Evelyn Kathleen Elaine Smith arrived at 3:59 am on Sunday February 19th. I woke on Saturday
morning at 7:45 to a couple really good contractions, so I decided to pace to see if they went away. When I decided that nope they were not, I did what every pre-labour list told me to do and had a bath and shower. Things were going along just fine until just before 11 o'clock I felt a pop. I rushed over to the toilet and (yay for me) I felt a big gush of fluid and when I looked I could see mucus in the water. I knew that now it was definitely it so we packed up and went to the hospital.
We got to the hospital just after 11. They admitted and checked me out. They determined my water had not yet broken and surmised that what I saw and felt must have just been a very liquid mucus plug. I was 1 cm and 80% at about noon. I was a little disappointed in myself at this point because I could feel I was already approaching my pain threshold (I had been hoping to limit meds), and I had a shot of morphine. I laboured for a few hours my husband of course was in the room but at some point my Mom and MIL also drifted into the room. I was surprised they were allowed to be in there but in the end I did not mind it as I was much more in the mood to listen to conversation than participate in it. I was pretty high from the morphine, but it made time pass quickly. At about 4:30
they checked me and I was now 2cm and 100%. They decided that they were going to send me home. I was sooo upset. I was up to my pain threshold again and my morphine was wearing off. However they were insistent I needed to go. My nurse was really nice and was trying to suggest coping methods (warm bath, hot packs), but I knew I was in for some terrible times. She did say she expected to see us back soon just couldn't predict when. I was glad she made the point
to basically say "no this is not false labour, just slow going". It made me feel she was hearing and understanding me.
My mom decided to stay with us at our house in the in between time. As soon as I came home I got into the tub, and apparently sat there for over an hour moaning and not moving. It did not seem that long, but eventually I perceived the water had cooled down. I asked to be helped out. I headed for the living room (had to stop and sit down in the dining room on the way). I then sat in DH's chair for
another hourish moaning and crying. After that I felt I needed to go to the bathroom when I got up I saw my pants and underwear were wet. In the bathroom I saw blood, which was one of the check marks that would have sent me back to the hospital. Mom and DH packed me into the car. My pain level was sooooo beyond myself at this point; my contractions were nearly constant with no relief in
We got back to the hospital at about 9 pm. They admitted me again. I think I scared the intern who was taking my info. I know I was making some pretty pathetic vocalizations at that point. He rushed right through my chart. They checked me and I was now 8cm dilated. I was kind of feeling smug at that point, thinking, yeah you were silly to send me home. I asked for the epidural I never wanted and the anthologist came at about 10. When he heard I was 8 cm already he said “Oh, well do we really need this.” I wanted so badly to punch him. If I asked for it I need it, and I need it now I cannot do it anymore. Nurse Julie was sympatric and answered that ``it is her first pregency.``
After the epidural came I was blissful for the next few hours. I had contractions, but there was relief between them. DH took a little nap and I read a magazine. At midnight the nurse checked and I was fully effaced and had only a lip of cervix left. They checked again at 2 and I was still the same. I didn’t really care at that point. No question I would have endured 4 hours of my post- epidural pain over 15 minutes of before. Just before 3am my cervix was gone, but they were unsure which way she was facing…this should have been my first clue. I started pushing but she was having decelerations with each push. The ob/gyn came in and out of the blue said we were sectioning. My choices were forceps or section. It was a crazy mental situation, but I could not say no.
All of a sudden there was a flurry of activity: 3 nurses was trying to get blood (I have tiny veins), someone was shaving and the ob/gyn was poking around down below. All of a sudden we were heading down the hall to the OR. Then I was on the table, a drape was placed right in front of my face and my arms were tied down. The mean anthologist was back and he topped me up. I was trying to ask someone if I could do skin-to-skin with her. Someone told me yes, but they lied.
