Well, Quincey was due May 15th. Naturally that date came and went. At 41 weeks I had to do a non-stress test and an ultrasound to make sure he was looking good. Which he was.
Wednesday (May 25) was a weird day for me. My hands were so swollen that I couldn’t hold a pencil while doing school with Audrey. And Ruby kept crying, this wasn’t different than any normal day but it really upset me and I ended up calling Jordan and asking if he could come home, which he did. Dr. Sara said that if I had told her that she definitely would have known I was having the baby that night/early morning. As it was, her guess was Thursday anyway.
My mom had been texting me that night saying that I was having a baby on Thursday. So she was going to sleep early so she’d be ready for the call. Lauren texted me similar messages as well. There had also been many messages from friends telling me they thought Thursday would be the day.
That night we went to bed around 10:30 p.m. As we laid in bed I told Jordan that I was suddenly very nervous to go through labor again. Surprisingly he was very reassuring, and I drifted off to sleep. (Jordan usually saves all sympathy for the actual labor, and reminds me that I wanted more babies, so labor is part of that. He’s not wrong.) I woke up about 3 times between that time and the 12:30 am. I was crampy, having some Braxton Hicks contractions, but really nothing new except that they’d occasionally wake me. At 12:30 am I got out of bed and started pacing the downstairs. My sister-in-law was working so I was texting her, and let her know I thought I was in VERY early labor. Every time I’d sit down or try to lay back in bed everything would feel intense. But not like contraction intense, it was just really uncomfortable and I didn’t want to hold still.
At 1:30 am I no longer wanted to be alone. I still wasn’t having real contractions, but I was uncomfortable and wanted company. So I woke Jordan up. It was seriously the weirdest thing I’ve ever done. “Um, I’m uncomfortable and lonely, will you pace with me?”
For the next 20 minutes we paced, and cleaned the downstairs. I just couldn’t hold still! Then at 1:50 am I had my first real contraction. It wasn’t super painful, but it definitely required some attention to get through. I had been instructed since the beginning of my pregnancy that as soon as I had a real contraction I was to call Dr. Sara, because Ruby was born so quickly. There was a bit of an internal questioning as to if I really should. I mean, I’d literally had one contraction. And I was still very much in control of my brain. But I followed orders and told him to call Dr. Sara. In the 30 minutes it took for her to get to me I had another 5 contractions. I still didn’t want to lay down or sit, so I kind of knelt on the floor on the side of my couch and would rock my hips as Jordan applied pressure as I’d have contractions.
This was the weirdest labor I had experienced. It didn’t start off really intense. In between contractions the midwives, Jordan and I just chatted. I felt a little discouraged, and pretty certain that this was going to fizzle out and that I had wasted everyone’s time. Lauren was called around 3 am to come, and she joined in on the conversation.
Around 5 am everything was set up and the birth tub was ready to go. So I jumped on in! I love the warm water when I’m in labor. While I was in the tub I played with my phone, Jordan, Lauren and the midwives took a nap. I was bored. Which made me certain that labor was going to stop at any second. Or that I at least had several more hours or days until my baby was coming out. Dr. Sara kept telling me that this was a much more “normal” labor than what I had previously experienced and that it wasn’t going to fizzle.
Around 7 my mother-in-law joined us, and at 8 my mother did. I was grateful for some new people to talk to, since my current companions were very tired and taking naps (as they should! Nothing was really happening.) We also invited my sister-in-law to join us, and she did after her shift.
The girls woke up around 8 in the morning, and sat on the bed for a while. Sydney quickly lost interest but Audrey wanted to help pour water on my back. Although, she REALLY wanted to get into my tub! haha.
Around 8:30/9 things finally started to pick up and it became the labor pain that I had previously experienced. Very intense and needing help, a lot of help. As usual my back hurt so badly, and I asked Dr. Sara to break my water because I knew that would relieve the pressure in my back. And it did. I started trying to push around 9, but it was different. It hurt, it didn’t feel relieving at all.
It was the strangest sensation I’d ever felt. It hurt to push. But it also hurt to not push. I also felt that while I was pushing he wasn’t moving. Around 10 I decided I wanted to lay on my bed, so out of the tub I went. During this time I wasn’t doing so well, I was hurting badly. I was pushing hard and felt like he wasn’t moving and I was using up all my energy trying to get this kid out. Dr. Sara put me into different positions to try to help him come out. Very slowly he was starting to come out. But pushing was really hard this time. I would hyperventilate between contractions trying to catch my breath, I was squeezing Jordan’s hand so hard that it was also hurting. I kept saying that I couldn’t do it, and I truly believed I couldn’t.
