On October 11, 2018 we had a routine weekly appointment with our OBGYN. Everything looked good, but I had been sitting at 1 cm dilated for 3 weeks now. She spoke of induction and wanted to start it on Saturday. Eric and I were quiet (as most of our big decisions initially start). An induction was not what I wanted AT ALL. We wanted Declan to come when he was ready, when my body was ready. For 7 months we struggled with preterm labor indicators, bake baby bake. However, with the gestational diabetes our Dr. worried that he would become too big to deliver naturally. We reluctantly agreed to schedule for Saturday, October 13, 2018 at 8:30.
Induction Day: We arrived at the hospital and Eric was SO excited. I was terrified. He was skipping through hospital doors and all I could think about was “are we forgetting anything?” (we were, and it was our toothbrushes). I was worried, we could be here for a night, we could be here for a week. This babe is not ready. We got there and in our room and our first nurse got me all set up with IV and monitors. My blood pressure sky rocketed for about an hour. She wanted to run tests for preeclampsia and I passed out. IT was going to be one hell of a weekend. I wasn’t even in labor yet… Long story short, I didn’t have preeclampsia I was just really nervous. We went ahead and started the induction. They placed Cervadil and things were rolling. FYI this was THE worst part of being induced. It was uncomfortable and it took 12 hours to do its job…only it didn’t do its job.
Sunday Induction Continues: My mom and dad came to bring us coffee and banana bread from Starbucks (I was dunzo with that gestational diabetes diet FOR REAL, Dad always pulls through with Starbucks too). I was having contractions, but they were irregular and not really that painful. Things were still not progressing. My dr wanted to do ANOTHER round of cervadil. wtf. NO WAY. DENY DENY DENY. Pass the pitocin people. My dr was on night shift and really wanted to deliver Declan if she could. Once she left for the day the day shift dr was like..”Why are we not in labor yet?” So he started that drip and our Sunday was kick started. They administered Pitocin and some fluids. Declan wasn’t moving too much on the monitor which worried the nurses. I had to lay certain ways to get him to wiggle around. Once the piton started I couldn’t eat anything and I was SO hungry. I went an entire day with only banana bread! The contractions started getting more intense and I became more dependent on Eric. Before we went into the hospital I wrote down my favorite days of scripture from Jesus Calling and we read those…and also told knock knock jokes. I was dilated to a 4 but I knew I could keep going without the epidural so I denied it. Eric was able to tell me when I was about to hit a contraction which helped get me through them. Once you get your epidural you’re pretty much limited to your bed. No walking, bouncing, moving. I opted for a pain medication to “take the edge off”. Let me tell you, I don’t know what this medicine was called because it made me so dopey that all I could fantasize about was how wonderful it was about to be that Declan was going to be born in the season of pumpkins and scarecrows! I felt like I tripping on drugs (I’ve never tripped on drugs before FYI, but if I could imagine it, this was it). This lasted about 2 hours and I told the nurse I thought I had peed myself, but it could be because of this drug in my IV. Lone and behold, my water had broken and it was go time. The day shift Dr came in and check the cervix and we were at 6. I’m not even sure what time it was at this point (drugs). Soon after this I asked for the epidural. Everyone made epidurals seem so scary, you guys this was cake. Don’t stress over the pain of an epidural. I laughed and joked with the dr about pumpkins and scarecrows as my contractions started becoming more regular.
I started to feel this insane pressure to push. The nurses brought in a yoga ball and I took a little nap being as I still had a way to go. Our nurse came in and did a little check and Declan’s head was crowning. We did a couple practice pushes but had to stop because he was so close and the Dr was SLAMMED. I think everyone and their moms were having babies at this moment. My contractions were close and I had about 15 minutes between them, so I was able to rest a good bit. Declan was out in two really good pushes. My mom came in to braid my hair in pig tails earlier in the day, I literally felt like a boxing queen champion. Declan was here and weighed 7lbs and 3 oz. The minutes that followed insisted of intense shaking from my adrenaline. Mind you I also hadn’t eaten since that morning. Luckily, my brother was literally feeding me gatorade and chocolate, I was zonked. Eric was tending to baby and things started to get a little gloomy.
Declan was born at 10:55 PM his scores were perfect, but his sugars were low. They gave him some sugar paste and were supposed to come back and check his blood in an hour hoping things would have normalized. Things were really blurry for me here so I’ll just jump to it… the nurses were slammed and Declan’s sugars were at 18. They’re supposed to be between 50-60 for a newborn. This was not good, Declan was unresponsive to touch, he wouldn’t eat and I literally thought he was dying. The nurse hadn’t been to check his sugar in over 2 hours. Eric’s daddy instincts kicked in and we got a nurse STAT. Declan was rushed to the NICU where Eric went with him. I think it was about 3:00AM and none of us had slept. How could we? I had to stay behind because my epidural numbness hadn’t worn off yet in one of my legs. I literally was face timing Eric from the NICU where as you can imagine Eric was scared, alone, and had a newborn hooked up to monitors and wires. I really tried not to call my mom, but it was 5:00 AM and I still couldn’t get out of my bed and Eric was taking care of our baby. Oh and also the nurses were still busy, nobody had checked on me. I broke down and she of course was there in a jiffy. Between her getting to the hospital and me being numb and needing to get to my baby, I went a little crazy on a random passer-byer nurse whom I made my new nurse. I don’t know what her name was, but she was in fact, an angel! I frantically explained to her what was going on and that I needed to get to my child. She got me a bed and we rolled to the NICU and we passed mom on the way out. I didn’t have socks on, I was wearing that gosh awful gown, and I was white as a sheep..I was a hot mess. I had this terrible back pain too from the epidural or maybe it was from pushing? IDK but it hurt.
Sugar Baby: Our visit in the NICU was about 3 days. You see, I had gestational diabetes and while I managed this with my diet, Declan’s pancreas wasn’t regulating sugars efficiently on his own. He was hooked up to a sugar water IV and everyone in the NICU called him The Sugar Baby. When I saw Declan hooked up to IVs I was wrecked. It was the absolute worst. Declan’s blood sugars continued to be checked every hour. Each hour his sugars were rising and my baby was becoming more and more responsive to life. In between these hours one of the nurses blew a vein in my child’s head and that was in fact traumatizing. I went coo-coo on her too and basically told all the doctors that she needed to not be a nurse.
You guys, I don’t remember the rest of our visit, it was such a blur. His sugars were rising, but we did have to leave him in the hospital alone one night. I was making trips up to the NICU to breast feed him every 3 hours but I was exhausted, so I pumped colostrum for him.
When we got the clear to go home, it was in fact a much anticipated moment. Declan is amazing, he’s strong and forever our Sugar Baby. My heart feels for all the babies that are in the NICU. Our situation was scary, but could have been so much worse. He was a full term baby, the biggest one in the NICU and he was healthy. I’m grateful every day for the NICU nurses, Occupational Therapists, Lactation Consultants, and Doctors (except for the blown vein nurse, that was terrifying) who worked around the clock on my baby and all the babies in the NICU, they’re the real MVPs.