Posted Thursday, January 19, 2012 3:56 PM
"Sometime during the wait, my baby’s heart rate had dropped dangerously.
I was told that I’d need an emergency c-section."
A bumpy ride
My husband, Derrick, who is
a truck driver, was going to work the Saturday I was 39 weeks pregnant. May
5—my due date—was only six days away, but I felt totally normal, so I decided
to go along with him. At the end of the day, he was trying to drive his truck
over a huge hill. We had no idea how difficult this would be! We went over a
few bumps, and the truck was bouncing like crazy. Suddenly, I felt a sharp pain
in my stomach. Derrick instantly got concerned that I was going into labor. “It
was just one pain,” I said. “I feel fine.”
That night, Derrick and I
went to a friend’s house for dinner—we had a feeling that this would be one of
our last nights out for a while. During dinner, I felt a strong pain in my
back. Thinking I was just sitting in an uncomfortable position, I tried
adjusting myself. But by the time we were heading home, the pains were only
four minutes apart. Shortly after, we grabbed my bag and headed to the
At the hospital
We arrived at the hospital
at 3 a.m. By the time the doctor checked me, I was dilated 9 centimeters, but
my water hadn’t broken, so she broke it for me. She told me to wait an hour to
see if I could make it to 10 centimeters naturally. Seems like smooth sailing, I thought. I began to relax and thought
about meeting my baby boy.
A different kind of bump in the road
When my doctor returned,
however, I had actually gone back down to being only 7 centimeters dilated.
Even worse, sometime during the wait, my baby’s heart rate had dropped dangerously.
I was told that I’d need an emergency c-section. However, I wasn’t numb enough
for the surgery, so I would need to be unconscious. I wasn’t happy about it,
but my only concern was that my baby arrive safely, so I agreed.
Welcome to the world, Derrick!
Derrick was born at 6:36 p.m.
on May 1 and weighed 8 pounds, 2.8 ounces. I was so tired after the surgery
that I could barely keep my eyes open. All I wanted to do was hold my new baby
boy, but since I had a fever, the doctors told me I needed to wait so Derrick
wouldn’t get sick. In the meantime, I could be in the same room as him as long
as someone else was there to hold and feed him. I couldn’t help but be upset
about this—a part of me was worried my baby might not know who I was.
But once I was finally able
to hold him, I knew it was worth the wait. When I held my newborn baby in my
arms, I was speechless and so overwhelmed with joy. I don’t think there was a
single thought in my head that wasn’t about Derrick. I’m so glad my baby boy is
here, and I’m excited to be his mom!
>> Want to share your birth story with TheBump.com? Email Bump Kathleen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted Monday, November 21, 2011 12:36 PM
A (very) early start
I’d been trying to conceive for three and a half years, so I felt especially lucky to have a healthy pregnancy. But when I was 27 weeks pregnant, I experienced some minor spotting and was sent to the hospital for observation. When the nurse checked on me, she found I was already two centimeters dilated, so the physician ordered an ultrasound of my cervix -- only to find it had thinned so much it was no longer measurable. I was having preterm labor! Before I knew what was happening, the labor & delivery nurses rushed in and started giving me IV fluids, antibiotics and magnesium sulfate. I had begun the day merely being observed, but now I was staying in the hospital on strict bed rest. It was frustrating, but my husband and I celebrated each passing day that I stayed pregnant. We knew my little one was slowly getting stronger to prepare for birth!
“You’re going to have this baby today.”
When I was 28 weeks and 6 days pregnant, I woke up at 4 a.m. with steady contractions. I called my nurse into my room, and she immediately got my doctor. Even though it was still really early, my doctor said he couldn’t do anything to stop the contractions. “You’re too dilated,” he said. “You’re going to have this baby today.”
