Yes, I am indeed a slacker, but these days I have almost no energy and what little I have goes to taking care of my two crazy toddlers. Fire me if you must, but I'm going to try and at least update every couple of weeks, if not more often. For now my update will just cover a four day span of time about the 26th day of January and like I said in the title it really won't be a day I'll ever forget.
The 26th started off as any day normally would have, my kids woke us up and what felt like an ungodly hour. They got their morning ritual of graham crackers and eventually some waffles. It really was just a normal day, but sometime in the early afternoon I started having contractions and they seemed to be getting stronger & more frequent. Seeing as our drive to my hospital of choice is almost two hours away, I tried to hold off as long as possible since I hate going in and be told 'our monitors aren't picking up any contractions so you must not be having any.' Very aggravating.
So finally around 4:30 I called a friend who is a nurse to get her opinion, especially since I was having some pelvic pressure. Unfortunately she didn't answer and called me back after I'd talked to a nurse at my Dr's office. She'd told me that I should go to the hospital and get checked out just to be on the safe side. She told me not to rush, it wasn't something I needed to be going 90 MPH to get there. So, with that we decided that we'd finish feeding our kids before we made the long drive. This put us leaving the house around 5:30 and we stopped at the gas station on post to fill up our tank, when we noticed the very long line of red tail lights going to the main gates and they weren't moving.
My Hubby works as a security guard here on post and so he had a few guesses to the reason no one was apparently being allowed off post, but felt confident it wouldn't be for too long. Well we sat there for thirty minutes and my contractions were about 15 mins apart, I was starting to get a little worried and a little frustrated with the hold up. I joked with my Hubby that if we had to wait too much longer we were going to have the baby in the car. I suggested that he call PMO (Provost Marshal Officers aka our very own cops) and see if we could get permission to be escorted off post to get me to the hospital.
An officer stopped by our car and my Husband spoke to him about the situation, and he told him that he'd see what he could find our or do for us. The next thing I know we see the ambulance creep up the other lane, but they passed us and I thought we were safe. See there is a hospital about 45 mins away from our Military Installation, but I've been there twice and have had bad experiences both times, so there was no way I wanted to go there. Not to mention if I was going to have my baby I wanted her to be delivered by my Dr at my hospital. I thought for sure that they'd make me go to the closer hospital and I told my Husband that there was no way I was going to that hospital.
Well the ambulance turned around down by the gates and started to creep back down our way. They were looking for us! Dang it! My Hubby got out and talked to the paramedics, told them what was going on and that I didn't want to go to the local hospital. Next thing I know the paramedic is climbing into the driver's seat of my car to talk to me. We talked about what I was feeling and how often my contractions were. He also talked about the fact that I didn't want to go to the closest hospital. He said he didn't have a problem taking me to the hospital of choice and didn't blame me for not wanting to go to the other one (apparently I am not alone in my dislike of that hospital.). He said he needed to talk to his supervisor, but he didn't think he'd have an issue either. So, he suggested that for the moment how about I come hang out in the ambulance with them until we could get off post. He said it would give me a chance to stretch out, they could check my vitals and keep an eye on my contractions. So, I said ok.
Apparently, as I headed to have a more comfortable seat in the ambulance my kids were upset that 'Mommy was leaving.' Sweet, huh? I got comfy or as comfy as one can get on a gurney and let them hook me up to the blood pressure cuff and the pulse ox machine. I was asked quite a few questions for their paperwork and then as time went on, it was apparent that my fabulous paramedic, Jim, was getting concerned about how frequent the contractions were and how long they were lasting. I was given an IV, in which he was having a very hard time locating a good vein thanks to me being so swollen. They did finally manage to get one in the crook of my left arm and they started pumping me full of fluid. So, they talked about getting a life flight helicopter to come and get me. A feeling of dread came over me and I was no longer enjoying my comfy seat in the ambulance.
They then drove the ambulance to the installations helicopter pad to wait for the helicopter to get here. They talked about having their supervisor talk to my Hubby and explain what was going on. About five minutes later, we were informed that due to the lock down on post they were not going to allow the helicopter to land on post. So, we had to make a very bumpy ride down one of the two roads that leads to civilization. Life flight then informed us that I needed to have a second IV and boy was I not excited about that. Now I am no stranger to IVs and have been poked & pricked by more needles than I can count, so they don't really bother me. But Jim and I had already discussed that the only other vein he could find was on the underside of my right wrist and he really didn't want to do an IV there. (More painful, often requires fishing around and blows easily.) In the end that was his only choice. He had to tell his buddy to slow down since the bumps were making it near impossible to place the IV, then he had to ask him to slow down again and eventually he had him stop completely. After all that the vein blew anyway and he couldn't stick me again since we arrived at the location to meet the helicopter right off of I-80.
