DarceyLivesinFL: Maliyah's Birth story
Wednesday, October 08, 2008 11:32 AM
"Motherhood is such a joy; I wish there were words to describe how
amazing these little people are and what they do to your heart once
There is certainly something to be said for “mother’s intuition.” I said from the beginning of my pregnancy that I thought July 28th was going to be “the day.” My official due date wasn’t until August 21, but I just had the feeling. I went to the OB for a non-stress test, which I had done routinely twice per week starting at 30 weeks due to high blood pressure. For whatever reason, I never passed an NST, which always earned me a trip to Labor and Delivery for continued monitoring and a biophysical profile. I was quickly granted status as a “regular” and had a nice familiarity with the nurses.
When I arrived at the hospital on Monday afternoon it wasn’t a surprise to anyone: not to my husband when I called to let him know, not to my OB who suggested we consider circumventing the office altogether and heading straight to L&D, and certainly not the nurses who triaged or cared for me. But alas, I had “the feeling” that this was going to be my last trip even though I was only in my 36th week.
Initial labs revealed increasing protein in my urine, an indication that my hypertension was progressing to a more serious level of pre-eclampsia. In spite of the fact that the baby was doing just fine according to the biophysical profile, my blood pressure was hovering around 170/110 and I had a pretty killer headache. Those symptoms, combined with the protein in my urine, meant that it was time to get her out.
There was no question that I was going to have a c-section as I had my son via cesarean just 15 months before. Once the decision was made to deliver my baby that evening I started getting nervous. I had “that feeling” again, one that kept telling me something was wrong. My doctor and nurses tried to reassure me that at 36w4d she would likely be completely fine. My husband insisted that I was worrying for no real reason, but my Mommy-Instinct told me otherwise. As I was being prepped for the c-section I kept repeating, “I’m nervous. I’m so nervous.” It was almost a subconscious chant; I just couldn’t shake the bad feeling I had.
We headed back to the operating room and the anesthesiologist administered my spinal which caused a dramatic drop in my very elevated blood pressure. This meant that Maliyah’s blood supply was compromised and she was born in respiratory distress. As soon as she was out of me the operating room was silent; I’m quite sure that the deafening silence is the last thing you want to hear just seconds after your baby is delivered. The silence was broken only by my persistent, “What’s wrong?” and “Why isn’t she crying?” It seemed like an eternity before I got answers and heard that first cry. Maliyah Nicole was born at 8:56 p.m. on Monday, July 28.
After a brief look at my baby girl she was transported to the NICU. My “gut feeling” was confirmed in spite of the fact that this was one time I really, really wanted to be wrong. I waited in recovery with my husband for about two hours until the spinal wore off when the nurse finally took us to see our baby girl. Not being able to hold her was the hardest part of the experience; you just can’t prepare yourself for that. Everything about the NICU environment made her look and seem much sicker than she really was. She was put on a C-PAP machine to help her breathe but by morning Maliyah was off the machine and breathing on her own! About 12 hours after she was born I was able to hold her and nurse her. Daddy arrived with big brother Sammy a few hours later and he got to hold her as well.
She had to stay in the NICU for our whole hospital stay which was the hardest part for me because she was off of all intervention by the morning after her birth. Although I did get to nurse her, bonding was very difficult. I wanted nothing more than to just lie in my bed and relax with her instead of the regimented schedule of feeding and reporting how long she nursed and with what intensity.
In spite of the difficulties we faced as we welcomed this beautiful little girl into the world, we were all able to go home together on Thursday morning. Maliyah was discharged from the NICU without complications. Loading up the car with my 15 month old toddler and my newborn baby and bringing them home was an experience I’ll never forget. We quickly slipped into our routine and it feels like she’s been here our whole lives.
Recovery was more difficult the second time around (probably because I was picking up a 25 pound toddler 12 hours after surgery) but still not a bad experience at all. Sammy is a great big brother, mostly because he’s not too interested in his little sister! Motherhood is such a joy; I wish there were words to describe how amazing these little people are and what they do to your heart once they arrive.
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