Mackenzie MiChele was stillborn at 8:45AM on November 25th, 2006.
She will always be a part of her father and I, and we love her always.
I went into labour at about five on Friday afternoon. I had had my membranes stripped (for the second time) earlier that day, as well as an NST, and everything was fine. We had been planning an induction if she didn't come out by then (due to the fact that Louie had to return to Iraq on the 26th), but the midwife said that after the stretch and sweep she'd be seriously surprised if she didn't come within the next 24 hours, so we decided against the induction.
Sure enough, contractions came within hours. I laboured around the house for a bit. Because of all the prodromal labour I'd had I wasn't 100% sure this was it, but after a while I just knew. I asked Louie to fill the birthing pool and he filled it while I walked up and down the stairs (which was a HUGE help with back labour). Early on in labour (I was at a four before it started, so I pretty much went straight into active labour) I wanted to be alone for the most part, so Louie sat in the livingroom with his friend who was over and they watched a movie. As labour got stronger I wanted him to be in the room with me, so his friend decided to head home (I think it was around 10:30 at this point).
I wasn't able to keep much liquid down, only ice chips, and I wasn't able to eat at all. I was in and out of the pool a lot, walking around the kitchen and climbing the stairs-- at one point I grabbed a blanket, wrapped it around myself, and went outside and walked around. I was barefoot and it was raining a little bit, which felt nice.
During transition I could not sit still at all. We had run out of hot water and Louie was boiling water to dump in the pool to keep it warm. He was pretty exhausted, and of course, so was I. We'd both been tired since before I even went into labour.
Soon I felt the urge to push. I did a quick check to see how dilated I was, and I was fully dilated. After only a few pushes, my water broke (I was in the pool at the time). She had been posterior the entire pregnancy, and I knew to be prepared for a long pushing phase. I started pushing around 3AM. I noticed a little meconium, but not enough to really concern me. I pushed in many positions, and all around the house. When dawn broke I noticed the water looked more stained than it had before, so I got out of the pool and decided to have her on land. She was very low down and I knew it would not be much longer.
I decided to go upstairs to the bedroom and push there. Louie grabbed some towels and laid them down. I pushed for a while, and soon she was crowning. I could still feel her moving and squirming inside of me. I had a really hard time getting her head out, pushing mainly squatting and on hands and knees. She would crown and then go back in some, I was too exhausted to keep pushing, but Louie helped me to keep going.
I finally birthed her head, and to both our surprise she was no longer posterior. (She mush have turned late during labour, because even in transition I remember feeling her limbs pushing on my belly). After her head was out I stopped having contractions. I could not push her shoulders out. I got Louie to see if he could feel a shoulder so that he could help dislodge her, but what he got was a cord, which wasn't pulsating. It was wrapped loosely around her neck, but stuck tightly between her shoulder and my pelvis bone. I knew we had to get her out NOW at all costs. Louie called 911 and gave them our address and told them what was happening. They told him to go get some towels and a shoelace. He gave the phone to me and they told me to get some pillows to put under my back and push with my knees pulled back. At this point my instincts were shot, and I had tried every other position. The EMTs showed up about five minutes after he made the call. At this point I was sure we were losing her. The room was chaos. The EMTs were telling me to push with contractions, but I wasn't having any. It took what seemed like forever, but they managed to pull her out. They suctioned her, cut the cord (since it was dead anyway) and gave her some air. As they carried her out of the room I caught a glimps of her pale legs, they didn't look like they belonged to a newborn.
They got me downstairs to the ambulance (Mackenzie was in another ambulance that had already left). They hooked me up to IV and took my blood pressure and pulse and all that. When we got to the hospital (less than five minutes later) They took me into a room with a bed. I got up and rolled over onto the bed on my hands and knees and tried to push the placenta out, but it wasn't coming, and I was still not having any contractions. The doctor came in. I asked him about my baby but he had not seen her and did not know how she was. Everything was a bit of a blur-- he ended up reaching in to get the placenta, which had dislodged but was not coming out. I would have rather he hadn't, and it hurt worse than the whole labour, but at that point I was too exhausted to argue. I ended up hemmorhaging pretty badly, and I started to pass out. Louie held my hand the whole time and kept me awake. My blood pressure dropped so low the machine would not read it, and it just kept squeezing my arm tighter and tighter. When they finally got a reading it was something like 60/30. I had to have a blood transfusion. (I got 3 units). They had me on pitocin, but I still felt no contractions. They also gave me a shot in the leg to help stop the hemmorhage. I would soak a chux pad as soon as they laid it down.
After a lot of chaos, the pediatrician came in to give us the news: Our baby had not made it.
Louie was allowed to go and see her, but I was not well enough to leave the room, even in a wheelchair. They brought up a digital camera and I got to see a few pictures of her. I had been told that they couldn't bring her up, but the nurse pulled some strings and they brought her in for me to hold her. I started bleeding again as soon as they handed her to me. They hadn't cleaned her off, and she still had tubes in her nose and everything, which I wasn't allowed to touch. She was a very large baby (they didn't weigh her, but they estimated her at 10lbs). Surprisingly, I didn't tear at all. I brushed her cheek and chest, and played with her little fingers and toes, then I gave her to Louie so he could hold her.
The next few days were so hard. We finally got out of the hospital on Monday afternoon. I'm doing much better, physically. Emotionally, of course, I'm going to need some time, but Louie and I are both doing very well, considering. I thank everyone for all the support I've gotten along the way, it means so much to me.
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