I was brought to Labor & Delivery, and the nurses started to prepare me for the birth. It was a packed house; my husband, both our parents, my OB, four nurses and a five-person NICU team were all there. I was given an epidural, and then everything started to happen really quickly. My contractions were becoming stronger and stronger. I had been increasingly anxious during my stay in Preterm Labor, but now I felt completely panicked and afraid. I even started crying -- I think more out of fear for my baby than from actual pain. I didn’t have much time to be upset, though; my OB swiftly broke my water and I felt the urge to push.
Sophia was born on April 18, 2011, at 3:06 p.m. She weighed 3 pounds, 3 ounces and was 15 1/8 inches long. To my amazement, when she was born, she actually cried! My baby was immediately handed to the NICU team, who warmed and incubated her. Before they brought Sophia to the NICU, however, I was able to briefly hold her. She was so tiny and sick.
Sophia spent the next six weeks in the NICU. We were gradually able to start “kangarooing” with her, which means having skin-to-skin contact, which is good for preemies. We would do this for at least three hours every day, and it became a special bonding time for our new family. We knew that Sophia was nearly able to come home when she was moved from her incubator to her “big girl” bed, a bassinet. She was finally discharged when she was six weeks old -- when I would have been 35 weeks pregnant. Sophia has been doing amazingly well and is surpassing all expectations; she is now four months old and weighs 13 pounds. We love our little miracle and are so happy to have her with us!
>> Do you want your birth story featured on TheBump.com? Email the story of your birth to Bump Kathleen at email@example.com
Posted Friday, November 18, 2011 4:26 PM
An early start
When I was 36 weeks pregnant, I began having contractions at my regular OB appointment. My OB checked on me, but she said that I wasn’t even one centimeter dilated. “You’re not ready yet,” she told me. We scheduled my next weekly appointment, and I left her office and headed to work. After I got there, I was updating files for my upcoming maternity leave when I felt the same low, painful contractions I’d experienced at the doctor’s office. Nervous, I told my supervisor that I needed to go home.
Since I couldn’t go to the hospital just yet, my husband, Ryan, and I stayed busy by organizing the nursery. I helped as much as I could with my huge belly, and the activity distracted me from the pain. After we finished the nursery, I kept cleaning our home. I even organized the medicine cabinet. (Can you say “nesting”!?) Suddenly, I felt a “bubbly” sensation. Did I just wet myself? I wondered. As I walked into the kitchen to tell Ryan, it happened again! I realized that my water had broken. I called my sister, mom, dad and grandma and told them we were heading to the hospital. I’m not ready for this, I thought to myself as we drove away.
“My heart sank…”
At the hospital, the nurse prepared us for every possible thing that could go wrong with having a premature baby. My heart sank when she mentioned that he might be unable to breathe on his own—in which case he would need to be life-flighted to a hospital with a NICU. “Preemie boys typically don’t do as well as preemie girls,” she added. I knew it was her job to prepare us for the worst, but she scared me to death.
Since my contractions weren’t becoming more regular, I was moved to Labor & Delivery at 9 a.m. and given Pitocin to speed things along. My family (including my sister, Beth, who was also pregnant) arrived at 10 a.m. At that point, I was feeling more comfortable. The nurses continued to monitor my baby and, luckily, everything seemed okay! I even declined the epidural because I didn’t want to potentially slow down my labor. My family took turns holding my hands to help me breathe through the pain.
Time to push!
At 3 p.m., I was dilated four centimeters and my contractions were becoming increasingly painful. By now, I was more than ready for the epidural! I had been awake for over 24 hours, I was beyond exhausted, and my pain tolerance was going down the drain, so I got one. At 3:45 p.m., the midwife checked on me and said I was 9.5 centimeters dilated and fully effaced. Success! I couldn’t believe I had gone from four centimeters to 9.5 in just over an hour. Suddenly, the room transformed: nurses rushed in, equipment was brought in, and everything was finally set up for my delivery! It was go time! They lowered my Pitocin and told me it was time to push.
It was challenging to push correctly without being able to feel the lower half of my body because of the epidural. Ryan and my mom held my legs while my friend took care of my oxygen mask. The nurses lowered the ceiling mirror so I could see what was happening; there were some not-so-pretty parts, but I guess that’s all part of the experience!
