Our little firework was due on the 4th of July. I was so sure he would come that day. But, on June 19, 2019, we went to my 38-week appointment and our doctor told us that due to low fluid and a calcified placenta, we should be induced that evening.
Y’all, we were living in a camper while renovating our new home! So, we ran home to the camper, packed our bags and I went to my in-laws to take a bath in a normal sized bathtub. We then went and got dinner and headed to the hospital.
We were admitted and it was really quiet that night. They started me on Pitocin and Penicillin. I was on Pitocin all night. When the doctor came in in the morning, she said she would check me, likely break my water and we would go from there… Well I wasn’t even dilated to a 1. So, since we are in the South she said “Oh no, Bless your heart. There is a good chance we will have to stop the Pitocin tonight and start over in the morning.” But, I started progressing. Slowly, but it was still progress.
My water broke on its own around lunch time. I know it was lunch time because my husband, Lance, was at Chickfila… I felt a small gush and text him to come back when he could because I had a funny feeling. When he came back, I asked him to help me to the bathroom and then came the big gush! We called for the nurse, a different nurse came in, helped me to the bathroom and told me she would go find my nurse. While I was in the bathroom waiting, my IV started leaking all over. I have never felt so attractive, leaking out of all kinds of places. It was glamorous!
As they upped my Pitocin, I continued progressing but still very slowly. The nurses had a lot of trouble finding my cervix at every check. So, finally when three people had come in fishing for my cervix, they recommended I get an epidural. I was hoping to labor as long as possible without it, but I was pretty sure they needed to find my cervix, so I agreed. I thought getting the epidural was the strangest feeling. Once I had it, they were able to find my cervix again, but they were still not happy with my progress. My body was not reacting correctly to the Pitocin, so they tried inserting a device that monitors contractions from the inside. They jabbed our sweet dude in the head a few times but couldn’t get it in!
Okay, I am going to be very candid here, but NO ONE warned me about this, my doctor, who I LOVED, came in soon after my epidural to check my cervix and try again to put the internal monitor in. When she lifted my leg, there was a loud, long honk. I had no idea what it was, until she said “That’s okay it’s totally normal. It happens all the time.” And I thought to myself, “What does?” And that is when I realized, when you have an epidural, you have no idea you are farting (or control for that matter)!!!! WHY DOES NO ONE PREPARE YOU FOR THIS!
As we entered the second night, now 24 hours after being admitted, they continued adjusting my Pitocin. Eventually, I showed more progress and got to try out the peanut ball!
Around midnight, came the first really scary thing, four nurses came running into my room and asked if I had gotten up, removed my monitor or sneezed. I had not done any of these things. They rolled me to my side, put oxygen on me and adjusted monitors. They eventually told me that the Pitocin had caused my body to do a long, weak contraction instead of a strong one. They assured me that me and my baby were okay. But I was scared nonetheless. They brought me popsicles and tried to calm my nerves. My nurses really were the best in the world!
Around 3am, my nurse came in to check me and said, “Wake up, Dad because we are going to have a baby!” I had a hard time believing it at this point, I teared up and started trying to wake Lance, who was asleep on the “dad couch.” I finally threw the remote at him!
The nurse said that the baby was still high but I was fully dilated. So she raised my bed and said to wait a while. Meanwhile, I started to be able to feel my left leg. A nurse came in and asked me about it and told me to push my epidural button, it had run out! Luckily they came and changed the bag, long before I started to push.
Our nurse was so patient with me, she took so much time to help me to learn how to push. I ended up pushing on every contraction for 2 1/2 hours. I thought I was never going to get him out of there. So many people came in to watch, hold a leg and coach my pushing. Finally, Lance said, “I see his eyebrows.” I made him swear then pushed as hard as I could. Lucian was born at 7:18 am. They put him on my chest for about 5 seconds then immediately took him to do stats and let Lance hold him.
It did not take me long to realize something was wrong. My doctor went from super bubbly to commanding the room. She was spouting off all kinds of things and I was sure I had somehow found my self in an episode of Grey’s Anatomy. I was so scared. I asked, “Am I okay?” Instead of answering the question, she said “You are losing a lot of blood and we need to get it under control.” I just lay there with my eyes closed trying so hard to be still. I threw up a few times in the fancy barf bags that hospitals have.
Apparently, my placenta, which we knew was abnormally shaped, was in pieces inside me. I could see her hand moving and stretching my stomach as she tried to collect all of the pieces on my placenta. She said if she left any in, they’d have to go back in. She looked me in the eyes, with her arms elbow deep inside me and said, “What if you hadn’t gotten the epidural??” I’m pretty sure I threw up again and laid my head back down. Well, then, I can’t make this up, my uterus failed to retract. They said this was likely caused by the Pitocin. So, they tried massage and medicines. When neither worked, they tried the Bakri balloon. They put a balloon inside me to hold my uterus in and control the bleeding. I lost two and a half liters of blood. Luckily, I did not end up needing a transfusion.
If you have made it this far and are pregnant, please don’t let this scare you! My story is not the norm. In fact, when I finally made it to the Mom and Baby room, they asked me if my luck was ALWAYS this bad! And I kid you not, I broke the hospital’s breast pump soon after that. We just had to laugh!
But I want to share because I did not get the beautiful, happy moment with my brand new family as soon as my son was born. A clinical instructor held my hand because my husband had to hold our brand new baby. And for a while, that was really hard for me. I had to mourn the loss of the magical moment I had imagined. But, don’t get me wrong, there was still SO MUCH magic. Our firework baby found his own way to come in with a bang. And he was born on Solstice which I can now confirm IS the longest day of the year. Lucian’s name means light and I truly believe we brought a little light into the world that day.