After an hour and a half of pushing he finally was born, and he was placed on my chest. Born Thursday May 26th, 2016 at 10:43 a.m. Quincey kept going from anterior to posterior while I was pregnant, and he couldn’t make up his mind in labor either. He came out kind of funky, which is why it hurt so badly to push him out and why it took so much more work to get him out.
This is when things got scary. With Quincey also came a big gush of blood. Or as Jordan calls it “a blood waterfall.” Dr. Sara told someone to get ready to call 911. Dr. Mia instantly grabbed a shot of pitocin and stabbed it in my leg, then grabbed a second shot. Dr. Sara gave me a suppository and Joy (the student midwife) put pills in my mouth while Dr. Mia started an IV. This all happened within a few minutes, and the bleeding subsided so it was determined that we didn’t need to call 911, the storm had passed.
The older kids came in and said hello to their new brother. Sydney cut his cord. The mood in the room had returned to being light and fun and enjoying the new baby. The kids then got ready to go to Grandm’a house while Dr. Sara weighed Quincey. 7lbs 9oz, the exact same weight as Zachary.
And then comes what is suppose to be the easy part. The placenta. Except that it wasn’t coming. And it hurt really badly to try to push it out. Dr. Sara also tried to help it detach but it wasn’t budging. So it was time to call 911 and be transported to the hospital. At this point my wonderful mother-in-law grabbed my four older kiddos and put them in the car, making sure they were gone before the ambulance came.
The firefighters got there first. They tried to start an IV (it didn’t work) and then the EMTs got there. Since I was on a bed, had lost a lot of blood and had said a few times that I was really tired (Dr. Mia was making me tell her stories to try to keep me awake, I was slurring all my words and had super foggy brain, so this was a difficult task) they decided it was best to have the firefighters carry me out of the house using my bed sheets to help them. I guess this is one of the times it’s really good to be so small. Because that’s exactly what they did, carrying me out to the stretcher outside of my house.
Despite being scared, tired, and trying to stay awake I managed to tell Lauren that she needed to be the one to put Quincey in his car seat, because I knew she’d make sure he was properly buckled and fitted. Jordan and Dr. Sara were riding with me, Quincey was going with Lauren and meeting us at the hospital.
Once in the ambulance they started (successfully) another IV and hung up another bag of fluids. We got to skip the ER visit and went straight to Labor and Delivery where I was greeted by about 6 nurses and a doctor. The doctor’s bedside manner was lacking, especially because I was so scared to begin with. First thing she said to me was, “It’s probably placenta accreta and you’ll need a hysterectomy in that case.” This didn’t help anything for me in the whole “I’m terrified” department. (Placenta accreta is when the placenta embeds into a previous c-section scar and cannot detach because of placement.)
Once at the hospital they started yet another IV, and did several ultrasounds of my uterus to see where that placenta was and to figure out why it wasn’t detaching. During the ultrasound I lost it and started crying. I cried because I was so scared. I cried because I didn’t want to have a hysterectomy at this point in my life. I cried because I was so tired. I cried because I hurt so badly. I cried because I couldn’t move. I cried because I couldn’t hold my baby the way I wanted. I cried because I was crying and therefore felt like a big baby.
They scheduled my surgery, it looked like it wasn’t placenta accreta and that I’d probably just need a D&C. But first we had to wait for blood, in case I needed a transfusion. That took a few hours. During this time they called in anesthesia to talk to me. She told me my options and my best option was to have a spinal, which made me start crying all over. My last experience with a spinal was with Audrey and it was so awful that Jordan didn’t want to have anymore children, and I didn’t want to birth in a hospital or with drugs ever again. So the idea of having a spinal was terrifying. Jordan and I talked it over and agreed that while it was scary, it was the best course of action. The anesthesiologist told me they could give me something to relax me, then give me the spinal. So it sounded a little better.
Poor Quincey pooped right as he was born and managed to cover himself in it. So Dr. Sara gave him a bath while we waited in the hospital. Poor kid had poop in his hair.
But we were still waiting for blood. And as the time ticked by I was in more and more pain. My back was cramping really badly, and I had 3 IVs and a blood pressure cuff. My anxiety was getting worse, I don’t do well with the anticipation of pain. The nurse kept saying that my uterus was filling with clots, which is why it was hurting so badly. But I wouldn’t let them touch me to “massage” them out, I had beyond reached my pain threshold. I couldn’t really move, and I wanted to just sit up and snuggle my baby, but I wasn’t able to. And as I watched the clock tick by I was becoming more and more terrified of what was going to happen during surgery. I hadn’t been given anything for pain at this point, and my back was becoming unbearable. I was also so thirsty, the back of my throat was so dry.
