The Birth Story {Part One}

Here we are almost two months to the day that my son was born. It's taken me a really long time to come to terms with how everything happened, hence the major delay in writing and sharing this series of posts. As difficult as some of this was, I still believe God had his hand upon us and the situation the entire time, and for that I am SO grateful. Having a healthy baby boy is the biggest blessing of all. This is part one of three of my birth story, I've got a lot to say.
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It was Wednesday, May 25th and it was just another day at the office. I got in early that morning because my boss was on vacation and things were a little busier than normal. Plus, I had my 37 week appointment that afternoon. I knew I'd be out of the office for an hour or so around lunchtime and didn't want to end up staying late to finish anything else. I work in a small department so I told my one and only coworker for the day that I was headed out and shouldn't be gone too long. He was happy to hold down the fort and off I rushed to the doctor's office. It was only about 20 minutes from my office but between traffic and construction I was definitely pushing it to get there on time for my 1:00 P.M. appointment. 
Last 'official' bump picture I took at 36w in the glamorous stadium bathroom

I made it with about 30 seconds to spare and immediately was called back by a new, unfamiliar nurse. She wasn't mean or anything- but just a little more business-like and not as friendly as some of the other nurses I'd gotten to know over the course of my pregnancy so far. She whisked me back to a room and quickly took my blood pressure which immediately read very high. VERY high. That can happen on occasion for no reason at all, and I did feel a little flustered so she gave me a couple of minutes and then said let's check that again. Checked it again. High, again. Dangit. Now the nurse instructs me to lay down on my side and said she'll be back in five minutes and to just relax.

Relax?! Yeah, right! Laying there on a super uncomfortable doctor's office table I just knew my blood pressure was going to be high no matter what now. I could feel my heart beating fast, I was sweating a little bit and I was just overall nervous that something was majorly wrong. My whole pregnancy was truly smooth sailing and there had been zero health concerns for me or baby the entire time. Why in the world was this happening now?

Sure enough, the third check proved to be high yet again. The numbers had dropped some, but since I was full-term at that point it was enough for a doctor to be concerned I guess. My doctor came in and checked me for progress while discussing the high blood pressure reading. I was only at 1cm, but suddenly I hear the words "send you to triage" come out her mouth. What?! She said I needed to go to the hospital for additional testing since they could give results right away, versus doing bloodwork through their office and waiting a couple of days to find out if there were any reasons to be concerned. Although my doctor remained positive and optimistic that they might not even find anything, she said it was best to find out if we needed to start talking about an induction sooner rather than later.

I left the office in a little bit of a haze and called Jared at work the second I got into my car. He answered quickly (thank goodness- he can't always when he's at work!) and I could barely get any words out when he first answered. I managed to choke out the few details I knew before bursting into tears. Jared immediately told his boss he had to leave and he and I both headed toward the hospital, coming from opposite directions. Jared had a dozen questions and I answered anything I could, but honestly everything still felt so unclear to me. I had no other 'warning signs' or symptoms other than a high blood pressure reading... how was this pointing to an induction?

We arrived at triage around 2:00 p.m.and let them know we were there and got all checked in. They were super busy so there wasn't a room available for us yet. Since I wasn't actively in labor or anything I'm pretty sure I was way down low on their list. They put two different hospital bracelets on me and sent us across the hall to a waiting room. I quickly remembered to text my coworker and let him know sorry, but I wasn't going to make it back today and that I was having additional tests done at the hospital. He wrote back, "No big deal- see you tomorrow." Little did we know...

We sat around in that waiting room for what seemed like forever, but it was probably only about an hour. It was a busy afternoon for babies because the waiting room was packed. I was so nervous about everything and all these people in the waiting room excitedly waiting to go down the hall and see a new baby was stressing me out. Everyone was so talkative and happy and I was just a wreck. This whole thing definitely taught me that I'm terrible in hospitals. Terrible.

Fiiiinally we got called back to a room. Jared had to wait outside for a few minutes while they asked me a few things and then he was allowed to join me. First up? A foley catheter to drain my bladder. Apparently the best way to get a sample but it was so uncomfortable and I just wasn't ready for that, but it happened anyway. Immediately after that is when they decided would be the best time to start monitoring my blood pressure again. After an uncomfortable, unfamiliar procedure let's see how she's doing!

