I debated whether I should write this. Whether I should tell this story. But then I realized I’ve shared every part of my story with you all. The good, the bad, the ugly, and now the downright scary.
Nick and I didn’t realize just how serious our c-section was until after the fact, when we were talking about what happened with our moms. Or at least I didn’t. I hadn’t heard his perspective of what happened and all I can say is that I am happy I didn’t know all of it until after the fact. Because I don’t know if I’d have been okay in the middle of it.
But let me back up a little. I want to tell you Gabriel’s birth story, but it starts well before September 9th.
** The pictures above were how it started --> how it's going now **
This pregnancy was a surprise. I spent it full of waiting and hope. Partial waiting for the other shoe to drop and have something happen, and partial hope that everything would turn out exactly as it should. Right up to induction and delivery.
I never even shared with Nick that I was terrified of delivery and what could happen. But I prayed for a safe and healthy delivery and didn’t focus on what could go wrong. I wanted to focus on the good and what we would have after he was born.
But I was still terrified. The unknown will certainly do that to you. And goodness knows we had NEVER made it this far in any of our previous pregnancies. My favorite number is 7 so I guess it all worked out that this was my lucky number 7th pregnancy.
After 41 weeks of pregnancy, Gabriel still didn’t want to be born. The induction was scheduled for September 8th. And when we got to that date, it was a hurry up and wait for a phone call that they had a bed and were ready for me.
We got to the hospital around 5:30p and started the process of registering, answering all the questions, getting prepped, figuring it all out…which believe me, is a PROCESS. It was a lot before the doctors even came in to check where I was to begin with.
I was still only 2cm and not effaced at all. Yep – he was happy right where he was.
So finally, around 9:25p, they FINALLY got the actual induction process started. I won’t go into too much detail, but they basically inserted a balloon and filled it with water to get the contractions started and dilate my cervix.
It didn’t take long before I was having contractions and cramping, which lasted roughly two hours. I started out lying in bed, breathing through each contraction. I ended up getting up and moving around, bouncing on a HUGE exercise ball, using Nick to lean into, and just reminding myself to relax and breathe…you know, one of the hardest things to do when you’re in pain.
Around 11:45p, the cramping had finally settled down so I stood up to see if the balloon would fall out, and I felt warm liquid leaking down my leg. I looked down and there was clear liquid with a little blood on the floor. I said to Nick, “Uhhhh. I’m leaking.”
He called the nurse, who confirmed my water broke. She pulled the balloon out and there was a big gush. Definitely the most interesting feeling I’ve ever had. At this point, I was at 3 1/2-4cm, 50% effaced. So progress was made!
The next step was supposed to be starting me on Pitocin, but I started having contractions every 2 minutes or so on my own. From midnight to 4am, the contractions were pretty regular every 2 minutes, and the pain was steadily increasing so something had to be happening…right?
Well, at 4:15a, I was still only at 4cm, so they started the first dose of Pitocin. I can honestly say I was a little disappointed.
At 730a, they upped the Pitocin, and of course, contractions were continuing. It felt like I really never got a break.
At 1110a, I was still only at 4cm, but 70% effaced. So at least it felt like we were getting somewhere.
However, at 120p when they checked me again, I was 5cm dilated, 80% effaced. And the pain was no longer bearable. I finally asked for an Epidural. As much as I wanted to try it without medication, I could feel myself tensing up with each contraction and I know that makes the process a whole lot worse.
After receiving it, I was finally able to relax a little and sleep for an hour or two…the first sleep I’d had in 24 hours. I didn’t realize how much I needed it until that point.
And now for the not so fun part. When we realized Gabriel wasn’t reacting the greatest to my contractions.
At 315p, the nurse came in and told us Gabriel’s heart rate was dropping after each contraction so they stopped the Pitocin (I was still having contractions every 2 minutes and they wanted to give him a break and a chance to recover). And unfortunately, I hadn’t progressed any farther from 5cm, 80% effaced. Between then and 515p, they moved me in to different positions multiple times in an attempt to get his heart rate back up after each contraction. They were monitoring him very closely for a potential c-section if he wasn’t able to get back to where he should be. We were worried, but the doctors and nurses finally got me into a position where he stabilized and we figured everything looked good.
At 515p, I was getting there…finally at 8cm, 90% effaced. And at 530p, I started feeling pressure like he was getting ready to come! They even started setting up the delivery table! I thought for sure it was going to be go time soon! I even asked how I was supposed to know how hard I was pushing with an epidural (btw, not having feeling in your legs and nether regions is a really interesting experience).
At 630pm, I was at 9.5cm and I truly thought we would be having our baby boy any time soon. However, at 715p, there was a shift change and the doctors were very concerned about Gabriel’s heart rate. After each contraction, he was dipping down into the 80s and was taking awhile to recover. This was way lower than before, and once again, they tried moving me multiple times to see if it would help. It apparently never did, because the next thing I know, we were being prepped for a c-section.
Once they decided the c-section route, it was go time. I mean, I was on all 4s as they rolled me down to the OR and the anesthesiologist was already administering meds as they were rolling me over onto the table. I was barely settled and the curtain up before they were dumping the iodine on me and were cutting into me…I could hear that everyone else in the room was barely ready too. That’s how concerned they all were about him. The nurses went running down to get Nick and they came running back. They were already pulling Gabriel out, or working on it, when Nick came in. He was born at 7:43p (barely 30 minutes after deciding they needed to do the c-section).
Nick told me he thought the worst when they came running back in to get him because I’d barely been gone two minutes. He said Gabriel was white and pretty lifeless and floppy and they took him right away to suction everything out of his airways. He had pooped and had swallowed a bunch of that and amniotic fluid so they had to get it all out and then put him on oxygen. He was having issues breathing on his own and regulating his temperature. They had to monitor him in the special care nursery so they wheeled him over to me so I could at least say hello before they whisked him away.
We found out after the fact (like the following Tuesday after we were home) he wasn't breathing when he was born. His APGAR score upon being born was a 2. They had to resuscitate my sweet boy, which is something I'm glad I didn't know at the time. And I hate that Nick had to see and know and go through it without me.
I don't know if it would have made it easier or harder knowing that information in the hospital. But finding out about it through reading his paperwork was a shock. Nobody had ever told us that...or at least me.
Back in the hospital, I wasn’t able to see him again until 5am the next morning. That was the first time I was able to hold him too. Being separated from him was the hardest thing I've ever done. And I was back and forth to the nursery every chance I got...even if it made the recovery from the c-section that much worse.
Nick and I had a birth plan, but we were flexible with how he arrived. We just wanted a healthy delivery and our miracle baby. To say I’m a little disappointed that I missed out on all the firsts with him would be an understatement. I missed the initial skin to skin contact, that initial bonding moment, and Nick being able to cut the cord and all that entails.
But…I’m insanely happy that he is here. That he’s ALIVE. And that we’re home…that he was only in the special care nursery for a little over a day before he was able to come down into our room. That he is healthy and nursing and breathing on his own.
I wouldn’t change our pregnancy story…and I wouldn’t change his birth story, because it’s ours. It was hard and terrible and scary as shit, but it ended exactly how it was supposed to. With our baby home in my arms…even if he never wants to be put down.
Our miracle baby. From the first moment I found out I was pregnant to his birthday on September 9th. He truly is our miracle baby. And I will cherish every single moment I have with him…even if I’m still in awe that he is mine…that he came from me…that I am his momma.
Thank you, God, for this beautiful gift. And thank you all for reading this far, if you’ve made it this far. Give your littles extra kisses for me tonight. They truly are gifts.
Have a beautiful week!
With love and wellness,