Birth Story: During a Pandemic
Being pregnant during a pandemic is a completely different experience. For every prenatal visit, I was alone and wearing a mask. Not sure what to expect when I give birth, I consulted Dr. D. He advised me that a covid-19 test is not a requirement and my husband is the only person allowed in the labor & delivery room. He did inform me that a mask is required during delivery. After several visits, Dr. D told me to have my hospital bag packed by 36 weeks and prepare mentally if I go into labor early with the fourth child.
On August 19th , I was 36 weeks 5 days pregnant. After Victor left for work, I started getting contractions. Due to covid, I did not want to waste my time in a hospital or in fear to be sent home if it was false contractions. Instead, I continued to telework and prepared for my work zoom meeting. Around 10 am, my contractions grew stronger and very painful.👀 They were around 30 minutes apart. In the middle of the work zoom meeting, I called my mother and told her the predicament. Thank God, she was on vacation that week! Guess who else was on vacation – Dr. D so this would be another baby he did not deliver. 😒
I emailed my director to inform him that I would be heading to the hospital. I made sure my hospital bag was completely packed and made sure the children were ready to stay with my parents’ for three days. On the way to the hospital, I called Victor. No answer. I told my mother to go to her house with my children and I will remain in the hospital. She said by yourself? I told her that I was fine and Victor would be here shortly.
Mask required was the sign on the revolving doors of labor and delivery unit. I put my mask on and walked up to the receptionist. She told me that I will wait in the lobby until a nurse comes to get me. It felt like the longest wait ever! To handle the pain, I remained standing and breathing with each contraction. They were 8 minutes apart now! Around 12 pm, the nurse told me to come into another room so they can see if I was dilated or effaced. Before she checked me, she asked me a thousand questions. She told me that since I am not at least 37 weeks pregnant, they must be false contractions and will not be given a hospital room.
I pointed to my hospital bag and told her “Listen, this is my fourth child. For my third child, they sent me home and I nearly delivered in the car on the way to the hospital. I will be admitted today so check to see if I am dilated now.
The nurse checked me and I was 4 cm dilated. Labor & Delivery admitted me shortly after! After calling Victor several times, he finally answered. He apologized for not answering, he was terribly busy at work (he is an auto technician). I told him that I was in the hospital and will give birth today. He was very surprised and told me he would finish working on this car and be on his way to the hospital.
Once in the hospital room, the nurse tried to put an IV in my arm. She tried three times, no luck. My contractions were getting stronger and I asked when I could get an epidural. I refused to deliver without any medication this time! The nurse said they would need to call the IV team to administer the IV before I am given an epidural. I labored in pain for much longer than I would have liked. Finally, the IV team came in with an ultrasound machine to locate my vein to insert the IV. About an hour later, the anesthesiologist came in to administer the epidural. I thanked him! He said give it some time to make sure it worked.
The nurse told me to call to see if my husband will be here for the birth. I called him and he was stuck at work longer than expected. I told him to go home and take a shower before heading to the hospital. I told him by the time he gets here; he will see the delivery of his fourth child. Around 3 pm, I felt so much pressure and a loud pop. Here we go again! My mucus plug and amniotic sac burst. I told the nurse to check me because I had pressure and felt the need to push. She checked and said ‘Oh my, you are 8 cm dilated. I will call the doctor on duty, try not to push.’ Apparently, I had no control over my body. I swore the epidural was slowly wearing off because I could feel extreme pressure and pain!
The doctor walked into the room and I was so relieved. She checked me and said, “I see the head, start pushing!” I pushed for maybe 15 minutes and delivered my baby boy, all with a mask on! Unfortunately, Victor was parking the car so he missed the birth of our fourth child! The nurses and doctor told me that I was a superwoman – I labored and delivered by myself without any issues.
On August 19th at 4:50 pm, M4 was born at 7 lbs 4 ounces!