It all started back when my parents decided to try for a baby. Unfortunately for them I would make it a little less than easy to make this happen. Mom has some issues with hormones (PCOS) and her body wasn't having it without a little help. So they went to see some doctors who hooked them up with a treatment (Clomid) and followed their progress closely.
As it turns out I was ready to join them on their first month of actively trying with fertility assistance. They were really happy to find out but didn't want to share the news with the world until they made it past the "danger zone" and into the second trimester.
Once they made it they told their family and friends about my pending arrival but Ma still had her reservations. Having had a miscarriage before I can understand her hesitation about being fully joyful. Papa was happy as well but made it a point to have realistic expectations.
A little further along they tested Mommy for Gestational Diabetes. She failed with flying colors and had to monitor her blood sugar four times a day for the remainder of the pregnancy. Strangely enough the doctors had all but decided that insulin was the only option and made it a point to let her know. Mom didn't agree and decided to manage with diet, exercise, and metformin (which is also used for insulin resistance in PCOS patients). She finally figured out that bread was a no go but potatoes and pasta were fine. Go figure.
As the due date got closer the doctors informed my parents that they would be inducing labor at 38-39 weeks because of the Gestational Diabetes. Since this was the first they had heard of this they quickly called Grandma to let her know that her flight may be later than my arrival. She immediately changed her flight plans (because that is what Grandma's do) and arrived on the 8th. She had decided to stay with my folks while they got used to me being around and to help with recovery.
So with Gestational Diabetes they monitor things a little more closely and had us coming in for Non Stress Tests twice weekly. And on Tuesday April 12, 2016 we went in for what would be a stressful non stress test. Talking with the nurse, Amai was complaining that it was hard to breathe and it felt as though she was breathing in a room filled by a fog machine. She had been suffering an upper respiratory infection over the past few weeks but this seemed to have gone away and three days later the breathing issue started. When the nurse took her blood pressure things got a little touchy as it was elevated. 140/100 is way off the typical mark of 120/70 range Ma Ma usually has. The nurse left to get the doctor. When the doctor arrived Mama and Papa told him about the breathing and such. Then the doctor hooked her up for the test and left the room. After the test, which I passed by the way, the doctor retook the blood pressure and reported the numbers to my folks. 180/100 (ish). Not good! He said they needed to follow up with the hospital right away.
They went directly to the hospital and went to be monitored for a while. The blood pressure didn't resolve itself while they were being monitored.
The doctor came in and told them that they would now need to have this baby! That means I was coming!
They induced labor using a drug to ripen the cervix to try and give my mother a chance to go as natural as possible. Then the decided to add Pitocin to speed up the process. And then poop got real!
During the labor my heart rate would occasionally drop. This is somewhat typical during contractions or with compression on the head. But then the pattern started to become concerning to the doctors. You see Mummy wasn't allowed to move much during labor to try and keep her blood pressure in check. And every time she changed positions she would throw up. Thank goodness for Papa and the blue bags of doom. He kept her fully stocked with the blue barf bags and wet cloths all throughout the labor making her as comfortable as possible. They wanted her to change positions every half hour to keep the pressure off me and keep my heart going strong and to keep the pattern stable. This was proving to be more challenging than they originally anticipated. So they wanted to monitor me more closely and to do that they would need to break the water and insert two probes to keep an eye out with better readings.
The doctor suggested an epidural. My folks agreed as they are kinda granola but not crunchy. The anesthesiologist came in to place the epidural and it went very well. She had a great sense of humor which just added to the fun environment my parents were trying to maintain. Once the epidural was placed the doctor came to break the water and load up the equipment! Since the medicine was working Mum didn't feel a thing and a few minutes later they were receiving readings of my heart rate as well as a more accurate reading of the contractions. They also added an amniotic cushion to keep the pressure off the cord and me. This steady flow of fluids was just a precaution and kept me nice and comfy as we got closer.
