies, contractions, and my bp. After a few minutes of monitoring she noticed rythmic contraction. They were about 6-7 minutes apart. When she reviewed my activity for 30 minutes she made a call to my OB saying she believed I was in labor. He told her to send me to the hospital because he was worried about me laboring at home in case things went fast. I looked at my husband in sheer amazement...was today really baby day?! The Perinatologist printed out my report from monitoring and sent it along with me to the hospital. I had no bag and no cellphone so of course this was it- what a day I tell you! There were no fireworks, no bells and whistles, and no waters breaking. It was less exciting then I had expected - but off to the hospital we went.

My sweet hubby took me to hospital and stayed with me until I got checked in. I was in a room hooked to monitors and an IV before it all started to feel real. My contractions were consistent but could be ignored if I focused on something else. I tried to stay distracted but that was hard to do without a cellphone. So I used the hospital phone to call my mom and tell her the good news. I asked if she was wearing her grandma clothes to which she replied huh?! She didn't get it so I broke it down to let her know it was baby day. My husband went home to pack my cellphone, last minute toiletries and a large Tupperware filled with cold orange slices. When he returned he also had my mom in tow. My birthing team was present and accounted for so it was time to have some babies.

After a few hours of laboring my doctor came in to check my progress and to see how I was feeling. I felt great and though I was contracting it hadn't gotten horrible yet. During my pelvic exam the doctor discovered I was at a 5. He said he wouldn't check anymore until my contractions got closer together. Cervical checks are the worst thing I've ever experience especially when you're contracting. I managed my pain with focused breathing and thoughts. I recited scriptures and said to myself open mouth open cervix. Nurses continued to offer medicine to me and asked about my pain level. I politely asked them to stop referring to it as pain and instead to call it discomfort. They looked at me like I was a mad woman and stopped offering the epidural. 

Hours later I was checked again and got to 7-8 centimeters. I was relieved to know I had progressed and felt proud to be nearing transition while still managing to be some what in control. I survived the first 8 centimeters of labor on prayer and orange slices. That's right I was tired of the stupid ice chips and I was prepared with the orange slices to have my illegal snack. I don't recommend that anyone break the rules for labor at their hospital but I need stamina and the ice chips werent providing the energy for that. As I neared transition along with feeling extremely tired I began to experience relentless back labor. 
I felt like someone was breaking me in half.  I had always read that the transition stage of labor went fast. But then my labor stalled and I was at the 7-8 for 2-3 hours. My contractions tapered off and my doctor wanted to add in the pitocin to see if we could really get things going again. He gave me pit and I was up to a 24 before things were really ugly. At this point I was begging for an epidural, the Epi was a fail because contractions came every few seconds and I couldn't sit still for the anesthesiologist, he couldn't even numb me which he tried to do three times. I was in so much pain that I was mean to everyone. I had the most amazing nurse Sylvia who catered to my every need and tried to rub my head and arms. My lowest score for the five love languages test is physical touch. So it was no surprise to me that I got annoyed when people would rub me while I was experiencing contractions. 

As labor progressed I was so thirsty and they began monitoring my ice intake because I was asking so frequently. I determined that the shortage of ice and the ban on water meant it was time to whip out the orange slices. I told my husband to quickly bring me a few wedges and I downed them as my last saving grace to energy I needed to birth these babies. My doctor arrived again and checked me and I was at an 8. He told me he could break my water and see if that would bang out enough contractions to get me to 10. I was so delirious from the pain I neither agree nor disagreed. I was in so much pain I was begging for a csection. I asked my husband and my Mom to tell the doctor. I asked the doctor and he came over to talk to me but my mom took him to the side. After that he avoided me for the rest of the night. My doctor was so attentive compared to most doctors, he never left my side. Whenever I thought he was gone he was only outside the door monitoring my contractions or a few feet away from me in my room reviewing the monitors there. The pain seem to increase steadily and I began to give up with each contraction. Every time I felt a contraction I cried to my mom for a csection. She told me that I could do it and reminded me that I didn't want the csection but honestly I wasn't listening. The pain was so unbearable. Two hours later the doctor finally came back it was about 9:40am he said I was complete. I was then wheeled from the comfort of my labor and delivery room to the OR to prep for delivery.

