Devyn Joy Velandra's Birth Story By Krista Joy Velandra Print
Birth Stories - C-Section Birth Stories
Monday, 24 November 2008 08:14
      I was pretty nervous about labor and delivery, pain, drugs, and being a single mommy. However, the excitement of having a little baby and becoming a parent overwhelmed me to the point where the fears didn't stress me out. Thank goodness!

      I had discovered I was pregnant on February 3rd, just 7 days after my live-in boyfriend of 1.5 years left me. I drove to where he was staying just to let him know, and he didn't want anything to do with us. So, I dove head first into this pregnancy knowing full well I would have no male support...but I was already so in love with this baby and I knew I could make a wonderful mother.

      I had a "floating" due date, as my doctors called it. I originally was seeing this devil of a doctor who made me feel like an idiot all the time. At one point he called me *at work* to say "the MSAFP level is too high, so we need to do an emergency ultrasound." I was petrified and so I started crying (hoping to be comforted), and I asked "is the baby okay?", to which he replied "NO! The baby's NOT okay, and stop getting all neurotic on me!" Be proud of me everyone...I "fired" this doctor immediately and discovered Dr. Mel Barclay at U of M who was the wisest, most comforting and professional doctor I had ever met. I couldn't have had a more wonderful remaining pregnancy.

      Soon due date #1 came. September 29th, 1997. Nothing but the mild Braxton-Hicks contractions which I had been experiencing for the last 2 or 3 weeks. Then along came a phone call from the baby's father wanting to be a part of everything. I told him I didn't want him back, but I'd love to be friends and raise this baby "together". This is an arrangement that is working beautifully.

      Then along came due date #2. October 5th, 1997. Nothing. At this point, I was getting huge. I was still working and was becoming quite annoyed with the same questions and comments OVER and OVER and OVER again everyday. I had decided to work up until I went into labor.....I'll never be that stupid again. People can be waaaay too nosey and insensitive. I went and saw the doctor for another regular weekly appointment and he said he'd let me go naturally. We had spoke of induction and I expressed my discomfort with that whole idea. He understood, but reminded me that there was still some question about when the baby was conceived, to be safe, he'd demand an induction if I went longer than 1.5 more weeks. He was worried about the baby "cooking" for too long, and complications, so I agreed.

Then came due date #3. October 9th. Nothing

Along came due date #4. October 13th. Nothing.

      I went for another weekly appointment on October 15th. Dr. Barclay was getting very nervous, and stripped my membranes (OUCH), and proceeded to tell me that I'd better not think about going back to work the next morning, because if stripping membranes didn't jump start me in to real labor, then I'd better be in the hospital the next morning bright and early for induction.

      The whole way home I was hitting every bump in the road trying to pick up labor. At my appointment I was dilated to 2 and 100% effaced. Contractions actually started, and were 10 minutes apart. I drove to my mom's, told her the situation, and she called off work since she was my coach. I called baby's father and he drove out to my apartment to stay with me. You see, I had NO PHONE since I had just moved to my apartment 5 days before this. Someone had to be there with me at all times.

      The next morning I woke up bright and early...4:30am! Paul was still sleeping on the couch, so I decided to relax and take a loooong shower. It was wonderful, but contractions had stopped during the night. I danced in the bathroom and sang trying to start it back up again. They started, and were 7 minutes apart. I woke up Paul and we went across the street to the gas station to call the hospital to make sure they had room for me. They told me to come on in at 8:00am.

      My mother met us at the hospital and they didn't start the drip until 11:30. Contractions hit hard and fast at 11:50am. Only 3 hours later I was screaming to anyone who would listen that I would NEVER be induced again. I was not at all prepared for the pain.

      Around 10:00pm I finally gave in and wept as they injected Demerol. But I've never felt more relaxed in my life. I fell asleep for a few hours and woke up in terrible excruciating pain. I had vicious pelvic floor contractions, and was screaming. Literally screaming. I had 5 family members there at all times, and they all took turns breathing, crying, and (sometimes) laughing with me. They wiped my face with cool cloths and helped me switch positions. I wanted to take a shower or walk so badly, but being on Pitocin you're restricted to the area around your bed. The baby was doing beautifully on the monitors, but still nobody would remove them. I was getting extremely tense and that just made the contractions worse.

      Doctors and Interns and Nurses flooded my room trying to find out why my water hadn't broken yet, but there was no amniotic fluid in the ultrasound. They tried breaking my waters 3 times, and were puzzled. They even tried a scalpel (during a contraction, thank you very much), but couldn't get anything to happen. They came to the conclusion that I probably had a very slow leak for some weeks prior, but it was never detected in tests. This remains a mystery to my doctor.

      At about 7:00am October 16th I was moaning, sweating, screaming, crying, and begging for an epidural. I was dilated to 9 and 3/4 exept for a little lip, and they gave me one. It wore off almost immediately, and after I had been pushing for almost 2 hours (she'd slide down and back up over and over again), I was ready to hurt people. They thought she must be HUGE, even though the ultrasound was only showing no more than 8 lbs. of baby. Another mystery. Nobody could answer me when I begged to know why she wasn't budging. They said I was pushing beautifully and should have had her out in less than 1/2 hour. They called for a C-Section.

      This was HEAVEN! I just laid there in absolutely no pain joking with the anesthesiologist, listening to my mom talk with the doctors and telling me what was going on. Then all of a sudden I heard a little tiny sneeze (yep...the 1st noise my girl made), they dropped the sheet and all I had a chance to say was "OH, HI!" before they whisked her away.

      Her arm had been wrapped around her neck and she was holding onto her shoulder...that's why she wouldn't come down. Her hand was pure white, but it turned pink like the rest of her eventually. She rated 9 and 9 in Apgar scoring. She came into the world at 9:51am weighing 7lbs; 6oz. Her head measured at 14 and she was 20.5 inches long. I named her Devyn Joy Velandra (my middle and last names). I've never known anyone so beautiful, and I never thought I could love so unconditionally. She's my little Sparkle.

      I healed beautifully from the Section, and hope next time to have a VBAC...I'll definitely go to the same doctor.