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Hannah Rose was born on April 7, 2011 at 1:00 pm. She was 8 lbs 4 oz, 22 inches long.
Hannah's Birth Story
DISCLAIMER: My birth didn't go as planned and was quite scary. I don't necessarily recommend reading it if you haven't delivered yet and might get freaked out or anxious about your birth!! But I thought some mamas would be curious to hear how it went.
Well, I went in for the induction on Wed at 5 pm. Got to the hospital and pretty quickly was on the external fetal monitors and laying in my bed. I was signing some paper work here and there and nurses were in and out, ho hum... Well after THREE HOURS of laying there in the bed with the monitors on, I finally saw the doc who was on call and she checked my cervix and I was still only 1 cm and kind of thick. I was so irritated that I had already spent 3 hours of discomfort laying in the bed with the monitors on and the only thing that had been done was the nurse put in my heplock and I signed some paperwork. I wasn't allowed dinner/food and was in the hospital for 3 hours for that? Seriously?? It could have taken 15 mins, literally. I was already anxious to be out of the bed! Oy. I had BH contractions the entire 3 hours I laid there from 1) not moving & being uncomfortable, 2) the first nurse put those rotten fetal monitor straps on SUPER tight so it was irritating my belly, I'm sure. I was becoming a grumpy pregnant lady but tried not to let on.
ANYhoo, so the doc put in the cervidil at 8 pm and said that we would leave it there for 12 hours unless I kicked into labor during the night. She said if I produced a clear labor pattern then she would take it out. Well I did start getting more contractions within a couple hours, and I had to close my eyes during some of them (got up to 190 on the monitor sometimes), but I didn't feel like they were aching down low like "real" contractions do when they are changing my cervix. They were enough to wake me up every time I had one, though. After 2 or 3 hrs I requested the "mobile monitor" so I could get out of the bed and walk to give my hips and butt a break. So they hung the mobile monitor around my neck and I had the straps on my belly and was able to walk around the hall for a bit. The contractions died right down (I wasn't surprised b/c like I said, I think the laying around was causing me a lot of BH. I know that would happen to me at home if I sat around too long.) After my walk I laid back down in bed and decided to try to rest b/c I would need it at some point.
So we turned the lights out and DH was laying in his reclinable chair and I tried to sleep in the bed. Now when we had gotten there the L & D unit was super full and they had to pull out the fetal monitor that they barely ever use and the nurses weren't as familiar with. That's the one I had. So throughout the night, I kid you not, the monitor's alarm went off every 20-30 minutes. They couldn't figure out why it kept going off and I think it was one they couldn't hear from where they were, so everytime it started that wretched "DING ding, DING ding..." I had to call the nurse and tell her it was "dinging again" so she could come in and shut it off. This went on until 5:30 a.m. So I got VERY little sleep.
At 5:30 a.m. another room opened up which had one of the usual monitors in it so the nurse said I could move over there now, or in a few hours. I said, let's roll. So we went to the other room and that monitor's alarm didn't go off at all. I actually slept for a couple hours. At 8 a.m. I saw the new doc on call and he took out the cervidil and checked my cervix again. My cervix was so high and I was so uncomfortable when he was trying to check it that he didn't want to hurt me more by "digging for it" so he said we should just start some pit and hopefully as I have some real contractions my cervix will be less posterior (so he can reach it easier) and it will bring the baby's head down so that we can break my water and quit the pit (since I preferred to have my natural contractions rather than the pit contractions). I agreed and we started the pit. They started it out low and upped it every half hour. They were also checking my sugar every hour since I had GD. So "resting" wasn't going to happen from that point on. We were just hoping things would get moving so I wouldn't be exhausted by the time the show got on the road.
