I found out that I was pregnant on August 19, 1996. My due date was April 16, 1997. Unfortunately it wasn't a planned pregnancy. I wasn't married and my boyfriend (now husband) and I had just gotten back together after a year's break-up. Needless to say, I was very nervous about telling my parents.
Once everything was out in the open and everyone was over the shock, I was finally able to enjoy my pregnancy. It was pretty much an uneventful one, besides two scares in the first month when I started spotting. The doctors did ultrasounds, but found nothing wrong.
My pregnancy was so fun! We were excited and nervous at the same time. It seemed to be taking forever, until Feb. 28, 1997 (seven weeks before my due date).
We had gone out to eat with my husband's family, celebrating the closing of our first house and my sister-in-law's birthday. My lower back was hurting and I just couldn't keep still. My mother-in-law commented that I didn't look very good and thought I should call my doctor. I told her I was fine, just a little tired.
The next morning my backache was worse so I decided to call my doctor. I told the nurse that I had had a lower backache for two days and wanted to be checked out. She said that since it was Saturday the office was closing at 1:00p.m., which left me only 20 minutes to get there.
Once at my doctor's office, I was hooked up to a fetal monitor and it was obvious that I was having contractions. When the doctor did the internal exam, he looked up and said, "You are 3 cm. dilated". I started crying and said that this couldn't be happening, I still had seven weeks to go. He told me that he wanted to send me to the hospital and to call someone to drive me.
Well, that was just my luck. My whole family was in Toledo for my grandmother's 90th birthday and my husband was at work. He works on barges on the Ohio River, so he was not able to get back to the dock right away. Needless to say, I had to drive myself to the hospital. That was quite an experience.
Once I was in the hospital, they hooked me up to the monitor. The contractions were still going so I was admitted on March 1. They put me on oral pills to get the contractions to stop. I was also given steroid shots for the baby's lungs, just in case. The contractions stopped on Sunday, March 2. The kept me one more day and then sent me home on March 3. I was told that I could get out of bed, but not to do too much.
I followed my doctor's orders, but on March 5, started having contractions again. They were coming every 5 minutes, but were not intense. I called the doctor again and he had me come into the office for another check-up. Yes, the contractions were back, so they admitted me again. This time they put me on "the drip". I was still at 3 cm. so that was good.
The contractions stopped until March 6. Around 6p.m. they started up again, about every 5 minutes. The pain was still pretty mild. I went to the bathroom and noticed that I had lost my mucus plug. Once back in bed I started crying because I was scared and alone. I had told my husband to go to work since we thought everything was going fine and my mom and dad were not with me yet.
About 6:15 p.m. my mom and sister arrived and immediately freaked out because I was crying. My mom got the intern and she did a check. I was now at 5 cm. and nothing was stopping this baby from coming. They wheeled me into the labor and delivery room at 7:00 p.m. I paged my husband with a 911 call and called my in-laws. Once everyone was there, I felt much better. My contractions were not bad at all, they felt more like menstrual cramps, but I still opted to have the epidural. I am a major wimp when it comes to pain. At 8:15 p.m. I received my epidural. The doctor said he would come back an hour later to check me. That was the easiest hour of all. I didn't feel a single contraction and couldn't even tell that the baby had dropped. I just sat there and talked with my family as if it was an ordinary day. My husband was a nervous wreck. He couldn't stand still.
At 9:15p.m., the nurse checked me again and just about had a heart attack. She said that the baby's head was right there. She told me to keep still and not to do anything until the doctor came in. My doctor and nurse were both with me, along with four other medical personnel from the NICU. They knew they would have to take the baby as soon as he was born since he was going to be six weeks early. Once everything was set up they gave me the go ahead to push.
Unfortunately, I couldn't feel anything, not even the pressure, so the doctor had to tell me when to push. I started pushing around 9:25 p.m. I pushed twice and my son, Reed Edward, was born at 9:35 p.m.
He was the smallest thing I have ever seen. He weighed four pounds, twelve ounces and was seventeen inches long. They took him out of the room right away. It wasn't until 11:00 a.m. the next morning that I finally got to see him. I had a fever after the birth, so they wouldn't let me near him.
My husband and I were the luckiest parents in the room. Reed was doing so well that they told us we could take him home that same day, but I wasn't ready to leave the hospital yet. I wanted to make sure he was well enough to go home. We did, however, go home two days later with our four pound, five ounce son (he'd lost seven ounces since birth). It was the happiest day of our lives. He is now a very healthy 5 year old.