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!