Today my daughter turns 6. I thought it would be appropriate to repost the miracle story of her birth. All children are miracles.
My daughter’s Birth story
I hope I got the times right because the three days leading up to my birth, Fri-Sun are a huge fog to me.
My mommy’s water broke around 4:00pm on Friday. She was still at work. She called her doctor who told her to wait for 12 hours and hopefully, labor will kick in. She knew it would be a long wait so she took her time getting home. She even rode the subway. My daddy was going crazy.
At 5:00am, Saturday morning, we took a taxi to St. Luke’s Roosevelt and got checked. It was confirmed that, my lovely sack of warmth and cushioning was broken. It wasn’t a false alarm like a week or two before. But the strange thing is that mommy didn’t get any contractions. She just had a few cramps.
It was several hours before she got her own room. The doctor started a bag of Pitocin and a bag of antibiotics. Mommy wanted to have a completely natural child-birth. She inquired about all the wires and tubes. She didn’t want us to stay hooked up to them the whole time. She was told that I can go off the monitors periodically but the tubes couldn’t be removed. (Mommy really wanted to deliver a drug-free birth so she was already disappointed. 2/3rds of her pain management plans involved a lot more movement than the tubing allowed, including the ability to use the Jacuzzi which she was really look forward to testing!)
It turned out, her contractions were weak and very irregular. That irregularity would not let her off the monitors at all. Hours and hours went by and I didn’t make any progress. There were no contractions of any strength or regularity. Daddy and Mommy were hanging out in the room. The TV didn’t work. Mommy was so bored. She was literally counting the speckles on the ceiling. The nurse kept saying, when mommy really goes into labor, she won’t care. Hours and hours go by and I’m still not born.
Some time around 11:30am the contractions started to get stronger. This is after they upped mommy’s dose of Pitocin three times. Apparently, her contractions still weren’t as regular and strong as the staff would have liked. Mommy and Daddy called the Doulas and had them come because the pain started to become bad. It took a while for them to arrive because mommy couldn’t give them a clear indication how far along I was to coming into the world. There were very few internal exams because with a broken bag of water, you had to be careful not to introduce infection.
At around 1:30, the contractions really started kicking in. I think this was at the fourth round of increasing the Pitocin. Mommy was very uncomfortable, and so was I. The nurses were saying to my daddy how strong mommy was to take all that Pitocin in without pain medication. By 5 centimeters, Mommy could no longer take it. She had contractions two minutes apart for 1.5 minutes in duration. She was in active labor for already 1.5 hours. She finally asked for an Epidural which was something she really didn’t want. She was very afraid to get an Epidural, because she worried it would slow down my arrival. But of course the entire plan for my birth didn’t say anything about being induced with Pitocin either, which is supposed to be a LOT more painful than a non induced birth.
She got the Epidural and felt instant relief. The contractions were still no fun for me, but at least they were pain free for mommy.
We continued laboring, making very little progress. She thought I would arrive around 4:00-5:00 pm. I’m not sure when her doctor arrived, whether it was in the afternoon or evening. Mommy was happy to see her.
Dr. Jenyons did periodic internals every hour or so. At a certain point, maybe 9:00 pm, mommy was at 9 cm. At this point, labor is supposed to go very quickly.
When she first hit 9, the Anesthesiologist came by and asked if she wanted a top off on the Epidural. Clearly, the epidural was starting to wear off for mommy. She was beginning to feel pain. But she was so anxious to see my face that she didn’t want to do anything to slow labor down again. Epidurals often slow down the progress of labor.
Another three hours go by, and a couple of upping the doses of Pitocin and Mommy was at 9.5cm, with “a lip”. At one point the doctor had to re-break my bag of water because my head was plugging it up. As much as I tried, mommy couldn’t get rid of the lip and get to 10cm. The doctor had her labor another three hours in that condition but she never got to 10cm. Normally, once a mommy gets to 9 cm, it takes 15 minutes to get to 10. But mommy wasn’t getting to 10 and it had been more than three hours.
The doctor spoke to mommy and daddy and told me that she tried very hard to help me come into the world vaginally. She suspected my head, was in a poor position preventing mommy from completely dilating. Mommy had begun to get a very high fever in the past few hours. My heartbeat started to become erratic. The Amniotic Sac had been broken,well past 24 hours at this point. The doctor believed that both my life, and mommy’s life were starting to be in jeopardy, and that it was best to have a C-section. She left my parents alone to discuss the decision. Mommy trusted her doctor because she knew she tried everything to help me come into the world naturally.
Mommy and daddy were very frightened. (Especially Daddy) She told daddy that she needed him to be there. Daddy doesn’t like to see the site of blood on someone he loves and often gets faint. When mommy asked a second time and daddy saw the look in mommy’s eyes, he could do nothing but, be there to support mommy. The doctor assured him there would be a tent up so he wouldn’t see anything bad.
He sat next to mommy bravely holding her hand and stroking her hair. He tried to talk to her about trivialities when they could hear too much of the reality of the operating table. The noises were very loud and weird and mommy’s body was being pushed around a lot.
A few minutes later, and it was over. It turns out that myposition was R.O.T, and it would have been very difficult to deliver normally. It didn’t seem at all like an hour. Much shorter. I, Kaila Elisabeth, was born at 1:16am, Sunday, May 22, 2005.
My first screams were lusty and loud. My parents were crying. When they asked mommy if she wanted to hold the baby, she declined. They were still sewing her up on the table. She felt out of balance and her hands were shaking uncontrollably from the Morphine and other drugs. She was afraid she would drop me. Instead, she told them to give me to daddy. Daddy was immediately enchanted with me.
When I was taken out of daddy’s arms and wheeled to another part of the room to be weighted and cleaned up, I began to cry. Daddy called out my name and sang this little tune he always sang to me in mommy’s womb. I felt comforted and immediately stopped crying. I weight 8lbs – 11oz and my APGAR score was 9.9! When daddy left to tell the family, mommy and I were in still in the operating room. I began crying again. I heard mommy’s voice and immediately stopped crying.
I was immediately taken to the recovery room and shortly thereafter, the hospital gave me to mommy and I immediately began to nurse. I went home a few days later.