This pregnancy was really an easy, uneventful one with no complications of any sort. My prenatal checkups have all lasted an average of five minutes each. This appointment was supposed to follow suit but my body threw a curve ball. My blood pressure was suddenly sky high! The doctor took my blood pressure four times before sending me for blood and urine tests and then up to Labor and Delivery for further monitoring.
Baby G and I were monitored for almost an hour in a tiny room with no windows. Honestly, I was annoyed. Johnnie had been away on a 10-day trip and was arriving home tomorrow. I had laundry to do, groceries to buy, and a house to clean! Luckily I had cellphone reception so I was able to call and text Johnnie to let him know what was happening.
After an hour of being monitored with no change, I was given an IV with meds to try to lower my blood pressure. It didn't work. That's when the doctor came in and told me that I was at risk for stroke or seizure with blood pressure this high so therefore Baby G had to come out. I was being admitted immediately and would be induced... 3 weeks early. This is when I lost it. I can't remember the last time I cried so hard. My husband was 4,500 miles away and coming home tomorrow and they wanted to induce me today. This was not the way this was supposed to happen. Johnnie had to be here for the birth of our first child! He tried to get an earlier flight but there was nothing available. He was already booked on the first flight out in the morning.
I was admitted, put on a lovely hospital gown, and was started on many meds through my IV. My delivery room had almost no cellphone reception... just enough to get a text message out if I held my phone in the right direction. Johnnie made some phone calls to neighbors, friends, and family to let them know what was happening. My dear neighbor friends Meghan and Amy showed up soon afterwards. They got into our house and grabbed what they thought I would need (including my camera) since I hadn't packed a hospital bag yet. These girls stayed with me at the hospital all day, all evening, and into the next day. Meghan even spent the whole night at the hospital with me, sleeping on a fold-out chair. With Johnnie gone and family all so far away, I am so grateful that I didn't have to go through this ordeal alone. Back home, Dulce was being cared for by another neighbor. Have I ever mentioned what an amazing neighborhood we live in?!
I was started on Magnesium Sulfate through my IV as a seizure preventative. This medication was awful and made me feel sick and dizzy; like I had a really bad hangover. To make it worse, I needed a catheter so they could measure urine output. A catheter is a very unpleasant thing.
Amy filled a surgical glove with ice to help relieve my headache. I held onto it long after the ice melted so we named it the "Daddy Hand", making it my own comforting version of the Daddy Doll for children of deployed parents.
The afternoon progressed into evening and I still hadn't asked for any pain meds yet. I was having some cramping but my head still hurt worse and I knew an epidural wouldn't help that. I started vomiting in the early evening (my typical reaction to bad headaches) and threw up at least six times before I was given Zofran for the nausea.
Every doctor and nurse in Labor and Delivery knew that Johnnie was on his way and that I didn't want to have this baby without him. Thankfully, they allowed the induction to proceed at a snail's pace to give him a chance of making it in time. At 9pm I was checked for dilation for the first time since that morning. I had gone from 0cm to 2cm... on my own. We hadn't started any induction medications yet. My body knew that something was wrong and was working on it's own to help Baby G come early.
By midnight the contractions were worse than my headache. It was time for induction measures to begin and an epidural to be given. I was started on a very slow drip of Pitocin and had a foley catheter inserted to put pressure on my cervix and help it dilate. The epidural was terribly painful to have inserted and it didn't work quite the way it was supposed to. I was only numb from my waist to my hip bones. It did take away the contraction pain but only until they started getting stronger. I didn't sleep at all throughout the night and by early morning had the epidural removed and re-inserted in a different spot. This time the insertion was quick and less painful, and the pain disappeared shortly thereafter. I managed to get a little bit of sleep at this point.
5:00am (Hawaii time) - Johnnie was on the plane in Atlanta, ready to take off for Hawaii when there was a commotion in the back of the plane... a woman had fallen unconscious and they were asking for a doctor on board! The plane had to return to the gate, paramedics took the lady off, and then the plane needed to wait for more fuel. Johnnie would be delayed 1 hour getting here!
6:00am - Johnnie's plane finally takes off and I am 3.5cm dilated. This was a long day, hoping that I wasn't dilating too quickly and praying that Johnnie would make it here in time.
3:00pm - I am 9.5cm dilated, 100% effaced, and at 0 station. Johnnie was due to land in 30 minutes! Being so close, the doctor said that we could hold off on pushing even if I got to 10cm. I am so thankful that all of the doctor's and nurses helped prolong this induction as long as they could!
3:50pm - I am 10cm dilated and Johnnie walks through the door! I have never been so happy to see him!!! He got off the plane, skipped baggage claim, and got straight into the car of a waiting friend, speeding through a few red lights to get to the hospital. He had been on a non-stop 9.5 hour flight, with no way of knowing how I was doing or if Baby G had been born yet. He made it just in time... it was truly a miracle!
With Johnnie by my side, it was time to start pushing... and that's when my bag of epidural meds ran out! They replaced the bag but I never felt relief from the strong, painful contractions.
Pushing through the contractions was excruciatingly painful and difficult with my completely numb and slightly swollen legs. By the second push, we could see Baby G's head. However, she hit my pubic bone and then stopped. I continued to push with all the energy I had for over an hour but she wouldn't budge. The doctor said there just wasn't enough space between my pubic bone and sacrum for the baby's head to fit through. It was time to sign the consent forms for a C-section.
Baby G was a true champ through all of this. She never showed any signs of distress despite the extra long induction, the huge cocktail of drugs I was given, the contractions, and the pushing. She is sure to be a strong little girl :)
The meds they gave me for the C-section were awesome. I couldn't feel a thing except for how completely exhausted I was. It had been almost 36 hours from when I arrived at the hospital for my "routine" check-up. I had a hard time not falling asleep during the short procedure. I was prepped for surgery and then Johnnie was brought in to be by my side. It didn't take them long from signing the consent forms all the way through delivery... just over an hour. It was pretty obvious that the hospital staff does more than a few of these each day.
Cameron Cecelia Green was born on September 8, 2012 at 7:26pm. She weighed 5lbs 13oz and was 18 inches long. Although she was evicted three weeks early, she didn't require any intervention and her Apgar scores were 9's (out of 10). She is perfect in every way!
Johnnie got to cut the cord :)
After seeing our beautiful baby girl, I fell fast asleep while they stitched me up. Johnnie and Cameron were taken to the recovery room and he had some alone time to bond with her.
We spent the next three days in the hospital recovering. My hips, legs, and feet swelled up to ginormous size, I was on a steady cocktail of pain meds, my abdomen became bloated with air, and I couldn't pass gas for a few days so I was put on a liquid diet. It was not a pleasant experience but I would do it all again :)
There is no nursery at the hospital so Cameron slept in a bassinet next to my bed. Johnnie spent every night with us sleeping on a fold-out chair. He was incredible throughout these few days. While I was recovering, he was busy running between home and the hospital getting things ready and taking care of all the paperwork and legalities of adding a new person to our family.
We are so thankful to all of our family, friends, and neighbors for their help, support, and prayers throughout this unexpected ordeal. We are so grateful that Johnnie was able to be here for Cameron's birth and amazed by the timing of it all. Johnnie will be deploying for 6 months at the end of October. Because of my sudden high blood pressure and the induction, he now has an extra three weeks to spend with his daughter before he leaves - it's amazing how things work out sometimes :)
"As soon as I saw you, I knew an adventure was going to happen."
~Winnie the Pooh