I am feeling very nostalgic this evening. The family and I spent the day in my home town visiting my grandparents and spending time with my mom. I wanted to write a post about that, but I haven’t quite found the words for it yet. So instead, I decided to post about the night I gave birth to Little Darling.
I guess I should start at the very beginning. In 2013, before Wonderful Husband was actually a husband, we were just two blissful kids, madly in love, living life, enjoying every moment. We decided in March of that year that I would go off of birth control because my doctor was concerned about my fertility. I had been on the Depo shot for almost three years and my doctor was having second thoughts. Since I had been on some type of hormonal birth control since the age of 13, and they really didn’t know how that would affect me, we made the call that I would just stop doing any type of birth control at all. Then once we really thought about it, we decided we wouldn’t even use condoms. We called it “playing the lottery” and we just hoped we would get lucky. We knew we loved each other, we knew we wanted to be together forever, a baby would just make it better (it has). Welcome to the 21st century. No judgements please.
While I went off birth control in 2013, we didn’t end up getting pregnant until 2014. We had time to get engaged, plan a wedding, and be only 2 months away from it. It took a solid year to get pregnant. As time went on, I had become more and more convinced that birth control had ruined my fertility. Thank god it hadn’t. The day before Easter, 2014, we found out we were expecting. It was crazy, emotional, amazing, and terrifying. While we had been so sure we wanted children and we didn’t care what other people thought of us. When it happened, we were suddenly so unsure of ourselves. Our wedding was only months away! However, our families took it great, everyone was just really excited to become grandparents, aunts, and uncles. We made it through the wedding, the honeymoon, and the next five months with pretty much no differences.
I had an amazing pregnancy. I didn’t have morning sickness, I didn’t gain weight (I actually lost almost 12 lbs my first trimester!), I didn’t have crazy cravings, I didn’t even miss work. Things got a little iffy at 7 months when I suddenly went into preterm labor and had to spend 3 days in the hospital taking massive amounts of tiny orange pills to try and stop the baby from coming early. Wonderful Husband was loving, supportive, and understanding. He brought home cheese fries from our favorite bar that I could no longer visit, made a few midnight runs for rainbow sherbert, and even let me borrow his button ups in my last couple months when even my maternity clothes wouldn’t stretch over my watermelon belly.
Little Darling was due December 22nd. So, when on the morning of December 19th I was sitting in a meeting at work and suddenly got weird feelings in my belly, I pretty much knew what was happening. I worked at a bank with some amazing ladies who treated me like their own daughter. They immediately plopped me in a cushy chair, fed me cookies (you know they won’t feed you in the hospital dear, just have one more!), and called WH to come get me. He was in West Virginia (about three hours away) and thankfully his fabulous boss let him hop right into his truck and speed home to me.
We called our doctor who told us to come in and get checked out. They were located in the basement of the hospital I would be delivering in, convenient eh? We went in, got a non stress test, and we were told I was in labor! They sent us up to the triage unit to get checked in to have a baby! WH and I were in the elevator high-fiving, eating more cookies, and giggling wildly that this would be some of our last “solo” moments.
When we got to the triage unit, they checked me in, gave me a bracelet, and put me in a room. I wasn’t even done changing into my gown before a nurse came in to tell me that I wasn’t in labor bad enough and I was being discharged. I. Wasn’t. In. Labor. Bad. Enough. ARE YOU CRAZY!? We whined and complained and they let me stay one more hour, my contractions were five minutes apart, I was miserable, WH was getting concerned. They discharged me anyway at 5pm.
* I should step in here and let everyone know that I was laboring and delivering at Magee Womens Hospital in Pittsburgh. Under No Circumstances do they deserve their reputation. I don’t care if you have to deliver in the Sudan during a tsunami. Do Not Deliver Here.*
We live almost an hour and a half away from the hospital. We were scared to go home. We were scared to not go home. We were pretty much just scared. We sat in the parking lot and we cried. My Wonderful Husband, who is about the manliest man that has ever man-ed, sat at a red light in the middle of Pittsburgh and cried. He said “I thought today was the day, I thought she was gonna be here…I got my hopes up.” I was in pain so bad I was having trouble sitting still in the passenger seat. We decided that instead of going home, we would go to dinner somewhere downtown, that way if my contractions never got better we could just go back to hospital. So, Wonderful Husband treated me to an expensive dinner, and wine, at Ten Penny. A couple of our friends came to eat with us and give moral support, the waiter was terrified of me and repeatedly asked if my water had broke and if I was feeling ok. We finally decided nothing was going to change (the hospital had told us we were “not allowed” to return until my contractions were so bad I could not breathe, could not stand up, and they lasted at least 2 solid minutes each time), and we should just go home.
We got home around 11:30pm on December 19th. I got a hot shower, put on my pjs, and crawled into bed.