The helicopter landed (although there was concern of fog) and I was wheeled out of the warm ambulance & over to the helicopter, whose blades were still going. Making it very cold, especially since it was after dark at this point. They made the switch from one gurney to the next and was slid into the helicopter. They wouldn't let me lay on my back, which probably would have made the ride more pleasant but they wanted me on my side. (I'm not sure the reason) Yet I wasn't really on my side nor was I on my back (so uncomfortable) and then they buckled me in. Then came the shower of questions (I had been warned, but hadn't really believed Jim) and most of which I had already answered before.
The paramedics on the flight were ok, but I really would have loved to take the ones from the ambulance over these ones any day. The flight was supposed to last about 25 to 30 mins and honestly I have no idea how long it lasted, but it felt like forever. We landed and I was moved once again from one gurney to another. One of the gentlemen that came to take me to labor and deliver had the most amazing British accent and kept calling me 'Love,' as weird as it might sound I was totally comforted by it. Weird, huh? Maybe its cause I like accents so much, who knows though. I was wheeled what felt like all over the place and it took ages to finally reach labor and delivery. There I was hooked up to all the monitors, asked more questions and even had to endure a speculam being placed in order to see how my cervix looked.
It looked like maybe a finger tip dilated, but nothing they were too worried about. Unfortunately, since their stupid monitors weren't picking up most of my contractions, I was treated a little bit badly. I had to be given loads of meds to stop contractions, some nausea meds and some pain meds (those came after like four hours of being in the hospital). I was so miserable I didn't sleep that whole night (yuck, yuck and double yuck). I talked to the anesthesiologist about the things they would do if I had to have a c-section and I also talked to a NICU nurse, who explained all the things they might do to Rhiannon should she come early. She seemed optimistic about the health of the baby saying that they wouldn't know anything til she was born, but that there have been babies born at that point who have only needed a little pressure to their breathing. I also signed paperwork so they could treat Rhiannon and I signed a form that they could do a c-section, as well as the possibility of a hysterectomy.
Yes, you read that right 'a hysterectomy.' I was informed since I had complete placenta previa that if the placenta had grown into my previous c-section scar tissue, there was no safe way to separate them, therefore risking my life so they would have to do a hysterectomy. I was surprised by the news, seeing as my Dr had never mentioned it, but surprisingly I wasn't too upset. We have plans to do a hysterectomy once we are done having our family, but if I had to do it sooner rather than later we'd find another way to have kids. We feel very strongly that we still have a little boy waiting to join our family, but we will do what it takes (legally, that is) to get him here.
By morning, they still weren't really seeing my contractions and boy was I frustrated. I really liked my day time nurse, who was a cute older lady. Around 10 AM I went in for an ultrasound to check and see where my placenta was attached, to see if I would need a hysterectomy. The tech was an older lady and was very friendly, but when she informed me that I did NOT have placenta previa I was upset, concerned and trying to think logically. I'd had an ultrasound three days before and had been told I still have placenta previa. I couldn't believe that in three days it had changed that much. (My Dr agreed with me when I went to see him the next week) So, eventually I was moved from Labor and Delivery to the Women's ward, with the talk of being released the next day.
I was frustrated, I had been hoping that they would need to take her since I'm not doing well this pregnancy and I feel it would be better for both the baby & I to do so, not to mention the strain it is putting on my family. I had quite a few visitors that night. Christopher came by before he had to go to work and was with me when I made the room exchange. My cousin and his wife came to visit, my sister & her boyfriend, later my cousin returned with his mother and brother in tow and then later still my parents and my two youngest siblings. It was nice having so many visitors, it made me feel loved. When my cousin had first showed up they had brought me a flower and a balloon wishing me well. I have never received a flower during my many hospital stays, it truly made my day.
I had a better night and was even able to sleep somewhat. I was release the next afternoon and made the long drive home to take it easy. My poor hubby, who had gotten very little sleep, had to go to work nearly as soon as we got home. It was such an incredibly difficult three days, but we pulled through and are continuing to do what we have to til this little one gets here. I promise I will write more later, but there is my big adventure story that I surely will never forget. Now if only those fairly expensive medical bills manage to be paid in full by the insurance I'd feel a lot better.