Saturday, June 6, 2015

Hannah's Birth

From the Archives

I had an uneventful pregnancy.  Just the normal all-around nausea, evening heartburn, all-day fatigue, you know, I was pregnant. I was due the second week of December, but my doctor and I agreed with how low I was carrying I probably would go early.  So Black Friday our little family went out shopping.  I was timing contractions by the dash clock and by my husband’s stopwatch in the mall.  By about every 8 minutes apart we went home to put our 2-year-old down for a nap.  Since my last labor was over 12 hours after my water broke, we felt we were in no hurry.

We took our son to the friend’s house, and headed to the hospital when the contractions were every 3-5 minutes.  The receptionist was skeptical that I was having labor contractions that close together since I said I was only 38 weeks pregnant.  But she hooked me up to a monitor, and I was indeed in labor, just not in pain.  So I settled in for another long day and evening.  The on-call doctor arrived and said if he broke my water I could have a baby by dinner time.  That sounded lovely, though I was still skeptical since my last labor was so long after my water broke spontaneously.

He left to check on another mom and we talked about it.  We were all for trying to speed things up.  This time my contractions were closer together, just not painful.  So when he came back in we asked him to go ahead, and in came the amni-hook.  It looked like a mean, long crochet hook. 

Sure enough, he was right, about three hours later I was begging for something to take the edge off the pain.  My awesome husband would encourage me to make it through one more contraction, and he would help me with random patterned breathing techniques.  Finally I pushed the nurse button and asked for something to help.  She came in and checked my cervix first, and said, “The good news is you’re at an 8, the bad news is it is probably too late to get anything that would help.”  My husband cheered me and I wanted to cry.

One contraction after the nurse left, I said, “I’m done. I don’t want to do this any more.” My husband smiled and called the nurse.  He knew we were really close, when I want to give up it’s time.  She came in and said I was “complete” and she would call the doctor in.  As soon as she said this, I had a contraction so strong I had to “blow it away” because I wanted to push, but there was no doctor in the room.  He came in just in time for the next one and two pushes later we had a beautiful baby girl.  She was perfect and they sucked the gunk out of her lungs and we got to hold her.

Sometime in the middle of the night she fussed but didn’t sound like I remember my son sounding as a newborn.  So I called the nurse and she came and got her to check her over in the nursery.  Hours later she came back without my baby.  She said as she was wheeling my baby down the hall her color got more and more dusky.  She was not breathing well on her own and needed to go to the children’s hospital.

I was devastated.  I would be staying here and my baby would go across town!  They wheeled me to the nursery to say good-bye.  Her nurse, Kimberly, said we went to the same church and she prayed for me as the EMT’s waited to take my baby and husband away.  The pastor’s wife came to sit with me in my room as I waited for my mom and sister to arrive.

My son came to visit Mommy, and my family took him home.  I was grateful for a healthy delivery, and grateful we lived in this city with a great children’s hospital.  I was very sad that my baby was across town though.  I would cry when I heard my neighbor’s baby cry.  I cried as I set my alarm to wake me up to use the breast pump to save the precious colostrum for my baby to use in the NICU. 

The next day I was released and my husband took me to see my daughter.  She was in the highest level NICU and was next to a baby on a heart-lung machine.  Thankfully she only needed a ventilator for 3 days and improved rapidly.  After she came off the ventilator, she was moved to the special care nursery and I was able to hold her and nurse her.  My husband and I divided our time between her and our son.  We were both exhausted.  My mom and sister kept up with the house and our boy. 

One week after she was admitted to the children’s hospital, she came home!  When I look back at the pictures of her and prayers from friends, I marvel at God’s goodness and mercy.  She could have easily died.  He spared her and now she looks at those pictures and says she wants to be a nurse-mom like our good friend Kimberly, so she can take care of babies like Kimberly did her.  Again, God used this to draw us closer to each other, Himself, and His church.  They were wonderful in caring for our family at that scary time!

~Shared by Laura A.

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