Dec 23, 2012

Charlotte's Birth Story, Part I

Alternative Title:

How You Can Walk Around With Your Water Broken for 24 Hours and Not Know It

The Beginning

On December 6, I saw my OB for my almost 40 week check up.  By then, I was fat, ticked off, sick of being pregnant, and ready to evict the tenant occupying my womb.  I'd spent the entire week working from home, which was making me completely stir crazy.  J and I were going on daily walks, eating spicy food, and trying everything else you can think of to induce labor.   Who ate a pineapple a day the week before labor?  This girl.  Despite all my crazy antics, Charlotte showed no signs that she might pack up and move out.

Now, at the appointment one week before, I was 2 cm dilated, 60% effaced, and the baby was at -1 station.  At almost 40 weeks, I was 3.5 cm dilated with no change in effacement or station.  My OB told me that she was encouraged by my progress would probably go into labor before my next appointment, scheduled for December 11.  If not, I was going to be induced on December 14.  As I'd previously written, my biggest goal was to avoid a c-section, and having an induction doubles the possibility.  So the nut job attempts at home induction continued.

Fast forward to December 10.

12:00 p.m. - J and I are walking back from lunch when I feel a small gush of fluid.  I assumed that I've peed on myself, but it's enough to make me say, "Hmm.  Maybe I should double check that my water didn't break."  We get home and nothing else comes out for the rest of the day (sorry, total TMI).  I also have no contractions at all.

6:00 p.m. - I pick up castor oil from my friend Brittany, planning to take it after my appointment if the doctor OK's it.

December 11, 1:30 a.m.

I'm asleep and feel a pretty substantial gush of fluid in an area where one should not gush fluid.  It's bad enough that I have to change my clothes.  I laid in bed and waited to see if I felt any contractions, but nothing happened.  I fell asleep and woke up at 8:30 a.m., at which time I casually mentioned to J that I thought maybe my water had broken in the middle of the night.  The conversation went something like this:

Me: "I think my water broke last night around 1:30."

J: "Why didn't you wake me up?"

Me: "I fell back asleep.  Sorry.  And I'm not even sure it was my water.  I'm totally not in labor. Plus, I'm seeing Dr. Logan today so she can tell me for sure when I go."

J: "You need to call the doctor's office and tell them what happened.  Not kidding. Seriously, Peanut, you can't go walking around with your water broken."

Since my appointment was at 1:50, and it was around 9:00, I actually listened to J and called my doctor's office.  The nurse picked up and very kindly told me that at 40 weeks and 4 days pregnant, if I thought my water had broken, I needed to go straight to the hospital, ASAP.

I relayed this information to J.  Then I took a shower, put on makeup, straightened up the house, and finished our last minute packing.  J and I both thought we'd be back by lunch.  We ate at Einstein Bagels and finally made it to Winnie Palmer at 10:50 a.m.

I sat in triage feeling like a total poser.  I wasn't in labor; why was I there?

Nurse Sylvia came in and hooked me up to a monitor for a non-stress test and to check my blood pressure.  Charlotte passed the non-stress test with flying colors, but my blood pressure was still high.  Nurse Sylvia then checked to see if my water was truly broken.  If yes, I would be admitted.

You can guess what she said.

Not only was my water broken, but it had likely been ruptured since 12:00 the day before, only I had not realized it.   Our baby was coming, ready or not.  Thank goodness I put on makeup.

Except for one tiny problem:

I wasn't truly in labor.

Nurse Sylvia delivered the bad news as gently as possible: I was going to be induced and I had no choice, thanks to my inability to distinguish between amniotic fluid and urine.

At that point, we finally made the call to J's parents and mine - it was was time to meet Charlotte.  I was terrified.

Part II coming soon.