Birth Story Part 3: The Saga
As I mentioned before, before week 36 everything was going great! I was always worried I would have a difficult pregnancy. The women in my family do not necessarily have easy pregnancies, I was overweight from all the weight I gained in college, and I just expect the worse I guess. Luckily I was proving myself wrong and my pregnancy so far was perfect.
Well, starting at week 36 my blood pressure starting getting a little high. I was extremely stressed out. Chad works full-time and then comes home and takes care of the farm. I was 36 weeks pregnant and could not help do anything, which kills me. Plus, I’m an emotional hormonal pregnant woman. My midwife had me start tracking my blood pressure at home and she tested me for preeclampsia, but luckily I did not have it.
I was 37 weeks 6 days when I went back to her and my blood pressure was even higher. It was Tuesday July 21st. I had also suffered from a horrible UTI the week before so it had been a rough few days. (That was another time it would have been nice to have a doctor to prescribe medicine!). However, I was dilated to a 1 and since I did have a UTI (which can speed up labor), she said I could go into labor at any time. That got me really excited, but at the same time made me more anxious and impatient. I wanted to meet my baby girl!
She told me to go on bed rest and continue monitoring my blood pressure. My labs were still fine, so it was most likely just pregnancy induced hypertension. If it got too high at home I was to call their emergency line. The details are a little fuzzy right now and it all happened so fast (even though to me it felt like an eternity and the end of the world because I had to lay in bed and not clean my house!).
When I took my blood pressure at home it was high and over the weekend the bottom number was over 100 a few times. I called and talked to my midwife on Saturday (July 25). She was very concerned and said she would call a physician she knew and see what to do. Even though they do not work directly with physicians or hospitals, they have several that they use in cases like these. If anything ever looks concerning they do not chance it, but refer you to a doctor. She told me to pack my bags because he would most likely want us to go to the hospital that night and there was a chance he would induce. Chad had just came home from Farmer’s Market and was exhausted, but since we were waiting back for her call and wanted to be ready if we needed to go we ran around like crazy people trying to get things packed and animals fed. She called back and said he wanted to see us in his office first thing on Monday morning.
This was not what I had planned!!! I was supposed to have an easy pregnancy and an easy labor and an easy delivery! And now the word “induced” is getting brought up and the large possibility of a hospital birth without my midwives at the birth center! When my midwife told me on the phone that this would most likely be a hospital birth I was devastated and brought to tears. This was something I had wanted for a long time, and now it was getting taken from me. I had to keep reminding myself that what was important was my baby. At this point I did not know what to expect. What do I even pack for the hospital? At the birth center they send you home after 5 hours so you really don’t pack a whole lot. “What if this?” and “What if that?” kept running through my head. This was not helping my blood pressure!
During all this a sweet friend told me to make sure I took time to grieve. Everyone kept telling me that all that mattered was the health of my baby, and while that is true it still hurt that I most likely would not get the birth experience I’d always dreamed of. So I am very grateful to that friend for telling me to take time to grieve the loss of that experience.
We met with the doctor on Monday morning in his office. My blood pressure was still very high so he sent me next door to Saint Francis South to be monitored. He said I would most likely be induced that day. It was July 27 and I was 38 weeks 5 days pregnant.
The nurses at the hospital hooked me up to the blood pressure machine and some other monitors and had me lay on my left side. I remember lying there in that dreary hospital room hooked up to all those machines thinking that this was how it was going to be when I gave birth. I would be forced to lie in this bed hooked up to monitors, not free to move about. Tears streamed down my face as I looked at Chad with utter devastation that this was happening. This was not okay!
Fortunately, my blood pressure was absolutely perfect while I was lying down. The nurses thought the doctor was a complete moron for sending us over there. They sent me home. That was the second time we had packed our bags because we thought we were going to have a baby.
Over the next couple days, my blood pressure remained high when I took it at home sitting up, but if I stayed lying down it was fine. Therefore, I stayed in bed and tried not to look at my messy house. Chad was actually wonderful and took good care of me. His boss allowed him to work from home to make sure I stayed in bed.
The doctor wanted to see me again in his office on July 30. At this point I was no longer seeing the midwives at the birth center since I was having issues. The doctor checked my urine each time I saw him to make sure I still did not have preeclampsia, but it was fine. My blood pressure was still really high in his office and I was 39 weeks 1 day so we very seriously discussed inducing. He said there was really no sense to keep going on like this since my blood pressure was high and was putting my baby and me at risk. He also informed us that he was going out of town the next day and would be gone for 10 days. We decided to induce and head next door to the hospital. At this point I had accepted that I was having a hospital birth and things were not going to be as natural as I had hoped. I was still really upset, but luckily I had a few days to let it sink in. I am so thankful I did not have to be transferred to a hospital while in labor at the birth center, and was able to have time to accept having a hospital birth.
The same nurses were there from last time. They knew how badly I wanted a natural birth and thought it was ridiculous that the doctor was going to induce me. They also informed us that all of the rooms were full so they would have to put me in a temporary room and monitor my blood pressure there. Since the doctor had said he would induce me that day we called our family and told them we were having a baby. Though it was not what we planned we were still excited. Chad and I even took a selfie to commemorate the moment. I talked to our pastor and informed her on the situation. She wanted to send out an e-mail to the congregation and for some reason I told her to wait.
Luckily, I made a good decision by telling her that! My blood pressure was totally fine while I was being monitored since I was lying on my left side. The doctor came in and talked with us and again put the ball in our court (I am thankful he was never pushy about inducing me. He always let us make the final decision). Plus, the nurses were advocating for us during this time as well, which I am very grateful. He informed us again that all the rooms were full, but that he could call us over the next few hours before he left on vacation if one became available and we could have this baby. I thought about it for a second and as much as I was ready to have this baby I told him not to call.
He scheduled an induction for when he returned on August 10th (5 days past my due date). If I had the baby before then another doctor would deliver her. Since I was dilated to a 3 and 75% effaced in his office earlier that morning it was extremely unlikely I would make it until the 10th.
It was a God-thing all of the rooms were full in the hospital that day. It was not time for Miss Eden to make an appearance just quite yet. I was very anxious, but so very proud of myself for being strong enough to say no to the induction. Though my blood pressure was high, if I laid down and rested neither of us were in danger. God had his hand on us…that’s for sure! Because 3 days later I was going to get to meet my precious baby girl.