On Thursday evening, my wife was having some light cramping and light spotting. Not wanting to risk anything, she called the OB, who told us to head over to the hospital. 90 minutes later, we discovered our baby's heart had stopped some time in the past two-and-a-half weeks. They began inducing labor on Friday morning. After a very difficult 16 hours (she wasn't dilating much, even from the drugs), she finally delivered at 4:30 AM this morning (Saturday), at 20 weeks and 4 days. They evaluated her, and released her late this afternoon.
We want to name the baby, but due to the nature of the abnormalities, we still don't know if it's a boy or girl. Adding insult to injury, if you ask me.
It's sort of weird, but after the past few weeks of what-ifs and whys, to be here now is actually somewhat of a relief. We still have some important steps to take, though, and test results to wait for, but the "waiting game" part is over.
Thanks for all your concern, and best of luck to all of you in your pregnancies.
And Congratulations to johnwit, MuckerFish, and (soon) dcasper70.
Hey jb -- I wanted to respond to this earlier but I have no idea what to say in these situations. I'm definitely sorry to hear this and I hope everything works out well for you and your wife in the future.
jamzfive - I'm really sorry to hear about your loss. This is just terrible. My heart goes out to you and your wife. My sister went through the same thing a few years ago and it was really heart-breaking. My condolences.
I hope you're ready....I've been waiting almost 4 months for this post...
I woke up at around 7am Saturday morning after a good restful nights sleep. I look over at my wife and smile.
She does not smile back. The sporadic cramping she was having late Friday had continued through the night, limiting her ability to get any quality sleep.
So she made me pancakes. It's what she does.
At about 9am, she decides to start calling these cramps 'contractions', and we start logging what time it is when each starts. They seem pretty regular at that time, 10-11 minutes apart.
I look at my list of things I still thought I had a week to do. It was a good list. Off I went to finish off all those little nursery things I had been putting off....
Just after lunch the contractions were 7 minutes apart. I was put on notice, get my stuff done, cause we'll be at the Hospital tonight.
I finish hanging a Bambi picture and go post on 2+2.
Just after 3pm, she thinks her water broke. She felt a light trickle down her leg. She calls her doc and is told to head on in to the Hospital, doc will meet us there.
Contractions are 5 minutes apart. I post an update here, and start packing the car.
We're in the car no more than 30 seconds when her water really breaks, and by 'breaks' I mean 'gushes'. She freaks out. I turn the car around and go back home so she can change her now soaked clothes. Good thing she brought a towel to sit on.
Get to the hospital somewhere around 4pm, in birhing room somewhere around 5 or 5:30. She's starting to get some really painful ones now, so our focus is getting her some drugs. They can't do an epidural until her doc examines her, but doc hasn't arrived yet. This is bad, and unfortunately, a precursor of things to come. I really don't like seeing my wife in pain and having no ability to ease it. It is hard on both of us.
Doc arrives, examines, OKs, and in come the anesthesia guys. Wife has started crying during some of the contractions, I do my best to console her and insist it will all be better soon. The needle goes in her back, everyone agrees it's in a good spot, and in go the drugs. They say it could take 10-15 minutes to kick in.
So for the next 15 minutes, we wait through 3 or 4 increasingly powerful contractions, just waiting for the pain to ease up. Wife's contractions are now 2 minutes apart and over 1 minute long.
It doesn't. The epidural isn't working. When asked to rate this pain on a 1-10 scale, wife calls it a 9.
TO add some reference to that comment, I'll point out that my wife has passed gallstones before. She called gallstones a 7 compared to where she was at that moment.
So another span of agony while they pull out the catheter and try to put it in another spot. This one seems to take, and my wife starts to be relieved. I think this is a good time for me to grab some food from the hospital caf. Her mom and sister come in and relieve me.
3 piece chicken tenders with BBQ sauce and a large cup of coffee. I'm heading back up within 30 minutes.
