January 27, 2016

He's here!

Clark Carlson Frazier
arrived Friday January 22, 2016 at 10:02 am
weighing 8 lbs measuring 20 inches. 

Our baby boy was due to arrive Friday January 29th.  However, given my labor with Marley, we scheduled an induction for Monday January 25th.

Sunday January 10th I had contractions for EIGHT hours. Grant kept asking if I wanted to go to the hospital...but since they weren't getting any worse or closer together, I would rather be at home timing contractions than hooked up to a monitor watching contractions.  At least then I could clear out the DVR and be tired in my own bed.  Sure enough, I woke up Monday morning without contractions but completely exhausted.

Thursday January 14th I started having contractions while at work.  After two hours of them getting progressively worse and closer together, I called my doctor.  She sent me to L & D.  I left work in the middle of the day and thought for sure baby was coming.  We got to the hospital, and the contractions stopped.  We walked for an hour, still nothing, so home we went.  Looking back, I really shouldn't have been surprised.  Our children are obviously planners too.  Marley had a day of less movement around 37-38 weeks that put up in L & D.  As soon as we got there and I had some juice, she started moving.  She just wanted to know what to expect.  Clark wanted the same thing.  He needed to know what to expect and to make sure we were ready for him.

The night of Tuesday January 19th, I was having regular contractions every 3 to 8 minutes, lasting 30-50 seconds each.  Given how things had been going the last week and a half, my doctor sent me to the hospital.  We checked in, our nurse had never heard of POTS and wasn't sure why I was taking a beta blocker. I sat on the monitor, and then they had me walk.  30 minutes into walking, I was done.  It was late, I was exhausted, and with the POTS, we actually discovered that the walking STOPS my contractions.  Basically my body can only focus on so many functions at once.  If my heart and autonomic functions are focusing on walking and keeping me upright, the contractions stall.  As soon as I crawled back into bed, the contractions started up again.  But since I wasn't progressing, back home we went....contractions and all.

We made it home around 1 and went straight to bed.  At 2:52am I woke up in the midst of a panic attack.  It lasted for next 20 hours when I fell asleep the next night.  I've never experienced anxiety like that before and with POTS the anxiety can be present but not controllable.  My mom thinks it was because Tuesday night was basically my worst case scenario.  Painful contractions, no progress, a nurse that knew nothing about POTS, and complete exhaustion.  Each visit to L & D was a reminder of how traumatic Marley's labor and delivery were.  I honestly wasn't sure I could do that again but also wanted to make sure we did everything possible to avoid a C section.

By Wednesday morning, it was time for me to put my oxygen mask on first...I needed to take care of myself so I could take care of baby.  I called my doctor, explained what was going on, and asked if there was any change we could move my induction up to Friday January 22nd.  My doctor's office does not do elective inductions until 39 weeks.  She decided to schedule my induction for the night of Thursday January 21st.

Thursday night we called in at 6pm to check in about our 7pm induction.  They told me that all the beds were full and that I should call back at 8pm.  My cardiologist was emailing me to see if I was at the hospital yet and we were hopeful a bed would be available later.  My patience was wearing thin and the anticipation was getting the best of us.  We called back at 8pm and the beds were still full.  They told us to call back at 9pm.  Marley was already in bed, my mom was already at our house, so we were just trying to rest as much as possible.   Thankfully when we called at 9pm, they were ready for us! We were told to arrive at 9:30 and they would have us in a room by 9:45pm!

By 9:45pm we were in our room and I was getting hooked up to monitors.  I was feeling so anxious and trying not to focus on what we went through with Marley.  They hooked me up to fluids, started the pitocin and took my blood work for the epidural.  I had just had blood work done two weeks before so I wasn't too worried about my platelets.  However, my numbers came back even lower than with Marley.  Thankfully, the anesthesiologist was willing to move forward with my epidural.  They used a different wash and tape with the goal of avoiding the same chemical and adhesive burns I had with Marley. (Flash forward: They worked! Only a minor adhesive reaction.)  Got the epidural in place and my blood pressure tanked.  This happens with everyone, and we anticipated it would be even more likely to happen to me because of the POTS.  Once we stabilized my blood pressure, we were in it for the long haul.  They monitored my contractions and continued increasing my pitocin dosage all night.  Grant was able to sleep off and on.  I didn't sleep at all but was able to rest most of the night.  Even though the epidural was working and I wasn't in any pain from the contractions, I could feel the impact my POTS was having.  My body was working hard to maintain all of the things it should be regulating more automatically.

Thankfully, we made it through the night.  At 6am, I was 4.5 cm and feeling very defeated from a long night of contractions.  My body was craving my 7am beta blocker and I was starting to panic that we were in for another full day of labor like with Marley.  My cardiologist came to check on me before he started seeing patients and was pleased with my HR and blood pressure numbers throughout the night.  He said things looked good and to call if we needed anything.

When the nurses changed shift, I was antsy.  We'd had unpredictable luck so far with nurses.  However, this nurse walked in and said that her niece had POTS.  She was completely familiar with it and was willing to do whatever we needed to do to manage my POTS.  She walked out of the room and I told Grant "She's such a blessing!"  She was exactly what I needed to mentally keep me in the game.  At 8:45, my doctor came in and I was 6.5cm.  She broke my water and said she would see us soon! Our nurse told us she was sure our baby would be here by lunch.  What felt like a few minutes later, our nurse called the doctor back and three pushes later, Clark was here at 10:02am!  We are beyond thrilled and relieved that he is finally here...and that his labor and delivery were so much easier than the first time around. Our hearts are so full that our family is complete!

Fun fact...my doctor is married to my boss. Another item on the Campolindo Bucket List I never knew I had (meeting spouse, getting engaged at Campo, having my boss' wife deliver my baby...).

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