Little Jillian Grace By Peggy Print
Birth Stories - C-Section Birth Stories
Monday, 09 February 2009 08:24
I found out I was pregnant in late July 1998, in the middle of not only the worst heat wave Texas had seen in nearly 20 years but also my husband's mid-life crisis. Earlier in the year, I had suffered a miscarriage. It was a terrible blow--we didn't know anything was wrong until we went in for the first sonogram and the doctor told us that the baby's heart had stopped beating. I never realized that while my husband was trying to support me through this difficult time, he didn't deal with his own pain, which eventually spiraled into a deep depression.

The first half of the pregnancy was frightening. If I wasn't throwing up, I was afraid that I had lost my baby. My doctor and his nurse were wonderful, however, and once we got through a Down's Syndrome scare with the AFP test, things looked up. The baby was very active and, knowing this was my last pregnancy, I tried to enjoy every kick, every backache and every swollen ankle.

I was due on April 2, which was Good Friday. At my doctor's appointment on Monday, March 29, nothing was happening at all! I was 6 days late with my first baby, so I figured this one would be late too. So I was surprised when, at about 1:45 a.m. on Wednesday morning, I woke up feeling "funny." I started timing these funny feelings and realized they were about 5 minutes apart. With my first birth, my water broke, but I experienced no contractions on my own. I was excited. Thinking things would take a while to speed up, I decided to paint my finger and toe nails. The contractions didn't hurt much as first, but about an hour later I noticed I was having to use breathing exercises to handle them. I woke up my husband at about 3 a.m. The contractions kept getting closer and closer! I called the doctor at about 3:25 (contractions were about 2 minutes apart by then). He said to come on in.

By the time we showered, woke up my 4-year-old daughter and called my friend to let her know we were heading in, the contractions were about a minute and a half apart. My husband and daughter kept reminding me to "breathe!" My daughter got a real kick out of the whole thing! We dropped her off at her baby sitter's house at about 4:30 (I said a tearful good-bye, but she was just fine and thought it was fun to go to Miss Karen's so early!).

The ride to the hospital was agony. I kept asking my husband to hurry, hurry, hurry! Thank God there was no traffic! We got to labor and delivery at about 5 a.m. and the contractions were on top of each other. When the nurse asked me my name I honestly had to concentrate to answer her!

I got settled in to my room and started begging for pain medication. I was only 1 centimeter but 80 percent effaced--the same as with my first child. They put something in my IV which hardly helped at all. I asked them to call my doctor because I just KNEW he'd let me have an epidural this soon. I was wrong! At about 11 a.m. I got to 4 centimeters and got my blessed epidural. I was in love with the anesthesiologist. I instantly fell asleep. I guess shortly thereafter my blood pressure and the baby's heartbeat bottomed out because nurses ran in, slapped an oxygen mask on my face and said, "Breathe for your baby." All was well after that.

My first birth was by cesarean, but my doctor gave this a 50/50 chance for a vaginal birth. I failed to progress however and we decided that a cesarean was the best way to go. I didn't care--I trusted my doctor and I just wanted to meet this baby!

I was all smiles in the operating room. They prepped me and then sent my husband in. He rubbed my head and I knew everything was going to be all right. After a few minutes I heard the doctor say, "Well, hello sweetheart" to the baby. Was it a girl? (We didn't find out while I was pregnant.) The baby starting crying as soon as the head popped out! Then they pulled the rest of it out. The anesthesiologist said, "It's a boy!" The doctors and nurses said, "It's a girl!" I looked at my husband and we said, "Well, what is it?" It was a beautiful, precious baby girl. She was here, safe and sound.

Little Jillian Grace weighed 7lbs, 14 oz and was 21 inches long, born at 4:55 p.m. on March 31, 1999. The maternity floor was full, so I had to wait in recovery while they got a room ready. I was so anxious to see my baby again! They brought her to me as soon as they got her cleaned up, etc. (the hospital staff was great!). We were still in recovery while my husband starting making the calls. He was so happy. He called our daughter first to let her know she had a little sister. Our very good friends picked her up and brought her to the hospital to meet her sister. It is a wonderful, wonderful memory.

I went home two days after my delivery and felt fantastic. (OK--I was a little sore for a few days!) But the miracle of it all--having her here, healthy and safe-had me on a high for nearly 4 months. At the time, I thought her birth was a healing process for my entire family. But when she was just five months old, my husband, who I thought was over his mid-life crisis, left us. It was extremely painful, but I knew that I had been blessed with two incredible children, so I never let myself sink too low. Jillian will be a year old next week, and I thank God for these children every day. We're going to be just fine!