I’m a full-time working mom, now with a two year old boy, Andrew, and a brand new baby girl, Yvette. Thanks to the love and support found through Project Alive & Kicking and their pregnancy app, ME Preg, I knew how to manage both my pregnancies for the best of health for both myself and my babies. Our daughter’s birth story deserves to be told though as it may help another family in the future since it was unlike anything I’d heard of and certainly a unique entrance into the world:
My Water Broke…
My water broke at about 9pm the night before my daughter was born and having been through this once, I knew not to immediately rush in to the hospital until my contractions were closer together. I also wanted to try to get a little rest since I knew I was about to be working pretty hard through labor. By 4am, my contractions were significant enough that I could no longer sleep at about 9 minutes apart. I took a quick shower, gathered my items for the hospital stay, and we hopped in the car to take Andrew to my parents’ house. When we finally checked in to the hospital at about 5:45, my contractions were only about 4 minutes apart. I was already asking for the epidural since they were starting to feel pretty harsh but due to some shift changes in the hospital, was told it would be about 7am before I could get it.
Transferred to Labor & Delivery
We transferred to our labor and delivery room next and we met our L&D nurse, Sarah (our angel). Incredibly, she was also the L&D nurse on duty for our son Andrew, two years before. We loved her then… we love her even more now. By 8am, I was starting to beg for the epidural since my contractions were now firing rapidly at about 2 minutes apart. By 9am, I had been told that Ken, the anesthesiologist, was working with a c-section down the hall and would be with me shortly. By 9:30, I was shouting for Ken down the hall, now rapid-firing contractions at about 45 seconds to 1 minute apart.
Finally the Anesthesiologist Arrives
Finally, Ken arrives and he is truly a welcome sight. Already at 5cm dilated, I’m extremely patient through two epidural sticks since I know relief is coming soon. With contractions firing so fast, sitting still twice through epidural jabs was brutal.
When I received an epidural with my son, it seemed to go like clockwork. One stab, completely numb from the waist down. I felt nothing and basically slept until it was “go-time.” This time, I was completely numb in my legs and left side but could feel severe contractions on my right side, still rapid-firing. They adjusted my positioning to try to help but eventually called in another anesthesiologist about 30 minutes later to adjust my epidural. I could still feel contractions but it helped significantly and I was finally able to relax a bit. They decided they would check me again in about 2 hours for progress.
Completely exhausted, I must have started to doze off here and there because I was suddenly startled by Sarah, hovering over me checking the tummy heart monitor for Yvette. For some reason, it had stopped transmitting even though both of our vitals had been perfect up until that point. Of course my mind starts racing a bit. Logically, I assume it’s something basic like a cord got unplugged or something but after about 30 seconds (which seemed like eternity) she is still hunting for Yvette’s heartbeat with no success. I’m thinking they might rush me into an emergency c-section or something since she is staying stone-faced, serious.
Baby in the Bed
After no luck, she stops shuffling the monitor and instead shuffles the sheets… followed by her shouting at the top of her lungs to her team outside, “baby in the bed, baby in the bed, baby in the bed!!!” Sarah then scoops up our daughter from between my legs and immediately places her on my chest. Silent and listless, her little body is a complete shock to me and my husband, who literally thinks he’s dreaming when he sees what is going on and runs into the hospital hallway shouting for help.
Cry Baby Cry
Sarah immediately starts rubbing Yvette’s back and patting it to help her “pink” up and thankfully to all of our relief, she starts crying right away. I just remember saying “oh my god” over and over and feeling so incredibly grateful for her cries. A team from the NICU came in to work on her in the room but never had to take her away. Her vitals were always great and she has had no complications at all from delivery. I can’t count all the blessings.
I’d never heard of a baby being born on its own without any pushing but there she was. My body had pushed her out on its own and because of the epidural, I felt absolutely nothing and had no idea she was resting between my legs.
Looking back on the experience, I question whether I should’ve had an epidural at all. If I’d gone “natural” then I definitely would have been aware that she had been born. Or maybe I should’ve gone without sheets? Or made my husband keep watch or not allowed myself to doze off? I question a lot of what happened but in the end, I credit Sarah for having been attentive to the monitor going off and immediately coming in to check on our daughter. I try to keep my mind from imagining what might have happened had Sarah not been so good at her job, or been such a caring person. She is our angel and we are forever grateful for her immediate action. I cry about it often, and sometimes laugh since it was such a wild experience. Our daughter is healthy and safe though and that is all that matters.