Well they upped it every half hour and I did get stronger and stronger contractions, very gradually, but I was convinced they weren't doing anything. I'm very familiar with how normal productive contractions feel, and I was convinced that the baby's head wasn't pressing on my cervix like it should be. I could feel my uterus rise, ball up and get really hard / squeeze all over, but I wasn't feeling the intense achiness down low which is the "cervical dilation" feeling, in my experience. I was convinced it was b/c I had so much fluid (which we knew by u/s that I had high fluid from GD). It's like the fluid was acting as a shock absorber and the baby's head was not pressing like it should be.
The midwife of the practice (who I wanted to be at the birth) saw me and checked my cervix again at about 12:30. I told her my theory that the contractions were stronger but I wasn't having much achiness down low. She said, yeah, it's probably b/c I had too much fluid and even though I was having all these contractions, they would not do anything b/c the baby's head wasn't pressing on my cervix like it should be. She said what we could do is break my water now so the baby's head will be able to sit on my cervix and then we could keep the pit low or stop it and she thought I would start progressing quickly with all the contractions I was having. She thought if we didn't break my water I would be sitting there for hours upon hours and I would progress very little. She wanted to keep the pit on and I said well, I would agree to keeping it where it is right now, but I don't want it upped again every half hour until we see how breaking my water affects things. I didn't want to jump start things tooo much. She said sound good. My next question, though, was that if I have so much fluid, I said, aren't we risking a cord prolapse? I said the doctor said her head was quite high. The nurse had just checked me also, and she said the baby was still -3 station and I was a stretchy 2. So Kelly checked me herself and said that although the baby's head is high, it's "well applied" (I don't know how u can have both, but that's what she said), and she said it's not like her head is "up there in never-never land." She said her plan was to break my water using the internal fetal monitor pin which they use to attach to a baby's scalp sometimes. She said she wasn't going to use it for the normal purpose, but she was going to use the tiny pin to just put a pin hole in my water so it didn't rush out, plus she was going to have her hand on the baby's head and "ease her head down" so there wasn't a big abrupt gush & the baby didn't come right down quickly. I had never considered this, but I said, "Well, that seems like a better idea, but are you sure the cord won't get trapped??" She said, "No, I'm not sure... blah blah." I said, "OK, I know you can't know 100%, but are you confident enough that with this method it is so unlikely that you think this is the way to go?" She said yes. I asked about other options and she said there really weren't any other than going home and trying another day. Oy. I thought we have already come this far and she is confident that the risk is minimal, so I guess we might as well try it. I thought if it was very risky, obviously she wouldn't be suggesting it. So I said OK, but I told her to be very careful and to watch the fetal monitor carefully. She said, of course.
So she put used the pin to put the pin hole in my water bag. At first it just trickle-trickled out. I said, "Oh, that's not too bad at all." Then it kind of sprayed out, then it GUSHED, then it gushed and gushed, and then it gushed a HUGE gush... It seemed like it would never quit. It was a very icky feeling, like my stomach just emptied out. It was a TON of fluid. They put big pads underneath you to catch the water.. well, it soaked that, soaked the bed, soaked my gown, and flowed onto the floor. The nurse who was attending said I had a "sea" in there. So much for the pin hole. I think it really broke loose when I had a contraction (duh - I didn't even think about how the pin hole might not stay a pin hole during a contraction!). So I was getting nervous b/c of how much water gushed out and I kept asking "Is the baby happy? Is everything OK?" She kept saying "Yep, she's fine." Well within 30-60 seconds my nurse started looking VERY nervous and was clearly panicking and rushing around, although she wasn't saying anything. I asked again, "Is everything OK?" Kelly said, "Yep, it's fine" and kept smacking her bubble gum. But I kept looking at my nurse (who I had been with for hours, so I knew her mannerisms, and I KNEW she was very nervous). She hurriedly put a pulse thing on my finger to "make sure it was the baby's heartrate and not mine" she was picking up. I was thinking "WHAT?" and I realized that my heart rate should be WAY lower than the baby's, so if it IS the baby's, that was not good. I think they turned up the monitor sounds and I could hear her heartrate go REALLY SUPER low when