They set it up to take my blood pressure every 20 minutes automatically and the first reading was of course, high. I was trying so hard to just relax and it felt physically impossible. I kept telling myself if I just relaxed, my numbers would come down and they'd let me leave. A nice nurse came in and we realized she knew Jared from childhood! They hadn't talked in over a decade but she was friendly and it felt comforting to know there was a tiny connection there. I was grasping for anything at this point. She took 5 vials of blood from me and said we'd just wait things out until the labs tested them.

It felt like we were waiting around forever in triage until the nurse let us know the results were back from the lab. She said everything looked pretty normal, but we'd have to wait to see the doctor and get her opinion on how to proceed. We asked the nurse what - in her opinion - would happen next. She said with the numbers she saw on the results she figured I'd be sent home with instructions to do a 24-hour urine collection and then follow up with my doctor again.

I was honestly relieved to hear that and Jared and I finally relaxed a little, thinking good news was coming our way. We'd been at the hospital for hours at this point so we started talking about where we were going to grab dinner from when we left. I had decided on Sonic and was going over slushie flavor options when the doctor finally came in.

"So I think we need to have this baby."

Those were her exact words when she walked in.

"Really??" I think that's all I was able to squeak out at first.

She said yes. She felt like my high blood pressure combined with being 37w1d meant we needed to induce me immediately. Jared and I tried to gather our thoughts and we asked a few questions, but we honestly felt like this doctor just wanted to get this show on the road and move onto the next patient. I understand that doctors deliver babies every day and it IS 'just another day at the office' but for first-time parents? Her bedside manners or people skills or whatever you want to call it, just wasn't there.

It was hard to be in that position where you felt like you had no choice but to trust that this doctor was doing the right thing. I truly couldn't wrap my head around the thought that I was about to be induced that night. No one ever wants to have that happen and I always imagined if I were to be induced it would be because I was past-due. The possibility of this happening today had never, ever crossed my mind.

The doctor left us alone for a few minutes and Jared and I talked and prayed about what we needed to do. They wanted me to check in right then and there, but I absolutely couldn't do that. I didn't have my bags with me, the carseat was at home, my cell phone was at 2% battery. We needed to go home first. The pushy doctor was not happy with that either, trying to scare me by saying my high blood pressure could cause a seizure or a stroke if we left and I wasn't being monitored. She told me I should just check in and send Jared home for our stuff- but there was no way I was checking into the hospital alone! In the end, I signed an AMA (Against Medical Advice) form so they'd let us leave and we told them we'd be back within a couple of hours...

Part 2 coming tomorrow!

31 comments

  1. Eek I've been waiting for this! I'm so sorry you had such a pushy and rude doctor. It's such a shame, because it can really make or break your hospital experience. That's the worst.

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  2. I am so sorry you had such a scary & rough start!

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  3. I have been hoping you would post this. I love birth stories and have been wondering how your experience was. Thanks for sharing with us.

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    1. and to add to this. I have a friend who was forced into a c-section by the doctor that was on call when she went into labor. Baby was breech and she wanted to deliver her naturally. The doc basically told her she could deliver it in the parking lot if she wanted to deliver it naturally. yikes

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  4. Oh goodness, I am so glad you are posting this!!

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  5. I'm so sorry already, and you have two more parts to go. I have heard of people have experiences with doctors who acted like that, and it's so unfortunate. It's hard because you want to trust that the doctor is just doing what is in the best interest of you and your baby, but at the same time you wonder if there is a need to be so dramatic about it.

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  6. Oh my, what an experience. I'm glad you're posting it.

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  7. Oh wow what an ordeal! I'm so sorry you went through this!

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  8. Oh my goodness! That sounds so stressful for a first-time Mom! Meaning, I probably shouldn't be reading this right now at 35 weeks, but I can't help myself! ;)

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  9. Was this rude doctor the doctor you had been seeing your whole pregnancy? That's a shame to have started the whole l&d process that way because it really does make the whole experience so different. I hope your doctor comes through in Part 2! ;)

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  10. I have been waiting for your birth story too! Being almost 34 weeks pregnant makes me want to be prepared for anything. I am so shocked the Dr said today when you went in! Can't wait to read the rest of the story!

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  11. That doctor has the most horrible bedside manners! I would have been terrified of what was going on, and for her to just be callous about the whole thing is just so wrong! I'm glad that you were at least able to go home and get a few things before checking in!

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  12. Oh my, what a horrible way for a doctor to be when you are already stressed out and scared about what is happening!!! I cant really see mine acting that way, she is always so nice when I am in her office. But like you said, this is every day living for them and I suppose it is easy to become flippant about it. I have been waiting for you to share your birth story! It is the part of pregnancy I am the most fearful/nervous about. Obviously.

