Sweetbeans Birth Story

I haven't blogged much during my pregnancy like I did with Jellybean and Littlebean. It wasn't because I didn't want to, but this pregnancy was definitely more stressful then the others. After having a miscarriage it left me feeling really stressed. I know I blogged a bit about what it felt like in the beginning of my pregnancy and you can read about that in my blog Pregnancy After Miscarriage. Some of that stress went away through the middle of my pregnancy but once I entered the 3rd trimester the stress began again. I started to have anxiety about her coming to soon and something being wrong. I knew 4 women who were pregnant and due around the same time as me that all had their babies early and they ended up in the NICU for a bit. One of those 4 women gave birth to her identical twin angel babies that passed away and went to see Jesus way to soon. It weighed really heavy on my heart, I cried and prayed but I still had a lot of anxiety.

On May 26th I had my weekly appointment with my OBGYN. I went to my appointment planning to have my doctor do a membrane sweep because I was 39 weeks and 2 days. I was ready to get things moving and hopefully go into labor soon because my due date was approaching. I wanted to have her by the weekend so that she was actually born in May since my due date was May 30th. To be honest I really just wanted her out so I could see her, make sure she was ok, and count her fingers and toes. My anxiety needed her out to know that she was healthy and going to be ok. My normal OBGYN that day had an emergency and had to leave the office so I ended up seeing a different doctor that was taking over her service. We had a good chat and I explained that I wanted to do a membrane sweep, he agreed but needed to get my belly measurements and babies heart rate first. As he's examining me and was feeling for what position baby is in I asked him what the hard body part was. I told him I had asked my other doctor multiple times and she always insisted babies head was down and that it was probably her bottom. As he's feeling I see a look of confusion on his face as he says, "I'm going to go get the ultrasound machine." He rolls the machine in and sure enough the hard body part I have been feeling for weeks was baby girls head. At this point he takes some other measurements and verifies was position she is in. After he was done all that the doctor talked to me about my options. It turns out that baby girl was frank breech which means she was bottom down and her feet were up by her face, she was basically folded in half. The doctor gave me 3 options we could try: an external cephalic version (ECV), a breech delivery, or a c-section. The doctor suggested that we try an ECV, he said it was a 50/50 chance of working and this late in pregnancy the odds are lower. He said she was measuring about 7lbs 2oz which is smaller then my other pregnancies but this late in pregnancy there is less amniotic fluid which could make it more difficult. He then told me that I would also be a good candidate to have a breech delivery. He said that because I had already given birth to two 8lb babies vaginally that I should be able to have a very successful vaginal breech delivery if I chose that option. We went over all the risks of the EVC, and breech deliveries and he gave me 2 print outs to take home and read over. He went ahead and called down to labour and delivery and scheduled my EVC for Friday May 28th at 7:30am. We also scheduled a c-section and was set up to be induced if baby girl did turn for a regular delivery or I chose to do a vaginal breech delivery. I left the office sort of in unbelief that this was the situation we were in, and also a little angry that my doctors didn't catch this before now. My Mommy intuition knew something wasn't right.

That night and the next day I spent reading up on turning babies and watched some Youtube videos on different things I could try to get her to turn on her own. I also watched videos of women having the EVC procedure done. It further intensified my anxiety about what was going to happen. My husband and I kept talking about our options and what we were going to do if the EVC failed. He really was concerned about the possibility of me having a c-section and having surgery. Even though they are routine there is a higher maternal mortality rate. For me I was concerned about having a breech delivery because it was a higher infant mortality rate. I was also concerned about going through the whole process of having a vaginal breech delivery only for there to be complications that ended in me needed to have a c-section anyways. There was a lot to think about but we chose to try and stay positive and see if the EVC worked first. That didn't stop me from standing on my head. Ok I didn't exactly stand on my head but I did try a forward leaning inversion multiple times over that night and into the next day. I tried being on my hands and knees and swaying, the weightlessness is supposed to help get baby into position to turn easier. I tried music and light. I tried using cold on the top part of my belly and a heating pad at my lower belly. None of it worked. On the night of May 27th I packed our hospital bags and got ready for an early morning. I wasn't allowed to eat after 8pm since there was a possibility of me having surgery.

