Our perfect little angel baby is 1 whole week old and what an eventful week it’s been! I spend most every day reflecting on her delivery and to be honest there isn’t a lot that I can tell you about it. My husband is probably the one who needs to write this story and maybe one day we’ll get him to do that. But nonetheless, here’s my side of the story…
I’ve always felt pretty aware that birth is an unpredictable thing. There’s no real way to control how it’s going to go. The idea of having this structured “birth plan” has just been crazy to me. I went in expecting the unexpected and still I never could have imagined things happening the way that they did. I had such an easy and healthy pregnancy. Complications during birth weren’t anything that we needed to be over concerned with.
Last Tuesday morning I had my weekly appointment with the OB and everything was perfect. I was progressing well and she predicted that Sloane would be here by the weekend. Of course Alex and I were elated to hear that news. Although it did set in and the paranoia of being on water-breaking watch began. She said it would be soon but I didn’t expect it to be that day.
Sure enough it was! Around 8:00pm we headed into the hospital to confirm that my water had broken. It did and we settled into our little labor and delivery suite. We called all of our family and they headed our way.
By midnight I was ready for an epidural and had consumed more orange flavored popsicles than anybody would consider healthy. Mr. anesthesiologist came in to make my life a lot easier but unfortunately it didn’t work out that way.
After an hour in the epidural still hadn’t helped anything. I was still feeling every contraction from start to finish and had no relief. They guessed that this could have been because of how fast labor was progressing. Mr. Anesthesiologist returned and gave me a little more of the medication in hopes that would help my discomfort and it did. Within minutes I was feeling great.
My nurse came in and checked on us and this puts us up to around 2am. Alex and I decided to take a little nap before things really started.
And that is basically where my story stops.
I vaguely remember different glimpses of the rest of the night and when people that were in the room talk about what happened it all sounds familiar.
I remember a light being shined in my eyes. I remember a room full of doctors and nurses telling me to stay awake. I remember Alex holding me on one side and a nurse on the other. I remember the OB holding up Sloane, telling alex to cut the cord, them laying her on my chest, and a sweet little NICU nurse saying that it was time for them to take her away.
Multiple others have informed me of the events of the night so this is essentially what happened:
When Alex and I laid down to nap I went unresponsive. He woke up about 30 minutes later to check on me and I was 100% out of it. Thankfully Alex is a doctor in training and knew what to check for. Praise God for having a husband in medicine.
He immediately called for my nurse and everyone ran in for an emergency delivery. Normally with me being unconscious they would have done an emergency c-section but Sloane had already decided that she was on her way out. They had no choice but to go on with the delivery and thankfully this process only lasted about 30 minutes. However Alex would say that he’s sure it lasted hours longer than that.
Immediately after she was born I started becoming slightly more lucid. So I do remember alex cutting the cord, Sloane crying, and her being laid on my chest. I guess if I had to pick what I got to remember from my child’s birth those would be the three events that I chose.
Sloane was a trooper through it all. Since she was on her way out on her own without much assistance at first she inhaled amniotic fluid which caused her O2 to drop and a patch of fluid on her lungs. She got to say hello and then immediately had to be taken to the NICU. *cue the nurse saying “it’s time for me to take her away now”*
The frustration I remember feeling is unreal. I remember everyone yelling at me to stay awake and being mad because I thought that I was awake. I was trying to talk but couldn’t and that made me mad. I wanted to hold her and miss NICU lady took her away and that was infuriating but my body wouldn’t let me express any of this. I don’t have any real memory of the night until the next morning.
Basically through all of it my husband is my hero.
Had he not woken up when he did, neither me or Sloane would be here. At multiple points throughout this process he thought that his wife and daughter were dying and that’s a feeling that I can’t even imagine. He’s an absolute rock, though.
After they took Sloane back everything was a blur. Alex was in and out all morning. I kept having him run to the NICU to take pictures of her so I could see her. I was still recovering form whatever kind of spell that I had so I wasn’t allowed to get out of bed much less leave the labor and delivery room.
I’d say around 9ish I was once again fully aware. Once my epidural wore off they let alex take me back in a wheel chair to actually meet her and that I remember every second of. The nurse in the NICU at the time handed her to me and I just cried.
There were SO many fears. I was scared to go and see her. I was going to be in a room full of babies and I couldn’t tell you which one was mine. I was an absolute wreck. We didn’t get skin to skin, no cuddling, none of those sweet first moments everyone raves about. I was sooooo paranoid that she wouldn’t be able to nurse because there was no bonding. Thankfully it wasn’t an issue. She ate like a champ once she was tube-free.
Sloane was off of her oxygen by that afternoon. Her nurse said that she pulled it out all on her own so they assumed she didn’t want it. She had one episode after they took her off the oxygen when her levels dropped which was followed by her coughing up the fluid that she swallowed which was actually a great sign. She was just correcting the original problem.
As for what caused my unconsciousness, no one really knows for sure. Every medical professional in that room swore that they had never seen anything like it. They decided that it must have been a reaction to the epidural. It could have been because of how fast the labor process was progressing, the amount of medication that I received through it, or that the medication somehow leaked to the rest of my body rather than staying in my lower back.
Regardless, I basically overdosed. The light I remember being shined in my eyes was them checking to see if I had a stroke, they contemplated giving me Narcan. What we learned here is that I am not someone who can handle experimenting with opioids.
Different doctors and nurses popped into our room the next day and always started with “so do you remember me?” The truth is I almost did. They all had familiar faces but I couldn’t pin point exactly who they were or why they knew me.
We spent our few days in the hospital running back and fourth between our room and the NICU. We tried our hardest to nap between feedings and visitors. We were beyond exhausted.
I do credit her being in the NICU with my speedy and perfect recovery though. I was up and running around right away. We probably made 30 trips each day between our room and the NICU. They seemed to be a mile apart because man I was hurting.
Sloane had to have been held by 30+ doctors and doctors-to-be in her few days in the hospital. Perks of being friends with so many medical students. It’s comforting to know that we have a list of the most qualified babysitters out there.
I was discharged on friday morning but Sloane had to stay until Sunday just for supervision. We stayed until bed time on friday and then came back again in the middle of the night to feed her. Going home without her on friday was probably the hardest thing that we’ve done. We just had to keep reassuring ourselves that we could go back and get her first thing in the morning. I have such a respect for parents whose children are in the NICU for even longer than just a few days. I genuinely don’t know how you do it.
So here we are! Heading home with a precious, perfect baby girl. We could not be more thankful to Jesus for taking such good care of us. We have soaked in all the newborn cuddles and love this past week.
Thank you so much to everyone who has called, texted, visited, brought us food, and just checked in on us in our first few days settling in at home. We appreciate you more than you know!