I am finally in the frame of mind to write Finley’s birth story.
I want to begin with a Thank you to everyone who has supported us, loved us, cheered us on throughout these past four and a half years as we walked the journey of infertility. Finley’s Birth story isn’t like most. This blog post will be real raw emotions.
Please leave your comments, opinions elsewhere. We decided as a family induction was what was best for our family. However, you chose to bring your babies into this world is your choice; this was ours.
Sunday, April 26, 2020
Matt and I cleaned the house, hung out with one another being that it would be our full day as just the two of us before Finley would make us three, the day seemed to take forever, we ordered Mexican food for dinner. Matt and I would walk around the house, stop and look at each other and just smile, hug for a little bit and not say a word knowing what each other was feeling at that very moment. I would stop at times and say HOLY SHIT; this is my last full day of being pregnant.
Once 9:15 pm came around, we headed to the hospital. As we pulled out of the driveway, Matt looked over at me and said, let’s make you a Mama, and I said, let’s make you a Dad! The whole drive there was so emotional, surreal, I hardly even remember it as it felt like we were in a dream. We couldn’t believe this was REALLY happening. We were headed to the hospital to have our baby girl and bring her home. We have worked so very hard for this moment, and to have it than 24 hours away felt even more surreal. As the exit got closer, the butterflies in my stomach began to grow, and it hits me, I’M GOING TO HAVE A BABY.
We walk into the ER entrance, which is very closed off, and under lots of secure protection, the nurses take Matt’s temperature, and he’s given a wrist band. We grab our things and head up to labor and delivery. Nervousness and anxiety began to take over my body as we got closer to the elevator, once I gave my name to the nurse to buzz us in, then we get into our labor and delivery room, and it all still doesn’t feel real. The nurse asks me a bunch of questions, to take a shower in the special soap, and if I’d be willing to volunteer to take a COVID-19 test. I said yes, of course. A long Q-tip shoved back into your nose until they reach the very back then swirled around for 10 seconds umm yea not pleasant. My results came back negative. The test SUCKS.
I take my cleansing shower with what ever special soap it is they give you, and get the baby and contraction monitors hooked up, blood pressure was checked, IV was put in and we laid around for a while, I was 5cm at the time of arrival to the hospital, we began pitocin at 12:16am I was able to get some rest as they increased it every 15 minutes, I asked for the epidural around 2:45am before the third increase so I would still be able to get some rest. My blood pressure ended up being WAY too high through the night and much into the day so they watched that very closely, taking it every 15 minutes. At moments it would be good other moments it would be sky high, they gave me a one time medication to help through IV, it seemed to help for a little bit. Around 6:30am my doctor came in to check on me and see how far along I was to find out that Finley was sunny side up. I’m instructed to turn on each side back and forth every hour, one hour on my left side one hour on my right side until she was head down and facing my back and in the birth position. So much for getting some decent sleep. My doctor came in and broke my water at 6:53am by 10: 50 am I was 7cm 100% effaced and still flipping back and forth. By this time things are moving along and we are thinking she will be here around 2pm or so. Lost my mucus plug at 11: 15am and then I began to stall at 7cm we had multiple doctors come in and check me to be sure where I was at. Finally at 1:24pm I showed signs of being 8cm, at this time my doctor and nurses are realizing my cervix is not cooperating and still in the way some on my left side. We begin to use contractions to move it back and around her head to help things move along.
When we would do this, it would move, and then I’d be rechecked, and the cervix would be back in the same spot. We tried this a few times until my Doctor came in around 7:00 pm and I was 10cm and ready to rock and roll. My Doctor moved the cervix one last time, and we began pushing. Legs up, Matt by my side mirror in position first contraction here we go. Deep breath hold it and push, again deep breath hold it and push, one more time deep breath hold it and push. Rest in between contractions, I think to myself WHOA I’m so numb I can’t feel shit I’m not even sure where to channel my energy to push. Next contraction same thing deep breath hold it and repeatedly push, after an hour or so of pushing we can finally see her head I knew I could do it, I used that energy and kept going.
I eventually asked to have the epidural turned down so I could feel where I should be pushing, come to find out Finley was sitting 1cm off in my pelvis which was making it harder to get her out. We push up to the last 45 minutes my Doctor would allow of a continuous 3 hours. She mentions the vacuum, and of course, I began to feel terrified and more concerned; you only get three tries after that it’s emergency C-Section. I said I wanted to wait until the very last moment. So we continue to push up to now the last 20 minutes of the 3 hours trying all kinds of different positions and pushing methods, many other nurses coming in to help and give their advice. We tried tug of war, and some yoga poses with my feet above my head with two nurses pushing my legs toward my head and Matt holding my back up for support. Imagine your feet touching, but above your head, traditional pushing, to tug of war to a yoga pose. I looked at Matt and told him while in tears I need the help babe I cannot get her out, I’m too tired at this point, at this same time my Doctor is asking me the same question. So we agree, and as she goes over the possible side effects, my fear grows, even more, scalp wounds, skull fracture, bleeding in the skull, eye issues. My Doctor tells us NICU is going to be present. Finley will need to be seen by them as soon as she is born. I have never seen so many people in a room in my life, tables everywhere. My Doctor explains the vacuum to us I’m not even sure I was listening, she applies the vacuum to her head the sound that comes next is one I will never forget POP it comes off. If you can think of what a pop gun sounds like, that’s the sound, but louder. All I could think was OH MY GOSH, is she OK. We then try again, and I give it ALL I got! She’s out, and I hear Matt’s voice in my ear babe she’s here, she ‘s here as he and I cry together. Finley was born Monday, April 27, 2020, at 10:39 pm. weighing 6lbs 5 oz and 19″ long, 22 hours of labor and 3 hours of straight pushing.
