When we decided we wanted to have just one more, we never expected to have the journey we went on. But, I guess that’s how life works, you can’t plan everything. Most of you have heard about our unexpected pregnancy journey but her arrival secured her as the title “third time’s a charm”.
Near the end of my pregnancy, I developed preeclampsia for the third time. However, this time around, it seemed to creep in earlier and more severely. It was on my 36-week check-up that my wonderful nurse noticed how unwell I appeared. I was already getting NST’s (Non-stress tests) twice a week where my OB would monitor my blood pressure, the baby’s activity, and whether or not I was having any contractions. When she took my blood pressure that morning, it was 160/100. Even after sitting for a bit, it still read 150/100. If you know blood pressures at all, these were both very high. I knew I was heading to triage at the hospital. I had been sent there many times before. However, this time, I just had a feeling I wouldn’t be leaving as quickly.
After calling my husband and mom, I grabbed my things from our house and headed over to the hospital. I also scarfed down a protein shake and nutrition bar. When I arrived at the hospital, my blood pressure was still high and I was having regular contractions every two minutes. Since my blood pressure was not coming down, the doctors confirmed they wanted me admitted into labor and delivery.
Not leaving without baby…
When my husband arrived, the doctor came to talk to us shortly after. I would not be leaving the hospital without our baby. My blood pressure was too dangerously high to risk me going home. After a few hours passed, my doctor decided that instead of making me sit around for 4 more days waiting to reach 37 weeks, we would induce that night.
Shortly after my induction, I was given magnesium since my blood pressure still would not come down. I was warned about it’s effects but nothing can really prepare you. Within minutes, I was experiencing a hot flash to end all hot flashes. My husband literally put on my coat on top of his own because I had requested the room be so cold, it was unbearable for anyone else. As the doctor came to check on me again, a wave of nausea came over me and up came the little food that was in my stomach.
I opted to get my epidural prior to my water being broken. I’d had my water broken with second pregnancy and it’s no picnic. The epidural took effect relatively quickly and I suddenly felt very tired. The nurse came in several times to check on me and I was in and out of consciousness. Little did I know, my husband was freaking out for me. The epidural had caused my blood pressure to drop to as low as 70/50. This also made me sick again, and continue to struggle to stay awake. In addition, the baby’s activity had become a concern. After administering IV medications to increase my blood pressure and turning down the epidural with no avail, my doctor decided to turn off the epidural completely.
Three more hours had passed before the epidural was out of my system completely and my blood pressure was back to normal. In the early hours of the next morning, my contractions started coming on much stronger. I spoke to the doctor to request that the epidural medications start flowing again. She simply looked at me sympathetically and stated, “I just can’t justify allowing the epidural. It wasn’t safe for you or the baby.”
The realization that I would be doing this without any medication was scary. I looked at my husband with utter panic on my face while in pain from another contraction. “I can’t do this.”
He looked back at me with the most sincere smile. “Yes, you can. You will do this.”
Shortly, after that another saving grace came into the room. My friend, Michelle, who had been my nurse during my other two deliveries, walked in. She wasn’t due to be there that day but wanted to be there for me. I would have been fine with any other nurse but she made me feel like I had another partner in my corner.
It was not long after she arrived that my contractions became stronger and I felt ready to push. As the doctor realized my first push was a strong one, she quickly got everything prepared for the next push. However, I couldn’t stop. This little girl was coming whether anyone was ready or not. It was seconds between Michelle delivering this baby or my doctor. But, she was there just in time to place my little Savannah onto my chest. She was here and my rush of euphoria had started.
The hardest thing I’ve ever done…
Going through childbirth without an epidural was my far the hardest (and most painful) thing I have ever done. It is clear the difference in my deliveries in my photos with each child after birth alone. I look fresh and happy in my photos with Maddie and Jack. I look tired, strained, but happy in my photo with Savannah.
The days after my third charm came into the world, I was being monitored closely. My blood pressure was still high and required medication to maintain. When we were finally discharged, we were anxious to find some sort of new normal at home. But, our little peanut had different plans.
Her pediatrician was concerned about her coloring. She had some blood work done to test her bilirubin levels and blood type. It was confirmed that her levels were much higher than they should be and off we went back to the hospital. She luckily only had to stay for less than 24 hours to receive light treatment. Her levels were coming down and we were released.
Our life has a family of five has finally started to become normal. We are trying to find a routine among our sleepless nights and tired eyes. But, with our third charm, she has reminded us that we have to learn to go with the flow and not worry about the little things.