A little background for those of you not following me on Twitter or Facebook …
I found out about a month before my due date that I had a condition called polyhydramnios:
Polyhydramnios is when you have too much amniotic fluid.
Polyhydramnios may increase the risk of premature birth, premature rupture of the membranes, placental abruption, stillbirth, postpartum hemorrhage or fetal malposition [baby gets stuck in breech position].
Anything over 24cm is considered polyhydramnios … I was measuring anywhere from 27cm to 35cm.
If you remember Lucy’s birth story, she was born 5 weeks early due to placental abruption. I honestly don’t know if I had polyhydramnios with her since I was seeing a midwife and only had 1 ultrasound, but it’s possible that it was caused by the same condition.
While this isn’t a life-threatening condition, it’s not a pleasant thing to have. It’s extremely uncomfortable, and it causes the organs to be even more smooshed than usual. Towards the end, my belly was hard as a rock and extremely painful to touch. And I was not a very happy momma, to say the least.
Anyway, I was getting weekly ultrasounds towards the end [sometimes, twice a week] to monitor the baby’s health, because many times, polyhydramnios is result of the baby’s inability to eat. Luckily, the ultrasounds showed that he was totally fine and healthy … and measuring big!
The crazy thing is, we still have no idea what caused it. They kept testing me for gestational diabetes since that was the ultrasound tech’s only explanation [because she's a doctor?], but every test came back negative.
So I had an appointment on Thursday, June 7 … this was my last appointment before my scheduled c-section on Tuesday, June 12, but they wanted to go ahead and perform one last ultrasound to check my fluid levels.
The ultrasound tech measured once and told me that she was getting 34cm but that she wanted to measure again just to be sure. She measured two more times, but didn’t say what she got. As I was in the room waiting for my ob to come in, I heard her in the hall talking to the ultrasound tech, and she said, “39cm? Are you sure?” and the ultrasound tech said, “Yes, I measured two more times.”
So my ob came into the room and said … “Keli, you just keep making more fluid, and we have no idea why.”
Yeah. No kidding.
And then she said those six magic words, “Why are we waiting until Tuesday?”
My response? “I was about to ask YOU that!”
So she asked me if we were prepared to have him the next day, and I started crying happy tears right then and there. Relief. I couldn’t wait to get out of there and call Ken and my mom and my best friend. I was so so ready.
I got home and spent the rest of the day packing my hospital bag and playing with the girls in our last afternoon of just the three of us. Ken had to work late to finish up everything since we were a few days earlier than expected, so my mom left to come up from Georgia shortly after I left the doctor’s office.
Strangely enough, I don’t know if it was the excitement or what, but I started having contractions in the doctor’s office and was having them every 10 minutes for the rest of the day and evening. They continued through the night, so I got about 2 hours of semi-decent sleep, and then we were up EARLY to head in to the hospital.
We got to the hospital around 4:45am, and I spent the next 2 hours hooked up to monitors and an IV pumping me full of antibiotics. I was having contractions every 5-7 minutes by this point, but since I was about an hour away from having a c-section, they just let me labor on. Fun?
I met the anesthesiologist and his assistants and my nurse and her assistant, and then my OB came into the room to go over everything one last time, and before we knew it, the time had arrived. They put me in the wheelchair, threw warm blankets over me, and I promptly fell asleep. Talk about an adrenaline crash, ha!
We went down shortly after 8am, and I was really nervous. The last time I had a c-section, I did not handle it well at all. But this time was so different. I won’t go into details, because … well, it’s surgery, and it’s kind of not all that interesting.
But I joked with the anesthesiologists and nurses, I followed along with what was going on behind the big blue curtain, we all took bets on how big Henry would be, I asked about 4,389 times if she was almost done, everyone in the room gasped at the amount of fluid that was in there, I remember hearing my doctor and nurses talking to Henry WHILE HE WAS STILL IN MY UTERUS [so cool], and I shivered uncontrollably.
I remember the intense pressure on my chest as they tried to push him out … and the rocking back and forth as his shoulders got stuck. It wasn’t the most pleasant sensation in the world, but I knew that it meant we would get to see him soon. And sure enough, just minutes later, I heard … “Momma, look to your left.” And there he was, screaming his fool head off!
I didn’t get to see Lucy when they got her out, so this was amazing. Everyone kept taking bets on his weight, but the biggest weight guessed was 9 1/2 lbs. Every single person in the room was shocked when the nurse called out, “10 lbs even!” I had to ask Ken about 5 times … really? Are they serious? They’re not just messing with me?? Even my OB asked if one of the nurses was leaning on the scale.
Now, I don’t remember the putting-Humpty-Dumpty-back-together-again part taking SO MUCH TIME last time … it seemed to take forever, and all I wanted to do was hold Henry. But then I was finally moved from the operating table to my bed [twice, because the first bed was broken, haha] and then they put him in my arms and wheeled us back to our room.
Once we got to the room, they had to run a tube down his throat and do an x-ray to check to make sure his esophagus was connecting to his stomach. Even though all of the ultrasounds showed that he was perfectly healthy, it’s standard procedure for the baby of anyone who has polyhydramnios.
They wouldn’t let me nurse him until that was over, but they kept apologizing to me and saying that it would be over soon. Seriously, best hospital ever. It only took about 15 minutes [which felt like FOREVER] and then I got the go-ahead to feed him. He latched on like a pro and it’s been perfect since then.
Recovery was … different this time around. I puked for the rest of the day from the narcotics given to me during surgery, and I had a lot more gas pain in my shoulder, but we only had to stay 2 days. I guess they figure if you already have 2 kids at home and your latest is a 10-lb’er, you can probably go home early.
While we were still there, we were the talk of the hospital. Apparently, I was known as “the tiny mom with the biggest baby in L&D.” Ha! I even had a couple of nurses from the other side of the hall [the labor and delivery side] ask me about it when I was walking laps the day after he was born. So funny.
Having him home has been amazing.
Emma is such a big helper, and Lucy just loves him to pieces. She can’t get enough of him and looks for him first thing when she gets up in the morning or at naptime.
I still need to get out the real camera and take some good pictures of him, but did you know that having three kids is kind of busy? Just a little bit.