This is the story of the birth of my son, Waylon. It actually started three weeks earlier when I was first admitted to the hospital, then dealt with several weeks of intestinal blockages and other non-fun things like NG tubes. This part of the story starts that week he ended up being born. Since a lot happened during those few days I have split the story up into three parts.
I had just gotten home from the hospital on Sunday. I went in to work on Monday in an attempt to get back on track, but realized later on that day that it was probably too much at that point. I worked from home on Tuesday and by just having the ability to sleep in a little and not having to worry about getting ready, I was already feeling a ton better and getting my energy back.
I woke up Wednesday morning feeling good and planning on going into work. Shortly before I was ready to leave, my stoma started hurting again and I figured it would be wise to work another day at home. I made myself a smoothie that morning and realized around lunchtime that I hadn’t had any output since I woke up that morning. I tried to focus on drinking lots of water and avoiding food in hopes of flushing anything out. By the time the workday was over, I was having bad pain around my stoma. I tried to sleep it off for a bit, but when my husband came to check on me around 8:00 that evening I was in pretty intense pain and had already thrown up once. He said we needed to go back to the hospital and I wanted to fight it so badly, but I knew he was right. We drove to labor and delivery that evening and checked in for the 4th time in 4 weeks. I spent several really miserable hours getting checked in and checked out by doctors. Baby was looking great during this time, but I was having somewhat regular contractions. At this point, I couldn’t really tell a difference between the contractions and the intestinal pain I was feeling. The doctor checked for signs of active labor, but I was still only 1 cm dilated (which I had been the previous week).
They kept me on the labor floor since I was having contractions and I found out I would be getting another NG tube (joy!). And I couldn’t argue, because I knew it was the only option at that point. Thankfully, this one went in a lot easier and ended up being less uncomfortable while it was in than my previous one.
The next day was a difficult one, as I was on complete bowel rest, lots of IV fluids and (thankfully) pain meds, and continual tracking of the little one. I literally slept the entire day. My husband and mom were there for a while and I slept the whole time. I don’t really remember anything that happened that day until about 6:30 that evening, when I finally woke up. The doctors started talking more about inducing labor, which made me very nervous since I wasn’t even 36 weeks yet. They decided it was best to do a CT scan, which is a normal option for dealing with a bowel obstruction, but one that is not preferred when you’re pregnant because of the radiation. But at this point we were out of options. After we got the results from the scan, the doctors came up to tell me that I did have a massive obstruction right near the end of the intestines and stoma. Basically, my uterus was so mashed up against the stoma site that it was causing a kink and nothing could get through.
I asked if they could show me and they pulled up the images of how large my intestine had become because of the blockage. They said it looked more like colon since it was so distended. They decided to help alleviate the pressure with a catheter through the stoma. Best. Idea. Ever. That immediately started to pull out some output and shortly after I was dealing with a bag leaking output everywhere. It made a mess, but within a few hours I was already feeling about a million times better. I quickly had doctors checking in on me who were saying how much better I looked and that I was actually smiling for the first time.
This was all happening Thursday evening. And even though we were now moving in the right direction and my pain was subsiding, the doctor came in to talk to me about inducing. They said that even though it looked like we had passed this blockage (which I do now believe was the same blockage the entire time), there was really nothing they or I could do to prevent this from happening over and over again for the rest of my pregnancy. They checked me at that point and I had dilated further to 2 cm on my own, as I had continued having contractions that whole day. They inserted a foley catheter just before midnight to help jump-start the process a little further and it was official… the baby was coming soon.