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Fischer's Birth Story, Part Two

Part Two: Labor and Delivery

After a night of broken sleep (with a certain four year old who needed a little bit of snuggle and reassurance that mommy was going to be ok), Kyle and I both woke up before our alarms that were set for 4:00a.m. and got dressed and ready to go. We left our house at ten till 5:00.

When we walked into the fancy hospital, it was completely empty. No one in sight. We beat the front desk guy. He did arrive very shortly and handed us off to the guy who had us sign all the papers (not sure what his official title is). After signing papers, the guy who had us sign all the papers called up to LDR and had them send someone down to escort us upstairs.

We walked in upstairs and got settled into our room. A couple different nurses came in to get information, get my IV port in, etc... Somewhere in that process, I was hooked up to monitors to monitor Fischer's heart rate and my contractions. I was amazed at the number of contractions I was having. I knew I had been having contractions for weeks, but I was probably only feeling half of them. At that point, Fischer's heart rate looked good, in the normal range, but they kept using the word "sleepy" to describe his baseline heart rate, meaning there wasn't as much activity as they really want to see. (This was especially true after I got my epidural.) I was reassured at that point that he probably was just asleep and we would watch it but it wasn't really anything to worry about.

At the 7:00am shift change, we met our rockstar nurse for the day, Casey. She got my pitocin started.

My parents arrived about 8:30 or so. And by about 9:30 I was ready for my epidural. The guy from anesthesia (I can't ever remember his title) came in and got to work placing the epidural. His name was Jamie and I told him he was going to be my best friend that day....trust me he was. Not only did he have an excellent bedside manner but I just felt that he was very attentive to me and Fischer watching both of our vitals and making sure that my pain management was completely under control.

At this point, my contractions were easily every 2-3 minutes apart but I was only dialated to a 3. We also still had not seen my doctor yet. This was so different from both of my other labors. With my other experiences, my doctor was there first thing in the morning to break my water and get my pitocin going, so I just expected this would be the case this time. My nurse told me it just depends on the doctor and that we may not see him until later in the afternoon. I was a little disappointed, only because I knew that breaking my water would help my labor progress.

In the meantime, I was REALLY enjoying not feeling contractions for the first time in weeks. I was reading in my fancy room, talking with Kyle and my parents and just relaxing. Oh and eating grape popsicles (they had my favorite...Bluebell Bullets).

At 9:53 I sent this text to a few friends:
"Great epidural!!! Wonderful nurse. Fancy hospital. Things are progressing well. Looks like it will be a great day."

And at 10:50:
"I am the only patient in labor and delivery right now. Kind of surreal. And wonderful. And I'm eating grape bluebell popsicles. Nothing could be going better."

Around Noon, Dr. Pierce came in and said he wanted to check me and break my water. My parents went down to the cafeteria to grab some lunch. At 12:15, Dr. Pierce attempted to break my water but we didn't really see any fluid. He asked the nurse for "forward pressure" and she started pushing Fischer down towards my doctor. Still nothing happened. (In hindsight and after talking to my doctor, we both feel there is a good chance that I had a slow leak of fluid that probably started the day before when I thought I just had really poor bladder control. This was not necessarily a huge deal but would explain the no fluid.)

At this point I saw looks of concern pass between Casey and Dr. Pierce. I couldn't see the monitors from the position I was laying so I didn't know what was going on. Things started moving very quickly. My nurse called for more hands and layed my bed completely flat and started turning me from side to side. She put oxygen on me and kept telling me very calmly to take slow deep breaths. When I was on my right side I could see Kyle and he was amazing. He locked eyes with me and just kept calmly saying, "it's  ok, baby. Everything is going to be ok." It was also during this time that I remembered the end of the movie "Father of the Bride, Part II" when the doctor tells George she could have the baby out in a matter of seconds if she had to. I know, random, but for some reason I latched on to that thought.

I still didn't know what the reason for the sudden concern was, but I can tell you that I was able to remain calm. I would not have thought I would have been able to not just act so calm but really feel it. Even though I was really worried and had started to cry a little bit, the Lord was so good to hold me in that moment and lock eyes with me through my amazing husband and comfort me in a moment when I easily could have and would have panicked.

When nothing was working to bring up Fischer's heart rate (which I found out later is what the actual problem was), Dr. Pierce said:  "Ok Carrie, we need to make a decision. The baby's heart rate keeps dropping and not coming up to an acceptable level. I think we need to get him out of there." In that moment, I felt 100% complete trust in him and knew he was going to do what was best for us, so I said "Ok, let's get him out."

