Tuesday, August 9, 2016
Yesterday was pretty scary, but last night was about ten times worse.
After I was admitted, stripped down, and propped up in a hospital bed, I was given some meds that would prepare my body for labor. They needed me to dilate to at least 1cm before inducing me. The doses they were giving me lasted 12 hours so I should have been able to sleep through the night, wake up dilated, and begin laboring, right?
Baby Girl’s activity was being constantly monitored. During the night, she had multiple dips in her heart rate lasting 3-4 minutes at a time. It was like watching a scene in a movie. Nurses would rush in and would quickly, but calmly, flip my belly from side to side. I could feel the chill of the fluids pumping through my IV as they simultaneously placed an oxygen mask over my face. Jacob’s face was illuminated by the computer monitors and I could see how panicked he was.
I kept reminding myself that everything was going to be okay. We were under the best care possible and she would be here soon. This mindset helped keep me calm during these very long, stressful, and confusing hours. Somehow we made it through the night, slipping through on one solid hour of sleep and dozing in and out of the rest. (A very suitable welcome into parenthood, if I do say so myself.)
Before the sun came up this morning, we found that I didn’t dilate at all! Just our luck! I got another 12 hour dose and we played the waiting game until 4:30 this afternoon. During this time, our attention-craving baby decided to keep us busy with her dipping heart rate.
My nurses are amazing and knowledgeable. One in particular chatted with me on what could be causing the dips in her heart rate. She really caught my attention when she mentioned that sometimes the umbilical cord is by baby’s head, making it easy to cut off the circulation when going through a contraction.
I thought back to a few weeks ago when an ultrasound tech said something about Baby Girl trying to suck on her cord during one of our tests. At the time we were giggling and cooing at how cute it was. This puzzle piece changed my birth plan. My nurse started to prepare me for the possible outcome for a c-section. If Baby Girl wasn’t tolerating the contractions, we’d have to get her here a safer way. Though my plan was to wait until the last minute, the nurse urged me to consider getting an epidural early on. If we needed the surgery, then having the epidural in place would prevent me from needing to be put under anesthesia. I would be conscious for her birth and Jacob would be able to experience it as well.
I am so very grateful to that nurse for educating me. Not long into the evening, Baby Girl’s heart rate dipped again, but this time it was lower and we weren’t able to get it back up. At this point, I had taken the advice and gotten the epidural. In order to move her off of her cord, I was asked to hold an inverted position on my knees and elbows.
I found myself, again, inside the scene of a movie. I could feel the pressure of hands moving my body into place. Jacob was by my side in a matter of seconds. I have never been more motivated to do anything else in my life. It didn’t matter that I couldn’t feel the bottom half of my body or that my shoulder felt like it was about it come out of its socket. I held that position for what seemed like an hour. As I focused on taking long, deep breaths, I had one thought running through my mind: please just let her be okay…
From under my curtain of hair, I heard voices discuss a c-section, “Yes, we’ve already talked about the possibility…lets go ahead and get her prepped.” My heart skipped a beat. Once Baby Girl was somewhat stabilized, they flipped me over and started to prep me for the operating room:
✔️ Scrubs for Jacob & I both
✔️ Compression socks (keeps blood circulation in legs)
✔️ Bicitra drink (neutralizes stomach acid in case of vomiting)
As we wheeled through the hallways, I shamelessly let the tears fall from my cheeks. I suddenly didn’t want to have a baby anymore. I didn’t want to be a mom. I didn’t want this because it was already too scary.
How silly I feel now!
Once we hit the O.R. doors, things moved quickly. I heard voices all around me preparing for the next step. Jacob was next to me the entire time, wiping my tears and helping to hold down my twitching limbs. The combination of adrenaline and medication were making my entire body jolt around like I was on a bumpy roller coaster. When the blue sheet was drawn in front of my eyes, that’s when I knew there were nothing but green lights ahead.
They told me that they’d have her out in 5 minutes, but it felt like a fraction of that. There was no pain, but the pressure of them making the incision was indescribable. I tried not to picture what was happening. Instead, my mind turned to my nauseated stomach.
Then I hear,”You’re going to feel a LOT of pressure here.”
It felt like an elephant had fallen on my rib cage and rolled down towards my belly button. I must have been holding my breath because when I heard her cry, I let it all out. Everything. I let go of all of the nerves and worries of being a mom for the first time. My first thought was “She’s okay! Crying means breathing!” I couldn’t wait to see her precious face.
Jacob couldn’t either. He zipped across the room and was by her side in no time! It was a deliciously blurred view… the man I love standing over our baby girl. I could see the giant grin on his face from across the room. I think I pulled a muscle in my neck as I strained to see my new little family. Later, he proudly told me that she gripped his finger within 45 seconds of birth.
What I felt was an indescribable type of love and the best sense of achievement. Something that I could never truly relate to until now.
We did it.
❤️ Our baby girl entered the world at 7:31 this evening, August 9th, 2016, weighing 6lbs, measuring 18in, and not knowing just how loved & anticipated she was.