Ma Mere fell asleep! Fast forward a few hours later and she woke up in pain. She assumed that the contractions were just getting worse and was excited that this could mean progress but instead it turned out that the epidural was failing. At this time the new anesthesiologist came and informed us that sometimes in larger people the spacing doesn't always work and it happens. He decided to place the epidural again. Re - Placing while going through some nasty contractions. But as it turns out Mammy is a trooper and took it like a champ. She was sitting on the edge of the bed, hunched over in the proper position, and holding completely still through contractions that were registering at holy smokes levels. Funny thing... while this was happening... remember that amniotic cushioning? Well, contractions and vertical positioning equals a veritable waterfall effect the likes of which can only be described as hilarious. So after a little bit of clean up and a wet floor sign we were back in action. While the epidural was being re placed they paused the pitocin. Now that was working back into the mix and were were making progress again. And once again Madre fell asleep.
Only to awaken to intense pain again. This time she was ready to give up on the whole epidural thing since she was tired and ready to move forward. The anesthesiologist however realized that the drip just wasn't cutting it and that the original placement was probably fine. He opted for a direct push which put Mutter back into a state of loving modern medicine. Mind you this whole time her blood pressure is elevated, her diabetes management is out the window with the whole only clear things to eat (but can't because of throwing up), her body is stuck in one position, and the whole family is running on empty. And don't even get me started on the sherbet. Papa had been bringing my carrier juice, sherbet, and jello throughout until the last one she could hold down. Orange sherbet may never be bought again. Don't even say orange sherbet. We no longer speak its name.
The whole time there was talk of a C-section. My Female Parental Unit was well aware of the risk and wasn't even opposed to the concept but at this point labor had gone on a long while and it would have been a shame to have it end in surgery. The doctor came in for what would be the last check for progress prior to calling for the big cut that would free me from this darkness. Turns out...
We were READY!
My Papa helped with the oxygen while the Lady of the house got ready for the first set of pushes. Thanks to the direct push of pain meds she knew this would be a cake walk. Right before the second push she hesitated then looked lovingly into Papa's eyes and said, "You bastard, why did you do this to me, and we are never having sex again." with a straight face and little emotion to her voice. This caused the whole team to laugh as the second set of pushing commenced. After three more sets of pushes I was outside!
They placed me on Maman's tummy first thing. Papa was so proud and everything looked good. After a bit of a cry, which the team encouraged, I calmed right down and waited patiently for the team to run its tests. Turned out I had really low blood sugar and needed a little help from my old friend formula. Ironic since Mueter had specifically asked if she should be prepared for this by expressing prior to birth but was told point blank that it was unlikely and wasn't a big deal. Bummer! But such is life, I guess.
Following the whirlwind tour of the formula bottle Mam was escorted to the recovery room so she and Papa could get prepared for me to come back to them. It was there that they kept an eye on all of us for the next few days.
Oh, you thought this story was done, ha! Turns out I had a few more tricks up my sleeve. I had elevated bilirubin levels (jaundice) and needed more testing before finally being released at 10:00 pm two days after birth. This is because my levels needed to be check three times that day. Woot for more heel sticks!
Then after a nice night home we went to the doctors the next morning for a follow up only to find out while the bilirubin levels were dropping I was also losing too much weight. So back ot the formula to supplement. But little did they know how determined my parents are and how diligently they follow the rules. When we went back the next day I had put on a quarter pound! No cheese.
So then just when you think it has all settled down and we were ready to move on with life Mamma decided to start coughing up blood. Off to the doctors again to be diagnosed with pneumonia and high blood pressure. The high blood pressure just wasn't totally controlled by the does of the medicine they gave her in hospital but the pneumonia was most likely with her all throughout the labor experience. I don't know how she kept it together. And poor Papa, wanting to help out and only being able to do but so much. Fortunately he has taken his role very seriously while she recovers has become a pro diaper changer, bottle warmer, pump pal, and food bringer for the entire family.
So there it is. The basic run down of the roughly 38 hours of labor that my folks went through to bring me to the world safely. While it wasn't the easiest thing in the world for anyone involved they handled the whole thing with grace, dignity, and humor. So much so that I doubt they will be forgotten any time soon. I know I won't be!