I know it’s been a long while since I posted anything really. There’s been a number of pictures, yet still few and far between for 10 months. I had to take a break from blogging early in the pregnancy as it was hard to be here and not want to shout to the world that I was in fact pregnant. I needed to be quiet about it for awhile. I needed to get past Daniel’s loss milestone. I finally announced at 20 weeks, half baked. Then it was still hard to get past what happened last year, there was a fear that talking about being pregnant and enjoying it would somehow end abruptly and in tragedy like with Daniel. But it didn’t, Daniel looked after his little sister and helped bring her to us. I’ve been wanting to write Amelia’s birth story for awhile…
Not everyone knows, but very early on in Amelia’s pregnancy I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. I was terrified, I knew it meant increased risks, and I felt I already had enough worries with the incompetent cervix diagnosis and all that came with it. There had been no talk of induction due to GD throughout the pregnancy so I was surprised at my 38 week appointment when the doctor said we’d be scheduling an induction for the following week, and this would be my last appointment. Holy moly! Things just got real. I mean I knew I was close enough to the end to understand the reality that she could be here anytime, but now there was an actual date.
The morning of the induction arrived, and Rick and I were up early and getting ready to head in. As we were gathering the bags and heading to load up the car, my phone rang and I recognized that it was the hospital. It was labor and delivery, they were full and didn’t have a bed for me, they would call me at some point and let me know when to come in. They couldn’t give me anything more concrete than that. To say I was devastated was an understatement. I was so ready to meet our little girl, all of the emotions and fears of the pregnancy came to the surface and just sat. I couldn’t let them go. I had prepared myself this past week, I was ready, I knew what was coming, I was excited to finally have her here and leave and the PgAL (pregnant after loss) thoughts behind. I called every couple of hours to ask if they had any beds yet, who cares if they said they would call me, I wasn’t going to be able to just sit around. I sulked in bed a lot, and contractions were peppered throughout the day, although not “timetable” contractions that would cause me to head in on my own.
Finally ready to try and get some sleep, I decided to head to bed about 7ish. About five minutes after crawling into bed I finally received the call I’d been waiting for all day. It was time, we were going in, we were having a baby. Rick was hesitant, and thought I should try and go the next morning. Allowing myself the night to sleep and re-energize. I don’t think there is anything that would have allowed me to sleep that night had we not gone in. So we grabbed our bags, hopped in the car and silently started the drive to the hospital. Once we got there it still took them about and hour to get us into my room. The nerves and the excitement all building. Rick went to grab himself a vending machine meal, and of course that’s when the nurse came to get me.
After a few rounds of 20 questions, I couldn’t believe some of the questions they wanted answered, I mean what did they have to do with having a baby, Rick and arrived and we settled in. Before the nurse started the induction she checked to see if I was dilated at all (this would determine the course of medication for induction) and to our surprise I was already at 3-4 cm. I guess those contractions I had been having during the day were doing something. Had a bed not become available when it did, we likely would have been heading in over night anyways. With this discovery the doctor just ordered pitocin. Shortly after the pit was started Amelia seemed to not like it very much, and they stopped the drip for a couple hours. While my company slept off an on through the night (Rick, mom, MIL and one sister) I managed to stay awake most of the night. I don’t know exactly when I asked for the epidural, but I know I was about 5 1/2-6 cm. While they were manageable, they were getting more intense and I was getting tired. Luckily I had an idea of what to expect after having a spinal when I had the cerclage placed at 14 weeks.
I continued to progress slowly, although Amelia remained high. Eventually the doctor made an appearance again to break my water. At some point this with the pit worked. In a matter of about 75 minutes I jumped from 6 cm to 9 cm. Yay, progress. That much closer to meeting our girl. Excitement filled the room and everyone’s exhaustion seemed to fade away.
But soon the excitement began to fade away as well. We noticed with every contraction her heart rate was beginning to drop. About a half an hour after the 9 cm announcement, the nurse came back in, straight to the monitor and ordered everyone out that wasn’t going to be in the room during delivery. She had also noticed her heart rate dropping and ordered me to slip from side to side to try and get Amelia’s heart rate back up. A quick check revealed I was now officially 10 cm and 100% effaced. However, the moving back and forth made the external monitor hard to continue to track Amelia. They placed an internal monitor to continue to monitor her heart rate while we waited for the doctor to arrive. Those left in the room continued to hear her heart rate drop with every contraction, waiting for it to return to normal. After one contraction her heart rate disappeared, we quickly hit the nurses button and when she entered it was determined that the internal monitor had come off.
The doctor arrived shortly after and immediately suggested a csection. She didn’t like how Amelia’s heart rate continued to drop and felt like I might have a couple of hours of pushing because Amelia was still high. I looked to Rick and back to the doctor and gave her the okay. Immediately things changed and the room became very chaotic. Things seemed to happen so fast and I was okay for about 15 seconds until I heard the nurse shout something about a “crash” csection. She started to unhook monitors, the doctor was on the phone talking to someone about needing the OR now, more nurses were coming in to help and an anesthesiologist was there to administer more drugs. I kept seeing Rick get pushed further and further away from me, down to the foot of the bed. I needed him next to me, I needed to hold his hand, instead I could barely see him.
