June 11, 2013

Owen was born five weeks early. He is beautiful and perfect.

On Tuesday, June 11, I woke up at 5:05, a normal time for me, and started to get up to have a shower. As is quite normal for someone who is eight months pregnant, I was in need of the loo.

Also normal was an achey reluctance to get up and do that right away. But after dawdling for a second, I realised that the sensation was a little different. Pardon the ickiness, but I was certain that I was leaking. I did a quick search on this feeling with my iPad while I made my way to the bathroom.

There was some pink fluid that rather frightened me. I woke hubby, who called his mum after I spoke with mine–whom some may recall was out of the state. I showered, dressed, took medicine, and then we went to the hospital.

None of us–least of all me–thought that I’d stay. We all expected me to be sent home. But then a nurse did a test to see if my water had broken, and before I knew it, I was being whisked out to the Women’s Pavillion to be admitted.

I was shocked and worried about my mum being in Phoenix. She caught a plane (spoiler, she made it in time) Originally, she was going to be back that day, but had had to change her plans to stay for a funeral.

Hubby was exhausted. My contractions didn’t start right away, but once they did, I tried hard to go without pain medication. Jeromy took the day off work to be there as the representing Jones (Stephanie and Abbie had to stay in Phoenix), which is one of the nicest things. I love my family.

My doctor was not on call, so I had a different one–a partner/colleague -type person. She was nice, and good at her job.

The pain got really bad. I had intended to forego an epidural, but gave in eventually. It was a good thing, too. Even with the epidural, I was in agony. Numbed the crap out of my legs and made the labour a little harder, though.

Owen was not enjoying labour. He was under stress, and decelling, which IIRC, means that his heart rate would decrease after a contraction. That’s not supposed to happen. I had to keep changing position, which would often be nearly impossible, since I couldn’t move my legs. The doctor called him a stinkpot, and I agreed.

Throughout all of this, I was rather quiet. I put mysef in a sleepy state and moaned quietly or whimpered when I had a contraction. Twice, even with the epidural (!), I cried. But I never screamed or raised my voice above a speaking volume. I’m both surprised and rather proud.

Twice, they told me I might have to have a c-section. Mostly because Owen was stressed. The second time they warned me, the doctor said we’d try pushing, and then move me to an OR if it was a no-go.

Two contractions of me pushing, and he was already crowning. They made me stop (holy heavens the pain!!) and then bustled around like crazy getting everything else in place. Someone moved the ceiling mirror so I could watch.

One more contraction, and Owen just flew into the doctor’s arms. This is apparently amazing, because no one seemed to have seen a baby do it before. Including the doctor, who had just made the obligatory “catching” joke. I believe my son is a superhero.

Unfortunately, he is a tiny one. 4.8 pounds and 18.5 inches. Likely thanks to our preeclampsia scare, which resulted in shots to help his lungs develop faster, Owen has been breathing on his own since birth. This is immensely good. Because he was born premature, he went straight to NICU, where they are still taking care of him.

He is able to breathe and regulate his temperature on his own, which are two of the things he has to be able to do in order to come home. He developed a little jaundice, which is quite normal even for full-term babies, so he’s gettin phototherapy. Right now he is working on eating and gaining weight. Premies don’t have a lot of energy, so that’s one of the really hard things.

I was discharged two days after giving birth, but they let us “board” for an additional two days in order to stay close to him. Those additional days are up today, and my heart is breaking as I prepare to go home without my son.

He is here, and we love him. We are optimistic that he’ll get to come home soon.


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