Last Monday I spent the morning shopping with gift cards received at my baby shower on Saturday, then I intended to write thank-you notes. But suddenly, something was wrong. I was dripping. In a panic, I called Steven to COME HOME RIGHT NOW, then called the doctor, who said to head to the hospital. I debated whether to call a friend to come get me, but I wasn't in pain, it was going to take friends at least 15 minutes to get to me, the hospital was 30 minutes away, and it was just starting Dallas rush hour.
So, I drove myself to the hospital. (In retrospect, that was probably dumb, but it is what it is.)
When I stepped out of my car, I was suddenly soaked. Thankfully, Steven keeps an emergency blanket in each car, so I grabbed that, wrapped it around myself, and walked into the hospital.
I was set up in a room in Labor and Delivery. Steven finally arrived. (Answered prayer, as he was coming from Dallas during rush hour, and it only took him an hour and 15 minutes, instead of the 2 or more hours I expected.) I believed (and still do) that my water had broken, but they sonogram they did on me said I had too much fluid for that to have happened. Contractions had started, but as I could talk through them, the med staff decided I wasn't really in labor, and they sent me home.
Now, you should know that this was 5 weeks before my due date. I hadn't packed a bag for the hospital, and in my haste to leave, I still didn't pack anything. We had to call friends who have a key to our house to go home and get me some clothes. You know you have a good friend when you can send her to your underwear drawer to bring you clean panties!
We were back at the hospital 2 hours later. Contractions had ramped up, and I was in pain. I spent an unpleasant night with no sleep, having contractions about every 3 minutes. But every time they checked me, I wasn't far enough along. The nurse came in at 7am to say that my doctor was sending me home again.
I started sobbing. And I do mean sobbing! I was in so much pain, and I couldn't fathom having to ride in the car for the 30 minutes it would take to get home. Then ride back to see my doctor, who was saying to stop in her office. (She hadn't been to see me in the hospital yet.) My nurse saw how bad things were, and Lord bless her, she fought for me. She came back a few minutes later and said I was being allowed to stay.
A less kindly nurse came on shift and said, "You have a very low tolerance for pain." Yeah, I know. It's not a defect, even if you have less respect for me because of it.
I was moved back to Labor and Delivery, and they put something through my IV bag that knocked me out, thankfully. But because I was sleeping through contractions, no one checked to see how far along I was until 6pm. (Don't even get me started!) There was more talk of sending me home with a prescription for Percocet, which I knew wouldn't do squat for me. The doctor was saying this could go on for days or weeks, and the prospect of that had both Steven and me panicked. But when someone finally checked me, I was dialated to an 8. My doctor seemed shocked. (*sigh*)
I started begging for an epidural, which I'd made clear from the start that I wanted. I was ticked that I'd gone all afternoon in agony when I could have had pain relief but no one could be bothered to check how far along I was. I pretty much decided that I hated my doctor at that moment. I wasn't liking her up until then, but my enmity grew after that. (No, it's not Christian of me, but it is human. I'm feeling a tad more forgiving now that it's over.)
My doctor informed me that because my platelets were so low, the anesthesiologist refused to do an epidural.
Yeah. Low pain tolerance, and I was being forced to give birth naturally. At that point, I hated everyone.
I'll spare the details, but Matthew Alexander was born finally at 8:08pm on Tuesday, September 20th. The NICU team was there to whisk him off to be checked out, as he was 5 weeks early, but praise God, he is 100% healthy!
I am so amazed at the Lord's faithfulness. This pregnancy was so hard and fraught with so many scares and complications, not to mention the fact that I was hitting this kid with migraine meds almost every single day of pregnancy. I've never prayed so hard in my life, as I did during pregnancy. And God protected my sweet baby boy through it all.
Everyone, meet Alex.