While Jameson’s birth was not a dramatic experience, it did not quite go as planned.
The week before I gave birth, I went in for a routine doctor’s appointment to check on mine and Jameson’s progress. I was 38 weeks pregnant and so ready to have him already! My anxiety was through the roof after reading birth stories that went wrong (I HIGHLY recommend not doing this) and I just wanted Jameson here, so I knew he was safe.
Anyway, I told the doctor that I was having shortness of breath randomly throughout the day. It didn’t matter if I was laying down or standing up, it came on randomly and would eventually subside after a few minutes.
What I thought was just normal for a massively pregnant lady, my doctor thought could potentially be a red flag. She said that it was common for pregnant women to develop pulmonary embolisms and she wanted to rule this out as quickly as possible.
After calling over to the internal medicine department, they told her they wouldn’t do the test I needed on pregnant women – she did not like this answer.
So, she sent me down to the urgent care department, so I could get all the tests I needed done in one spot and told me she would be calling down to let them know I was on the way.
After hobbling my way down to the first floor and quickly taken to the triage room, I was informed that the urgent care doesn’t see pregnant women past 24 weeks and didn’t know why the OB sent me down there.
Just then, roughly 7 different doctors, nurses and techs rushed in and out of my room doing tests and trying figuring out what on earth they were going to do with me.
It was then decided that they were going to call 911 and have me transported to the hospital.
As the urgent care doctor was in contact with my OB, the hospital ER doctor and the labor and delivery department, there was again a whirl wind of people in and out of my room as the EMTs showed up to take me to the hospital.
I must take a moment here to say the EMTs were great!
They did an amazing job keeping my mind off the fact that I was on the way to the hospital and didn’t know whether or not I had a Pulmonary Embolism, and if I did what that meant for not only myself but the sweet little boy growing inside me.
I had a calmness in my spirit though.
I truly feel like the Lord calmed me down and reassured me that everything was going to be okay. If you know me, you know that normally my anxiety would have thrown me into a panic attack; however, I was calm.
I truly think that both the Lord and those fabulous EMTs are to thank for that.
Back to the story…
Once I got to the hospital, again there were about 7 or 8 different doctors, nurses and techs in and out of my room. All from either the emergency room or the labor and delivery department.
I had never seen anything like it.
But it made sense.
I was 38 weeks pregnant and I was having trouble breathing and they didn’t know why.
It was a scary situation.
After test after test, everything came back negative, but I was still having those bouts of shortness of breath.
The only test that would 100% rule out a pulmonary embolism was a CT scan, but that also posed certain risks to the sweet unborn baby within me.
After a moment of prayer and talking with my husband and the radiology tech (I wish I could remember his name, he was amazing!), I decided the benefits of a CT scan far outweighed the risks since Jameson was fully developed.
So, I had the test done.
Funny little side story: During the CT scan they placed one of the magnetic blankets over my belly…and boy did Jameson NOT like that! Everyone always questioned how hard and how much he really kicked me…but let me tell you, that heavy magnetic blanket came a good 4 or more inches off my belly! He was NOT a happy camper during the CT!
After the CT, it took awhile for the results to come back.
It showed absolutely nothing.
What I was experiencing was completely normal for a 38 week pregnant woman and I can not adequately express to you the relief I felt in that moment.
As Dustin and I drove home we joked that Jameson was nice an comfy in there and I probably wouldn’t have him until I was 41 weeks – when my doctor agreed to induce me.
Little did we know, just a week later Jameson was going to be in our arms.
Starting the following Saturday night, and all through that Sunday, I was feeling light headed and flushed.
I didn’t think anything of it at first, just thought it was another pregnancy symptom and tried to drink enough water and rest as much as possible.
Then it dawned on me…maybe it was my blood pressure?
I pulled our the blood pressure cuff my husband had in his work bag (he’s an EMT as well) and it was a bit on the high side.
I had just been up walking around, so I laid down for about an hour and took it again.
So, I woke Dustin up and he told me because it wasn’t extremely high, I should just call the labor and delivery line and see what they recommended.
After being on the phone with the nurse for about five minutes describing my symptoms and answering all her questions, she told me to head on up to the hospital and she would alert the labor and delivery department of my arrival.
