Here is the first part of Baby Carbery’s Birth Story if you haven’t had a chance to check it out yet!
On my due date, my husband and I packed our bags and went into the hospital. We knew this time, come hell or high water we would be leaving with our baby girl. The whole thing started off wonderfully. We got into our room and settled in. The contractions were happening and I was dilating. Perfect I won’t need that much intervention. I figured it would be super similar to my first experience. I labored throughout the night and the contractions were stronger and more consistent. They hadn’t even given me Pitocin, PERFECT. Around 6am the next day I was somewhat stalled. With my permission, they gave me a small amount of Pitocin to try and jumpstart things again.
Throughout the last two weeks, I had been having back labor. This made it worse. I was determined not to give in and not to get the epidural. I know that not getting the epidural can make labor go longer because your body fights the pain, but so can getting it and my last experience was so bad I chose the former. My water still had not broken when my doc came in the next morning. I was dilated to 6cm. We had the discussion that it must happen. Second thing to not go as planned. After about an hour of going back and forth, we made the decision to let him break it. Even sitting here now I can still feel the anxiety in making that decision.
As he was breaking my water I have to say it felt like a release. The pain got better. The anxiety slowly started to fade. I thought, “Okay, we are here again, I can do this”. All of this was familiar and the same way it went with my first. Yes, it was not what I wanted but at least it was familiar. I felt confident in myself and my abilities. Then everything changed.
I have known my doctor for years, he has been my OBGYN since I was 14 years old. He delivered my first daughter. There is no one I trust more. When he was checking me after breaking my water I could tell something was wrong. He is normally joking and light hearted but his face became very serious and my heart dropped. I knew in my heart of hearts that everything I had planned for and hoped for during this delivery just went right out the window.
He told me the baby was still really high and something was in the way. He stopped and looked at me and called for an ultrasound. The nurses all look really confused. They brought in the machine and he explained that he felt something blocking the baby, something was in front of her head. He thought it was her umbilical cord. I knew this was bad. He looked and was having a hard time seeing what he needed to see. He decided to check manually again. Determining that it was her arm. Her arm was stuck above her head. Not hand to the face like a lot of people have experienced. Her entire arm was outstretched above her head, it is called a prolapsed arm.
I wanted to know my options. He said in no uncertain terms the word I was dreading…C-section. I started to slowly panic. He told me we could try for a natural delivery but that there was a very good chance of her getting stuck behind my pelvic bone. That would create a world of problems we did not want. We were going over all of the details and suddenly I felt very strange. I could not catch my breath. I don’t know if I was panicking or what but I have had panic attacks and that is not what this felt like. They put oxygen on me and I told myself to calm down it was fine.
Just as I was catching my breath all of the monitors in the room went nuts and everyone sprang into action really quickly. My doctor looked at me and said, very calmly might I add, “Kristin, we have lost the baby’s heartbeat and your stats are not good”. I nodded not knowing what else to do. He looked at my nurse. She was already half way out the door and said, “We need an OR now!”
The next few minutes are a huge blur. I remember bits and pieces of what was happening. I remember the nurse throwing scrubs at my husband and telling him, “if you want to see your baby born you have to run while putting these on.” I remember tears swelling in my eyes thinking I might be loosing this precious baby girl. I remember my moms face as they wheeled the bed out, telling her I love her and her mouthing its okay don’t be scared. I remember feeling so alone and knowing that I had to keep it together and keep breathing because at that very moment there was nothing else I could do. I put my hands on my big belly and away we went.
This was not my first time in an OR by any stretch of the imagination. It was the first time I felt totally out of control. Everyone was moving very fast but it was amazing. It was a symphony of purpose. They all knew what they were doing and where they to be. I was the odd man out. There were a thousand things running through my mind. Most importantly the fact that I did not have an epidural. I knew I needed to remind them of that. It sounds like something they should know but 90 percent of women get them and I hadn’t yet. I was telling anyone who would listen.
Finally, the anesthesiologist heard me. He asked, “Why?” I said, “Does it matter? I don’t.” Then he told me the words I feared, “We have to put you under.” It was the last thing on earth I wanted and could possibly control. My doctor saw the look on my face and told everyone to freeze! Everything came to a grinding halt. He took the strap on my belly and tried one more time to find the heartbeat, after what felt like an hour passed, probably 10 seconds, in reality, that beautiful sound of a whooshing heartbeat came over the speaker. A wave of relief washed over me. I saw it wash over him too.
We all took a deep breath and the anesthesiologist gave me a spinal tap. He said it would not fully be active when they started. This still needed to happen extremely quickly. That scared me a little. It felt like heavy pressure and got better as they went, there was no pain.
My husband came in and held my hand. I told him that they found her heartbeat and his eyes welled up with relief. That is one of like three times I have seen him get that emotional. Within what felt like seconds I heard, “She’s out!” then I heard the most beautiful cry I have ever heard in my life. They held her up above the curtain so we could see her. She was as pink and perfect as they come. Oh, and upon weighing her only 7lbs 13 oz. That’s right my 10+ lb baby was a peanut.
This is the last thing I wanted. It is the last way in the world I imagined my daughters birth going but it is our story. Our baby girl is almost 6 months old and I still have those moments of grief and disbelief but they are coming less and less. She is perfect and sweet and loving and my girl. She is exceptional to me and in the end that is all that matters.
Kristin, The Perfectionist Mom
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