Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Our Son

Conceiving our son was so easy.  Maybe even too easy.  We had been married about 9 months and using NFP to avoid a pregnancy as we settled into married life and into new jobs.  Our chart clearly indicated that we were fertile, and we hadn’t actually decided to “try”, but we decided to leave it up to God.  We were open to life and if that is what God wanted for us at that time, we were happy to accept the blessing.  And that was that.

Almost 2 weeks later, I had a regular appointment with my Endocrinologist and brought my charts along to talk with her about my borderline short luteal phases (9 days).  When I told her I wanted to talk about that, but suspected that I was pregnant, she just drew blood and said she’d call me.  On Monday she called to confirm my pregnancy, but we had already taken a home pregnancy test over the weekend and knew we were!  And we were over the moon!  I was due on Christmas day.

I called my OB’s office to make my first appointment.  They wanted to see me between 8 and 10 weeks.  For some reason I was very nervous about having a miscarriage and scheduled my appointment for 10 weeks and I even asked what I should do if I miscarried.  When the first appointment finally rolled around, we got an ultrasound and saw the tiny baby swinging and kicking.  It was the most amazing sight I had ever seen.

My pregnancy progressed easily.  No morning sickness; one short weekend of heartburn & burping; a nearly failed 1 hour glucose tolerance test; a totally failed 1 hour glucose tolerance test a few weeks later; a completely failed 3 hour glucose tolerance test.  I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes and took a pill in the evenings to help lower my morning sugars.  Except for the GD, my pregnancy was textbook.  Starting at 32 weeks, I got to have a weekly ultrasound to check on the baby.  We didn’t know if we were having a boy or a girl and the ultrasound technicians did a great job of keeping the secret from us.

Finally in early December, the baby was estimated to be just under 8 lbs. and was gaining weight rapidly.  Too rapidly.  They estimated the baby would be over 10.5 lbs by the due date.  At my last doctor appointment, the doctor checked me and was surprised to find that I was +5 cm dilated.  She asked if I had been having contractions and I told her I thought I had had one the previous Sunday.  She was shocked since a few days earlier I was dilated only a fingertip.

The doctors decided they would induce labor on December 10th provided the baby’s lungs were mature.  On December 9th, I went to have an amniocentesis done and found that the lungs were mature, so we were a go for the next day.

We arrived to labor & delivery at 7:00am the next morning and in triage did another ultrasound estimating that the baby was about 7.5 lbs.  I told them they were wrong, the baby was 8 lbs. 4 oz. today based on my calculations from my last ultrasound.  They just laughed at my precision calculations and said that their ultrasound measurements were usually right on.

As we settled into our labor and delivery room, I had a panic attack and informed Mr. Amen that I no longer wanted to have a baby and that I wanted him to take me home immediately.  He politely informed me that it was too late for second thoughts now, to calm down and get in the bed. 

The nurse came in to start my IV.  I warned her to be careful because my veins are terribly small and wiggly, that she would go right through it if she wasn’t careful.  Of course, she wasn’t careful and blew right through the vein and I proceeded to bleed all over the bed.  She finally stopped the bleeding and went around to the other arm to start the IV.  As she wiped my wrist with the alcohol wipe, my water broke.  There was no mistaking it.  It was a BIG GUSH just like in the movies.  My doctor was in the room and I said, “I think my water just broke.”  She walked over, took a look and said, “Good.  Now I don’t have to figure out when to break it.”  It was 8:45am.

I was and will be forever grateful that my doctors had me at the hospital that morning.  If I hadn’t been lying in a hospital bed about to have my labor induced, I would have been sitting at my desk when my water broke.  I would have been horrified to have to call maintenance and ask them to clean it up.  I would’ve been their first ever water break at work.  Not an honor I wanted.

Being a HUGE wimp and totally afraid of the pain of delivering the baby, I got an epidural at the first available moment (around 11:30am).  I was not afraid of the contractions, in fact, even on the highest dosage of Pi.tocin, they weren’t even painful.  (Don’t hate me.)  I was just really afraid of the actual birthing pain, and that’s why I asked for the epidural, I didn’t want to miss my window to get one.

Well, I should have known better than to take medicine.  I’m not a medicine type of person.  I don’t even take Tyl.enol when I have a headache.  I’m more of a napper.  The epidural made me sick to my stomach and I started vomiting between naps.  I wish I could tell you what Mr. Amen did all day long during the labor, but I have no idea.  I just remember sleeping and throwing up.  Oh, and I remember not progressing at all.  When we got to the hospital I was +6cm dilated…and I never got any farther than that.

Around 6pm, my doctor finally came in and I begged for a C-section since I wasn’t progressing, they couldn’t turn up the Pi.tocin anymore and I hate throwing up.  She agreed and said she had just been waiting for me to ask for one.

They took me back into the operating room.  After several minutes Mr. Amen joined me and as I lay on the table throwing up and shaking violently from the epidural/spinal, we welcomed our baby into the world.  The doctor announced it was a boy (something she was really excited to do since most people already know what they’re having long before they get to the delivery) and Mr. Amen exclaimed, “I have a son!  I have a son!”  It was such a sweet moment for our little family.

Our son, Junior, was born on 12/10/2008 at 6:58pm weighing 8 lbs. 4 oz., just like mommy predicted.