june 11 2014

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In honor of her one month birthday, here is Finnley’s birth story:

She was just taking the fetal monitor off when she realized the baby’s heartbeat wasn’t there. The nurse looked down and noticed something coming out of me (you know, down there). All of a sudden she jumped up onto my bed, stuck her hand inside me and was trying to push the baby’s head up off my cervix. A few other nurses were scrambling to find her heartbeat to no avail. Prolapsed cord they said. The cord was coming out and the baby’s head was putting too much pressure on it, depriving her of oxygen. The next thing I heard was “hit the alarm, clear the halls!” and they rushed me to the OR…

I walked into my 40 week checkup on the afternoon of May 9th, and asked my midwife to strip my membranes. I had told myself the entire pregnancy that this baby was going to be four days late just like her two sisters but I was still getting a little anxious. It had to happen while my sister was still in town so she could be with the older girls. I was about 70% effaced and 1 ½ cm dilated so she was able to strip them.  Perhaps getting it done helped shorten my labor once it got going but it really just made me super uncomfortable and crampy for the next day and a half. I spent most of my time either walking around to encourage labor to start or on my birth ball. Saturday night, the 10th, I was putting the girls to bed when I felt a little trickle go down my leg… it kept happening every once in a while but no big gush of fluid yet. I decided to wait until the next morning before calling my midwife in hopes that labor would start that night. It didn’t, and so when I called her the morning, just as expected, she wanted me to go into the hospital to get checked. I was hesitant to go because I knew they would tell me I would need to be induced within 24 hours of when my water started leaking if labor hadn’t started by then.  I went in anyways and they confirmed that it was amniotic fluid, probably a tear high up. My midwife let me go home to try to get labor going on my own but told me I had to come back no later than 8pm that night. The entire time we were there I was having (very mild) contractions every 15 minutes or so, but I just wrote them off as Braxton hicks/false labor. After leaving the hospital (it was about noon now) we decided to run to the grocery store on our way home. While there I had to stop and lean on the cart for a moment during a contraction. When we got home I finished packing up our hospital bag, ate some lunch and enjoyed a long shower.  The contractions (I was still calling it cramping at this point though because I didn’t believe it would turn in to anything) were getting stronger but I was able to get through them on my own. Soon after that though, I needed to concentrate more and had Taylor push on my lower back to help me get through them. I then decided to lie down and listen to my hypnobabies tracks and use the breast pump to encourage labor to keep going. I had been preparing myself for labor by practicing self hypnosis with the Hypnobabies program. My labor was going to be calm and I was going to remain relaxed.  About 10 minutes into that I started feeling shaky and nauseous. This is what happens at the end of labor for me, so I told Taylor we needed to go to the hospital immediately. Things had escalated pretty quickly and it was at this point that I realized I was actually in labor (and pretty close to the end it felt like too!). The car ride was a blur and I just remember Taylor trying to drive as fast as he could while still pushing hard on my back every time a contraction hit.  When we got to the hospital I rushed inside right before a strong contraction hit. I collapsed onto my knees and leaned on a chair right in the entry way to get through it when someone grabbed a wheelchair and offered to help get us up to labor and delivery. When we got upstairs we still had to check in at the triage area first even though everyone could tell I was definitely in labor. It was 4:20pm. The same nurses were on duty that I had seen just a few hours before. When the nurse checked me she said I was 5cm dilated and fully effaced. Only 5cm. I about cried. I told her that was impossible because it only gets this intense at the very end for me. She said there was a ton of amniotic fluid that had collected below the baby’s head, making my bag of waters bulge out. The nurses tried to console me by saying that as soon as the bag popped things would get more intense since there would be more pressure on my cervix (and I would hopefully dilate quickly after that). Everything was being prepared for me to move to a labor room when I heard a little pop and felt a big gush. My water had broke!  They were taking the fetal monitor off when the baby’s heartbeat disappeared. And that is when things got crazy…

I am rushed to the operating room and Taylor is escorted to an empty labor room (he won’t be needed the nurse tells him, since I would be going under with general anesthesia).  All of a sudden there are tons of people around me and bright lights overhead. I keep trying to tell someone that my arms are stiff and numb. “You are in shock” they say, “just breathe.” They are trying to get me to scoot off my bed and onto the operating table. Someone keeps sticking me, trying to get an IV line in. They are getting everything prepped for an emergency C-section when they put the fetal monitor on me again. They find the baby’s heartbeat and it is going strong! My midwife takes a second look at the cord coming out and realizes that it is in fact not the cord… just part of the amniotic sac that still had fluid in it (making it look like a pulsating cord apparently). She gets my attention and explains that they will not be doing a C-section after all and that I can scoot back over to my bed. “It’s ok” I say, “just put me under anyways. I can’t do this!” I guess they don’t think I am serious. Instead I am rolled away to a labor room. I am not certain we have even arrived in the room when I tell them the baby is coming. I can feel her coming down all on her own. One quick push and her head pops out. I hear panic in Taylor’s voice as he tells me to push as hard as I can (I find out afterwards it is because the cord is wrapped tightly around her neck). The rest of her body is out maybe a minute later. Someone exclaims that it is a girl and a wrinkly little purple baby is placed on my chest. I cry with relief… she is here and labor is over! At 5:09pm, 49 minutes after we walked into the hospital, Finnley Claire made her way into the world. She weighed in at 7lbs 14oz, was 20 inches long and perfectly healthy. Although her birth was not as calm as I had envisioned it being, I got to have the un-medicated birth I desired (and it was quick!). But best of all we are now the parents of a third sweet little girl!

 

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