How in the world is this sweet girl already 1 month old (at least as of yesterday)? I can’t believe it!
In celebration of Miss Savannah’s 1 month birthday, I thought I’d take a walk down memory lane and recap the events of her birth. As many of you know, we were induced at 37 weeks and 3 days, so we did not make it to her due date of December 28th. All of my doctor’s were in agreement that the risks were probably higher for me to see 38 weeks (since Andrew’s death was essentially unexplained at 38 weeks) than to induce labor a couple of weeks early. I was completely on board with that, and since Kevin’s birthday was around that time, we thought we might see if we could plan it so they could share the same birthday! Earlier in the week, we weren’t sure it would work out since there was no space for an induction on December 10th, but someone happened to go into labor early, so I was able to take the bed with no trouble. It turned out to be a success!
Since my body was not getting ready for labor on its own, we reported to the hospital on Thursday, December 9th so we could begin the process. I have never been so happy to be in a hospital in my entire life – I immediately felt a sense of relief just being there that night, knowing that she would be monitored the entire time and that we were where we needed to be in case anything were to happen at the last minute. Yeah, even hours leading up to her arrival, I was still anxious about something going wrong – the mind of a baby loss momma at its best!
At 7pm that night, the doctor inserted Cervadil to soften my cervix. I was stuck in the bed until they could ensure my body wasn’t going to jump immediately into labor, which it didn’t. I enjoyed a final meal of Subway before the big day. I didn’t get a lot of sleep that night – I was so tired that I probably could have slept well had it not been for the IV and all the monitors. It was all for a good cause though.
At 3am, they started the pitocin drip. I had originally thought they were going to start it in the morning, but it was probably good they didn’t wait until then. Since I was only 1 cm dilated and not effaced, I had a long way to go! Things were pretty uneventful, and I wasn’t feeling much of anything until later.
My OB came in at 8am to check me. I was 2cm dilated at that point, so she decided to break my water. There was no turning back at that point – we would have this baby within 24 hours one way or another. She did mention that my platelet count was at 86 the night before and that the anesthesiologist on duty was the same gentleman that I had met with a few weeks prior for a consultation. He told her he’d be willing to give me an epidural if I wanted one as long as my levels were still at that level in the morning. The contractions were still pretty uneventful for the next couple of hours. When they came, I was able to breathe through them easily. I had quite the crew in the room with me at this point (Kevin, my sister, my mother, and my friend Mary), so they kept me entertained.
From around 10am until noon, the contractions were getting more intense. As it turned out, my platelet count in the morning had dipped down to 68 (most likely due to the saline in my IV), so the anesthesiologist was no longer willing to do the epidural. I was either going at it alone or could opt for some narcotics if needed. I was not a fan of the idea of narcotics, so I wanted to see how I could do on my own.
I moved from the bed to a chair next to the bed, to a birthing ball, and eventually on my hands and knees. My nurse was FANTASTIC and made a lot of good suggestions as far as positions go. Now that the contractions were picking up, I solicited the help of my entourage. Kevin, my sister, and Mary basically all took turns helping massage my back, push against my hips, etc. to help provide some relief. The contractions were definitely getting more intense and closer together. From what I remember from laboring with Andrew without pitocin and what the nurses told me, the contractions get more intense much quicker than without it. Essentially, there is no slow build up – just as you feel the contraction come on, you are basically at the peak – OUCH!!
I was starting to get a little tired at this point, and was anxious to find out how I was progressing. My OB checked me around noon and I was shocked to find out I was only 3cm! I was starting to wonder how I was going to make it to 10cm with no medication when I was making such slow progress. The good news was that my cervix had thinned out quite a bit, so I was progressing, just not a lot of dilation yet.
Shortly after, I asked what my options were for medication. I was really exhausted at this point and still had a long way to go! My nurse suggested a medicine that would “take the edge off” a little bit. I can’t seem to remember the name of it but it was not a narcotic and didn’t really even do anything as far as pain relief goes. She gave me a dose in my IV, which did make me a little loopy so that I was able to relax in between contractions. I was thankful for the rest!
After the dose, I was basically stuck in the bed. From around 2:15pm or so, the pain dramatically intensified. I honestly felt like I was going to hallucinate! I had never felt such awful pain in my life and had no idea if was actually going to make it through it. The nurse checked me and I was 7cm, completely effaced, and Savannah’s head was right there. I vaguely remember them scurrying around the room trying to prep and get ready. At this point, the bed was probably at a 110 degree angle and I was leaning over the top of it. I felt like she could have fallen out at any second! Everyone there kept saying that they could see Savannah’s head – CRAZY! My doctor finally arrived and insisted that I flip over onto my back. She said I would tear more if I stayed in that position when I had Savannah.
Within a matter of minutes, I was on my back again, pushed once, and Savannah was with us!! She was born at 2:42pm, weighed 7 lbs. and was 20 inches long. I was so overwhelmed at that moment – so relieved that the excruciating pain was over and overcome with emotion that my daughter was in my arms. My mother told me that I even asked whether she was actually alive. Sad that I even thought to ask that question – I guess I just wanted to make sure!
My OB ended up cutting her cord. When I asked Kevin why he opted not to, he said it was because he was still traumatized from the delivery. Apparently, seeing me in such pain traumatized him a little bit! 🙂 After I delivered my placenta, my OB seemed shocked at what she saw. She showed the cord to the nurse and then commented about how we had a little gymnast on our hands. She lifted up the cord to show me the true knot. How haunting! I was so thankful that Savannah was okay and that the knot didn’t seem to effect the flow in her cord. Praise God for his provision!
After we took a stab at nursing, they took her up to the nursery to bathe her. After I was given the okay, they moved me up to my room on the third floor. The THIRD FLOOR- where the nursery was! This was huge for me since they put me on the fourth floor after we delivered Andrew. I was on the same floor where my baby was! Unfortunately, that didn’t last too long. Just as they were about to bring Savannah back to our room on the third floor, she had her first apnea episode. From what I understand, the nurses noticed that her coloring was “dusky” so they blew some oxygen in her face and she perked back up. Once they have one of these episodes, they can’t ignore it. This meant she would be transferred to the intermediate nursery at the hospital (it’s a step below the NICU). The pediatrician visited my room at this point and told us not to worry about it – that she was beautiful and he didn’t think it would be an issue. As it would turn out, she ended up having 2 more spells early in the morning the next day. This was scary, but we knew she was exactly where she needed to be. I would much rather her have one of those spells while in their care then when she was in the room with us.
The neonatologist seemed to think her apnea spells were related to her transition to life outside my belly. They did lots of blood work on her and there are no specific issues that they could detect. They said it could be that she had a mucus plug or that it was related to her being born a little early. The doctor released her 6 days later, but with an apnea monitor. It’s a pain dealing with lugging it around, but it’s also a blessing for us to have some extra reassurance that she is breathing in these early weeks. Hopefully the pediatrician will take her off of it in the next few weeks, but we’ll see!
It’s hard to believe that we’re living our dream of being parents to a little baby here on earth. Her presence has literally turned our world upside down, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. We still miss her older brother tons, especially since now we know exactly what we missed out on with him, but we are so thankful for the hope of heaven, when our family will be reunited in its entirety!
Last Friday, Kevin worked a basketball game at school. I had planned to stop by for a bit, but decided against it since it was so cold. I had dressed her up and everything for the special occasion!
I hope you have a blessed day! We’re enjoying a family day since school was cancelled today! Although there’s no snow on the ground, I’m glad for the time together!