Monday, April 13, 2015

Sloan Marie's Birth Story

At 42 weeks and 3 days pregnant, I was ready to be DONE. On Sunday evening, I used the breast pump to try to get things moving. I did 3 sessions, and wasn't feeling anything so we went to bed.

Monday morning I woke up with some cramping. I had a feeling it was going to happen for sure today. I let my mom and midwife, Brenda know there were a few indicators.

I spent the day around the house with Sawyer. Just cleaning up, feeling mild contractions, and relaxing as much as possible. Vince came home from work at lunch and decided to stay and work in the basement, so I went and took a nap.

Around 3, my contractions were more regular and consistent so I let my birth team know. My mom, midwife and photographer came over around 5, and the "labor party" began. Brenda checked me and I was only 3cm and 60% effaced. For the next few hours, my contractions were regular and getting stronger. We just all hung out in our room, talking and laughing and getting more excited for the birth and baby that we'd waited so long for!

The midwife checked me again around 8:45pm, and said i was 8cm dilated and I could get in the birth tub. I was SO happy! It felt amazing. The water was instant relief and I was so relaxed. I continued laboring and my contractions continued to pick up in intensity. Vince would get in the tub with each contraction to put pressure on my lower back. That made the contractions so much less painful. The midwife would come listen to the baby's heart rate periodically, and every time, the rate was perfect so we knew baby was just fine. This time was my favorite part of labor-Vince and my mom were so amazing helping me through contractions.

Around 10:30pm, I started getting the urge to push, so I tried. I had always heard second babies, especially when there was a fast first labor, would come quickly once pushing began, so I was ready to push this baby out and meet him/her!

I began pushing. And pushing. And pushing. I immediately felt discouraged and frustrated because no matter how hard I was pushing, it didn't feel like I was making progress. The contractions were getting more painful, and I was getting frustrated. The midwife suggested a new position in the tub, so we tried that. After about 45 more minutes of pushing that way, she suggested we get out of the tub and try having me sit on the toilet and push. That position, combined with the instinct to push when you're on a toilet, is supposed to be very helpful. It was! I could definitely feel the head moving down more and the pushing felt much more productive on the toilet.

Once the head was further down, Brenda had me come onto the bathroom floor on all 4's so we could get the baby out. I had been pushing over an hour at this point and it was time.

While on all 4's, I pushed and worked harder than I have ever worked in my entire life. I was giving each push every single ounce of energy I had, and the baby still wasn't coming! I was getting exhausted, discouraged and frustrated. Finally Brenda could see and feel the head, so we knew it was soon. I pushed harder and the head came out slowly. The head was out for about 3 minutes and the rest of the body wasn't just flopping out (which is what usually happens) at this point, Brenda said the baby's head was turning purple and we needed to get the baby out with the next contraction. 

They had me pop one leg up so I was in a runners stance, and give it one more hard push. I could feel things weren't right, and Brenda was sounding more urgent and severe. I felt a lot of burning and pain. (I know now that our baby had shoulder dystocia and was stuck.)

Brenda had to go in and get her.  She wasn’t able to hook under her armpit until she was first able to work the shoulder down with her whole hand. Once the armpit was visible, THEN she could hook her finger under and pull her out. She also realized that the baby had been asynclitic, which means the head was coming down the canal at an angle and not perfectly straight, which explains why pushing had been so difficult.

The moments with the baby's head out and turning purple, to when she came out and wasn't breathing were the longest 8 minutes of our lives. When the baby finally came out at 11:52pm, there was no sound. Brenda was telling her assistant to get the resuscitation bag. I still hadn't turned around. I was frozen with fear to see the baby and know it wasn't breathing. I stared at my sister and asked "what is it?!" Vince told me "its a girl", but it was in a panicked, terrified voice.

I turned around to see my baby blue, and non responsive. Brenda was giving her mouth to mouth and she yelled to Vince and I to talk to the baby and tell her to stay with us. We were rubbing her body and yelling "stay with us, Sloan! Come on baby, come on!" 

My friends Becca and Courtney were here taking pictures, and in these moments, they were on their knees in prayer.

A few minutes passed and we started to see her take some breaths on her own. WHAT A RELIEF!!!! Her body started turning pink, and she started making some sounds and movement. Brenda let me pick her up at this point as she continued to work on her and get her more alert and crying while I held her.

I have never in my life felt so close to heaven and hell at the same time. There were thoughts going through my head that no mother should ever have to think or worry about-moments where I was sure she was gone.

Praise the Lord for answered prayers, and praise to our midwife who knew exactly what to do, and absolutely saved our daughters life.

Once things started to calm down, and her cord finished pulsing, Vince cut it, and I was able to have her try to nurse a little bit. We worked on that for a few minutes in the bathroom while I passed the placenta. I then handed Sloan off to Vince and they got me into a healing sitz bath to rinse off.

After I was clean, I got into bed while Brenda performed the newborn check up at the foot of the bed. Sloan weighed 10lbs 8oz and she was 23 inches long! 

Everything in her check up looked great. My family took her out of the room while Brenda checked me out and gave me a few stitches.

Then everyone packed up and left, and we got in our bed with our little fighter and went to sleep. 


It's been almost a week since the birth, and we are doing incredibly well.  Sloan is such a fighter, and she is nursing like a champ. 

We have been discussing the events from that night quite a bit around here. I had a lot of questions and have done some research on shoulder dystocia. I've asked Brenda if she thinks now that we should have induced sooner, to avoid having such a big baby. Her answer was "nope, I've had 8 pound babies get stuck, and 12 pound babies slide out.  I wouldn't try to assign blame-you grew a perfectly healthy baby, she just came down a little crooked."

So now we know, that because Sloan was asynclitic, she came down the birth canal crooked, which is what was making pushing so difficult, and what caused the shoulder dystocia. It helps to have some answers, and we are obviously incredibly thankful it turned out the way it did! 

We are so very thankful we had a midwife who is knowledgable, experienced and quick to act. We felt perfectly safe with Brenda, and are eternally grateful to her for our baby's life.  


hannah edwards said...

Great story!

Sassafrass said...

Oh my goodness. I just cried. Big hug friend! Sloan so glad you are here.

Mama Cloud said...

beautiful and perfect in its entirety...this birth was such a powerful example of faith and trust in god, in your body, in happy to welcome sweet sloan to the you guys

ltbeyer said...

Sloan's story continues to amaze me, as does your honesty, faith and determination to bring your children into the world in this way. Congrats BVR, I hope you keep blogging and sharing the adventures of S&S as they grow together as sisters.