A week before my due date:
I was itching all over my body, especially my hands and feet. I knew that itchiness was common in the belly area during pregnancy because it's constantly stretching, but this was the first time other parts of my body were itching like crazy. Of course I googled it and other women said they had simliar itchiness and that for the most part it's harmful unless you have pregnancy cholestasis. Cholestasis, which occurs in 1 in 1000 women, is a liver disease where your normal flow of bile is affected by high amounts of pregnancy hormones. It's harmless to the mom but could be harmful to the baby. After reading this, I freaked out for a little bit but tried to comfort myself with the thought that I'm probably okay and I could beat the odds. But just to be safe I emailed my doctor about it and she asked me to take some blood tests.
Week of my due date:
Monday, 1/23: I took 3 blood tests requested by my doctor to examine my liver.
Tuesday, 1/24: Got the results of 2 tests. One I passed, the other my liver enzymes were elevated. Standard count was <36, my results were 63. I panicked a little. I was still waiting for the third test results, but emailed my doctor asking her about it. You would think they would call you! Well she did eventually after I emailed her and she asked if I could come in to see her in an hour!
3pm: We ran some Non Stress tests (NST) to monitor the baby and also my contractions. Baby was looking fine and I was having contractions consistently 4 minutes apart. I was doing the NST exam with a nurse for about 20 minutes when all the sudden my doctor comes in and says "Hanna, I think we need to induce you today." O.O "I spoke with a high risk specialist and he says we need this baby delivered ASAP." Even though I was hoping the baby would come out this week, I was a bit shocked and unprepared for an induction. I texted Richard asking if he could come home from work and he was probably a bit shocked himself to say the least :) I saw the doctor briefly after my NST and she did a pelvic exam and said I was 2cm dilated just like I was at my last check up. I asked her if she could confirm whether or not I had cholestasis without knowing the third test result and she said that I most likely do and since I'm only 2 days away from my due date it's better to err on the safe side.
4:30pm: I rushed home and gathered my last minute items for the hospital bag and waited for Richard to come home. Tried to stay calm but I was still really uneasy about the idea of being forced into labor especially if they weren't 100% sure I had cholestasis. She said that the third test results wouldn't be back till the next day so I wasn't going to know whether or not I had it till after my induction.
5:30pm: Richard came home and we headed to the Hayward Kaiser hospital. Checked into L&D and got the last L&D room! Apparently it was a popular day to be born.
6:15pm: Hooked up to a machine to monitor the baby and my contractions. They also let me eat my last meal before getting pitocin. I got a cheeseburger from the hospital and it was SO good because I was so hungry. I dripped some ketchup and mustard on my hospital gown which was kind of embarrassing! lol.
10pm: Got an IV and finally was given pitocin which I heard from mommy friends that it was an evil drug to jumpstart labor. Here goes nothing!
11:15pm: Doctor decided to use a foley bulb to help mechanically open up my cervix since I wasn't naturally dilating. I was told it would help me reach 3-4 cm and if I wasn't there yet after 12 hours, they would take it out of me. It was a bit uncomfortable to say the least and I had a million things attached to me. The doctors also told me that an induction can take anywhere from 1-3 days but they were hoping for the best case scenario of 24 hours. My morale was pretty low at this point because I was already sad about being induced and I couldn't imagine sitting in that bed for potentially 3 days. I tried to get some rest that night fighting through my contractions.
8:30am: Thought I saw my mucous plug in the toilet, but I tried not to get too excited because I heard you could lose it weeks before you actually go into labor. The foley bulb was also still inside me for nine hours which told me that I still wasn't dilating. I was getting really emotional and discouraged because of how slowly I was progressing. I kept thinking about how this wouldn't have happened if I went into labor naturally. I also saw many nurses and doctors come and go as they would end their shifts. Each time I was introduced to a new nurse or doctor I would hold back my tears because it would remind me of how long I had been stuck at 2cm. Sometimes I couldn't even hold back my tears and the nurses were probably really confused as they introduced themselves to a crying woman. I remained sad until...
11:45am: THE FOLEY BALLOON FELL OUT after 12 hours! This gave me a little hope that I would possibly meet the baby today. The doctor checked me and I was 4cm dilated, YES! I was also really eager to get the epidural because of the contraction pains and I was told it was better to get it at 4-5cm.
12:30pm: GOT MY EPIDURAL. This was a game changer for sure. I don't know how women go through labor without it, mad props to all ya'll!! I finally was able to take and nap without being bothered by the contractions. I was pretty happy and felt like things were turning around for me. I was getting more hopeful that I could meet my baby today.
2pm: 5-6cm dilated :) :)
5pm: 9cm and the doctor broke my water. She said we're going to get this baby out today! I had almost been at the hospital for 24 hours and I was pretty happy that for an induction I was considered quick.
6:20pm: "we can start pushing!" HALLELUJAH! I was surprised that I could actually feel urges to push because one of my fears with the epidural was that it would slow down this process. I actually felt the pain of each contraction and pushed through each one. I can't imagine how much pain I'd feel without the epidural if I was already feeling this much. I also didn't realize how tiring it would be to push as it would suck all my energy. The doctor said that I was pushing really well and she could already see the baby's head. With each push I felt more stretching and more pain. I even started crying during the middle because I really felt like I couldn't finish. When his head was halfway out I was so tired that even though I would give all my might I felt that he would never come out. So I was pushing and crying and FINALLY he came out with a loud cry. When they put him on my tummy I started bawling because I was so relieved that labor was over and was happy to finally meet him. :) He was born at 7:19pm, 1 hour for pushing..not bad!
Baby Zachary :)
7 lbs, 15.4oz, 21 in.
Welcome to the world, love :)
Oh and after my delivery I got the test results of my third bile blood test. Standard range was <10 and my result was 128. So yea, I guess the doctors were right about cholestasis!