This is an email that I sent to some of my friends after Liberty was born. Since the new baby's birth is only DAYS away, (yippee!!) I've been remembering Liberty's birth, so thought I'd post it for you.

Liberty Grace was born Tuesday, September 26, 2006 at 1:03 PM.

The previous Tuesday, September 19th, I went to the doctor because I was experiencing spotty blue vision, a terrible headache, and disorientation. I had extremely high blood pressure when I arrived at the office, even though I had had no blood pressure problems before or after that. My doctor sent me to the hospital for tests and observation. My blood pressure went down as soon as I arrived at the hospital, and it never went back up so I was released the following day but put on bed rest until the baby was born. My wonderful mom decided to come stay with us at this point. (And I am very glad because I would have never been able to get the rest that I needed if she had not.)

On Saturday night, the 23rd, I started having mild contractions. They intensified throughout the night until I woke Jeremy up on Sunday morning and told him that we needed to go to the hospital. At this point, the contractions were about 4 minutes apart.

We stayed in at the hospital for seven hours, during which time the contractions increased to two minutes apart, and I dilated to 3 centimeters. My doctor was away for the weekend, and another doctor was on call at the hospital. We never did see the on call doctor, but my nurse relayed a message from her that we should go home since it was taking so long for any progress. My contractions were still two minutes apart, but I was more than happy to go home because the bed was EXTREMELY uncomfortable, and I had been telling God how much I wished that I could be back in my own bed to have this baby!

On Monday afternoon, I had another doctor appointment. When I showed up in his office, he took one look at me and said, "You're in labor! You should be at the hospital, not here! Would you like to be induced?" I was still having regular, strong contractions, but I had not dilated past three cm. I immediately said YES!!!!

We had to go to another hospital because the first one's birthing center was full. (I am very thankful that we went to a different hospital because their bed was so much more comfortable!!!) They gave me Petocin at 10:00 that night. At 7:00 the following morning, my doctor showed up to see how I was doing. He saw that I was still not dilated past three, so he broke my water and told me that things would progress very quickly from here on out. He said he was going to go to his office and planned to be back around lunch-time, but he figured he would receive a call before then that I would be ready to deliver.

At noon, my doctor returned. I was dilated to five cm, and he was surprised that I was not progressing any faster. He told Jeremy and me that at the rate I was going, I probably would not have the baby for another several hours...possibly not until seven pm or so. That's when I decided to ask for some pain medicine! I figured I could handle another two hours or so of the pain, but SEVEN??? Forget it! That is also when Jeremy asked me if I would mind if he went down to the cafeteria for lunch since nothing would be happening any time soon. I told him no problem. (I figured there was no reason for both of us to be miserable!)

Jeremy left, and the anaesthesiologist arrived to give me some narcotics. I heard my doctor in the hallway telling my nurse that we had a "situation" and that he believed we were going to have to do a C-Section. She told him that she would begin preparations for that.

The medicine that I received caused a strange reaction for me. Apparently, I stopped breathing, because the nurse kept slapping my face and telling me, "Take a deep breath; Take a deep breath." I thought I was falling off of the bed, so I kept correcting myself in the opposite direction...which of course pulled my IV and all the other things they had hooked up to me. By this time, several people were in the room, and they were all running around doing things to me. I was drifting in and out of consciousness, and I knew it, but I couldn't do anything to stop it. Every time I came back to consciousness I was completely aware of what was being said and done, but I couldn't seem to respond. I felt like I was sleeping and it was all a very vivid dream. At one point, I heard the doctor at my side. I looked over, and he was showing my nurse the print-out of the fetal monitor that was attached to my belly. He told her that the baby was in distress, and they had to act quickly. I could hear Liberty's heart monitor. Every time I had a contraction her heart would stop. After what seemed like forever, it would VERY SLOWLY regain its original rhythm. Because of my medication, although I knew that the monitor belonged to Liberty, I kept wondering to myself if that was my heart stopping or hers. (The fact that the nurse kept slapping me and telling me to breathe also contributed to my wondering.)

At some point, the nurse lifted me to the side of the bed, and the anaesthesiologist gave me an epidural. After that, I felt absolutely NOTHING. He showed me a needle and told me he was going to prick me with it. I was supposed to tell him how much I could feel on a scale of 1-10. I never felt it at all. In fact, I was having a hard time telling him that I couldn't feel it, because I also could not feel my mouth! That stuff numbed more than it was supposed to! (But I am definitely not complaining!) :-)

There must have been about 50 people in the room by now...I am exaggerating, but it definitely seemed like there were 50 people in there, and there was a feeling of frantic movement. I remember thinking to myself, "This must be pretty serious if they are all so worried about it." But I must have been too out of it to be worried myself. I felt very pleasantly comfortable and drifting, although I was extremely hot. I suppose the only thing that had brought me down to earth before, was the contractions every minute or so, but now that I couldn't feel those anymore, I was just as happy as could be. I wonder if the narcotics helped to make me feel that way, but I also know that God was keeping me calm. This song kept running through my head:

Why should I feel discouraged,
Why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely
And long for heav'n and home,
When Jesus is my portion?
My constant Friend is he:
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know he watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know he watches me.

