Our baby girl is here! Violet Cordelia Fimbrez, she was born on February 20th and she is so precious. I wish I was able to keep her in a little longer but with the circumstances, it was best she was delivered early. I see it as we were both really excited to meet one another. I just wish we could’ve skipped all of the drama.
The weekend before she was born I was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia. I went in for a normal check up as usual and I didn’t leave. I could not believe it was happening again! If you don’t remember, this is exactly the way Emerald’s birth story started except I was further along with Emerald. I went in for my 32 week (33 weeks) check up and never left. My blood pressure was the the issue with both pregnancies, which was weird because in both pregnancies my blood pressure was perfect up until the end. This time they found protein in my urine, which could mean kidney and liver complications, an indication of pre-eclampsia. The physician told me that I should go to labor and delivery so they can monitor the baby and observe me for a few hours, since my blood pressure was normal up until that day. They assumed it was it a one time thing but to be safe they wanted to monitor me and baby to see if it would come down after relaxing for a few hours.
As I’m walking down the hall, I had this sick feeling that I wouldn’t be leaving the hospital. My body was telling me something was wrong. At that point it was confirmed I had pre-eclampsia. Luckily for me my mom met me there and I had some kind of relief. Having her there helped calm my nerves a little. They hooked me up to the monitors and we waited, watching the time pass, hoping that my blood pressure would be at a normal level every time the machine would beep and the cuff would inflate. That drove us crazy. My mom would say “ok, you have a minute to calm down, think of something relaxing.” How many of you can think of something relaxing when you’re in the hospital? I mean my mind was going a mile a minute, thinking about Emerald, thinking about the baby, thinking about what I could’ve done differently, was it something I did to cause this? All of these thoughts that would make any normal person’s blood pressure abnormally high. My family was counting on me to lower my blood pressure, so the weight of that was more than I could handle. I wound up staying 24 hours and even then they didn’t want to let me go. I was under the impression they were going to induce me that day, they even gave me a steroid that would help develop her lungs faster so she would be able to breath on her own once she was out. But I managed to get it down to 143/80 it was better than it had been the following day which was at 165/90. They were reluctant to release me but they wanted to see if I could make it to 37 weeks. A 34 week old baby isn’t as serious as let’s say having a 24 week old baby. But since 37 weeks is considered a full term pregnancy, that was the best case scenario we were all hoping for. I was released on the condition I relax.
Once home, I tried to decompress. Unfortunately that only lasted for about 10 minutes. Emerald was running around screaming about something and my husband was yelling at her to calm down because “mommy needs to rest.” Not only did the two of them fighting add to my stress, but not being able to calm the situation as you normally would is frustrating. Long story short I ended up back in the hospital 48 hours later. I had an appointment that was scheduled on Tuesday February 19th to check baby’s heartbeat and my blood pressure and of course they were concerned about me. The doctor that was on staff came in and I already knew what she was going to say. She told me that my blood pressure wasn’t coming down, and she recommended I go to labor and delivery. At this point I was ready to have this baby. If it were safer just to deliver her and a fast way for me to get back to my normal life and functions then I was on board for any suggestions the doctor had.
As easy as it was to think it, it was a lot harder making the decision of delivering her in the actual moment. I broke down when the doctor told me I was in danger of having liver and kidney failure. My blood pressure went as high as 185/100. They were really concerned I would have a seizure so they put the order in to add magnesium to my drip. I kept asking about the baby if she would be ok since she was 6 weeks early. They just kept telling me that they were more concerned about me, that she was fine but I was at risk for of having kidney and liver damage or worse, those organs could shut down. All serious issues because of the pre-eclampsia, and the only way to stop it was to deliver her. As scared as I was, I knew it was the best thing to do, I took a deep breath and said “ I’m ready”. It was time to prepare me for labor.
