Saturday, March 21, 2009

A bit of a scary afternoon with a happy ending

Yesterday proceeded as planned - another few hours of contractions, a bit of dilation and then an epidural (happy day). Evan was tolerating labor really, really well. But after a few hours his heart rate started to dip a bit during the contractions. This was the same thing that happened with Will and I wasn't too alarmed.

They turned off the pitocin and I spent the next several hours laying on my side in the bed with the oxygen mask strapped to my face. Evan would do well for a while and then he'd get angry again. So, they'd come in and roll me over to the other side. Since the pitocin was off, my contractions weren't as strong or quite as frequent. So we waited for my body to do the work and dilate my cervix more slowly than originally anticipated. At 5 pm I was told I could finally sit up again. I was able to sit upright and surf the net for a bit. The plan was for Evan's weight and gravity to rest on my cervix and dilate it that last 1-2 cm. A few minutes before 6 pm the doctor came to check on me. He made the joke that I was enjoying myself way too much.

Not for long.

He checked my dilation and something about my being checked set Evan off. His heart rate plummeted and things got a bit scary. Several nurses up front didn't realize the doctor was with me and they all came running into our room. It was tense for several minutes as everyone watched the monitors. I started praying that everything was going to be okay. I was afraid for the first time. At 6:02 my doctor started giving me instructions on what to expect - because if things didn't change 180 degrees in 60 seconds, we were going in for an emergency c-section. He was explaining to me that he'd have Evan out in under 5 minutes and that the rest of my surgery would take about 30 minutes total.

I was stuck on my side, frozen, not allowed to move. Barely breathing, listening to Evan's heart rate on the monitor. Everything stabilized quickly and the tension released. Every time a contraction came I prayed and listened to that heart rate. He was still having dips during my contractions, but not like he had been.

At 6:40 I couldn't take it anymore. I wanted to start pushing - I wanted my baby out. I was too scared having him inside me at this point. Todd went and got a nurse and told them I wanted to push. I still had a rim of cervix left, but they told me that I could go ahead and start pushing.

They called the doc and told him I wanted to push. Ordinarily, I would have started without him, but they wanted him there. At 6:45 I pushed for the first time. I don't know what it was, but it was so much more difficult this time. I think I was working SO hard because I wanted him out SO badly. I was afraid for him and for me and I wanted him in my arms where he was safe. The nurses told me he was "right there", so it'd only take a few minutes.

At 7:02 pm, March 20th, 2009, Evan Parker entered the world. As he came out the doctor said "cord once, cord twice, cord three times." Evan's cord was wrapped around his neck and torso three times. Then as he slipped the rest of the way out we discovered the very scary reason for his heart rate issues. A knot in his cord. Thanks be to God that the knot was loose. The doctor slipped a finger through it to loosen it a bit. The reaction in the room was one of total shock.

He was big, a bit blue and really limp. Looking at his limp form was terrifying. The doctor was rubbing him as hard as he could and jostling him trying to get him moving. Thankfully he was crying within a few seconds and everything was okay. I think we all breathed a sigh of relief. He perked up really quickly. He ended up not even needing oxygen or anything.
We found out on Saturday that every member of the staff was watching the monitors at the nursing station while I was pushing - every time I pushed his heart rate was dropping down into the 30 beats per minute range. Everyone that's come in to see us/check on us - peds, OBs, nurses, etc have mentioned the knot to us. Word's gotten around about it.
Thankfully I'm sitting here watching a perfectly healthy, beautiful baby boy sleeping in his hospital bassinett. It was a whole lot of fright, but couldn't have turned out better.


SMITHA said...

wow ... that is scary.
I am so glad everything turned out good.
I've never heard of a knot in the cord!!

Melissa said...

Oh goodness, I know you were scared. So, so glad everything was okay!!!