typing this with a sleeping baby boy on my chest. I’ve been trying to get my thoughts about this birth story out for a week and every time I begin to remember all the details surrounding Baylor’s birth I cant help but feel overwhelmed with emotions. so many moving parts and definitely the most eventful of all my births.. its taken me much longer to blog about his story mostly because I go back and forth when thinking about it all. the “what-ifs” of that day seem to become my focus and its almost too much for me to handle.. but after almost three weeks with our second son I’m ready to share, so here it goes.
after much anticipation of an early arrival due to complications of placenta previa with accreta, we were VERY happy when the MRI scan at 32 weeks came back with positive results and my OB was confident in moving his delivery date to 39 weeks (and 2 days). of course we had what seemed like a billion things to get done the week prior to his arrival. I even went so far as to schedule the kids for their dental cleanings the Saturday before..
silly me 🙂
Wednesday afternoon I noticed he wasn’t moving as much as he normally did.. he was a VERY active baby and pretty much moved constantly, so when he slowed down that day I took notice pretty quickly. after we got the girls and Brady down for the night we were sitting on the couch watching a movie and I looked at Jordan and said “I just don’t feel like Baylor is acting normal..” I ate some candy and drank some orange juice and he pepped up a little bit and it calmed my nerves enough for me to fall asleep in anticipation of my last OB appointment the very next morning. right before falling asleep Jordan asked me if I was going to bring my hospital bag with us just in case.
absolutely not.. I dont see why I would need it!
Jordan was supposed to work his last 12hr hospital shift on Thursday (January 3rd) but randomly swapped with someone and worked earlier in the week so he could be off and go to my appointment. the original plan was for me to drop the kids with their BB and I would go solo to my last appointment with Dr. Walsh before Baylor’s arrival. I’m SO glad he was with me that day. we dropped Jolie, Parker, Baker, and Brady off with BB and then stopped to grab a donut on the way.. I wanted anything full of sugar because Baylor still wasn’t moving around like normal. we walked in right at 8:45am and were seen right away. I had been getting sonograms weekly for the last 12 weeks to monitor any changes in my placenta placement and to keep an eye on my fluid levels (I have a history of polyhydramnios with each pregnancy and this time I remained just on the high end of normal) . Dixie, the sono tech that has scanned me thousands of times at this point (she’s the same one that has monitored us with every pregnancy), casually mentioned that “he doesn’t seem to be awake yet this morning“. normally she was chasing him all over the screen to get a decent measurement because the boy was never still. his heart rate that morning was 132bpm. this is still well within normal range for this gestation, but when my child has been documented with a heart rate of 155-162 the entire 9 months, this wasn’t normal for Baylor. after Dixie noticed his lack of movement I started to get anxious- I wasn’t the only one that felt like something was wrong. they brought me back to the patient room and continued with the normal motions of my OB appointments. I stepped on the scale and my favorite nurse took my blood pressure- it was off the charts and I could feel my face getting flushed as I started to get even more anxious.. I knew something was not normal and something was wrong. she left for a brief moment and came back, wheeling in the cart with the fetal stress monitor behind her. right as she got into the room, Walsh walked in behind her and said- put that away, its time, girl. he’s coming today. I started sobbing. mostly in relief that I wouldn’t have to worry much longer, but I was also terrified. my last c-section delivery was routine with zero complications, but the recovery was really tough and I had a ton of anxiety walking into this one because I was worried about being in so much pain again. I didn’t feel ready!
we went across the street to labor and delivery and I was happy to see a familiar face. the nurse that was with me when I went into labor with Baker greeted us at the front desk and I was quickly dressed and prepped for surgery. the fetal monitor continued to show Baylor’s heart rate to be on the low end of normal. he wasn’t moving at all but it calmed my anxieties a bit to hear his heartbeat as we waited for delivery. Jordan dressed in his bunny suit and it was time to meet our sweet baby boy!about a half hour into surgery, Jordan whispered in my ear that he was here. I heard the nurses counting.. and I was confused because I didn’t notice that in past deliveries. I kept looking up towards the drape hoping to get a glimpse of Baylor’s sweet face and they never brought him over.
