I had gone to the doctor’s office for my regular weekly visit. I was 38 weeks pregnant and definitely ready to have the baby. I was just starting up my 3rd week of maternity leave and I was getting anxious. My husband Shawn was also on summer break because he is an 8th grade math teacher. Everyday since being on leave, we were looking for things to do just to keep busy as we waited Clayton’s arrival. We went on long walks (we even went to the LA Zoo), ate pineapple, bounced on the exercise ball… but of course I was only having irregular contractions. Every time we thought we were getting close and having regular contractions for a few hours, they would stop suddenly.
At my doctor’s appointment, they found some extra protein in my urine (sorry if that’s TMI) so I had to get additional testing done. When we went back to the doctors a few days later, my doctor talked to us about doing an “elective induction” as my protein levels were still very high. We opted to do the induction as we were very anxious about meeting our little guy. The doctor was wanting to start the induction right away, however the hospital couldn’t take me until the next evening at 10 PM. We went ahead and scheduled the induction and called our parents to let them know what was happening. My parents had about a 6 hour drive so they began to make plans so they could get down to LA as quickly as possible.
That afternoon, we had some of Shawn’s co-workers/friends come over for a visit. Around 6:30 PM we got a call from the hospital saying that my doctor wanted me to come in that evening at 8 PM to begin the induction process. Shawn ran out to get me some food (although I was so anxious, I couldn’t even think about eating!) and I begin to quickly pack up our bags. We thought we had a whole extra day to finish up our laundry and get a few other things done, but all that would just have to wait!
We got to the hospital a little before 8 PM and got all checked in. When the nurse put the monitors on me, we found out I was having pretty regular contractions. The original plan was the start Cervidil but that ended up getting put on hold because they needed to stop the contractions. They ended up starting me on Pitocin instead and the baby’s heart rate kept dipping a little after each contraction. Eventually the contractions just stopped. The doctor decided to give me a break for a few hours and let me eat (YAY!!!). Let me tell you, the hospital I was at had some of the best food. (Shawn says our hospital was more like a hotel.) After I ate a plate of French Toast, the nurse started me on Cervidil. Then began the 12 hours of waiting. Waiting for anything to happen. Of course, 12 hours later, nothing had happened. Thankful for an amazing doctor, she let me eat another meal (grilled cheese and french fries never tasted so good) and get a few hours of sleep.
At 4 AM that Sunday morning, I was started on Pitocin again and that’s when action began to happen. I was having pretty regular contractions and they really began to hurt. My Pitocin was only at a 4 and apparently it can go up to 40. Around 6 AM I turned to Shawn and told him I wanted to get the epidural. The nurses do their switch at 7 AM and so I made sure to put in the request before my nurse switch. At 8 AM I got my epidural and had so much relief. Our parents came into the room to visit for a little bit as I just laid there half asleep. Around 10:30 AM I felt some leaking. Thinking it was the weird, I had Shawn go get the nurse. My water had FINALLY broken! Except it was green, which meant our baby had pooped in me. Because my water was green, they would need someone from the NICU at the birth because they didn’t know how much of the fluid the baby had digested. By the time my doctor came to check me around 1:30 PM, I was finally dilated 4 cm. She let us know it could still be awhile, so I continued to rest and just visit with my family. By 4:30/5 PM, the nurse checked me and I was at 9 cm! I texted Shawn since he was in the cafeteria grabbing a snack, and he ran back to the room. After some more waiting and feeling like my epidural was weaning and me being very uncomfortable, around 9 PM I finally began to push. However, the baby’s heart rate continued to drop after each contraction. After about 30 – 45 minutes of pushing, we decided to stop and let gravity do its thing and see if his heart rate would come back up. During this time, I ended up throwing up and developing a fever. My doctor prescribed Tylenol and antibiotics and still my fever wasn’t going away and his heart rate was not going back up. At this point, we discussed having a C-Section and I had been stuck to the hospital bed for 51 hours. My doctor assured me the baby would be out before midnight.
As all the nurses rushed around me to get me prepped for the C-Section, I was getting excited because I was finally going to meet my little boy! But I was also nervous about having to recover from a C-Section. At 11:50 PM on July 14th, Clayton David Tressa was finally born weighing 7 lb. 9 oz. and measuring at 21 inches long. He immediately got checked out by the baby nurse and someone from the NICU. Shawn got to cut the umbilical cord and eventually they brought him over to meet me. I have to admit, I was pretty exhausted and didn’t know what was going on. But I was just so happy he was here and he was safe. As it turns out, it’s a good thing we ended up going with a C-Section. The umbilical cord was wrapped around his head vertically and there was a lot of his poop floating around inside me.
Shawn texted our parents that he was finally here and everyone left the hospital to go get some sleep because they wouldn’t be able to meet him until 3 or 4 AM. Although Shawn and I didn’t get much sleep due to nurses coming in and out of our post partum room, I was just so happy to finally be holding my baby. And even though it was a very long 52 hours, I wouldn’t have changed a thing. The nurses that were with us every step of the way were amazing. And even though I took a ton of pictures of Shawn sleeping on the couch, I was so grateful to have had him by my side the whole time encouraging me and helping me in every way imaginable.