About a month ago at a routine OB appointment, our OB and friend--Rod Doss-- found that our baby was measuring 4 weeks smaller than expected. We had a growth scan which showed the baby was in the 2nd percentile which meets the criteria for Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR). We were sent directly to the hospital for more testing. Thankfully, there was no need for delivery that day. I had to start going in twice a week for a non-stress test, cord dopplers and a biophysical profile. Dr. Doss consulted with the high risk OB I had previously seen and decided I should be induced at 37 weeks for IUGR. It sounds counterintuitive to deliver a small baby early, but if the baby is not growing in utero, there is a problem and the baby should be delivered at term (37+ wks) so we can start growing the baby in the "outside world." I sure hoped to avoid induction this go round but we accepted this recommendation and planned our induction date. Probably more importantly, I talked it over with one of my best friends who is an OB and she agreed with the plan. We felt at peace about moving forward.
|Excited to meet our baby! A pre-drama snapshot.|
As I was being scrubbed, one of the L&D nurses looked at by belly and shouted, "That baby's moving again!" Baby girl was now transverse which further necessitated the c-section. Once Dr. Doss got started with the incision, I could tell I was feeling more pain than I should on my right side. The anesthesiologist was phenomenal and did all he could but sometimes there's a "hot spot" and you just basically have to deal. Plus, I didn't want them to slow down. I wanted our baby to be born. I remember my body being jerked in every direction and Dr. Doss called out for backup. Two more OB's rushed in and after some time, I remember being told the baby had been delivered. Rob was there but couldn't see much. I was a hot mess so he was graciously tending to me. What followed was an agonizing 30 seconds when I knew our baby had been delivered but there was no crying. My good friend and a gifted pediatrician was there to take care of the baby. Finally, baby girl let out her first cry and I thought would literally pass out from relief. Maybe I did kind of. Then Rob was able to look at the baby and he came back with tears in his eyes and said "It's a girl!" We both laughed and cried. It was wonderful.
Rob left with Maryblake and I was being sewn up. Dr. Doss explained there was a good bit of trauma with the procedure, I lost a lot of blood and he had to make both a horizontal and a vertical incision in my uterus to deliver the baby. He explained my recovery would be prolonged. He was profusely apologetic that things turned out this way but I told him this was God growing us. He joked that it was fine for God to grow us but he didn't appreciate God growing him in this way. He was sweating bullets for a time during the procedure and I'm sure he was happy to be done with us and our misbehaving baby :)
Once I finally made it to the room and was settled, I got to see our beautiful baby girl. She was a sight to behold. Tiny and delicate with a head full of dark hair. My friend Faith (the pediatrician) came in to talk with me about her. She explained that Maryblake had some bruising from the difficult extraction and was initially having some trouble keeping her temperature up but that resolved with a brief stint under the warmers. I asked Faith candidly what Maryblake looked like when she first came out and she told me she was limp and blue. Her 1 minute APGAR (a quick assessment of baby's health) was a 2 out of 10. This was concerning because you like that number to be higher; Rowen and Harper were both 8 and 9. Maryblake's 5 minute APGAR was up to 8, so I have to believe she was just stunned. After all, the delivery was rough on both of us. Another of my best friends, Ann, is a wonderful pediatrician and reassured me that the low APGAR should have no effect on Maryblake in the years to come.
Maryblake weighed 6 lbs, 4 oz at birth. Much smaller than Rowen (8.5 lbs) and Harper (7.5 lbs) but larger than the ultrasounds revealed. She lost some weight but is now back up to 6 lbs. She is such a gift and I spend a great deal of time just staring at her, marveling at what God has done through this precious and beloved child. We didn't think we needed another child and certainly didn't plan on having another one. But God sent us Maryblake and now we couldn't go on without her. I cringe at the thought of a limp and blue baby then with a heart full of gratitude, I kiss pink and perfect Maryblake. How great is the power of our Heavenly Father!
|Finally ready for photos! You can see some of the bruising on her L chest and shoulder.|
|Lovin' from Gigi and Harper|
|And lots of TLC from G'mama, too!|
|Big sister heaven!|
You may wonder if there is any sign of Edwards syndrome. We believe Maryblake to be a normal healthy baby girl. She has no signs of any health problems and for this we are so very thankful. Even her bruises have healed. Our OB has said there is a chance she may have "some problem some day" which may explain all the scares with this pregnancy and delivery but we are standing on the promise of God. He has plans for this girl. And we feel so very blessed to be a part of her story.
This delivery experience was the scariest thing that has ever happened to me but one of the most beautiful things in my life came of it...Maryblake was born.