Monday, January 6, 2014

Everly Ann's Birth Story Part II

Continued from Part I

I crawled into my hospital bed and laid on my left side just as instructed.  I wasn't pleased with the idea of laboring in bed. But, I was less pleased with the idea of being hooked up to any drugs.

I put on my headphones and my meditation track and warned everyone that I was going to block them out and to let me know if they needed me.  I seriously just wanted to kind of do this on my own.
Jer sat towards my back and whenever a contraction hit I would yell, "RUB!" And he would begin to vigorously rub my back until I alerted him that it was safe to stop.

After about 45 minutes of this routine, my midwife informed me that we needed to talk.
My contractions were slowing down but my blood pressure was creeping up.
"I want to get this baby out before we have to put you on magnesium", she said.

This was it.  I knew what she was going to say.

I told her I was scared.
She said she understood.
I asked for a bathroom break.
She agreed.

When I returned to the bed, she broke my water.
It felt a lot like last time, but it was different. I didn't feel the baby drop but there was that extra pressure.  I put my head phones back on and continued to labor.

Now it was feeling intense.  My gentle requests to rub! were now demanded cries.
I insisted on one more bathroom break.
I was worried that the castor oil was going to do what it's meant to do.....

I labored for a bit in the bathroom by myself too afraid to move once I got in there.
Eventually my midwife knocked on the door and insisted that I come back to the bed.

"We don't want to have a baby in the toilet," she said.
"I'm afraid I'll poop on the bed!" I replied.
"That's most definitely going to happen" was her response (FYI- it didn't, but I appreciated her being some calm about the possibility)

I had one last contraction standing up that Jer helped me through.
And then I was back in bed, on my left side, having intense contractions. 
In between the contractions, I would open my eyes a bit to see what was going on in the room.  I remember my dear, sweet midwife sitting right next to my monitors watching everything that was happening.
I also remember the concerned look on her face.

Pretty quickly my midwife decided she could no longer hold off on the magnesium and began to connect my IV line to the bag of fluid.
I immediately felt a trickled down my arm.

"It's not working!" I hollered at her mid contraction.
She and my nurse scurried to get that faulty line out and start a new one.
I begged her to wait until my contraction was over.
She told me we couldn't.

(Afterwards I apologized and thanked her for being so quick with the new IV.)

The last few contractions were excruciating.
I'm pretty sure I hollered.
Jeremy was doing his absolute best to keep up with my back rubbing demands but I think his fingers were about to fall off.

Suddenly I felt the overwhelming urge to push.
I remembered this exact feeling the last time.
Except this time I could actually feel the baby moving down into the birth canal.

"I'm pushing!!!!!" I hollered out.
They all just nodded their heads.
"I'm really pushing!!!" I yelled to get more of a response.

My midwife opened my legs and immediately instructed me to stop.
Except, I couldn't.

Somehow my nurse coached me on breathing so I could stop pushing and just like that, the baby was out.
"It's a girl!" My midwife exclaimed.

I looked up to see the tiniest blue smurf sitting in the middle of my bed.
I was shocked. And a little loopy from the mag.

Jer was pacing in the corner.  Transition always scares the heck it of him.
And this baby came out like a freight train.

My midwife put her on my chest to hold her.  She was tiny.  And slippery.
I held her the whole time while we waited for all of the cord blood to get to her.  
Once the umbilical cord was completely white, my midwife offered for Jer to cut it.
And, again, he refused. :)
Our first nursing session and me, doped up on magnesium.
I remember barely being able to hold her in my arms.

This seemed like the end of our story.  She was here, she was healthy, it was over.
But, despite an APGAR score of 8.9 (she lost a point due to her blue coloring which was probably caused by her quick exit), she was 200 grams below the required weight to room in with us and they had to whisk her away to the nursery.
A nursery nurse arrived to get her and proceeded to ask me whether I would want formula or glucose water given to her.  Incredulously, I stated that she would be breastfed (we had already nursed at this point).  I remember her kind of looking at me like I just didn't understand and she began to rattle off a list of things that Everly would probably need due to her early arrival and small stature: heat lamps, oxygen, monitoring, etc.  She wouldn't be allowed to leave the nursery and they already knew that I probably wasn't going to be getting out of bed (due to the magnesium) to come and nurse her.  

"My husband will strap a pump to me if he has too!"  I was insistent.  And I couldn't believe that they were even thinking of giving her formula if I was insisting on nursing (and we had already been successful.)

Thankfully, about 30 minutes later another nurse came back to announce that Everly was so healthy that she didn't need any monitoring or interventions and would be allowed to leave the nursery for feedings with me.  I was elated.  But, not surprised.  She's a tough one.  
And she's our little miracle.

Our first picture of the little bean!
 This is the outfit I brought for her but it was entirely too big.

And now we knew that she was healthy.  She was ok.
But, my battle was really just beginning.  

I'm not sure about sharing the details of the ordeal.  
Let's just say it involved hemorrhaging.  twice.
Multiple bags of fluid.
My kidneys shutting down and my body going into shock.

It was a long night.  But, thanks to a few amazing nurses, I breastfed Everly the whole time.  And the next day, we were able to spend some time together and start bonding.  

2 days after being born and starting to wake up and see us.

The more I read about preeclampsia and the women and babies who have been through it, I know how incredibly lucky we are to have such an amazingly strong and healthy little girl.  
She truly is our sunshine and I am eternally grateful for all of the prayers that covered us during this difficult and uncertain time.  It is only through Him that we both made it.  

I also can't say enough about the care we received from the hospital and my midwives.  Without them, I would have never had near the birth experience that I received.  Going to a hospital and being unable to have the water birth I so desired was heartwrenching for me.  I am eternally grateful to the women who helped me to have such a beautiful birth in an unlikely situation.  I will forever be indebted to them.

Uncle Robby came to visit 1 day after birth.
I think this picture shows just how small she was.
(she's even wrapped in two receiving blankets here!)

First picture with her dad

Driving home; she barely fit in her carseat.

And now she's here.  And we're a family.

1 comment:

  1. My name is also Everly Ann. Great story, congrats on your daughter!!


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