Last week Wednesday we welcomed a new son into our family: Luke Alan Pierce. Or as the boys like to call him, Baby Luke. He was born at 1:54 pm, weighed 8 lbs 2 ounces and was 19 inches long.
Although he wasn’t pre-term, Luke was born earlier than either of my other boys. I had a feeling he would be, but I wasn’t sure if that was just wishful thinking (since he was sitting so low down in my pelvis).
I started out my week last week by working Sunday, Monday and Tuesday nights. Sunday was a pretty slow night until the very end when we had an emergency c-section. That was where the craziness started. And it didn’t stop until several days after I delivered. Monday night I was the charge nurse for the unit. I spent the evening here there and everywhere helping out where I could. Strangely enough I didn’t have any contractions (which I had been having for about 10 weeks or so on and off before I delivered.) Then came Tuesday night…. I knew the night was going to be crazy when I came in and was put as charge nurse again because we needed all of the labor and delivery nurses since all of our rooms were full. Luckily we had more than the usual number of nurses on that night, so the night started out pretty well. Then at about 9 pm we had an emergency with a patient that resulted in a transfer to the ICU. That was when the contractions started. Not painful, but there. I didn’t really have time to time them because I was too busy with keeping track of the unit and helping wherever I was needed. Then around 2:30 am we took a patient to the OR for a c-section. Non-emergent. Or so we thought. Although the baby is doing alright now, it didn’t start out that way and I found myself resuscitating a full term infant. It is never fun to have to do that, but especially not when you are pregnant yourself. The contractions started getting worse when I was running back and forth between the nursery and the OR getting supplies for the nurse practitioner, making phone calls, and updating the father on the condition of mother and baby. Five am was the first chance that I got to sit down and regroup. That was when I realized how close my contractions were starting to get and really how uncomfortable they were. I had one of my friends check my cervix (one of those crazy things nurse friends will do for you). I was 3-4 cm dilated while I had been setting at a steady 2 cm for several weeks. We decided that she would just recheck me in an hour and see if I was progressing. I went into the break room and decided that I was going to call Chad just to give him a heads up on what was going on. Shortly after I got off the phone with him, the attending physician that was on came into the break room to check on me. He decided that since he could tell that I was definitely painful and my cervix was more dilated than it had been just a couple days before that I should just be admitted. That way I could get my antibiotics since I am GBS positive.
I’m glad that Dr Pete made the decision to admit me when he did because my water broke at 7:40 am. I’m pretty sure I would have been laying in my bed at home when it broke otherwise, and that is a mess I just wouldn’t want to have to deal with. At 10 I decided to get my epidural, not because my contractions were super painful yet, but because the anesthesiologist was in the room next door doing an epidural and I really didn’t have any desire to wait for painful contractions. By the time I was settled in from getting that I figured I should have a little time to try to nod off to sleep since I hadn’t slept well the day before and I was quickly approaching 24 hours since I had gotten up… Although it didn’t really work, at least resting quietly gave me a little energy to get through the delivery. At noon my OB, Dr Irving (who luckily for me was covering the floor all day because the residents were at an educational day) ruptured my forebag (pocket of water in front of baby’s head that seals off as baby moves downward). Soon after that I started feeling pressure. I ignored it as long as possible (because I really wanted that nap…), but as I started feeling the pressure to push through my epidural, I decided that I should probably call for my nurse. She checked me and said that it was time. I pushed for four minutes and delivered a healthy baby boy. He came out with a compound hand (his hand came out at the same time as his head….yes the same hand that is in the picture above). Good thing I had that epidural…that would have hurt. I will say that of all three of my deliveries, this was the most calm, relaxing experience that I have had yet. Delivering in a place where all of my friends are taking care of me may have a thing or two to do with that .