I woke up one night about mid-night, and 5 months pregnant....with the worst pain ever. I thought for sure it was contractions. I took the time to see how far apart the pain was. It was about 5 minutes apart and lasted a good minute long. I had the pain for about an hour and it finally stopped. It being my first pregnancy I was very nervous about the pains I was having, but took it as maybe just a fluke. I didn't have the pain again for some time. I would say at least another month.
I was due to have the baby on September 15th (by my menstrual cycle) but the 21st (by sonogram). It was August 29th and I planned on working up until the day that I had her. I was currently working in an office position and was very comfortable in the air and my relaxing office chair all day. I had put an empty paper box under my desk so that I could prop my feet up to help control some of the swelling. I was very swollen. My ankles were huge - to put it lightly. I was as comfortable as I could possibly be at 8 months pregnant. But as you can imagine, very uncomfortable too. It was late summer in the Mid-west and we all know how uncomfortable that can be even if you are not pregnant!
I went to work on the 29th ready for just another day at the office. It was early that morning and I had stopped what I was doing to use the office restroom. I noticed that the smell of my urine was extreme and nothing like what I had noticed throughout my pregnancy. I was also experiencing that pain again and my back was giving me aches as well. The pain had become more intense over the past 3 months since the 1st time i experienced it. I had taken tums thinking maybe it was heartburn. I took time and concentrated on breathing. I had determined that I did not think it was contractions but it definitely was not the norm. I knew my body and I knew something wasn't right. I had been my own for 23 years and i knew well how my body reacted to certain things but this was all new. So, I contacted my OB. They requested that I come in and be checked out. It felt like there was a whole in my chest and pain all around it. Right in the middle of my breast bone. It was very uncomfortable and a little scary. Chest pains and as swollen as I was, I was concerned.
I arrived at Rock Valley about 9:30 that morning. The doctor checked me and the baby's heartbeat. We both seemed fine, but my complaints of chest pain concerned her as well. She requested that I head over to the hospital and be monitored for awhile. So, mom and I headed over to the Birth Place on 7th St. in Moline. I sat in a birthing room for quite some time with monitors watching the baby's heart rate as well as my blood pressure. All looked good and about 2:30 they let me go. All was well, the pain was now gone. In the doctors exam i was not dilated at all.
I went home that night and did the normal everyday things. The next morning, I woke up headed to work just like every other morning and again went to use the restroom. Once again my urine was strong and overwhelming. I was also very itchy. My ears even itched. Again, I knew this was not right. There was something going on and I needed to fix it. I called the doctor again and this time they sent me straight to the hospital. I sat again with monitors on me and the baby. This time was different though. All of the sudden machines started beeping and nurses were running everywhere. It felt as if I was in a movie, doctors and nurses ripping my clothes off and checking my cervix. Dr. Kaitlin was the Dr on call that day and after checking me calmly sat on the side of my hospital bed and explained what had just happened. As you can imagine I was frantic. I was crying and confused. No one had said anything to me the whole time that everyone was running around ripping my clothes off. 23 pregnant, upset and confused...not a good combination! She explained that the monitors had lost the baby's heartbeat. They lost it for about 30 seconds - if i recall correctly. She said that with the pains i was having, my swelling and now losing the baby's heartbeat she was going to induce labor. She said that my cervix was not ready for the baby to come yet so they need to prepare it. She put this small tampon type thing up on my cervix. I had to lay flat for 4 hours without getting up. It came with greatness...let me tell you :) I had to us a bedpan for the 1st time. It was fun...
