Welcome to the world, Olivia!

Thursday, 5.5.11
I woke up at 4:15am feeling like something was off. In fact, the entire week I was maintaining a steady cocktail of migraines and swelling. To me, it just seemed like typical pregnancy symptoms - third trimester woes if you will. I decided to throw some clothes on and drive to Jewel for Tylenol since I was out and had meetings on the books for work. Fast forward to 7:30am, husband leaves for work and we agree to meet for my biweekly doc appointment. We were both concerned about all my aches and pains and my edema was out of control for only being 31 weeks.

We check in at the front desk and I do my routine urine sample. Within minutes we are escorted to our room to see the doc. Doc enters the room, takes one look at my legs and calmly asks where our car is parked. I think it was a total of five minutes before she told us that we needed to go directly to Triage at the hospital, giving them a head's up of our arrival. I remember hearing the words "preeclampsia" and that there was protein in my urine and my blood pressure was through the roof. I knew what preeclampsia was but I didn't really know the severity of it let alone the effects it could have on my baby and me. I just figured we would go to Triage, they would regulate me with some oral meds and we'd move on in time for the shower festivities on Saturday. Simple enough.

Husband calls parents to alert them of our situation as well as my boss. We register and wait. I get called back to a room and told to put on a gown. Within minutes we are met by five different docs and nurses. I get an IV and meds to start lowering my blood pressure which at the time, just to give you some perspective, was 190/115. If you're anything like me...you always take good blood pressure for granted and since I NEVER had any pre-existing issues, I thought...I guess that seems high. A doctor comes in and starts discussing my "severe preeclampsia" condition which they refer to as a disease. Wait...what? I have a disease? The baby continues to be happy as a clam in my belly but it appears I would be having this baby over the weekend. In fact, a nurse would be down in a few minutes to roll me up to Labor & Delivery. This is where I start crying. All I could think of was 1. what about my baby? 2. will she be ok? 3. is she ready to come out? 4. what's going to happen to my health? 5. what about my baby????

I am in Labor & Delivery and the anaesthesiologist comes in and introduces himself. We start discussing epidurals. Epidurals?! Following him, we meet the obstetrician and she begins to explain stereoids which help speed up lung development on the baby. They want a full 48 hours before they decide to induce me so that the stereoid goes into effect. They also start a magnesium drip to prevent me from going into seizures from my high blood pressure. Yeah, exactly - seizures. Hours pass, more doctors and nurses visit and it becomes evident we are in for the weekend and that simple bed rest is not going to be the solution to today's issue. In fact, the only cure for preeclampsia is to literally have the baby. We are tired, overwhelmed, emotionally drained and I feel like garbage. Husband sleeps on a pull out bed in my room and I am relegated to staying in bed. In fact, I am not even allowed to get up to use the rest room. I have nurses checking my vitals every hour on the hour and I learn the joys of bed pans. We pass out...sort of.

Friday, 5.6.11
Night blends into morning and our parents visit us. My dad awaits our crib arrival at our house {ironic} and the moms start to absorb the situation first hand from the slew of medical staff coming in and out. I kept thinking how unprepared I was for all of this. I don't even have a car seat! I am feeling awful as if I was on some sort of trippy ride from the magnesium and pretty much sleep on and off all day. I am literally swelling blowing up by the minute and my body and face become unrecognizable. My OB/GYN is the resident doc that day and she pays me a visit informing me that I would definitely be induced tomorrow. They can't regulate my blood pressure and it's dangerous. The moms toy with cancelling my baby shower and are weighing out options. It was later decided that the show would go on and they would greet our friends and family, serve a nice lunch and thank everyone for coming. Family leaves and we have another night of the same routine. Husband is calm but looks exhausted. I feel bad. I start to feel like I am losing my mojo. I wonder if I can really do this. And to boot, I can't take a shower. I feel disgusting.

Saturday, 5.7.11
Husband and I learn that baby girl is still thriving in the womb and we mentally prepare to be induced. Husband informs friends over email and we wait. Slowly our friends learn or show up at our shower and our phones start blowing up. People are surprised and concerned. The support is overwhelming and our spirits pick up because we know we get to meet baby girl soon and we also know that I will be better once she's out. We get excited for baby day! I still haven't showered.

My doctor comes in and preps to insert my "crib." Basically she inserts a balloon into my cervix and inflates it which places pressure on my cervix forcing it to open in preparation for delivery. Contractions follow and hopefully my body responds. Sounds pretty straight forward but oh...the pain! No pain meds for this though...just deep breaths and focusing on the ceiling lights. Five minutes and it's over. I am told that when the pain is too much to withstand - I can request an epidural.

I need an epidural stat! So this is what contractions feel like. Husband calls moms and the family drives into the city. Over the course of the next few hours, I sleep more...still feel out of it from the magnesium...and everyone paces, reads, watches TV, etc. It was a long day of waiting. I've seen every new release to hit the movie theaters.

Still on the epidural and not much has happened. We send the parents home to get some rest. More of the same continues...hourly vital checks. We feel anxious. When is this going to happen? Did I mention I haven't showered since Thursday? The amazing nurses take pity on me and bath me. They even wash my hair. Truly a humbling moment and I make a vow to myself to never get ill and take care of my health. For those of you who have not had a baby yet or want to...nurses can make or break your delivery. For me, they made my stay and I am overwhelmed with gratitude all over again. I say a few prayers and pass out.

I am 5cm dilated! The crib comes out and they really start pumping pitocin in my IV big time. Let's get this party started! Now that the crib was out I was told I had to deliver within 24 hours.

The doc comes in to break my water. We now know there is no turning back.

Sunday, 5.8.11
It's Mother's Day! Family arrives again and we all wait. I get checked on every two or three hours. I still feel like junk but I am hopeful that I will have baby by mid-morning. Not so much! I am 6cm dilated and it stays this way for a longggggg time.

I am 10cm dilated! Doctor and nurse come in and ask me if I'm ready to push. Am I ready? Never been more ready!!! They walk me through the process including how to push and explain which team members will be there and what happen to baby girl upon delivery. Mind you I have been on epidurals for over 24 hours so I am numb to the world. Everyone leaves and it's the four of us...doc, nurse and husband. We prep and well...push.

Welcome Olivia! 3 pounds, 5 ounces, 21 inches. She comes out crying - this is a good thing. She's feisty and we like it! She's brought to a warmer and they run tests on her. I am in shock. It's over. She has 10 fingers. She has 10 toes. She's beautiful and healthy...just a peanut. I can't hold her but I touch her and she's super sweet and I breathe a big sigh of relief. We are now a family and we can recover and I know with 100% certainty that she is in the best possible care. Olivia gets wheeled up to the NICU to meet her new roomies and settles in. After a couple of hours {not kidding!} I get to stand up for the first time since Thursday! Halleujah! I am shaky but I get to sit in a wheel chair and go up to visit her. She is sleepy but peaceful.

We are in our new room and we sleep...long and hard. Tomorrow is a new day. And I have a daughter!

Olivia is doing so well. I am stuck in the hospital because my blood pressue is off the richter scale but we get to hold her, feed her, change her diapers, take her temperature...it's awesome. But then I have to face the music of being discharged and leaving my daughter behind. I feel like a caged animal since I have been in the hospital for a full week but I'm torn because I don't want to leave her behind. I cry a lot. Discharge day is a bad day. I miss her already.

Every day is different and they have different challenges. I am cautiously optimistic. I want her home early and I go through the rainbow of emotions. We visit her every day for the entire day. We really have no concept of time except when friends or family come to visit. Those highlights are second to holding her. My goal is to celebrate Father's Day together. Fingers crossed!