I had a contraction and it stayed down for what seemed like forever. In the meantime, I think I asked AGAIN if all was OK, and Kelly affirmed it was OK, I think.. still gum smacking, which was starting to really irritate me since my nurse clearly did NOT think everything was OK and looked like she was about to have a heart attack. Then I think I had another contraction and I was about to say to the nurse, "YOU are nervous. TELL ME what is going on.." (though I'm sure she felt like it wasn't her place to be telling me what was happening. It was Kelly's). Before I could say it, one of them pressed the call button and said "Call the Doctor!" and I think the nurses on the other end didn't hear them and they both started yelling into the intercom, "Call the Doctor! Call the Doctor!!" Of course then I was totally panicking and I knew my suspicions were right and something was VERY WRONG. I also knew that the "something" was certainly cord prolapse which I had read about and I knew it was a huge emergency (it means the cord is trapped usually by the baby's head and the baby's blood/oxygen supply is being cut off). I felt like crying and flipping out at the same time. They had my flip over onto my hands and knees and get onto my elbows to try to take the pressure from the baby's head off of the umbilical cord. I was listening to the heartbeat and could tell that being on my elbows and knees was not helping much. So without them telling me to, I tried to get my upper body as low as possible to take the pressure off, so I got laid my chest and neck/face flat on the bed and kept my butt as high as I could, arching my back a little as well. As SOON as I did that, I heard the "boooop.......boooop.......boooop...." get much faster and turn into "boop, boop, boop, boop, boop." Her heartrate came right up. Thank GOD I thought to do that. When her heartrate was back up and it stayed that way, I tried to not move a muscle while we waited for the doc to get in there. The nurse & midwife said we would have to do a c-section. I said, I know.. just get her out as fast as possible. So you can picture it, I had my face/chest pressed on the bed with an oxygen mask on, my bare butt in the air, and Kelly (the midwife) had her hand in my vagina the whole time trying to keep the baby's head up / feeling the cord I think. So in a min or 2 the doc was there, the anesthesiologist was there, and a bunch of other people showed up all talking about what was going on and doing their thing. I couldn't see where my DH was anymore. Someone gave me a shot to stop the contractions. They had me sign papers for the c-section (YES, sign papers with my bare butt in the air as I was panicking for my baby's life.. I had to sign on the line.) So I scribbled down my initials and the nurse said that was fine. While they were prepping the OR (which seemed like forever, but I think it was 5 mins), the doc who was going to be doing the surgery told me I was going to have to have get general anesthesia b/c there was no time for a spinal, plus I was in that awkward position and had to stay that way. I told him I just wanted her out as fast as possible and I said I was terrified of what was going to happen between the time they flipped me on my back and the time where he could get the baby out. He made a face like "Yeah, I share/understand your concern" which really scared me. But then he said he could have the baby out in 5 mins or less and that babies have a good reserve and are built to take a lot of stress. I wasn't sure this made me feel a lot better, but I was glad to know it would be minutes and she would be out. I was also terrified to know that I wouldn't come to until almost an hour later and I wouldn't know until then if my baby was OK.
Well the OR was prepped the in the meantime and it was time to get going. They took the monitors off so we couldn't hear her heartrate anymore. Kelly took her hand out of my vagina and they threw a sheet over my butt and my nurse zoomed me down the hall to the OR. She was going so fast she missed the door at first and rammed me into the door frame of the OR. It seemed like chaos in there and I got glimpses of people scrubbing up to their elbows, people giving orders to each other, and they were moving pretty fast. They flipped me over and, knowing the clock started ticking then, I was praying through my oxygen mask (and crying), praying that my baby would be OK. I was so scared. They put a new mask on my face and I'm not sure if that was "gas" or the actual stuff that puts you out. They told me to breathe deeply and as I was shaking and praying there was a lady with big blue eyes and surgical mask on who appeared upside down over my head and rubbed the sides of my face and said "It's going to be OK." I don't know who that was, but I love that lady. The last thing I remember is someone saying that they needed pressure on my something (trachea?) and someone put their fingers on my throat (probably ready to insert the tube) and that's all I remember.
