Let me just start with announcing the obvious, I AM A MOM!!! I have a beautiful baby boy that I literally can’t stop staring at. The feeling is something so unreal, I can’t even comprehend the feeling, it’s indescribable. Looking down at Brooks, and knowing I birthed this sweet baby who is half myself and half his dad, is by far the best gift in my life. BUT, after this experience, I don’t know if I could ever do this again. If you didn’t know, being pregnant wasn’t my favorite thing in the world. With all honesty, I didn’t like it, I was always so uncomfortable from the start. Although Brooks was 100% worth it, and I am so proud to be his mama!! The question of another kid is definitely the last thought on our minds after this experience…I never want to do that again. SO, we will see about popping out the second…ask me in a year, or five! I feel like this should be a one and done thing, and men should be taking over the rest haha.
Alright, let’s get into my birth story details. Brooks Mathew Heavin was born on July 31, 2019. He was 7 weeks early! He gestational age was 33.5 weeks, so yes, he was a premature baby. He came out weighing 4.12 pounds and 17.5 inches in length. Everything was perfectly fine with him, and we feel so so so blessed that happened. Brooks was perfectly fine in my belly and only came early because of me. Two weeks before Brooks was born, I went into my OB appointment and they noticed my blood pressure was high so they did some blood work, and had me come back in a week for a follow up. When I came back a week later, my blood pressure was even higher, and they also had me hooked me up to a cardiotocography machine. Our doctor told us that I was having several contractions while being hooked up to the machine that was monitoring the baby. I was so shocked, and confused because I didn’t even feel anything. So with the contractions and high blood pressure, she sent us over to Labor and Delivery to get more blood work done for several tests.
Our hospital was in walking distance from my OB office, and on our walk over we called our family to give them the heads up on what was going on. Both of us were still thinking, it was going to be okay, and they were just going to run a few more tests, and talkng about dinner plans. I was freaking out a tad because 1. I hate hospitals 2. I hate getting shots and 3. I was playing all the “what if” scenarios in my head. When we got to the hospital, they checked my blood pressure again and basically told me I wasn’t leaving anytime soon, and I wasn’t leaving without the baby. They were ordered to induce me that night. My blood pressure was too high for them not to admit me, and my preeclampsia wasn’t looking great either. Immediately I freaked the eff out, and couldn’t process what was going on. She left the room to start prepping my IV and I lost it. I was so scared and never saw that coming. It was JULY, Brooks wasn’t supposed to come until SEPTEMBER! I had just had the baby shower two weeks ago, we were getting ready to go on our baby moon, we hadn’t finished the nursery, and so much more. The nurse told us that the cure for high blood pressure is delivering the baby, and was really my only option.
They acted FAST at the hospital and started my inducement right away. My doctor wanted this baby out of me ASAP. I was hooked on an IV right away, then magnesium to prevent me from having seizures with the high blood pressure, a steroid shot for the baby to expedite his lung growth, and more blood work. If you have ever had magnesium, you know it’s not fun. They had given me a strong first dose to calm my BP, and I felt horrible. Hot sweats, kinda nauseas, and it made me feel like I was kinda drunk honestly. I was hooked on magnesium all the way until 24 hours after Brooks was born. I was already dilated at one centimeter, which was crazy, I was only 33 weeks! After a crazy afternoon of running tests, blood work, and moving me into my new permanent room, my doctor inserted the foley balloon to dilate me to 4cm at a rapid pace. That wasn’t too painful for me surprisingly, but I have heard it hurt most people. I started to get really painful contractions all throughout the night, which they said to expect. I would say they were at a 4-5 on my pain scale with 10 being death. On top of the foley balloon, I was getting blood work every 3-4 hours to monitor the magnesium. When you’re hooked up to mag, they need to monitor the mag levels in your body closely. Blood pressure was still high all throughout the night as well.
