Friday, February 1, 2013

Stella Rose: The Birth Story

On Friday, January 18th Logan was working a dinner really late for the CRS. (The French President's secret service) He didn't come home until 1:15AM after I called him when I had had a few painful/ different feeling contractions.  He came home, got ready for bed (he had been making me sleep on a towel for the past few weeks in case my water broke in the middle of the night- He was terrified of waking up in a wet bed haha) After he got in bed we were talking about the night and sure enough my water broke... on the towel.  Because I tested positive for Strep B, they wanted us to come straight in instead of waiting for the contractions to be 5 minutes apart.  We were NOT expecting to go into labor and were sort of in denial about "is this really happening?" on our 30 minute drive to Tulle. Keep in mind, we still had not been to bed. 
39 weeks, 6 Days... It's GO TIME!!! 
During our drive the contractions were still manageable.  We checked in around 3am and I was only at 1cm dilation but I got admitted because of the Strep B.  They checked me into my hospital room to labor in there as long as I could before the epidural.  I showered, let Logan sleep, and after a few hours the contractions became incredibly painful. I woke Logan up and got checked at only 2cm.  They gave me some morphine to help and it did nothing - I was having a lovely thing called back labor  :) After a few more hours they finally agreed to move me to L&D and give me the epidural once I hit 3cm.  I think it was probably because of all the noise I was making in the maternity wing haha!
This is where it gets interesting... I got the epidural and in France it takes awhile to kick in but I didn't feel it at all after the alleged "15 minutes" so the midwife upped the dosage, and I finally started to relax a bit.  She also put me on pitocin to help speed things up.  About an hour or so into it I started to feel everything... Logan had stepped out to go grab some lunch and I called him to please come back.  The pain was getting increasingly worse, the contractions hugely painful and I was so confused because I had always thought after the epidural you weren't supposed to feel anything.  The midwife came in and upped my dosage again and I felt no relief.  We tried morphine again and it did nothing.  They called the anesthesiologist (Only 1 works on Saturdays at this hospital) and she was in surgery and wasn't sure when she would be getting out.  This news hit me like a ton of bricks. I have never thought about, desired, nor considered a natural birth. I have wanted my one-way ticket to the pain-free epidural for as long as I can remember so it was terrifying to think of the road that was ahead of me. There was literally nothing they could do and I could potentially be having this baby naturally depending on when she wrapped up with the surgery.  They checked me at a 4cm at that point and for the next 4 LONG HOURS I labored from a 4 to an 8cm before the anesthesiologist was finally able to come to the rescue.  I had developed a fever, the contractions were coming fast and furious (only 20 seconds in between each one AND I was still on the pitocin). I sort of black out when I try to remember it. I just remember thinking I was literally going to die. I was shaking and crying and shivering through each contraction squeezing Logan for dear life.  Back to the anesthesiologist... she came in when I was at an 8cm dilation and come to find out the epidural had come out.  There was a lot of sweat under the tape (we think maybe because of my fever) and the tubing slipped out. SO I had to get another epidural at that point and again... it did not kick in for another 45 minutes. Once it did I was completely out of it but I snapped into focus once they told me I had reached 9cm!!!! I was almost there- there was a light at the end of this very long hellish day... It was then that I was informed about Stella's tachicardia... During the contractions her heart rate would drop dangerously low into the 80s and when I was at rest it would spike up to the 200s.  The doctor was VERY concerned that she was maybe going into distress.  He was also concerned that she did not appear to be dropping at all.  He said even if we reached a 10, I could still be in labor for 2 hours or so since she was still so high.  He said he would give me 1 more hour and if there was no progress we would have to do an emergency C-section.  The next hour I worked my tail off with the midwife.  She said she could feel Stella's head but that she was really high and not descending so she said she thought I was going to have to get the C-Section.  To be honest, at that point I DID NOT CARE. I was just ready to see my baby and the fact that she would arrive in 15 minutes sounded pretty great. At that point, they started prepping me for surgery.  