The 4 hours was up and they decided that early the next morning they would start the pitocen to kick start labor. We started about 5am. I sat and waited....nothing! I sat for 3 days with Jenna (my bother's girlfriend - soon to be wife) and my mom watching movies relaxing and preparing for what was to come. It was so fun. I kind of felt like I was on vacation. Nothing I had to do but lay there and wait. I had been on the pitocen now for 3 days. I was even more swollen than when i came in. One of the nurses told my mom..."well we might just send her home since nothing is happening." OMG we were not going to let that happen. It just so happened that my best friends mom was a nurse in labor and delivery and had been for many years. She was considered a vet in the department. She was off the day that nurse said that so of course mom jumped on the phone to Linda and confirmed that would not be the case. I remember hearing her on the phone saying "That will not happen. I will be back to work tomorrow morning and Kel is going to have that baby before i get off of work tomorrow" oh the joys of having connections :)
It was Saturday September 1st about 4pm and Linda came in she said we're about ready for you. How about you freshen up. I got to take a shower, and shave my legs. I wanted to smell good for my new baby. I was so excited and nervous at the same time. I was going to be having a C-Section. Jenna and Mom had both been there for me the whole time, but only one of them were allowed in the operating room. Mom and Jenna discussed the situation and the decision was made that mom would accompany me in to the operating room. It was about 5pm and I had already prepared myself. I had spoke with the anesthesiologist and was ready to go. Linda came in and took me down the hall to the C-Section rooms. I walked into a very bright cold room. I remember telling her "I kind of feel like i'm having and out of body experience" she replied with "oh you would say that". haha she knew me very well by this point. Her son and I had been friends for years and attended school together since 1st grade. We only lived about a mile from them. She knew me and my reaction was no surprise to her. I remember when they started my spinal and I could not even feel it. I was very comfortable and relaxed. I just felt huge. I had gained about 70lbs and that was before i sat there for 3 days. I could only imagine how huge i was at this point.
I remember when my mom walked into the operating room. I was relieved to see her. Linda was a great support system, but just wasn't my mom :) They began the C-Section and I was ready. I was nervous but ready. I prepared myself the best I could for the lil arrival. It being my 1st I really did not know what to expect. It was a great experience. I remember the release of the pressure from her being in the womb....it was a feeling like no other. I could not feel the pain just pressure and i could obviously see my body moving when they adjusted me to a more workable position. It was at 5:58 PM on September 1st, 2007 that my baby was born. I named her Hayden Anne Emery. She was 6lbs 2oz and 19.5in long. They of course took her right away to the nursery. I made sure 10 fingers and 10 toes were in check and mom examined her briefly and told me how perfect she was. She was beautiful. That was the single greatest moment in my life. I had something that was mine. God gave her to me and i knew from the minute i saw her that God had picked her for me and me for her. We were literally a match made in heaven! I was then stitched up and taken to recovery. I spoke with the nurse there for a long time. I asked her many questions about her personal life and she gave me much needed personal and medical advice. The one thing she told me that really helped me out with the incision was to do it myself if i could. If i needed to go to the bathroom get myself up, do not allow someone to pull me up. It really did help. I also had my sister who had just had her 2nd C-Section to look to for advice. It was great. Since I had a C-Section we were in the hospital for a little longer than a normal vaginal birth, but that was okay with me. I needed the rest and the support from the hospital staff. I would be taking this baby home by myself. Her dad was not around and I was going to be the sole provider for her. I had been very strong through out the whole situation, but i was scared to death to take her home. How was I going to do this by myself. I did a lot of praying and talking to the people around me. Those that came to visit where great supporters and definitely on my side. It was great to have such support.
We went home and it was great. I was living with my sister, her husband and their 2 children at the time. I could not have asked for a better living arrangement at the time. My nephew was only 2 weeks older than Hayden. We had so much in common. We did anyway, but mid-night feedings were never boring or quite. They were fun. We got to enjoy our maternity leave together. It was almost like we had twins. They soothed each other. Very cool.
Well, so you are probably wondering about that pain. Well it wasn't until Hayden was 5 weeks old they determined that I was having Gallbladder issues. This was common for women during pregnancy and in their early 20s. It was also something that every woman on my mom's side of the family had experienced. They hospitalized me and removed it on Oct 5th 2007. That was a lot for my body to handle. I had a C-Section and my gallbladder removed within the last 5 weeks. 2 major surgeries. I survived it though.
It was a very long pregnancy, but other than the occasional gallbladder attack it was great. I never had morning sickness. I would definitely love to have more children.
Hayden Anne Emery 9/1/07 - Kelly Emery