Jonathenís birth story

My son is now 12 weeks old and I finally am finding the courage to talk about his entrance into this world. It was an event that I had waited for, for 30 long months and it was to be the fulfillment of my dreams. I was going to be a mother. It did not go as planned and was very scary for all involved so if labor and delivery are something your fear and donít want to read about I would recommend that you stop right here.

3:15 am on June 8th I got the call. Come on in Shay itís time to get that baby out. I woke up Matt and my mom and believe it or not did my hair and make up thinking hey if Iím gonna have a baby I wanna do it looking good. Matt got out the video camera and taped me getting ready and my rambling on and on to Jonathen as I knew it was to be the last time I would have a semi private conversation with him while pregnant. We got in the car at 4:00 am and on came the song Desert Rose by Sting. I remember singing along thinking isnít that funny that such an upbeat song would be on at 4:00 in the morning.

We got to the hospital and went through admissions, got my bracelet, got my bags out of the car and walked up to Labor and Delivery. Once there I was put in room #6 and had to fill out the usual paperwork about your medical history and such. I also signed my epidural papers as I knew that I would need one for reasons to be discussed later in this birth story. The resident came in and decided to check me so I donned my favorite nightgown and lay down. They were originally going to do cervadil because I was only 37 weeks so they believed that my cervix wouldnít be favorable. Well they were wrong I was 3cm, bag of waters has started to break and 100% effaced. The resident paged my Dr. and in he came about 15 minutes later. I have to say I was so lucky to have Dr. Lindsay as my Dr. Heís a perinatologist and so so good at what he does. He decided since my bag of waters has already start to leak he was just going to break it completely. Well man alive did I have the amniotic fluid He broke the front bag then the back and found 4 more pockets. When he found the biggest one it gushed out and got all over him it was pretty hilarious to see this Dr. saying all serious like ďSurfís upĒ So after that they attached and internal monitor to Jonathenís head and said letís wait and see about contractions. Well after 35 minutes it was showing nothing but I was panting and breathing through them telling him I swear Dr. Lindsay they really are happening. So an internal monitor was attached to my uterus and by George I was having contractions every 5 minutes peaking out at 90. I knew Iíd been having them but hey itís okay everybody makes one mistake. They turned on a pit drip to get the contractions closer together and called in the anesthesiologist to give me my epidural. This did not hurt nearly as bad as I expected which made me super happy. They gave me a drug to help me relax as I was very anxious and I slept the next 3 hours away. They checked me and I was 5 I slept some more they checked me again and I was 7 slept a little bit more checked me again I was fully dilated at 12:30. I had heart problems and they knew that pushing was going to be a test of how much my heart could handle. The other issue was the fact that I could not stand any pain in my perineum. I was brutally raped when I was 13, which in turn left me with flashbacks if any pain was felt in my vaginal area. Needless to say the last 6 weeks of my pregnancy were hell. I was having nightmares and flashbacks galore and that is why we decided it would be best to induce early. We gave my body until 1:00 to naturally push Jonathen down some. At 1:00 I start pushing, I did mini bursts of pushing and had to only push every other contraction to give my heart a rest. Jonathenís heart was staying at around 190 BPM, which was rather high indicating some minor stressing on him. They decided to do an amniotic infusion to hopefully give him more room and keep him less stressed. They also made me lay on my left side to push and wear an oxygen mask constantly. At 2:00 Dr. Lindsay came in to check and see how much progress we had made, needless to say it was very little and Jonathenís heart rate was still 190. He told me I had 15 minutes to make some serious progress or weíd have to do a C-section. I did not want a C-section so said screw this every other contraction thing I am going all out. I pushed with every contraction yet it just didnít seem to be working. For some odd reason my father just came walking in the room and said I just had this feeling you needed my help. He was right I did! He had me lay on my back pull my legs up and he would be my drill sergeant through every contraction. He wouldnít let me quit and I needed that at that time. I was in so much pain going in and out of flashbacks because of it and I remember yelling at the top of my lungs ďI hate that bastard so much for ruining the most important thing in my lifeĒ My dad looked at me and said then use your anger damnit, get this baby out. I screamed fine and pushed with everything I was worth my heart rate went up to 210 BPM but I finally had gotten him past my pubic bone. Dad was so proud of me and my husband was just standing their dumb struck. I think the whole experience just kind of shook him up and he definitely wasnít the normal person he is. Being an EMT heís used to these things but I donít think he was prepared for the feelings of it being your wife in pain. Dr. Lindsay came in checked to see where Jonathen was and said okay Shay heís right there just a few more contractions and out heíll be. At this point they wheeled in a mirror for me to watch my child be born. I was so excited and then all hell broke loose. On the next contraction as I was pushing Jonathen decided to turn his head. With the extra amniotic fluid it left just enough room for his umbilical cord to prolapse. Dr. Lindsay saw the cord come out over his head and knew we had a very serious situation on our hands. He didnít feel there was time for an emergency c-section so he grabbed the scissors to give me an episiotomy and said Shay on this next contraction we have to have a baby. When it came on he said PUSH and as I was pushing I felt this searing pan from front to way way back he reached in with his hands grabbed Jonathenís shoulders and tugged him out. I knew something was seriously wrong as I had a birth plan and it stated that if everything was okay with the baby I want him to be placed on my tummy. Instead Dr. Lindsay asked the nurse to push the blue call button and ran him over to the warming table. I later found out the blue button is the ďCode BlueĒ button. I didnít know why dozens of people came running into our room. I just kept screaming whatís wrong with my baby why isnít he crying? Somebody tell me whatís going on. I was hysterical and finally after 4 minutes I heard this tiny tiny whimper. Thank you God at least he was breathing. I later found out that he had to be bagged and came within seconds of being intubated. He had been without oxygen for so long that his body went into preservation mode. They wrapped him up tightly in a blanket let me see him for 2 seconds and when I saw him all I could think was Oh my God he has my eyes. They handed him back to the nurse and off they all went running down to the special care nursery with his father running after them. I thought the worst part was over but for me it had just begun. The next part of my birth story is not from my personal memories, I was in a subconscious/unconscious state and donít remember any of it. It is what I saw on the videotape, heard from my husband and parents, and read in my labor & delivery report at my 6-week check up. My placenta had begun to abrupt and as Dr. Lindsay began pushing on my uterus the blood started gushing. There was blood everywhere, all over the floor, all over his scrubs, all the way out into the hall. He began massaging my uterus in earnest and according to my mother I was screaming out in agony. I thank God I donít remember how that felt as she said it made her hysterical watching me scream and scream and scream. The bleeding wouldnít stop and they did a stat page for the anesthesiologist. He was in the middle of an epidural but Dr. Lindsay said he needs to come in now I need another line now. I donít remember it but he came in picked up my right arm, which consequently already had another IV, grabbed out a needle and jabbed. He didnít even use a tourniquet, which really scared my mother, that is when she knew things were going very bad very quick. My blood pressure began to drop and on the video tape you watch it slowly go down 120/70, 100/60, 98/58, 70/50, then the camera shuts off and thereís no more. My heart rate soared to 230BPM I was in the beginning stages of Atrial Fibrillation, which comes right before your heart stops. They wheeled in a crash cart in case I needed it. Come to find out, the Drs. made my parents leave at this point. They were much more concerned with saving my life than videotaping the birth experience. The next part is what I gathered from reading the report at my 6-week check up. They took 3 bags of saline hooked them all together put blood pressure cuffs around them all and began the IV push. My blood pressure continued to drop and I continued to bleed profusely. At this point I was considered very close to bleeding out, in other words I was within seconds of dying. They had sent nurses down to get blood from the blood bank but Dr. Lindsay blatantly told me if I would not have responded to the IV push the blood would not have gotten there in time. At 20 years of age I came within seconds of leaving my husband to raise our beautiful baby boy alone.

