Pascal’s Birth Story Part II

Birth Story Part II
My body was a ticking time bomb with no clock and I didn’t know it.
I found the doctors lack of outword expression of concern helped me not worry about my condition, but the sheer rapidity of the progression of decisions and diagnoses just about gave patient husband and I whiplash. Over the period of approximately 4 hours or so of being monitored in the labor and delivery floor of my OBGYN’s hospital the doctor went from prescribing me to bedrest at home, to bedrest at the hospital, to giving me a steroid shot to develop baby boy’s lungs more quickly in case of early delivery in a couple weeks/days, to hurrying me onto an ambulance to take me to another hospital better equipped to deal with this early of preterm delivery and high risk pregnancy. In a second the hospital, doctor, delivery method, due date, entire birth story I thought was already written for me dissolved away. I didn’t even have time to process any of it.  At the new hospital they had me in a delivery room being monitored. I was starving, but the kitchen was closed so the kind nurses brought me an awful turkey sandwich.  They brought in a mobile sonogram machine and watched, measured and analyzed baby boy’s condition and determined all was well and that he was a great size considering I was 31 weeks and preeclamptic which brought great relief. That night began my two weeks of needle torture as I got my blood drawn sometimes multiple times a day, IV’s put in and shots given. One of the most traumatic experiences I had was getting my first IV. A giant, swollen, already hard to stick pregnant lady isn’t a nurse’s dream IV recipient, so I feel for the nurse who pained me, but after multiple horribly painful attempts they had to get in a specialist who luckily could numb me before searching with a needle in my arm for a good vein. They had to have me ready to get any meds needed at the drop of a hat, even though for now everyone was telling me I could be there a while. After getting moved upstairs to a highrisk floor of a lot of woman just trying to keep their buns cooking in their oven longer, lots of different therapists, consultants and doctors visited me to tell me all about this or that. One woman talked about activities for a long stay to keep you busy in bed, another woman talked about not getting depressed and reassured me this wasn’t my fault, one doctor came up and described all about what preeclampsia was and made sure all our questions were answered, a neonatolagist came up and talked to us about the Infant Special Care Unit and about premature babies, a lactation consultant came up and brought me a breastpump and supplies and taught me how to pump. All in all I was like a freshman in college on their first day getting a run down of each course being utterly confused and overwhelmed thinking it’s all sorta a dream and highschool didn’t quite prepare me for this. At the end of the first night I had a stack of books and papers they told me I could read to educate myself, and good thing too because the only time I could move was to go pee. I felt trapped and stuck. I researched preeclampsia on an ipad (thanks flatmate for letting me use it!) and patient husband kept trying to take it away so I would stop scaring myself. I was genuinely thinking I would be at the hospital for weeks, and the doctors hoped that too. The second night I got a wheelchair tour of the ISCU so that I could be mentally prepared for the environment where I would be visiting my son. I took in about zero information they were telling me and just noticed all the monitors and cords and such tiny, tiny, helpless looking babies.  I was on blood pressure medication, and got my BP taken every 2 hours around the clock, had to constantly collect my pee, my blood drawn once or twice a day, and weight checks a couple times a day. I had to wear compression socks and boots that inflated so I didn’t get blood clots. I got asked about 20 times a day if I had any headaches, pains in my side, spots in my vision.  They started noticing little changes in my liver platelets, I started to pee significantly less than I was taking in, my blood pressure meds were beginning to not help and they had to increase them, and over the course of two days I gained about 20 lbs in water….they got antsy. I drank so much water I thought I was going to burst and fortunately my output increased giving me enough time to have the second baby lung development shot take effect. Just as I put pictures around the room, had patient husband go get my precious Michigan honey crisp apples for me to eat in bed, the vase of flowers he had gotten me at the farmers market, (and a slice of pie :) , and more clothes, on Tuesday, September 11 my blood pressure went above 165/110. All they had to take was two readings at that level and they sent me immediately to labor and delivery. Now I was severely preeclamptic, and that meant  no more waiting…my son was going to come into the world 9 weeks before the November 12 day I had circled on my calendar so many months prior.

At this point not many people really knew what was going on, and for the sake of my health I did’t talk to them. In order for me to remain calm and mentally stable I had to tune everyone and everything out and concentrate on resting and keep baby boy inside of my belly. Some people were maybe offended by this, but patient husband fielded all the people and all the questions amazingly. I got a lot of encouraging emails, especially from my amazing sisters, full of verses and words that certainly did help. I know there were far more people praying for us than I will ever know and I’m so utterly thankful. I was, to my surprise, quite calm, and I lend that to the Holy Spirit surrounding us in that hospital room with the blessed reassurance of his Love, and to the indescribably amazing nurses and doctors who took care of me. These people deserve giant blue ribbons and a parade, and lifetime supplies of pie! They care, they love, they make it their job to make you comfortable and to laugh even though your world is falling apart, and mostly they are very smart, very aware, and very good at what they do. I was pretty sure that baby boy and I would be just fine, because their reaction times were flawless, and God was orchestrating every movement of my care through their able hands.
I am so thankful for them, and forever will be.

The rest of the story is coming, but have no fear…we all know it ends in a happy, healthy, beautiful baby Pascal! :)

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