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17 March, 2015

Abigail's Story

Our little Abby has turned 5 years old today.  It seems like it was only yesterday that she was born.  I woke up this morning to hear the rain and the wind and it took me back to that morning 5 years ago when we were headed to the hospital to have her.  That morning it was raining and the wind was gusting.   That day was the day I got to hold my precious baby girl in my arms for the first time.  For a long time I have tried to forget everything that happened that day.  It is a day that holds a lot of pain for me, physically and emotionally.  So I have decided to share Abigail's birth story in hopes that by getting it all out my emotions may begin to heal from that day.

Like I said, the morning started out rainy and windy.  We were headed to the hospital at 7:30am so I could be induced.  I was 10 days over my due date and so ready to be done being pregnant.  My mom had flown over to New Zealand to be here for Abby's birth and the time was quickly approaching for her to return back to the States.   So that morning my husband and I had a quick breakfast and went to the hospital.  

When we arrived we met the midwife that would be with me for the delivery.  She was a new midwife so she had a more experienced midwife checking in on her as well.  They got me all set up in the labour and delivery room and she did her checks on the baby.  After a few minutes she called the other midwife over and they talked for a few minutes and she said, "I think your baby is breech."  I had seen at least 555 midwives over my pregnancy and none of them had noticed this.  The more experienced midwife couldn't tell if the baby was breech or not, so they tried to get a hold of the doctor to come in and do an ultrasound.  The doctor was in a meeting and told them to just induce me and he would come and check when his meeting was over. (He didn't believe the midwife because she was new.)  The midwives came in and told me what was going on, but that it was my decision.  Looking back, I wish I had just told them not to induce me, but I can't change any of that now.

Because I had seen so many midwives and none of them had thought the baby was breech, we decided to go ahead with being induced.  The midwives decided just to give me a half dose and see how that went.  I started having contractions only a few minutes after I was induced.  

After the doctor's meeting finished he came in and did an ultrasound.  Guess what?  The baby was breech!  I had already started having contractions, but the doctor didn't seem worried and as he put it, "Babies just don't fall out."  After talking with him and hearing all the risks involved with trying to give birth to a breech baby naturally, we decided to have a C-section.  This was about 9:00 am.  We were told then that I would be going in for surgery at 3:00pm.  Surgery sounded so scary to me.  It wasn't even something I had thought about.  I had never even spent the night in hospital before, let alone had surgery.

After the decision to have a C-section the midwives started to prep me for surgery.  I had to have blood drawn.  I do not like needles and needles do not like me.  A nurse tried a couple of times to find a vein and decided to call in another nurse to help her.  The second nurse finally found a vein and I was relieved that at least that part was over.  About half an hour later another nurse came back and said they had to draw my blood again because the last nurse had put her name where my name was supposed to be.  So again they poked and prodded until they found a vein.  All the while they were doing this I was having contractions.

The day went from bad to very, very bad rather quickly.  The contractions started getting more intense, but because I was waiting for surgery and they were concerned about the baby I had to be strapped to monitors and couldn't get up and walk around or anything.  I was stuck in bed, flat on my back.  I tried to use the gas for the pain, but that made me nauseous.  Finally they gave me morphine and that helped for a while.  After the morphine wore off they couldn't give me more because it was getting close to the time to go in for the C-section.  By this time it was after noon.

During one of the contractions we heard a loud "pop" and my waters broke.  

3:00pm came and went.  More and more contractions.  We heard nothing from the doctor.  The midwife was getting anxious and was pacing the room.  I was in pain and scared.  My husband was so strong for me.  He was there the whole time holding my hand and trying to comfort me.  

Finally they said it was time to head for surgery.  I think it was around 4:00pm by now.  They wheeled me from the maternity ward to the surgical ward.  The whole way there I was in such agony from the contractions.  When I got to the surgical ward the nurse came up to the bed, looked at me, saw I was in labour, and said, "Why are you here?"  

I lost it.  

That poor nurse.  I yelled, no, I screamed, "BECAUSE THE BABY IS BREECH!"  She quickly walked away and started doing some paperwork.  We waited and waited.  We found out later that they couldn't find the anesthesiologist.  More and more contractions.  By this time I couldn't control myself any longer and I was screaming in pain with each contraction.  My husband was so great.  I don't know how I could have handled any of this without him by my side.  The midwife was starting to look more and more worried as time went on.

The anesthesiologist was finally found and I was wheeled into the operating theatre.  My husband got suited up in a gown and stood by my side.  They quickly got everything ready for the C-section.  They had to wait until after I had a contraction and then they sat me up and gave me the epidural.  I was so scared because of how big the needle was, but I didn't feel anything but immediate relief.  My husband said I went from screaming to calm in a matter of seconds.  Within what seems like a matter of minutes they started the C-section, we heard a cry, and the doctor held up our precious little Abigail.  The time was 5:03pm.  They took her off to weigh her and clean her up a bit while they finished with me, and then I got to hold her in my arms.

Even now as I'm typing this I'm overwhelmed with emotion.  Hearing our baby cry for the first time and then holding her in my arms was something that I just don't have the words to describe.  Here was our little girl.  The child we that we had prayed for.  That day did not turn out like I had planned, but our little girl was here and we were in love with her.

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