I woke up an hour-ish later I think and it was a long process of "waking up" it seemed. I don't remember just waking up as from a sleep. I just remember people talking and they were talking calmly now and I was trying really hard to open my eyes but couldn't get them both to open at the same time. When I did, I could not focus on anything, but I could see. It was really strange. I was uber-tired and felt like I could barely move. I think I remember my husband telling me right then, "Tara, Hannah is here and she is a blondy!" I just started bawling my EYES out. I felt so confused and overwhelmed, and it was like when I woke up I was still back in the O.R., not knowing if my baby was going to live through the surgery or not. There didn't seem to be any lapse of time to me and all of the sudden everyone was acting like everything was fine, I was in a different room, I could barely see, I didn't know where my baby was... I just cried and cried. My DH and others were telling me, "Hannah is OK. Everything is fine. Your baby is doing great... It's OK.. let it out."
So after I got ahold of myself and realized everything was OK, my husband asked me if I wanted to see the baby and I said yes.. So they showed her to me and I asked if I could nurse her. They said of course, and they gave her to me and someone helped hold her head while I nursed her. I barely remember it and I think I cried some more out of frustration that I couldn't see clearly at ALL and couldn't see my baby or check out her fingers and toes or anything. I could barely talk. The feeling of utter exhaustion was unbelievable. I think I was still half-sedated at that point even though I was conscious. After she nursed I think I laid there for literally like 2 hours while everyone thought I was sleeping b/c I was so exhausted I couldn't move a muscle or open my eyes. It was so weird. I just listened to every phone call my husband made and he told everyone I was sleeping. lol
Anyhoo, eventually I could open my eyes again and although I had a few more emotional breakdowns and it took hours and hours to be able to see clearly and feel fully conscious again, eventually I made it there.
I was / am SOO thankful that God protected my Hannah. I appreciate so much now the skill of all those people who at a moment's notice could figure out what needed to be done and execute it that quickly. The nurses were amazing, the doctor who performed the c-section is now my favorite doctor b/c I truly feel that he saved my baby's life.
My midwife... well, I can't say I'm too happy with her. I am quite upset that she made such a bad call in breaking my water. Looking back, I had such a bad feeling that this was not wise, but I trusted her and her confidence. And I am even more unimpressed that she kept telling me everything was OK when it wasn't. That makes me really mad and I feel that I almost lost my baby b/c of her horrible call.
However, ironically, I think perhaps it was God's providence that she did make that bad call to break my water and then I ended up with the c-section, b/c the doctor told me that I also had a "true knot" in the umbilical cord which is very rare. The head nurse who had been practicing for 25 years said she has only seen about 5 ever, and she oversees ALL the patients since she is the head nurse. The doctor explained that if I had gone through hours of labor and we didn't realize the knot was there until I was pushing or close to it, the knot could tighten and then we would be in really bad shape (even worse, possibly b/c you can't take pressure off of a tightened knot by being in some strange position). And that would have been VERY bad. So even though I'm upset that the midwife made that horrible decision, it may have worked out in the end much better than it otherwise could have. God knows what He is doing, and there is a reason for everything.
*phew* That was a windy story! Thanks for reading. Now I have to go give my Hannah a smooch!
Mom to Titus (10), Isaiah (8), Noelle (6), Joel (4), Hannah (2), and baby due Sept 10!
I know I posted this before, but I really believe everything happens for a reason. I had no idea how dangerous true knots could be, but after reading your story I was relieved the my blood pressure forced me to be induced 3 weeks early and that Liam had a very quick delivery. The staff seemed surprised by the knot, but I was kind of ignorant to why it was a big deal until I read your story and read up on it. Glad I didn't know beforehand! Better to have an induction or c-section with a healthy baby! I know you and I both were ready to be patient and let our babies come naturally, but our babies might have been better off out! I'm glad Hannah and Liam are healthy! Sorry your birth was scary though.