Baby Duncan has been home for a bit over a month now, so I’m finally getting around to writing up his birth story. As I was getting close to my due date, I read a lot of birth stories on my favourite blogs so that I’d be able to recognize the signs of labour. Turns out I didn’t need any of that insight, but I’ll get into that in a bit.
On the Wednesday exactly 2 weeks before my April 5th due date, I was busy wrapping things up at work, since I was set to start my maternity leave at the end of the week. I was 38 weeks and the physical exhaustion had really hit me, so I was intending to work from home on Thursday and Friday. I kept telling everyone that I hoped baby would let me enjoy my week off before his due date, since I really just needed to sleep.
I spent some time tying up loose ends and getting my cubicle cleaned up, stuffing my personal items in plastic bags to bring home at the end of the day.
Mid-morning, I left my office to head to my weekly prenatal appointment. My OB did the usual blood pressure check,and then checked it again. And then went looking for another blood pressure cuff to check again. I’d been experiencing several symptoms of pre-eclampsia for weeks with massively swollen feet, occasional blurry vision and upper-right quadrant abdominal pain, but my blood pressure, blood work and urine tests were always fine. I’d been warned that my blood pressure might shoot up at any time, and if that were to happen, the only treatment would be delivery. After my doctor asked me to lie down for a while before she checked my BP again, it started sinking in that maybe that’s what was happening. She confirmed that my BP was quite high and when she checked me, she found that I was 3 cm dilated. She told me I’d be having this baby sooner rather than later, and I agreed to a membrane sweep to encourage labour. My doctor then laid out a few options.
She could send me over to triage and they could decide if they’d send me to labour and delivery for an induction, or I could go home and wait and see, and if I hadn’t gone into labour in a couple days, or if my BP went up or other symptoms got worse, I’d have to get induced then. I was a bit overwhelmed and didn’t know which option to choose, so she called ahead to triage to find out how busy things were over there. They weren’t busy at all, so we decided that I’d go over there and see what they thought. Before I left, I picked up paperwork from the receptionist and made an appointment for Friday for if I hadn’t had the baby by then. I asked her if I needed to go straight to triage or if I had time to go back to my office. She told me I could take my time, so as I walked back to my office, I called Mike. I gave him the update, and asked him to come meet me before going to the hospital. I told him that it might happen but it might not, but he should bring the hospital bags just in case. I’d mostly finished packing the bags the prior weekend, but I asked Mike to add a few items, including my makeup, blow dryer and flat iron. I don’t know. I thought I was going to be Kate Middleton glam. I was not. I was worried about making sure Mike grabbed the right blush brush, while he was stressing over the fact that we hadn’t installed the car seat yet. I kept reassuring him (and myself) that it maybe/probably wouldn’t happen. They’d maybe/probably just send us home.
At my office, I responded to a couple emails and then went and let me boss know. “So, um, I might be having this baby soon.” I grabbed my things, which I’d fortunately gotten all packed up, and went to the lobby to wait for Mike. At the hospital, we decided to grab lunch before heading to triage, since I wasn’t sure what would happen and when we’d have a chance to eat.
At triage, the nurse had me change into a gown, and put me in a room to wait for someone to come examine me. After waiting a while, another nurse came in and asked if I wanted to go ahead and get induced. “Now?” I’d expected someone would come check my BP again, do an exam, give me more medical information to base a decision on. I turned to Mike and asked, “Should we do this? Since we’re already here?” Might as well, we decided. I figured that this way we were here, everything was nice and controlled. If we went home, we risked a middle of the night, or worse, a middle of rush hour labour, or we’d just end up in the same place in a couple days anyway.
With the decision made, we walked over to the labour & delivery room. We were going to be meeting our little one soon!
(To be continued)