Two Teens And Their Mama: Listen To Your Body - C's Birth Story

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Listen To Your Body - C's Birth Story


It's been a LONG time since I was pregnant, so I don't have a lot of advice to offer in this area. I'd never planned to share the story of C's birth on my blog, but a friend encouraged me to pass on the scary lesson I learned twenty years ago.  It ends well, so maybe it will help someone else.

In 1995, my older son was born five weeks early after an induced labor. One day later and he probably wouldn't have lived.  Here's the story.

Prior to my pregnancy with C I had a miscarriage, so when I found out I was expecting again we were excited but apprehensive.  During the first trimester I was really sick.  I lost ten pounds and eventually had to go on medication to combat the nausea.

By four months I was feeling better, and the middle part of my pregnancy flew by with no complications.  With six weeks to go, at a routine exam, my doctor noticed that my belly hadn't grown from my previous visit.  She sent me for an ultrasound, and it was determined that my amniotic fluid was low.  The baby seemed to be tolerating the situation just fine, so I was sent home on bedrest.


A week went by and I was already getting bored with the whole laying around thing.  I wish I had known to appreciate that wonderful gift of rest and relaxation before the arrival of a newborn.  On Tuesday afternoon I was reading on the couch, and realized that I hadn't felt C moving much that day.  I was supposed to be doing "kick counts", but I have to admit I hadn't been following doctor's orders.  I got out my watch and a piece of paper to start recording the baby's activity.  If it took more than two hours to feel ten movements, it could signal a problem.

Very quickly I became concerned.  I would feel a small kick here and there, but nothing consistent.  I tried a glass of orange juice to wake him up, but that didn't help.  At this point I was starting to get worried.  I called my doctor's office and the nurse didn't seem very concerned, but told me I could go to the hospital if I wanted.  Which I did.

I was hooked up for a non-stress test, and the results weren't encouraging. C was definitely sluggish.  His heart rate was in the lower range of normal, and his movements didn't cause the rate to go up very much.  The nurse called for a wheelchair to send me downstairs for an ultrasound.

The technician conducted a biophysical profile, and the news got more distressing.  Five components of fetal health were tested, with each one receiving a score of 0 (abnormal) or 2 (normal).  A score of 8 or 10 is good, 6 is borderline, and below 6 is worrisome.  C got a 4.

When the test was done the technician left the room to consult with the doctor, and my husband and I waited and worried.  Was I going to lose this baby too, after eight months?  A radiologist returned a few minutes later and confirmed that the ultrasound had shown NO amniotic fluid left, and the baby wasn't doing well.

I was whisked back upstairs to the maternity floor where they immediately gave me medicine to start labor.  My doctor felt that we could try a vaginal delivery as long as I had constant monitoring, but she told me to be prepared for an emergency C-section if things went downhill.  My poor husband was in shock. He kept saying, "But we don't even have any diapers yet!"

Labor progressed and C hung in there just fine, and the next morning at 11:15 he arrived to a room filled with doctors and NICU nurses.  I was allowed to hold him for a few minutes before he was whisked off to the special care nursery, where he stayed for a week.  Even though he was five weeks early, he weighed six pounds, his lungs were developed and healthy, and he suffered no long term effects from his pre-natal adventure.


I don't want to hear one word about these glasses - see Firmoo review instead!
Later that afternoon the nurse who had conducted my non-stress test stopped by my room.  She thanked me for paying attention to my baby's movements the day before, and told me that if I had waited another 24 hours to come in, C would most likely have died in utero.  Sobering.  It may be the only time in my life that my anxious personality did me some good.  

Testing showed that my placenta had calcified and stopped working like it should.  During my next pregnancy I saw a specialist in Seattle and we finally figured out what was going on with the fluid.  Let's just say my body is NOT good at being pregnant.  But that's another story.

The lesson?  Listen to your body and your instincts, pregnant or not.  If you think something is wrong, have it checked out.  If everything is okay, great. Just don't be the person who waits 24 hours, afraid of inconveniencing others or overreacting.  I'm so glad I didn't.

24 comments:

  1. Lana... I'm so glad you listened... we know our own bodies better than anyone else. I lost 15+ pounds in both my pregnancies in early trimester.. nothing helped but luckily the second trimesters went easier.

    I had two miscarriages too... one before Valentina and one after... it made me pay attention really well with my Valentina... I'm so happy things worked out well with C :-) ♡

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sorry about your miscarriages. It makes subsequent pregnancies harder because you worry about every little thing!

      Delete
  2. Pretty much a miracle baby! I'm so glad it all turned out in the end.

    bisous
    Suzanne

    ReplyDelete
  3. Loved this post! So glad things worked out for you! And I totally agree! Don't wait around if you think something is wrong, either!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It can be a hard lesson to learn.

      Delete
  4. That must have been so scary! You have an amazing son! I agree, always listen to your body if something doesn't seem right.

    Jill
    Doused In Pink

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It happened so fast, I don't think I got scared until after!

      Delete
  5. Wow. Glad you shared this! I did not do well being pregnant and I'm kinda over that stage in my life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too. Totally over it. Just waiting for grandchildren now.

      Delete
  6. Wow, what a scary thing to have happen to you especially with your first baby. I had my two without much drama except my daughter was breech and I had to have a C-section but with her I have learned how many things can go wrong so quickly. Listening to your body and instincts is so very important. No comment about the glasses...heeheehee!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for not commenting about my owl glasses :)!

      Delete
  7. I cried while I was reading this post. In 1989, I almost lost my son too. He stopped moving and everyone kept telling me it was normal before you go into labor. I didn't believe them, thankfully. Turns out the cord had wrapped around his neck, waist, and feet. (He was a bopper.)
    One emergency c-section later, and a week in the special care nursery, all was well. But lesson learned: listen to your gut!! Trust your instinct!! Don't let anyone make you doubt yourself.
    Sorry, but I gotta mention the glasses. I had a pair just like them. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Scary! I'm so glad you didn't listen to those telling you it was normal. It's interesting how that mothering instinct kicks in before they are even born. Thank you so much for stopping by and reading!

      Delete
  8. I'm so glad that you went in! I am SO that person that would have waited just a little longer, afraid to be the person bothering someone, or that person who goes in for everything. So glad that you listened to your body. Glad that you shared, thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm normally the person who waits, but this time I just knew something was wrong.

      Delete
  9. Wow, that is incredible. How lucky for you all that you listened to your own body.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Carol. I finally listened at the right time.

      Delete
  10. So thankful for a happy ending. You are so correct that we must listen to our bodies. Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  11. How scary that must have been for you. I am so sorry for your first miscarriage - and glad that all turned out well with C and T. I think I am now caught up reading all of your blog posts that I missed Lana - and I loved them all!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad to have you back in blogland.

      Delete
  12. Wow - anxiety can be a superpower.
    My water broke with Des but it wasn't obvious. Just the slightest bit off. Had I listened to my gut, I would have gone to the hospital. Instead, I waited until my 38 week appointment the next day and had to be induced immediately. I spiked a fever in labor and he had to go to the NICU for a week!
    All was fine, though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love the idea of anxiety as a superpower!! SO glad everything worked out with your sweet son!

      Delete

Reading your comments is one of the best parts of blogging! I read and appreciate them all!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...