Friday, October 12, 2007
I remember waking a few times through out the night. My nurse decided to let us sleep although she checked us out around 4 a.m. We woke around 7 a.m. and headed home. I was so glad that my head didn't hurt anymore but we were both still exhausted, so of course when we got home we went back to bed. I woke up again around 10 a.m. and I could hear that Skeet was in the living room watching TV. I got out of bed and was surprised by the sensation like I had just wet my pants. It seemed so strange because I hadn't felt like I had to pee that bad, and my bladder hadn't been that hard to control up until now. I had a feeling it may have been something else but didn't want to jump to conclusions. I changed my clothes and went out to join Skeet. Another day off work, the third this week, and I felt incredibly lazy. But that didn't stop me from making myself comfortable in the recliner and watching a little TV as I tried to decide if I wanted breakfast.
We had an appointment scheduled today with Dr. Dowse (a local pediatrician) to discuss our birth plan. I had asked Dr. Sanders to set it up because I wanted to make sure that, even though we weren't taking any action to keep Avery alive, we were going to do everything possible to keep her out of pain and I wanted to give her any chance at life she could possibly have. The appointment wasn't until around 3:30 p.m. so I had time to be lazy. I started feeling contractions again not too long after getting out of bed. I started timing them hoping that they wouldn't get too regular. They didn't seem to have a pattern so I brushed them off as braxton hicks.
When I decided to get up to shower and get ready for our appointment I felt the wetness again. This time I was sure I hadn't peed my pants, I could swear I was leaking amniotic fluid. Fear twisted my stomach into knots as I called Dr. Sanders office for the third day in a row. I knew what they were going to say but felt myself tense anyway as they told me to stop into Labor and Delivery. We decided to get through the appointment with Dr. Dowse first and then run by the hospital on our way home. I brought our hospital bag, just in case, hoping I wouldn't need it.
We waited for an hour in the "healthy child" side of the waiting room at the ped. office. I began timing my contractions again and noticed they were coming every 10 or so minutes. I started to imagine trying to stop the labor again, would it really be the best thing to do? When we finally spoke with Dr. Dowse he was very understanding of our requests. He promised that he would be there when Avery was born to do everything he could for her. He asked how much longer we had. I told him she is not due until December 7th, but when I told him I may be leaking fluid he said he might see us much sooner than December. We said our goodbyes and I breathed through a contraction as we walked out to our car.
At Labor and Delivery they took me over to the delivery side of the hallway (we had been in the post delivery side our first two visits) and asked me to get into a gown. They hooked me up to the monitors and did a test to check and see if I were in fact losing amniotic fluid. I knew both of my nurses, one I had gone to high school with the other was the daughter of an old boss. They were great, very friendly and kind. They said that from what they could see, I was not leaking amniotic fluid but they would not know for sure until the results got back from the lab. The lab called not too long after confirming that it was not what I had thought. I was a little relieved although I was still having contractions about 10 minutes apart. I decided to get up to pee in case they hooked me up to an IV and the second I stood up a gush of fluid was all over the edge of the bed and the floor. I freaked out and ran to the bathroom. I didn't know if I should sit on the toilet or stand in the tub. So at first I sat on the toilet thinking that maybe I had just lost all my bladder control. But when the fluid kept coming I moved over to the tub. Every time I thought that it had stopped, and tried to step out of the tub, the fluid would start running out again. Finally, one of my nurses brought me some of their beautiful hospital panties with a big diaper-like pad and I was able to go lay down again. Of course, they re-did the test to check for amniotic fluid but we were all pretty certain that this time my water had completely broken.
Dr. Sanders showed up just in time to tell me that the test had come back positive. It was time and Avery was going to be here soon. I called my family, Skeet called his and I began to freak out (in my head) all over again. I am so not ready for this... it is too early and I can't say goodbye yet.
Avery was really hard to keep on the monitors. They would find her heartbeat, but minutes later she would move and it would disappear. We could hear her moving around and I could feel her nudge me every once and a while. Her heartbeat was strong staying between 150 and 135 bpm. The nurse brought us a recording device so that I could record the sound of her heartbeat, to keep forever. Charise was there by this time and helped me out. The first time we did the recording she had held it too far from the machine and we could barely hear it on the playback. The next time we turned up the sound and she held it right up to the machine. It worked perfectly. I was so glad to already have something to remember her by.
Skeet's parents drove over from Panguitch as soon as we had confirmed that Avery would be born here in Cedar City. Valley View will not usually deliver babies under 34 weeks, anything under 34 weeks is usually sent to St. George so I was a little panicky, but Dr. Sanders had made special arrangements for us so that we could have him deliver our little girl. When they arrived Skeet's mom brought me a beautiful baby blanket that she had made especially for Avery. I couldn't believe how beautiful and perfect it was. She thought we might want to bury her with it but I wasn't ready to think about that yet.
An ultrasound tech showed up to do an ultrasound and check Avery's position. Of course she was still breech. She had been curled up in my pelvis for weeks now and I hadn't felt her flip at all so it didn't surprise me. Everyone gathered around watching Avery move around the screen and listening to her heartbeat.
As the contractions got worse I was so glad to have Charise there to help me breathe through them. They didn't want to do my epidural until I had dilated to a 4 or more so I breathed through the pain. I could feel them getting more intense but didn't want to ask to be checked because it was incredibly painful when they did and I wanted to avoid any more pain. Finally they confirmed I was at a 4. It was a slow process because Avery was breech and she was incredibly tiny so there was nothing really there to cause dilation. The anesthetist came in and did a wonderful job on the epidural. It barely hurt at all and I laid back anxiously awaiting the relief. I waited and I waited. I pushed the button to get another shot of the drugs but still every contraction just seemed to get worse... I didn't feel any relief at all. They called the anesthetist and he said we just needed to be patient but as the pain continued to get worse my nurse (a new nurse now) insisted he come back and see what was wrong. He apologized over and over when he realized he had forgotten to turn on the pump. As soon as it was on I began to feel my legs go numb. Within 30 minutes I was numb up to my chest and was finally able to relax.
Everyone looked exhausted but no one wanted to leave, fearing they would miss Avery's birth if they did. I heard from Charise that everyone was trying to sleep in the waiting room. Skeet decided to pull out the couch bed and try to get some rest and I decided I may as well too. It didn't look like she was coming anytime soon and I was totally okay with that. I finally drifted off only waking when the machine would take my blood pressure, when they would find Avery's heartbeat if she moved off the monitor, and when they would come to check for dilation. The epidural had slowed down the dilation so they gave me meds to try to get it going again. I have a feeling it's going to be a long night.