Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Karinne's Birth Story.

Her birth story, as promised:

I woke up on Wednesday, August 3, 2011, thinking that it was going to be just another routine doctor day—go to my 40-week appointment at 8am and get to work around 9am. Since I normally had these appointments on Thursdays, I even sent a text to one of my coworkers letting him know where I was so he wouldn’t wonder if I wasn’t at work because I was in labor.

My blood pressure was a little high on this particular day—right around 140/90. Not high enough to really worry, but enough so that my doctor decided to send me for a non-stress test to make sure the high blood pressure wasn’t affecting the baby. I was certain everything would be okay, because we’d had quite a few “false alarms” during the pregnancy that turned out to be nothing.

Everything was going fine during the NST until the baby’s heart beat dropped from its rapid swishing to a very slow beat during one of the bigger contractions; I told myself that she’d just moved off the monitor again. I glanced at the screen and it told me that her heart rate was in the 60’s, when it had been in the 140’s. The technician came over to check and had me roll over to one side and started jiggling my belly a little bit. After a couple of minutes her heart rate finally started to come back up. The technician said she thought the baby had probably just rolled onto her cord and that it was probably nothing, but she had to call the doctor anyway.

Dr. Tamucci came down within a few minutes and after looking at the strip of paper that showed the baby’s heart rate and the strength of my contractions (not real labor contractions, mind you) she had kind of a shocked expression on her face. She started off by saying that she really thought this test would be fine and that we'd get to go home. Then she continued: 

“I’m afraid to let you stay pregnant, and I don’t think I can induce you either. If her heart rate is dropping this much with just these little baby contractions, can you imagine what it would do with big-time labor contractions? We need to do a c-section, and we need to do it today.”

My heart dropped. The last thing I’d wanted was a c-section; I’d planned on a totally natural, unmedicated childbirth! Of course I wanted whatever was best for my baby, but I couldn’t help but mourn a little over the loss of something I’d looked forward to for such a long time. Marc was upset too, but more because he didn’t want me to have to go through major abdominal surgery. Once the initial shock passed, I tried to just focus on the fact that I was going to be having a baby in just a few hours. This was around 11am, and the c-section was scheduled for 3pm.

I continued to cry off and on for about an hour; so many emotions were hitting me all at once! I was already dreading the recovery from this surgery, but I kept reminding myself that the goal was a healthy baby, and that’s what I was getting. Then I started to feel anxious, maybe a little scared; I tried not to focus on that part too much. Marc left around 12 to go home and get our bags and continue making phone calls. My doula, Sarah, arrived around 12:30pm—she was just what I needed. She calmed me right down and gave me hand massages to help me relax. Marc came back around 1pm and from then on it was a waiting game. At 2, the anesthesiologist came to place the epidural and around 2:45 they wheeled me back to the OR to get prepped for surgery. I kept getting waves of nausea but thanks to a magic injection of ephedrine it didn’t stick around very long. Dr. Tamucci came in—I hardly recognized her in all her OR gear—and then Marc came in.

Approximately 6 minutes later, at 3:06, I heard the sounds of my baby girl crying which of course made me start crying. The doctor held her up so I could see and so Marc could get some pictures and then they went to wipe her off and wrap her up in a blanket. One of the nurses brought her over so I could see her and touch her and smell her—I thought she was absolutely beautiful. Marc took Karinne back to our room to wait for them to finish closing me up; once they got me back in the room (it was only 3:30!) she was unswaddled and placed on my bare chest with a warm blanket placed over both of us and we laid like that for an hour. She was a little sleepy so she didn’t start breastfeeding during that time, but it wasn’t too much longer and then she was breastfeeding like an old pro.

I experienced such a range of emotions on that day—fear, anxiety, sadness, happiness, excitement, peace—but I wouldn’t trade any of it. You know why? Because it resulted in the birth of my healthy baby, my daughter, Karinne.

holding her up so I could see

love this face


~Lisa~ said...

What a beautiful story - yes, you brought a tear to my eyes.. I love that picture of her smiling... so precious!

Amanda Kiska said...

Oh, Christina! I have tears in my eyes! What a beautiful girl! Congratulations!

Darlin1 said...

OMG...Is she beautiful ? or what? Makes me want to cry....I get to be a first time grandmother in Nov...thanks for sharing!

Michelle said...

Congratulations!! She is beautiful!! Thank you so much for sharing your great story and I am glad you are doing well and you have a beautiful healthy baby!

...sarah. said...

Welcome back to blogging! I love that smug little girl's sleepy smile! =) You know me... give me a call whenever you need anything. I'm right around the corner, you know.

Justawallflower said...

Look at her "ta-da" expression in the first! how great! I also had to have an emergency c-section with my daughter, and I wouldn't trade it for anything, because she was born perfect! Congrats to both of you!

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