10 January 2013

How She Got Here

I previously wrote about the sadness and disappointment I felt over having a natural, normal childbirth taken away from me because of my diabetes.  I wanted to let nature take its course, my baby would come when she was ready, when mother nature deemed it was time.

Instead I checked into the hospital the evening of 14 October to have my labor induced.

Gosh I look exhausted for NOT having
gone into labor!
The first thing the midwife did was hook me up to a CTG machine - it measures the baby's heart rate in response to changes in the uterus.  I had been going to the hospital twice a week beginning at 36 weeks to have this monitoring done so it was nothing new and every scan had been normal.  Before they administered any drugs to bring on labor they wanted to make sure the baby could handle the contractions of the uterus.  By measuring the baby's heart rate they get a sense of whether labor can proceed.

At this time I was not having any labor contractions just some braxton-hicks contractions - I could feel my uterus tightening but it wasn't painful.  I watched the graph plotted by the CTG machine   Each time I felt a tightening my baby's heart rate dropped.

I had done enough reading to know what this meant.  It meant that inducing labor could be too stressful for the baby. The midwife left the room to call my OB.  I didn't need her to explain anymore to me.  At that point I knew I would be having a C-section.

It all happened so fast.  My OB was on scene within 10 minutes then I was whisked to the operating room and was having a spinal block administered.  A sheet was draped across my chest and the surgery began.

So tiny in daddy's arms
It was weird - being aware and alert of what was happening but not feeling anything.  I could hear the doctors and nurses talking, I could feel tugging and pushing on my abdomen.  Then the sheet was lowered and the doctor lifted my daughter up so I could see her.  She was crying and the first thing I noticed was all the hair she had on her head!  (Just like how her momma was born!)

The midwife took her, weighed and measured her (7lbs 7oz and 18.5in), swaddled her up then held her up to my face so I could look at her.  And I sobbed!  I cried because I was so happy and so in love with her.  I kept saying, "She's so beautiful!" and "Oh my gosh she has so much hair!".

Then my girl was off to the nursery with my husband while I was put back together and stitched up.

A common occurrence with babies of diabetic mothers is that their blood sugar is low when they are born.  This is because  (no matter how hard we try) diabetes is a tough disease to manage and our blood sugars aren't perfect 24/7.  So our elevated blood glucose goes through the placenta causing the baby to produce extra insulin.  When the baby is born that high source of glucose is gone but their little pancreas is still producing extra insulin so they are at risk for hypoglycemia.

When they tested my little gal's blood sugar in the nursery the meter just read "low", meaning her BG was to low to register a numerical value!  They had to give her a feeding tube to pump her full of formula to raise her BG.  Poor little gal!  All this was happening while I was still in the operating room getting stitched up.

By the time I was ready and my girl's BG stabilized it was almost 2 hours before I was able to hold her.  I was so happy to finally get to hold her and have her close to me.  To see her and touch her and know that she was healthy.

In the end it didn't matter how my girl was born - natural, c-section, in a cave, in a taxi.  I was filled with so much love and happiness at the sight of her.  She is a part of this world now, healthy and thriving, and it doesn't matter how she got here.

1 comment:

Suzan Wood-Young said...

Congratulations, you did an awesome job! My first baby was one chubby little bugger, obviously I was having control issues while pregnant. He is now 25 and healthy and fit as a racehorse. I'm thrilled for you for being Type 1 and having a 7lb. 7 oz baby. Both my deliveries were C-sections. My sister was gestational diabetic and had a traditional delivery. When I told her I was disappointed that I didn't experience a more natural childbirth her response was "I could have lived without that experience".