Molly’s Birth Story
Friday 18th June 2004
I was 39 weeks and 1 day pregnant. I woke up with a migraine at 3am and my head continued to pound all day. I was pretty sure that it was a sign that my BP was high so I finished packing my hospital bag and got a couple of loads of washing done before going to see the OB at 3pm. I was right. My BP was 153/95 and there was protein in my urine. The OB reviewed the recent ultrasound results and was a little concerned that the baby was so small (estimated weight of 2.8kg). He told me I needed to be admitted to hospital and would not be going home without a baby. The plan was to put me on BP meds and induce labour on Monday. Luckily I had brought my hospital bag along so we only had to go around the corner. It was 4.30 pm.
At the hospital I was put on a foetal monitor for an hour and a half and there was one significant dip in the baby’s heart rate so the OB asked them to repeat the monitoring later in the evening. I was given a blood test and some BP meds. Kerry my midwife put me back on the monitor at 8pm and after about half an hour and getting the blood test results back they decided to start the induction with gel. The first gel was inserted at 9.30pm. My cervix was soft but closed and the baby’s head was a little high. The insertion of the gel resulted in a bloody show. It was a little uncomfortable but not too bad. Kerry explained that while the baby’s heart rate was OK she suspected she may be holding the cord or have it wrapped around her somewhere as the rate dropped when she moved. At this point the plan was to leave me overnight and see what happeed with the gel. They would break my waters and start the drip if necessary in the morning.
At 11.45pm the decision was made that Molly needed to be born ASAP by emergency C Section. Molly’s heart rate had had several decelerations and they speculated that she may be entangled in her cord or just squeezing it. The concern was that a long labour could be very distressing for her. My BP was getting higher so it was too dangerous to wait. Dave and I were fine with this decision and got excited that we would be meeting our baby daughter that very night.
Saturday 19th June 2004 – Molly’s birthday
At 12.00am I was in the theatre being prepped for the spinal block and Dave had been whisked away to gown up. I started shaking uncontrollably in the legs with nerves which they assured me was quite normal. I was worried about moving too much when they inserted the needle in my spine. The needle was so tiny that I didn’t feel a thing. The canula in my hand was the most painful part of the procedure! The block took effect almost immediately and I felt heat in my feet moving up through my body. They tested my feeling with an icepack and I could feel it touch me but it wasn’t cold until they got above my nipples. It was apparently a perfect block.
They put a drape up in front of my face so I couldn’t see any incision but I could see anything I wanted reflected in the big light above. They wouldn’t let Dave in until they had made the incision. I missed him and wished he could be there to hold my hand through all the preparations. He was apparently pacing outside like an expectant father!
The cord blood collection kit caused some discussion amongst the doctors and nurses as this was the first time they had needed to collect cord blood during an ECS.
At around 12.30am on the 19th of June they made the incision and Dave was called in to be by my side and see his daughter born. The sensation was very strange with lots of pushing and pulling in my abdomen and chest cavity as they got to Molly and pulled her out. I saw all of this reflected in the light but couldn’t see details. Everyone said that she was a very pretty baby but they whisked her straight to a table to do her APGARs and clean and wrap her. All this time I couldn’t see her but I could hear her crying so I knew she was OK.
She was such a tiny little thing. Dave brought her to me all wrapped up in a tiny little bundle and we fumbled with my oxygen mask and tubes as I tried to kiss and touch her. She had the most perfect little features. I wish she had been able to be placed on me skin on skin but they were concerned with keeping her temp up. They took her up to the nursery to tend to her warming needs and test her blood sugars and Dave didn’t leave her side. Meanwhile I was being stitched up and then monitored in a makeshift recovery room in the operating theatre. The nurses were congratulating me and I realised for the first time that I was a mum even though I had only spent seconds with my daughter. It was all very surreal. I couldn’t move my legs but tingling sensations were returning.
Finally at almost 2am I was wheeled into my room but Dave and Molly weren’t there. Molly was in a warmer but they promised to bring her to me. Dave was so excited talking about our lovely daughter and the precious time he had spent with her. She was already responding to his voice.
He had all the birth stats to share with me.