I sit here bawling as I write this because the emotions are still very raw. To not remember 5 hours of my life is scary enough but to know that I wouldnít have even gotten to hold my baby or tell my husband one more time how much I love him scares me. You donít actually believe that you would ever have to face your own mortality doing something that is supposedly so natural. Women have been having babies for centuries but now I understand why so so many lost their lives in the process. I did respond to the IV push thank God and my blood pressure started to come back up, at the lowest point they could only get it by palpation, which is very serious. They were excited when the monitor read 70/50 again. I do remember a tiny part of this experience after my BP had started to come back up I remember Dr. Lindsay literally slapping my face telling me I couldnít go to sleep. He kept doing it and kept doing it and I remember thinking you jackass leave me alone I wanna sleep I am sow tired. After they got me somewhat stable and my heart rate finally came down below 200 I was allowed to go to the perinatal ICU. Itís a weird feeling to take up see all of your family friends and husband standing over you looking grim and upset. I however wasnít allowed to find out what exactly happened to either Jonathen or I. My husband made the entire family swear that they would not tell me what happened until I was better able to handle it. That turned out to be just a couple of weeks ago, it was a horrible feeling to not remember so much of what was supposed to be the most beautiful event of my life. My husband said weíre never doing this again because as much as I love my son he wouldnít have been worth you losing your life. Itís funny though thatís not how I feel. Jonathen is the fulfillment of all of my dreams and wishes and wants in life. In the last journal entry I made to him before his birth I wrote this saying, ďBefore you were conceived I wanted you, Before you were born I loved you, Before you were a minute old I wouldíve died for youĒ How prophetic is that? I meant every word I wrote and if I wouldíve died he wouldíve at least had that journal to read and now how very very much I loved him. I guess itís a motherly instinct but he was and will be for the rest of my life the most important thing in my life. So as I sit here typing this out looking at my 12 weeks old son with his beautiful brown hair and blue eyes giggling and cooing at me I realize my dreams are fulfilled. No matter how horrible or scary the experience of his birth was it was worth it. He was worth it. Now I know the extent of a motherís love.

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