My water broke at 2:18am.
We drove back to the hospital – not even going into detail here, just imagine 1.5 hour ride in the middle of the night with weird fluids leaking out of your depends protective underwear.
At about 4am I was put into a triage room. They told me they were out of beds for delivery.
You are a hospital, known for delivering babies. Known for delivering HIGH RISK PREGNANCIES. You are out of beds?
We laid in triage until about 9am when I was finally put into a labor and delivery room. Family and friends started showing up at around 12:30, and I got my epidural by about 1pm.
Within minutes of getting the epidural, I started having the itchies. I itched. I scratched. I finally told the nurse what was going on and she told me that its actually a common occurrence for women to get itchy from epidurals (would have been nice to know…) and that a quick shot of nubain (a pain killer) would make the itchy go away. At about 4pm, a doctor was in the room checking my cervix and a nurse was giving me a shot of nubain. She verified with the doctor multiple times- 5 mg right? 5 mg. 5 mg of nubain right? She even stated to me- I have to give you 2 injections because you need 5 mg and this syringe only holds 3mg, so you will get a full one (3mg) and a 3/4 full one (2mg).
She gave me 50mg.
Within minutes of the injection, I could no longer stay conscious. My blood pressure fell. The baby’s blood pressure fell. The nurse came in and put me on oxygen. I drifted in and out of consciousness for about 3 hours before Wonderful Husband realized something was wrong. I remember coming to and whispering to my friend that WH was “like a detective, he is like investigating…and stuff…”. In reality, WH was rippiing apart the SHARPS container to find how much nubain had actually been injected into my system. He called the nurse repeatedly. He went to the nurses station. He googled “nubain” multiple times… Nobody came.
Finally at about 8pm a doctor came to see us. She brought a chair and sat down and calmly explained that a mistake had happened, it could have happened to anyone. A simple accident. They did the math, and the half life of the nubain is 5 hours. So at 9pm, the nubain would be starting to wear off. I would be conscious, baby would be conscious. I could deliver. But until 9pm, there was nothing they could do.
At about 9:20 I began to feel pressure… I will skip all this part because its gross and awful and nobody needs to hear it or think about it….Lets leave it with- the doctors and nurses ignored me.
At midnight, I became the raging, crazy pregnant lady that you see on TV. When I finally got a nurse to come into my room I became slurring threats at her about pooping babies on the floor and wandering the halls to find somebody to catch her when she fell out. Nobody seemed to understand that my cervix hadn’t been checked since 4pm, and that my babies head was pressed firmly against my vaginal opening. Wonderful Husband had become a raging lunatic, the whole family was gathered around my bed offering words of encouragement, and my epidural was wearing off.
When the doctor finally checked me, it was clear it was time to have a baby. They ushered everyone out of the room except me, WH, and a nurse. And we proceeded to start pushing. Another part to skip- push, push, push…I NEED TO HEAR SIMON AND GARFUNKEL…push, push, push… DOES SHE HAVE HAIR? CAN YOU SEE ANY HAIR?? It was this strangely surreal experience where I was having horrible pain, but it didn’t really hurt that bad because I was just so excited to see Little Darling in person. Wonderful Husband was smashing my face into my chest with every “push” session, and Hallelujah was blasting on his iPhone.
When Little Darling’s head finally popped out, the nurse says to me “ok, her head is out, stop pushing until the doctor gets here”
The whole family in the hallway heard me screaming “I CAN’T STOP PUSHING”
WH swears that he saw the nurse holding LD in by her shoulders while she was frantically on the phone calling the doctor. What was probably only minutes, felt like hours, and finally a doctor swooped in to catch our little miracle.
At 2:19am on December 21st, Little Darling popped into the world. She was purple, and slimy. I had no idea what to do and repeatedly petted her face while cooing “hi” at her. WH cut the umbilical cord and wiped away a tear from his eye. NICU nurses swept in and grabbed her up to make sure the overdose of Nubain hadn’t affected her. She was pronounced happy and healthy and laid on my chest. I looked up at WH and he looked down at me, and suddenly we were parents. He was daddy, and I was mommy. Within minutes, the family was bustling into the room to “oh” and “ah” over the bundle of joy.
What should have been a wonderful time of my life, was made a little harder by the hospital. I certainly wasn’t expecting it to be all sunshine and rainbows, but I also wasn’t expecting to be OD’ed by my nurses either. I am profoundly disappointed in my experience at Magee. I have since changed my OB/GYN and will not see anyone who delivers at that hospital. Thankfully Little Darling was not affected by the medicine pumped into her tiny system, but that doesn’t make it acceptable either. I thank God that we all came out of the situation unscathed.
Labor is hard, birth is actually a little easier, and being mommy is the greatest thing I have ever done. Just make sure you always question everything you are given while in the hospital because even professionals can make mistakes!