While you’re pregnant, you get used to “growing pains” in your stomach. After a while you can start to tell the difference between the normal pains and the “I think it’s time to be scared” pains. This was definitely a “this is a time to be scared pains” moment. Sitting at my desk at work I was starting to feel some upper cramping in the morning. I figured it was due to me eating and I was just waiting for the food to digest. A few hours later the pain was still coming and going, getting stronger and stronger to the point of my breaking down in tears. Definitely not my finest hour while at work. I finally called my boss and told him I wasn’t feeling good and was thinking about going to ER. Then I told Mr. Mama how much pain I was in and how scared I was since it was lasting so long. I had two options: I go home to meet up with my husband and see how I was feeling then or drive myself to the Good Samaritan Hospital ER 15 minutes away. After deciding to go straight to the ER and about to drive out of my works parking lot, a co-worker saw me and offered to drive. Thank the Lord he was there because I was in no shape to be driving.
I got admitted in the hospital March 30th 2017 about 5:30 pm at 28 weeks pregnant. Multiple doctors and nurses came in and out of the room asking how I was feeling, hooking me up to baby monitoring machines, administering IVs from being dehydrated, and questioning me on pain level. About an hour later, Mr. Mama arrived and I finally could relaxed.
The nurse ran multiple blood works, pee tests, and blood pressure checks. With my blood pressure being at the highest of 174/120 and protein found in my urine, I was diagnosed with Pre-eclampsia. At this point I’ve only heard about it once when my mom was jokingly telling me 3 days prior to make sure I don’t have P.E. since I was gaining weight like crazy for only being 28 weeks pregnant. I don’t know if it was me not accepting the fact or if the nurses/doctors weren’t clear but I didn’t believe them when they said I had P.E. and wanted more proof. Mr. Mama looked it up and the look on his face told me I needed to start worrying. He told me that the only way to get rid of P.E. was to deliver the baby. Deliver? My baby? At 28 weeks?
At this point I should probably tell you that this little mister is my rainbow child. For those of you who don’t know what a rainbow child is, its the first baby you have after suffering a miscarriage or a stillbirth. I lost my first son 9 years ago when I was 31 weeks pregnant due to him having a serious heart condition. I couldn’t handle anything happening to our new addition including not know what it would be like for a baby being born at 28 week of gestation. At some point in the night my brain was starting to shut down from being up for so long and fear of my mind wondering into dangerous territory. It’s impossible to describe how it was losing my first child and I wanted to do everything I could to save my new sweet baby boy.
My poor husband was on phone duty. He had to contact his parents who are about to be first time grandparents. Contact my parents and my sister who live on the other side of the state. Not only was it scary for us to be in this situation of wondering what going to happen and afraid but he had to tell everyone how serious it was becoming and not give them any full answers because we didn’t even know ourselves what was coming next. Thankfully, most of the family was reassuring that everything will be fine and multiple people stated that I should just end up on bed rest for the remainder of my pregnancy. (Not only learning what pre-eclampsia was that day, I leaned that a bunch of people I knew had it while they were pregnant.) Because of this, my parents were hesitant to start the 4.5 hour drive across the state. I didn’t want them to make the trip if there were no urgency.
Starting the magnesium drip was the worst feeling ever! Magnesium is a whole beast in itself. The constant burning in your veins as the magnesium drip continuously administers into your arm, my constant fear of IVs from not wanting it to hurt or be ripped out of my arm, and the unbearable feeling of being run over by a dump truck 15 times in a row. I was on magnesium for a lucky total of 36 hours. I hated it so much that I begged the nurses to get me off of it before the required 24 hours after birth time.
After hours of being in the ER, we were told we were being transferred to Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital because they had a level 4 NICU that would provide better care for our little guy if anything was to happen. Finally, at 12 a.m. once the EMTs arrive to transport us and got me on the stretcher. On our way to the elevators, the hospital floor went into lock down mode and the sirens started to howl. Apparently, it was the alarm for a missing baby. We had to sit there in the hallway pushed up against the front desk until the alarm stopped and the elevators unlocked. Luckily, our transport guys were witty and nice but Joel and I kept looking at each other wondering if they thought it was us with an extra baby and weirded out by the fact that the staff weren’t fazed at all by the alarm.
Why, oh why must you check on me EVERY hour? The amount of times the nurses come into the room at night is beyond me. On top of everything that we were going through, my husband and I got no sleep. The second they opened the creaking door, we were awakened and waiting for the nurse to either try and talk to us or just sign the bored confirming her hour check was completed and walk out the stupid door. I get that they do have to come in every 4 hours to give me my medicine but if its 3 A.M. and I’m not hitting the call button, stay out! Let this mama and daddy get some sleep before our world gets turned upside down.
It’s now between 11 A.M. to 12 P.M. and my headaches haven’t gone away after 13 hours of magnesium and the other medications they were giving me. So we heard the dreaded “We can’t wait any longer, we are going to get everyone prepped and ready to go. We will be ready for you in an hour to take you in for a C-section.” Wait, WHAT? Is this really happening? Now? But I thought we had more time. I’m only 28 weeks along, he isn’t ready for this, and we aren’t ready for this! After experiencing the loss and giving birth to my first child, I was terrified of having to go through it all again with my precious baby. I know he was going to be small and not ready for the world.
There is just something wrong with going into a surgical room while the surgical team is counting out the surgical equipment they are about to use to cut your baby out of you as you’re sitting on the table with the anesthesiologist injecting numbing stuff into your back causing you to pee all over the table. Yes, PEE! I even announced it to the doctors like I’m a crazy person. I guess there was a reason they had a bunch of pads on the table before I got there, go figure.
Once the doctors got started I was so worried that my husband was going to miss our son be born. I was warned that he wasn’t allowed into the room until a few minutes before our boy would be born but crazy pregnancy brain wouldn’t accept that as a real answer and I just knew he was going to miss it. But low and behold, there he was. Standing next to me in his baby blue scrubs. My second thought was, PHONE! Where’s my phone? I need pictures of EVERYTHING. Luckily, a nurse took the phone from my husband during the birth to take the pictures. Otherwise, I’m afraid my husband would have ended up face down on the floor. (He can’t handle even the slightest sight of blood without feeling lightheaded. I’m amazed he did so well.)
Before going into surgery, I told my husband that he needed to stay with our boy no matter what once he was born. I didn’t want him to be without us and I needed to know he was going to be okay.
Happy birthday baby! At 1318, Mr. Ethan James entered the world and our lives changed for the better. Once he was here, I basically pushed my husband away from me to follow our baby. As I laid there, I wanted to scream, “How is he doing?” The hardest part of the hour I was in that room was not hearing my child cry when he was born. You are always told about the cry and wait to hear for it but there was silence. I figured I wouldn’t hear him cry since he was almost 3 months early but it was still a panic moment wondering what was happening in the next room to my baby boy as he is surrounded by doctors and nurses. Within a few seconds of my husband leaving my side to go to our son, I looked at the poor anesthesiologist and announced I was about to throw up; sure enough, it came and for what seemed like forever. The sweet anesthesiologist just sat there sucking my vomit up with the suction tool and rubbing my head. I’ve never been through so many emotions in such a short time frame before.
I have no idea how much time has passed but it wasn’t until they had him in the incubator and ready to transport him to his new home that I finally got to get a glimpse of my sweet baby boy. He was so small and fragile. All I could do was cry. I wanted nothing more than to kiss and hold him but he was whisked away before I could even say a word.