Welcome, Eric Ryan!
Finally, with one last push, Eric Ryan entered the world at 4:34 p.m. He weighed 4 pounds and 10 ounces. He started crying -- and that meant he was healthy! I immediately began sobbing with joy. They laid Eric on my chest, and all I could think was, “He is the most beautiful thing in the world.” Ryan cut the cord, and we kissed our son for the first time. My husband and I had made a beautiful baby boy together -- Eric was finally here with us. I was finally a mom and my life was changed forever!
>> Want to share your birth story with TheBump.com? Email the story of your birth to Bump Kathleen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted Thursday, October 06, 2011 5:16 PM
An early start
The night before I gave birth was a very low-key evening. I was home alone while my husband, a fireman, was at work. I remember wondering if my baby—who had been breech since I was 20 weeks pregnant—would ever flip. I wish I could hold him right now, I kept thinking. But then I’d remind myself, Well, not now. I’m only 34 weeks pregnant!
The next morning, my husband and I were getting dressed when I felt a gush of water between my legs. “My water just broke!” I screamed. Instantly, I doubted myself. Maybe I just peed, I thought. How embarrassing would it be to go all the way to the hospital for that?! But when my husband saw the water, he immediately got our belongings together for the hospital. That’s when it hit me—this was too early for my baby to come. As we left the house, I was so nervous I started to cry.
At the hospital, my doctor and perinatologist decided that I should have a c-section that day, since the longer I waited, the greater my risk of infection. Before the surgery, I stayed busy by calling my boss and emailing on my BlackBerry. Now, I realize how ridiculous that must have seemed to the nurses! Despite the contractions, IVs and doctor visits, I was conducting my day like I was still in the office. I guess I was having a tough time realizing what was really happening.
While I waited, a neonatologist explained what might happen during my delivery and afterward. “Thirty-four weeks is still very early,” she said. “There could be a lot of complications.” She said I shouldn’t expect my baby to cry when he was delivered and that my husband wouldn’t be able to cut the umbilical cord. Hearing this was scary and finally made reality set in.
Welcome to the world, Nathan!
At 6 p.m., I was finally taken to the operating room. I didn’t feel any pain on the spinal block or even during the surgery. When the OB lifted my son out of me, he gave the loudest cry I’d ever heard! Nathan Charles weighed 5 pounds, 13 ounces, and was 18.5 inches long. He was doing well, so my husband was able to cut the umbilical cord before Nathan went to the NICU.
I held Nathan for the first time the next day. He seemed so small in my arms, but it was amazing how much better I felt to be able to touch my baby boy. Nathan came home five days later, after four days in the NICU and another day in pediatrics. We’re truly fortunate to have such a healthy and thriving baby. Doctors sometimes worry about preemies like Nathan meeting their milestones, but Nathan has not only met his milestones—he's surpassed them. He’s surprised everyone! He’s my little fighter, and I’m so happy to be his mom.
>> Want to share your birth story with The Bump? Email Bump Kathleen at email@example.com
Posted Thursday, October 06, 2011 5:11 PM
A rocky start
I went to the hospital to be induced on October 12, when I was 40 weeks pregnant. I wasn’t too nervous; I’d had a normal and healthy pregnancy, and I was so excited to finally meet my baby! My mom and my fiancé accompanied me to the hospital, where I was given Cervidil to start the induction and then an epidural about 12 hours later. When I woke up the next morning, I chatted with my family, did my makeup and calmly watched my contractions on the monitor. At 11 a.m., my doctor announced, “Well, we should have a baby by 3 or 4 p.m. today!” But when 4 p.m. came and went, the doctor returned and noticed that I hadn’t made any progress at all. Then she realized that one of my nurses had mistakenly turned down my dosage of Pitocin, which was meant to help induce my labor. To my frustration, I was only dilated 9 centimeters. I needed to be at 10 centimeters to start delivering the baby. My epidural was starting to wear off, and I was starving, shaking and in so much pain.
