Labor, Take 1, Monday April 3:
I went to work that morning and noticed while sitting at my desk that I could time my contractions (I thought they were Braxton Hicks) and they were about every 5-6 minutes apart. I called my OB who suggested I go home and lie down, and then called me back when I was on my way home and said he'd rather I stop by just in case. I got to the office, was checked, and the OB sat up, patted my knees and said, "Sweetie, I'm so sorry, but you're in labor. You're going to the hospital." I was given a shot of something I can't remember the name of to stop my contractions, and then was taken to the hospital by one of the nurse midwives in the practice. On the way, I called Papa Bear and Portia, as well as my parents and SIL to let them know what was going on. I was 27w6d pregnant, which was WAY too soon. Once at the hospital an IV was started with magnesium sulfate, which, for those of you who have never experienced it, is like liquid evil. It is a full body muscle relaxant, but more than that, it just makes you sore and nauseous. Your entire body aches from head to toe while on the garbage. Anyway, PB showed up with a bag full of clothes (turns out he just emptied a drawer of my dresser, not realizing I keep my tops and bottoms in separate drawers. All I had was one pair of pants and 8 shirts.) and some food, as I hadn't eaten since 7am, and then we waited for word about the ambulance transport. I had to be moved to the University of Maryland Medical Center because our local hospital could not handle babies born before 32 weeks. I was given a shot of steroids for BB3's lungs, and was told the shot would be repeated again in the next 24 hours. Once at UMC, I was finally admitted to a bed and settled in. I was on the magnesium for 48 hours, until I had been contraction/dilation free for 24 hours. At that point, they stopped the mag, observed me a little longer, and proclaimed me fit to go home on bedrest with bathroom priviledges. While in the hospital for three days, I missed BB2's birthday.
Labor, Take 2, Thursday April 13:
29w2d now. I went in for my normal checkup and was found to have dialated another centimeter while on bedrest, even though I'd had no contractions in the week I'd been home. The bag of waters was also now ballooning out of my cervix, and I was told it could break at any time. Back to the local hospital I went, hooked up to the mag IV again, except this time I was flying solo. PB was in a meeting in the next city over and I couldn't get ahold of him. I left him a message and he met me at the hospital. Instead of waiting for an ambulance this time, they decided to just put me in the helicopter and fly me over to the hospital, just in case my water broke en route. They wanted it to take half and hour to get there instead of close to an hour and a half, I guess. Once at the hospital, I was met by the same nurses who discharged me a week previously, and ushered in to a huge room on the postpartum/antepartum floor. It's tough to hear healthy newborns crying to be fed as their wheeled from the nursery to their mom's rooms, while you're laying there praying that your baby survives outside the womb. This is also the floor most hospitals put women who have just had miscarriages. But I digress. I was told in no uncertain terms that I would be in the hospital until I delivered, hopefully not for at least 2 more weeks so that I could at least be transferred home. Another 48 hours on the mag, and then 12 hours fighting for my right to use the restroom. When the attending OB finally came in one morning, I said, "Look...I understand you're trying to keep me prone as much as possible to prevent exertion that would push me in to labor, right?" "Right." "Then explain to me how much sense it makes for me to be climbing on and off this damn bedpan to relieve myself, which by the way is about every 2 hours given the amount of water I'm being told to drink." "Oh. Good point...*scribble scribble* right! All done...feel free to use the restroom as much as you want. You can even shower!" "Thanks." My labor had stopped for the time being. This time, I missed Easter while in the hospital.
Labor, Take 3, Tuesday April 18:
I had gone a whole 5 days with no contractions, so the "team" decided it would be a good idea to test me for gestational diabetes. You know, because it would matter a whole hell of a lot, what with me being in the hospital and all. So, they brought the glucose solution for me to drink (another tool of Satan) and BAM! within three minutes of ingesting the god-awful stuff, I was in hard, fast, active labor. The words "I'm in labor" bring TONS of people running in a hospital! Even better than "FIRE!" in a movie theater, I'd imagine. The nurses wheeled me downstairs to the labor and delivery floor while I called my mother to let her know that I would not be in my room when she got there for her scheduled visit. I was put back on the mag AGAIN to try and stop my labor for the last time. I was already 5cm by the time the doc got through the hubbub to check me, and was 100% effaced with a 0 station. At 11am Wednesday the contractions had still not stopped (although they'd slowed) so they turned the mag off and just let me go. I called PB, who got out of a sales meeting (yay!) and headed over.
PB got there around 1pm and we settled in. I had been flat on my back for close to 48 hours, and was in a lot of pain, but was not allowed out of bed for fear my water would break...um, hello? I'm in labor anyway, isn't the water breaking kind of the point? Things progressed fairly quickly, and the jerk anesthesiologist kept coming in to ask if I wanted to "give up this silly natural labor idea and get an epidural. After all, labor is really hard, and I just don't think you can do it." It was all I could do to not tell the twit to bite me and watch.
At hour 31 I hadn't slept in two days and was nearing my breaking point, and was also nearing transition. I was 7cm and progressing fast, and asked for something to take the edge off so that I could doze off between contractions. I was given one miligram of Stadol, which really did just take the edge off (thankfully immediately) and then stopped working with a jolt about 20 mintues later. That 20 minutes got me from 7-9cm. At about 2:45am Thursday, I was fully effaced and dialated, and my water still hadn't broken. The OB said she was going to break my water and then come back to check on me in about 10 minutes. She broke my water, turned around to put the hook down, turned back around to stand up, and screamed "HEAD!" out the door. The team came running in to get down to business. Our nurse (totally fantastic, btw) said, "Sarah honey, how you feeling?" "I'm in labor, and I'm starving. How you feelin?" At which point she called me a smartass and got down to business. On the next contraction, my body pushed (even though they were screaming at me not to while they rushed to get gloves and gowns on) and BB3 was here. It took both docs to catch her.
The NICU team rushed in and grabbed her, and PB ran after them to take pictures and keep an eye on her. She weighed in at a safe 3lb, 5oz and was 17" with Apgar scores of 9 and 9. She was born at 30weeks, 2 days, and was breathing on her own from the very beginning.