Pregnancy is supposed to be one of those times where everything is rainbows and butterflies. A time of feeling and exhibiting a healthy glow, great hair, great skin, constant ooh-ing and ahh-ing from friends and family members, the occasional belly rub, and “Can I feel it kick?”, and blissful relaxation. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. Sometimes, pregnancy can get a bit tricky. What people don’t tell you is how hard it can be sometimes and the things that could go wrong. I survived one of those instances with my third child, and my very first son.
I had been about 5 months pregnant when I started having early labor pains. I dealt with it as long as I possibly could, and before I could dismiss the tensing of my stomach as being typical Braxton Hicks contractions, I found myself in the Emergency Room, waiting to be evaluated for early labor.
How Things Were for Me
As it turned out, I was in fact in early labor. The nurses rushed around the hospital room I was admitted to feverishly, with IV bags, medications, shots amid a plethora of questions. My head was spinning, and reality finally set in: my child was attempting to be born an entire 4 months early, and what if there was nothing the nurses and doctors could do to stop it? I began to panic.
A few minutes later, I was given a sedative to help calm me down, and then given Magnesium Sulfate through an IV drip. I can honestly say, Magnesium Sulfate was the most violently painful, intense, burning sensation I have ever experienced in my entire life. It made me feel as if every single vein within my being was lit up on fire, like I had gasoline flowing through my veins and someone just threw a lit match into the mix. Everything hurt and burned, and it was an intense, piercing, excruciating ache that can only be described as hell fire. It was the most painful thing I have ever been through to date; even more so than giving birth. Well, maybe not that extreme, but it was pretty high up there on the list. From there, they gave me these gigantic green horse pills – and this was where I had to learn to overcome my fear of swallowing pills, as I had been terrified to swallow pills my entire life, even ones as small as a tic-tac. I knew I had to do it to save my child’s life; without taking these pills, he could have been born too early and potentially not have made it through. These pills were to stop the contractions, if I remember right. There was just so much swarming through my head and it all happened so fast. The last thing I went through was the nurse administering a shot that was supposed to help develop the baby’s lungs, had he in fact been born. All of this in such a short amount of time. I was scared, but willing to co operate and do whatever I could to save his life. I knew if he were born at 5 months gestation, that he wouldn’t have had a fair chance at a normal life. I knew he might not live to survive and experience life. And I wasn’t having any part of that. It had been a fairly tough pregnancy from the beginning, and this little fighter wasn’t done fighting yet.
Life at Home on Bed Rest
After all of the contractions had stopped, and the early labor was officially over, I was released to go home on extremely strict doctor’s orders. I was told I needed to be in bed at all times and continue taking the big green horse pills for a period of time. The only time I was allowed to be up was to use the bathroom, and that was literally it. How on earth was I supposed to do this? I had two little girls to take care of, and my husband worked full time. I had no family around who could help me; they all lived many states away. We were on our own. Better yet, I was on my own for most of the day. I had to make it work somehow. When my husband got home, we would spend time talking for hours, and he was the best kind of company I could ever ask for. He always made me laugh and made me feel like everything was going to be okay. Just him being there by my side made all the difference in the world. I looked forward to him coming home each and every day so that we could spend time together, watch movies, and just look forward to the birth of our son together.
I kept the girls busy most of the time with TV and books. I let them color, a lot. I would have my youngest daughter, Amber, up on the bed with me and read to her, play with her, and spend time with her. My older daughter, Hannah, even though she was so little, helped me out a lot by giving her baby sister someone to play with. It was hard work, but I managed to get through it all. I unfortunately couldn’t follow the doctors orders to a T, because I still needed to get up and make the girls meals, and take them outside at some points to play in the sandbox. I felt terrible keeping them cooped up in the house so much. I did, however, take it extremely easy and walk very slowly when I was up.
Three months later, I had gone in for my 8 month mark checkup. I was informed by a very surprised doctor that I was already 4 centimeters dilated, and that I needed to get to the hospital right away. He said I was effaced and that the baby would be making his entrance into the world at any time. I was shocked; nothing felt any different. He did inform me that this could have all transpired over the course of the few months I had been on bed rest. Either way, I was going to have a baby that day or the next, that was imminent and unstoppable at that point. My doctor decided it would be safer for me to go ahead and have the baby if he was to make his entrance and I was to go into labor where I already had taken the medication for his lungs to develop, rather than holding off on the labor again. So, it was off to the house to gather my things for my surprise delivery, and to tell my husband the news that our son was going to be born!
Perfect Baby, Perfect Labor
Within a few hours I was induced by the doctor. He started the labor off by breaking my water, which was unpleasant but necessary to get the ball rolling. Then I was being given Pitocin to induce contractions. Unfortunately, the drip was a little too fast and I had some extreme contractions. I opted for the epidural, and had a great delivery. He was perfect, healthy, and absolutely gorgeous. We could have never asked for a more precious baby boy. He had fully functioning lungs with great oxygen levels, and although he was a very small baby weighing in at 6 lbs 4 oz when he was born, and 5 lbs 2 oz when we left the hospital, everything turned out just fine. We were truly blessed.