Birth day

by cheryl@cheryl-campbell.com on August 7, 2013

Once again, I found myself in the case room, attached to an IV, and foggy from magnesium sulfate. Since I was only at 28 weeks and the baby would be small, a Caesarian section would probably need to be a “classical”. A classical Caesarian has an internal vertical incision instead of the standard horizontal incision generally used. It is more prone to rupture, which means that women who have had one are not permitted to try labour with their next pregnancy. It is also associated with more complications.

So Dr. F. decided to try for a natural birth. But she warned us that we didn’t have a lot of time and that inducing labour might take too long. She would make a decision very early on.

I was induced. The contractions weren’t very strong at first. But it quickly became evident that the baby wasn’t tolerating the labour very well. The heart rate was dropping and not recovering quickly enough. She tried a very painful (for me) “tickling the baby” procedure but it didn’t work. So we were off to the operating room.

The room was full, with 2 OBs, a nurse or two, anesthesiologists, and NICU staff. And Geoff of course. The operation seemed to be taking so long. I was soon wondering why the baby wasn’t out yet. What was wrong? Finally, Geoff told me the baby was out and the OB announced that it was a girl.

I had imagined this moment many times during my pregnancy. But never like this. I didn’t feel joy, but instead complete despair. She was not placed on my chest, or given to her dad to cradle. Instead, the Dr. who was carrying her (I think he was a respiratory therapist), stopped across the room from us and held up her head so that we could see her face. She was very small, floppy, and blue.

He only stopped for a few seconds before rapidly leaving the room for the resuscitation room next door. There, she tried to cry and managed a squeak, so they gave her a chance to try to breathe on her own, giving her surfactant for her lungs. A CPAP (which helps with breathing) wasn’t enough. So she ended up on a ventilator.

She weighed 830 grams: 1 lb 13 ounces.

Tiny

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