/ The RE's Muse: How she got here (a long--very long--tale)

The RE's Muse

After 4 years of infertility, 2 surgeries, 1 miscarriage, and 19 months of high risk pregnancies, hubby and I now have two little women in our lives--one a toddler, the other not far behind. Buckle your seatbelts, it's gonna be a wild ride.

Friday, February 16, 2007

How she got here (a long--very long--tale)

Okay, so I figured for posterity's sake, I should write down my birth story. Daniela may one day want to know what her entrance into the world was like. It's going to be hard for me to put it all down but I'll do my best (most likely with periodic pauses to wipe up my tears).

Late in the afternoon on January 31st, my MIL joined us as she would be watching J when we went into the hospital later that night. The four of us had a lovely dinner at a local outdoor restaurant that J adores. I kept thinking to myself how weird it was that this was the last time I'd be eating there as a family of three. It felt very surreal.

Fast forward an hour-and-a-half later and A and I are parking the car in front of the hospital, then lugging our stuff inside and up to L&D. This was around 8 p.m.

My room was ready (the last one available of the 12 there) so we started getting settled in. At around 9 p.m., my night nurse came in and did an internal. Wowee--it hurt like the dickens. Of course, my cervix was back as high as it had been earlier in the day when the OB checked me and I was still around 1 cm and 50%. The phlebotomist then came in a took some blood for labwork, and got my IV started. I was also put on the monitor belt to keep track of Daniela's heartrate and my contraction rate.

At around 9:30, the nurse came in an placed the Cervidil. Of course, this meant that I had to lie in bed without getting up for two hours. Tell that to my bladder. By the time 11 rolled around, my bladder was angry :-) but grateful it was finally allowed to get emptied! The cervidil did start some minor erratic contractions but they eventually stopped.

My sleep was fitful but I did manage to get some. Bright and early at 7 a.m. the next day, the new day nurse came in to say hello and get my pitocin started. The contractions got started shortly thereafter but they were bearable. I had told her about my previous L&D experience (particularly about how the epidural had worn off because the nurse waited too long to call the anesthesiologist back) and she was great about making sure the same thing didn't happen to me again.

My contractions got stronger pretty quickly and I was doing my best deep breathing to ride them out. When the nurse came back in around 9, she asked if I was ready for the epidural and I agreed that it was about time. If I recall correctly, I was around 3 cm when the epi was placed. Immediate relief.

The relief was so great that I was able to sleep off and on for about the next two or three hours. Then I was starting to feel the contractions a bit more (especially on the left side of my uterus) so the nurse called the anesthesiologist back to top me off. Bliss, more relief...and more sleep.

Shortly thereafter, my OB came by and broke my water. Now we're cooking with gas.

Fast forward a couple of hours and my contractions are strong, and the left side of my uterus is in agony. Apparently, I have a block that didn't take the epidural so I can feel everything there. It's as if the pain is concentrated in this one area and it is intense. I do my best to breathe through it, repeating in my head, "if I can get through this, I can get through any thing." Maybe it helps, maybe it doesn't. Ironic thing is that I don't realize how much this statement will later come to mean.

Throughout all of this, Daniela's heartrate on the monitor is fantastic. She is tolerating my contractions well and all looks great.

At around 3 p.m., my nurse does an internal and declares me 10 cm and 100%. She calls my OB and lets him know. In the meantime, I start pushing when I feel the urge.

Two hours later, with each push, Daniela's head comes to the very edge of my vaginal opening and then immediately retracts back in once I'm done pushing. I'm giving it everything I've got but this continues for almost 2 hours.

My OB tells me that she's close enough that he can help get her out if I want (trying the vacuum extractor) but I decline and soldier on. The nurse points out some minor bleeding I'm having and a few minutes later, the OB declares that "whatever was tearing is done." He gives me a local injection into my perineal area a few minutes later.

I've now been pushing for a little over 2 hours. Daniela's heartrate has continued to look great on the monitor and she's doing well. I'm tired, I'm sweaty, and I'm determined. I push with everything I have. And what do you know? It works, and I feel her head emerge and then her body quickly follow. The OB declares that he's going to cut the cord so he can give her to the nurses quickly. This catches my attention.

