Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Bean Birth Story: Part One

"We're going to have you stay and we will be inducing you."

The band around my arm that was monitoring my blood pressure since arriving in labor and delivery  about an hour earlier started to constrict my arm in that instant. I quickly turned to look at the hubby who was staring right back at me in disbelief. I could see the excitement in his eyes as he knew he would get to hold our baby a few weeks before schedule. My body experienced an explosion of thoughts and feelings - elation, fear, anticipation, shock, nervousness, happiness... and it became evident to those in the room as the machine alerted us to my extremely high blood pressure. Yet, the only thing that mattered to me in that second was that I was going to meet my daughter and become a mother.

The two doctors that stood before us went into detail about what would be occurring and the consequences linked to the results of my blood tests. Since the previous day, my blood pressure was still maintaining a level considered high for me, proteins were still in my urine although not as high as before, and the platelet count was lower. All this placed me under the classification of being in the early stages of preeclampsia. They said that they preferred to be overcautious and that was why they were going to go the safest route and induce my labor. Then, came something serious to consider- due to my low platelet count it was necessary to decide if I would eventually want an epidural- now. The kind doctors went on to explain  that low platelets meant a possibility of no blood clots to prevent excessive bleeding and thus, before my levels possibly went any lower, I should have the epidural catheter inserted in case I desired to have one later on or if for whatever reason, I needed a cesarean. Otherwise, pain relief in that form would not be an option and being awake during my child's birth would be denied. I would have to be put under.

"An epidural?! A giant needle in my back?! Now, before I've even experienced any pain?!" My blood pressure once again peaked. The alternative of a needle and catheter in my back to the options given was easy enough. "How soon can the anesthesiologist be here?"

Within the hour the door opened and I glanced down at the shoes of the individual coming from behind the curtain. Sneakers. Black, red, and green. Nikes. This was something I did every. single. time. until our bean arrived. I wanted to know who to expect before seeing a face. The shoes really told me a lot about the person arriving. The anesthesiologist came in and I realized we had met during one of our classes at Kaiser. Tall and goofy with a slight stutter. Our sweet nurse rolled her eyes at his nonchalant manner about something serious like an epidural and the mood in the room was light and full of excitement.

These moments- the bonnet on my head to keep my hair out of the way, my back and rear clearly exposed, the joking but very qualified young anesthesiologist, and the smiles and laughs between the hubby and me are very clear in my mind. It was the beginning.

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