I took a much needed vacation day on June 14th so that I could catch up on some last minute things before the baby arrived. My plans were simple: Clean the house, get the car washed, and pick up Jack early from school and spend some one-on-one time with him at the park before dinner, etc…
The day began as normal as any other and although I was tired enough to nap for 5 hours straight, I got up early and got to work as I knew my in-laws would be arriving the following day.
Cut to me arriving at Jack’s school around 3pm to pick him up and bring him to the park. After speaking with the school director for a bit and joking that this is the everlasting pregnancy, we agreed that the weekend was a perfect time to have the baby. Jack’s teacher applied more sunscreen to him so that we could be prepared for the hot sun at the park and off we went. Walking outside of the school door, Jack walked over to the car and as I was walking with him, I tripped over the sidewalk and fell flat on my belly.
Immediately my eyes filled with tears as my worst nightmare was seemingly a reality. My mind raced as I thought about whether or not my water broke, whether or not the baby survived the fall and where Jack was in a busy school parking lot. I was sobbing and yelling for help. Jack came to my rescue and so did two very nice landscapers who just so happened to be planting some shrubs in front of the school. Jack began crying and I could see that he was terrified to see that his Mommy fell and was crying too.
One of the teachers came running outside to retrieve Jack so as not to scare him and another landscaper called 911 and my husband for me. Chris showed up on the scene before the ambulance even arrived. Calm as anything, he held my hand and assured me that the almost 40 weeks gestation baby was going to be fine. God, I love that man.
I remember poking my belly praying for the little one inside to poke back, move or show some sign that he was alright. Cue the ambulance.
This was my first time riding in an ambulance and as terrified as I was, all I remember is Chris following us by car, praying my head off that everything would be ok and for us to arrive at the hospital ASAP. It was the absolute longest 10 minutes of my entire life. My eyes were focused on Chris driving behind us to gauge his reaction to the situation. There was a time when he looked a bit worried and I felt it. Almost simultaneously, I began feeling strong contractions that were a few minutes apart.
As the ambulance pulls up to the Emergency bay of the hospital, I feel the baby move a little bit. My glimmer of hope is strong that this baby will be alright. They rush me into the trauma unit as a level 2 trauma. Literally, 20 people come rushing at me hooking me up to monitors, taking off my clothes, asking me questions and taking about 8 vials of blood while calling the hospital for an ultrasound machine and an ultrasound tech. This experience was terrifying and I begged for them to let Chris come back with me. The doctors explained that the policy doesn’t allow anyone back there, but he would see what he could do.
Meanwhile, Chris parked the car and was escorted into a private room away from the waiting area where he waited for any sort of news.
Finally, the doctor allowed Chris into the trauma unit and the ultrasound tech was doing an ultrasound to look for bleeding and to see if the baby was doing ok. She checked around for about a half hour and the monitors were showing that my contractions were getting stronger and closer together, so off to Labor and Delivery I went.
My doctor met me in my room when I arrived by wheelchair and tried to cut the tension by saying “What the heck happened, klutz!?” I explained the story and he said that they would be keeping me at least until 9pm as they performed more tests and monitored my contractions.
My stay became an overnight stay for more monitoring and more tests as they found that some of the baby’s blood had mixed with my blood due to the blunt force of the fall. Immediately, my doctor is trying to rule out placental abruption, which could be fatal to the baby and cause many other complications. I swear that my parents and God were looking out for me because even though I was still very worried about losing the baby, I felt a comfort and a nonverbal reassurance that all would be ok.
They kept me until late Saturday where they were able to rule out placental abruption. So, after 18 needle picks, IV’s, countless ultrasounds and pages of contractions and fetal heart monitoring, the doctor was convinced that the baby was fine and that I was fine.
So, in the meantime, why not break my water, start pitocin or just send me to the OR suite to have a c-section? The doctor said that breaking my water and starting pitocin, especially if there was a placental abruption, would cause much more harm than good. So, my contractions continued, would strengthen and then often dissipate. Often, the contractions would be pretty strong and about 3-4 minutes apart.
Why not a c-section? The doctor did say that we could head down the hall and get it all over with, but he was almost certain that all would be alright and that I would be able to deliver vaginally when the baby was ready.
After I left, I came home, spent some time with my family and was told that I was on cervical rest and that I would need to return to the L&D unit the following morning for another non-stress test.
Sunday morning, Father’s Day, I went in at 7:30am for my NST, which showed that I was still having contractions, but there was no change.
Monday morning, my doctor asked me to come in for an ultrasound, another NST and to be checked. The NST showed that I was having strong contractions that were 5 minutes apart (I didn’t need the machine to tell me this- I felt every last one!). The ultrasound showed that the baby was about 9lbs, 1oz and was healthy as could be. Thank God!
The doctor calls me in to be checked, and Chris and I had already mentally prepared ourselves for no cervical change and had already planned the rest of our day with his parents and Jack. The doctor checks me and announces that I was 3cm and 80% effaced. Other than almost falling off of the exam table, I was in shock. He asked me to head directly to L&D and that he would be up in a bit to break my water and start pitocin. I kindly said that I still hadn’t repacked my bag from my previous hospital stay and that I would run home quickly and come right back. He responded, “I just said that you are in labor. Get upstairs to L&D!”
Chris and I walked into the unit, announced that we were in labor and that my doctor had sent us.
(Continued in the birth story)