Ironically, I had emailed my boss around 9:00 that night that I would be in the office the next morning, and the next thing I knew was on my way to the hospital just two hours later.
Funny how things work out, huh?
I checked in at 12:00 on the dot, got hooked up to all the monitors in the triage room, and not five minutes later the high-risk OB doctor was walking into my room telling me that I was going to be induced.
I was in shock.
I was terrified.
I was not as prepared as I thought I was.
Yet I was so excited that this was finally happening!
Then…they tried to put in my IV.
I was so swollen from the high blood pressure that it took an hour and a half and 4 different people to get that stupid thing in my arm!
My left arm was every color under the sun from all the digging around they did.
Finally, the charge nurse was able to get it in my wrist, right where I told them was the best spot. *eye roll*
Anyway, they got the Pitocin going and I started feeling contractions about an hour later.
I dilated to a 4 pretty quickly and then my water broke on its own, and let me tell you, that was an experience all in itself.
The nurse was convinced that I hadn’t broken my water because the test strips came back negative, but once they went to check to see how dilated I was, there was no denying the fact that the sack had broken!
At this point I decided to get an epidural. Not because of the pain, but because if I had to have an emergency c-section I didn’t want to have to be put completely to sleep and miss the birth of my sweet boy.
The epidural wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be to be honest. It did take two tries to get it in though – they hit a vein on the first try, so that was fun! But boy oh boy, once that epidural hit, I slept so well!
Then it happened…I got the news I didn’t want to hear…I was not dilating past a four.
The way they explained it to me, my contractions were almost double the contraction strength needed to dilate my cervix about half a centimeter ever hour and I hadn’t budged in six. And to top it all off, Jameson was sunny side up, so he would be extremely difficult to push out.
They offered me a c-section at this point.
Dustin left the decision completely up to me, and while Jameson was not in distress at the moment, I didn’t want to risk him going into distress just so I could have the vaginal birth I had always wanted.
I signed the papers and 20 short minutes later I was being wheeled into the OR.
They increased my epidural meds, I couldn’t move anything but my arms (and that was a struggle in and of itself) and it was the weirdest feeling ever, I hated it and started to panic.
But I couldn’t let it show.
I didn’t want to have a full-on panic attack and have to be sedated or given anxiety meds.
That was NOT going to happen.
So, I mustered everything within me to take control of my anxiety and shut it down. And I truly believe that the only reason I was able to do this was because of the Lord.
The entire c-section process was weird.
It was weird being tied down and unable to move at all.
It was weird knowing I was being cut open but couldn’t feel it.
It was weird feeling all this tugging and pulling in my stomach.
And once they pulled out Jameson, it felt like I was on a roller coaster and my stomach had dropped.
As they pulled him out, he didn’t make a noise.
I would have panicked, but they held him up over the blue sheet in front of me and he had perfect color, so I knew he was breathing. (This was just our first glimpse at him showing us his calm personality.) He looked at me with those wide eyes of his, and my heart stopped.
This was the little boy that I had been waiting to meet.
I had prayed and hoped and wished for him for quite some time.
And he was finally here!
As they pricked his foot to test his blood sugar and start suctioning him out, that’s when he showed us that he did indeed have a strong set of lungs!
Boy oh boy were his lungs strong!
After they pulled him out, this flood of exhaustion waved over me. I hear that’s normal, but at the time I was thinking, “Why am I so tired, I literally just laid there as they pulled him out of me!”.
I fought it and tried to stay awake, so I didn’t miss anything.
Dustin followed the nurses and Jameson to the recovery room as they stitched me up.
Once I was in the recovery room and Jameson was laid on my chest for some skin to skin, I melted.
When they say that having a baby is literally having your heart on the outside of your chest, they couldn’t be more right!
Breastfeeding was a challenge, but that’s a story for a different day. I’ll write about that along with my postpartum recovery soon.
For now, I leave you with this, get used to your plans being ruined now. Babies have an agenda of their own, so go with the flow, pray and don’t get upset when things don’t go your way. The Lord has a plan for everything, so take heart in that.
Until next time mama,