Time of birth: 12.37am 19/6/05
Weight at birth: 2545g (5lb 10oz)
Length at birth: 48.5 cm (19 inches)
Head circumference: 32 cm (12.5 inches)
Molly was finally brought to me for a cuddle. She was beautiful! She had strawberry blonde hair and perfect little features. She looked so much like her daddy. I was amazed at how tiny she was and she was pulling little faces at me. She seemed eager to suck but was being fed through a tube in her nose because of her low sugar levels. I knew she could only be with me for a short time before they returned her to the nursery where they could put her under the warming lamps. It was very hard to position her comfortably when I could hardly move. Dave caught all of these precious moments with the digital camera. All too soon Molly was taken back to the nursery. Damn those numb legs!!
Dave and I tried to get some rest but we were much too excited to sleep. Dave was going to and from the nursery keeping me up to date with Molly’s condition as well as her antics. He was completely smitten by his daughter and we were full of love for our special little family. For me it was still quite surreal having seen so little of Molly.
We SMS’d everyone at around 7.30am to let them know that Molly had been born. It was a big surprise for most people who had last heard I was being induced on Monday and we got lots of excited return SMS’s and phone calls.
My mum visited at 10am just as Molly was brought into the room. Dave had insisted that she needed to spend some time with her mummy and I was still bed ridden due to my incision and lovely hospital gown! We all had a cuddle of our precious bundle. I was desperately looking forward to being more mobile and to Molly being able to be unwrapped so I could se her tiny hands and feet and change her nappies. She was having trouble maintaining body temperature so she needed to stay wrapped up when she wasn’t under the warming lights. Dave had been able to unwrap her in the nursery and changed her meconium nappies. He had already developed a very special bond with his daughter. He’s a wonderful proud Daddy!
After some morphine for the pain we both tried for several hours to sleep despite lots of phone calls and constant checks by the nurses. My dinner arrived at 5pm and I abandoned thoughts of sleep. After dinner I was finally able to shower and get dressed so I could go to the nursery and see my daughter. I had some panadeine forte for pain and my catheter was removed. I needed lots of help from Dave to shower and get dressed but there was a lot less pain than I had expected. I felt human again!
For the 1st time Dave and I went to the nursery together to see our daughter. By about 7.30pm after lots of cuddles and kisses I was exhausted and needed to go back to sleep. Dave went home to feed the dogs and sleep in a bed (rather than the recliner chair in my room). I woke up a few times during the night to go to the toilet and each time I visited Molly in the nursery where she was being perfectly behaved. Her sugar levels were improving.
Sunday 20th June
Molly had had 2 very good sugar readings overnight so we planned to attempt her first breastfeed at 9am. I was anxious and excited at the same time. My breasts didn’t feel any different so I hoped they were up to the task.
Molly had a good strong suck and seemed to latch on to my breast OK but after a few sucks she stopped. The midwife asked me if both of my nipples were like that. I replied "Like what??" Turned out I had flat nipples which was news to me! The nipples didn’t stimulate the back of Molly’s palate to encourage her to suck more so she kept giving up after a couple of sucks. Despite the difficulties it was the most amazing experience to have Molly at my breast. It was the moment I truly bonded with her and we had the most wonderful cuddle with her finally unwrapped. She finally felt like mine. It was as if I was finally able to unwrap my special gift and play with it! She was such a tiny little creature with delicate little features. I remember her very long fingers.
I expressed colostrum for Molly and she was fed this through a nasal tube along with formula top ups and I continued to attempt breast feeds as she was tube fed so she associated being at the breast with a full tummy. Once my milk came in I was able to use nipple shields and Molly was able to fully breast feed. I’ll never forget that first time she was "milk drunk". After a couple of successful feeds they finally removed the nasal tube so we could see Molly’s beautiful face unobstructed. We were able to take her home a couple of days later (Thursday).
13 days after Molly was born, I developed a severe deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in my left leg. It was a blood clot which ran from the bottom of my calf muscle to my belly almost completely blocking my femoral vein. Fortunately we caught it in time before the clot could reach my lungs. That could have been fatal. I was back in hospital on a drip for 2 weeks with Molly by my side. Not the way I planned to spend the first few weeks of motherhood but there you go. I just feel fortunate to be alive to see my beautiful daughter grow up. After almost 12 months of medication, about 80% of the clot has cleared.
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