Time to push!
Finally, at 11:30 p.m., it was time to start pushing. After an hour, the doctor said my baby was in distress and that she’d have to do an emergency c-section. I was worried, but also relieved; at that point, I’d been in labor for 30 hours. I was ready to be done—and holding my baby in my arms.
Once I was in the OR, all I remember is feeling a little tugging and then waking up in recovery. When I woke, my fiancé told me that Anthony Joseph was born at 12:40 a.m. But my fiancé was crying—and they weren’t tears of joy. He said there were major complications and that the NICU team was working on our baby. “He wasn’t breathing,” he told me. What does this mean? I wondered. My fiancé went upstairs to be with our son while I waited in the recovery room. I was so nervous and scared.
Beating all the odds
I soon learned that my son had been diagnosed with Group B strep, meconium aspiration syndrome, a collapsed lung, pneumonia, sepsis, a heart murmur and anemia, so he couldn’t come home for a couple of weeks. Those days were scary and long, but we had the most amazing NICU team caring for him. When we were worried that Anthony wouldn’t be home in time for Halloween, one very special nurse dressed him up as a pumpkin! She took pictures and posted them by his bed to surprise us when we visited him the next day.
Our little fighter came home on October 30 after being in the NICU for 17 days. Our son is a miracle; he beat all the odds when there were so many against him. He was born fighting—and he won! Now he’s a perfectly healthy 10-month-old boy who enjoys crawling on the floor and eating everything in sight. He loves to cuddle, be tickled and play peekaboo. He’s the best son we could’ve asked for, and we are truly thankful to have him with us!
>> Want to share your birth story with The Bump? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted Thursday, October 06, 2011 5:03 PM
Google speeds things along
On June 24, I was 2 centimeters dilated, and I was ready to do just about anything to get my baby out. All of my Google searches produced one answer: sex. My seduction method consisted of looking at my husband and saying, “Please get this baby out of me!” It was uncomfortable, and I was half crying, half laughing the whole time. But apparently it worked! At 3:30 a.m., a little “gush” woke me up. Did I just wet my pants? I wondered. But it felt different. I reached over and tapped my husband. “Um, honey,” I said, “I think my water broke.” He jumped out of bed like a dad on a sitcom and ran into the living room, tearing everything apart to look for our doctor’s number.
Taking my time
My husband called a cab to bring us to the hospital. While we drove, we hit every pothole along the way. Meanwhile, I stared out the window, thinking about how one day I would tell my daughter about this early-morning ride through the empty city. That’s when the contractions started.
Slower than expected
I’d expected a cramping feeling for the contractions. Instead, I had a sensation in my lower stomach like someone was punching me—hard! But when we got to the hospital at 5 a.m., I was still at 2 centimeters, so the doctor said we could go home or go for a walk. We went down to the lobby and timed contractions. Around 9:30 a.m., the contractions were closer together, so we went back upstairs. They checked me, and I’d barely dilated at all—I wasn’t even at 3 centimeters! Regardless, I was on all fours clutching the bed, in a lot of pain. A wonderful nurse brought me to the shower, hoping the water would make me feel better. Once we were there, I started throwing up, and she actually clapped! While I looked at her, wondering if she was crazy, she explained that throwing up generally means you’re fully dilated.
Here comes Camryn!
But she was wrong: I was barely 5 centimeters dilated! I was given an epidural, and at 5:15 p.m. I was finally fully dilated and ready to start pushing. The doctor instructed me to hold my breath and push during each contraction. Holding my breath felt unnatural, so I secretly breathed while pushing. When the doctor said my baby’s head was visible, I had one very pressing question: “Does she have hair?” I asked. Everyone laughed, and the nurse assured me that she had lots of hair. It was 5:51 p.m. on June 25, and Camryn Marie was finally born! She was 8 pounds, 2 ounces, and 21 inches long. It was love at first sight, and I am so excited to be Camryn’s mom!
>> Want to share your birth story with The Bump? Email Bump Kathleen at email@example.com.
