So we check in at 0'dark thirty and get to a room. They try Cytotek one last time, as I have dilated to one. At noon, they started pitocin, because there was no further reaction from the Cytotek. They started at a fairly low dose, and increased it by 4 units every hour. I think I was up to 32, which is quite high if I remember correctly. I was having contractions, but nothing to write home about. No further dilation, no effacing, nothing.
At 6 PM they stopped the pit so I could eat supper. Then at 10PM, they started it up again. If you've never had a baby, imagine trying to sleep with a baby heartbeat monitor wrapped around your belly, plus another wrap to measure any contractions, and being on pitocin (a medicine to stimulate labor) all. night.long. Needless to say, I did not sleep. No sleep + MG = nothing good.
Tuesday, August 15 arrives. They check me again in the morning. Nada. They crank up the pit again. At about 10:30 they manage to break my water, even though I was still only dilated to one. Now THAT is a bizarre feeling.
I continued to have contractions, and about 1:00-1:30 I got my epidural. We were a bit concerned about having an epi, but the docs recommended it as the safest way for me, because if I had to deal with the pain on top of the stress, the MG would flare like crazy and I wouldn't have a prayer of delivering vaginally. It was a little scary, because at first I couldn't move my legs at all...but Doug helped me find a better position and I was okay.
Obviously I'm tired. Borderline exhaustion. My spirits are still pretty good, but I'm fading FAST. At about 2:30, Dr. Lavery came in and checked again. No progress. So I said what are we looking at? He basically said if I started dilating right then, it would probably be 4-6 hours til I was at 10, then a minimum of 3 hours pushing. I looked at my husband, looked at the doc, and said, "I'm done. C-section please." By this time, I was not strong enough to talk. I had to write everything, or whisper.
The anesthesiologist was AMAZING. I was so scared about not being able to breathe, especially with the epidural, in the operating room...and to be awake for it all! So he said he would give me something to knock me out for like 10 seconds, take out the trach, put the ET tube in, get me on the vent, and wake me back up. I was like, okay. This was the worst case scenario that my neurologist had mentioned: delivering by C-section on a vent. I remember when he told me that I was like, nah, that couldn't be me!. Um, right.
However, the anesth. said, "Okay kiddo, your oxygen numbers are great. I'm going to lean you back just a little bit." So he did, and I was okay. After a few minutes, he put me back a little further. And waited....let my body acclimate to that position. He told me my oxygen numbers were still good. I was terrified, but many people were praying for me, and I KNOW God sent this doc to me. He was so awesome...I was at peace the moment I saw him. I immediately trusted him...and I don't trust doctors. I make them earn it, believe me.
So here we are going back bit by bit, and while it was a bit more difficult to breathe, I was doing it, and soon enough I was lying flat enough to have the C-section, NO VENT. This was truly a miracle, folks. Honest to God miracle. There was no natural way I should have been able to breathe lying flat on my back. No way. Except God's way.
I was so excited that I could be awake, and even talk, (well, whisper) during the delivery. Had I been on the vent, talking would have been impossible.
Doug was by my side (And he looked awfully cute in those doctor scrubs!) There were LOTS of people in there....my doctor, several nurses, helpers, more helpers, the docs from the NICU for Jacob, and The Giant.
The Giant was this huge man standing to my right. He was the Pusher. Dr. Lavery made the incision, and the Pusher started up by my breastbone, and started a downward pushing movement to get Jacob out. He was about 6'7", maybe 280. One of the man's hands were larger than my entire head. And he had both of them on my pregnant belly, pushing downward, squishing Jacob out. The entire gurney was moving. The man was HUGE. It didn't hurt at all, it was just this intense pressure. Crazy.
I will NEVER in.my.life. forget the moment they showed Jacob to me. (After they got him to let go of Dr. Lavery's finger with his mouth! He was biting the poor man!!) They lifted up this child. This amazing, wrinkly, pasty, beautiful, perfect, black-curly-haired, chubby cheeked angel and showed me my baby. Oh, that moment. Still brings tears to my eyes. I never EVER dreamed this was even possible, and here we were. I wanted that moment to freeze.
Unfortunately it didn't. Jacob was crying, which was a good sign, and his Apgars were okay, but not great. They whisked him off to the NICU, which I was prepared for, but it still stunk. I made Doug go with the baby while they stitched (rather stapled) me up and brought me to recovery. I was shaking so hard! I remember them telling me it was normal...but it was not fun!
I ended up being in recovery until midnight, because my heartbeat was too fast and they couldn't get it to slow down. I was severly dehydrated, and I drank a LOT...which helped the heartbeat go down, and I could finally go to my room. We had collected Jacob's cord blood at the time of birth to be cryogenically stored, so the box was on the counter waiting for the courier to pick it up. At the time, there were over 40 diseases that cord blood could cure for the person it came from. I'm sure there are even more today.
On the way to my room, they pushed me in my bed through the NICU so I could see my boy... I had only seen him the one peek in the operating room. I put my hand in the incubator (which he was WAY too big for!) and he grabbed my hand. Not tightly, but he kinda grabbed it. He had oxygen on, and a feeding tube in, because he couldn't suck. This was part of neonatal MG. He had it. I knew it right then. They weren't willing to come to that conclusion immediately, but in my heart I knew.
I slept fitfully that night, my arms crying out for the child I had just brought into this world. That, and the nurses coming in to push on my tummy to get my uterus to shrink back. Not so fun. It honestly didn't hurt as bad as I was expecting it to...but maybe I was just peroccupied.
The next day, as soon as I was able, I went to the NICU so I could hold my baby for the first time. I could.not.believe. it. This tiny miracle was MINE. I got to KEEP him! He was perfect. Big chubby cheeks...thick, black curly hair....perfect.
The next few days would tell the story....little did I know that I would be in for the most difficult journey of.my.life.