Very quickly she was born, but they did not even show her to me before being whisked over to the warming table. DH could see her, but I could just hear her cry. I felt like forever before they even brought her over to DH. She was all wrapped up and no one could put her skin-to-skin, I couldn’t even touch her as my hands were tied down. DH sat with me for about 20 minutes while they shoved and pushed on my stomach. It was painful even with my topped up epidural. They sent DH out. Next thing I knew I was dreaming and then waking up in recovery. They had put me under general anesthesia without warning. I finally came around enough to hold my daughter when she was an hour and a half old. She was a star and latched right away. She was bright and beautiful and perfect.
Over the next day she was a star at latching on, but she would scream when she fell off. I felt that she was basically drinking everything and then getting angry once the tap was dry. The nurses didn`t understand and just kept trying to relatch her. She was inconsolable for a day. She could not sleep except on someone and wanted to feed constantly and for as long as you would leave her. One feeding on both sides stretched to 90 minutes.
On Monday night both Mom and MIL said she was getting yellow. I resolved to ask the Dr. in the am. I specifically asked him about her colour, and he said she was fine. All day the nurses said, wow she`s yellow and I agreed. She had another frantic day and I was getting to my end. Tuesday night the nurse suggested we give her some formula. I so did not want her to ever have formula, but I could not see her like that. The nurse was nice enough to cup feed her sowe didn’t have to worry about the nipple. Evie sucked it down in five seconds flat. An hour later she was frantic again, so I hadto give her some more. The head nurse came in at that point and looked at her colour and immediately ordered a blood draw.
I was so happy someone was listening. I had tons of nurses in the room trying to get her to latch or pacify or anything half the night. They knew we had not really slept at all since we arrived so at 3 am they offered to take her to the desk for a few hours. I felt guilty leaving her, but we needed sleep and a break. The general consensus was that because I had anesthesia and a traumatic section my milk was delayed a little. My level was just not yet where Evie needed it to be as she was a hungry baby.
Wednesday morning was our original dismissal date. But instead of going home, we got the
bombshell that she was going down to the NICU. Evie was definitely jaundice and had lost 12% of her weight. I was soooooooo angry that no one had listened to me and now we were in such a situation. I didn`t want her separated from me. The nurse offered another formula feed, but
told me they did not cup feed in the NICU so we just bottled it. I so did not want her to have a bottle for a few months, and here she was only a few days old. They took her down and I was devastated. I
think I spent the whole morning crying. The nurse was quite nice and tried to give us anything to make it better. She managed to get me a 3 hour pass so I could leave the hospital that evening and go home for a bit. After lunch we went down to the NICU for the first time. I did feel better seeing her
and felt a little better. The very nice head nurse said she had modified the plan and I could breastfeed her every other feed and top up with formula. I felt so much happier that I would still get a little time with her.
I fed her at 3 pm and she latched on both sides and then had a top up. After that we headed home for a shower and some real food. I felt better after being out and then coming back. At 9 pm and
3 am she only latched to one side and then had her formula top up. The 9 am feed was the first time she refused to latch. I was so angry my perfect latcher had come to prefer a bottle in less than 24 hours. This was totally one of my worst fears. Iwent back to the room frustrated. Around
11am I got a call from the NICU that she was very awake and I could come playwith her. I rushed down when I got there they were drawing bloods, but the nurse said she was very improved and would in all likelihood be dismissed. I was able to take her back to our room and pack up. We were dismissed home but with a strict feeding plan. But she was definitely having nipple confusion issues. She is almost unresponsive to the presentation of the nipple even with some expressed
milk. She usually goes frantic almost immediately and has to be calmed before you can even try anything else.
On Thursday we went back to be weighed and she appears to have gained. Her colour was about the same, so not really a concern. In the afternoon she latched once, but only gave a couple sucks
before falling asleep. At a later feed she latched on with the nipple she latched on with the nipple shield but wanted instant satisfaction
and gave up before she got any milk.