I would like to take this time to say that I had to sign some papers telling the hospital that it was okay for me to have a C-Section. I remember someone shoving the papers in front of my face, and I remember that my signature did not look right to me after I signed (probably because my hand was numb!) But I also remember laughing to myself, thinking, "Oh sure, get me all drugged up and then make me sign things." I always like to read everything before I sign it, and this time I couldn't. They sure have great timing! I think they need to have you sign that stuff with all of the registration paperwork.

I had been asking God to bring Jeremy back from the cafeteria before the baby was born because I wanted him to be there for the birth. They were finally ready to wheel my bed into the operating room, and just as we came out of my room, I heard Jeremy's voice from down the hall. "Hey, what are you doing? What's going on?" I was so glad to hear his voice! The doctor and our entourage were running with me to the operating room, and they did not stop to explain to Jeremy. He came running with us, asking questions the whole way. When we got to the doors, someone threw him a gown and told him to put it on. The doctor called over his shoulder, "Your wife needs an emergency C-Section. She's okay right now, but if we don't do something fast, you are going to lose the baby."

I don't remember much of the surgery. I felt so warm and comfortable, it did not occur to me that I was lying there naked on an operating table. Poor Jeremy tried so hard to keep his head down by my head (he faints at the sight of blood, and he has a great imagination, so any painful thing that he sees done to someone else causes him great pain.) He held my hand the whole time, which I was glad for even though I couldn't feel it. He looked scared and desperate. I kept telling him everything would be okay and that he could trust God even if things went wrong, but I don't know if he heard me or not. I'm not sure if the words ever came out of my mouth or if I was just repeating them inside my head?

Liberty's cord was wrapped so tightly around her neck that the doctor could not lift her out of my womb. She was wedged into the birth canal, but the cord had prevented her from going any further down. They had to cut me more than normal so they could get inside me to cut Liberty's cord from her neck. Then they un-wedged her and lifted her out. She wasn't breathing, and a smaller group of people took her off to the side and worked on her for a while. I lay there, straining to hear a cry that never came.

They gave her oxygen and did a bunch of stuff. I have no idea what, but my nurse told me later that they didn't think she was going to make it. I finally heard her cry. It sounded more like a sick kitten than a baby, but boy was I ever glad to hear it! She only cried once, but I guess that was okay. Eventually, someone brought her over to me. My body was still numb, and I couldn't move. The nurse put Liberty up close to my face; she was trying to let me kiss Liberty, but I couldn't move my lips. She put Libby so close to me that she covered my nose and mouth. I couldn't breathe, but I couldn't move my head to get away from her either. I remember laughing to myself over the irony of going through all of this only to be smothered by my own baby in the end; this thought flashed through my head as I struggled to get a breath. Finally, they took her away to finish whatever they needed to do. And I was very glad to breathe!

The doctor had finished stapling me up, and several people were cleaning the room. I could hear my doctor talking to someone else in the room. He was showing them the placenta, and they were exclaiming over how small it was. One of them said, "There is no way that placenta supported that baby for nine months." I was looking at Jeremy like I had been through the entire surgery (because I couldn't move my head), and I noticed that he looked funny even though all I could see were his eyes and his forehead because of the mask. At the same time, someone else must have been looking at him, because I heard someone say, "Hey, Dad, are you alright over there?" Jeremy said, "I'm fine," in a very high, thin voice, and I thought, I hope these people don't believe him!

Three people quickly lowered Jeremy off of the backless stool where he sat, onto the floor. They helped him take off his mask, gown and hat, and I think they gave him some juice, but I'm not sure about that because now he was out of my line of sight. When they finally moved my bed to take me back to our room, I saw him again. He sat slumped over on the floor against the wall. They had to put him in a wheel chair and wheel him back to the room! :-)

I think Jeremy had the worst time in the hospital because he felt every contraction that I had (and he was probably imagining them worse than they were), then he felt the C-Section (and I didn't), and he was so scared that Liberty and/or I was going to die during the whole process. He just didn't have any fun at all. Which is sad, because it was a pretty cool adventure!
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1 Response
  1. DeAnn Says:

    Well, I hope this birth goes so much better. We had a similar exper1ence, only mine was due to a botched epidural, the doctor leaked spinal fluid. They smacked my face, too, only it was to keep me awake. Colin came back in time to see all the madness, but since it was an emergency and they wanted the baby out fast...he wasn't able to be there with me for the delivery. It seems like your c-section was God's divine intervention to keep Liberty alive. I think my c-section actually saved my life, but my heart was enlarged and no one knew it until several days later..about a week later after they sent me home!
    So, I will pray that your delivery this time will be smooth and safe and no problem at all! Can't wait to see some baby pics!

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