The tears were flowing through all of this, my mind was racing. I instantly began to think of Daniel after I heard the nurse use the word crash. Everything that happened last year, Could I really lose a second child in a year. I know I needed to believe that they would get me in and everything would be okay, but this was 10 months of fear come to life. Before I knew it the wheels on the bed were being unlocked and we were moving. I was sobbing as I was being wheeled out of the room. Rick managed to take my hand and try and walk by my head, they quickly told him he needed to follow behind them as they pushed me to the OR.
I could hear them telling Rick that there would be a bench for him to sit and wait on before they would get him and bring him in, and as we entered the hall for the OR he was instructed to sit, just like that he wasn’t with me anymore. They moved me onto the operating table and everyone started to position me and put drapes up. Then the anesthesiologist put the most uncomfortable, suffocating, claustrophobic oxygen mask on me. It really felt like I couldn’t breathe. He reminded me that they would test to make sure the additional drugs worked as intended otherwise I would have to be placed under general anesthesia. The tears never stopped, I needed to hear her cry, I needed to know she was okay.
A minute or two later I heard the doctor say “test”. The anesthesiologist asked me if I was okay and I nodded. The drugs seemed to have done their job, and he was now telling me that I would feel a lot of pressure. Boy there was a lot of pressure, it was quite a bizarre experience and feeling. Deep breaths in and out, waiting for what felt like an eternity, it was probably no longer than 90 seconds. I heard the doctor yell “out” but I didn’t hear anything, I didn’t hear any cries. My eyes darted around, trying to find someone to tell me what was going on. Then I heard her, quiet at first but that first cry. The tears started again. Happy tears. Joyous tears. Tears of relief. She was okay, she was alive, she was breathing. It was the most amazing sound i had ever heard. Amelia Forrest Rose Bell was born at 3:52pm on August 1, 2014 weighing 7lbs 3oz and measuring 19 inches long.
Then all of a sudden I had Rick sitting at my head with me. He grabbed a hold of my arm to let me know he was there. As quickly as he was there he was gone. They called him over to the warmer as they worked on her. Quickly they brought her over to me placed her face next to mine. I saw a small little lace and two dark eyes, but couldn’t make out much more. I couldn’t really move my head with that darn oxygen mask. Then just like that they were gone, with a nurse telling Rick to follow them as they went to the nursery.
As the tears settled I listened to the conversation going on around me. I was exhausted and easily felt like I could go to sleep, but I was terrified that I wouldn’t wake up. I learned that a “crash” csection mean Csection Ready After Surgeon Here. I also learned that it only took 9 minutes from “decision to incision”, which did seem fairly impressive all things considered. I would later learn the OR was already prepped and staffed as they were about to perform a scheduled csection, thank goodness for that. After the doctor was done closing me up. She came above the drape and let me know that everything went well. She told me the cord had been wrapped around her neck tightly, twice, and that there had been some meconium. Luckily there were no further complication with the meconium, and as soon as they removed the cord from around her neck she was able to breathe, that’s when I heard her first cry.
I was all alone in recovery, not how I pictured this happening although I knew Rick needed to be with Amelia. Luckily the room was quiet, no one else was in there at the time. Exhaustion was still there, I tried to sleep, but then the phones started ringing and they had occasional questions for me. One of the calls was the nursery, wondering if I wanted to have Amelia come back with me for a few minutes. Initially, and to everyone’s surprise including my own, I said no. I was exhausted, I was shaky, I was terrified I would drop her or fall asleep. I wanted Rick there and they wouldn’t let him come back with her. As soon as the nurse got off the phone I apologized and let her know I changed my mind, I felt terrible, how could I not see her right now. So the nurse went off to get her and I was able to spend a few quiet moments with her.
After they took her back to the nursery I couldn’t keep my eyes off the clock, counting down the minutes until I would be moved up to my PP room and out of recovery. Eventually the time came, and as I was wheeled in, everyone was there. Everyone but Amelia that is, for some reason she was still down in the nursery. In the end, due to a shift change and a nurse that wasn’t very helpful, she didn’t end up getting into the room with us until about 9:30. Everyone was gone, so it was our little family of four, Daniel was there with us.
With all the lack of sleep over the last couple of weeks, I have had plenty of time to think about that day. I am so incredibly thankful that she is here and healthy, and I have moments of sadness about that day too. Experiences I missed out on. I’ve thought a lot about the difference between Amelia and Daniel’s births. I know I can’t compare them, every time will be different and that if I tell God my plans he will laugh. I guess in many ways I was blessed with the birth I had with Daniel, knowing he wasn’t coming home with us.
I have Amelia at home with me, happy and healthy, currently asleep on my chest as I write this. I am blessed for that, knowing how differently things could have turned out. I am blessed she had her older brother to look out for her.