Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Birth Experience Revisited

Not too long ago, I was thinking about Sarah's birthday. I loved my hospital experience for the most part. I had a great nursing staff and loads of visitors. My doctor and Sarah's doctor were absolutely wonderful to us. They both stopped in several times to check on us. I even liked the food I was served. But everything has two sides. There were a few things about my labor and delivery that I hope don't get repeated with future kids. (Yes there will be more kids even though I sometimes claim there won't be. Usually that's just my sleep deprivation and frustration speaking.)

First off, I was induced and I don't regret it one bit. Although it was not my ideal situation. At my last few appointments during my pregnancy, my blood pressure was elevated and it caused a LOT of swelling. So my doctor felt that an induction would be good not only for my comfort but to also keep my blood pressure from rising to dangerous levels. But I do feel like I missed out on the "going into labor" thing. I never got to call Ryan or tell him that our baby was on the way. I didn't get to labor at home or walk the hospital halls. I was virtually tied to the bed from the minute I was admitted. So with the next child I would like to avoid an induction if possible.
 The top is Sarah's heart rate looking good. The bottom is pitocin induced contractions. Boo!

Then there was my blood pressure. It shot way up there during delivery, causing me to be bedridden well after Sarah was born. I wasn't allowed to get off my left side for hours. I couldn't get out of bed to shower or hold the baby. She had to be brought to me and I had to wait an eternity to get a shower. Now, I know that was out of my control, but I still wish I could have been up and around more after birth. I think it would have helped me feel more normal. They thought that my blood pressure would stabilize after Sarah was born, but it didn't. I almost didn't get to go home as planned because my blood pressure wouldn't cooperate. So they medicated me for 6 weeks until my body finally caught on.

But I think the most disappointing thing about Sarah's birth was her respiratory distress. Sarah also had several heart rate dips as I pushed and that was a big cause for concern. She had the hiccups as she was being born and that may have caused her to inhale fluid into her lungs. It may not have been the only cause of the fluid, but I think it played a big part. Anyway, because of that she was born this sickly grey/white color. Ryan didn't get to cut the cord and she was rushed over to her little warmer where a team of nurses began working on her. I was in such big shock that I didn't cry or really have much emotion at all. It was almost like it wasn't really happening to me or Sarah. I didn't hear her cry for what felt like forever. There was talk of her getting sent to the NICU and those are words no mama ever wants to hear. Because they needed to keep a close eye on her breathing, Sarah spent the first couple of hours after she was born being monitored in the nursery. I really felt like I missed out on a great bonding experience with her and often wonder if that's why I felt so disconnected from her at first.

Sarah finally arrived.

Notice her white feet/legs and hand, her whole body was that color. She was limp and white. Very scary!
The best part about the whole thing though was my beautiful daughter. And even though there were some things that I wish had gone differently; the end result was this miraculous, tiny human. She is such a great little person with a HUGE personality. I love her laugh, and her claps, and the funny way she holds her mouth to the side. She is a very inquisitive baby that likes to get into everything she shouldn't. She keeps me on my toes. But watching her learn about this world and the things around her is a truly amazing experience.

Something caught her interest.

I think that God may have allowed these complications so that my gratitude and love could be so much bigger than they would have been. It was rough in the beginning, and I often felt like maybe I had gotten into something I shouldn't have. But God was there through it all and He listened to my prayers and granted me the grace to get through the tough moments. He chose me to be this girl's mother and He knows best. I need to remember that more often.

So in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I am very thankful for my daughter, no matter how she got here. There will always be something that doesn't go as planned, but at least this time I got a great gift. For a split second (that seemed like it would never end) every nerve in my body was rigid with fear and worry. God blessed me and turned that fearful moment into a lifetime that is sure to be filled with love. Even when I am frustrated with naps or frazzled from chasing a crawler, I will be grateful because things could have gone so differently in that delivery room.

Christmas photo test shot. We are going to get pictures done for cards this weekend. It's the first time we are going to send out cards as a family! I am way excited for this! Lots of cute outfits for Sarah!!

1 comment:

bo's mommy said...

So this one made me cry too...especially the part that you said "God chose you..." On my most trying days, (which seems to be everyday) I can't imagine why God would bless me with such a miracle...that bo deserves more. Anyways. Thanks I needed that...very uplifting and encouraging words my friend.