What I found out after surgery was that Fischer's sleepy heart rate had plummeted when Dr. Pierce tried to break my water from it's consistent 120s down to the 60s, 50s and even 40s at one point. It would come back up to the 80s or 90s and then drop again. When they were rolling me, they were trying to see if maybe Fischer was laying on his cord and wanted to see if they could get him in a different position and that would help get his heart rate up. When that didn't work, that's when we were hurried to surgery.

Dr. Pierce said, "Ok, Let's go...now!" He told Kyle they were getting him scrubs to put on and he needed to put them on quickly. The nurses in the room were moving so fast. Things were flying around the room, getting unplugged, dropped on the floor, monitors unhooked, crazy crazy, fast fast.

As I was being wheeled (run) down the hall, and I tried to gulp down the reality of a C-section, I was praying and praying. I heard someone ask, "Did you get ahold of NICU?" and I prayed some more. At this point, I started feeling Fischer move a lot more and that gave me a little bit of reassurance that he was at least still moving and alive.

When we got to the door of the OR, they asked Kyle to wait right outside the door and told him they would come get him when they got everything set up. Inside, I immediately saw that Fischer's heart rate was at least bouncing up to over 100 but it still wasn't staying up. They hung the curtain up so I couldn't see what was happening. Casey came over and explained that if everything stayed ok with Fischer that they would just be able to add more medicine to my epidural but if not they would have to put me completely out and I would wake up in recovery. Thankfully, Fischer cooperated and Jamie was just able to put more medicine in my epidural. He told me I should not feel pain but would still feel pressure. Let me just tell you that I don't do a good job of differentiating between the two. I did not feel severe sharp cutting pain, but the pressure I felt was definitely painful. The actual delivery of Fischer was a lot more painful than the delivery of either LK or Shepherd.

Somewhere along the process, Kyle was let back in and allowed to sit right at my head. I asked him to start praying out loud and he did and the whole time remained so calm. Not once did I see him panic or lose his cool. I was able to lean on his strength and not worry because he wasn't (or didn't seem) worried.

There were so many people in the room but every one of them came over and made eye contact with me and told me who they were and why they were there. I felt VERY taken care of and felt that the staff in that room when above and beyond just doing their jobs. 

At 12:35, just 20 minutes after Dr. Pierce attempted to break my water, I heard the beautiful cry of my sweet Fischer. Dr. Pierce said, "Carrie, he's grabbing onto my scrubs. He looks good!". I continued to revel in the sweetest sounds of my baby's cries while they checked him completely and started to put me back together. After a couple minutes, they allowed Kyle to come and meet his son and I took a long, relieving, deep breath as I listened to my studly man speak sweet gentle words to his baby as I have heard him do two other times in my life. These are some of my favorite memories and I knew everything would be ok. A couple minutes after that, Kyle brought Fischer over so I could see him and I got to talk to him and look at him.

After I was stitched up, the curtain taken down, oxygen mask off and the room starting to clear out, I was moved to a different bed and allowed to hold Fischer while they wheeled me to recovery. Now, I have not really cared about the whole skin-to-skin thing before. My attitude has always been, if it happens, great, but please wipe the blood, cheese and guts off first. I still feel the same way about the goo, but have definitely come to see incredible benefit in the process. I had skin to skin with Fischer when I first held him, literally on the way to recovery. Immediately Fischer started rooting and wanting to latch on and eat. In recovery I nursed him for an hour.

I sent Kyle to get my mom who had been waiting with my dad in my ransacked labor room with very limited information. They had been in the middle of lunch when Kyle quickly sent them the text "O.R. PRAY NOW" when he was waiting in the hall. They rushed up to my room and the nurses kept them as informed as possible, but needless to say they were freaking out a little bit. This was one of the difficult things for me because everything happened so fast and I wanted and needed to tell people to pray, especially my parents, but it happened so fast. I'm thankful the Lord still takes care of things even when I can't help at all (imagine that).

While I never wanted to have a C-section, I am thankful for the decision that was made that essentially saved Fischer's life. And while recovering has not been fun at alland the events of that Monday took me by surprise, I am so thankful that not one second of it took the Lord by surprise. He held me all day and he held Fischer for every second.  The Lord continues to show himself faithful and take care of me.

After spending about 2 hours in recovery, we were taken up to our post-partum room to begin the really fun process of recovery. (I'll cover that in Part Three)

Thanks to my dad for taking some sweet pictures of our time in the hospital. Enjoy!

Fischer's Birth Story, Part One

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