August 24, 2010


I promised to give you the story of how we got Caden, so here goes!

On June 11 (12 days before our due date), I woke up at about 4:00 AM with pain in the middle of my chest - not "oh my gosh there's something wrong" pain, just enough that I couldn't get back to sleep. I'd had similar pain earlier in my pregnancy, which went away after I'd eaten. That didn't work this time. By Noon, I was frustrated that the annoying pain wouldn't go away, so I called my doctor to ask him what I could take/do for it. Since I had had normal BP throughout my pregnancy, and didn't have gestational diabetes or any other symptoms before now, my doctor told me to head over to the hospital, just to be safe. So, I got to call and freak out my husband and my mother by telling them I was headed to the hospital.

Once I got to the ER (where the doctor told me NOT to go, but the hospital staff sent me anyway), my BP was super high, close to stroke range, and I was still having chest pain. I was hooked up to oxygen, and it was decided that I needed to have a CT scan to rule out a blood clot. Turns out that a CT scan is not so bad as it seems - the contrast material makes you feel super warm and toasty, they lay a big lead apron over the baby bump, and then it's over. Since the scan showed no clots (Yay!), the doctors decided that I had what is called HELP syndrome, which is basically developing preeclampsia suddenly. Since I was not in active labor, it was decided that my BP was too high to wait for labor to start, even if I was induced, and that I needed an emergency c-section. This news was really hard to process, since my husband had just left to go get our bags from home, and my parents were still making the 3-hour drive from my hometown.

As soon as my husband returned to the hospital, the doctors got me ready for the c-section, which meant getting an epidural. Seeing the GIANT needle made me really start to realize what was happening, and I started getting really nervous. By then, my doctor came in and reassured me that both Caden and I were going to be fine. I was still upset that my mom wasn't there, but I was ready to get the surgery over with! At 6:55 PM, our precious peanut was born, and our journey as a family began with a perfect boy, who looks just like his daddy.

Once I got to the recovery area, my BP had gone down, but was still too high to move up to the recovery floor. Since I am allergic to some common medications, I also had to keep the epidural line in until I could move. After a day in the labor & delivery room, I was finally able to move upstairs. Thanks to my epidural I hadn't experienced any pain at all, mostly because I hadn't been able to move. But when I stood up to get into the wheelchair, I felt like my entire incision had reopened. The nurses assured me that was very unlikely, and there wasn't any bleeding, but it was the worst pain I'd ever felt. Since I had made it to the wheelchair, there was no turning back. I really think the nurse was going as slow as possible, and hitting every bump along the way. I don't know how I would've made it out of the wheelchair if Mike and the nurses hadn't helped me. Turns out that the medication in the epidural wasn't as effective as it should have been, so when they turned it down and I moved for the first time, it was as if I didn't have any pain meds at all. Needless to say, I got new meds, and I developed a deeper respect for the brave souls who give birth drug-free.

Two days later, Caden and I got to go home, and it's been fantastic ever since (see my previous blog for all the details)!

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