Monday, September 20, 2010

Life Saving Prolapse

This weekend, I finally had the opportunity to talk to my sister about the birth of baby Hannah. 

This is where I make my disclosure for any male readers...graphic details follow.  You have been warned.

I am not usually awed at birthing stories, although I almost always cry at them.  However, this story took my breath away.

And I just need to get it out there. 

Because it's beautiful.

Because it shows how blessings can be so easily disguised.

Because God is so gracious.

And because it could have been so, so different.

Some of you may have heard the other version of the story that I was spreading last week...which I had heard from someone who didn't have all the details yet either.  But now, with all the accurate details in place, I sit in awe. 

Sarah went in for her induction last Wednesday night/Thursday morning.  She said they started her on the pitocin early and she had her epidural by 9 or 9:30 am. 

Things were going smoothly, she was progressing normally - already at 5 cm. 

Her nurse came in to check on her, and noticed that with every contraction, the baby's heart rate dropped and eventually, stopped.  Then, as soon as the contraction ended, the beating would resume it's normal pattern.

No one was really alarmed.  It can happen....

They changed positions. 

The next contraction came.  It happened again.

2 more position changes, and it continued.

And the nurse checked Sarah.  You know checked her. 

Then the dreaded words..."I think I feel the cord...."  a little more feeling around, "Yep, that's definitely the cord...."  Then very nervously, "Um, everything is going to be fine, but I have to stay in this position in order to keep the babies' head off of the cord.  I need to call the doctor and we are going to have to do a c-section to get her out safely."

My sister:  "That's fine.  Whatever it takes...."

Nurse with pager in hand: "I need a doctor in room..., we have a prolapsed cord...."

And within a minute, Sarah said the room was filled with doctors and nurses - all in scrubs and all moving very quickly. 

Now, let me take a moment to digress....  Do you know what a prolapsed cord is?

The moment my sister told me, I knew EXACTLY what that was and what it meant.  When we were in childbirth class, a prolapsed cord became my WORST fear.  You see, just as the nurse explained to my sister, the baby cannot be delivered with the cord prolapsed.  The pressure on the cord would cut off all bloodflow to the baby....  Therefore, the only way to correct a prolapsed cord is to hold the baby's head off of the cord.  Meaning that if that were to happen at home, you would have to call 911, and one of your local EMT's would have the lucky job of getting acquainted with that end of you very quickly.  Have I mentioned that Techy's best friend is a paramedic and his brothers are both EMT's for our local fire department? 

I die.

So yeah.  Worst fear....

Back to Sarah. 

And the nurse with her hand in Sarah's hoo-hah.  At this point, the nurse is under a sheet lying on the end of Sarah's bed, while they wheel my sister into the Operating Room.  And that's where she stayed for the next half hour until the baby made her arrival. 

Once in the operating room, Sarah said she had moments of panic wondering if her epidural had really taken or if she would feel the incision.  She didn't.

Did I mention she was alone?  They wouldn't let her husband come with her in case they needed to knock her out.  Apparently, they weren't that sure whether her epidural was strong enough, either. 

The minutes felt like an eternity.   She was so nervous, listening to the doctor, but reassured by the fact that she was in capable hands.  Finally, the doctor made the announcement that the baby was out.  And within seconds, the sound she had waited for...that beautiful baby cry.

It wasn't until many hours and lots of medication later that she found out that the cord had not only been prolapsed, had not only been wrapped around Hannah's neck, but had been tied in a knot.

That prolapsed cord was a huge blessing. 

Had it not been for that, Hannah could have suffered severe brain damage during the long hours of labor, not to mention the pushing, ahead of them. 

Sarah could not get over the fact that even when things seemed so bizarre, that God had a plan and that he was taking care of them the entire time. 

She also couldn't stop talking about how great it was to have a nurse who was so willing to do her part to keep baby girl safe. 

Again, all part of God's plan. 

So, all that being said, would you say that Hannah's birth story is pretty incredible.  Or is that just me?

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