Our little girl is finally here.
She is just 26 hours old, and at the moment, is sleeping right here next to me. I decided I had better take advantage of the moment, and document her birth, while the details are still fresh.
Of course, I hardly slept at all Monday night. I was having consistent painful contractions (but that didn't ever get stronger or closer together...story of my last 2 weeks), and I was anxious, excited, nervous and every emotional possible about the induction. My mom arrived that evening, I did a special little carb shopping trip just for me, and stocked up on all my favorite cereals, and all was set and ready to go.
Finally, at 4:00am, after tossing and turning and contracting, I just got up for good. We had to head to Park City for the induction at 5:00am anyway.
I puttered around the house, did an evil little sarcastic laugh as I ate my LAST carb starve breakfast, left a note for the kids, painted my nails pink (to celebrate our little girl's pending birth), took a last minute pregnant picture, followed Ben around in an anxious, annoying way while he got ready (thanks Ben for putting up with me), we prayed, handed a half asleep Luke, who had woken up, over to grandma, and we were off.
It was foggy, stormy and rainy. Perfect day to hunker down in a hospital and snuggle a newborn baby.
I joked with Ben about it being a full moon, and stormy. Word has it that storms and/or full moons bring out all of the crazy labor and delivery experiences. Little did we know....
It took a good 2 hours to do all of the paper work, get me all prepped, and finally start the Pitocin. Right when they hooked me up to the monitors, the nurse commented on how I was already having contractions. I just chuckled. Yup, my previous 3 nights of no sleep could have told her that.
I hate IV's, and was thrilled to have that over and done with right off the bat. The nurse was great, and it really wasn't too bad. I was happy that they put it in my forearm, instead of my hand. I felt like I could move. They hooked me up to just saline, instead of electrolytes, because of my gestational diabetes, and we were on our way.
Then my blood work came back. Not good. My blood platelet count was 111. Should be above 155. This meant that my blood wasn't going to be the best at clotting. I have a bad history of hemorrhaging during D&C's, and after labor anyway, so this was not reassuring to my OB, the nurses, or any of us. During a terrible miscarriage 4 years ago, I lost 1/3 of my blood due to this very problem, went to the hospital via ambulance, and spent the next 6 months with mono, and severe anemia.
They decided that I was going to get another IV in my other arm during this delivery, in case I ended up needing a blood transfusion. Boo. Double whammy with the IV's, but grateful that I was in good hands, and in a hospital where I could get fast help if it was needed.
Normally, it takes hours for the Pitocin to kick in, so Ben and I settled in for the wait. I got the Pitocin at 8:00, and by 9, I was actually feeling things! Yippee! It did help that my body had already been contracting anyway.
At 10:00 doctor Sabella came in and decided to break my water. She did, and it was a little weird that there really wasn't much amniotic fluid. No one is sure why, but not much "water" really came. Dr. Sabella seemed a little shocked, but not at all worried, so I didn't worry either. It sure did get the contractions coming though. In the next 30 minutes, I was very ready for the epidural. I was so excited with how fast things were going.
I have had 5 epidurals now, and the last one I had, I didn't even feel when it was put in. It was awesome, and I was hoping for a repeat of that experience. Nope...this one took the cake. Poor Ben, I can't believe I didn't break off his fingers with how hard I was gripping his hand and practically crushing it when I felt the "slight zings" go into my back.
Why don't they just say it how it is. "Slight Zing" is just a mockery. Instead of, "here comes a little pressure," how about, "OK, I am now going to stab a big, fat needle into your spine, and you are going to feel like you are being tazered and stabbed. I am going to repeat this a few times." "oh, and please don't move during this." Geesh. It was a grand old time feeling stabs, zings, and hard contractions while holding still. But wow, it is sooooo worth it! 5 minutes of pain, to spare me hours of it later. I'll take it.
Once the epidural was finally put in place, the anesthesiologist told me to tell him if my ears started ringing. As if on queue, my ears starting ringing, and everyone started sounding really far away. Then, I just wanted to go to sleep, right then.