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  13. This sounds so stressful. I understand why this was so hard to write. Thankfully we're two months out and you have this adorable and healthy boy to cherish. I will be anxiously awaiting the next parts. I'm thinking of you!

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  14. So stressful. I now see why you are changing practices and I'm glad. We definitely have to be advocates for ourselves and our children these days. Sadly, doctors don't always know best. I can't wait to hear the next part. And I'm just glad I know there's a happy ending to this story...healthy baby and Mama! XO

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  15. I'm already angry at this doctor while reading this! It is SO stressful to have an unfamiliar doctor or a doctor you don't necessarily trust or like when you're trying to make huge decisions. That is just NOT how I'd want a doctor to tell me they wanted me to be induced! I'm so sorry that's how your birth story started :-(

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  16. I'm with Allison - thank goodness I know that the end results in a happy baby and parents!! That is way too much to handle within a few hours of just thinking you would have a normal doctor's appointment! I wish the doctor would have understood that better!!! You are already a stronger mama for just having to go through that experience!!

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  17. Oh jeez...definitely not the smooth sailing that you were thinking with your doctor's visit. I'm so happy that everything is great but i'm still nervous to read your second part.

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  18. Well thanks for sharing .. I too was curious and looking forward to your birth story . I hate that you had this experience .. Bad experiences have actually made some women not want to have any more kids or be really afraid to do so .. Looking forward to reading the rest ..

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  19. Oh! I can't wait for the continuation.
    Gosh, what you have to go through. I wish people in those professions or lines of work can be a little more considerate or sensitive and act like "people". Not just someone in uniform doing their job.

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  20. I have been waiting for this!!!!!! So sorry y'all had to go through all of that. Some doctors just REALLY lack bedside manners, and it is a true shame. I am just glad I already know y'all have a happy and healthy baby or I would probably be hyperventilating right now lol.

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  21. Eeps! This is quite the story already. Glad you are finding ways to process all that happened, because even if it goes textbook-perfect, delivering a baby is a lot to handle!

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  22. Oh yikes, sounds like everything happened so quickly and unexpectedly! So glad the little guy is nice and healthy for you even after a scary start!

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  23. Holy crap! That's just crazy that it happened that way...especially since you were already planning on getting some Sonic!

    Was the doctor that you were dealing with on this day your normal doctor? Bedside manner is really important with a doctor especially when your first time parents.

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  24. Oh Erin. My heart is breaking for you. I just want to cry reading this! This is not how things should go!! If your blood pressure was really THAT high that the dr was concerned about a seizure, wouldn't you have some other symptom? That's crazy. I wish I could give you a huge hug.

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  25. Okay up until the end of this first part, this is exactly what happened to my friend in November. I think I had mentioned to you previously that she was induced for what we all thought was really "no reason."

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  26. Oh my gosh. That doctor sounds like the worst. Have some COMPASSION. I'm so, so glad that everyone is healthy, or else this birth story would be excruciating to read. I can't imagine going into what should have been a normal appointment and then realize you're going to have a baby that night! I really love when doctors tell you to relax to bring down your blood pressure. I'm at the doctor's office. I can't relax. Can't wait for part two!

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  27. Oh my goodness I think my BP went up a little just from reading this. But as a first time expecting mama myself now, it is good to hear these stories. My doctor keeps reminding me that it's nice to have a plan, but you cannot be married to that plan because we never know what can happen towards the end. So glad your baby boy was healthy though! That's most important! But I hate you had to deal with the stress of it all.

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  28. (Getting a break from youth camp to read these!!!) I still can't imagine hearing those doctors words. She needs to go back to school and learn some bedside manner! In the end, I'm thankful T is a healthy baby and that YOU were alright! :) love you, you strong, amazing momma!

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  29. I just want to scream for you! I'm sorry you went through that :( I can't imagine how scary it must have felt to be treated like they just wanted to push you through and move on to the next person. No one should ever have to feel that way!

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  30. oh hun. i am so so sorry to read this. i was going to read all 3 and then comment on the last one but i had to comment on this one. this is something i am terrified of as well, because you really do feel like you have to trust these doctors, because the alternative, the what if, is too scary to consider.

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Thanks SO much for taking the time to read and comment on my blog! I read each one and love to respond and chat with you! :)