Mallory’s Birth Story – Part 1

This has been rattling around in my head for the last week and I finally carved out a little ‘me time’ to get it written.  It’s more for me to remember and have a record than for anyone else to read, but you’re welcome to read it.

April 30th:

3:00PM – Ben gets kicked out of work early and surprises me at home.  I’m sitting on my butt reading and eating a bowl of Ben’s white cheddar popcorn.  Busted.

5:00 PM – Ben and I are all packed and ready to head to the hospital, but first we have some errands to run.  Stopped at 1/2 Price Books to get the 3rd book in a series I was reading, and then went to Tai’s Asian Bistro for dinner.  I settled on Orange Chicken (no spicy! – their words, not mine) and we had our last uninterrupted meal out for a long long while.

6:30PM – Made a quick run to Tim Horton’s for a half decaf triple triple before I entered NPO-land.  I knew that once I hit the hospital doors that I wouldn’t be allowed to eat anything until I had her.  Dumb move on my part to eat Chinese; I should have known that it fills you up for a while but then leaves you starving just an hour later.  Oh well.  Headed over to Jamie’s (my sister) to hang out for a while and kill some time before heading to the hospital.

8:00PM – Get all registered and shown to our room.  Apparently, lots of women decided to have their babies on April 30th – it must have been an end of the month quota thing.  The room we’re shown to is small and doesn’t have a couch for Ben to sleep on, just a chair.  We got assigned our nurse, Connie, who immediately looked at the fact that we were a 2 stage induction, and moved us to a bigger room with a place for Ben to sleep.  She started my IV of Pitocin and got us all settled with the fetal monitors.  Mallory didn’t want to be found at first so they had to do a quick ultrasound.  The rest of the night she played hide and seek with Connie and the monitors; every time I shifted positions in the bed they would have to find her again.   

 Ben popped The 13th Warrior, one of our favorite movies, into the room’s DVD player and we started the waiting game.  They examined me and found out that I had dilated to 2-3 cms on my own, eliminating one part of the 2 stage induction.  We started taking bets on when Mallory would be born – my Mom was optimistic and said 2:30AM.  

Friday, May 1st

I’m a bit hazy on times after this, but remember the series of events pretty well.  Started getting pretty strong contractions thanks to the Pitocin and figured it was time to talk to the doc who would be doing my epidural.  He did the consult, got the necessary paperwork signed, and let me know that there were 2 women ahead of me and he would be with me as soon as he could.  No big deal – I got all that out of the way ahead of time so that I’d still have plenty of time for him to get it inserted before the major pain started.  I’m one smart cookie.

Around this time, my blood pressure started going a little bit crazy.  It would be normal, then spike up to something like 146 over 90.  When the doctor came back to to put in my epidural it REALLY went crazy.  The attending doctor consulted with my doctor about whether to start me on a medicine called Magnesium Sulfate to keep me from  going into convulsions from the high blood pressure.  At the time, they decided against it thinking that the high readings could be due to the stress of getting the epidural inserted.

I noticed that my epidural wasn’t kicking in – no warmth or numbness in my feet.  Called the doc back and he realized that something had gone wrong and would have to redo it.  My initial thought was, “Are you KIDDING me?”  Up until this point I was able to get up and move around to go to the bathroom if I needed to, but they wouldn’t let me after the first epidural was administered since it was a fall risk.  I had two options – get my catheter inserted without the luxury of being numbed or use a bedpan.  I fought tooth and nail to be able to get up and go to the bathroom on my own but had to swallow my pride and use the bedpan.  

Luckily, the second epidural hurt *much* less than the first one and I felt the effects almost immediately – whew!  My mom stayed with me and let me break her fingers through both epidurals while Ben waited for me out in the hall.  The poor guy!   After the second epidural was inserted, they realized that my high blood pressure spikes weren’t going away on their own and started me on the Magnesium Sulfate (referred to as ‘Mag’ after this).  I also started receiving beta blockers to bring my blood pressure down and help with the pre-ecclampsia.  My feet, hands, face, and any other body part that could swell started to get bigger as I retained more and more fluid.  They inserted a catheter and put those fun inflatable pressure cuffs on my legs to prevent blood clots.  They also started taking my blood pressure every 15 minutes to keep an eye on it.  At one point I wanted to throw the automatic blood pressure machine out the window because it was pissing me off so badly.  The worst blood pressure reading came in the early hours of the morning – 200+ over 119… while I was asleep.  My daytime nurses actually put pads and sheets over the hard parts of my bed just in case I did go into convulsions.  Around this time they also took off the external fetal monitoring and attached a sensor to her head to track her heartbeat as well as another sensor internally to monitor my contractions. 

I dilated to 5cms around 11PM or midnight and we thought things were going well.  Little did we know that I would be stuck at 5cms for the next FIFTEEN HOURS.  Luckily, the Mag made me sleepy, a little delirious, and warm so I slept fairly well.  My poor Mom and Ben – they barely got any sleep.  They slipped away around 4AM to get a bagel and some coffee in the hospital cafeteria.  At this point I had roughly 5 bags of IV fluid hooked up in addition to the epidural.  Fun!  They broke my water around 4:30AM to try to get my labor kickstarted.  It wasn’t too bad.