We had so many plans in our minds of how labor and birth would go, none of that happened. I wanted to have Finley lay on my chest for delayed cord-cutting, and I wanted those first moment photos with afterbirth still on her, me looking at my baby girl and my husband by my side. Instead, as soon as she was here, I was shown a quick 2-second glimpse of her, Matt cuts the cord, and she’s whisked off to the NICU team for an examination. We are so grateful for the NICU team; we wish we didn’t have to need them.
Once she is here I look over, and I see them holding her up for Matt to take a photo with her weight and length, he comes over to show me, she is very swollen, her head is very cone-shaped, and all I can think about is, did I make the right choice by saying yes to the vacuum? Should I have said nope, let’s do a C-section? Once NICU gave her the ALL clear on her health, I felt better. I didn’t find this out until after I was out of surgery.
All the while, everyone is tending to Finley my doctor is trying to birth the placenta, of which is being very stubborn and not wanting to come out. They begin massaging my pelvic area, trying to release it, giving it all they got to get it out on its own. Going in and out of what I think is sleep from being so exhausted and in so much pain. My doctor calls the anesthesiologist in to give me a medication that should help the placenta release but will make me very sleepy, I said I don’t care whatever you need to do, she then says. If this doesn’t work, you are not going to like what I have to do next to get it all out. My eyes wide open I asked well what is that? Her reply was I have to go in and grab it all out with my hand. I then begin to pray LORD; please let this medication work. Mind you no more Epidural, so I feel everything. Well the medication did not work, so here she goes hand in and a feeling I will never forget she is grabbing and reaching for the placenta, hand comes out, and I said PLEASE tell me you got it all out, nope hand back in, and then out and back in and out again. I’m told this goes on for at least 20 minutes.
At this time, Matt’s being briefed on Finley’s health by the Head NICU doctor, and I remember looking over at him, screaming my head off with so much pain wishing it all would be over. Out of nowhere, I’m rolled out of the room for emergency surgery, with uncontrollably bleeding and fearful I’m going to lose to much blood. The last image in my mind of being in the room was looking back at Matt thinking OH MY GOSH what is he thinking, is my wife coming back, is she OK whats going on. From what I’m told, it looked like a murder scene in the room as they took me to the OR. They roll me onto the operating table and give me some pain meds that mixed with my exhaustion; my doctor said I ended up passing out. A DNC is done to ensure all the placenta was removed and none left behind, I was in surgery for an hour. I begin to come to, and my first question was while crying, ” did you get it all out” I hear a resounding YES! I then can relax a bit, but I begin to ask where’s Finley, is she OK? Is Matt OK? Again Yes, everyone is OK. I’m wheeled back into our Labor and Delivery room, where I see Matt feeding Finley, and my heart melts. After a couple of hours, my doctor comes to explain what she did. With a catheter, a balloon in my uterus, and some clothes to help apply pressure to help clotting and the bleeding two IVs, circulation cuffs, and one heck of a loopy feeling. I’m still pretty drugged up from all the meds he comes and shows her to me, all I could say is I have a baby, she’s mine, she’s ours, she’s so pretty.
By this time, it’s around 2 am Matt calls his sister, who lives five minutes away from the hospital to bring us some WHATABURGER to eat, and I, of course, get a Dr. Pepper Shake! I’m done eating I begin to feel the pain meds wear off around 4 am Tuesday, April 28, 2020, I’m able to hold my baby girl for the first time skin to skin and give her first feeding session on me.
My Doctor came in to check on us to see how I was feeling and gave me a big high five when she saw I had my Dr. Pepper Shake! It’s at this moment I find out about everything that happened and goes over it all. The balloon, clothes, Catheter circulation cuffs, and IVs have to stay in me for 24 hours. I’m getting no sleep because I’m continuing to have full-on labor contraction pains, shaking uncontrollably. I asked for some pain meds they give me two doses of some medication that starts with an N that doesn’t work then they give me two rounds of morphine that doesn’t help, and I’m them given Butorphanol Tartrate that doesn’t work. Our Postpartum nurse comes in, and I’m shaking. In immense amounts of pain, she checks my catheter bag, little did we know it wasn’t draining so I had an entire saline bag backed up into my bladder along with mind you the balloon, as soon as she starts emptying the bag I’m in immediate relief.
We stay in the Labor and Delivery room until my Doctor clears us of needing any emergency medical attention. At this point
They are still monitoring my blood pressure and pain. They remove the balloon and all the clothes from inside me and do an x-ray scan to be sure nothing is left behind. Once the pain meds from surgery begin to wear off, I feel like I had been hit by a bus, but surprisingly OK. We didn’t get much sleep Tuesday since, as I said, they were still doing a lot of monitoring on both of us. The scariest part is finally over. Matt and I cry together, and thank God we both are safe. He gets to do his first skin to skin Tuesday afternoon. Wednesday morning comes around, and my Doctor comes in to check on us both, I’m feeding Finley and feeling better, still a long road to recovery. She gives us the all-clear to head home, and by 12 pm we were leaving the hospital for what felt like the longest drive home of our life.
I will continue with the blog and updated Finley!