I apologize for the recent silence. It has been an emotional two weeks for Chad and I as we have had to navigate a couple of difficult decisions preparing for baby girls arrival. Here is an update on what’s been happening.
We decided at 37 weeks to pursue another doctors opinion on turning her from the breech position. The manual version very much felt like our best option to try to get her to move especially since we would be monitoring her in the hospital and would have doctors present in case something happened to lead to her distress. We literally could get her out in two minutes if needed.Our last doctor did not feel I was a good candidate for it. This was discouraging and led us to choosing another doctor at 37 weeks. God is really faithful though, he provided a perfect fit doctor that has really helped Chad and I have peace moving forward. I know there are lots of techniques to try to get her to spin, but some of them make me uncomfortable. I don’t know if it’s mother’s intuition or just my own paranoia but I have a great resistance to some of them.
So we scheduled this procedure with our new doctor. And in true Colorado form we went from 70 degree weather to a blizzard in 24 hours. So in a blizzard Chad and I ventured to the hospital to try to help sweet girl turn. We checked in and had a nice room to wait in while to snow pelted the windows. We were nervous. Quickly nursing staff came in and began asking me lots of questions and then hooking me to an IV. I am not a fan of needles. And unfortunately in the hustle and bustle of things my IV got ripped from my arm.Guys, in case you are wondering, it hurts pretty bad when that happens. Once they got that back in, we were hooked up to monitors and they watched baby girls heartbeat for a bit.
The doctors walked in and began prepping us for what was going to happen. An answer to prayer was both doctors that were performing the procedure were very calming. I was really nervous but they both grabbed my hands and just talked me through things. We met the anesthesiologist and went through worst case scenarios. A version required them to press on my abdomen and manually try to coax her to turn. They told me they would try no more then four times to keep me and baby safe. As much as we all wanted her to turn, the goal was to avoid fetal distress and an emergency c-section.
They gave me some medication to relax my uterus and then began the procedure. The medication simulates flight or fight in your body. Imagine your heart racing, and your arms going numb and your whole body feeling like something horrible was happening. Maybe running from a grizzly in the woods?
My body’s response to this feeling was hyperventilation as “fleeing from a grizzly” feeling started taking over. Nurses were trying to coach me through the panic and they put oxygen on me which really helped. I was also slightly upside down to try to help the docs with the version. Their pressing on my belly hurt too, but I was very distracted by the situation of my heart racing and arms going numb. After try number one, they looked at me and told me that baby girl wedged her little head up under my rib cage. They were going to give it one more try but because it was really difficult to get a hand on her to help her turn, they were not sure it was going to work. They had been pressing pretty hard near my rib cage to try to pull her out from underneath. Chad told me later it was pretty weird to watch. He could literally see the outline of her body as they tried to maneuver her.
The second try went much better in that my breathing was more in control and I didn’t feel like I was in quite so much of a panic. Chad was holding my hand and helping me focus on my breathing. I was more aware of the pain of them pressing on my belly as they tried to turn her. She was doing great on the monitor which was a relief, but they still couldn’t get a hold of her head. It was like she had strategically placed herself in a location where no one could get her. She didn’t move in the slightest. It was at this point they decided to stop.
The doctors apologized that it wasn’t successful. Chad and I were just thankful that we tried and had doctors we trusted and felt were very experienced with trying to turn a baby. Our goal was to try this and then wait for her to turn. Otherwise, we were going to trust that God had a really good reason for her to come into the world via c-section.
They handed me a menu, since I had been fasting for over 12 hours I was so excited to eat some food. Pregnant and fasting do not go together at all. Chad and I ordered some really good breakfast food and waited out the monitoring period. I definitely felt weird from the medication. It kinda felt as though I had ran a marathon and I was emotionally drained. Chad also was exhausted from watching the whole thing. It wasn’t easy for him to watch me writhing on a hospital bed and the fear that our daughter could be delivered at any second if she was in distress.
Baby girl looked great. She danced around on the monitor and had a great heartbeat. They soon came in with discharge paperwork and we headed back into the snow. Getting home was a crazy adventure. It had snowed about six inches in the four hours we had been in the hospital. We had to take it really slow because everywhere we looked there were vehicles that were stuck. Even SUV’s and trucks were stuck. We made it into our neighborhood and at the top of the hill, we got stuck in a bunch of snow. There was no way to move. Chad tried to maneuver the car but to no avail. We were stuck. So we hopped out of the car and at 37 weeks pregnant we hiked in a foot of snow home.