By 8am the entire team was back in my room and they took the foley balloon out, because it didn’t fall out like it was supposed to over night, but I did dilate to 4cm. Then they started me on Pitocin to really expedite the labor. It took several hours until I dilated to 5cm. At 3pm they decided to break my water. It was only 30 minutes later that the contractions began, and that was when it all started. I felt like that was game over and the baby was going to come immediately. Unfortunately, I wasn’t dilating as fast as they wanted, and I was losing my amniotic fluid. Brooks was getting tangled in the umbilical cord, so they needed to add fluid back into me, to get that untangled. This was VERY uncomfortable. They literally had a tube in me filling me up to get Brooks to untangled. This tube stayed in me until he came out. I had to move in so many different positions for to get him to adjust, it was a long process.
At around 5pm, the contractions got even stronger, I would say at an 8 on pain scale. I was 6cm dilated, and decided to get the epidural. Not fun, I don’t care who says you can’t even feel it, or it’s the least pain of it all, it was bad and i’m scarred haha. But I am also the biggest baby when it comes to needles. After the epidural went in, they upped the Pitocin even more, and then inserted a catheter to drain my urine out. Sorry, TMI, but it’s a birth story! The next crazy contractions began at 6:45 and lasted all the way to 7:15 pm, then they started to wear off. I was so mad and did not want to go through all this pain all night long, and was also bummed because I wouldn’t have my nurses or my doctor be there to deliver if it happened in the middle of the night. Then all of a sudden at 7:30pm right when they all were changing shifts, I had one HUGE contraction that felt like he moved. The pain was no longer rectal, it felt like he was coming out. The second contraction followed 2 minutes later and I literally thought he was out. I had Matt, his little sister Maddy, and our cousin/best friend Peyton in the room and Maddy ran out to tell the nurses he was coming out. It was like a movie, we had the new nurse in the room calling for the on call doctor, the old nurses rushing back, the NICU team running in, etc. There was about 15 people in this room chanting me on while pushing this guy out. In the middle of delivering Brooks, my doctor, Dr. Endo (the sweestest lady ever) made it right in time and kicked the other doctor aside (sorry!) and Brooks came out at 7:42pm. I pushed for 2 minutes total they said, and he popped out!
As drugged up and out of it as I was, that was the best moment of my life. I’ve never felt so accomplished and proud of myself before. He was crying right when he came out, which showed signs of strength for a premature baby. When they put him in my arms, I think I melted and just couldn’t believe what we made. We sang him happy birthday, and had about 10 minutes with him before they took him to NICU. I wasn’t allowed to see him until the next night because I needed to be off the magnesium. So 24 hours after delivery was when they took me off and I was able to see him again for the first time since he came out. It was kind of a scary moment, I was still a little out of it, and still very shocked by everything going on. I felt like it wasn’t real, and I was pretty emotionally and mentally drained. Then seeing him and holding him that night, solved all those problems. I was over flowing with love, and being with my little family for the first time was a moment I’ll never ever forget. The feeling of being a mother sank in, and I didn’t want anything or anyone to break that moment apart.
It was the most insane two days of our lives. It was pretty damn scary, but knowing Brooks was okay the entire time, had us at ease. It was nerve wracking to know he was going to be a NICU baby, and they wouldn’t know his condition until he came out. I always said I knew this baby was going to come early, but definitely not this early. I never prepared or thought he would be in the NICU, but no one is ever prepared for that. I will definitely be writing about our NICU experience separately, we have learned so much from this experience. We feel unbelievably blessed, and Brooks is our little angel. We had the hallways lined with family supporting us all night, waiting for this little guy to come. The nurses we had were amazing and I couldn’t have had better. I was in the hospital for another 3 days, so 5 days total. My blood pressure wasn’t going down so they needed to keep me admitted. Brooks is still in the NICU, and the discharge date is basically all up to him at this point. He has passed all his newborn screenings! He just needs to be able to feed him self successfully and exclusively for 48 hours and then he gets to come home!
The amount of love and support we have from our family and friends is unreal. They are everything to us, and I could cry thinking about how lucky we are. I imagined doing this alone just with Matt, and how hard it would be. It actually sounds like the impossible. So to our family and friends who were there, WE LOVE YOU SO MUCH. You all helped us get through probably the hardest time in our lives, and we can never tell you how thankful we are. Brooks is the luckiest baby boy in the world, and we will continue to keep you updated!