While Little Ring’s entrance into this world was a super speedy one, it didn’t come without a few hiccups.
Last Wednesday when my obstetrician recommended we move the induction date up, it wasn’t just because of the hefty size of my little babe. A blood test showed my liver enzymes had been hosting a Cholestasis Bash in my belly, which was causing the incessant stomach itch I’d been enduring for more than a month. My ob wanted me to go in that day, but given my reaction (I was still working, Big Ring was also working more than an hour away, I didn’t have my suitcase with me, didn’t have a take-home outfit for baby, hadn’t selected our movies yet… I was NOT ready!) she agreed we could wait until the next morning.
But when I called the maternity triage, Thursday morning, they said the NICU was full; we would have to wait. Instead, I was instructed to go to the hospital for another non-stress test to make sure baby was okay. It was there that my obstetrician laid out the urgency of the situation: There was no guarantee my baby would require a bed in the NICU, she said, but because I was already technically high risk with my diabetes and because I was delivering three weeks early, and because there was that whole shoulder dystocia concern, it was a possibility. And with cholestasis, she said, there was also a chance of stillbirth if we waited too long to deliver. Uh, what?
The solution: She told me a hospital in Surrey had room and was willing to take us. I nearly broke down at this point. After 9 months of planning, preparing, carefully selecting, I did NOT want my kid being born in Surrey, I did not want my kid getting the Surrey stamp (Surrey = the slum of the West Coast) right off the hop.
I know that sounds selfish, but take into account that I specifically chose this hospital because of its newness, because I had yet to form a grudge against it, because I had a great family support network all around it. I toured this hospital, had become comfortable with the maternity ward and its staff through my various appointments. Surrey, I didn’t know, I didn’t trust, and by golly, it was SURREY!!!
After talking it over, Big Ring and I decided to take our chances. They’d induce me and if our baby required the nursery post delivery, he’d be shipped to another hospital that had room. It was a scary thought being separated from my baby, but we truly believed he would be fine, that he’d be kicking and wailing just as loud as the next healthy newborn.
We weren’t wrong.
Little Ring came out strong and healthy, he didn’t require any assistance with breathing, his wailing lungs got a good workout from the moment he was out, the shoulder dystocia concern was a non entity, his blood sugars were a bit low to start, but quickly rose to adequate numbers.
I, however, had a few more issues to contend with. Before my water was broken, I was told I was a carrier of group b strep, which can cause serious lung infection and even death if passed onto the baby through the birth canal. As a result, I required an IV drip of penicillin to protect my little guy. But the thing is, despite having gloriously robust veins that nearly every blood extracting technician compliments, the nurse who was in charge of getting the IV line in me could not find a suitable vein… she tried four times, was pushing and twisting, but the line kept getting stuck halfway in, not budging another inch. At the time, it wasn’t a huge deal, I was already in the throes of contractions which were taking my mind off the poking pain, but the next morning, and subsequent days after, my hands and forearms were covered in painful bruises!
But, given how my pregnancy was full of hiccups, obstacles, challenges from the moment Little Ring first became a zygote in my belly, should I really have expected a labour that would go 100 per cent smooth? Nah, that would have been too easy