Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Alexis' Birth Story.

It's been almost two months since I've posed anything on here. After Alexis was born I kept meaning to get on here and write about the birth story, but going online is always the last thing on my mind these days. So I finally have a little bit of down time today so I thought I should write about it. This is going to be long so bear with me.

On May 12th I woke up at around 2am feeling sick to my stomach. At this point I'm 37 weeks and my due date wasn't until June 8th. So I woke up with a sharp pain in my upper abdomen and excruciating mid and upper back pain. I attempted to just lay there and just breathe through it but it didn't work I ended up vomiting. I took a shot shower and just stood there trying to will the pain away and finally after 3 hours it subsided. I had a doctors appointment with my OB-GYN that day and I told her what I was feeling and she told me it was just really bad heartburn. I've had really bad heartburn during this pregnancy and trust me that is not what this felt like. However, since she is a doctor I listened to her and that day I didn't eat anything spicy, I drank lots of water, and when I went to bed I made sure to prop my upper body on some pillows.

May 13th I woke up at the same time as the night before, around 2am. The pain was much worse this time and I could not believe it, just like I thought it definitely was not heartburn. I tried not to vomit but I couldn't help it; I wasn't even throwing up food it was just water and then water and bile and then just bile, nasty sour bile, ugh! I didn't know what to do I felt like my body was just breaking down on me. I decided to take a hot shower and it worked, for the 40 minutes I was in the shower, then the second I got out the pain was back and so was the need to vomit. I couldn't even sleep, the pain would not allow it. That day the pain lasted for 8 hours. I called my doctor that morning but she was busy, they told me she would call me back, but she never did. For some reason the pain only came in the early morning, go figure.

On May 14th without fail at 2am the pain was back and stronger then ever. I woke Derek up crying and told him I couldn't take it and I didn't know what to do. Derek sadly didn't believe that it was anything too serious so he told me to just take it easy and hope that it would go away. That morning was the same old routine, me taking several hot showers and vomiting off and on. Morning finally came and I called my doctor's office, since it was Saturday the emergency on-call doctor was there, he is not my doctor. I told him all my symptoms and what my doctor had told me and he said the same thing she had told me, "it must be heartburn". Are you kidding me!?!? He recommended that I buy some Pepcid and take it easy on what I was eating and that if it still didn't work I could call Monday and make an appointment for a sonogram to check for gallstones. Then he said that if the pain got really bad and I couldn't deal with it I should go to the emergency room. The second I got off the phone with him I had Derek take me to the emergency room. Not that I don't trust doctors but seriously the pain I was feeling was not heartburn and it really pissed me off that they kept trying to tell me it was. I was genuinely worried.

We get to the emergency room and they send us to Labor and Delivery since I'm 37 and a half weeks pregnant. The nurses get me hooked up to monitor the baby's heart rate and another to monitor my contractions. I wasn't having any contractions and the baby's heart rate was normal. They had me do a sonogram to check for gallstones and they had me give a urine sample to check for protein in my urine. They took us back to the room and hooked me back up to the monitors while they waiting for the results. The nurses started talking about getting me some Pepcid( I guess they were still on this whole heartburn trip). Then one of my nurses told me they were going to hook me up to an IV and that the Dr. Mazen( the emergency on call doctor I had spoken with earlier) was going to be coming in to tell me my options. Well at this point I knew something serious was going on.