When I walked back in, the look on wife's face crushed me, she was in hysterical pain. Epidural #2 wasn't working. The hospital's Head of Anesthesiology (HoA) was on his way over from another area. Another 20 or so minutes of my wife begging for relief. There was nothing we could do. I have never seen someone in so much pain.
HoA arrived and was going to try a 3rd, but also offered a spinal somethin-or-other which would eliminate all sensation below the waist for about 90 minutes. I told him to get option #2 in gear as fast as he could move. He moved fast. SHe was pain free within 2 contractions. HoA is now on our Christmas Card List. Wife relaxes. Must have been around 8pm now.
At 9:30, they are expectig the drug to start wearing off, so HoA does a 3rd epidural. He uses a different spot and earns his money by getting it on the first try. Wife still pain free.
At 10:20 wife's body decides it's time to start pushing.
At 10:42 on January 27th, 2007, we catch the first glimpse of our baby girl. It as only a nickel sized piece of her gray, hairy head, but it was absolutely amazing.
Leah finally made her way out six minutes after midnight. She is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. I cannot believe just how much she means to me.
Yes, I have a large melon, and thankfully she's got her mother's nose.
I thought I'd use this thread to mention a quick anecdote when my first kid was born, and ask whether anyone has experienced the same thing.
Basically, my memory was that my wife was in excrutiating pain, and that the anesthestiologist (or whoever is responsible for administering the epidural) was to blame, and temporarily unavoidable. I was visibly uncomfortable, I'm sure.
Someone in the delivery room noticed and asked for my help. Specifically, they pointed me to a corner of the room where there was a huge tangle of extension cords. Anxious to keep my mind on something other than my wife's screaming, I dutifully complied. And I remember having a sense of pride when I finished untangling the cords.
Later, it occurred to me that I was given this task solely for the sake of occupying myself.
Has anyone a similar story, or heard of anything similar?
I am also amazed at how much I wanted to write up this trip report and share it with a couple dozen people I have never met.
While I'm here, I also want to publicly thank Mrs. Utah for all the help and support she has given my wife and I over the last few months. I would suspect that there are plenty of people on this list that she's been in touch with, and her Birthin Babies thread came at a perfect time.
Wendy, if we ever actually meet you, well, I really don't know what we'll do, but it will be good!
I know I have said it before but I will say it again, Congratulations! She is really beautiful.
I agree with Katy, what an excrutiating story!
For the other dads to be, this is pretty unusual. (Sorry D-I would never wish that experience on everyone)
If I can interject a little advice please call your doctor before heading to the hospital. He/She can call ahead to Labor and Delivery to give a heads up. Most of our docs will give us pain med/epidural orders over the phone so there is not a lot of waiting around.
If we know you are coming and get the story from the doc we are ready. It gives me the ability to assess and get pain relief as quickly as possible. Thankfully we do not have to wait for the doctors to evaluate for epidurals, they leave that to us. There are many times I will get the epidural placed before I even do any admission paperwork. Once mom is comfortable I can catch up with everything else. I guess my point is if we know you are coming the admission and care will go much faster and smoother. Food for thought.
I would also suggest learning ways to manage pain that don't involve drugs. Even if you've already decided to go with an epidural, this will get you through when drugs aren't available or haven't kicked in yet. It also gives dads a way to be active in the labor and really help the mom through her pain.
I know a lot of people really scoff at Lamaze, but it does work (if you take the time to train). I did my whole first delivery with Lamaze only and no drugs. The technique is VERY easy but you have to practice to make it automatic. We practiced every night for 2 1/2 months for about 5 minutes before we went to bed each night. It was really no big deal.
I just want to clarify that I'm not a Lamaze Nazi. I believe that how you have your baby is a personal choice. I'm just saying it's good to have this tool in your tool box.
I agree MER there are a lot of ways to manage pain that does not involve drugs.
In addition to Lamaze I like to get my patients into the shower. Dads hold a hand held sprayer while mom sits and it can be very effective. Also those big exercise balls and massage.
There are times when we cannot medicate. I need some time to assess the baby's wellbeing before I start medicating or its too early in labor to give something. That is when other methods are good to know.