A few minutes later they wheeled me next door and Logan gave me a kiss and I watched him mouth "I Love You" as the door shut behind me.  We were both crying overwhelmingly emotional tears... Tears of joy, pain, exhaustion, elation, and fear.  Clearly with my lovely luck with this anesthesiologist, Logan had a serious talk with her concerning the spinal tap epidural- He told her she absolutely could NOT cut into me until she was absolutely sure that I could NOT feel a THING!! She assured him she wouldn't (actually she said if I could feel anything they would just put me completely out and under... that was really comforting) While I was in there, everything moved SO fast! The curtain was put up, numbing stuff put on my tummy, and I felt lots of tugging and pressure.  Literally 5 minutes later at 7:15pm Stella popped out. I felt this punch to the gut and this release and then these little kicks on my stomach... apparently they laid her there while they cut the umbilical cord.  I was really nervous though because I didn't hear any crying.  I looked at the anesthesiologist by my head and asked whats wrong? They whisked her out and didn't even show her to me... The woman told me she came out blue and very very cold.  I laid there stunned and so worried until I heard a BEAUTIFUL sound of a cry next door.  I knew Logan was with her at this point while they were doing all the tests and let out a big sigh of relief and started crying big happy tears.  I looked at the ceiling completely numb and happy this was all over.  Next thing I knew the midwives brought her in to me wrapped in a foil blanket while I was still getting sewn up.  They put her face right next to mine and her little hand grabbed my pinky finger like she recognized me.  I started bawling at the sight of her beautiful big eyes- They were staring straight into my soul. She was just so so so beautiful- Nothing like I had imagined... She had completely exceeded my expectations.  Then they had to take her outside to Dad where it was warmer and they did skin to skin for the next 45 min while I got stitched up.  I am really grateful Logan had that time with her because he was really set on helping deliver her. So although this was not the connection/ moment he had imagined, it was an immediate bond with them that I am so glad they got to share. 
The great part was after they were done with me, Logan was able to bring Stella into the recovery room with me. (TOTALLY different process for Emergency C-Section vs. Scheduled C-Section- Weird, I know)   He sat and held her right beside me... I had a rough time though - I was vomiting from the medicine and I was shivering cold (Titanic style) from the cold room and the medicine- they had me under foil blankets, other heavy blankets AND had a heater blowing under the sheets to heat up my legs. I was shaking so bad I couldn't even hold Stella... After about an hour I felt good enough to have Logan lay her on me. I wasn't allowed to sit up for obvious reasons.  She laid on my chest while Logan was finally able to step into the hallway to put my family out of their misery by calling with the big update :) I was in and out of falling asleep and my arms felt like jello but we did breastfeed for the first time in the recovery room and finally after 2 hours they wheeled me back to our hospital room.  After 16 hours of labor, 2 epidurals, dialating to 9cm only to have a C-Section, and not having slept for 2 days, we were finally left alone as a new family of 3 completely and totally exhausted yet elated at the same time.  My father-in-law and mother-in-law came to visit around 10pm that night and I was finally feeling less out of it. The Secret Service even sent us flowers and a gift! They said Stella had 41 godfathers in the French Secret Service - I feel like those are pretty good guys to have your back! 
So THAT is the VERY UNIQUE story of our beautiful Stella Rose.  She was worth it, but like I told my parents.... January 19th was the worst/ best day of my life! I am proud of myself though - I am not a strong or a very brave person at all, but when faced with NO CHOICE,  I toughened up and we got through it ... All I have to say is that I have a newfound respect for all those ladies who desire to go all natural :) And a BIG THANK YOU to my husband who was there for me every single minute of that never-ending day. I couldn't have made it through without him.  

We love you Stella Rose.

Born January 19, 2013 at 7:15pm 7 lbs 3 oz 20 inches  

Baby girl... you were worth every single minute.   


  1. I love birth stories! Sounds like it didn't go quite like you expected (does it ever?!), but you got your happy ending :) She really is a beautiful baby!

  2. Oh girl..... I labored for 16 hours, including 2 hours of pushing before my C-section... Crazy!! Praise God for healthy babies! My C-Section was a miserable and painful recovery....praying you are feeling great! Stella is precious!!

  3. Bless your heart!! I just thought my day was long! But yes...our sweet babies were worth every minute! Hope you are recovering well. Recovery was not so great for me. Stella is absolutely beautiful!

  4. I've been waiting for this post! She's so gorgeous and I'm just eating up all your instagram photos! Congrats congrats and you hung in there!! x

  5. Well it sure sounds like you are strong and brave to me!! So glad that little Stella arrived safe and sound. I said the exact same thing about the special, skin to skin time that Michael and Ramona got to have after the birth - it was hard on us, but it's something our husbands will cherish for the rest of their lives!

    I hope you are recovering quickly and that everything is going well. And I can't believe what a teeny peanut Stella turned out to be! Big, "American" baby! Those French nurses don't know anything! ;)

  6. Hi Abby! I don't know if you remember me, but I was a ChiO. :) I love your blog and your little Stella is absolutely beautiful. It is so fun to read other people's birth stories! So glad that she's here safe and sound after such a long and stressful day! Congratulations! Brittany (Preston) Sciba :)

  7. That is one amazing birth story. Congrats again

  8. I am so proud of you Abby. Thank you for sharing your birth story. You are strong and brave, don't fool yourself love! xoKaren

  9. Thank you so very much for sharing this with us! I'm full of happiness for you!



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...