After I completed my post on Thursday night, I decided to lay down on the couch for a while. My back was hurting pretty bad, and I still had not decided if my back pain was due to my back problems or a sign of labor. I went upstairs at about 10:00 to assort all of the gifts we had received at the showers, because they were all just sitting in the middle of the room for a few days. I wanted to start assorting to know what we had, what we needed, and to start making room for the furniture delivery. I worked for about an hour, but by then, my back was really painful, and I was tired, so we went to bed.
At 5:00 am, I was happily asleep, when all of a sudden, I felt this gigantic gush, and I knew immediately that my water had broken. I jumped out of bed, and woke Joern and said, "we need to go to the hospital now."
Of course, I had not packed a bag for the hospital, because that was on the day's plan for Friday. So, once the flow of fluid calmed a bit, I asked Joern to go get his mom, ask her for some pads, and once she got here, I ran around for a few minutes packing some clothes, some towels, and of course, Erbse's "welcome home outfit." I also had to find my "Mutterpass" or "Mother's passport."
While I was getting ready, Joern called the hospital in Stuttgart, where we had planned my c-section for the 23rd of December. Surprisingly, they told Joern that they were full, and suggested that we go to the hospital in Esslingen. So, Joern called Esslingen, and they said that of course, we should come right away. Joern, his mother, and I all loaded into the car. The only things I kept saying were, "We're going to meet our little boy today" and "Holy cow, how much water is there?"
We arrived at the hospital at 6:00 am, and they met us outside with a stretcher. I was wheeled into the birthing center, and immediately, hooked up to a NST. Erbse's heartbeat was as strong as ever, and it showed I was continuing to have contractions, which I was still not feeling. A doctor came in and informed me that they were going to do some bloodwork to check for infection. If I did not have any signs of infection, they would monitor me over the next few days, and were hoping to keep Erbse in for a few more days. Then, they brought me into another room, where we waited.
We called my father not too long after I was off the NST. Afterall, not only was Dad's grandson on the way, but it was around 1:00 in the morning, which meant it was Dad's birthday too! I can imagine, it was a good reason to wake Dad up, to tell him that he and his grandson were going to share a birthday!
Around 10:00, I started having contractions, they lasted about 1 minute and came every 5 minutes. My contractions were mostly all in my back, and they were painful, but handlable.
At 11:00, Dr. Kindermann, which is a very cool name for the chief doctor of the birthing center, to discuss a cesarian. We discussed the reasons why I was leaning towards a c-section. He agreed that it would be the best course of action, given my strange back and neck issues, and then told me that I would be having my cesarian that afternoon. Afterwards, the anesthesiologist came in and we discussed options for anesthesia. Evidently, because of my prolapsed disk, and not knowing the location, general anesthesia could have been an option. But, then, we told her of the problems that the anesthesiologist encountered during my operation last year, where he had problems inserting and removing my breathing tube. She decided that it was probably a more dangerous decision to go with general anesthesia, so the decision was made to go with spinal anesthesia.
At around 1:00, I was brought back to a birthing room, where I was again hooked up to an NST. The results of the bloodwork had come back, and I had elevated white blood cell levels, although that was probably attributed to my arthritis which had flared up really bad in the weeks before Ryan's birth. I was hooked up to an antiobiotic drip, as a preventative measure.
At 2:00, two nurses came to get me, to prep me for surgery. Joern was taken to another room, and a few nurses prepped him to enter the operating room. I was scared, nervous, and excited. The operating room was really frightening. Since I had general anesthesia last time, I didn't remember much of the OR, but this time, I was wide awake while they curled me into a ball, and had to inject the needle twice because they had problems straightening my back enough. Once the spinal was inserted, the doctors rolled me onto my back, and strapped my legs and arms, which is not my favorite experience. They then put up the paper tent in front of my face, so that I could not see anything. I have to admit, I was starting to wonder if this was really the best decision. Of course, the whole time, the only thing going through my head was "we shouldn't be here, Erbse should still be baking." I could no longer feel anything below my ribs.
The doctor told me that she was going to start cleaning my belly area, and a nurse explained to me that I will have some sensation, kind of like "going to the dentist." Of course, this totally freaked me out, because I didn't really enjoy my wisdom tooth removal. They also warned me that people often get nauseated, due to the combination of the anesthesia, mixed with the knowledge of what's going on behind the tent, and that I needed to tell them if I felt nauseous, that they would then administer another medication.
And then, they brought Joern in. He was wearing blue scrubs, and they sat him on a stool near my head. Joern rubbed my shoulder, and I kept looking at him, which helped a lot. The doctor then said, "we're going to begin." Of course, I had no idea how long everything was, but it seemed that in about 3 minutes, I heard a lot of scrambling around and then the most beautiful sound ever- A HUGE SCREAM! With thankful tears streaming down my face, they rushed Erbse to the peditrician waiting. A few minutes later, they asked Joern to come join them, while they finished sewing me up. Joern returned to the OR a few minutes after, with a huge smile on his face. Erbse was very healthy and perfect in every way.
Once the doctors finished, they wheeled me to the recovery room, and on the way, they stopped by an isolette- and proceeded to remove the sweetest little baby ever, and place him on my chest. Oh yeah, this adorable little guy just happened to be our precious Erbse. As our luck would have it, our camera battery died, and we have no proof of this event :(
After cuddling for a minute or so, Erbse was placed back in his isolette, and I was wheeled off to the recovery room. Joern joined me for a few minutes, made sure I was okay, and ran up to the special care newborn nursery, where Erbse was to spend the first few days of his life. Joern returned to me a while later to report that Erbse was indeed doing quite well, only hooked up to a heartrate monitor, and they had him on a temperature controlled mattress. He drank well the first night too.
I was in the recovery room for about an hour, I had to stay there until I could move my legs again. Once I was able to move my legs, they brought me to my room in the OB area. I had to stay in my room until around 8:30 pm, which was hard because I just wanted to go see Erbse. But, it was probably good, once I was in my room, I was placed on some pain meds, which were really necessary as the pain was getting pretty bad. But, by around 8:30, the pain meds had kicked in, and I was able to get out of bed. Surprisingly, it wasn't bad, just felt like a giant rubber band was pulling me in towards myself. I was able to spend about half an hour with Erbse up in his room, before being brought back down to the room for the night.
What an incredible day! The doctor did warn me at the beginning of the week that Erbse might be on his way, and that she really hoped that I would make it to my appointment on Dec. 13. Obviously, I didn't. It turned out that we were in for a rough couple of weeks following this excitement, but by now, its all past. We have a perfect, beautiful little boy, our little Ryan Charles.