Let’s just say it took me a few days to recover from those events. My body was convinced we had climbed Everest. Not to mention as time went on the bruising to my abdomen became more apparent. Most of the bruising was by my rib cage, which is where baby girl loves to hang out and stretch. Her every movement felt like my stomach was going to explode open.
False Labor Scare
Two days after the version we went in for a shot I needed to have. (The only thing I will say about this is don’t google stuff. Dr Google is a horrible Doctor as our OB said.) Basically through a miscommunication, Chad and I rushed to the office thinking that some oversight had happened for a shot I needed to have much earlier. But everything was fine, I still needed the shot. It just wasn’t as terrifying as I thought or as risky to the baby as Google made it seem. I have since resisted googling things.
While we we in the office, they hooked us up to a fetal monitor to check on baby girl since the version had been just about 48 hours prior and they wanted to check in on her. I was very sore and in a lot of pain. I told them I had been experiencing cramps. While hooked up, they discovered I was having contractions. As a first time mom, I had no clue what contractions feel like. You can read the best birth books and go to classes and still think I have no idea what the heck my body is doing. The contractions ended up being regular and consistent enough to warrant the doctors concern. They were about 3-5 minutes apart so they to see if I was progressing. They checked things and I was dilated to a one (nothing too crazy) and 80% effaced. So they sent us to labor and delivery for continuous monitoring. They needed to make sure I wasn’t in labor because if I was, we would have to have a c-section since baby girl was still settled under my ribs. They told us that it would be about an hour of monitoring and i couldn’t eat or drink anything as a precaution.
Chad and I settled into our room, 316, and played on his poker app he developed. I began learning what contractions felt like and found they were pretty regular and uncomfortable. I wasn’t in crazy pain, but the bruises on my abdomen added to the pain of my tightening belly. An hour passed and they decided to keep me just in case. It started snowing outside and Chad and I joked that she was going to come in the snow one way or another. We decided to watch some TV and just process a little bit what life would be like if she debuted that night.
About four hours into our stay the doctor wanted to make sure things weren’t just moving slowly and they let me get into a Jacuzzi tub. That was my favorite part. If God ever lets me have a natural birth, I am spending my time in that thing. Our hospital resembles a spa, and this tub was something I wish we could install in our bathroom. The tub was massive, had jets and made the bruising on my belly feel so much better. I could still feel the contractions, but I was in a lot less pain. After a 45 min soak in the spa tub, we hopped out and were checked again. No progress. We were sent home. It was determined that likely it was mostly uterine distress from the version. I was experiencing both contractions and spasms. She also was moving quite a bit so my body was responding to all of those things.
We were both relieved and kinda disappointed. We had gotten excited at the thought of meeting her and also loved the idea of the process of how she would arrive be done. We both were thankful for a little more time the two of us.
Scheduling a C-Section
This past Monday we went in for another appointment. Baby girl has settled into my rib cage and hasn’t flipped. So we scheduled her birthday (which is the weirdest feeling by the way). April 4th is the big day.
I have had a lot of ups and downs with the thought of surgery. God is gentle and has provided a lot of support through various people who have been comfortable enough to just let me be in process. I want her to get here safely, but also have been confronted with some real fears and triggers over things. The enemy is cruel and likes to drag out old stuff sometimes. God has faithfully met me in each of my fears, triggers and spoken truth where lies lived. At the very least, a new layer of healing has been ushered in. God is always committed to total freedom and healing in all things. I didn’t think that baby girls’ means of arrival would be one of the spaces he would use to love on me in such tangible ways.
If you feel so inclined, please pray for us on Monday, April 4th at 12:30pm MST. That’s when the excitement is going down. I want to remember what happens. I want to be peaceful and present as she enters the world and most of all I want her to get here safely. Also, be patient with us. I don’t even know what to expect regarding recovery. We may not update/post pictures of her for a few days while we get this whole parent thing halfway grasped. We will be getting to know our little person. Thanks for your prayers.
-Erin, Chad and Baby Girl