The moral to our labor story with Sadie Rae is whatever plans you have go out the window! We were planning on having an all natural Bradley Method birth experience…no drugs, no epidural, lots of relaxation, walking, breathing, and going to the hospital at the last minute simply to deliver and go home. That’s not at all what ended up happening.
NST to L&D
November 6 started out routine in going to the hospital to do another non-stress test because my Dr. was watching my blood pressure for preeclampsia. Every other non-stress test had been non-eventful, so we didn’t think much of it. But when we were there this time, the nurse wasn’t happy with Sadie’s lack of movement and heart rate when I was experiencing contractions. I was sent down to Labor and Delivery for more monitoring.
Not much changed when I was moved to labor and delivery, so my Dr. was contacted. Everyone agreed that for Sadie’s sake, we needed to induce. I started out on my own at 3 centimeters dilated and 60% effaced. I was bummed about inducing because it wasn’t natural and my number one “no no” was pitocin. I just didn’t want to do it. But I knew we needed to get Sadie out healthy, and I surrendered myself to the process. By 1:30 pm I was officially admitted into the hospital and the Pitocin began it’s dripping. Even though I had to be on Pitocin, I made up my mind to still go natural regardless of the horror stories of pain I would endure with the contractions often times going back to back.
Oh, the medication
The first hour or so I didn’t feel any contractions even though I was having them on my own on a regular basis. It wasn’t until about 3:45 pm that I began to feel some intense pain. By now I was doing a lot of moaning and holding on to TJ through contractions for dear life. TJ did such an awesome job as coach in helping me focus, giving me lots of counter pressure, and telling me when the worst was over so I had something to look forward to. We both thought given my prior medical emergencies (which are many) that I would be screaming obscenities despite me being a Godly woman because of the pain….flashback to my wonderful kidney stone experience of 2006. But TJ really did keep me grounded during the most horrible contractions. Plus, I knew I had an amazing end result to the pain to focus on.
My nurse would come in intermittently to check on my progress because she knew we wanted to go as natural as possible with the least amount of people and intervention. When she came in at 6:00 pm and I still hadn’t moved from 3 cm, she started to get concerned. Again, she checked with the Dr. on duty at 9:00 pm and still nothing had changed. What did happen was the Dr. pointed out how incredibly narrow my pelvic arch was. He explained how it might pose a problem in getting Sadie to move down, which would be the reason I hadn’t been progressing at all. Sadie’s heart rate was also starting to show signs of distress.
My Dr. called TJ and gave us two options to talk through. Choice #1 was to take an epidural to relax the muscles and see if I could dilate fully to delivery vaginally. Choice #2, go straight to C-section and get her out. We all conferred that we wanted to try and get me fully dilated and went for the epidural. I was so disappointed about having to get that done too…I had already been through hours of endless pain and even though it was horrible, I knew it was how God designed my body to deal with birth. I was bummed that I wasn’t going to be able to feel much of anything anymore. But again, we knew it was the best choice given the situation and was in the best interest of Sadie’s safe arrival.
So by 12:30 am I had the epidural. Wow does that thing work! At 2:00 am my nurse checked my progress and I was fully dilated to 10 centimeters from my previous 3 centimeters. The prospect of a vaginal delivery was looking up. But Sadie’s head hadn’t descended. At 5:00 am, things were exactly the same. Despite me being ready to push, Sadie’s head was far to high. In addition to that, my urine had turned to bloody indicting that her head was butting up against my bladder in an effort to unsuccessfully move down. This was now not a good situation for me or for Sadie.
By 5:15 am, it was decided that we tried every avenue possible to avoid a C-section, but we needed to get her out. By 5:45 am I was in the OR and getting prepped for delivery. TJ and I were both disappointed that labor did not go anything like we wanted, but by now, we were ready to have our baby out safely.
C-section was surreal. I laid there on the table thinking that in minutes all the hours of pain, months of waiting would be over and I would be a mom to this little girl. I honestly thought a lot about my mom who also went through C-sections with all of us, wondering if the same thoughts went through her head laying there. I thought about what Sadie would look like, and worried about her being ok and hoping this C-section would really end up being the best decision for us.
It went fast. TJ walked in the OR dressed in his scrubs and ready to go. He talked to me, watched the surgery, took pictures, and reassured me the whole way. And then at 6:01 am, our baby girl made her debut into the world. Amazing. No words can describe.
Our trip home from the hospital on Wednesday did not end up being our first. That night I suddenly couldn’t breathe well. When I took a breath in, all there was was a rattling noise. We immediately thought I had post-operative pneumonia like I had developed with my last surgery. We had to get me to the hospital. I had to leave Sadie behind with Nana Kay. It was the most gut-wrenching thing I have had to do because I knew I wasn’t going to see her the rest of the night and she was only 3 days old. It killed me to have to leave her.
Long story short, I ended up on the stroke unit for congestive heart failure. During my last few weeks of pregnancy in having high blood pressure I accumulated fluid. I was also given lots of fluids because of my C-section. Because of my high bloody pressure, my body didn’t get rid of the extra fluid after delivery. As a result, my heart failed and dumped fluid into my lungs. Scary stuff. Within 2 days, they drained over 9 liters of fluid off my body. I went one night and half a day without Sadie. It was one of the scariest things I’ve ever been through. I was so scared I wasn’t going to live to be her mom and that at age 25, I would be leaving TJ alone.
Luckily, I had great medical care by my Dr. and made a full recovery once all the extra fluid was drained off of me.
Back to my baby
Now we are making a slow, but full recovery and enjoying the amazing gift God has given us in our beautiful Sadie Rae. She is stubborn like her Mama, especially when it comes to nursing. She loves skin to skin time with Daddy and makes us laugh with all her little grunts and her amazing alertness at all hours of the night. We feel so lucky that God has entrusted us with her life and love being her parents.