Disclaimer: There are a couple of more graphic pictures in this post. Dustin actually captured one of Chase being pulled from my uterus. It is a pretty cool image, but admittedly makes my stomach rather queasy, so I will spare you. Here is the story about the day our son came into this world.....
Around 12:30am on Friday, January 29th, I woke to find my bottoms (underwear and pants) a little wet. This had been going on for a few days but even more so, the day prior. I knew something was different this night as every time I moved, it felt as if I had peed myself. I was hoping that it was just that (a major incontinence problem)!
From 12:30 - 3:30, I laid in bed with contractions and researched the internet about how it would feel when your water breaks. (Side note: It is really called waters, not water. I learned this in my childbirth class when pregnant with Addison. However, because it just doesn't feel right to say it in the plural sense, I am sticking with water.)
I read that a very small % of women's water actually broke without medical assistance - about 10%, which eased my mind a bit. It didn't smell like urine, but it also didn't smell like amniotic fluid. What does amniotic fluid smell like? I dunno, but the message boards I was reading described it as smelling like sulfur. I don't really think it smelled like that either. I almost woke Dustin up about 500 times in those 3 hours to tell him that "it was time", but kept telling myself that it wasn't. I also changed my underwear 3 times in those 3 hours.
My friend, Emily, had flown in that night for the weekend so I knew someone would be there to watch Addison if we needed to head to the hospital. But I am so darn stubborn and was convinced everything was okay. About 6am I woke up with the same issue. I had a doctors appointment in a few hours and decided to hold out until then. At this point, I didn't feel like my contractions had become more frequent or stronger.
I went to my appointment, as scheduled, and was hooked up to the fetal monitors. I was registering a contraction almost every minute. I could tell by the look in my nurses eye and her constant reassurance, "You did good, Kristi. You got this baby to 35 weeks!" that I probably was not going home after my appointment. I was only on the monitors for a few minutes before heading to an exam room. My Dr. took a sample of this fluid that I had been leaking and put it under the microscope. Positive for Amniotic Fluid. OH NO!!!! MY WATER HAD BROKEN! In medical terms, I was diagnosed with PROM (Premature Rupture of Membranes).
Dr. L. said that we would be delivering this baby in a couple of hours and to head straight to the hospital for antibiotics. The antibiotics were two-fold. For one, I was positive for Group B Strep, which could be dangerous for the baby upon delivery and two, my membranes had ruptured, meaning there was no longer a barrier keeping bacteria from entering my uterus, which could cause life-threatening infection for both myself and the baby. The unknown about when my water had actually broken made this even more urgent. He asked me if I had any questions and I said, "Is this negotiable?" HA! I was being serious...he didn't think it was very funny. Ooops. :)
Off the the hospital we went. Fortunately I had prepared for this moment and had packed my car with all our bags and other equipment for the big day. I was relatively calm, taking the "it is what it is" approach. Dustin took one last belly shot.
I was happy to have gotten to 35 weeks, but so incredibly disappointed that I didn't make it further. I was very worried about Chase's health, but knew that we did everything we could. I did not falter on bed rest. I struggled with it, but I did it...and that alone made me feel so much better. At that point, I just wanted Chase to be delivered alive and with no major medical issues. 35 weeks is such a gray area, there was no telling if he would need medical intervention or have to go to the NICU. Of course I didn't want him to go to the NICU, but that was the last thing on my mind.
They pumped me with saline and antibiotics and made some phone calls to alert people of the situation. Soon enough, it was go time.
I was wheeled into the operating room, given a spinal (which sucked, mostly because I have scoliosis...go figure) and Dustin then joined me. This was different than my cesarean with Addison. Her delivery was so emergent that they did not have time to wait for a spinal to take effect and put me under general anesthesia, which meant that I was not awake and Dustin was not allowed in the OR.
It was so wonderful to be awake and have Dustin with me through it all. I was getting bradycardia and whatever medicine they gave me to raise my heart rate also spiked my blood pressure. I suddenly had the worst headache imaginable. I sobbed and begged for it to go away. They quickly gave me more medicine and the headache eventually subsided. Needless to say, I was definitely not enjoying the process. As I was laying on the operating table, I kept telling Dustin how much I hated it. I just felt like it was taking forever and thought that they hadn't even made the first incision. Within seconds, my doctor said "I have the head" and out came this little guy! (That's Dr. L - LOVE THAT MAN)
I heard the most wonderful screams come from those little lungs. In the meantime, Dustin was with Chase as they weighed him, cleaned him up and did the routine testing. As the medical team was putting my insides back together and stitching me up, I kept hollering back to Dustin trying to get some details!
He scored 9's on both APGARs and was breathing on his own. They said they had to do some more testing but gave us a few minutes to enjoy time with him. Seeing my baby for the first time was a moment I will always treasure.
Happy as a clam as I'm wheeled out of the OR into recovery. (In case you were wondering, the FedEx box is the cord blood we are storing.)