A tells me that she's beautiful and that the baby nurse has her and is getting her cleaned up.

As I lay there, first passing the placenta and then as the OB stitches my tear up, I am focused on the fact that Daniela has not cried. I do not hear that blessed sound. I'm tense, the OB asks me what's wrong. I ask why she's not crying. There's no answer given...but I realize that there are now five people over there working on Daniela, urging her to "come on baby." I am beginning to lose it. A goes over and takes some pictures of her on the warmer and brings them back over to show me. She's divine.

Soon she begins to make noise but it's not a hearty healthy cry. It's a weak mewling sound, erratic, and not very strong at all but I figure it's a cry so that must be good, right? The nurses call out her measurements (7 lbs, 19 1/2 inches long) and she's brought over to me so I can hold her briefly. The nurses then take her to the nursery to get her footprints done, eye ointment put in, etc. A goes to see her shortly thereafter and brings me some pictures.

I'm itching to see her again but I'm so numb from the super-duper dose of epidural that I can't walk so I opt to wait until they bring Daniela in to me. They do this around 9:30 that night and A and I get to hold and feed her. She's irritable and somewhat inconsolable.

In a key piece of FORESHADOWING (unbeknownst at the time to me), the night baby nurse offers to let us keep Daniela in the nursery that night in case we want to get some rest. Now, the interesting thing about where I delivered is this--they do NOT allow babies to stay in the nursery. They are a facility that has the babies room in with the mother. The nursery is basically for handling the essentials--weighing, measuring, footprinting, etc.

A and I chat briefly and he's adamant that it would be nice to get an uninterrupted night of sleep. I could go either way and would prefer her to stay in our room. I've waited this long to see and meet her, I really want to spend time with her. But A pushes for us getting our rest and we tell the baby nurse that we'd like to take her up on her offer to keep the baby in the nursery with her. She is kept on the infant warmer in just her diaper overnight. A brings me more pictures after another visit to see her a little later.

A and I each manage to get some sleep. I'm interrupted periodically for BP and temperature checks and to change my ice pack every few hours. But I do sleep and wonder how Daniela is in between.

At around 5:30 a.m., a stranger in blue scrubs comes into my room. She introduces herself as a neonatologist and tells me that the hospital called her in around 4 a.m. She begins to tell me that the baby nurse witnessed Daniela have a seizure around 4 a.m. and she was called in to consult. After her arrival, the doctor herself witnessed another seizure...she's speaking Greek. It's not computing in my brain.

And then I hear more words: transport to NICU, unknown what's causing them, very sick.... and the world stops spinning around me in that instant.


At 2:06 PM, Blogger Cricket said...

I'm so glad I read ahead a chapter and know how it comes out. She's such a lucky baby.

At 3:00 PM, Blogger Heather said...

Oh my word. Reading that was stressful to me even though I know she's home and well now. So glad it's behind you.

Also? Reading about all the pushing and spot where the epidural didn't work makes me not even a little bit sad that I won't ever be experiencing a vaginal delivery!

At 6:34 PM, Blogger Becky said...

I had heard about your little ones arrival from your SIL but it wasn't until today, in an email she sent where she mentioned the strokes, I knew anything had gone so wrong. I skipped my "Liam-naps-so-Mama-naps" session and read from the beginning. Whew!!!! Two things:
1)Thank God she is home and the prognosis is "great"

2)I suck. Even though Little Man keeps me consumed 90% of my waking hours I will be checking back in more often!!!!!

I'll be keeping you all in my prayers! --Becca

At 7:06 PM, Blogger Chebbles' Mama said...

Thanks for sharing the tale -- I'm glad your delivery was kind of "normal" and you had a lovely meeting with her before the horror started. And it's so glad to know that it's behind you guys and she's home with you!

At 6:49 PM, Blogger Dawn said...

I've been following along since her birth, and am grateful to you for sharing her birth story. I'm so happy she's home with you and that you're a 4some :)

Oh and thank you for visiting and commenting on my blog! 3 more days for me.

At 9:47 AM, Blogger WriterGrrl said...

Isn't it bizarre how the memory of the BIRTH is so awesome, and the memory of what comes after is so... yeah.


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