WHY were they counting?! I didn’t realize until after he was born and we were talking with the NICU pediatrician that they were counting to document how long he had been without oxygen. he wasn’t breathing upon birth. I could hear them patting Baylor, and again, I didn’t realize what that noise was until later- they were trying to force him to cry.
after what seemed like eternity, I heard his tiny little cry.
the initial testing of the cord blood showed that the placenta had become acidotic, which was causing Baylor to have poor oxygen exchange in the womb. this explains why he wasn’t moving around and why his heart rate dropped so significantly. had we waited until Monday when he was scheduled to be delivered, the outcome wouldn’t have been good.
Baylor swallowed a large amount of amniotic fluid during the delivery so I didn’t get to see him right away. the nurses worked on him trying to get his lungs suctioned out in hopes to get his oxygen levels up. Jordan was right by his side the entire time praying and coaching our Baylor through it all. I couldn’t see anything but Jordan’s back to me, and I heard them call for the NICU nurses. all I could think about was seeing him before they took him away. I just wanted Baylor to know that his mama was close by and everything was going to be fine!
finally, the moment came for me to meet this little boy that had given me so much grief for the last 9 months. he wasn’t making a lot of noise, definitely not crying like my other newborns did, but he was the sweetest little soul and he seemed to calm a bit once they laid him on my chest. I was so happy to see his face.
I got to hold him for about 3-4 minutes before they took him out to the NICU. Jordan kissed me and squeezed my hand tight before following the nurses out to be with Baylor.
it was in those moments of silence after Baylor left the room, I became more aware of everything else that was going on around me. the shuffle of nurses assisting Dr. Walsh and conversations being had between her and the OB oncologist assisting her. although we didn’t observe apparent accreta on the MRI scan done at 32 weeks (my placenta had zero adhesions and no connection) the OB oncologist on my case happened to be on call when I came into L&D, so he came in to assist just in case.
my bladder fused with my uterus at some point causing a very large uterine window. basically, my uterus had thinned to the point of transparency and could have ruptured at any time with the right amount of stress. I started having very strong, inconsistent, contractions around 37 weeks (the kind that take your breath away and were waking me up at night). my OB suspects that is when the window could have occurred. after Walsh explained the next steps, the anesthesiologist put me under heavy sedation (I wasn’t completely under but I slept through it all) while they repaired my bladder and performed a tubal ligation. I woke up about an hour later in recovery, still waiting for Jordan to return from being with Baylor in the NICU. when Jordan finally walked through the door he had tear stained cheeks and you could tell he was just emotionally spent. we hadn’t ever experienced a child going to the NICU and at this point we weren’t sure how long he was going to have to stay or even what the process was. both of us were clueless, we just knew we wanted him out of there as soon as possible.
we were settled in our hospital room around 4pm that afternoon and it was then I was told that I wasn’t able to leave the bed for the first 24 hours. I was brought a pump from the NICU and I started pumping immediately in hopes to stimulate production due to the lack of skin to skin. I also was hoping to be able to bring him anything I could to supplement with the donor breast milk he was receiving in his feeding tube. Ashley came up to the hospital that evening before she left to go out of town the next morning. she brought Jordan dinner and talking to her was the first time I felt ‘normal’ that entire day. my head was still foggy and I was overwhelmed looking back at the birth pictures and videos the anesthesiologist had snapped with my phone, but having a close friend there to talk through some of our emotions was so helpful.the next morning I was finally allowed to get up and out of bed. I attempted walking down to the NICU after breakfast and made it about 7 steps out of my room before I felt like I was going to pass out. I quickly vetoed the idea of walking any further and Jordan requested a wheel chair for me to finally go down and see my baby boy. it felt like Christmas! Jordan had been with him for feedings through the night while I slept and got to hold and snuggle him in my place.
so thankful for that man and those amazing nurses that tended to Baylor during those first 24 hours I wasn’t able to.