Delivery wasn’t what I expected. The plan was to thin out my cervix since it was 6 weeks before my due date. They started me on Cytotec, medication that helps with thinning out the cervix. Once my cervix thinned as much as they needed it to, they would give me Pitocin to induce labor. With everything that was going on, not once did they mention exactly when they would give me the Pitocin. I was a little confused since they hadn’t checked my cervix. How would they know if it was time? So my mom asked when they were going to start me on Pitocin. A few hours had passed by then, so we thought they’d have a better understanding as to where I was and how much longer it would be before they’d induce me . They explained that before I could get the Pitocin, my contractions would have to be stronger and closer together than they were. But the contractions I was having were the Braxton Hicks. There is a distinct difference between the two. Which lead me to believe I wasn’t ready for the Pitocin. This went on all night.
At around 6 o’clock in the morning, I noticed the contractions became more frequent. But they didn’t intensify, I felt them but it wasn’t to the point where I was miserable. The nurse came in, and I asked once again if they were going to check me to see If we could get things started. I was exhausted from the magnesium, and I wasn’t allowed to walk around or stretch. The aches in my back were annoying and my butt was completely numb. She asked me if my contractions were the same or if they were getting stronger and I said “no”. Again I was told we had to wait and that was the last time I spoke to the nurse. I remember looking over at my mom, she was on the phone trying to change her voicemail at work, and then I turned to look at the clock and saw it was 6:30. All of a sudden the worst pain that I could imagine hit me. I started to sweat and I felt my body tighten up, I immediately knew I was in labor. Two more hit. After the third contraction I had this overwhelming feeling to push. I remember that feeling oh so well. That uncomfortable feeling meant it was time to push little mama out. I started yelling “I need to push! I need to push!” As I’m yelling, the nurse walks in and asks if this is the first time I’ve had the sensation to push. I don’t remember answering her but I’m sure my mom told her yes because the next thing I know she’s checking to see how far I was dilated. You could see the surprised look on her face, she didn’t expect to see that I was dilated to 10 cm. And we were shocked to hear I was ready to deliver the baby. I was never administered the Pitocin, my body handled it all by itself.
My mom was amazed, the nurse was shocked, and I’m over here in pain. You’d think they’d tell me “ Ok, let’s start pushing”. No, the nurse told me to wait. They weren’t ready for me to start pushing, so I had to try and stop the urge to push. Which is so difficult. You’re going against what your body is telling you what it needs to do. But in their defense they were in my room quicker than I thought was possible. In a blink of an eye my room was filled with nurses and I’m pretty sure a few doctors but I can’t remember. If only they moved that fast to get my feet up on those stir ups. It felt like hours had pass before I heard those beautiful words. Finally the doctor did the membrane sweep and said “ Ok Amber it’s time to push.” I pushed three times and she was out. She was born at 7:05 a.m. It was so fast that we didn’t get to record or take photos. My husband wasn’t there or my sister. The only one that witnessed this spectacular event was my mom. It probably would’ve happened faster had they been ready but oh well. She was safe and I was safe, that’s all that mattered.
I finally had my precious Violet in my arms. All 4 pounds of her. But the happiness was short lived. The NICU nurses came and took her from me about 20 minutes after she was born and since I was still on the magnesium I couldn’t go with her. My husband showed up just in time to be by her side so we knew where she was. She was in the NICU for about two weeks. The hardest two weeks of my life but it was worth it. The NICU nurses made sure my baby was healthy and strong before coming home with us, which we are completely grateful for. Once she was able to put on some weight she was ready to go home. I can’t imagine how other families handle being away from their children longer for long periods of time. My heart goes out to them, because it takes a real strong person to handle the stress of dividing your time between children and family. Not being able to be with both of our girls killed us, leaving Emerald to be with Violet and leaving Violet to be with Emerald. It was rough. But I’m happy it’s all over and that we are all together as we should be. At home with our two strong and beautiful girls.
Now the fun part begins. It’s going to be an adventure.