Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Birth story, July 12

To my beautiful gift from God, my daughter, my miracle.  

Happy Birthday to my beautiful little girl! I love you. So much!

This one is going to be fairly long...but it goes through a lot. 
(This was written almost completely from my birth journal (except what is in blue)...to see the previous days, please see: The Beginning: Birth Story & July 10 & July 11.   Yes, I know there is a lot to read, but it all ties in. )

July 14, 2007
I’m writing this with Victoria in one arm and resting my elbow on the rail of the hospital food tray. It’s been a very long, busy past few days. On the 11th, they gave me a couple of pills throughout the day to soften my cervix and help dilate me. By 5am I was having terrible cramping and still not dilated or effaced. Dr. B did an ultrasound and said my fluid levels decreased even more. They decided to continue the induction. The cramping and contractions increased and I finally started to dilate, slightly (up until this point I was “maybe a fingertip” dilated the whole time)

Around 2am (on the 12th), I was cramping and contracting. I tried laying on my right side, but my nurse could not find the baby’s heartbeat, so she had me roll back to my back. I did and she found the heartbeat, but lost it again with the next contraction. I was not able to move and with each contraction Victoria’s heart beat dropped and it was getting worse. 

At around 3:30am, my nurse called Dr. B and my midwife. By the time they got there, there was a flurry of activity. Dr. B woke up My Love and asked if he was ready to have a baby. They started to prep me (hair net, catheter, oxygen mask, shots to stop contractions, shaving) and got My Love his surgical blues. They took me down to the end of the hall and by the time I got there I was a little out of it. 

People were yelling at me to breath for the baby and I remember someone telling me they’d take care of the baby. Someone grabbed my hand and was stroking my arm and people were pushing on my belly. I was naked and cold and having contractions and confused and scared. I heard Dr. B ask the anesthesiologist “How long does it take for a spinal block?” The anesthesiologist answered “5 to 8 minutes”. Dr. B said “We don’t have time.”….and a blue sheet went up.

Then next thing I remember was lying in a bed and My Love talking to me – something about meeting out daughter. I was so groggy and couldn’t focus my eyes or my thoughts. I was like that for ½ of the next day (morphine drip). He asked me if I wanted to hold her and I told him no. It wasn’t because I didn’t want to, but because I couldn’t feel my arms and was afraid I would drop her. Within the next hour I met Victoria, started breastfeeding, saw my mom, father in law, My Love, doctors, nurses…it was a whirlwind.

You know how when you imagine the birth of your baby, you always think you’ll cry and be happy and all excited and relieved…I was not. Someone handed me this cute little dark-haired baby and said “feed her or she’s going to have to have a bottle”…wait…was she mine? THIS was MY baby?? Are you sure, cause I didn’t see her and I just want to make sure she’s mine…well, I guess…I mean…ok, yeah, she’s mine. I’ll try this…man I’m tired, can I have more morphine?
Something I’ll never forget, but it was not written for some reason was the moment that I did finally bond with her in the hospital. The midwife (who was my Lamaze teacher) had come in and told my husband the day she was born that if I had stayed at home and labored like I had planned that V would have died, without a doubt. It didn’t hit me when he told me, but the next night…probably as I was writing in the journal. I remember looking at her and thinking…wow, I’m really a Mommy and you’re mine…you are MY baby and I almost killed you. You almost died and I am so sorry. And I cried…oh man did I ever cry. 

Having had a C-section, it hurt like hell too…I remember wanting to thank my doctor over and over after realizing that he saved my baby…Thank God for the the 4D ultrasound that I opted to pay for, that saved my daughter. Thanks to My Love for not letting me walk out that night. Thank God for the baby monitors that I did not want hooked up to me, they saved my daughter.
By the way, once I was in the C-Section room, she was out in less than 5 minutes, or so I have been told. She immediately was given to Daddy who was still waiting in the hallway and he was able to take her to the nursery to weigh, measure, bathe her, and do her footprints. Since I was not able to bond with her immediately, I am soooo glad he was.

Knowing what I know now, while suffering through infertility and “meeting” other moms via blogs who have had multiple miscarriages or had a baby who was born “sleeping” made me realize something (and my heart goes out to them every day)…had it not been for the optional 4D Ultrasound which I insisted on getting, I think V would have been stillborn. I would have lost my baby before ever getting to hold her, hear her…at that ultrasound, not only did they find that my fluid levels were low (oligohydramnios) but that the placenta had started to calcify. Dr. B told me after the fact that when he got her and the placenta out that the placenta was indeed calcified (“Calcification is a sign of placental aging. In fact the amount of calcification, seen as white specks on the ultrasound…can also be a sign of premature aging, which will decrease the amount of nutrition and oxygen going to the baby. The more calcification, the less placenta is normal tissue for supplying the baby.” http://www.babyzone.com/askanexpert/placenta-calcification). So, again, if I had labored at home, like I had planned on, and not gone in for the 4D Ultrasound when I did, I absolutely believe my daughter would not be here today. Is there a chance that the Dr’s would have caught the low fluid, absolutely…but it might have already been too late by that time. 

Maybe she is my one miracle child, the gift to make my life complete.

Happy Birthday my perfect, healthy, beautiful little girl. I am so glad to have shared my last 4 years with you and wouldn’t have it any other way and cannot wait to spend the rest of my life with you in it.


  1. what a BEAUTIFUL story you've told here Ericka! Thank you for sharing, and happy birthday to Victoria!

  2. i have tears rolling down my face. thank you so much for sharing this. i know your daughter will feel so honored to read this someday. you are so blessed and she is as beautiful now as she was a day old.
    happy birthday to her!
    and a happy day to you <3

  3. Happy Birthday to sweet, beautiful V! I remember the shock and awe I felt when you first told me the story.

  4. Happy Birthday to Victoria...even though I'm late, she's belssed to have a mother like you!

  5. Happy birthday to your miracle! Thank god they found everything in time!