Worth the Wait
Calvin James Monson
March 28th, 2014
8 lbs 11.5 oz
22 inches long
It all started on Monday, March 24th at 12:00 am. I woke up in a puddle of fluid in our bed. David was in the bathroom and I hurriedly called out to him that my water had broken! He came out and observed it closely, including a nice close sniff to insure that it was not urine instead (he always has been a brave soul). We drove out to Banner Estrella Hospital in Avondale at 3:00 am and were introduced to the joy of OB GYN Triage. They tested me (three different times) for a ruptured amniotic sac and each test came back negative. They sent us home packing at 5:30 am. I was disappointed and embarrassed to be going home, but knew it was only a matter of time before labor started out on it own naturally.
We followed up with our Doctor at his office in Goodyear that afternoon and he stripped my membranes to progress labor. He then discretely suggested that if we were to come into the hospital while he was on call that he would induce labor to prevent an infection in the case that my water had broken on Monday. We went in that evening and there was some sort of miscommunication and we were sent home almost immediately. We went home, got some sleep, and I swore to myself that I would not go back to the hospital unless I was DEFINITELY in labor. So we took the next day to finish the nursery, shop for last minute baby items, and get lots of walking done. I was contracting with increasing intensity at shorter and shorter intervals. I waited until I had been having 12 contractions an hour for over 18 hours to return to the hospital again. We went into triage and measured my contractions for an hour, and the monitor displayed what I was feeling: Lots of contractions! The triage nurses sent me home (against my OBGYN’s orders) for the third time. I sobbed on our way back to our apartment, how could I possibly be a good mother if I couldn’t even figure out how labor worked?! I took two tylenol and tried to sleep through my contractions. An hour after getting back from the hospital I woke up in another puddle of amniotic fluid but refused to go to the hospital until I was absolutely certain I was in hard labor. We went to the hospital an hour and a half after my water broke and they finally decided to keep me!
I was taken back into a gorgeous delivery room, it was absolutely massive, had lovely purple walls, and a giant bathroom including a bathtub with jets! My mom and sister Chelsee came to coach me through labor. It was wonderful to have the support of those two strong women who are seasoned at having kids. Dave was a rock star, watching the monitors to ensure that baby was okay, and making me laugh through my contractions. I was actually kind of mad about that at the time... IT HURT!
They asked everyone to leave while I got my wonderful epidural which was the best choice I could have made for the long delivery ahead. I slowly progressed centimeter by centimeter through the evening and they eventually gave me pitocin to speed up the process. It was after administering the pitocin that we started noticing a dangerous trend with Calvin’s heart rate. Each time I contracted his heart rate would drop, progressively getting worse and worse through the evening. The nurse admitted that nobody would cover her patient’s for her lunch break because they did not want to deal with the baby in room 4 (our room). I was slightly put off by this bit of information, because if this was enough of a challenge that nobody wanted to take on, why was the doctor not called in? I was dilated to 10 cm, fully effaced, and the nurse rushed into our room after my most recent contraction. Calvin’s heart rate had dropped below 40 bpm, which was startling contrasting with his average 138 bpm. The nurse called the other nurses into the room for a bit of assistance and within 30 seconds we had five different nurses in the room checking me, ripping off monitors, inserting new monitors, muttering things about calling the doctor, asking me to roll from side to side, and eventually requesting that I get into a modified downward facing dog yoga position. Let me tell you, doing that with numb legs was a huge challenge. They all grabbed my legs and asked me to do a round of pushes with the next contraction, which I felt absolutely no urge to do. The doctor rushed in after my first round of pushing, threw on gloves, and asked me to start pushing with the next round of contractions. I did what I was told, and after three rounds of pushing he turned to my mom and told her, “This baby has fifteen minutes, we need to act quickly.”
In the blink of an eye they had Dave scrubbed up with a surgery cap on, and wheeled me into the Operating Room at 12:05 am. As I laid on the bed in total shock, the shakes started to take over. I was quivering like a leaf. They administered a stronger dose of my epidural and began surgery immediately. I watched the whole procedure through a reflective piece of metal on the overhead lights. It was surreal to see them cutting, irrigating, swabbing, cauterizing, and removing my bleeding organs. I probably should not have watched, but how could I NOT?! At 12:27 am Dave and I heard our son’s voice for the first time. We immediately looked at each other and in that moment our hearts were changed forever. It was pure magic. The surgeons told Dave that the cord was wrapped around Calvin’s neck, and that if we had continued pushing we could have lost him. They showed me a sneak peak of our dark purple baby before cleaning him up and taking him away to be weighed and measured. Dave was able to follow them through that process while I got stitched up. I asked the surgeons to do a bit of liposuction while they were in there, and they politely refused. They also did not realize I could see the entire process, I’m sure I was their most obnoxious patient of the day. I was out of the Operating room by 12:46 am.
I was wheeled into a recovery room and they had Calvin on my chest within minutes. The feeling was absolutely surreal. Our son, fresh from heaven, heavily bruised, was finally here! The following hours and days are still a blur. I could not have done it without David. He was an absolute rockstar through every step of the way. He changed every diaper in the hospital, woke up for every feeding, and encouraged me when I was on the verge of giving up on nursing. The nursing and the itching from the pain medication were by far the most miserable part of recovery. I was scratching my face in my sleep without knowing, and had a wonderful scab covering most of my chin. Needless to say between the massive amounts of head to toe swelling and my scabby goatee, I never looked better. Calvin’s bruises faded quickly and we watched him closely for any sign of jaundice.
Within our three day stay at the hospital we received visitors and meals every day.
Once we got home, we settled very quickly into a routine and it has been an amazing transition from being a couple to a family. Our ward brought us warm meals every night for the following week and we very much appreciated that effort. Calvin is very loved, sleeping wonderfully, and eating like a champion. We are smitten.