January 19th, 2015

four faces

birth story

The birth of Coraline Vivian Van Scoyoc

On the evening of January 15, I had a lot of contractions and I was feeling pretty miserable. It wasn't anything new and different, though. I had been having contractions on and off for a couple weeks. I went to bed early, even though I had slept most of the day (I worked the night before). I woke up around 9pm and had painful contractions...or maybe she was moving a lot? I couldn't decide. I ate my last piece of birthday cake and went back to bed. I noticed her movements were way lower than they had been, but didn't think too much of it.

At around 12:30 am on January 16th, I got up to pee. As I got out of bed, I felt the familiar pop of my amniotic sac rupturing. I waddled to the bathroom and started cleaning myself up. I yelled to my husband and told him to wake up, that we had to go to the hospital. I then flicked on the light and realized what I thought was amniotic fluid all over my legs was actually blood. A lot of blood. I stood up and saw the toilet was also covered in blood. I tried to stay calm, but it was hard. I jumped in the shower to wash off, hoping that the blood I was seeing was just from the initial rupture. In the shower, it became apparent that I was actively bleeding. I got out of the shower. My husband had already sprung into action. He had awakened the other kids and was loading them in the car. I told him I thought we needed to call 911, that I was bleeding a lot and I couldn't feel her moving. He said he could get me to the hospital faster than they could get there (probably true, we are literally 5 minutes away from the closest hospital). I complied and we raced to the hospital. It was very foggy and the roads were wet. I was terrified.

We pulled up to the emergency entrance. I dashed out of the car and told the people at the front desk that I was in labor and bleeding a lot. They offered me a wheelchair, I decided there wasn't time for that and headed in the direction of L&D. Doug went to park the car as I headed up.

I stood at the information desk at L&D for a couple minutes, trying to fill out paperwork and offering them my insurance information, etc. It was hard to concentrate...I just wanted to get on a monitor! I eventually told the girl I needed to be in a room. She walked me back. I changed into a gown and was placed on a monitor. The baby's heartbeat was immediately picked up! 146! So much relief.

My next concern was for the amount of blood I had lost. I told them that I had a history of placenta previa (complete at 20 weeks, marginal at 32 weeks), but that at my last appointment (a week prior) the doctor had cleared me for a vaginal delivery, even though the placenta was still close (about 1cm away). I don't think anyone anticipated I would be having her that soon, and assumed my placenta would continue to move and be clear by the time I went into labor. The doctor there ordered an ultrasound, and it was determined my placenta was right next to the opening.

After the ultrasound, I started to have tremors and I could tell that I was dilating quickly. They were rushing to get my paperwork from my doctor's office (I was planning to deliver at a different hospital and my OB didn't have privileges there), get my labs drawn and get my IV started. I told them I needed to get up and go to the bathroom. They wouldn't allow it. The doctor took a look at the blood on the towel underneath me and pulled my nurse out of the room. I could tell the doctor was concerned. I signed consent for the c-section under general anesthesia, and I was rolled away to the OR at around 3am.

On the way to the OR, I passed by my husband. He gave me a kiss. I told him I was scared. He comforted me calmly, although I could see the concern in his eyes. His comforting words and love for me, assured me all would be okay. We parted ways, and he told me he paced the hall the entire time while he awaited news of the baby's birth.

I got into the OR. It was cold and white. I was surrounded by people who were calm and quick. I asked a lot of questions, all of which were answered. They placed me strategically on the table, and inserted my foley catheter. The last thing I remember is the anesthesiologist saying the anesthesia might burn a bit in my IV. Then, I went to sleep.

I woke up about an hour later and asked about the baby. They pointed me to her and said she was perfect. I gave her a kiss and was sleeping again, thereafter. I woke up again in the recovery room.

Coraline Vivian was born at 0311, measuring in at 5lbs 6.4oz and 18 inches at 36 weeks 3 days gestation. Initially, she was a little "moist" (their word) so they watched her breathing for a bit. She self corrected and was taken back to wait for me in my room with her dad and a NICU nurse. She had low blood sugar, so they gave her a bit of formula. From there, she was fine. They checked her blood sugar prior to feeds for 24 hours and she never had another drop. She maintained her temperature from the get-go. She had no further issues breathing. She was small but amazingly strong!

We went home two days after her birth. Recovery from the c-section has been a lot easier than I had anticipated. I was up and moving within 10 hours after she was born, which has helped tremendously. I am so thankful that I have my little blessing home and healthy! The scariest night of my life turned into one of the best days of my life.