February 10, 2015. We were stationed in Anchorage, Alaska and it was a snowy cold morning. I had my 38-week check up that morning with my OBGYN on Elmendorf Air Force Base hospital. My hospital was only a 5-minute drive from our house so it was very convenient driving myself in the snow at 38 weeks pregnant. I walked into my appointment not expecting anything more than just getting my weight checked, blood pressure checked, and hearing the baby’s heartbeat, then I’ll usually be off to run errands or enjoy lunch with Jack. My due date was scheduled for February 22, 2015 so I knew I still had time until baby arrived.
But for some odd reason for the past few weeks my blood pressure was higher than usual, borderline high, around 140/90. But the doctor’s and myself figured maybe it’s just because I’m dehydrated from the horrible morning sickness I was experiencing, or because I didn’t eat breakfast. But today, at my appointment, something clicked in my doctor’s head, like hmmm something’s up, and we need to figure out why your blood pressure has been high all of a sudden.
My doctor sent me to get lab work done, a urine test, and to the Labor & Delivery Department to check on baby’s health. Normally my appointments were about 30 minutes long, but now I’ve been in the hospital for almost 5 hours while they run tests on baby and I, and mind you I was starving. The nurses and Doctor’s said everything looked good, and discharged me from L&D, so I was on my way home to enjoy my evening with Jack.
Fast forward to around 7pm, I was cooking Thai chicken curry for dinner and I think Jack was watching some type of sports game. I get a call from L&D, asking for Linda. I said, “Yes, this is she” and the nurse on the line asked very excitedly, “Do you want to get induced today?” My eyes got big, I covered my mouth with my other hand and tears just started running down my face. I wanted to ask her why, but I didn’t want the nurse to hear me crying. The nurse continued, as I stayed quiet, she said they found protein in my urine and it could be a sign of preeclampsia, they didn’t want to a risk it and wait the 24 hours to confirm it was indeed preeclampsia because my baby’s health and my health could be in danger. I was already full term at 38.3 weeks pregnant, so after I composed myself and took a few deep breaths, I told the nurse, “yep lets do this”.
After I hung up the phone with the nurse, I told Jack. He kind of panicked and started calling his bosses telling them, “It’s time” haha. I texted my friend Sarah, she was going to house sit and watch our two dogs for us while I gave birth, so she came over and I gave her the run down. I showered, packed, and we left to the hospital at around 8pm.
We got to the hospital, and L&D on base is pretty nice, I felt like I was on vacation. They asked me what was my birth plan, and I was like ummmm I didn’t have one. I kept hearing stories that most of the time birth plans don’t usually go according to plan, so I told them: it’s a possibility I may want an epidural, as long as Jack cuts the cord, and skin to skin after baby is born, then I am happy. They strapped me up to the monitors and said they wont start the inducing process until morning. So Jack and I spent the night at the hospital waiting for morning.
So it’s the next day, February 11, 2015. We woke up that morning, nurses gave me the ok to eat breakfast, and they started me on Pitocin. They also started me on another drug for my preeclampsia called Intravenous Magnesium Sulfate to help prevent seizures or any other complications from the preeclampsia. The doctor warned me that the Magnesium Sulfate and Pitocin combined was going to make me feel nasty, tired, cranky, groggy, and just plain ol disgusting. I had a melt down when she told me this because I just didn’t want to feel any more uncomfortable than I already do, but it had to happen.
The whole day I texted friends and family, letting them know I was ok. I just stayed in bed all day while the nurses monitored me, waiting on things to move along. They decided to break my water, and that was absolutely the most painful part, I screamed so loud, and ended up crying. It was very uncomfortable, but it was very brief. Then evening came, I honestly don’t remember what time it was, but the contractions came HARD! It felt like really bad menstrual cramps, bad lower back pain, and with every contraction I couldn’t breath. I was gasping for air, felt like my lungs were being squeezed. It was really scary, so I told Jack, “I want a epidural, I NEED AN EPIDURAL!!” I was only 5 cm dilated. The anesthesiologists came in literally in 5 minutes, and I was so relieved when I saw them walk in. I got my epidural and it started working almost instantly. The nurse suggested I get some sleep, as much sleep as I can, so I went to bed.
Midnight came, it’s officially February 12, 2015, and the Nurses and Doctors woke me up. They said, “okay, it’s time to have this baby, it’s time to push, your 10 cm dilated” I was so sleepy, I pushed for about one hour, drifting in a out of sleep. The nurses kept waking me up between contractions.
At 1:02am, Jovie was born at a tiny 6lbs 11oz. We had skin to skin for what seems like forever, it was amazing. I kept telling Jack, “Omg she looks just like you!” The nurses were ready to take Jovie away to clean her up, but the Doctor kept yelling, “No, give her more time with her baby!” haha. I did end up getting a second-degree tear, so I needed stitches. I was just happy the pregnancy and delivery process was finally over. I was incredibly swollen in these photos, and I was 222lbs when I gave birth, yikes!!
Looking at Jovie for the first time, I have never been happier in my life, it was love at first sight, Jack and I was so proud we created this beautiful little baby. Now she’s about to be two years old! And I am going to go through the labor and delivery process a second time coming March 2017. Eeek, I’m nervous for the pain, but I feel so incredibly lucky to grow our family, and experience this process one last time.
Thank you for reading Jovie’s birth story, I know Jovie will enjoy reading how she was born when she gets older!