I ended up having to have Ben and a nurse holding me up, while getting oxygen, and watching my blood pressure drop. I am not exactly sure where I was, but it felt like I was floating away to somewhere nice. That was fun. I came back though.
And yes, it happened twice. Apparently, fainting, or almost fainting, can happen sometimes as the body reacts to the epidural. Nice. There is a first for everything.
Once my bp was back up, my face had color again, I was completely numb from my belly to my toes, and the oxygen mask was put away, and Ben's hand was thoroughly crushed, I was tired. I just wanted to sleep.
I got all cozy and ready to rest, when the nurse announced that it would be a good time to put in that second IV. I felt like a human pin cushion, but it was nice to know that safety measures were being taken with the IV's. After the epidural needle, this was nothing anyway.
Finally, Ben and I were able to rest. I don't take this option to have a pain free labor for granted. I feel blessed that live in a day where we can now choose if we want to feel the pain or not.
For me, I enjoy my labors and births a lot more when I am not in pain, and can focus more on the joy of the occasion. Others feel closer when they experience the pain and go natural. To each their own. No one gets a bigger or smaller reward depending on how they gave birth. We all get the best gift of all in the end, a baby. It is all amazing.
Anyway, as I was resting, the nurse checked me around 12:30, and I was at a 7. I was very surprised! That is fast for me. She told me to keep resting, and that it may be time to push in a couple hours. I laid back down, and Ben was just hanging out. He is a good guy, and I love that he has been here with me through the births of our babies.
I was in and out of sleep, when I felt the baby shift a little. She had been all on one side, and I remember feeling some relief that the pressure wasn't there anymore. I just figured she had rolled a little. I glanced over at Ben, and noticed that he had just laid down. I was glad he was resting. Then for some reason I looked at the clock. It was about 5min after 1:00. I glanced out the window. The storm was raging, and it was my favorite, thunder and lightening. It made me feel so comfortable and snug in our little room. I closed my eyes, and began to doze.
Just a few minutes later, Robyn, my nurse, came in. She said that the heart rate monitor had stopped picking up the baby's heart rate, so she needed to move it. She lifted up the blanket that was on me, and her eyes became huge. She got a very panicked look on her face, and then hurriedly and sharply said, "oh my gosh! There's a baby."
She then ran into the hall and yelled "code blue!"
Ben shot up off the couch he was resting on, my eyes flew open, and my heart literally froze. If there was a baby in the bed, why was it silent, and how long had she been there? I started repeatedly asking Ben why the baby wasn't crying, and I refused to look. I couldn't catch my breath, and I started going in to shock. Ben wasn't looking either and was holding my hand saying, "I don't know." It felt like an hour, but honestly it was probably 10 seconds, before the nurse came rushing back in, with the charge nurse coming after her.
With a shaky voice, near hysteria, I asked Robyn why the baby wasn't crying. I still hadn't looked. She quickly looked up at me and said, "It's ok, only the head is completely out, she is still attached to the cord and placenta, and doesn't need to cry yet." The baby's head was out and face down on the bed. I still was not comforted. Robyn told me to do one small push. I did, and the rest of our baby was delivered.
A few nerve wracking seconds later, I heard a small cry, that slowly got louder, and I literally let out a huge, shaky, sigh of what was beyond relief. Robyn immediately put our little girl on my chest. She didn't put a blanket around her, cut the cord, or do anything. She just put her right on me.
Quick as a flash, our baby grabbed my finger and shoved it into her mouth. The poor little thing had low blood sugar and was starving...because she was living off my diet, and my sugar was low at that point, and I was starving too. I could completely relate, and was very amused by this thing we already had in common, and had been battling together for months now.
At some point during all of this, the charge nurse called the baby a "he." I asked the nurse if our baby was a boy, and they both said they hadn't had time to look yet. I panicked again.
I was in complete shock. We all were. Less than 5 minutes ago, Ben and I were sleeping, and the nurses were at the station or doing their rounds. Now, I was here holding my baby, that could possibly be a boy! Finally, the nurse checked, and our little girl, was still our little girl. Few!
