SEND HELP because I’m getting no relief from the back-to-back contractions. Even under the effect of this blasted Ambien, it’s apparent the epidural has not been effective (something that also happened during my son’s birth…whhyyyy??) So, they quickly get me back in position, remove the original epidural, and place the second epidural between my wake-ups.
It’s now in the 2:00 am hour.
FINALLY. I can relax. It worked. HALLELUJAH.
Thirty-ish minutes have ticked by and now my OB comes in to check on me. She palpates around my belly but can’t locate the baby’s head. She grabs the ultrasound probe and searches. . .
Baby girl is breech. Head is up under my chest, feet and bottom are at my cervix. Somehow, someway, this baby has completely flipped upside down again during active labor.
My doctor checks my cervix and finds I’m a full 10 cm – complete. Ready to have a baby.
**important to note here — most OB’s do not perform vaginal breech deliveries due to the risks involved and specialized training required. It’s typically either head-down vaginal delivery or a c-section.
Quickly and expertly, my doctor makes an attempt at a second ECV right then and there. I’m still out of it, but it’s what I would ask for had I been awake. Baby doesn’t budge. As she tries to turn her, suddenly my water breaks. Things are progressing quickly and she stops to check my cervix again — the baby’s foot is presenting. This baby is coming now.
I jolt awake. It’s my first lucid moment since taking the medicine. My OB is bent over looking deep into my eyes, nope – past my eyes and straight into my soul – her own eyes overflowing with concern and care, and she tells me, “Shanna, we’ve done everything, you’re going to need a C-section.”
I nod in agreement. I’m deeply disappointed but I trust her completely.
And then the lights go out again.
Unbeknownst to me:
As my doctor begins giving the nursing staff instructions, the fetal heart rate monitor sounds an alarm.
Everyone stops and checks the reading: 70 beats per minute. It should be between 120-160 bpm.
My OB grabs the monitor off of my belly, swiftly turns me on my left side, and begins searching for the heart rate herself. Nothing higher than 70-80 bpm is coming up. She tells the staff to get me to the OR right that minute, and controlled chaos ensues. She instructs Brandon to come hold me on my side and to not to let go of me until someone relieves him.
Someone pushes the emergency alarm and nurses swarm the room, everyone working as quickly and efficiently as possible to get me and this baby to the operating room. Someone relieves Brandon and takes over holding me in place.
Brandon is now standing in shock watching the situation escalate right in front of him. Someone tells him they aren’t sure yet if he will be able to come into the OR since I may need general anesthesia. So he waits.
My eyes blink open. I’m in the operating room.
I don’t remember being wheeled here, prepped, or moved onto the table.
I’m confronted by a blue drape so close to my face it feels like I’m going to suffocate. My arms feel strange and when I look side to side I can see that they are tied down, restraining me.
I can’t move. Between the Ambien, the epidural, and the restraints, I’m totally paralyzed.
I glance all around but I cannot find a single face. No one is within my field of view. Panic is building….and then the light fades again.
Meanwhile, the chaos has calmed back in the delivery room, as most of the staff is with me in the OR. Brandon is finally tossed a set of scrubs to put on, which he does frantically and then follows the nurse quickly down the hall.
They approach the operating room, running down the corridor, and from the other side of the doors they hear a sound. A beautiful, tiny cry. It’s our daughter’s first cry. The most glorious sound in the world, no contest.
Mere seconds keep him from witnessing our baby’s birth.
I, too, hear the tiny cry. It’s far away and it’s faint, but in reality it’s only on the other side of the obnoxious blue drape.
I can barely hear it in my head now but it’s there. Bless the Lord, it’s there. Gripping that memory with all I’ve got.
Then, lights out again.
I wake up again and I finally see Brandon’s face. I’m sobbing uncontrollably. He says he’s never seen me cry so hard before and tells me it’s okay; listen to our baby – she’s here and she’s safe.
For Part IV (the final birth story post), CLICK HERE