Beatrix's Birth Story, part one.
February 23, 2008.
I woke up with a headache and feeling rather blah, and knowing that a headache could be sign of high blood pressure I called Adam into the bedroom to take my blood pressure. Sure enough it's a little high. I kind of wish it away and dismiss it because I didn't sleep well and was stressed because I'm closing in on my 41st week of pregnancy.
Adam and I chat and make plans for the day. Since I have no desire to cook and little desire to eat we decide to go for lunch and then to Whole Foods to get some groceries and the vitamins that I'm running out of.
I slowly get ready and we leave for lunch at the Macaroni Grill, which is one of my favourite restaurants. While we are eating I have a couple contractions that are slightly painful which is exciting for me. Adam and I fantasize about an impending birth and I try not to lose my temper on the people at the table next to us who are total idiots and did get the meals they ordered, even though they're insisting they didn't. To celebrate possible contractions I have desert too, which was mixed berry tiramisu, and it was yummy.
After lunch we make our way to Whole Foods which is my favourite grocery store in the whole wide world, but I feel so crappy that I quickly find what I need and insist we go home. I can feel that my headache is worse and I just want to go to bed. When we get home Adam takes my blood pressure again and it's still high. So I call my midwife who tells me to call my doctor. I call the advice nurse at labour and delivery and she advises that I come in to be monitored. I have a conversation with her about what I need to bring and she assures me that I don't need to bring anything, and if I need anything I can always send someone to get it. I agree and pack a book remembering the couple hours I've spent in observation in the past and how it was dull, dull, dull. I also send a couple emails and post on my due date clubs message board that I'm off to the hospital and ask them to keep their fingers crossed that I can still have my home birth.
Adam and I leave for the hospital and I time how long it takes to get there. Recently it's been a habit of mine to notice how long it takes to get to the hospital when we go there, or when I have to drive past. We arrive in 12 minutes, always 12 minutes. I find this reassuring that when I have my home birth I am only 12 minutes from my hospital.
Since it's pouring rain Adam drops me off at the entrance and parks the car, I stand outside and wait for him, scowling at my reflection in the window. I did not want to be there, I was not looking forward to sitting on a cot having my blood pressure taken every 15 minutes and being connected to a Doppler which was sure to annoy the baby who always tries to squirm away from them. Then Adam comes jogging up to me having parked the car and trying to avoid the rain, he still got wet.
I am checked into the hospital and they send me off to Observation Room C, which was the same one that I was in before. The nurse asks if I need to pee and I said I did and that they would want me to pee in a cup, so she gives me one and I trod off to the bathroom, still irritated that I have to be there. I try in vain to pee in the cup properly and manage to get more pee on my hand than in the cup. Then back in the room Adam teases me for the little amount I got in the cup. I remind him that I don't have the same equipment and reaching around a big ol' belly to pee in a wee cup is really hard. He laughs, I scowl.
After staring at the walls for a while and vowing to never paint anything in my house this particular shade of purple/grey the nurse comes in, tells me to strip down and don the lovely gown and starts to give me a cup to pee in. I show her that I did already and she seems shocked. I tell her that I know the procedure, and we have a little giggle. After I change into the uber sexy open backed gown I get hooked up to the machines and the monitoring begins. Then as predicted my blood pressure was okay, and the baby tries to squirm away from the Doppler.
I have several nurses come in and ask me questions about various medications they have me on record as having and ask that I tick off on the 4 page list of medications which I am still taking. I comment to Adam that it should be obvious that I am not on any of these since they are all drugs to get someone pregnant. Then another nurse comes in and asks if I am taking a prenatal vitamin and I also mention that I am taking a couple other supplements as well. She wants me to list them all, and she proceeds to get confused at the names of what I am taking. (Alfalfa juice pills and Probiotics confused her the most) After the explaining of the hippy supplements I have some blood drawn and we get to play more waiting game.
Around now my midwife calls and lets us know that she is on her way in, she was too nervous to sit and home and wait and see what was happening. I told Adam that I wished she had stayed at home because it's an hour drive for her and my blood pressure is okay and the baby's heart beat is okay so they surely would let us go home. (sigh)
After we are off the phone with our midwife a student doctor comes in and takes my history, I was amused how he was trying so hard to be caring and kind. He rubbed my leg and spoke in such hushed tones, if I wasn't in a pissy mood I would have teased him for it (in a totally nice way so that he wouldn't be so uncomfortable, especially since he mentioned vaginal discharge.) After he finishes he tells me he will report back to his attending and they will come in and speak to me.
Shortly after he leaves the doctor comes in with him in tow with an ultrasound machine. She tells me that my blood tests and pee tests are good and I don't have pre-eclampsia, and they just want to do a little ultrasound to check my fluids and then I can go home. I agree and she starts up the machine and squirts the goo on me and takes a look. We see the baby, and her face and then she lets the student take a turn with the wand showing him how to look for and measure the fluid. They have a little trouble finding some and she instructs him to hold the wand more vertically, then she just takes it from him and measures a small pocket of fluid, and determines it to be a 1. Confused I look to my midwife (who arrived about a half hour before) and she confirms with the doctor that "it should be at least an 8". More confused I look to the doctor who tells me that I have one pocket of amniotic fluid and it has about a millilitre of fluid in it, and I need to have a total of 8 millilitres throughout my uterus, I only have the one pocket, and 8 is still considered a low number. The doctor lets me know that she is going to have to have me stay and I will need an induction.
This is the first time I lose my marbles and cry. Everyone in the room is totally sympathetic with me, all are aware that I wanted a home birth. The doctor encourages me to cry, and the nurse rubs my back. The student doctor looks totally lost as confused and looks at the ground completely uncomfortable. I do pull myself together and agree that it is the best to have the baby now in the hospital.
I remember asking the nurse if she will still be my nurse and she says that she isn't working that part of L&D tonight, but will find someone who is sympathetic to home birthers. She comes back with Stacy who the nurse I had when I came in for observation before. Stacy makes sure I get the extra nice suite and they wheel me over to my room. It's at the end of the hall, and huge. I have a private bathroom and there is lots of room for everyone in there. I realize later that I may have gotten the end room because they know I want a natural birth and I am bound to make a lot of noise.
Labels: birth story