When I was in labour, they monitored me and the baby very carefully. My blood pressure was high enough to induce seizures and strokes. A stroke might have killed me.
Nobody explained exactly how my baby could have died, and I refuse to look it up, but it was a very real concern.
I was admitted and induced about 3 pm on a Tuesday. I was moved to a delivery room that evening, not because I was ready to push, but because they wanted to watch the baby closely using an internal foetal monitor.
The crash cart took up so much space in that little room.
Late at night, after what seemed like forever, I gave into the pain and asked the nurses to call the anaesthesiologist. That was a nightmare. My blood was so thick and my veins so swollen, it had taken two nurses and several tries to get an IV line in my wrist that afternoon.
The anaesthesiologist could hardly see my spine because of the water retention. I could tell he was nervous. I actually felt bad he got such a difficult patient.
That nightmare was worth it. I got some relief and a bit of sleep between contractions.
I had really wanted to give birth naturally; avoid a cesarean section at the very least. The OBGYN let me press on until the next day, because the baby was still doing fine. But I just wasn’t dilating, so I had to go under the knife.
As the surgeon cut into the first layer of skin, I said “ouch!”, and he immediately stopped. I didn’t just feel tugging, like they said I would; I felt the sharp pierce as the scalpel broke through my skin.
My body doesn’t play by the rules.
So they fed more drugs through my epidural line, waited for me to feel less, and they started again. This time I didn’t feel the first cut, but I did laugh out loud when the surgeon cut into the next layer. It tickled.
Amid the chaos, our beautiful baby girl was born. I knew she was okay when she cried. I was conscious just long enough to see her squishy newborn face sticking out of the receiving blanket when a nurse brought her into my field of vision.
My life was changed.