When 6:00 rolled around, I had to lean over on the counter a little during each contraction. They were about one minute long and 3 minutes apart still. We left the house at 6:30, peacefully and slowly drove to town. The contractions have now started to take my breath away a little.
We checked in and I remember walking into that hospital the happiest girl ever. Little did I know that when I walked out 7 days later I would be a completely different person, hitting some of the lowest moments of my entire life.
Although, at the same time I had a suspicion this baby would come fast and my mom was not going to make it. She had book her ticket last night and was leaving Nebraska at 5:00 AM and was due in my birthing room at 1:30 in the afternoon.
I was petrified to have my water broken, but I didn’t feel a thing, just a gush of warm fluid.
And this is where it all begins.
At 8:00 AM I was 7 centimeters dilated
At 10:30 my labor coach, had to leave for a little while and by the time she was back I was dilated to an 8. In that time, I had bounced on the ball and the contractions were about 1-2 minutes apart lasting 1 minute and I was beginning deep breathing.
I decided I thought it was getting close to time to push so I asked to use the bathroom before the real work began.
Everyone told me I should just use the bedpan.
Um, no, gross.
I got situated on the toilet and then I said, "I don’t know what to do?"
I was asked if I had to push.
Again I repeated, "I don’t know what to do. It feels like I have to pee and poo and I don't know what to do."
My labor coach said, "We don't want a toilet baby. You need to get back into bed, it's time to push."
The nurse calls Bonnie and my breathing gets quicker. Scott is trying to make me laugh and telling me I need to do hee whoo breathing. The nurses kept asking me if I needed any pain medication. I was loving every moment, every contraction, no, I want to feel it all. This is the moment I have waited a lifetime for. I am having a baby, I am becoming a mama. Not everyone gets this chance. I absorb this experience for everything I can.
Bonnie arrives and softly says something.
Scott says, “She cant hear you.”
Bonnie loudly says, “On the next contraction I want you to bear down and push.”
I panicked and said, "I need that medicine!!"
Everyone laughed and told me I was almost done. I thought to myself, huh? Liars..... They are just telling me this and don’t really mean it.
I had a mirror and was slowly watching the babys head come out.
I had been pushing slowly because I knew the harder I pushed the more it would hurt! My phone kept ringing and everyone took turns answering it. My hands were tingly because I was hyperventilating. I should have listened to Scott and did some hee hee whos.
The next thing I knew I heard panic in Bonnie’s voice.
My nurse said something about the baby’s heart rate dropping. I heard Bonnie calmly say, "Get the IV ready and call Code White for help."
I had a strange feeling. I literally blinked and my room went from having 6 people in it to having 12 people. The oxygen was placed on my face and Doctors, pediatricians, and anesthesiologists arrived all calmly yelling for me to push.
Once I saw the anesthesiologist I realized that meant I was next in line for a potential emergency c-section. I decided I better start pushing for real.
I decided that just as Bonnie frantically says we need to get this baby out, push hard.
This is the beginning of the end or the end of the beginning, I don’t really know.
I decided not to look at my new baby and examine my placenta with Bonnie instead. We found two tears which confirmed my placental abruption. She showed me how thin the walls were where the tears were at. It turns out this was a very close call for both mommy and baby. If one of these tears and ripped, both the baby and myself would have been in serious condition. It was the first time I realized how much danger was involved with my abruption.
I didn't really care about the footprints. In fact, didn't even look up when they took mine. I was too busy thinking of a trillion things. Do I see what I really think I see? Does anyone notice? How will I bring this up and ask if she has down syndrome? Is this what all newborns look like? How come nobody is noticing? Is this a nightmare? Put her back in my belly and start over. When will I wake up? What does the future hold? Will I keep her or will I give her up for adoption? I don't want her. Let's leave this baby at the hospital, go home, and start over. Stop taking pictures of her. Yes, in a matter of minutes, like a very bad dream with demons flying around the room, all of these thoughts began flying around my head.
She looked at me straight in the eyes, moments after being born and communicated more in one second than a human being can in a lifetime.
That glance, those eyes.....Pure determination.
Do not give up on me.
I waited until my good friend and I were alone. I pointed to the neck of my baby and said, "It doesn’t look right."
Her comment back was, “Ohhh, she just has a chubby neck.”
Scott’s comment about the Chinese looking eyes just kept ringing in my head.
I panic internally.
Mom arrives and I plastered on another huge fake smile (I was quickly getting good at this).
Mom saw a beautiful girl, always has, and always will.
The baby’s feet turned purple and the nurse took her from me stating that the doctor needed to assess her anyway. Little did I know she was headed to ICU (to the care of one of the most incredible nurses, thank you for being there that day J).
The doctor came back about thirty minutes later after examining her. He asked if we wanted the others to stay in the room. Aw crap I think to myself. I work in the hospitals. I know how this goes. He's got news. In my mind I thought if we allowed our friends to stay then there wouldn't be bad news so we said yes. Go ahead and proceed with everyone around. The doctor went through a series of significant health history questions and my heart was pounding.
He sat down on the bed.
Doctor's only sit on the bed when they deliver the worst.
You can see in my face as I know what's coming.
He began by saying the baby’s eyes looked like his eyes.
Mom made a funny comment, stating that he's not the father. I ignored the chuckles, I knew where this was headed. He continues on, and says that the baby’s ears are low set. I lost it and folded my hands into my head. My mom came and sat on the bed and held me, and Scott was in the chair in the corner trying so hard to grasp what was happening.
There was a long pause and then doctor goes into a story about how high functioning kids with Down Syndrome can be and that he is 80% sure she has it. I jumped so quickly trying to snag that 20% with all my might, I wanted it so badly, but it was too far out of reach.
After five dreadful days in the hospital, it was confirmed. That 20% of hope floated away right before my eyes.
I can say that have never been in a state of shock, until January 5th, 2010 when I went from the highest point of my life to the lowest in a matter of hours.
And this is the exact moment my life went on autopilot.