Monday, May 31, 2010

Dinah's Birth Story

Let's go back in time to March 2009...

Our story begins two weeks before Dinah's due date.  On Saturday I started having some mild to moderate contractions happening.  They continued on for a few hours so we started to time them.  They were coming at about a minute long and every 3-5 minutes.  After holding that pattern for almost an hour we decided that we should go into the hospital.  After all, that is when they tell you to head in.  So, we got there, checked into triage, was monitored for a couple hours and was told to go home because I was only 2 cm dilated and 70% effaced and the contractions weren't "strong enough." Humph.

Over the next couple weeks I was contracting all the time, but nothing was really moving along.  I constantly felt like "this is it!" only it never was.  Dinah was officially due on Monday, March 30.  The Thursday before her due date I had an appointment with our OB.  At that appointment I was 3 cm and things were moving, just a snails pace.

That Saturday, March 28, I woke up feeling a bit crabby.  I started having some of those contractions I'd been feeling for a couple weeks, but I didn't think much of it since it never meant anything before.  In the early afternoon the contractions picked up some steam and changed into feeling a bit more crampy.  This was new, but they weren't very strong at all so I just ignored them and took a nap.  When I woke up a couple hours later the contractions were coming more regularly and were getting somewhat more intense.  I told Christian not to get too excited, but that this time things might be different.

We started timing and the contractions were all over the map.  They'd be 30 seconds long and 4 minutes apart or they would be like 2 minutes long and 30 seconds apart. Or even 30 seconds and 30 seconds apart.  There was no real rhythm to them except that they kept coming.  We took a walk over to Publix to see that helped regulate things, but it didn't.  So I decided to call the on call doc.  I didn't want to go all the way to the hospital again to just be told to go home.  The doc was funny and was like, "well, we like to you to come in if they are that close..."  So, we went home, grabbed our bag and we were off.

We arrived at the hospital around 7:00 pm and went to check into triage.  We didn't even get our bag out of the car because we were so sure that this was yet another false alarm.  If things did pick up then there would always be time for Christian to run get the bag.  (A lot we know!)  Anyways, they got me all hooked up in triage for monitoring and immediately the nurses were a little concerned about a couple things.  1) My blood pressure and 2) the baby wasn't responding to the contractions.  Her heart rate was fine, but it should have been fluctuating during each contraction and she was staying too steady.  They drew blood, watched the monitors and waited.  At some point they started making me lay on my left side and then I had to have an oxygen mask.  Along about now the contractions were really kicking in but because I had to lay in such an uncomfortable position with stupid oxygen in my face I didn't get to practice any of my special breathing or anything I learned.  I was miserable in that little room waiting for them to decide what to do with me.

After about two hours of increasing discomfort and pain the doc came in and said that they were going to go ahead and check me in and if my water didn't break in an hour they would do it for me.  Hopefully that would get things moving along.  I was just excited to get out of the triage cubicle and into the nice, fancy birthing room.

Around 9:30 pm we were getting settled in to the birthing room.  I put on a gown and got into the bed and immediately my water broke in a big gush.  I let Christian and the nurse know and she checked it out.  When she pulled back the blanket her face was like "uh oh."  Apparently the water was like pea soup from all the meconium that Dinah had already passed in utero (for those who don't know, this is bad).  She checked my cervix and I was 100% effaced, but still only 4 cm dilated.  The contractions started coming much more heavily almost immediately after my water broke.  At the time I thought I was just moving in to "active labor" but now I know I just jumped straight to "transition."  I still had to lay on my left side and breathe with the oxygen mask which was supremely uncomfortable given the present level of pain I was starting to feel.  Also, there was the worry.  After my water broke the room went from having one nurse puttering about to having several nurses and doc coming in and speaking to us very reassuringly...which only  had the effect of making us aware that something was very wrong.  Eventually (around 10:00 pm) the doc came in and said she didn't like my blood pressure, the way the baby wasn't responding to things and the meconium.  All that together made her decide we should just go ahead and get the baby out via C-section.  We agreed and Christian was whisked off to wash and get into surgical room gear and I was prepped for the surgery.

They wheeled me down the hall to the operation room and lifted me onto the tiny little operation table.  The nurses were just about to turn me to my side so the anesthesiologist could place the spinal for the surgery when I suddenly felt the urge to push.  I let them all know that and the whole room just stopped and stared at me.  Finally the anesthesiologist asked me "honey, did your mom go fast?"  Yes! I replied.  One of the nurses quickly checked my cervix and I was now 9 cm dilated.  (yes, that is 5 cm in 30 minutes)  I had one more contraction while we waited for the doc to come running in and I tried not to push yet.  She checked and I was now fully effaced and fully dilated.  She checked the baby monitor and said that the baby was liking this better so we were going to push! On the operating table!

They had to hunt down Christian, but they got him in there.  So with a couple nurses and Christian on each side holding my legs I pushed.  Apparently we do things quickly in our family and Dinah entered the world 20 minutes later at 10:40 pm.  She was a little Elphaba of a baby but they cleaned her up quickly and we got to meet our new little daughter.

Auntie Amber was the first visitor Dinah had in the hospital.  She and her boyfriend (future husband) Chris had been at a concert out of town when we called them.  They finished up there and Amber came on to the hospital. (Chris was leading worship at church the next morning and had to go to bed.)  It was the middle of the night and there was a terrible thunderstorm going on, but we had a cozy time hanging out and taking pictures of our little miracle.


  1. Third Eye Blind wasn't going to keep me from seeing her!!

  2. Just remember I was in the hospital 28 minutes with the 2nd one.

  3. I just love that picture of Dinah, sooo new and yet you can totally tell its her. Oh Dinah we just love you!