An IUGR Delivery
"Well if the baby's as small as they say, labour will be a breeze."
File that under more comments not to say to someone navigating their way through an IUGR diagnosis.
15 months before I went into labour with N, I had delivered Y.
That was a twenty-six hour production. And I didn't even know I was in labour! I got to the hospital for a regular OB appointment and the receptionist kindly pointed out that the sharp stabbing pains I kept having at regular intervals, were actually contractions. Who knew?
Not the case this time around.
I ended the last post, 3 hours away from the end of Shavuos and on my way to the hospital.
I have at times been called stubborn, I'll admit it. And most of those times, maybe I was being stubborn... But I was so determined to make it to the end of Chag that no one was going to tell me I was in labour. I had seen the OB and had a full scan Friday afternoon, hours before lighting and all was well - or as "well" as it could have been, given the diagnosis of IUGR. Baby was still deemed better in than out. I don't know what it was about Shavuos. I was well aware that I was allowed to make my way to the hospital, regardless of the fact that it was a holiday. I just felt like we had run there so many times, that so much had been thrown into chaos since our diagnosis, that all I wanted was a quiet, drama free yuntif.
Alas, baby did not agree.
We arrived at the hospital and M and I were totally ready for another 26 hour drawn out experience. Honestly, the contractions weren't bad at all, and I was fully capable of walking around and talking, but I just knew something was going on and I knew I had to go in.
We were admitted pretty quickly, and apart from declining filling out the questionnaire on our triage experience, it wasn't as complicated as I thought it would be, given that it was Shavuos.
We got into the delivery room and got comfortable. I walked around and we laughed and wondered if we'd actually be having the baby today. After having to prepare so many times, and having one false go, we just weren't sure.
But I had made it. And not just to 37 weeks, but to 37 weeks ONE day! If labour stopped again, I knew that the OB was planning the induction for that week anyway, so I was as calm as I could have been. I had read about so many women making it to 25 weeks, or 30 or 32. I knew it was a big deal that we had made it to over 37 although I was still terrified that we may have pushed the baby too far.
And then the nurse walked in. She explained, that if the baby was under 2000g it would be taken to the NICU immediately. I asked what the last estimate was from our most recent ultrasound, but the information was unavailable. I did the math. 2000g... That's over 4 pounds. Obviously, now at "full-term," my baby was going to be at least 4lbs... Right?
The next hour or so was pretty peaceful. The contractions were completely manageable. I was informed that the anistheisologist would be heading into a complicated c-section shortly and if I wanted an epidural my window was closing. I wasn't in pain but figured better safe than sorry. I was at about 6cm with regular contractions. The anistheisologist came in and asked if I was in to be induced today. She was shocked when she found out how far I was, given how little discomfort I was in.
So I got the "walking epidural" and got into bed to rest for a bit.
My total active labour was 22 minutes. The epidural never had a chance. Truthfully I never clicked the button because I thought I had all the time in the world, because...
Y = 26 HOURS
N = 22 MINUTES
Out of nowhere I had a contraction that seriously had me convinced I was dying. Within seconds I was screaming that I was about to deliver. Everyone assumed it was just hitting me that I was in labour. My OB was actually on-call and he had just checked on me and let me know it would be a couple of hours still. When the nurse called him asking him to come back in, he was reluctant.
He barely made it.
In 22 minutes and with four pushes, and the most vividly excruciating pain I've ever experienced, I went from laughing and walking around to silence in the room.
The cord was wrapped around our baby's neck twice. And they were all staring at him.
M told me that it was a boy, but I wanted to know what else was going on.
And then they passed him to me and I knew.
IUGR was in my arms.
Growth restriction, my restricted baby, was in my arms.
I held him as tightly as I could because I did not want him to be weighed. I didn't want that number to enter the room and ruin the moment.
My beautiful baby. I could see the strength in his eyes, but there was no mistaking the struggle in his size.
He fit in my hands. Not my arms, but my hands.
And the nurse, with the most understanding and compassionate eyes, held out her hands and I passed him over to her.
And a minute later the number entered the room.
I had given birth to a full-term, 3lb 14oz baby.
You just don't know what a 3lb baby will look like until you've held one. I've had people say, that so and so was so tiny, when now I was realizing, they were basically double my baby.
1774g. A number I will never forget.
And with that number, my beautiful baby boy, who I had held for far too shortly, was on his way to the NICU.
I begged M to go with him and insisted I would be fine. The second he was rushed out and the door closed I cried.
And cried. And cried.
The nurse, our incredible, incredible nurse held me.
I asked if my baby was going to be okay and she told me that I had to make sure I was so that I could be there for him.
She stayed with me until I was transferred to a room. She brought me to my room and settled me in. She was there during one of my most difficult hours.
And then she left.
I had to stay in recovery for at least an hour. The second the hour mark hit, I pushed that nurse button repeatedly. Finally someone came and within two hours of giving birth, I was up and on my way to the NICU.
And then the epidural finally kicked in. Because, obviously right?
So into the wheel chair I went. NOTHING was keeping me away from my baby for another second.
And with that, physically numb but emotionally raw, I received my welcome to the NICU.