Dr. Mazen comes in and tells me very bluntly "there is something very wrong with you" and then proceeds to tell me that I have protein in my urine, my kidneys were swollen, and my platelet levels were extremely low. He told me I had a disease known as HELLP syndrome, which is a step past pre-eclampsia. Apparently the disease makes it so that your body starts to reject the pregnancy and it's pretty much telling you to get the baby out or it will breakdown your body. HELLP syndrome attacks people randomly and it happens in only 0.6% of all pregnancies, lucky me. He told us "looks like we're having your baby today"; he let us know that since I wasn't having contractions and I was 37 weeks along he didn't think I could have the baby naturally through a vaginal birth, he recommended doing a c-section. I definitely did not want to do a c-section, for many different reasons, he said that we could try to induce labor but he was afraid that the likelihood that I would have a quick labor was not very likely; what he said after that scared me. He said that if we induced labor and allowed me to labor into the next day that my condition would most likely get much worse and there was a high possibility that I could die. I asked him if it was possible to induce me and give me a small window of time too see if I could do it naturally and then if that failed we could go through with the c-section, he agreed to give me 4 hours to try and labor. After Dr. Mazen and the nurses left the room I broke down. I kept calm in front of them because I didn't want them to see how afraid I was but I was freaking out inside. I was crying because I was upset that my body had betrayed me, that my baby was going to be three and a half weeks early, and that I wasn't ready for this. Derek tried to comfort me and I let the moment pass, I knew that I needed to prepare myself for what was next.

They put me into a labor room and got my IV started on some magnesium that is supposed to help with the pain. The nurses were waiting on the pitocin to get me started. Derek called his mom and let her know what was happening and they were on their way to the hospital. I called my parents and let them know and told them I would call them after she was born. I started to feel contractions but they were very mild. My mother-in-law and younger sister-in-law showed up with some food for Derek. An hour and a half had passed since Dr. Mazen had said I could have 4 hours to labor, and the pitocin still hadn't come in and my contractions were getting more painful. Derek's mom and his sister had stepped out of the room for a second and Derek told me that he was afraid something might happen to me if we tried to labor. It was hard for me to see him that way because I could tell he was fighting back tears, I knew he was afraid that me and the baby could die. We talked about it and made the decision to just go through with the c-section. A couple of minutes after making the decision the nurse comes in with the pitocin, I let her know that I wanted to do the c-section instead and she let the doctor know.

Not having gotten any sleep for the last 3 days, I was exhausted and I started to doze off while we waiting for the anesthesiologist to come in. Finally at around 6:30 he came in and let me know what the procedure was going to be. Dr. Mazen also came in and let me know that we would get started at 7pm. It seemed like forever when 7 finally rolled around. Derek had to wait to go into the surgery room until after they had given me the spinal tap. I think the worst part of the whole thing was the spinal tap, it was extremely painful and once they laid me down on the table my whole body was shaking, and it wasn't even that cold in there. They finally let Derek come in and they started the c-section. All I could feel was extreme pressure on my stomach as the doctors were pushing the baby out. I can't really describe the feeling any better, it was definitely an interesting experience.

Finally Alexis Claire Hodges was born. I could feel her come out but I couldn't hear her yet, they whisked Derek away and I finally heard her cry. Even though I couldn't see her I was overcome with joy and I started crying, it seemed like forever before Derek finally bought her over to me. When I saw her beautiful little face I instantly fell in love with her. I held her and kissed her little face. I couldn't stop crying. They had Derek take her while they stapled me back up(weirdest feeling in the word). They took us into a recovery room while they weighed and measured Alexis and while they were getting my room ready. Alexis weighed in at 4 lbs 6 oz and 17 inches and 3/4.

I was in the hospital for 5 days total. I thought my stay in the hospital was going to give me a chance to rest before going home, but it was not like that at all. I had to have my blood pressure and vitals checked every 2 hours and in between that I had to feed Alexis and pump and take my painkillers and so one and so forth. Derek's family came to visit and Derek's good friend Eric came by, it was nice to have visitors. All in all it wasn't bad but I definitely did not enjoy having to wear a catheter, not being able to shower for 2 days, and having staples pulled out of my stomach.

Alexis is a month old today and it feels almost surreal that I've been a mother for a month now. It took a couple of days to get use to it but it's definitely worth it. She's beautiful with her big almond shaped eyes, her cute little nose and her crazy head of hair. She weighs 6 lbs and 2.5 ounces now and getting bigger everyday. I will post some pictures up soon once we get her newborn pictures back from the photographer.

This is super long. I just wanted to share and document her birth story. Even though it didn't happen the way I thought it would I'm just so glad that she got here safe and sound and she's healthy.