I called the Dr.’s office Thursday, right after Corwin’s speech evaluation. And before I had to pick up Jane from Joy school. They asked if I could come in at 12:45. I said “Of course.” I immediately called my friend, Angela, who’d been with me at my previous visit. She said I could bring my younger 2 to her house, where her daughter could watch them so she could accompany me to the visit. Jonathan was working. I called to let him know though, because if he wasn’t on a flight, then the office is close enough to his work that he could be there.
I picked up Jane quickly and ran to get something for the kids for lunch (McDonald’s hamburgers, which is NOT usual, but it was close, fast, & cheap – we’d been out of town, so no food in house, & kids were tickled) and then dropped them off. Angela rode with me to the office. When we arrived, we had to wait a while. They were still out to lunch, and then, Dr. Tadvick was called to a delivery again. His staff blamed me, of course, because this had happened at my last scheduled appointment as well.
So, while we were waiting, they have you pee in a cup and check your vital signs. Another thing that I noticed during this was that my weight hadn’t changed at all from my previous visit. For me, by now being in the 2nd trimester...that was also very atypical. I pretty much gain the whole time. When he finally arrived, after 2:00 pm, he wheeled in the ultrasound machine and I anxiously watched and waited. As he was scanning the image on the screen, my eyes were doing the same thing... searching for any signs of movement or heartbeat we’d seen on the previous scan. Nothing.
After searching for a couple minutes, he looked at the screen and said, “That’s where the heartbeat is supposed to be. ...I keep looking, and we’ll do another ultrasound with a better machine to verify, but you know what we’re supposed to see. I’m so sorry.”
He started to lay out the options... first option is to wait, possibly for weeks/month for baby to pass on their own – risk for hemorrhaging to be greater, ...or be induced at the hospital now, or schedule early next week, etc. I was far enough along (@ 15 ½ weeks) that they couldn’t just do a D&C. So, I called Jonathan to confirm best scheduling since he was at work, and we decided it would be best for me to go in that night, even though he was scheduled to work, because everything could likely happen later when he’d have to go back in to work Saturday, if we waited to admit until Friday – he works every other 24 hours when he’s “on hitch”.
So, I had Angela help me prioritize my phone calls. I had a presidency meeting the next day I’d need to cancel. Corwin had an educational evaluation scheduled with the school district, which I could reschedule, or have a friend drop him off/pick up. I opted for the latter. Same friend agreed to watch Jane. Angela said she could stay that night with my kids, while I went to hospital, and take the 2 oldest in to school the next morning & drop off younger 2. I also needed to go pick up some food, so the kids would all have something to eat for dinner and pack for lunches the next day. Angela helped me with all of that. She’s an angel, for sure. Then she dropped me off at the hospital by 6:30 pm because they called while we were getting food at Sam’s. I had to rush home and pack my bag etc.
We made it there, Eliana joined because she was teary and didn’t want me to leave. She gripped me tightly. When asked why she was so upset, she just explained that she wanted me to be at home with her. So, I told her they’d take good care of me and that I should be home the next day, but that we could send her a Marco Polo (video message) from the hospital and asked if that would be alright. She nodded in agreement and finally let me go so they could show us to my room. Of course, being in the labor and delivery wing, there were pictures of babies in the room, the incubator, all things that speak to new life and small faces, hands and feet. At first, they seemed to grab my attention, sort of like a slap in the face, even though they were very sweet photos of a newborn that would make most anyone, including me normally, say “Awww, so cute.” My nurse came in soon enough though, and the staff were all very kind and apologetic. They gave me hugs and told me they were sorry.
Once the day shift nurse said goodbye, and the night shift nurse came in, they took 3 tries to get my IV in, calling it the “nurse curse” since my husband and I both are... I guess actually, my nurse attempted twice, then the charge nurse came in and got it on the first try. Jonathan could tell you the story in a much better way, as his approach to IV starts is totally different. Take confidence all you nurses out there! We’re not here to judge!
Anyway, a few bruises later, we got my paperwork, history mostly filled out, and Dr. Tadvick came by to place the laminaria, these seaweed sticks that expand with moisture to help dilate your cervix. A short while after that, my nurse placed my first 400 mg dose of intravaginal Cytotec, the medicine they were using to induce. They would come in 4 hours later to administer a 2nd dose of 200 mg... 4 hours later a 3rd dose at 200 mg. The 2nd dose was around the time I think they thought I might already deliver around 2 or 3 am (because I’ve had 4 children previously). They also had to check blood pressures every 30 minutes times 2 after administering the cytotec, in between all of that, when the contractions were intense, I would have to get up and rush to the bathroom. (And take the IV pole, etc. with me every time). My stools went quickly from soft, to loose, to clear liquid. This can be pretty typical side effect of the cytotec, not to mention, I’d always had at least one good episode of diarrhea before delivering each of my other children. Sort of the body’s natural way of cleaning out and getting ready I guess. So, between pressure on a full bladder, a bit of a bowel cleanout, and giving what feels like a life history due to the redundancy that is hospital charting... I really didn’t get much sleep that night – to be expected. I’ve worked night shifts, so I know.
At any rate, around 8 am, after that 3rd dose given sometime before 7 am, Dr. Tadvick came in and pulled out those laminaria that had swollen quite large at this point. During this time also, the mild cramping that had stayed around a 4/10 on the pain scale, at this point turned to more regular contractions that would get up to around a 7/10, but then wane back to a 2 on the pain scale between contractions. So, by about 9 am, my water suddenly broke. I remembered having felt that when I had Corwin (he’s the only other one where I had “spontaneous rupture of membranes”).
The contractions stayed stronger for about 40 minutes after that, then they started dying down enough, and/or I was finally exhausted enough, that I actually fell asleep for just over an hour. Around 11 am, my nurse (day shift now) came back in to deliver another dose of cytotec. At this point, when she was placing it, all of a sudden I felt a gush again, similar to when my water broke, but I felt something more solid pass. I looked down to see a tiny little thing, that was our early forming child, covered in blood, etc, but definitely had a face, body, little arms, legs, fingers and toes. I stood there staring. The nurse called out to another nurse passing by to call the doctor. Dr. Tadvick showed up within minutes. She started trying to clean him up, Dr. Tadvick finished the job.
The nurse kept telling me how perfect he was. I was thinking in my head that he wasn’t perfect or he’d still be alive. But then I had another thought, that in a sense, he was perfect, for he had never sinned. That’s spiritual perfection. More important than physical anyway, right? It means he went home to his Heavenly Father, devoid of sin. More than I can say for myself.