On Tuesday, I had my 34 week appointment. Baby's heartbeat sounded great, my blood pressure excellent, and the doctor showed us where she was laying (head down low, butt sticking out on my right side and limbs curled to my left). Up until this point I had been having mild braxton hicks, mostly when I was at work standing too much and not drinking enough water. They were not painful, only a little crampy. Wednesday, I checked myself out in the mirror and thought to myself, "Wow, my face is swollen! This must be because I am starting my ninth month." But it was really just the beginning of the end.
Around 7:30 that night, my water broke. I wasn't even sure it had, I only had a little drip. I also had no idea I had been in labor that day, mistaking the faint contractions for braxton hicks. I barely felt them, even on the way to the hospital. After calling my doctor, who told me to go to the hospital just to be on the safe side (because it was so early), Bryan and I packed a bag and made our way to Sinai Hospital in Baltimore. Yes, we packed a bag, because that was on the to-do list for the weekend. Also on that list, interviewing the pediatrician on Friday. Yea, right.
When we got to the hospital after 9pm, the triage was full so they took us to a Labor and Delivery room to be examined by the resident OB. Normally, you go to triage first and only if you are admitted do you go to L and D. Apparently lots of babies wanted to be born that day because they were jam packed with moms to be. After putting baby and I on monitors the OB came in to do the "q-tip" test which if it turns blue, it means your membrane ruptured (I.E. water broke). Finding out I was only 35 weeks with no complications all pregnancy, the OB casually told us about the test with an air of "this is not going to be blue." Well, it came out Prussian Blue- like darkest of dark blue. Her eyes were wide with shock before saying, "You are staying. You are going to have a baby tonight or tomorrow." At this point I was also 3 cm dilated, which is when hospitals will normally admit you.
Because my water broke, they had to give me pitocin to bring the contractions on. The danger in your water breaking and letting contractions happen on their own is the risk of infection as the mucus plug is no longer protecting the baby from the outside world. Not to mention that the amniotic fluid was lower due to the breakage.
This was all fine and well until the baby's heart rate was plummeting during contractions in the early hours of Thursday. This happened a few times, which caused the nurse to come and shift my body around till the baby settled. The last time it happened was around 7 in the morning. A team of people came swarming in the room. Up until now, only one or two people would be in to check on me. There was talk of a C-section and orders for prepping the OR were given. Paperwork was pushed in front of me. If the baby's heart rate did not get steady, we were going for an emergency C-section. Bryan was given directions and clothes for the OR. I was currently 6 cm and crying. Not because I didn't want a C-section. I wanted whatever was best for the baby and I wanted her to be okay. In my head I was screaming, well let's get her out then! My OB said it was all ready to go, but lets just watch her for a few minutes after taking me off pitocin to see if she would recover before going into major surgery. So they left and monitored us from their computer. I actually dozed for a half hour. An hour after this madness, I paged the nurse because I felt so much pressure. The resident OB came in to check me. Low and behold, I had gone from 6 cm to 10 cm in one hour, and baby was at +1.
I was allowed to push, but with restrictions. Because of her struggling heart rate, I was to push on some contractions, not all. They watched the monitors carefully to assess when it was okay for her. This meant 2 hours from when I started till she was born. Sounds like a lot, but it was only some of the time I was actually pushing. The NICU was in the room when she was born as she was a preemie I think Delilah shocked everyone. Her AGPAR score was a 9 (out of 10) and she was checked over to be fine. I got to hold her before they swept her off to the nursery while I recovered.
The best part of having Delilah at 35 weeks is that I didn't have time to get worried about what labor would be like. I wasn't expecting her to come till closer to 37 or 38 weeks. I thought I had at least another week before I would work up a sweat about L and D.
Delilah is now 3 weeks old, eating all the time, and a pro at tummy time. Now, if she would only sleep a little longer in between nursing sessions.....