I think Nadia’s birth story might top Nora’s… Hard to say though! Click here to read about Nora’s 🙂 I swear one of my children’s births will be boring and uneventful!
Oh where to start… I know I’ve already posted about all the tightening and pains I had been having for weeks before Nadia’s birth. My doctor had been checking me weekly to make sure I wasn’t dilating and at my last check before she was born I was barely dilated. Even with all the pains, which I thought were contractions, a huge part of me really thought I’d carry Nadia to term. Even Dr. Hunter, the high risk OB who said I didn’t need a cerclage thought I’d be fine. And with the Makena injections too, I thought we were doing what we could. Granted, I could tell I had more contractions on days I was more active, but I’m not sure how I could have changed my activity, as Eric was out-of-town a lot with his father, and thus I was alone to care for Nora.
Anyway, on Tuesday morning August 23rd I woke around 3am with lots of cramping, lower back pain, and tightening. I went to the bathroom half expecting to see blood, but nothing. So I laid back down for a bit and tried to stay calm. Around 3:30am Nora woke up crying, which isn’t all that uncommon these days, as she is getting back teeth and seems to wake up as soon as her Tylenol or Advil wears off. I got up, made her a bottle spiked with pain killers and rocked her back to sleep. While rocking her, my pains were getting worse. I considered my options. It was a Tuesday, so our regular sitter would arrive around 9:30am. Could I wait that long and then take myself to the hospital to be checked? Should I pack up Nora and go immediately to our local hospital to be checked? Or should I call Eric, who was in Ames with his father and ask he come home to take me to the hospital and help with Nora? I picked the last option, which involved calling him four times before he answered. It’s 4am by this time, and I knew he was sharing a hotel room with his mother and brother, but oh well, I really needed to talk to him! He agreed to leave immediately and come home. With Nora back to sleep I took a quick shower, shaved my legs (you know me) and finished backing the hospital bags I’d started packing a few weeks prior. I was more prepared this time, wasn’t going to the hospital with nothing but my purse like I did with Nora! I even took my breast pump.
Eric called me several times on his drive home. Apparently he misunderstand my intentions. My plan was for him to take me to our local hospital to be checked. Half of me really wanted these pains to be nothing, or for me to be overreacting as to how strong they were. Maybe I was dreaming they were as bad as they were… Or perhaps I was just in denial. Anyway, Eric’s plan was for him to drive me and Nora to Iowa City, almost two hours from our home, to be checked. Oh hells no! I did not want to sit in the car for two hours this uncomfortable. Nor did I want to be in Iowa City, with Nora, having this baby. And what if all this was nothing? I didn’t see the point in driving all the way there when our local hospital could easily check me and send me home. Or so I thought. After some argument, Eric agreed to take me to Allen Hospital, even though he made it very clear it was against his better judgement. He kept using the whole, I’m a doctor card, I know best. But what he didn’t understand was, he wasn’t my doctor, I wanted him to be my husband.
We arrived at the Allen Hospital Emergency room around 6:30am or maybe closer to 7am, I can’t remember now. Eric hadn’t showered and Nora was in PJs, having been woken from sleep. I made sure to pack a lot of fruit snacks, but even those only entertain her so long.
The ER took me to the labor and delivery unit where they put monitors on my belly and asked me a million, no billion questions regarding my medical history. Nora was already getting restless. The nurse finally checked me and determined I was 100% effaced and dilated to 3cm. Great. Not going home I guess. We were told Dr. Fang was on call. Eric rolled his eyes, as it’s his professional opinion, in working at Allen, that Dr. Fang is the worst OG/GYN there. So that’s wonderful. And more good news, Dr. Fang wasn’t even at the hospital. Yes, there was no OB/GYN currently at the hospital. How can this be I thought! I guess I’m used to the University where there are so many there all the time. But really, no one was in labor here currently I thought… So strange. So we waited. And waited. And waited. I think over an hour, but I was losing track of time at this point. My contractions, and pain, were getting worse. I was not a happy camper. And Nora’s restlessness was making me nervous.
Dr. Fang finally arrived. She was a little short with us, but I guess friendly overall. What bothered me though was her sense of no urgency. By this point I was in quite a bit of pain and feared this baby was coming soon. Keep in mind we were not at a hospital that delivers babies before 32 weeks I was told. If baby was born there, she would be flown to the U, or the NICU team from the U would come there to treat her until she was stable enough to be transported by ambulance. I didn’t really care for either of those options. I wanted to deliver at the University, where they knew my history and had the NICU team on site.
Dr. Fang ordered a steroid injection for me, to help mature baby’s lungs, and some pills to (hopefully) stop my contractions. I forget the name of the pills now… Let me back up for a minute though. One of the reasons why Dr. Fang was short with us was probably because when she FINALLY walked in to see me, Eric was on the phone with my OB/GYN from the University. I assume doctors don’t like other doctors telling them how to treat their patients, which is pretty much what happened. My OB/GYN was strongly advocating for IV magnesium to help control my contractions, as it also has healing properties for baby’s brain. Dr. Fang basically told us magnesium doesn’t stop contractions but that if we really wanted it over her choice of pills, she would prescribe it. So magnesium was started. Dr. Fang said she would check back with me in a couple of hours to see if I was still contracting. In the meantime, Eric took Nora home to meet our sitter, as it was close to 10am by this point. The bolus of magnesium made me feel AWFUL, as expected, but within an hour, once the concentration was decreased, I was feeling a little better. So more waiting…