March 28, 2012

A's Birth Story

The day before A’s birthday, we had our last ultrasound at the perinatologist’s office. Fittingly, the same ultrasound tech who did our very first ultrasound there wound up doing the last one as well.

What a difference seven months makes.

During our first one, I was terrified of what we would (or rather, wouldn’t) see and had R hand me the tissue box before we even started so that I wouldn’t have to ask for it if I needed it later on. During the last ultrasound, I knew I had felt A moving around that day, and there was no thought of the tissue box and no particular worry about what the screen would show.

There also weren’t any indications that the little miss was going to come early, so I figured we had one last weekend to get some things done. We were planning one last dinner date as a couple on March 17, and that afternoon I was sitting on the couch working on some thank you notes.

At first, I thought my bladder had leaked a little bit. Then after I felt the leaking sensation a couple more times, I realized it probably wasn’t my bladder after all.

I went to the bathroom to confirm my suspicion that it was amniotic fluid. I expected it to possibly be pink-tinged, but I didn’t expect there to be bright red/pink blood. I knew it wasn’t just blood – there was definitely other fluid as well – but it was a lot more blood than I expected.

I called the peri’s office. I knew that we were going to the hospital regardless of what the peri said, and fortunately, the doctor on call (the other doctor in the practice) agreed that we should go. I was concerned about the possibility of a placental abruption. (Because, yes, I always have to have something to worry about.)

We didn’t have our bags completely packed. I was surprised at how calm we both stayed while we tried to grab a few more things, although R said later on that he was anything but calm on the inside. After a couple of minutes, the concern about the possibility of an abruption got the best of me, and I told R that I just wanted to get to the hospital without any more delay.

It was a 30-minute drive. He stayed calm and resisted the urge to peel down the freeway at 80 miles an hour while honking at anyone in his way. :-)

Once we arrived, he dropped me off at the hospital entrance so that I could head up to the Birthing Center while he parked. I was afraid I might leave a trail of amniotic fluid and blood behind me, but fortunately I had bought some super-absorbant pads and had put one on before we left the house, so that didn’t seem to be the case.

The peri’s office had called ahead for us, so as soon as I got to the Birthing Center, they whisked me to a triage room and had me change into a gown. There was a lot more blood by that point, and any thought of a vaginal delivery completely left my mind.

One of the nurses immediately hooked me up to monitors, and thankfully A’s heartbeat sounded steady and strong, which provided some reassurance. The nurses agreed that there was more blood than they would expect to see, but eventually they decided it was probably all related to my water breaking and nothing else bad going on.

We got to the Birthing Center around 5 p.m., and at 6 p.m., one of the nurses announced that they’d be taking us to the surgery suite between 7 and 7:30 p.m. I was surprised, because we had eaten lunch at 2:30 p.m., so I figured we’d have to wait until closer to 10 or 11 p.m. But apparently the anesthesiologist said it would be okay to go earlier. Earlier rather than later sounded great to me!

They wheeled us in to surgery a few minutes after 7 p.m., putting R in a separate waiting room while they did the spinal block on me. I was nervous about the idea of a needle in my back, but it turned out to be no big deal. One of the nurses stood in front of me and let me grip her hands. I said “ouch” a few times, but it really didn’t hurt that badly – it was more just the fact that I was feeling the pain in an unusual location rather than my butt or tummy. Seriously, PIO injections seem worse to me.

A few minutes later, the C-section got underway. I felt some tugging, more than I expected, as they pulled A out, but no pain. We heard a small cry before they suctioned her, and then as soon as they did that, the loud, healthy cries began.

I finally exhaled the breath that I had been holding for 9 months. She was here!

That cry was the most beautiful sound I had ever heard. There were tears, and I still tear up thinking about that moment now, but not as many tears as I expected, because I was focused on watching her as they cleaned her up. (They brought her to us very briefly before taking her over to the isolette.) Once they were done, R was able to carry her over to me.

Finally, after all these years, we became a family of three.


Anonymous said...

I'm so happy for you!

Matt and Krista said...

Congrats Rebecca! I've been following your story for quite some time, but I think this is the first comment I've made! Your daughter is beautiful and that was going to be my girls name if we had a girl (we had two boys!) I love it!

Emily Erin said...

What a wonderful birth story-- so very glad that she's here and safe and you are a family of three!

MyTwoLines said...

So glad you got THE MOMENT!! The one we all dream of of hearing our babies' healthy cry for the first time...awesomeness!

Sue said...

I have tears in my eyes! Congratulations!!!!