Strong-Willed Warrior Part I: Ice Chips and Your Imagination

Ok. So, here we go.  I’m splitting this story up into two parts because basically ish is bananas (B-A-N-A-N-A-S). As I tend to do from time to time, I’ll start at the end.

Liam John Lubin aka LJ aka LL Cool J aka Li’l Cat aka “El” aka bug (that’s what Kenny calls him) was born at 12:46am weighing in at 4lbs 9oz on Wednesday, August 15th. A casual 6 weeks before he was supposed to arrive.


Welcome to the World!

Now, let’s go back to how we got here. If you’re a reader of my blog you know that we have had quite the bumpy road to get here. I, honestly, really didn’t know if we’d ever get here. So, not surprisingly, the people in our lives were super excited for us but everyone was also quite cautious, as was I.  This caution led to baby shower and/or non-shower like celebrations to be planned a little later than is typical. And, as much as I like to plan and set things up. I was ok with that. Because having a shower made me a little nervous too.  It’s hard to picture yourself being showered with gifts for a baby you weren’t sure you could ever have.

We were slated to have a NY celebration with Kenny’s family and our NY area friends one weekend and then an official non-shower part in MA the following weekend with our people up here.  I got some super cute bump accentuating dresses for the occasion, because having been someone who has always struggled with weight/body image issues, I was kind of loving the chance to celebrate having a belly!

We were invited to a good friend’s wedding in MA on Saturday and then the shower in NY was Sunday so our original plan was to drive down early Sunday morning, get ready down there and then come back to MA on Monday. Earlier that week Kenny through out the idea of having the car packed up at the wedding and deciding if we wanted to get a head start and drive down that night.  That way I could sleep most of the way, and we wouldn’t have to worry about traffic the next day.  I thought it was a great idea, as long as he was awake enough, since I wasn’t the one driving.

I went to the doctor the Tuesday before for my every 2 week check up. My doctor was on vacation so I saw someone else in the practice.  He was fine, the appointment was quick and I had an ultrasound scheduled for the Monday after the MA shower. *Truth be told, I actually called and had the ultrasound moved up to the Thursday before the MA shower because I just wanted that visual reassurance that everything was fine before enjoying the celebration. Everything at the appointment looked good, but I was about 2 weeks earlier than they usually check you out physically.And then fate laughed at me in my face.  LOL

Saturday I went and got my nails done at my regular place, went with a nice neutral color to go with things for the wedding that night and both showers. Irony continued.  We packed up and got ready for the wedding.  It was a lot of fun, although I was super tired and just large, so I wasn’t busting a move the way I typically would at such festivities.  Around 10:30 we decided we would hit the road so we took off, stopped at a rest stop close by to change into driving clothes and I snuggled up with my big @$$ pregnancy pillow and passed out for most of it.

We got to Long Island around 2:30am, made great time, moved into Kenny’s sisters guest room for the night and went to sleep.  This is where things started to get interesting.  Mind you, I am the doom and gloom, panic dramatic to the extreme one, and Kenny is the so calm he doesn’t event things that are an actual thing are a thing one.  We would be better off with one of us as a middle person.  Anyway, around 5am I woke up to (sorry for the description) a little squirting that felt like I had to pee really bad and didn’t make it in time.  It was pretty minimal but still felt very weird.  I had been for weeks having very urgent pee feelings so having to rush wasn’t that crazy.  And I was having a weird water based dream, so I thought that was definitely strange, but maybe it was just a 8+ month pee incident.  I woke up Kenny anyway, knowing he was just going to say you’re paranoid it was nothing.  Which he did. And he is level headed so I changed and went back to sleep.

~I did have in my head the story of a friend’s water breaking very early with her twins in bed and her trying to convince her husband that is what it was that kept lingering~

About 2 hours later I was awoken again, this time it was pretty clear it was not just a not getting up in time to go to the bathroom incident. The wetness was extreme and I waddled quickly to the bathroom to see my whole pant leg wet and also blood.  CUE EXTREME PANIC MODE.

I waddled back into the bedroom somewhat huffing and puffing woke up Kenny pointed to my pants to which he definitely realized this was not nothing and he ran into his sister’s room.  Luckily we were staying with a Nurse Practitioner and a Radiologist, so of all places to be that weren’t home, this was a good one.  His sister comes in takes a look and calmly says “Ok Colleen your water broke, Matthew is going to drive you to the hospital now.”

