I had a high risk pregnancy due to my age (38) and a condition called hyperparathyriodism. This condition was caused by a large tumor on my parathyroid (it's in your neck) I did not know was there. At 20 weeks, I was admitted to the hospital with preterm labor signs. A sample of my blood was taken, and the results showed an elevated level of calcium; normal is 8.5 to 10.6, and my levels were a 13. A sonogram was taken of my neck, and a very large tumor was found. I was given drugs to stop the labor and they worked. I had surgery to remove the tumor to help lower the levels. I was really afraid to have surgery at this time, but the doctors told me that the second trimester was the best time to have any surgery while pregnant. The surgery went well, and I was never in danger of delivering. My calcium levels never did go down far enough (an 11 to 11.4), so the problem still existed.
I was sent home on a brethine pump, bedrest, and a home uterine monitor. I had five episodes of preterm labor and had to be admitted to Labor and Delivery each time (I was given steroids for the baby's lungs to help mature them faster) I had to have a magnesium wash (to make the brethine work again; it made me very sick but was tolerable. On March 25 I had to go to the hospital again, but it was determined that I was not in labor (I was happy)! I was just having irritable uterus symptoms. They discontinued the pump and took me off bedrest with a warning that I may go into labor in a day or two. On March 27 at 5:30 a.m. I started having cramps but no contractions. I took a shower (just in case it was the real thing), and then decided I should not eat because some women will get sick while in labor if they do. I decided to take a walk to see if I was really in labor. The pains started getting stronger, but were not regular. I called Labor and Delivery at 10:30 a.m., and the nurse told me to come in anyway, so we did. I was admitted at 11:10 a.m. and was told by my doctor that he was going to let the labor progress because, with my condition, a stillbirth was very possible. I tried my best to remain calm -- the baby's heart rate was very good and there were no signs of fetal distress. I had many sonograms (14 in all...so I knew the baby was healthy) I was dilated to a three and 75 percent effaced, so they gave me pitocin, steroids and an epidural (had to have that for the tubal...I already have an 8-year-old daughter). The pitocin was not working, so my doctor stripped my membranes. That did not dilate me more either. After six hours and staying at three centimeters, I had my water broken. It worked! (By the way, the nurse said,"Matthew, you have been served your eviction notice. It is time to be born now." Hee hee!) The baby's heart rate and my blood pressure did go down for about two minutes. The doctor scratched the baby's head and the rate went back to normal and I was given oxygen for about 15 minutes. I had my son in two hours. I did not need an episiotomy, but I had one very small tear. I pushed him out in about 20 minutes. (I pushed for two hours and 20 minutes with my first and no drugs.....I dilated so fast with her that they discouraged me from having them, saying it might slow down the labor.) Matthew Cameron was born on March 27 at 7:17p.m. and weighed 5 pounds and 10ounces, and was 18.25 inches (a great weight for his gestational age) He entered this world just wailing! I was filled with so much joy that I cried!
I suppose I was lucky -- I never had any bad symptoms from my epidural, but I did get sick (just a small amount) a couple of times in spite of the fact that I had not eaten. As a matter of fact, it was nice having no pain at all (although, I did feel a lot of pressure before and while pushing) ....we actually joked around and I visited with family and friends on the phone...until I got close to pushing.