Birth Story! 22 days early!

I have to start by saying that I am so incredibly lucky.  I LOVE motherhood and have the most wonderful daughter.  She is so perfect and healthy.  Yes, I am exhausted and yes, figuring out breastfeeding/ pumping while being sleep deprived has been challenging but SO worth it.  I also love seeing Matt with Emerson.  He is a such a natural and it makes me fall in love with him all over again.

Emerson's birth wasn't what I imagined it being.  I had a textbook pregnancy and felt great overall.  This particular day I had a weekly checkup.  I work from home on Wednesdays so I always try to make my appointments then.  That morning I actually got up super early (I was feeling mega productive) and worked on a painting for our living room.  I wanted to finish it before I started my work for the day.  I worked till about 1 and instead of lunch I decided to take a shower and make cookies.  I didn't have time to bake them - just enough to whip up the mix and place if the fridge for later since my appointment was at 2. 

Since this was just a 15 min appointment I went by myself.  I was on rotations so it was my first time meeting this particular Doctor.  They always ask if you are feeling her move.  I said yes but that it had decreased.  I just assumed she had dropped or something because I was still feeling her - she just wasn't having a dance party.  He seemed a little skeptical and said that I should still feel her  - and I was - it wasn't until he said that I should be feeling her playing around in there for long sessions just like before that I started to get nervous.  He decided to have me to do a NST (non stress test) which is where they hook up a fetal heart monitor on my belly and I click a button every time I felt a kick.  I was texting Matt and he had just finished up a meeting and surprised me by coming by.  I was at the time trying to figure out a work situation on my phone so I hadn't seen his text.  After the test was complete the Doctor said everything looked good and that since it was my first pregnancy maybe I wasn't sure what I was feeling (dude I know if my baby is moving or not).  He then said for us to do an ultrasound the next day for peace of mind.  We never thought anything was wrong with her...we were both just excited to see her on the screen again and I wanted to know much she weighed.  I knew I was going to have at least an 8 pound baby but wanted to make sure she wasn't a ten pounder.  The nurse came back to our room and said that the fetal medicine office uptown had an opening in 20 min if we wanted it that day - we of course jumped at the chance.  This appointment was at 4.

The whole drive over we talked about Matt's Dad who had surgery that morning and was having complications from it.  His Mom was actually in an ambulance with him riding from Hilton Head to Savannah when we were in the car.  We found out later  - about the same time Emerson was born - that he actually almost went into cardiac arrest.  He had a seizure in the ER and Matt's Mom actually passed out.  Luckily Matt's Aunt was with them.  Again, we didn't find any of this out till later but crazy that this all happened at once.  Worth mentioning that Matt's Dad is doing great now!  Healthy and all!

At the ultrasound appointment the nurse said her heart rate was in the 120s.  I dismissed that and asked how much she weighed.  The nurse became quiet and asked me to turn on my side and left the room to get me some water.  Seconds later she came back with 2 more nurses and a machine - the NST machine.  Seconds after that the Doctor ran in and literally freaked out.  Like FREAKED OUT.  He asked me to turn from side to side and to sit up and when I was sitting up close enough to him he said, "sit up! sit up! sit up!".  I asked if I should use the restroom figuring she might be cramped because of my full bladder.  He told me I wasn't going anywhere.  He then shook my belly - not gently either.  He kind of pushed the nurse from behind the screen and asked her how long it had been going on.  She said 6 minutes.  That is when he told us, "Your baby's heart rate is in the 90's and you are going to have this baby right now".  I broke down.  He shouted out for one of the ladies to call the OR and just then a wheelchair came to take me.  I was sobbing so hard I don't really remember the ride over.  This office is connected to the hospital through one of those over street covered sidewalks and the nurse ran me in this wheelchair to the OR as fast as she could.  I feel like I need to mention that she was at least in her late 50's and Matt was struggling to keep up.  When we arrived at the OR I didn't check in or anything they had me strip my clothes off (door was open to the hallway mind you) and the room was quickly filled with nurses and they immediately put on a fetal heart monitor.  Guess what.  Her heart rate was back in the 120's.  I am still crying at this point because I don't really understand.  One of the nurses says that things look good and they will just monitor me for at least an hour....meaning I would be going home.  Allowing this all to sink in was reallllllllllly hard.  One second your baby is in jeopardy and the next things are just peachy.  The OB walks in to try and find out what has happened so we tell her the story.  She also asks what my last meal was which was cookie dough.  Embarrassing admitting to eating raw eggs even though I just had a bite.  The OB leaves the room and comes back a few minutes later and says that she talked to the ultrasound Doctor and he was really concerned and she said he NEVER freaks out and he was freaked out so I was going to have the baby tonight.  My jaw dropped and I asked her when and she said within the hour which made me immediately start crying.  She said they wouldn't know the reason for the drop in heart rate until the c-section.  She asked if I had any questions and my mind couldn't even get to the point of questions.  Matt and I called/ texted our families.  I was too emotional to call.  His grandparents who are local got word (I think Matt called his Mom when we were running to the hospital) and were able to visit.  It was comforting seeing family before delivering Emerson even though I was crying.
Matt took this as we were getting the news...ugly pic but the last one for the pregnancy!
  The nurses were doing the IV and before I knew it I was having a c-section.  I remember jumping when I got the spinal tap (still crying although this was just tears not sobs) and thinking great, I am going to paralyze myself if I jump again during this.  The OB asked again if I had questions and I did ask about my abs.  I am a vain asshole but I remember someone telling me that you need to make sure you mention your abs or they won't heal correctly.  She said they would be find and just like that I was being cut open.  I was shaking through the whole thing...maybe because of the drugs or maybe because of adrenaline.  So thankful Matt was able to be in the room.  (If her heart rate had not come back up I would have been moved straight to the delivery room and he wouldn't have been allowed.)  We talked through the whole thing - I remember my teeth chattering and I remember you can feel the tugs and the pulls of everything.  Freaky.  Matt said when he came into the room I was already cut open and he could see my insides.  Luckily that doesn't gross him out.  After 10 minutes we heard the most beautiful sound I have ever heard...Emerson crying.  Our daughter was born at 6:16 and was perfect.  :)

Apparently I had a short umbilical cord which is why her heart rate dropped and movement decreased.  The OB went to pull her out of me to show Matt and was stopped by the cord.  I REALLY hope that this doesn't mean I have to have a c-section next baby.  I plan on asking this at my postpartum appointment.  I am a little sad about not having a normal birth but obviously the health of the baby is more important than anything. 

It is just amazing that we created this little being.  We are very lucky!


  1. i love her so! this story makes me all teary for you. bless your hearts!

  2. i'm so anxious to know what my story will be now! what a precious baby angel Emerson is!!!!!