Rooney’s Birth Story
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to start this blog post but scrapped it before I could even open the Notes app on my iPhone to begin typing it out. A birth story is a very raw, personal, and emotional story to share, but I don’t want to wait too long to recount the week’s events and risk forgetting the real ness of those memories.
I developed high blood pressure in my last month of pregnancy and was monitored very closely by my OB to be sure it didn’t turn into preeclampsia. Luckily, it didn’t, but I was put on moderate bed rest and sent home from work to put my feet up, control my blood pressure with a low sodium diet, and let our little one bake as long as possible. Because of the complications that can arise during delivery from high blood pressure, we decided the best route would be to induce labor during my 39th week. So, on Monday, August 13th, I went for my final checkup with the doctor to receive the disappointing news that I still wasn’t dilated more than 1cm and to get all the details of the induction process that we’d start later that night. My sister took me to my appointment and afterwards we met up with my dad at Olive Garden for lunch. Doctor’s orders were to indulge myself a little bit because I wouldn’t be able to eat again once we checked into the hospital. Alex had to work but when he came home we had a very early pizza dinner date at Antonio’s before heading across the bridge to check in with labor and delivery.
The hospital wasn’t ready for us when we checked in so we had to wait in the lobby for about an hour before we were set up in a delivery room. My nurses struggled to place a line for my IV so I ended up with one blown vein and three other bruised failures that are just now starting to completely fade. I only have one vein in my arms that’s great for drawing blood and unfortunately it’s in the crick of my arm where it would interfere with holding a baby post delivery. They made it work but it wasn’t the most fun hour of my life.
Shortly after 9pm they placed the cervidil to get things going. I don’t think I slept a lick that night due to nerves. I spent a lot of time thinking about what (I thought) was getting ready to happen, watching Alex sleep, listening to the baby’s heartbeat on the monitor and watching the waves of my tiny contractions peak. My morning nurses came in to start my pitocin drip but the plan was quickly scrapped when my OB delivered the blow that the cervidil hadn’t done much, if anything overnight.
We quickly went to Plan B. I got to shower, eat breakfast and lunch, and walk around until 2 pm on Tuesday when we’d give the cervidil another shot. I was sore from laying in the bed overnight and happy to be able to get up and walk around some. Once they placed my second dose of cervidil I was lucky enough to get to use one of the hospital’s only remote fetal heart rate monitors so that I could walk around as much as I wanted. Between eating ice chips and chatting with my family through more little contractions, I was able to walk laps around the nurse’s station. At 2 am my night nurses came around and we started on the pitocin drip for good.
After over 6 hours on the pitocin drip with regular contractions lasting a minute long every 5 minutes for hours (mostly back labor), my doctor came around for another checkup. I still wasn’t dilated and with every contraction I could feel her move further up into my rib cage. With my family by my side she offered to break my water, but I could tell that she didn’t think it was going to be effective and we would end up in an emergency c-section situation. My body just wasn’t ready to meet our little one but after two days in the hospital, I made the hard decision to go ahead and schedule the recommended c-section for that morning. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I felt defeated but at the same time I felt excited that we knew we’d meet our little one soon.
After that, everything moved very quickly. I was prepped for surgery and the anesthesiologist came in to talk to me about the spinal tap. I signed my waivers and before I knew it, I was being rolled off to the operating room in a wheelchair. My friend Christine’s mom ended up being one of my nurses in the OR and in post-op recovery and she was my saving grace. It was a blessing to have a familiar face to support me throughout the operation. I felt so scared and alone during the first 15 minutes of being in the operating room. It got real very quickly and I felt like I was having an out of body experience. All of the nurses and doctors spoke to me. They asked if we had names picked out and I told them. My doctor said she still thought it was a girl. Before I knew it they were cutting me open and Alex still hadn’t been brought into the room. I thought he’d only be away from me while they placed my spinal tap but that wasn’t the case at all. Once he was finally in the room I spent a lot of time watching him to see his reactions, calm down, and avoid focusing on how labored my breathing was getting and the bizarre feeling of the tugging sensations during the operation.
After what felt like forever (even though it was maybe 15 minutes in reality), my doctor announced that she was right and at 11:04 am on August the 15th I knew that we had just welcomed a baby girl into our lives before Alex even had a chance to look over the tarp and say “it’s a girl”! It took a minute but I heard her little cries and then I cried because it had always been her. She’d always been Rooney. Alex brought her over for me to see... all purpley, swollen, and covered in vernix before they whisked them both away to the nursery.
The rest of my operation and recovery seemed to last a lifetime. I just wanted to see Alex and hold my baby girl. I wasn’t prepared for how cold I would be or how much I would shake as a side effect of the shock of the surgery and medications. I wasn’t sure I’d even be able to hold my baby girl when they brought her to me if I couldn’t control my shaking. Again, I was so glad to have my friend’s mom there to chat with about anything other than what just happened so I could have some time to calm down. When my hour was up, Alex brought around Rooney in her bassinet and the three of us were wheeled off to our room for the next few days. I saw everyone in the waiting room as we went by and it made me start crying again. I don’t think I stopped crying for the next ten days.
So that’s how our precious baby girl was born. Nothing like we had planned but perfect all the same. I’m incredibly grateful we were able to get her here safe and sound and I still can’t believe she’s real... and she’s ours forever.