Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Birth Story, Part 1

She's here! She's here!
(actually a yawn, not a scream!)

I thought for sure I was going to go overdue, but little peanut surprised us and was born one week ago at 39 weeks and 5 days, on Wednesday, August 17th at 6:54pm. When I say surprised us, I really mean surprised us. I don't want to forget any details of her birth, so here they are, the good, the bad, and the ugly!

Over the weekend of August 13th and 14th, baby felt like she was having a party in my belly - moving around more than ever before. On the Monday she slowed down and on Tuesday I noticed almost no movement at all. Somewhere I had heard that babies slow down close to the time of delivery so I figured that labour was pretty imminent. On Wednesday I started to get a bit nervous about the lack of movement and told M that something didn't feel right. He suggested I drink something cold, lay down, and count the number of kicks. I made myself an iced coffee, thinking that the caffeine would give the baby some oomph, plus ate an apple. I layed down for over half an hour and still felt next to nothing. Very strange. At this point I decided to do a bit of googling and found mixed opinions, but mostly people saying that babies should never slow down their movements, no matter how close to delivery they are.

Cue the panic attack! This is when I started seriously getting nervous. My doctor told me from the very beginning that if I ever saw changes in movement, to call her. I'm not sure why it took me a day and a half to decide to do so, but after speaking with her she told me to get myself to the hospital to be monitored. I took a shower, sobbing the entire time because I couldn't stop thinking about getting to the hospital and finding no heartbeat. Waiting for M to get home from work to drive us there was torture! I was very, very scared.

We arrived at the hospital around 2pm and had to wait an hour (how ridiculous) to get hooked up to the fetal monitors. The nurse found the baby's heart beat right away and I burst into tears because it was the best sound I've ever heard! I stayed hooked up the monitors for about half an hour and thought everything was going splendidly. I emailed my mom, my doula, and a friend and told them everything was fine.
M and I watched the monitors and noticed the baby's heart rate was beating around 150 but would go down around 120 after each contraction I had. I think the contractions were actually Braxton Hicks because I could hardly feel them and was in no pain whatsoever. I had three contractions in a row and all of a sudden we watched the baby's heart rate dip below 100. The alarms went off and a minute later there were five nurses and doctors in my room. Then they told me I was going to have a baby by the end of the day.

A doctor came in and did a thirty minute ultrasound where she looked for the baby to perform ten specific things. We sat starting at the screen, silently pleading for the baby to move around. By the end of the half hour the doctor saw only four out of the ten things on her list, including zero fine motor movements.

At this point the doctor basically gave us two choices: 1) have a c-section, or 2) they could break my water and induce labour. The problem with the second option was that the baby was already in distress from my very light contractions and they feared I'd end up having an emergency c-section because the baby wouldn't be able to handle stronger contractions. M and I weighed the options and came to the conclusion that it wasn't worth risking the baby's health and we should go ahead with the c-section.

At first I was seriously pissed. I had done so much research and preparation for natural birth and felt I was really ready for it. I absolutely did not want a c-section for a million reasons - being separated from baby for two hours, the inability to breast feed immediately, the side effects and risks of surgery and the spinal epidural, the recovery associated with the surgery, etc.

I quickly came to terms with having the surgery because I had other things to worry about. Mainly, why isn't my baby moving??? My head was racing with terrible scenarios about what could be wrong with my baby. We tried to stay positive but it was quite an emotional time. I wanted the surgery and I wanted it now! We had to wait for my doctor to get to the hospital but by 6:30pm they were wheeling me into the operating room. I felt like I was on an episode of ER.

And that's where I'll stop for today! The story has a happy ending of course, so nobody panic!


  1. Oh Jill you must have been so stressed! I'm so glad it worked out in the end and now you have a beautiful, beautiful girl! You were right to trust your instincts. Sounds like you were in good hands. C-section isn't the end of the world. You are going to be a great Mom! Can't wait to hear the rest :)

  2. When M texted his dad to say you were at the hospital I called him and I could hear the worry and frustration in his voice and he had me promise I wouldnt post anything on facebook to worry the other grandparents who were en route.

    One set of fretting grandparents was enough :)


    I love happy endings!!

  3. Oh my gosh, I was so worried when I was in contact with Jill in the afternoon and she said she hadn't felt any movement. I was so glad she was going to get monitored but I was a wreck at home waiting until I got the e-mail from her saying that the heartbeat was fine. We had no idea we would be heading to Chicago an hour later. However, M called and said everything was fine but we should head to Chicago because in all likeliness a baby was going to be born that evening. We packed up, took our time, made a few stops and then headed across the border. Not knowing that back in Chicago, Jill was heading for a c-section, we figured we would have lots of time because first babies usually take a long time to deliver.... hmmm... were we wrong!! About 1.5 hours enroute we got a text message from M announcing the baby's birth.... what the heck???? I had to read it twice to make sure I was seeing correctly. Thank you, M for not telling us all the details. I would have been a basket case. I just love being here with them and cuddling the little babe. We are sure going to miss her!! Send lots of pics... do lots of blogs!!!

  4. Geez G, I didn't even know you were preggers - just thought you were bloated.
    Your brother.

  5. LOL GC :P Can't imagine what it must have been like, but I was so excited to get the email announcing Miss M's birth and that everyone was doing well. I am so excited to meet the little one, but look forward to pictures and the upcoming blogs. Sending lots of love from Canada ♥

  6. Congrats to you and M.! You have an amazing little girl :-)

  7. Congratulations on your sweet baby girl!