Tuesday, January 3, 2017

A birth story - Part 3 (Delivery)

Here is Part 1 and Part 2

As I had told you before, I felt intense, and I mean intense urges to push. The doctors had given me the green light and everyone gathered around my bed.

I'll be honest. For me, pushing and the actual delivery had nothing on the intense contractions I was experiencing - even with an epidural (keep reading, I'll tell you why later)!

I pushed for about forty - fifty minutes when we noticed that the baby's heart rate was going from the 140's to the 60's. His heart rate fluctuated between 60 to 120. Meanwhile, my blood pressure shot up (more than the normal), when all day it had been very, very low. The nurse thought that maybe I was developing pre-eclampsia during delivery. I needed to get him out. Now. 

At this point, I was in a mental zone that is very difficult to describe. Everyone in the room sort of disappeared and it was just me and my baby. I remember looking at the ceiling, a very blurry ceiling, and yelling (in Spanish), "Lord, I need you to come right now and help me, I can't do this by myself!".

"10...9...8...7...6...5...4...3...2...1...Push! Look, look at your baby being born!", everyone (or so) yelled, "Look at him, one more push!". And out he came. 

Thomas Gabriel. Born on his due date, just an hour after I started pushing.

He was born a bluish-purple color, not breathing, and limp. No sound. The doctor placed him on my chest, while Greg cut the cord. I remember feeling in shock. I didn't know what to do or say, but touch him. My mom told me that after about 5 seconds, the nurse grabbed him from my chest, exclaiming that we had a very sick baby. The nurse took him to the warmer (in my room) where the special care nursery nurses worked on him. Greg and my sister ran to his side, while my mom stayed with me. 

Greg told me the nurses placed a suction catheter down his mouth/nose (because of the meconium in my amniotic fluid) and suctioned whatever might have been down his breathing tube. Thomas still wasn't breathing after that, his heart rate was still in the 60's. I remember yelling across the room, "What is happening? Why haven't I heard him cry?" The nurse placed a CPAP machine on him for respiratory support. The CPAP machine basically forced air into his lungs and kept them inflated. Immediately, Thomas opened his eyes and began crying. Everyone, including the nurses, cheered. Two minutes passed from delivery until he cried.

As if that wasn't enough trauma, I still had two complications. Sparing you a lot of details, a very small part of my placenta retained inside the uterus, and I had a second-degree tear (look it up if you are brave, it's scary), contributing to high blood loss. The nurse quickly injected me with a medication to stop the bleeding.

Also, when the nurse tried to pull my epidural catheter out, she discovered it was "stuck" inside me. She called another nurse, who tried to pull it out unsuccessfully. She then called the charge nurse, and she couldn't do it, either. They called the anesthesiologist, who placed me in every position you can imagine, and couldn't pull it either. After a few tries (and a lot of pain!), he was finally able to get it out. Lo and behold, the catheter knotted itself inside me. How? We shall never know. This might have contributed to the epidural not working properly and why I could feel the intensity of every single contraction. The doctor asked me if he could keep my catheter to show his colleagues - in the thirty years he had been there, this had never happened!

After a few hours at the Labor and Delivery unit, a very tired mama, dad and baby were transferred to the Post-partum unit. We stayed there two days before we were discharged home.

Well, there you have it. Two and a half months later, here we are. Thomas is a happy and healthy boy. I praise God that He guided me to the right hospital. I am thankful that He guided my doctors and nurses to make the right and quick decisions. I felt very close to Him that night. I can't describe it, but in the midst of everything, my soul and mind were calm. I can only say that I felt the Holy Spirit very present within me. My Father orchestrated everything. 

One more thing...because I had to conclude my tree pictures...

Thank you so much for reading and thank you to all who prayed for me, Greg and Thomas. Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!