On May 28th we woke up really early and kissed the kids goodbye hoping we would have a baby by the end of the day and we would see them in a day or so. My husband dropped me off at the door and went to park the car as I went up to labour and delivery for 7:00am. I checked in and they brought me over to triage, got me in a hospital gown and got me all hooked up with baby heart rate monitors and IV. An EVC can be stressful for the baby so the procedure has to be done in labour and delivery in case there is an emergency and they have to do a c-section. I was super stressed, and to make things worse with Covid I was told that my husband was not allowed in with me for the procedure and he would only be allowed into the hospital once I was in active labour and induced or in need of c-section. Being completely alone made my anxiety even higher. I knew the EVC was going to be painful and I wanted my husband there for support. I was concerned that if something happened to the baby and I needed an emergency c-section that he would miss it because he wouldn't be able to make it in time. All of these things added on to my stress. My nurse informed me that the doctors were doing a scheduled c-section and then they would be out to do the EVC, so I was left to wait. I asked her if it was possible for me to go sit with my husband out near the elevators since it was going to be awhile. She told me that was fine, but she could also sneak him in to be with me, and that he could of course stay for the EVC. I was relieved and texted Marcus that the nurse was going to come get him and bring him to me. I was so thankful to not be alone, and appreciative of my nurse who allowed him to come in against hospital protocol. We sat and waited for a few hours then finally around noon the doctors came and were ready for the EVC. They tried for about 30 minutes to turn her. They got her a quarter of the way turned and she just wouldn't go any further. This basically left us with the two choice that we didn't want to think about. I had to sit with the monitors on for an hour after the procedure to make sure baby girl was ok so it gave us time to think. We sort of just ignored the topic for a while, then we asked if we could talk to the doctor again. We asked all questions we could think of and were told that yes they could go ahead with a c-section right now but if we chose a breech delivery that they wouldn't induce me today. They said it would be better for me to go home and go into labour on my own. The idea of that kind of made me sad because I really wanted to have my baby today. The doctor left us to talk it over and Marcus and I decided to make a mental pros and cons list. Obviously that didn't really help us make a decision. Well I know it's controversial I was letting my husband decide. Well I know that it is my body and my choice, my husband and I are partners and his opinion mattered to me. Just because I was letting him make the decision didn't stop me from expressing my thoughts and concerns on our options. He is the lead of our household and I knew that whatever he decided would ultimately be lead by God and it would be what was best for me and the baby. We sat in silence for a bit and then all of the sudden he stood up and said "Do you want to meet our baby today?" I of course said " Yes, do you?", he said "Yes I do, I think we should do the csection." We called the nurse and doctors back over and told them our decision. They told us that was great and they would go ahead and call down the anesthesiologist and we should be ready to go into the operating room in about 20 minutes.

Sure enough within 20 minutes we were ready to go. I walked into the operating room and sat on the edge of the table while the anesthesiologist got my spinal ready. Marcus had to wait outside while they got me sorted and prepped. The anesthesiologist was concerned about the fact that Marcus hadn't eaten anything all day so she asked her resident to get him a sandwich and some orange juice. They didn't want him passing out in the operating room. Once the spinal was in my legs went instantly heavy and warm. They got we settled on the operating table went through their check lists of supplies and double and triple checked that everything was in order. The anesthesiologist told me that the spinal could lower my blood pressure and could make me nauseous so to let her know, because if it dropped to low there was a chance they would have to fully sedate me which terrified me. I already have very low blood pressure so this seemed like a highly likely circumstance and I really didn't want to be put under fully anesthesia. Marcus was able to join me once everything was ready to go. I was warned that I should feel some pressure but no pain. I felt nothing and Marcus watched it all. He stood up watching everything over the curtain snapping photos and giving me the occasional head rub. Within minutes the baby was out, and they lowered the curtain for me to see her. She was born at 1:55pm, and the instant we saw her we all knew she didn't weigh 7lbs. Unfortunately I didn't get to see her for long because the operating room was to small for the NICU doctors to be set up in there with us and she had fluid in her lungs. They whisked her away across the hall to NICU while they finish sewing me back up. This part took the longest and I was starting to feel fidgety. I even asked "Are we almost done, because I'm ready to get off this table." Marcus and I talked and literally decided on her name as they were sewing me up. He called my parents and then his mother and told them that we had our beautiful baby girl. The nurse came in to tell us Eliana was doing good and that they weighed her and she was 8lb 7oz. We were instantly happy and both aware that we had made the right decision on having a c-section because of her size. Once they were done and got me situated on the back in my hospital bed and heading to the recovery area they told Marcus that he could go see Sweetbean in the NICU. Just as they got me to the recovery room a nurse came in pushing Sweetbean in the bassinet. She was perfectly healthy. This was the first time I got to hold her and immediately she was hungry. I nursed her and she latched right away with no issues. As we were in the recovery area Sweetbean had her first poop, which clearly meant it was up to Dad to change this one since I was still numb from surgery. He did so with a lot of grumbling. I later found out that she actually had her first poop and pee immediately after she was born and still with me on the operating table.

They finally moved us to our room around 3:00pm. Marcus went down to the car and got all of our bags and stuff. While he was gone a got extremely nauseous and called the nurse. She gave me some IV anti-nausea medication and all was good. Clearly at this point Marcus was starving, and you would think I would have been to since it was dinner time and I hadn't eaten since dinner the night before. He ordered some food, I declined, and had it delivered to the front doors of the hospital. A few hours later I was nauseous again but this time I ended up actually getting sick. The nurse gave me more medication and I was good but they really wanted me to eat something. Finally around midnight I was really hungry so I sent Marcus out to get me food since all the hospital had at that hour was toast and juice. He got me a chicken wrap and some perogies which were delicious.