Isabella's Story, Part II

Part I

Our daughter, Isabella, was born June 9th. I was 38 weeks pregnant and had had a normal, healthy, easy, and wonderful pregnancy. I had an appointment with my midwife on a Wednesday, June 7th, and everything looked normal. Contractions started that evening and continued all day Thursday. Friday morning I woke my husband up at about 2:30 a.m. to start timing contractions. We timed them while he set up the crib in our room. We called the midwife and were encouraged to labor at home as long as possible. After taking a walk around our neighborhood, pausing fairly often so I could breathe through a contraction, we put the car seat in the back of the car and headed to the hospital. It was about 8 a.m.
Putting together the crib at 4 am
We arrived at the hospital during a shift change and I remember feeling frustrated that it was taking the nurses so long because the contractions were intense and I hurt. Eventually (probably less than 10 minutes later), I was hooked up to a fetal monitor. I was already 5 cm dilated. This was our first child so I asked the nurse, "Are we going to have a baby today?" She replied, "Yes." My husband cheered, then the nurse's face fell. 

Shortly before leaving for the hospital
I was having a contraction and our daughter's heart rate plummeted from 130-something to 40-something. Immediately, a team of 7-10 people assembled in my room and they were discussing an emergency C-section. I was told to go on my hands and knees to see if changing positions helped. An IV was started. I clearly remember the nurse anesthetist having me sign a consent form for both spinal and general anesthesia. This is one of my only visual memories due to my position. I also remembering praying, "Lord, please let her live to her 90's." With every fiber of my being, I tried to stop the contractions that were hurting my baby. You can't stop contractions. 

The OB decided to do an emergency C-section using a spinal anesthesia. At this point I was 7 cm dilated, but she said it could still take hours for her to be born since this was my first baby. I was wheeled into the OR and given a spinal. During the surgery, my husband held my hand as we stared wide-eyed at each other, silently asking what was happening. The doctor said, "Meconium," when she opened up my uterus. 

Isabella was born at 8:35 a.m. She did not cry. Very quickly she was taken to the side of the room by the NICU team and I heard "1, 2, 3." She was not breathing on her own and needed assistance. I asked my husband if she was alive. He thought so. She was immediately intubated and the neonatologist from the NICU was called into the room along with more NICU nurses. 

The neonatologist asked us her name and we said her middle name is Claire, but we had not decided on a first name. 

My daughter and husband quickly went down to the NICU and I was left alone on the operating table while the surgery team continued to work. I have rarely felt that adrift and abandoned. I eventually asked the nurse anesthetist to come and sit with me. Once in recovery, my mother joined me.
Getting measured in the NICU, the only photo we have of her eyes
Later that morning I saw my daughter for the first time. I was about 12 feet away from her in my hospital bed. Her head was covered for a brain scan and all I could see was this cap and a foot.
My first view of my daughter


I have more pictures from the 9th & 10th you've never seen.

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