From about 5AM to noon is mostly a blur of all the same things – wanting to smash the blood pressure machine, talking with Mom and Ben, and waiting for something – ANYTHING – to happen.  Jamie got to the hospital around 10AM and brought a fun game – MindTrap – with her so that we had something to keep us occupied.  It’s a fun thinking game:  A farmer has a pear tree in his back yard.  If there are 15 branches and each branch yields 20 pears and there are 40 pears in a bushel,  how many bushels of plums will he be able to take to market?  Answer: 0 plums – it’s a pear tree.  That kept us entertained for about an hour or so until I started getting some back labor mixed in with the rest of the contractions.  Turns out no one showed me the fun button on the epidural pump for breakthrough pain.  Dr. Goist was able to help me out with that one 🙂

Around 11AM Dr. Goist examined me again (I was REALLY getting tired of it by this time) and also looked at my contraction history.  Turns out that my contractions weren’t getting stronger even though they were 1-3 minutes apart.  As a result, they weren’t dilating my cervix either.  She made the determination that we’d talk options if I didn’t significantly dilate from 5 cms at my 1PM check.  Those 2 hours passed by sooooo slowly.  Jamie took Ben to the cafeteria to grab a quick bite of lunch and Mom stayed with me.  I think Dad came to the hospital around that time, too.  Dr. Goist came back a little early and wouldn’t you know, I was still at 5cms.

We discussed the pros/cons and complications of a C-section delivery as well as the risks to the baby and me of continuing to try to deliver vaginally with my blood pressure being sky high.  When Ben got back from lunch we made the decision that we’d have the C-section.

To be continued…


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. whatigotsofar
    May 12, 2009 @ 15:21:08

    All of that, the only thing I can comment on is an American going to Timmys. I can’t help but feel a little patriotic.

    OMG, I’m *so* addicted to Timmy Joe’s (as we affectionately call it). I think having American franchises is just one step in the plot for the Canadians to take over all of North America. Until that day gets here I’m going to enjoy the coffee bliss. We bought a Keurig coffee pot that makes 1 cup at a time and had to get the kit so that I could brew my own TH coffee in it. We took a road trip to Charlotte, NC almost 2 years ago and I was crestfallen that I could only get TH as far south as WV. It would be 6 hours of driving, 4 days of vacation, and another 6 hours on the way back until I could get my fix. I had to make do with Dunkin’ Donuts.

    I have also made a convert of one of my co-workers (we do afternoon TH runs). When she held the baby she said that she couldn’t tell if Mallory looked like me or my husband. On her way home she texted me with, “I know who she looks like now – TIM HORTON!” due to my obsession with their coffee. I love it, I love it, I love it.


  2. DarcKnyt
    May 12, 2009 @ 17:34:00

    I eagerly await part deux. This should get interesting quick. It’s probably a much shorter story being you were … well, you know, anesthetized.

    Glad you’re doing all right now though.

    Ha! Part II will definitely be pretty short seeing as how they gave me some awesome medication. I’ll have to get Ben’s input on it – he was stone cold sober 😉

    I’m feeling like a million bucks. Probably has something to do with my blood pressure being back to normal 😉


  3. DarcsFalcon
    May 12, 2009 @ 18:08:09

    And you talked to me! Don’t forget that part! 😉

    Oh yeah – I did! I think I called you at like 2 in the morning? That part of the day is kinda fuzzy.

    I am so happy and relieved that everything went well. I know it seems that things were complicated – and they were – but you are healing now, and you have a gorgeous baby girl who is healthy and strong. All things considered, it went pretty well.

    You know, I’m pretty much okay with the way things went. I expected to feel some kind of weird emotions about not delivering her the ‘normal’ way but I’ve accepted that things happen for a reason and for some reason she came via c-section. I’m just thankful that my pre-ecclampsia presented itself while I was in the one place it could be quickly discovered and treated – the labor and delivery department of the hospital. My mom impressed upon me the importance of it happening there instead of at home or while I was still at work. It could have been much MUCH worse. I’m also thankful that during the whole ordeal when it seemed like my body was in rebellion to having this baby she was completed and totally unaffected; no heart rate changes or any sort of distress. We’re truly lucky.

    Now prepare yourself for the question that you will get asked the most … “so, when are you going to have another one?” You have my permission to smack those people, and hit them once for me, because that question drove me nuts. 😀

    Uh yeah, we’re already getting that question. My pat answer right now is, “For Pete’s sake, let me recover from the first one!” Then I tell them that under doctor’s orders we can’t get started for at least 6 weeks 😉

    Glad you’re doing well, sweetie. *hugs*

    We’re all doing well – sleep deprivation excepted – and hope to continue to do so. Thanks so much for answering the phone when I called 🙂


  4. claire
    May 13, 2009 @ 10:29:15

    glad you carved out some “me time” — it’s hard at first, but it will get a lot, lot, lot easier. I promise you.

    She normally takes a quick nap between 8 and 9 PM; I wake her up at 9 so that we can start our bedtime routine around 11. I think this is definitely going to become my ‘Mommy Time.’ I put her in the vibrating bouncy seat thingie and she passes out for a little while where I can keep a close eye on her. It’s a win win situation 🙂

    Are you still repeating my favorite mommy phrase?

    “Trust yourself.”

    I am! I’ve also added a phrase of my own – I can DO this!



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