“Not only did I fail at being pregnant, I failed I giving birth”
I left off with the pee in the fridge. That’s quite the way to start a blog post, eh?
So I hung out at home for a day, because really? Who wants to go to work and figure out how to discretely store their pee… in a bright orange container… in the communal fridge? yeah. *oh. at this point I should mention WHY they wanted me to do a urine collection in the first place. Because of my headaches and high blood pressure, my midwives were concerned about the onset of pre-eclampsia. The only definitive test for pre-e is a 24-hour urine collect to test for protein. My quick test in the clinic was negative, but they wanted to run the more accurate 24-hour test.
So I stayed home on a modified ‘bed rest’ until I dropped off the sample at the lab on Thursday (8/23 if you’re keeping track) before going to work for the morning. I had an early-afternoon appointment that had been scheduled for awhile anyway, so I headed over after lunch. They took my blood pressure, which was a little elevated, but nothing severe. My lab results weren’t back yet, so my midwife wanted me to go home and stay on bedrest through the weekend, and follow up the next Monday to see how I was feeling. I called Jeremy, gave him the scoop, and went home. Minutes after I walked in the door, my phone rang. It was the clinic, and my midwife sounded concerned. My heart sank, because I knew what she was going to tell me.
Sure enough, she wanted me to come back in for an induction immediately. My lab results came back with a concerning level of protein in my 24-hour sample of urine. Combined with my high blood pressure readings (and headaches and blurry vision), I officially had pre-eclampsia. I was late enough in pregnancy that it was going to be safer for Lo to be outside than inside. I remember trying to stay calm and asking what time she wanted me to come in. “as soon as you safely can get here.” I hung up, called Jeremy and told him I was coming to pick him up from work. Somewhere in all of this, I organized to have my sister come watch the dogs. Then I called my mom to tell her and I completely broke down. I can vividly picture myself standing in the kitchen between the wall and the counter, crying, begging the dogs to come over and give me a hug. Knowing it was the last time I’d see them before our whole house, our lives, changed. Somehow I gathered up my stuff and walked out the door.
Jeremy and I got to the clinic around 2pm, got checked in and tried to get settled. It was a very mixed-emotions experience; excitement over meeting our daughter, and terror over having to go through the whole childbirth thing for real.
Ok. Here’s where the real story of my first induction started. Around 4pm that day (8/23) the midwife inserted Cervadil to try and soften up my cervix. (If I remember right, I was pretty closed, and my uterus was pretty high and tilted back. i.e. not too good on the Bishop scale.) They left that in for 12 hours, during which I slept, oh, never. At 4:30 the next morning (8/24), they took out the cervadil and inserted the Misoprostol. At that time I was 2cm/60% effaced/ station -2 (a 6 on the Bishop scale.) 4 hours later (8am on 8/24), they took out the Miso and I hadn’t progressed a whole lot (3/60%/-1) so they decided to a Foley bulb around 10am. That was the weirdest thing that had every happened to me (up to that time. ha) Basically- it’s a two piece bulb thing:
They shove one of the bulbs up through my cervix, while the other bulb stays on the outside (attached to a tube.) Both bulbs are filled with water to apply counter pressure on either side of the cervix, in hopes of thinning it more. It hurt SO bad when it was inserted, and just felt weird being in. BUT it worked! It kicked in some serious contractions; ones I could both feel and see on the monitor. The worst part about being induced for pre-e? The constant worry about my blood pressure kept me lying down. on my side, or flat on my back. All I wanted to do was get up and walk around a little. The Foley Bulb did kick in some contractions for me, but the didn’t last long. Around 2-3pm, I had a Pitocin drip started. (this is commonly referred to as the “Devil Juice” online because it causes such intense contractions and pain.) After 6 hours of Pit, nothing. My body was seriously resisting the induction thing.
About 8pm that night (8/24) is when I really started to feel discouraged. I had been in ‘labor’ over 24 hours with no real progress. I asked for a little break since nothing was happening anyway. My midwife graciously agreed to unhook me from the IVs for a little bit and let me take a few laps around the L&D wing. It was the first time I left the room in over 24 hours, and it felt amazing. After 15-20 minutes of (very slow) walking, I went back to the room because I had to pee. And then it happened. the bulb fell out!!!! (This was a really good sign- it shouldn’t fall out until at least 4-6cm dilation.) PROGRESS! That 15 minute walk was enough! I called the m/w, and when she checked me around 9pm that night (8/24), I had progressed to 4cm/70%ish/-1. She decided to let me rest overnight with the plan being to start up pitocin again in the morning. I was excited again; I felt re-energized; like I could actually get this baby into the outside world!
Pit started up again around 7 the next morning (8/25) and around 11am, I was getting really crampy. The monitor was picking up regular (albeit mild) contractions too, so I felt good. Until the midwife shift change. The new m/w said I hadn’t been progressing enough and that she would give me a total of 8 hours on pit this time before discussion ‘other options.’ My heart sank, because I knew that meant we were going to be talking a c-section. She left to consult with the two on-call OBs and when she came back, the news was (in my mind at the time) even worse.
She wanted to send me home. HOME?! You made me go through an induction because it was no longer safe for me to be pregnant! and now they wanted me to go home. to sit. and wait. for what? baby to evict herself? or my blood pressure to skyrocket again? That day/afternoon was probably the hardest day of my life, without exaggeration. Although my midwife was fantastic given the situation, I was so bitter. and hurt. and confused. and frustrated. and angry. oh man, was I angry. I have no idea at whom- myself, baby girl, the midwife who decided I needed to be induced, the midwife who was now telling me to give up, Jeremy for knocking me up in the first place, my mom for coming to visit even though I strictly asked her not to, the whole damn world. Who knows.
But anyway. My midwife came and sat down with me, and explained that she was comfortable letting me go home for a few days given that my blood pressure had been really good the whole time I was in the hospital, and baby showed no signs of distress. That all of my symptoms were boarderline and that maybe they jumped the gun on forcing an induction. oh. thanks. glad the last 48 hours were unnecessary. She said she thought it was best to give my body a break and see what happens. not what I wanted to hear. She also said, if I wanted, I could stay and try another day or so. hell no. get me out of this damn hospital bed. Last but not least, she had the OB waiting outside to talk to me if I wanted to call it a day and just have the c-section and be done with the whole labor thing. what?!no. no c-section. anything but that. Now. I know plenty of women have successful, easy, c-sections. But I was so adamantly against it, that it threw me the other direction and I decided to go home.
Easier said than done. I had to wait to be discharged. Wait to be cleared. Wait for my meds (I got some sleeping pills for the weekend.) Wait for insurance to quit effing up everything. wait. wait to have a baby. wait to go home and admit defeat. wait for baby to decide she was ready to join us. wait until Monday to talk to the midwife again. wait to see what my blood pressure is then. wait.
I talked to my mom on the way home (ok, got into a fight with her is a far more accurate description. I claim no responsibility for any irrational thoughts/words of mine that week, for the record.) At one point I told her to leave me alone because I wanted to go home and wallow in self-pity. Not only did I fail at being pregnant, but I failed at giving birth too. Rereading that now punches me in the gut; it’s a perfect summation of my feelings that night I got home from the failed induction.