I guess it all starts with the day after we got back from our camping trip. I woke up that morning and rolled over and felt a warm gush. Nothing serious, I just figured it was some pregnancy incontinence and a full bladder from overnight. For whatever reason it never crossed my mind, or my MWs, to test if it was amniotic fluid. About two weeks later we used an amnicator just to double check because we weren't sure why I was still having incontinence issues. It was in fact amniotic fluid. As best we can determine, my water had been broken since 10/09 and I was 34w4d when we discovered the leak. After some talking Matt, my MW Anne Marie and I decided that the course of action we felt most comfortable with was to basically treat myself at home and hope to keep labor and infection at bay until I was term enough to deliver at home.
My home treatment included complete pelvic rest, echinecea tincture, Vitamin C and probiotics to boost my immune system to battle any traces of infection and as much water as I could possibly drink to keep the Amniotic Fluid Index within normal ranges. I continued to go to work, as I was hoping to save my FMLA time for when the baby was actually here. My immune system has always been ironclad anyway.
On Wednesday, 10/24/07, we got to work as usual and I started feeling kind of achy and rundown. I thought of going home just so I could take a nap. By about 9:30am I realized that alot of the achiness seemed to be coming from my uterus so I began to time when I had the pains. I hadn't had any Braxton Hicks for months and the pains I was having brought no changes to my belly or feellings of tightness. I had only seen one teeny tiny dot of blood when I used the restroom. By around 11am Matt and I determined that we would go home and get some rest because we didn't want to risk starting labor. On the 20 minute ride home, I had about 15 contractions. When we got home I got into bed and tried to sleep the contractions away. By 12:30 the pain was waking me up and I called my MW and asked her to come over and see what kind of herbal remedies we could do to stop the contractions before they caused changes to my cervix. She recommended half a beer.
When she got to the house, she sent Matt out to the Health Food Store to get Wild Yam tincture and Cramp Bark.
It was roughly 1:30 before he got back. Anne Marie performed a very gentle internal exam and determined I was about 1 1/2 cm dilated. We waited for an hour, during which the contractions were getting strong enough for me to vocalize through. While trying to maneuver myself into position for Anne Marie to check me again, I knew I was going to be sick. At that point I also knew that things were moving quicker than we had hoped. Anne Marie determined that I had dilated another 2cms in an hour. We all decided to head to the hospital with the hopes that they would stop my labor somehow. I really didn't want to lose another homebirth, but more honestly I just didn't want to deal with the hospital at all.
It took me forever to go to the van. We were not prepared and poor Matt had no idea what to do. Thankfully Anne Marie suggested that he pack me a bag and grab my toothbrush.
There is a hospital literally 2 minutes from my house, but we had to go to a different one because they had the better NICU, just in case. It's about 10 miles, mostly freeway, and it was the worst ride of my life. I remember bracing one of my feet on the dashboard, and having a death grip on an armrest with one hand and Matt's hand in the other. As we were driving out of our housing community, my mom was driving in on the way home from work. We needed her to pick p Declan from the babysitters house but she'd never been there so she followed us. Anne Marie was also following us to the hospital but had to drop of her daughter with a babysitter so that she could be my support in the hospital. I can only imagine what someone must have thought if they looked over into the van while I was having a contraction. Yikes!
Matt was amazing. He started out trying to slow way down for the bumps because each and every pebble we ran over hurt! But he started to realize that getting me out the van would help with my pain, so he floored it. Poor Anne Marie.
Once we got to L&D triage, it was all I could do to keep from growling and leaning on anything I could find. Standing up straight and sitting down both seemed to make things worse. Because we were in such a hurried and worried state I had no time to calm down, relax and try and work through the contractions nicely. I was all PrimalMama.
The nurses in triage are always the worst in my experience. I had at least 2 different nurses look at me dumbly and ask if I was having contractions while I groaned and moaned through one. I think one even asked me if I thought I was in labor. Uhm.... hello?!
They finally pushed me into a triage room and we told them that we thought my water had broken this morning when the contractions started. It wasn't worth the extra interventions and the trouble that my MW could get into to tell them it had been broken for weeks. I had been getting the urge to poop. I knew I may be mistaking it for the urge to push, but I also knew that I had to go! One of the nurses got all snotty and said that I couldn't and she needed a sample of the amniotic fluid. She seemed to fumble around with some tubes and gloves for what seemed like forever, so I just gave up, got on the bed and decided that I'd show them and poop on their stupid table. I think the nurse realized I had started to grunt and hastily checked me, Rowan was apparently right there cause she didn't even have to check far.
Next thing I know they're weeling me into a delivery room. I was totally out of it and pushing 'cause there's no holding back that feeling. I remember telling Matt "Here he comes!". When they transferred me to a delivery bed, I rolled from the triage bed onto my hands and knees in the delivery bed and pushed twice or three times with all my might. The nurses were filling up the room and fumbling with gloves and supplies, so Matt had to catch Rowan. Apparently I did have to poop also, cause Matt ever so gently told me later "You pooped on Rowan's head" and giggled.
His apgar scores were 3 and 9, and my placenta delivered about 45 minutes later. Rowan was 4lbs, 15.9 ozs and 18 inches long. Matt followed Rowan upstairs to the NICU and I got to see him about 2 hours later, after they determined everything was okay with me. I only got poked once, for a mandatory syphilis culture, whatever that's about. No IVs, no meds, no nothing. I'm proud of myself.
Rowan was on a CPAP for about 3 hours, when they determined that he didn't need it. He was given two rounds of antibiotics prophylactically, which just chaps my hide. Then they had to make sure he could maintain his temperature, which was never an issue. Then they worried that he wasn't eating enough, which is lame because babies don't eat a set amount on a schedule. They eat when they're hungry and should be fed on demand, in my opinion at least. By that time he had a touch of jaundice, which is fairly normal. His highest level was a 15 and they told us that they didn't start to worry about it until it gets to about 25.
Finally, on October 30th, the same doctor that discharged Declan basically told me that I'd already had a preemie who thrived and he had faith that we would do the same with Rowan. On Halloween, 2 years to the day, I was leaving the hospital and the NICU with my two sons. I was over the moon to be able to go home and start my babymoon.
Here's some pictures. I'm having problems uploading pictures on my Linux OS, so this is just a few... I had to start a new account on Flickrhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/19276291@N08/