My Birth Story, Part 1
I can’t believe I’m finally sitting down to write this. It’s been 10 weeks since I gave birth to my beautiful, juicy little munchkin but I haven’t felt like writing about my birth story…until today. In all honesty, my son’s birth was rather traumatic and I just didn’t feel emotionally strong enough to relive it. I relive it in my head just about everyday but writing about it takes me right back to that sunny Saturday morning in October when I’ve never felt so much love and fear at the same time. I had all intentions of writing this as a whole piece but it really took a lot out of me emotionally. Plus young Roman is going through his first “leap” and has been nursing non-stop for the last 3 days. That being said, part II of my birth story will be next week.
Anywho…let’s jump right in!
Ok, for those of you who don’t know, I had a really rough pregnancy. I’m talking 34 weeks and 5 days of non-stop nausea & vomiting. I could barely keep anything down and ended up losing 25 pounds by the end of my pregnancy. I literally survived on Ensure, frozen blueberries, & unisom. To top it all off, during my third trimester I developed low blood pressure and heart palpitations. I couldn’t even stand long enough to cook myself a meal at the stove without feeling like I was going to keel over. THE. STRUGGLE. WAS. REAL.
Since I was a gestational diabetic my doctor decided to schedule my twice weekly non-stress tests (NSTs) about 2 weeks earlier than normal. So, at 34 weeks I went in for my first NST where they hooked my belly up to 2 monitors to track the baby’s heart rate and my contractions (if I were having any). Roman was moving around like normal but his heart rate wasn’t showing the variability that they like to see so they sent me to labor & delivery for further monitoring. At this point in the game I was used to being at L&D. I was always there getting IV fluids due to my frequent vomiting so this was no big deal. After 4-5 hours of monitoring & lots of snacks I was sent home. Baby looked fine and they thought that he was just a bit sleepy.
About 3 days later I went back for my 2nd NST and the exact same thing happened. He was moving around well but still his heart rate wasn’t varying the way they wanted so off to L&D I went. I figured it would be the same situation as the other day so I wasn’t worried. Plus my baby shower was the next day so I HAD to go home eventually. After a few hours the nurse came in and offered to do a growth ultrasound while I was there and I said sure! I LOVED any opportunity to see my baby so I was excited. They looked at all of his organs, head size, length, etc. but I noticed that she kept going back to his heart. My anxiety started to peak but I just remained calm and watched her. She proceeded to send a note to the doctor and told me to clean off the gel on my belly and that the dr would be in to go over the scan with me. I immediately started searching my brain for everything I learned in class about fetal heart anatomy & pathology.
What on earth was wrong with my baby’s heart?!?
I was just about to go into full panic mode when the tech & the dr came into the room and essentially told me that they thought that my son had something called tricuspid atresia but they needed a more in depth look at his heart to confirm it. They scheduled a cardiac follow up for the next Monday but decided to admit me for observation. While I was obviously worried about my baby, I was also really bummed out because I would be missing my baby shower. Ummm…hello! Gifts AND food! With my baby’s life potentially at stake, I heeded their advice and was admitted to the hospital. That friday night in the hospital was uneventful, Roman got plenty of kicks in and scored 8/8 on a test they gave him called a biophysical profile. All signs pointed to a Saturday discharge & I had even planned to have my shower at the hospital the next day.
Well, unbeknownst to me, things had taken a turn for the worst overnight. The next morning they ran another biophysical profile test and this time he only scored 2/8. He wasn’t moving around as much as the day before and he wasn’t responding to stimuli so my OB (who thankfully was rounding that morning) sat on the side of my bed, looked at me, and said “I really think that we should deliver your baby today. There’s something going on in there and I think that he’d be safer outside your womb than inside”. I was stunned. "No! He couldn’t be delivered today…we don’t even have a carseat!” Those were the thoughts that ran through my mind. Choking back tears I nodded and agreed with her that the baby should be delivered and thats when the whirlwind truly began.
After my OB left to gather the c-section team I called my husband Chris who had literally just left to go home and check on our dog who was all alone at home overnight. The next call I made was to my doula and then I called my parents who were 3000 miles away in Charleston, SC. While I waited for my husband and my doula to show up I quietly said a little prayer and begged my baby to hold on until the doctors to get him out. The following 45 minutes were truly a blur. Doctors and nurses were in & out of my room prepping me for the c-section. A resident was running through the short but scary list of possible complications associated with the surgery. I vaguely remember the surgeon asking me if I understood that in the event of an uncontrolled hemorrhage they may have to perform a hysterectomy.
After all of the papers were signed, I tearfully kissed my husband and walked down the hall and into the OR. I laid on the table and panicked when the anesthesiologist placed the mask over my face. I felt like I was being suffocated. I thought…”this is the last room I’ll see if I die. Will I get to hear my son’s cry? What if we’re too late and he’s stillborn?” I didn’t have time to freak out over all of those possibilities. All of those fears faded to black as the anesthesia drugs took affect and I fell asleep.
In part 2 I’ll be sharing my experience as a mama recovering from a c-section and what it was like to have a baby in the NICU.
Thank you so much for reading! If you enjoyed reading this I’d love it if you’d share on social. I’d tell you to share this with a mama-to-be but lets not freak her out, haha.