Eleanor Blake: A Birth Story

It has been about a year since I have posted on this blog. My initial excuse was Blair broke my laptop, but I have been lazy. What better excuse to start again than the birth story of our second daughter.

After Blair’s birth I was a little terrified of the labor and delivery process and I was determined to change that this time around. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case.

On Tuesday March 22, 2016 we left for the hospital at 4 am. I was scheduled to be induced because Garren is working in Meridian, Idaho and we obviously wanted him to be at the birth of our daughter. Every night for a week I would have very consistent contractions for a few hours that would end up stopping. It was very frustrating. When we got to the hospital I was still 2 cm dilated and 60% effaced. They gave me one dose of cytotec (it helps soften the cervix) and my contractions started on their own soon after. They were getting stronger when my doctor came in at 7 am to break my water. Once it was broken we had our first terrifying experience of the day. My nurse couldn’t find the baby’s heart beat. She had me flipping over in different positions and managed to get a monitor up on the babies head and found her heart beat. She wasn’t handling my contractions well so they ended up giving me a shot to stop them.

Around 8:30 the contractions started again pretty consistently. They were instantly much more painful than they had been earlier and already 2 minutes apart. The nurse checked me and I was 80% effaced and 4 cm dilated. (at this point I was feeling pretty good about that because with Blair I stayed at 2 cm for nearly 16 hours) I decided to get the epidural. Unfortunately it only worked on the left side of my body, but after some adjustment it worked on both sides. I love epidurals.

My nurse told me to get some rest so I tried to take a nap. The baby’s heart rate was still dipping with each contraction but was coming up after them so they were just monitoring her. Finally I looked at Garren and said,” Something is wrong”. Within a minute my room was filled with nurses. Her heart rate had dropped with the last contraction and wasn’t coming back up. It was between 50 and 60 some times dipping even lower. They told me I needed to get on my hands and knees. I couldn’t feel anything from the chest down so this was physically the hardest thing I have ever done but we got me on my hands and knees. Unfortunately it still did nothing for her heart rate. My nurse was amazing. I could tell the situation was emergent but she was very much in control and calming. She told me I needed a c section. My doctor walked in and while every one was running around getting me unhooked from things he said he thought she had a knot in her cord or the cord was around her neck. She needed to come out now.

I looked over at the monitor and saw her heart rate plummet again just as they unhooked it and started racing me to the OR. While running the nurse gave me another shot to stop the contractions. This was the worst 30 seconds of my life. I truly believed we had lost our daughter. They made Garren stay back and get dressed in scrubs while they prepped me. From the moment we got into the ER to the moment they got her out was only 2 minutes. I felt pressure and then heard the most amazing sound of my whole life; a very mad, screaming baby. I guess her heart rate had gone right back up after that shot to stop my contractions. My father in law was the respiratory therapist in the room and they looked her over and saw that she was perfectly fine. The nurse brought her over and immediately put her on my chest, which was amazing. Unfortunately at this point I got really sick. My heart rate was over 160 and my blood pressure was 55/45. I asked them to take her because I was afraid I was going to throw up on her. They gave me a few different medications to help my blood pressure and nausea while the doctor stitched me up. Once he was done he came over and said they have no idea why she wasn’t tolerating the contractions. Her cord looked perfect. They did send off her placenta to see if anything was wrong with it. Best guess is she was compressing the cord in whatever position she was in during contractions.

Garren brought her back from the nursery and I finally got to officially meet my precious baby girl. I was shocked to hear she was 6 lbs 7 oz and 18.5 inches long. I was certain this baby was going to be huge. Thankfully she latched on right away and nursed very well despite having a tongue tie that we later had clipped. Her name is Eleanor Blake, Blake after my brother and Garren’s Dad, and we couldn’t love her more. I am still in shock from the whole ordeal and trying to deal with my emotions from it.

Thankfully the scariest day of my life also ended as one of the best. Looking forward to life as a family of four :)



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