During my 30th week of pregnancy, I began experiencing contractions that put me in the hospital for several days. I was given Brethine to stop them, and fortunately, the Brethine worked.
Once released from the hospital, I stayed on the Brethine, only to find myself back in the hospital a few days later. My doctor moved my dosage of Brethine from every 8 hours to every 6, and again, the Brethine worked. I stayed on the medication until my 37th week of pregnancy.
The weekend before I was to come off of the Brethine, my husband and I diligently prepared for the possible arrival of our second daughter. We caught up on last minute preparations and purchases. While we weren’t positive that coming off of the Brethine would send me straight into labor, we didn’t want to take any chances! I had been experiencing irregular contractions off and on, even while on the medication, but nothing serious enough to cause any dilation or effacement. I took my last dose at 4:30 on Sunday evening and waited.
Sunday evening I was rather crampy, and still having the irregular contractions. I couldn’t sleep, partially because of the excitement, but also because of the cramping sensations I was experiencing. They were making me rather uncomfortable, so I took two Tylenol and finally went to sleep. The next morning the cramping had subsided some, and the contractions were still irregular. My husband went to work, prepared to leave if necessary. I had decided to stay home with our daughter, Hailey, and spend some extra time with her. Hailey and I went grocery shopping and went shopping for some coloring books. During our shopping, the contractions were still irregular, but nothing that caused me concern.
Once home, I took a nap with Hailey, and when I woke, found that the cramping was again becoming rather uncomfortable. I felt as though my period was coming, and I was getting slightly nauseated. I sat down at the computer to catch up on some work, and the contractions began coming about every 10-11 minutes, but, occasionally would go as far as 15-18 minutes apart. I sat down with Hailey and we colored for a little while. Around 8:00 p.m., I was walking across the kitchen to prepare some vegetable soup when I had a sharp pain in my incision area. I called my husband to tell him what had happened, and during our conversation, I had a pretty strong contraction. Two minutes later, I had another. My husband told me to wait 15 minutes and if they were still coming, call him back.
I decided to take a warm bath, thinking that if it were false labor, the bath would help. After getting out of the tub, the contractions were still coming every 2 minutes and getting more uncomfortable. I called my husband back and told him to get home. I got my daughter dressed, and packed her overnight bag. After getting everything together, I was even more uncomfortable. If I walked, the pain was worse, but if I sat down, I could bear it better.
Once my husband arrived, we called my doctor, but, it was his partner who was on call that evening. He told us to come straight to the hospital. Once I was in the triage room, they hooked me up to the monitors and found that indeed the contractions were every 2 minutes, and getting strong. The pain and pressure were getting pretty intense. They told me that the doctor had ordered them to get me prepped for a Caesarean. I had hoped to have a VBAC, but the doctor was against the idea, worried that the contractions would put too much strain on my previous scar. They didn’t even check me to see if I had dilated.
Once the realization hit me that I was definitely having a Caesarean, the fear set in. Despite the fact that I had already undergone one Caesarean, the fear of the unknown was overwhelming. They inserted my IV, after three tries, and began administering fluids. Shortly after, the nurse brought me a small cup of liquid to drink for the Epidural. I remembered that drink all too well! My husband called family and friends to let them know that we were preparing for the Caesarean. After about 30 minutes, they came in to insert the Epidural. I was really pleased with the anesthesiologist, he was very friendly, and answered all of my questions.
The Epidural was fairly painless, the worst part was when he was inserting it, he went too far to the right side and I had horrible pressure in that area. It didn’t take him long to get it inserted, and within a very short time, I began feeling a warm sensation in my legs. He numbed me from the top of my belly down, which was different than the numbing I received during my first Caesarean. The sensation was rather frightening, as it made me feel as though I couldn’t breathe or catch my breath. I was assured that the sensation was normal. Within a few minutes after receiving the Epidural, the shakes set in. This had happened with my first Caesarean as well, so I expected it to happen again!
After I was numb, the nurse inserted the catheter and they began shaving me. They clipped a monitor to my finger to keep check on my pulse and heart rate, and administered another bag of fluids. My husband was given his scrubs to put on, and told that they were going to wheel me into the OR, and they would come and get him before they began the operation.
After giving Hailey and my husband a kiss I was wheeled into the operating room. I was frightened, and couldn’t wait until my husband was allowed into the room with me. They placed my bed next to the operating table and rolled me onto a board to help place me onto the table. Once on the table, I placed my arms onto the two side tables and the drape was placed at my chest. The anesthesiologist was at my side the entire time, and placed oxygen tubes in my nose. I was still shaking pretty badly, and he told me that if it was too bad, he could give me a dose of Demerol. I asked him to wait until after the operation.
Once my husband was in the operating room, they began scrubbing my belly down. The doctor was wonderful and peered over the drape to ask how I was feeling. He then explained that since I was delivering three weeks early, not to be alarmed if our daughter was rather small. Once I was scrubbed, the anesthesiologist held a little device to my belly and asked if I could feel anything. I told him I couldn’t, and he moved the device up, asking again if I could feel anything. When he got to my chest I felt a little shock and told him that I could feel it. He told me that everything was fine and that they could begin the operation.
I closed my eyes as I felt the tugging on my belly, and thought of calming thoughts. I was anxious to meet my daughter and thought of seeing her face for the first time. Amazingly enough, these thoughts actually helped my shaking to subside! Within a few minutes, the anesthesiologist told me to take a deep breath. He explained that they were about to pull my daughter out and I would probably experience a lot of pressure. He wasn’t kidding! I didn’t remember that pressure with my first Caesarean, and it literally took my breath away.
Once the pressure was released I heard those first beautiful cries! I was so relieved that I started crying right along with my daughter! My husband whispered to me that she was really tiny, but, she had one set of lungs on her! She cried the entire time they were cleaning her up and checking her. After what seemed like an eternity, they brought my daughter to me to see. My husband had been right, she was tiny! I touched her face and gave her a kiss before they took her to the nursery.
It took about 20 minutes for them to finish the Caesarean process, and during that time the anesthesiologist gave me a dose of Demerol as the shakes had returned. I immediately began feeling drowsy and dozed off for a minute or two. Once I was in the recovery room they checked my vitals and my belly to check for firmness. My husband came in about 10 minutes later to tell me that we had a beautiful little girl who weighed 6lbs 13 oz and was 19 inches long! The pediatrician had already checked her out, and while everything looked great, she was having some grunting. He had explained that this was normal in babies that were born early, and a little bit of oxygen was all it took to clear it up.
I stayed in the recovery room for about 45 minutes. My husband brought Hailey in to see me, before my parents took her home with them. I was then wheeled past the nursery and they held my new little girl up for me to see. It didn’t take long for them to bring her to the room. It was an amazing feeling to hold her in my arms for the first time! My heart felt as though it had grown two times over and I fell in love all over again.
Recovery has been much easier this time. I was able to get out of bed the next morning, with assistance, and by that afternoon, only needed someone to walk behind me in case I stumbled. By the next day, I was walking to the nursery to get Jillian, without any assistance. The most difficult part was the Pitocin they administered after the operation. This was done so that my uterus would continue to contract, down to its normal size. The pain medicine did very little to help with the cramping I experienced.
I will be two weeks postpartum tomorrow and things are going wonderfully. I’m back to wearing my old clothes, and my incision gives me very little problems. This is a drastic difference from my first Caesarean! For those of you expecting a second Caesarean, I hope this puts any concerns at ease. I am amazed at how much easier recovery has been this time!