On Tuesday, 22 June, I was watching TV with my son and husband and marveling over the fact that I would be 39 weeks pregnant the next day. Eli was born at 37 weeks 2 days, so I had never been this pregnant and it was quite remarkable to me that I felt like I could easily be pregnant another three or four weeks. At any rate, I was just sitting there when suddenly I felt like my daughter was trying to claw her way out of my uterus.
: My eyes got huge and I must have made a noise because my husband asked if I was having contractions. I did have a contraction, and the horrible clawing sensation stopped for the duration so I was able to tell Mike what was going on.
About 20 minutes later, the clawing stopped and I kind of felt like something "clicked". I stood up, took a deep breath and looked down at my belly and literally saw my daughter's head. She'd turned over!! I laughed and told Mike to come and feel it and he freaked out when he realized that she was head up. We had a good giggle though, and I figured that she'd probably turn back or we'd try to do a version and get her turned around in time to be born. We put Eli to bed and had some intimate time together.
Around 3 am, I woke up to pee and felt a teensy bit drippier than usual. Thinking that it was from the escapades of earlier in the evening I took a shower, but it didn't change. I thought to myself "Maybe my water has broken," got out of the shower and went back to bed. Before Mike left for work in the morning, I told him that I thought my water might have broken, but I wasn't having contractions and I had a doctor's appointment that afternoon, so I was going to wait for that (or contractions) before I went to the hospital.
I went to my appointment at 3 Wednesday afternoon, 39 weeks on the dot. I had to see a different doctor than usual, because mine was on vacation. (Of course!) I told him that I thought my water may have broken in the middle of the night, and that I was 90% certain that the baby was now breech. He measured my belly and got 36 cm, which is smaller than before and said that it could be because the baby had dropped. Then he did the two tests for ruptured membranes; the color-changing swab didn't change color and the slide didn't fern at all, so he figured that I hadn't ruptured and the baby had just dropped a bit. Then I asked him about the breech, and he tried to feel for a head from inside and couldn't tell what was presenting, but he was fairly certain that it was a head he was feeling up by my liver and when he put the doppler up high on my belly we got a good loud heartbeat. I was scheduled for a version attempt the next day.
Thursday afternoon, I went to the hospital for the version. Because the clock in our van doesn't keep time really well, I did not do what I had planned (go to Auntie Anne's and get myself a pretzel and some lemonade
) and instead went straight to the hospital, signing in and then running to the snack bar and grabbing a popsicle.
A nurse came in with an ultrasound machine, and we got a good look at my definately head-up bean. She was presenting one foot and some cord.
When she went to check for fluid, she couldn't find any. There were a few small pockets, but when she ran the color doppler they all lit up like a christmas tree because they were full of cord.
She had cord around her neck, over her face and head, around her belly and between her legs and under her presenting foot. My AFI was a big fat zero and I was told that not only would it not be safe to attempt a version, but that it wouldn't be safe to let me walk around like this anymore and that we were going to have to do a c-section right away and when had I last eaten? (This is where the popsicle comes in; apparently, they don't count as real food.) I started to freak out, because I was all alone! I asked if we could wait for Mike to arrive, and was told that as long as I stayed on the monitor and things continued to look okay that we could wait, but that as soon as anything changed we'd have to go back. I called Mike (an hour and a half away!) and my mother (about 10 minutes away) and started filling out paperwork.
The paperwork was really something else; I hadn't done any with Eli because I was in active labor when I arrived with him, so it was a whole different experience. Everything was very surreal, I didn't know what to make of it all. I just kept reading and signing my name, and things kept happening but I felt like I was watching a movie. A nurse started an IV, another straightened out the FHM and another shaved my belly. All the while I was paying attention to my daughter's heartrate, which kept decelerating. I would tickle my belly and try to get her to move and it'd come back up for a while. At one point, it stayed fairly low for several minutes and an alarm went off; I started to get really nervous that Mike wasn't going to make it in time for the surgery. A nurse came in to check the strip and just then Mike arrived. He asked when we were doing this and I told him we'd been waiting for him, that he needed to hurry up and grab his insulin and something to eat and change into the scrubs that were on the counter waiting for him.
Just a few moments later, I was wheeled back to the OR. Everything still seemed strange and distant, I just couldn't believe that this was really happening. I was glad Mike was there being so solid. I got to kiss Eli just before I went into the OR. Mike stayed outside while I got my spinal, and then he came in and sat by my head. Still feeling like it was a dream, I heard Mike say "I see her feet... I see her minibuns... she's out! Oh, she's beautiful!" They showed her to me and she looked so pink and perfect! I heard her cry right away and it was such a wonderful sound, I started crying myself. The OB finished sewing me up and said that it was a good thing they had done the c-section when they did, because she was presenting double footling breech with a prolapsed cord. If she had dropped, things would have gone catastrophically wrong.
Sadie Rivkah was born at 7:15 pm on 24 June. She weighed 6 lbs, 13 oz and was 19 inches long.
I spent an hour in PACU, most of which I slept through. When I woke up, I was able to move my legs a little bit and was told that I'd be able to go to my room soon. I asked where Mike was, and was told that he was with the baby in the nursery but he would come see me soon. When he did, he was all smiles. "I know what I think we should call her, and I can't wait for you to see her!" On the way to my room, we stopped at the nursery and I got a good look at her for the first time. "Sadie Rivkah," I said, and Mike nodded and smiled. I kept her in my room the whole time we were in the hospital, and went with her for her hearing test and assesments. She spent her first night well-attached to my breast, and has continued to nurse well.
Eli is getting along very well with his sister, and for the most part things are going very well. Having now had a very traumatic vaginal delivery and a very easy cesearian, I can say that the c-section has been much easier to recover from. I'm already feeling like a person again, and stopped taking anything for pain two days ago. I feel fabulous.