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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

My Birth story....

The adoption of Luke and Grace were such profound events, I often wondered.... if I was ever blessed with the privilege to have a biological baby would their story be as profound? I was blown away again by God's mercy and have learned that Isabella's story is just as profound but different. Each one a miracle, each one a divine plan by the Almighty One. I thought a lot about sharing my birth experience, but I feel so absolutely blessed that I want to share the miraculous birthday of one of the 3 greatest gifts that God has given to me.

Isabella Mary-Ann was born Wednesday, March 24th, 2010 (12 weeks ago) via c-section. She weighed 6 pounds and 7 ounces and was 19 inches long. She was born at 8:13am.

The day of her birth, I awoke at 4:00am in anticipation (and a whole lot of nerves). We needed to be at the hospital at 6:00am. I showered that morning because I knew it would be a while before I would be able to take another shower. We both got ready. I was very thirsty at this point, but of course no water or food for that matter. We left for the hospital at 5:30am when Mark's mom arrived. It was surreal to know that were going to the hospital to have a baby. A long awaited baby.

We arrived and walked across the sky bridge. Mark parked facing the hospital. We left our bags in the van for later since I knew from previous visits to the triage area that there wasn't a lot of room. We stopped at the restroom because of course I had to use it again (the joys of being pregnant). We rode up on the elevator with several nurses, who later we would find out would be my nurse assigned to me for the c-section and recovery. We checked in at labor and delivery Family Birth Center (Floor #4). A kind woman directed us to the triage area where we had been having our non-stress tests. We were placed in triage Room #1. The nurse had me put on a lovely gown. I had a difficult time not shaking because of my nerves. I kept telling myself, "I am not going to do this(shake)...I am going to enjoy this," willing myself to calm down. When I finally got my gown on, Mark took my last pregnancy picture and we met nurse Suzie for the first time.

(Last pregnancy picture)

She hooked me up to all the monitors and of course Bella wouldn't cooperate. She had to strap on the fetal monitor tight! Next, we met nurse Gina. I had met Gina before when I ended up in labor and delivery in January. It was nice to see a familiar face. Nurse Gina was called the "baby nurse". She was going to handle all of Isabella's care after the delivery. Suzie attempted to insert and I.V. and decided not to even try with my veins. So, Gina came in and got the I.V. inserted on the first try, but it HURT! I have never had an I.V. inserted before without numbing the area first. The hooked me up and started running fluids through the I.V. They then got the "Dad Pack" from the cabinets and gave it to Mark. It contained all his scrubs he would need for delivery. Too cute!!

Next to visit me was Dr. Monesori the anesthesiologist. He explained to me the process of the spinal block and asked me a few questions. He came highly recommended by the staff at the hospital. Everyone said how lucky I was to have him. Dr. Monesori then left the room to prepare for surgery. Suzie returned with a bunch of medication. Reglan and Pepcid were given to me through the I.V., and then I got 2 small cups of the worst tasting medication. Yuck! They called it citric acid and it was used to neutralize all the acids in my stomach. After choking down the meds, cute brown hospital socks were attached to my feet. I received a new gown at this point. It is a special gown that has a hose that can attach to it and blow warm air on you. It is called "Bear Paws". Research has found that if you keep a person temperature up during surgery they recover faster. Suzie turned it on and it puffed up. I felt like a marshmallow waiting for Dr. Bishop to come check in with us. When he arrived, I had to sign a form about the c-section. He asked if we had any last minute questions and I couldn't think of anything. He asked if I had gotten any sleep last night. I said, "a little." He said that he slept great! Then he said he would see us in the O.R.

Suzie returned, Mark kissed me, and I walked with Suzie into the OR. That was one of the most bizarre experiences of my life. Here I am, 9 months pregnant, an I.V. trailing me in a purple hospital gown, walking to the end of the large hall into OR #2. 7 friendly people were waiting for me. The OR was so bright and extremely cold! Everything was beeping. It was so weird to see all this medical equipment and I started wondering what it was all for. I saw the baby scale and the baby equipment off to the left walking in. I couldn't believe the moment was finally here. For a brief second I was caught up in the magic of it all, and then of course reality hits, I am about to lose all feeling from the chest down, they are going to but a large needle in my back,they are about to cut into me....oh, look at the scalpel. Great! Suzie had grabbed another bag of fluids on the way over and was busy positioning the I.V and helping me get on the table. I sat off to the right of the table with my legs dangling over the edge. Dr. Monesori began his prep work on my back. By this time, modesty is out the window. I have learned that modesty and pregnancy don't mix. Dr. Bishop sat on a rolling chair waiting his turn shooting the breeze with the other staff in the O.R. They began paging Dr. Carleo, the assistant for Dr. Bishop at this point. It was about 7:45am.

Dr. Monsori began by using an ultrasound on my back. He marked several points all while Suzie stood in front of me holding my hands and telling me what was happening and whispering encouragement to me. First, my back was cleaned with a solution that sterilized it. Then, I had to curve into a ball (difficult to do with a basketball for a stomach). The worst part of the entire spinal block was the lidocane used to numb the back. After the lidocane, I was told to hold very still. That was when the spinal was being inserted. It was one injection of medication. The spinal block works by numbing a person up to their chest, however it starts at the feet and moves up. I immediately started going numb and they helped me lie down. They staff began working quickly at this point. Things were being draped around me, Dr. Bishop was up and on my left side talking with me, a nurse was inserting a Foley catheter. I didn't feel anything (thank God!) Suzie put the baby monitors on me so Dr. Bishop could take a listen to the baby post spinal block. Dr. Bishop told me that March 24th was his old nurse, Ruth's birthday. I knew Ruth.

He started pricking and pinching me. I felt nothing. I was given oxygen at this point. They were still paging Dr. Carleo, when Dr. Bishop moved around to my right side and was sterilizing my belly. They then went to go get Mark. Dr. Monesori asked me to squeeze his hand. At one point, while going numb I thought I might panic, however, I just gave myself over to this process and tried to stop fighting the urge to move my legs. Mark appeared at that point in his scrubs and sat by me. They placed a drape across the front of me and began the c-section. Mark to my amazement watched the entire process...I was thankful I could see nothing. I could smell my skin burning when they were cauterizing. About 10 minutes into the procedure I heard a lot of suction (amniotic fluid). Dr. Bishop called for a Kiwi (vacuum). I was told by Dr. Monesori to take deep breaths, as Dr. Carleo used his forearm to apply pressure to get little miss out. She wouldn't budge so Dr. Bishop used a vacuum to pull her head out and the rest of her body.

(Dr. Bishop on the left, Dr. Carleo on my right. Bella"s grand entrance into this world.)

She came out screaming! It was an answer to pray. We were told that since she was technically 3 weeks early there was a chance that she might have to go to the NICU. She was suctioned and handed off to Gina.

(Bella and nurse Gina)

She held her up for me to see. She was beautiful. Her apgars were 8 and 9. I laid there and watched her just crying. I will never forget that moment as long as I live. I gave birth. They said it couldn't be done. How great is our God?

(Me in my "Bear Paws" gown & Bella ready to leave the OR).

Next post I will share about my recovery. God was faithful in the recovery too :)

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