I was having a dream that we were at some sort of family get together and Davids mom came up to touch my stomach, when she did, all I saw were arms and legs trying to kick out of my skin. The pain was so intense, I grabbed my stomach and fell to my knees.
I woke up at 130am and had to pee. When I got to the bathroom, I felt really funny and after wiping a few times, I saw some blood! I noticed a little mucous plug was out too! I went downstairs and felt something trickling, my water must have broken and what I thought was pee was fluid! I went to the bathroom again and saw more blood, so I called David. I told him that I thought my water broke and he was immediately FRANTIC. I told him just to finish up work (hes off at 230am) and come home and I was going to call the midwife. I started having mild contractions immediately and I was happy when I heard David get home like 3 minutes after I called him!!
My midwife told me to go back to bed and relax if I could. What did I do instead? Unloaded the dishwasher, changed the cats litter box, fed and watered the cat, put the laundry in the dryer, EVERYTHING but relaxing. When I finally got back into bed around 330am, the contractions were pretty annoying. Because we knew the baby had a heart condition, we had 2 plans. A homebirth plan for fast labor and the hospital plan for longer labor. We live 2 miles from the hospital so our midwife told us we could choose what we wanted to do. Since I was really scared of having a baby with a heart problem at home, I told my midwife that I wanted to go to the hospital. She arrived at my house at around 7am, and my contractions were 30 seconds long, 6 to 10 min apart. She checked me and I was dilated to 3 cm already! (woohoo!) We packed up the car, woke Isabella and headed over to the hospital.
When we got to the birthing suites, the nurse escorted me into the maternity triage bathrooms and gave me a gown. I told her I would be laboring in my own clothes to which she replied, “Hospital gowns are mandatory”. To which I replied back, “I was told by a nurse here and my family practitioner that I was allowed to wear my own clothes.” She threw the gown on the shelf and said, “Oh my GOD!!” as she left the bathroom. This also happened with the “mandatory” hep lock and the “mandatory “blood draw. I got really nervous because I thought that this was how my whole stay was going to be, Id have to fight for everything. The male doctor came in a couple minutes later, checked my dilation, felt my stomach and proclaimed the baby to be “No more than 8 lbs!” hehe
When I got into the birthing suite, I felt really lucky. It was so beautiful, there was so much room for everyone (so far David, Isabella and a midwife), the shower was huge and the bed was comfortable. From here my contractions start picking up. (The NICU team was put on alert, they were going to be there for the birth and whisk the baby away if needed.) Im in and out of the shower, Im on the birthing ball, Im sitting in bed, just moving around and taking the contractions as they come. The one thing I remember was that I didn’t throw up this time. With Isabella, I was throwing up with every single contraction. Im not sure of the times but things started getting intense. The second midwife shows up and starts rubbing my feet with peppermint oil and it felt and smelled amazing! The midwives take turns rubbing my back and walking me to the shower. David was sleeping a lot of the time so he would be ready for the big finale and Isabella is just doing her thing, writing in her journal, reading her new magazines and encouraging me and rubbing my face.
I don’t remember too much about the rest of the labor, I do remember the pain being too much though. I have never felt pain like that, ever and I was screaming in agony. I remember asking why Isabellas birth was so pain-less and this one wasn’t, why my 2nd wasn’t coming fast like 2nd babies “normally” do. About 3 or 4pm, I couldn’t handle it any more, my contractions had been on top of each other for 2 hours (like 5 in a row, 10 seconds apart, lasting for a minute each). I told my midwives and husband that I needed something to take the edge off, something to help me relax in between contractions. I seriously gave up. After 15 hours of labor and being dilated to 5cm for 3 hours I knew that I wouldnt have energy to push a baby out when it came time.
The baby had been hooked up to a fetal monitor the whole time but it kept slipping off. In order to give me drugs, they had to have a heart rate strip for 10 minutes to make sure the baby was ok. Well, this required me to be still for 10 minutes, even through these crazy contractions. It took about an hour but they got the strip and gave me Fentinol which did help me relax between contractions.
Right after they gave me the drug, I started to feel pushy so the midwives told me to go with it. I pushed and pushed while on my side on the bed. Then I remember that I got onto my knees on the bed and started pushing on all fours. The OB and NICU team all showed up and got ready, the NICU team of 7 behind the curtain so I couldn’t see them and the OB team of 6 by my bed. I remember pushing and feeling Sophia coming down, the doctors said they could see her hair and I yelled “Is it curly?!” and they said “Yes!!” I was on all fours, pushing and pushing when they told me that they couldn’t find the babys heartbeat, push harder. I pushed and pushed. I remember the midwife whispering in my ear, “I see a pink head ready to be born” and I was excited and scared. I pushed and pushed and the docs told me her head was coming and her eyes were out.
This is when it gets fuzzy and scary.
I remember them saying “Lindsay, shes stuck, flip over!!” and I jumped to my back. They grabbed my legs and pushed them to my chest, it took so many people to hold my legs because the contractions took over me. They yelled at me to push and I looked up at David and he looked at me with more fear than I have ever seen on his face and said, “Lindsay. Please, push her out, NOW!” and I screamed and pushed. One of the doctors reached inside me and grabbed my sweet Sophia and pulled her out onto the bed in between my legs and she was dark purple. The NICU team swooped in and grabbed her, cutting the cord. My midwife grabbed me and said “Lindsay, touch your baby, TOUCH HER!!!” and I touched Sophia and then yelled “TAKE HER” to the NICU team. David ran over and watched as the team worked on her for 10 minutes, all I could hear was them saying “Cmon Sophia, Cmon baby”.
Side note here: My husband told me afterwards that they had intubated the baby but she still wasn’t responding and after a couple minutes a doctor was walking by the room and came in to see all the fuss and noticed that Sophia wasn’t intubated correctly! She fixed it and Sophia became stable enough to move. The weird thing is, the doctor wasn’t supposed to be at the hospital and just happen to come by!
After she was stable enough to get to NICU, they left and I was in the room with a scared Isabella who thankfully didn’t watch the actual birth, my 2 midwives and 2 doctors who checked me and delivered the placenta which came minutes after the birth. They noticed I was bleeding a LOT and gave me a pitocin shot. That didn’t help so they ended up giving me 2 IV bags of pitocin to slow the bleeding. It was so somber in the room, I kept whispering to my midwife “Is she going to make it?” She kept saying yes but I kept thinking about the women I had come across who had lost their babies, that I was going to be one of them.
We hadn’t heard any news for a while until one of the nurses came in and said that the computer said Sophias name, the word “Stable” and the weight, 11 pounds, 5 ounces!! I was happy for a minute but since I hadn’t heard from David, I was still scared. He came down later (no idea how long) and we held each other and cried and cried because our new baby was finally stable. Because of the shoulder dystocia and the botched intubation, she was low on oxygen for 1 minute, 49 seconds. (I say low because she was getting oxygen, just not enough of it)
A few hours later we got to see our newest chunky member of the family (11lbs, 5 ounces, 20 ¾ inches long). She was sleeping so soundly but had an IV in her head (over the think auburn hair), one in her umbilical cord, one in her foot, 3 monitors on her and a ventilator in. But Jeez, she was beautiful!!
Even though the birth was brutal, the OB and NICU teams were fast and efficient. I hugged the woman who delivered Sophia so hard and cried into her shoulder, thanking her for saving our babys life. I don’t think we have ever made a better decision than the one we made when we decided to have a hospital birth.
p.s. She came out an hour and a half after I got the drugs, I guess I could have made it!