They put me on the tiniest bed that my pregnant body could could fit on. I was super uncomfortable and my back labor was even worst laying flat. There were about 20 people in the room without my mom and husband who they made change into sterile suits while they prepped. They didn't let them come in until they had me all hooked up. When they did come in I could barely recognize them in the scrubs. The only person whose face I could see entirely was the doctor's.  I labored there for a while waiting for some good strong pushing contractions. Within minutes I felt the urge to push, so we started the pushing. I felt like the quarter back who just caught the ball in the last five minutes of the game. Everyone was shouting my name and telling me to go as I pushed with all my might. They would count and tell me to give it another push and I would stop saying I couldn't. The labor wore me out and I really just wanted to sleep but everyone kept telling me how close the baby was. As I tried to push Chauncey out Oliver went higher in my ribs causing me pain and making it difficult to breath. Finally after 20 minutes of pushing and perineal massage I reached down and could feel him crowning. The burning sensation was something no one had told me about but my body naturally pushed passed the pain to find some relief. Two minutes later Chauncey was born. I asked what is it and the doctor held him up. As if they planned it everyone shouted boy! I'll never forget that moment. They placed him on my chest and I cried. His big almond shaped dark brown eyes pierced my soul. It was love at first sight. He cried a little and looked at me - it was incredible. 

It wasn't long before they took him to check him out and gently reminded me that I had another baby to get out. For a moment I felt relieved and forgot this wasn't over. My doctor had them check the second baby's position via ultrasound. The scan revealed the second baby was head down and on the left side of my belly.

Shortly after my cervix was checked and my doctor discovered that within minutes it had closed to a seven and the baby was still really high up. I began to worry about a double whammy, in the birthing world that's where a multiples mama has a csection after a vaginal birth. After seeing the panic on my face the doctor assured me it was normal and that we had time to wait since the baby's water hadn't been broken. Since my labor had been augmented as little as possible we were able to let some things progress on their own without worry of time constraints. So we waited and I was given more pitocin to help bring on more contractions. According to their birth times it took an hour plus before I was ready to push again. For me it seemed like more than two hours. My back, legs and ribs were hurting me - I was feeling extreme discomfort because I couldn't turn to my side to labor. Finally I was checked and was told I was complete again - thank God for 10 centimeters. I pushed as hard as I could with each contraction and rested when it was too much to handle. The staff and doctor counted down with me and I noticed that they wanted me to push longer because they were counting slower and slower. I yelled to them I needed a break and refused to push at every contraction. The pain was great but I knew this was the end. I mustered up strength and gave it my all, with my last push Oliver's water broke and splashed all over the doctor and he came shooting out immediately after. My relief was real this time I cried as they put him on my chest. I was relieved to know that the worst of the labor was over and my two beautiful babies had made it out safely, and vaginally as I prayed.

Oliver's cry lit up the room. I held him close to my chest as the nurses tried to peel him away. I wanted to savor that moment and they let me have it. It was revealed that I had another son. My heart used to ache for a daughter when I was pregnant but in all of this I was reminded of when I ached for any child. When did I become so choosy? In that moment as I thought of my two sons I knew God has given my husband and I exactly what we needed. As I looked at their faces I couldn't even picture a little girl. I was now a mother to two boys. Two precious little guys that were all mine.

As I laid on the table to deliver the placenta happiness flooded my body. I could not believe that I had two sons. December 12th was a beautiful morning and I was so glad the babies decided to join us when they did. We experienced a difficult few days afterward and I will share more about that in another post but even that couldn't overshadow the joy of their births.  I am also so grateful for my husband and mother who both encouraged me to follow the plans God had for this delivery. When I felt like I was ready to throw in the towel they helped me to push pass the hardest moments of my labor, which were no doubt the hardest moment of my life. I prayed for a full term pregnancy, a vaginal delivery, healthy babies and the Lord honored my request. 

Thank you all for checking in on me and for supporting and praying for us through this time. We are sure your prayers got us through. Please continue to check back in on us as I plan to blog more when the babes and I get settled into a routine. Until then keep up with us on Instagram by following @nerdandbabes.

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