Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Birth Story

Well, Shalom is now 10 weeks old and I'm finally getting around to posting about her birth story.  I guess I've been a little busy, but she's sleeping now so I have time.  Disclaimer:  this story is about birth, so don't read it if you don't want to know the details.  :)
Thursday night, May 24th, we were getting ready for bed at 11pm and my water broke. We called our doula and friend, Tafida Allen, and told her that my water broke but I wasn't having contractions yet. She told me to get some rest and call her when we wanted her to come over. I was trying to get cleaned up and in bed when the contractions started and we started timing them. But they were hard to time, since there's a constant pain behind them and they weren't super bad at first. But they were like 2 minutes apart so I thought I was timing them incorrectly. Then they started to get stronger so I called Tafida back and told her that I thought they were really close together so she better come over. Seth started getting our things together and putting them in the car and the contractions started getting really intense and 1-2 minutes apart. I thought we might need to leave for the hospital before Tafida even got there, but Seth calmed me down and said to wait for her. So when she got there, she watched me for a bit and made notes and timed my contractions. She wanted me to sit down and rest to slow them down, but as soon as I sat down, I needed to throw up. So I went and did that and then decided it was time to go to the hospital. So we drove over to the hospital (fortunately only a few blocks from our house), parked in the loading zone for pregnant women, and checked in. Everyone in the hospital was very nonchalant and taking their time. When I finally got into the triage room (the room they put you in to check to see if they'll even admit you) the nurse checked my cervix and said, "Are you ready to have your baby, because you're about to!" I was already fully dilated to 10cm and fully effaced. Crazy! Seth didn't even have time to move the car out of the loading zone, so the nurses had to call security and tell them not to tow the car!  We had only brought my purse with us up to the room, since Seth thought he would get all the bags and camera when he moved the car.  Thankfully, Tafida had been toting around a disposable camera for years for just this reason!  They wheeled me into the delivery room and there were about 6 nurses but no doctor. My doctor was at another hospital delivering a baby there. They had another doctor there but he was delivering another baby. There was a resident who could do it but he was busy with something else too. So it was us and the nurses. And the head nurse told me if I felt like I had to push, I could but it would be better if I didn't since the doctor wasn't there. Aiaiai! Let me tell you, when you feel that need, it's not something you can choose to ignore. Anyhow, my doctor showed up a the last minute while I was already pushing. The next parts are a bit of a blur to me, but I think I pushed maybe 10-12 times and they lost track of the baby's heart beat at one point, so they all went into serious mode trying to get her out quick. The doctor ended up using a vacuum to help pull her out because her heart beat had gone way down. Next thing I know, the baby is out! Shalom Rose Haak was born on Friday at 1:35am, all natural.  2.5 hours from start to finish. Whew!  It was amazing. They put her on my chest and we got to see her for a minute, then the NICU doctors came in to look her over and make sure everything was okay because of the heartbeat situation. She was fine, thank the Lord. Then they handed her back to me and we got to really spend some time together. They gave me a shot of pitocin to help stop bleeding and close up the cervix but, since she came out so fast, there was a lot of internal tearing (grade 3 - it goes up to 4). The Dr. was trying to sew it up with topical anesthetic but it was still really painful. She decided it was too difficult and painful to keep going like that so she ordered me to surgery. So they took Shalom and Seth to the nursery to get her cleaned up and checked out, and they took me to surgery. I had to get a spinal epidural at that point for the surgery but she was out already so I didn't mind. Once I was out of surgery, they brought me back to the delivery room until my legs came back to life and they brought the baby in for us to bond with. We worked on breastfeeding and just hanging out together. Then they moved us over to our recovery room (we got our own room which was a big praise!). About an hour later my sister showed up (I had called her when we were leaving for the hospital and she drove through the night to come be with us). It was a huge blessing to have her there and she stayed until Tuesday, helping us do stuff in the hospital and at home. The first day was a blur and we were so tired from being up for more than 24 hours but it was really fun to hang out with our new baby! Very surreal to see her in real life. The second day, they tested Shalom for jaundice and she had a little bit of it so they had to put her under light therapy for the 2nd night. The jaundice was caused from the bruise that the vacuum made (something about extra red blood cells to process makes the liver work too hard and created jaundice). So they had her in the nursery for 3 hour stretches and then brought her back for feeding. Then by the next morning she was in the clear so they said we could all go home! So we left the hospital on Sunday afternoon and hung out, seeing visitors at the house. 
I can't even explain what a crazy love God gives us for our children the minute they are born. I feel privileged to have a glimpse of God's love for us through the love that he gives a parent.  God has given us such a great gift of a little girl.  We love her so much and are enjoying getting to know her better day by day.  Thank you for being part of our journey as parents to Shalom. 

Shalom and Mom
 Shalom and Dad
 Family with Tafida, our dear friend and doula