Posted Friday, September 16, 2011 3:54 PM
“Guess what? You’re having this baby today!”
Just a feeling
When I woke up on June 15, I felt a little weird. It was nothing major, and I assumed that the long walk I’d gone on the night before had something to do with it. I was 36 weeks pregnant, and I had a doctor’s appointment scheduled for that morning. I wasn’t worried at all -- I pictured my doctor telling me that everything was fine. At work, I told my coworkers that I felt strange. “It’s just in your head,” they assured me. Yeah, I thought, they’re right.
I arrived at the doctor’s office at 9:30 a.m. Since my baby was breech and wouldn’t turn, I knew I’d have to schedule a c-section. My doctor and I agreed to set the surgery for July 5. Even though thinking about the c-section made me nervous, I was excited to be choosing my baby’s birthday! Afterward, I told my doctor that I felt “a little funny,” but it was nothing too serious. The week before, I’d barely been 1 centimeter dilated, so we thought I’d be around the same this week. I remember my doctor’s amused face as she inspected me. “Surprise! You’re 4 centimeters,” she said. She told me to go to the hospital to be monitored and said I would most likely get sent home in a few hours.
“I’m not ready!”
I called my husband at work as I left the doctor’s office and explained that I was going to the hospital. He wanted to come along, but I told him no. “That would be pointless,” I said. “I’ll be home in a few hours.” He said okay and asked me to keep him posted. After that, I called my mom, who said she wondered if I’d have the baby today. “I can’t,” I told her. “I’m not ready!” I didn’t have my bag packed or my clothes washed, and I hadn’t even read the delivery chapter in my pregnancy book! Even though I’d been calm at the doctor’s office, now I started to panic.
While I was on my way to the hospital, my husband called back and said that his female coworkers had told him to leave to be with me. I was so thankful for those women! Once we arrived, the nurses made me sit in a wheelchair, but I refused and kept telling them, “I’m not in labor!” They wouldn’t listen. Instead, they brought us to Labor and Delivery and hooked me up to machines. I had a “weird” feeling that I might be having contractions, but I’m embarrassed to admit that I didn’t fully understand what was going on with my body. When my doctor arrived, he said, smiling, “You’re 6 centimeters dilated, and look -- there’s your bloody show. So guess what? You’re having this baby today!”
Into the OR
I couldn’t believe it. My husband asked the doctor if there was time to run home and get the camera, but the doctor said no; if he left, he’d miss it! “Your baby is coming out within the next hour and a half,” he said, patting my shoulder. We started calling our family to tell them that I was going into labor, but before we knew what was happening, the nurse returned and asked me if I was ready. “No!” I responded. My husband held my hand as we walked into the OR.
In the OR, they put in the spinal block and laid me down. The room was freezing, and I remember anxiously looking up at the ceiling, waiting to see my husband’s face again. Before I knew it, the surgery had begun. It was bizarre -- I could feel tugging and pulling, but no pain. Finally, the doctor said, “Here we go!” My husband held my hand tightly and watched as they pulled out my baby’s feet, then his torso, then finally his head. But he wasn’t crying. I was scared. Why isn’t my baby crying? I thought. Is he ok? How are his lungs? He’s early; is he going to have to go into the NICU?
Welcome to the world, Jasper!
But then they carried him over to me, and there he was -- perfect, wide-eyed and so beautiful. He was taking it all in, and he barely cried when they suctioned his nose and mouth. Jasper Evan Schmitt was born at 2:30 p.m. and weighed 5 pounds, 12 ounces, and was 19.5 inches long. Despite being a month early, he was healthy, with no breathing problems, and he had fully formed lungs -- which I consider a huge blessing. He was skinny after the delivery, but since then, he’s gained weight and now is a healthy 9 pounds! He’s my sweet baby boy and the love of my life.
> Want to share your birth story? Email it to Bump Kathleen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted Tuesday, August 23, 2011 10:27 AM
“‘Okay, with the next contraction, I want you to push,’ he said. I couldn’t believe it -- I was pushing already!?”