I then proceeded to lose my ever loving shit:  This is too early. Why is this happening.  I am supposed to have my shower today.  We are so far from home.  I am 33 weeks and 6 days.  What if the baby is not ok.  After all we’ve been through, and then a smooth pregnancy, why why why. How far is the hospital.  Will my insurance pay for this.  How long will we be here.  What if the baby isn’t ok. I don’t have anymore underwear.  I don’t have any of my stuff with me. How far is the hospital.  What do I bring. Oh my god. I want my mom.

We hopped in the car, Kenny’s sister called her friend who is an ER Doctor and her husband called his brother who is also an ER Doctor.  Doctors are so calm, duh, but it is funny when you are in a full blown panic to have someone on the phone say in the calmest tone ever “So, Colleen, it looks like you’re going to have this baby. Congratulations”.

We were then accidentally driven us to the wrong hospital. I did NOT handle this well.  Apparently almost every medical facility in Long Island has the same name, sooooo.  Luckily we were only about 10 minutes from the right one.  We were sent to the hospital where my nieces were born because it had the best NICU in the area.  Assuming we were going to have a 34 week preterm baby, we wanted to go there.  Once we got in they made me stand there LEAKING FLUID EVERYWHERE while they created me as a patient because I obviously didn’t exist.  Then wheeled me up to Labor and Delivery triage where everyone proceeded to be in no rush whatsoever.  This is a theme.

I just wanted a medical professional to hook me up to some things and tell me everything was OK.  The finally brought me in to triage and did that and once I heard the baby’s heart beat I felt a slight bit of relief. I wasn’t in any pain, no contractions, but just emotionally a disaster.  The doctor came in and checked me out and confirmed I did in fact rupture my membrane.  Then she said, “you’re going to be admitted.  We are going to put you on steroids for 24 hours to promote lung maturity and the tomorrow once you’re 34 weeks we will induce you.  Because you’re far enough along, it’s actually riskier to leave the baby in for longer and potentially get an infection than to take the baby out.”

Alright, WELP.  Guess we’re not going to the shower?  Guess we should call my mom?  So, Kenny called her and started with “Everything is ok, but you might want to come to NY.  Also, can you stop by our house and pick up a carseat?” WHAT.

The nurses and doctors thought this story was HILARIOUS.  You came down to NY for 24 hours for your baby shower and you’re going to have your baby instead.  Can they bring the gifts here?  We love food, have them bring some here.  LOL  They did not seem worried about the baby’s health or wellbeing which calmed me down significantly, given the circumstances.

Eventually I was moved to a hallway for people who weren’t delivering yet.  It was a low key floor, not a lot of hooking up to machines (a blessing and a curse since I liked to hear things).  My mom came down after a million hour drive and a friend brought us a pizza which tasted like magic after all this.  I was able to shower and rest a little while taking antibiotics to prevent infecitons and the steroids to help baby’s lungs develop.

On Monday around noon they moved me over to labor and delivery.  Mind you, I knew an induction would take a while.  They had said it could be 24 hours depending on how my body responded to the meds.  But, I was not prepared for the torture that was to come. When I got over there I asked to pee and the nurse said I don’t  have orders to let you go to the bathroom, I will give you a bed pan and I was like oh hell naw, I’ll wait.  Luckily the doc came in soon after and gave orders to pee.  But, they also didn’t tell me that once I got over there I would be NPO aka Nothing by Mouth (but in Latin).  Excuse me, what?  I am going to be here for 24 hours at least and I can’t eat and no one warned me.

Kenny told me afterwards that this was his only concern about me.  I handle pain pretty well but I don’t handle hunger well.  So the nurse said you get “ice chips and your imagination“.  I was now put on Cytotek orally every two hours at increased doses to help soften the cervix.  It doesn’t cause contractions per se, but the softened cervix can eventually help you contract.  It works slowly and it is less aggressive than Pitocin which was the only induction drug I had ever heard of.  Since I was early and the baby was showing no signs of distress, or of labor, they didn’t want to use Pitocin unless necessary.  So here I was NPO, ice chips, imagination, and swigging cytotek every two hours.

And LITERALLY NOTHING WAS HAPPENING.  FOR HOURS.  A MILLION OF THEM.  It was the most extreme version of hurry up and wait I’ve ever experienced.

Just when I thought I was going to lose my mind and pass out from starvation they decided to let me have a clear diet.  That gingerale, broth and jello was arguably the best food I’ve ever had.

Part II coming soon.