Tucker is almost four years old. How have four years come & gone? I’ve decided it was time to tell the story of his pregnancy and birth, because like the girls, it was a very eventful one. (My kids give me no slack when it comes to baby baking!)
Mike and I first found out we were pregnant with Tucker in early March of 2007. We hadn’t even been married a year yet, but if Mike had planned it, we would have been pregnant on the honeymoon!
We were a little nervous to tell our families we were expecting, seeing as we were newlyweds and all and weren’t quite sure our parents were quite ready to be grandparents! I remember telling my mom first, just her and I, and she cried. She told me she never expected to be as excited as she was at that very moment when she had thought about the idea of becoming a grandparent before. We went on to tell the rest of our family and close friends and saved sharing the news with everyone until I was close to my second trimester.
The reason why we held off on sharing the news right away with everyone & their brother was because I started to have a few complications early on in the pregnancy. I started to spot and had to go into the doctors office quite a bit to keep checking to make sure everything was fine with the pregnancy. It was really hard to just keep calm and be sure the baby was growing & developing like needed when spotting occurred on a regular basis for me. Finally at about 11 weeks, after a second ultrasound already, we finally told everyone we knew. At that point things started to become more normal and the spotting ceased.
When we planned our “BIG” ultrasound we did it without telling anyone again. I was 19 weeks and at the time just told everyone that at that appointment we’d be scheduling the ultrasound. Mike and I had purchased “I love Grandpa” onesies in both pink and blue, because we were finding out right before Father’s Day and figured it would be fun to surprise the grandpas-to-be (& everyone else!).
Mike and I went to the “BIG” ultrasound excited and nervous. We brought a VHS tape with us for it to be recorded and as I laid there watching the ultrasound tech check the baby over & over again we were ecstatic to see that the baby looked perfect. Finally, she started to search for the goods and after a little maneuvering of the wand and moving this way & that from me, we learned we were expecting a baby BOY! Mike was beyond thrilled because a boy was what he wanted from the get-go. I was a little sad to see the idea of lots of pink bows slip away, but happy to know Tucker was on his way.
The next day I had my regular monthly appointment with my OB and to go over the results from the ultrasound. I had gone alone because it was suppose to be no big deal as far as I was concerned. Boy, was I wrong. At that appointment I learned they had found something in the ultrasound, a Choroid Plexus Cyst. I left there in tears and wondering all the what-ifs. I called Mike to tell him the news and that it could mean the possibility of Downs and such. Then I called my mom. She could barely understand me through the sobbing as I blurted out that we had gone the day before for our big ultrasound and that today at my regular appointment I was told something might be wrong with “him”. As I answered all her wondering questions she finally said, “Did you say he?”.
A month went by, with lots of researching on the internet and calls to my aunt who is a retired RN to discuss the CPC. We went to the local women’s & babies hospital (the one the girls would be delivered at two years later) and had a higher grade ultrasound done. Everything that day looked amazing. He was perfect and the cyst, from what they could see, was gone. That was our last worry until I was 32 weeks into the pregnancy.
Right before my 32 week appointment I talked to my mom about tightening I was feeling and the idea of could I be contracting. She brushed off my worries, and told me it was probably just some Braxton Hicks Contractions, but I told her I was still going to mention them to the doctor. That week I was seeing a different doctor in the practice and when I told her about my concern she decided to do a vaginal check to see if I was dilating. Low & behold I was, sitting at about 2-3 cm dilated. I was sent right over to the hospital (which is practically attached to the doctors office luckily) to be monitored for the night. When I called my mom she was floored at the news and eventually felt horrible (when you read what comes next you’ll know why) for just brushing off my concerns.
That night in the hospital I eventually went into full blown labor. I was contracting every few minutes and they were strong and intense. I was given Magnesium by IV which stopped the contractions for a while but eventually they started right back up again. At that point my doctor decided to send me by ambulance to a bigger hospital that was more equipped for preterm labor & delivery. My first ever (but not last) ambulance ride. Mike at this point was sick to his stomach (seriously), we think from the fear of what was happening. Once at the bigger hospital they were again able to stop the contractions with more Magnesium and a few other oral medications. I however had dilated to 3-4 cm at this point. After spending five days at this hospital (& a day and half at the other) I was sent home on strict bed rest with a T-pump (medicine to stop the contractions that was given directly to me through a mini-IV into my leg) and home monitoring twice a day.
We moved in with my in-laws at this point, because my father-in-law was able to stay home with me during the day while everyone else was at work. He became my day nurse, having to make me breakfast and lunch, and check on me periodically as I was only allowed to lay in bed and get up just to go to the bathroom. I was allowed one quick 5-minute shower daily and started seeing my doctor weekly. At this point my baby showered had been cancelled and my mom and Mike’s mom rushed around to get what we would need if Tucker were to come early. The bed rest lasted for about three weeks when the contractions started up again and couldn’t be stopped with extra meds at home.
Again I went to the local hospital and again was transferred by ambulance to the bigger one they had taken me to before. They were able to get the contractions stopped again, although not completely. I was sent home on modified bed rest at this point, I was now 35 weeks, and was taken off all meds and monitoring. When the discharging doctor looked at my last monitoring strip before leaving he said, I would be surprised if you make it one more week with the amount of contractions you are still having. He hit the nail on the head with that statement.
One week later, at my weekly doctor’s appointment, I was sitting in the waiting room with my mom as we talked about going afterwards for my first shopping trip and dinner out in a month when I looked at her and said, “I think my water just broke.” I had felt a pop and then a gush of water that would not stop. She quickly told the nurses in the office and they called over to the hospital and got a wheelchair to take me over. When we got there the admitting nurse asked me if I was sure it was my water that had broke and said we’d have to do a swab test to check until I stood and she said, “Oh yeah, your water broke!”.
That was at about 4:45 pm. Almost exactly three hours later, at 7:48 pm Tucker made his arrival. I hadn’t wanted an epidural but finally the cramping I was having had gotten to be too much. When they started the epidural they didn’t check to see how far dilated I was, so as soon as they were done I told the nurse, “I’m still feeling a lot of pain & pressure”. She checked me and I was 10 cm. Had they checked be beforehand I doubt they would have given me the epidural, but even though I had it, I felt every single pain from the delivery so I’m not quite certain it really worked in time to help.
Tucker was a healthy 6 pounds 11 ounces, so had he gone four more weeks to full-term he would have been well over 8 pounds I’m certain! He had to spend the first night in their nursery to get IV antibiotics and have a few tests run and x-rays done to check his lung development. Luckily he had received two rounds of steroids during my previous stays for the preterm labor and his lungs looked great. The next day he was allowed into our room for the remainder of the hospital stay and came home as any other baby born full term would.
Tucker’s first night home was also our first night home in a month & the beginning of our new adventure into parenthood!