Getting everything -- even the dishes -- ready
On Wednesday, June 22, 2011, at 3:50 a.m., I woke up to a gush of water between my legs. My first thought was that it was my amniotic fluid, but I wanted to make certain. When I got out of bed, sure enough, it kept coming and coming. Right away, I called my husband, Thomas, a cop who had left for work 20 minutes earlier. “You better come home -- my water just broke,” I said when he picked up. “Really?” he asked. “Are you sure?” I said I was 100 percent sure. He said he was leaving and quickly hung up the phone.
At the time, I was 37 weeks pregnant, so I thought I had at least three more weeks before the baby would come. I hadn’t even packed my bag yet! Luckily, I did have my baby’s bag packed -- and we only live two minutes from the hospital, so I didn’t have to rush too much. I showered, got dressed, did my hair and makeup, and packed my bag. It only took Thomas 10 minutes to get ready, and he even did some dishes while he waited for me. We took one last picture of me and my baby bump before we headed out the door to the hospital.
We arrived at the hospital at 5:10 a.m. and got settled in. By 6 a.m., I was hooked up to the monitors and having mild contractions every six minutes or so. This was an important day, not just because it was the day I would be 37 weeks pregnant and, therefore, considered full-term, but also because it was the day my doctor would be back from vacation. I remember telling my baby the night before, “Okay, buddy, you just have to make it through at least one more night, and then you’re safe to come whenever you want!”
A nurse called my doctor and told me he’d come in around 9 a.m. to check up on me, but in the meantime, he said to start me on Pitocin since I was only 1 centimeter dilated and that would help speed things up. At 7:30 a.m., they started me on Pitocin. My contractions were still pretty painless, coming in at around 3 to 4 minutes apart. My doctor came in at 9 a.m.; he checked my cervix and said I was dilated 1 to 2 centimeters. They upped the administration of Pitocin a little more, and now I started to feel the contractions. They still weren’t terrible -- I was able to have visitors and could hold a conversation. By noon, I was dilated 4 to 5 centimeters and felt glad that at least the pain I was feeling was getting me somewhere.
A moment of worry
By my second exam with the doctor at noon, the contractions were so painful that I was ready for the epidural. The doctor dialed down the Pitocin dosage so my contractions would become milder while I was getting the epidural. Thankfully, the anesthesiologist was right outside my door, so I didn’t have to wait long for relief. By about 1 p.m., I was in heaven! No pain! I got pretty tired and almost fell asleep, but I wanted to stay awake because I had visitors. Soon, my baby’s heart rate slowed for some reason, so I was put on oxygen and told to lie on my side for a little bit.
It worked at first, but then my baby’s heart rate decreased again a bit later. I started to get worried, and I was in tears. Needless to say, my heart rate was increasing because I was so worried. Rolling on my right side didn’t help this time, so they rolled me onto my left. Within seconds, the room was full of nurses trying to get my baby’s heart rate up. I thought I was going to need a c-section to get him out. The nurse put her hand between my legs and said, “Call the doctor and get him down here now!” I looked at Thomas and could tell that he was extremely worried.
Then, the nurse explained, “I’m going to leave my hand here until the doctor gets here and is ready for the delivery,” she said. The delivery!? What!? I thought. I was fully dilated, and my baby was coming! My doctor, who had been at home by this point, ran into the room -- he had made it back to the hospital within five minutes! As he checked on me, he said, “Okay, with the next contraction, I want you to push.” I couldn’t believe it -- I was pushing already!? With the first contraction, I gave three pushes, and they helped me feel the baby’s head with my hand. Crazy! I thought. With the next contraction, I gave two more pushes, and that was it -- he was out! Thomas cut the umbilical cord, and they placed my baby boy, whom we named Landon, on my chest. It was instant love; we couldn’t have imagined a more perfect little boy. Our lives have been changed forever, and we can’t wait to see what our little one has in store for us!
> Want to share your birth story? Email it to Bump Kathleen at email@example.com.