As (most of) you know I am an RN at the hospital in Lethbridge. My normal rotation is full-time day/nights, but about 3 months into the pregnancy, I switched to a temporary full-time day/evenings so I could attempt to get more sleep (attempt being the key word here).
The pregnancy was good. Uncomplicated, exciting, healthy, beautiful, and went by way too fast! I had no morning sickness. Minimal Braxton Hicks (around 22-28 weeks). No Pain. Really, it was the ideal pregnancy, other than a displaced rib due to baby dearest (which was easily fixed by the chiropractor).
20 week ultrasound
It was early on in my stretch of 6 evening shifts that I began to feel mild discomfort, like my uterus wanted to fall out of me, however it only lasted one day and I thought nothing of it after that. I continued the rest of my shifts through to Sunday. Typical of an evening shift, I got home about 11:45pm, got ready for bed and surprisingly, had a good sleep…until 5:00am when pregnancy bladder kicked in, again. When I stood, there was warm liquid running down my leg, which I was pretty sure wasn’t urine. I sat on the toilet thinking about it for awhile, confused as to if this was my water breaking or if it could have possibly been something else. I don’t know what I was thinking – really, what else could it have been???? I think the part that confused me about it was that I was only 35 week 4 days. I wasn’t considered full term yet.
There we were, off to the hospital at 5:30am, January 21, 2013. I had so many things running through my head. What’s going to happen? Is she going to be ok? What will it be like having a preemie? How long will I have to stay? Are they going to send me home like they sometimes do? Quite honestly, my head was spinning. I don’t think either of us was prepared for this at all. In fact, I know we weren’t. (We didn’t have a bag packed, the car seat was still in the box, and I still had 8 shifts of work and a whole month before my due date!!)
We got up to labour and delivery, went through the usual admission forms and waited for the doctor. The nurse hooked me up to the fetal monitor, and to my surprise, I was having contractions every 4 minutes. I wasn’t feeling them at all!
Dr. Godwin came to see us about 8:00am and began some antibiotics incase of Strep B (they didn’t test me for it; that was booked for the 36week doctor appointment). When she told us we’d have a baby in the next 24 hours, I was both scared and excited. I had Mitch call my mom to come from Swift Current then he was off to the house to pack a few things and take care of Leaf.
For awhile, the day really drug on. It’s different being on the other side of things. Lying in that bed all day, bored out of my mind, staring at the blank walls, it was as though time didn’t move. And seriously, I felt like Rachel on the episode of friends. I had a new roommate come and not long after, she would leave and have a baby, then the next one, and the next one, and the next one!!! Around lunch time, I was starting to feel contractions. About 2:00pm, the nurses moved me into the labour room. I was starting to feel more pain, but it was tolerable. I think it was about 5:00pm when I asked for something for the pain. I got pain medication through my IV. It helped to relax me between contractions but didn’t do much for the pain itself. About 6:00pm, I was beyond uncomfortable. I was just about to ask for an epidural and Dr Godwin and Dr Kahn gave us the news. I was 9.5cm! Time to push!!
The whole crew had to come in the room because I was less than 36 weeks along (Pediatrician, NICU Nurse, Respiratory Tech, along with my nurse and my maternity doctor). About 20 minutes later, at 6:23pm, Palmer Madeline Lowe was born weighing 5lbs 13oz, 19 ¾ inches long and had a beautiful (cone shaped) head of reddish blonde hair and slate blue eyes.