A few minutes later Doctor Sabella, my OB, came rushing in. She looked upset, but in retrospect, I know she was just very, very worried and shocked like the rest of us. She had been in the middle of lunch, just waiting for the call in a couple of hours to come deliver our baby. No one could have imagined I would go from a 7 to delivering our baby in 30 minutes.
She asked us what time the baby was born, and we all just kind of looked at each other. We really didn't know exactly. We assumed that the "shift" I felt was probably when her head was delivered, and luckily, Robyn came in about 5 minutes after that, discovered the baby's head was out, and delivered the rest of her. We all agreed that it was probably around 1:11pm.
She asked the nurse a lot of questions on what happened, and Robyn did a great job explaining that the baby literally just came without anyone knowing. The nurses had been watching my monitors at the station, and everything was perfectly normal. Nothing at all indicated that the baby was ready to be born. Normally, there is a spike in the heart rate or contractions, but nothing had changed at all.
Robyn had done everything right, and had delivered our baby. I prayed numerous times that afternoon and evening thanking God that Robyn was there. Dr. Sabella was happy with her, and let her know that, she was just very concerned. It was a very, very big blessing that I didn't hemorrhage after delivering the baby's head, which was a very real and likely possibility. No one would have known, before it was a very big disaster for me and the baby.
Dr. Sabella was all business for the next 20 minutes. The nurse took the baby back, and Dr. Sabella took extra precaution to make sure I wouldn't hemorrhage, she delivered the placenta (which somehow, in all the shock I was in, I recognized that she had just removed my gestational diabetes along with the placenta, and I mentally saluted it goodbye, ha!), injected me with lots of blood clotting stuff, and spent a lot of time checking every little thing for my safety, and for the baby.
In the main time, it all began to soak in to everyone else. The nurses were able to start chuckling about it, and even commenting and joking on the full moon, and the storm playing a part. Ben and I were able to smile and realize how crazy it really was, and the feeling in the room became that of a place where a sweet baby was born.
I couldn't really even react. I was in such shock. I had literally delivered a baby in my sleep. All of the terrible scenarios we had somehow avoided kept playing in my mind. I had thought the worst, and then received the best, all in about 5 minutes, and now here she was. Here we were.
I tried to soak it all in as I watched Ben cut the cord, and watched the nurses weigh, measure, poke, prod, dress, and take care of our baby. I watched Ben as it all began to register with him. I watched the emotion come over him, the look of love and wonder in his eyes. I saw the tears, and felt his heart absorbing and welcoming our daughter into the world. My love for him was very profound at that moment.
I, on the other hand, just felt numb. I wanted so badly to feel it all, to soak it all in, but I just couldn't. I just couldn't quite get my head around it all.
Here was this moment we have been waiting for, for over 4 years now. Here was our sweet baby that I had already known and felt for so long. Here was the daughter that I have had so many amazing experiences with already. Here was this sweet daughter that had fought such a hard pregnancy with me. We have already begun our journey, and we know each other. She was finally here, safe in our arms. It was a very huge moment, but so huge, that I just couldn't quite get it all in.
Finally, Ben carried our brand new daughter over to me. She was sleeping peacefully and all swaddled up. She had just finished chugging 35 mL of formula!
He asked me what we should name her. We said each name that we liked, while we gazed at her. When we said Molly, it fit, and finally, my heart let something in. It wasn't a huge rush of all of the pent up emotion, but it was a sweet, happy, peaceful feeling that we were holding a piece of heaven.
Her middle name, Grace, was a given. There is no way she would be here without the grace of God intervening more times than we can count. We have been witnesses of this time and time with our sweet daughter, and could never deny it.
Once she had a name, Ben handed her to me and I held our sweet Molly Grace in my arms. My heart melted.
Our family is complete. Our angel is finally here.
Molly Grace Maynard
Delivered by Robyn, RN
Side note: Word spreads fast, and Molly's delivery story has been an entertaining one going through this small hospital. Every doctor, employee, food delivery person, pediatrician, OB, records person, and so on, asks if this is the baby that was delivered in my sleep. We were famous for a moment. Although, now the baby being born in the car at the stoplight right here, has taken front page. Gotta love that full moon and a stormy night!