Finally at 4:00 p.m. they gave me the medicine to relax me and took me down to surgery. I gave everyone in the room strict instructions to make sure Jordan slept while I was gone. He had also gone through so much and he needed to sleep as well. My mom and Dr. Sara were still there and able to snuggle my baby while he slept. Once I was in the OR I was so relieved to see Tonia, the older sister of one of my best friends. I started crying all over again because it was so nice to see someone I knew, especially when I was so scared.
The anesthesiologist was awesome and got my spinal in on one try. Thank goodness! And while I still cared a lot about being there and having the spinal, I wasn’t so scared that I was dry heaving (like I was with Audrey.) Once I started going numb they laid me down and I told the anesthesiologist that I was still scared, and she asked if I wanted to go to sleep, which I really wanted to do. So she gave me some more medicine to make me sleepy, put a small pillow on my eyes and I went to sleep. I woke up to her taking off the pillow and the doctor telling me that it was the best case scenario. They didn’t even do a D&C. The actual procedure of manual extraction took about 10 minutes.
Since I was now completely numb from about my ribs down life was dandy. I got to keep my uterus, my back wasn’t hurting. I was being wheeled down to recovery where I’d be met by my husband and my sweet baby. The nurse helped me roll onto my side so I could just snuggle Quincey, which is what I did for the full 2 hours in recovery while Jordan and I talked. At this point the hormones kicked into high gear and I couldn’t stop shaking, they probably had some help from the medication. At this point I was told that at 9 p.m. they’d be taking some blood to determine if I still would need a blood transfusion. I had lost 1800 cc of blood, and had spent most of my pregnancy anemic (although thanks to iron infusions I wasn’t at the time I delivered Q.)
At this point Jordan also told me that we didn’t have a car. So when it was time to go home we’d need someone to give us a ride. That’s what happens when you are brought via ambulance.
Besides getting to hold my baby the best thing happened, I finally got to drink water! Yey! Seriously, that was awesome.
My 9:00 p.m. labs showed that my iron levels had gone down to 7.2. Dr. Sara had suggested before she left that if they suggested the blood transfusion that I should do it, that it would help me feel better quicker, and we wouldn’t have to worry as much about fainting, anemia, anxiety or problems with breast feeding. Originally my nurse told me that I wouldn’t be doing a blood transfusion because my numbers were above the threshold. So I got all excited about going home! Until Dr. D came in and told me that the threshold was a 7, so I was barely above the threshold and she strongly recommended that I do the transfusion, for all the same reasons that Dr. Sara had talked to me about.
I was then taken to a post partum area, and they got things set up. Around this time I told Jordan to go get something to eat, because 10 p.m. is really late to be getting dinner and the cafeteria closed at midnight. He was halfway to the door when he realized that he also didn’t have a wallet. Dangit! I told him to call his sister and ask her if she’d bring him some food, because I was only given jello cups and crackers. It wasn’t filling me up, let alone him. (At one point I requested to be brought 20 red jello cups. I think the nurse thought I was kidding since she only brought me 1 at a time. I wasn’t joking. I hadn’t eaten in 24 hours, I was starving!) He refused and said he’d be fine. Luckily, she called and asked if she could come visit and asked if she could bring anything, and she brought him some food and pjs.
Blood transfusions take a long time! They gave me two units of blood, and each unit takes about 2 hours. They started the first unit around midnight, the second just after 2 am. I was still unable to sleep, but I could move my legs, so I asked if I could get out of bed, for the first time in 11 hours. My nurse originally wanted to remove my catheter but I was starting to get a little tired so she left it in so I could just sleep and not worry about going to the bathroom until I’d napped. They got me up and out of bed, cleaned me all up, remade my bed. It was a little strange to me, because previously when getting out of a hospital bed I’m in a lot of pain and I require a lot of help. I was a little shaky on my feet at first, but was totally fine as I had no stitches from Q’s birth and nothing from them removing my placenta.
But I still had 3 IVs and a blood pressure cuff. Moving my arms was difficult, and any moment that Quincey wasn’t in my arms he was crying. Around 3 am I asked Jordan if he’d snuggle with the baby so I could sleep just a little bit. This was the first time I’d slept in almost 2 days, and before I fell asleep I was starting to get a headache from my lack of sleep. Thankfully Quincey accepted Jordan’s snuggles and I got to sleep for three hours.
Finally at noon it was time to go home! My sister-in-law brought Jordan and I lunch from Burgerville and Jamba Juice. My in-laws brought my other children so they could see Quincey. And then they finally took out all my IVs, I had to sit in a wheelchair to leave because my feet were so swollen from fluids that I couldn’t put on shoes. But it was finally time to get back home and snuggle my sweet baby in my bed!
So the stats:
Quincey Nox Sherman
May 26th, 2016 @ 10:43 am
7lbs 9oz 19.5 inches long
9 hours of labor, 1.5 of pushing.
(Totally not impressed, Q.)