My Journey through Breast Cancer

On October 11, 2013, I was diagnosed with Stage II Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC) ... or as we like to call it, extreme measures for a nap (EMFN). For a while, this blog will be my cancer journal. Enter at your own risk.

23 June 2009

playing the odds

Different articles will say that somewhere between 8 and 14 percent of women experience their water breaking before labor starts, and that only about 4 percent of babies are born on their due dates. These are the statistics that were running through my head when my water broke, on Josephine's due date, and therefore the reason it took me a while ... three episodes of leaking amniotic fluid over a 4-hour period ... before I finally called the doctor.

We arrived at the hospital around 3:15 in the morning, Saturday June 6. The nurses confirmed my water had broken, and that there was meconium in the fluid (the baby's first stool). The presence of meconium makes things a little bit dicey, as it can lead to infection and possible problems for the baby.

It turns out I was already in labor when we arrived at the hospital, though I couldn't feel the contractions. Even so, I was still only dilated to 2 centimeters. Josie wasn't handling labor well, so they put me on oxygen and fluids, and within an hour her heartrate stabilized. So they added pitosin to the chemical mix to get labor moving along a little faster. Even so, by noon I had only dilated another centimeter, and Josie had gone back to not liking labor. So, they took me OFF pitosin, to give her some time to rest, and to see if her heartrate would stabilize again.

Unfortunately, this time, her heartrate continued to give the doctors some concern. After each one of my contractions, her heartrate would drop dramatically, a fact I could hear on the monitors they had me hooked up to. It started to alarm even me, and around 1:30 the doctor came into my room to announce that Josie wasn't going to do labor anymore, and it was time for a C-section. We needed to get her out of there. At my doctor's appointment a week later, he confirmed that the placenta was indeed infected, and getting Josie out of there was exactly the right decision.

Talk about having a procedure down to a science! At 1:30 they announced the need for the C-section, and she was born at exactly 2:00, half an hour later. Caleb stayed with me behind the blue curtain while they delivered Josephine. It was the weirdest thing to feel the tugging and pulling going on, and then suddenly, it felt like my stomach collapsed ... and she was out! What an amazing thing to hear that little cry! Caleb went with a nurse and Josie to the recovery room while I got stitched up, and I eventually joined them there.

Nothing about Josie's birth went the way it was supposed to. After a combined 9 hours of lamaze classes, I ended up not using much of anything I learned. We watched one video about C-sections, which I didn't pay much attention to. I wasn't going to have a C-section, so why pay attention? I had expected 20 hours of labor and 2 hours of pushing, a full week after my due date. This is why I hadn't packed yet for the hospital (Caleb did that in 20 minutes after I called the hospital at 2 in the morning), and why it took me as long as it did to finally call the doctor in the middle of the night.

My delivery story isn't anything like what I expected, but my healthy baby girl is so much more than anything I imagined. Speaking of which, she's waking up from her nap ... I'll write more later!

1 comment:

Gretchen said...

I have to say I'm thankful for c-sections and medical interventions when needed. So glad that Josie is finally here!
Now we need to see some more pictures! ;0)