I woke up around 4:30 AM having contractions about five minutes apart. I showered, finished packing my bag (finally!) and went downstairs to eat breakfast at 7:00 AM. The contractions stopped. I guess today probably wasn’t going to be the day after all!
8:20 – Ultrasound – I was two days past my due date of 4/5. I had an OB appointment the previous day and my belly was measuring at only 35 weeks. Dr. M wanted me to have an immediate ultrasound to check the amniotic fluid level. No appointments were available Monday afternoon, but they fit me in early Tuesday morning.
8:45 – Candice leaves Greentree – The fluid level was too low! This is called oligohydramnios and it occurs in about 4 percent of pregnancies. Dr. S wanted me to go directly to the hospital so they could get things started right away. I called Andy and my mom and headed downtown.
8:45 – Andy frantically gets things ready.
9:00 – Tristan says, “I hope it’s a tiger baby!”
9:26 – Candice arrives at the hospital.
9:48 – In hospital gown. I can’t remember when Andy arrived exactly, but I got to visit with the kids for a little while until my parents arrived to take them.
10:40 – 2 cm, 60%
11:00 – Started Pitocin.
1:00 – 3 cm, -2
1:45 – Epidural in. I did not wait for the painful contractions to really get going before requesting the epidural. I knew from previous experience (Delaney) that it can go downhill very quickly. Plus my nurse Sam encouraged me to not wait too long. Due to my scoliosis, there was a whole team of five people involved with the epidural. They did an ultrasound on my back and it was a teaching moment for everyone. As it turned out, the site for the epidural was not impacted by the scoliosis so there were no issues.
3:00 – 4 cm, 80%, -2
3:05 – Water broken. This is when the craziness started. I remember having my water broken with the other two kids and it was a huge gush. This was nothing. There was practically no fluid. Baby’s heartbeat started decelerating during contractions and they quickly put the oxygen mask on me and told me to take long, deep breaths. They had me flip to one side, then the other, trying to find a position that was good for the baby. They took off the external monitors and placed internal ones on the baby. That way they could monitor the actual strength of the contractions and not lose the baby’s heartbeat. They also turned off the Pitocin.
3:20 – Added fluid for baby. Dr. G did an amnioinfusion, where they added fluid back around the baby. This was intended to help with the baby’s heart rate decelerations.
5:00 – 7cm - We thought it would be soon at this point, but baby was going to keep us waiting a bit longer. She continued to have decelerations but Dr. G and the nurses were monitoring her closely. Oxygen for me was on and off, and eventually I was lying on my right side for a long time because no one wanted me to move and anger the baby. It was a really stressful time for Andy and I.
5:48 – 6cm says the resident doctor.
7:20 – 7cm, 80%, 2 – They drained my bladder in hopes that that was causing the progress to stall. I really think they were going to give her only two more hours before deciding to proceed to a C-section.
7:40 – Time for baby! - We were watching The Middle on TV and I could hear the baby’s heart rate monitor begin to slow again. Everyone came rushing into the room (again) and apparently she was trying to deliver herself! Everyone quickly got gowns on and prepared for her arrival. They kept telling me, “Don’t move.” I laughed. They said, “Don’t laugh.” “No really, DON’T LAUGH!”
7:44 – Baby Stella is here! – It only took one half push and she was out, crying right away. They held her up and Andy said, “It’s a girl!” We couldn’t believe it, everyone thought for sure that she would be a boy! She was 6lb 5 oz and 20 inches long. Her apgar scores were 9/9.
I seem to remember the cord wrapped all around her and Dr. G and nurse Sharon working to unwrap it. Andy also remarked later that the placenta didn’t look like a ‘normal’ placenta, which is probably the reason for the low fluid. Thankfully Stella was born completely healthy!