Sunday, March 17, 2013

ellie's birth story: part 3

Read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

At this point, my whole body started shaking.  I couldn’t control it.  It was probably a combination of a few different things, including the epidural and nerves, but nothing I tried to calm my body down worked.  Tim suggested that we each say a prayer in our hearts.  He held my hand as we each said our separate prayers.  I didn’t stop shaking, but the shaking became less violent almost immediately.

Dr. Ferguson walked back into our room.  He told me that since it takes most women at least an hour of pushing, he was going to have Jami push with me for a few minutes while he ate some lunch.  Jami explained to me how the pushing was going to work and waited for the next contraction.  She told me to push.

“Oh wow, good job.  Let’s try that again.”

I pushed again, and Jami looked quickly up at the monitor.

“Ok, dear, the baby’s heart rate has dropped again.  I’m going to go get Dr. Ferguson.”  She’d said it so calmly, but I could tell she was concerned.

Dr. Ferguson was back within a couple of minutes dressed in his scrubs.  He instructed Jami to put me on oxygen again, and a few other nurses filed into the room.  He told us that the baby’s heart rate wasn’t a huge concern unless it stayed low for a long time, so they wanted to get her out as quickly as possible.  He asked if I was ok with it if they used forceps, just in case it took too long for me to push her out.

I looked at Tim.  I knew he was thinking the same thing.  “Do whatever you need to do to get her out safely,” I told him.

Dr. Ferguson waited for the next contraction, then told me to push.  “Oh, great job!  Maybe we won’t need the forceps after all.  Keep it up!”

I pushed again during the next two contractions.

“Oh!  Is that her head?” Tim asked excitedly.  He was holding my hand but still standing in a position where he would be able to see her coming out.  The doctor confirmed that it was indeed her head.  He assured me that it would just take a couple more pushes.  It was an odd feeling.  I could feel her coming out, but because of the epidural, it didn’t hurt at all.  I pushed again.

“There’s her face!” Tim told me with a dazed smile.  “Was that her umbilical cord?” he asked the doctor.

“Yes.  It was wrapped twice around her neck.”

I was glad I hadn’t known about that beforehand.

Finally she was out.  She started crying.  Light filtered in through the windows as the doctor held her up for me to see.  She was completely covered in blood, but she was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.  My heart felt like it might burst.  It took every ounce of self-control I had not to start sobbing in front of everyone. 

I looked at Tim.  He smiled back at me.  I knew he could feel it, too.

“1:34pm,” Jami told me, smiling.  “She’s beautiful.”

The nurses started cleaning her off, and while Tim was still holding my hand, I caught him staring longingly at her.  “Go to her,” I smiled.

“Are you sure?”  I nodded.

The doctor continued to stitch me up, while I continued to look intently at my beautiful baby.  After a few minutes, Dr. Ferguson breathed a sigh of relief.

“Originally, I’d thought the tearing was much worse than it actually was.  You still needed a lot of stitches, but I’m glad the sphincter muscle wasn’t torn like I’d thought.”

“I’m glad, too,” I said.  [Understatement of the year.]

After they’d checked and cleaned her up a little, they brought her over to me and put her directly on my chest.  She curled up against me.  Tears welled up in my eyes. 

“Hi, baby girl,” I whispered.

I held her for a few more minutes before they took her back over to a table where they did a few more tests and weighed her for the first time.  

Finally Tim got to hold her.  He looked like the happiest, proudest dad ever.  And he was.  

Eventually he handed her to me again, although I could tell it was with a high degree of reluctance.

After bringing me some food and some juice, Jami had to go help with another delivery, so one of the other nurses taught me how to breastfeed.  Suddenly I realized how tired I was.  It was hard to make my body do anything.  Even the food, which had looked so appetizing a few minutes ago, didn’t look appealing anymore.  All I wanted to do was snuggle with my baby.

Finally everyone had filtered out of the room, and Tim and I got to be alone with our baby girl.  We enjoyed a few precious moments of solitude and basked in her glow.

“We’re a family,” I smiled.


Cait and TJ Canann said...

Austin was born with his cord around his neck too. Reading your story takes me back to Austin's birth. I am surprised you didn't feel the pushing. I felt the pushing and it was the worst part for me. But then again, I didn't feel contractions so I guess it was a bit of a trade off. Can't wait to meet her. TJ and I are trying to figure out when we are going to celebrate our anniversary. Once we can figure that out then I'll try to work something out with you so I can come up to visit. :)

karajean said...

I love love love love this. Your story is so similar to mine, including the oxygen and heart rate dropping. (Scariest thing ever.)

And you look great - makeup and everything!

Thanks for sharing the beautiful story and pictures.

Emma Frances said...

Such a beautiful story! So happy for your beautiful family of three!!

I'll Love You Forever said...

Great birth story! Glad everything seemed to go pretty well overall. It is a scary exciting and amazing time all in one. So proud of you Momma!! Great job! She is gorgeous! xo

I'll Love You Forever said...

And how do you look so good after giving birth?!?! LOL you look fabulous!

Ali Mills said...

Ahhhh! Tears! I'm dying here! ;) She's so pretty!!! And you are, and so is Tim ;)

Anonymous said...

You looked so great! I was a mess when I had my little girl. Thank you for sharing your story. My little girl's heart rate dropped considerably so they had me on oxygen. I bet it has something to do with the epidural because things tend to go faster once they break your water and put you on the meds. She is a beautiful little thing!

katilda said...

I have faithfully been reading all 3 parts and I'm finally commenting! YOU HAVE A BABY! Also, you've successfully convinced me of two things: 1) Definitely getting an epidural. 2) Need to buy lip stain.

Fran said...

aaand I'm crying. She's beautiful - and how great did you look after delivery? I would look like a monster haha