Libby's Birth Story By Courtney V Print
Birth Stories - Premature Birth Stories
Thursday, 05 February 2009 11:26
My birth story is one unlike I had ever imagined. I always expected my labor to last 24 hours, require at least 2 hours of hard pushing, and I was always afraid of going into false labor and being turned away numerous times at the hospital before actually going into true labor. Well, at least I was prepared for the worst.

I delivered almost a month early. We first became aware of the chance of a premature delivery when I was diagnosed with preeclampsia at 7 months. It was absolutely horrible. I was immediately placed in the hospital on complete and permanent bed rest. I was, however, allowed one shower a day, permitting it did not last over five minutes. So the last month of my pregnancy involved a lot of reading, television, and company. I was permitted to go home for short intervals in hopes that being in familiar surroundings would lower my blood pressure. I was also informed that more than likely I would have a premature baby and some lung complications could be expected. So I was given steriods to develop the baby's lungs and medicine to regulate my blood pressure. Although it worked at first, my dosage was increased and my visits at home never lasted more than a day. I would get home only to be required to go back to the doctor the next day, and upon return, my blood pressure was always back up and I was always placed back in the hospital. The last time I was released from the hospital was 12-19-1998. I went home, and because of the bed rest I was restless and had been up late reading that night. I slept in the next morning and did my usual routine, from the bed I went to the shower, from the shower I went to the couch and that is where I stayed until it was time to go to bed that night. Yet around 2:00 that afternoon I began having some pains that felt to me like I needed to go to the bathroom. I went about 7 times thinking the whole time I was constipated. Yet after 7 or 8 times I began to wonder why I still could not use the bathroom, and also why the pains seemed to start not a minute after they started. So I had my husband get my "What to Expect" book and I started reading. I followed the directions of how to predict false labor and drank 3 glasses of water while laying on my left side. Yet these little pains only became more frequent and hurt a little more. So we called my mother-in-law, my mother, and my step-mother wondering if they would have any input. They all started in on my poor husband because he had not already taken me to the hospital. So we then called the hospital and the nurse said to wait another hour or two to make sure. Yet when my pains started to come even closer together, my husband grabbed our hospital bag and my mom arrived at our house. Now, the first pain I felt was about 2 and it was about 5 when my mom got to our house. The pains were about 5 minutes apart and they hurt, but I just could not believe that this could possibly be labor. I only agreed to go to the hospital because I was worried that something else was wrong that could hurt the baby. So we leave the house at 5 with the pains at 5 minutes apart and about 15 minutes later, half way to the hospital, they began to really hurt and were 3 minutes apart. After timing 2 pains at 3 minutes apart my husband turned on the emergency lights and drove like a maniac to the hospital. We went to the emergency room and got checked in, and I was so anxious to know if this really was labor that I told the staff in the emergency room it would be faster if I just walked to O.B. and they canceled the wheelchair. So we finally got to O.B. about 5:45 and the nurse told me there was no maybe's to it, I was in labor. So I was really happy that these horrible pains that I could now call contractions meant that I would have a baby soon. So we called our family and told them to take their time that I was only between 4 and 5 centimeters dialated, and not to rush. So while they took blood and hooked me up to all these machines I was happy just to know that they weren't going to send me back home for being in false labor. Yet my happiness soon subsided as the contractions began to work on me. One was so hard that I actually threw up. Yet I remained in control without so much as saying a word during my contractions. As long as I held my husband's hand and could have everyone just not speak during a contraction I was fine. So about 6:30 the nurse came in and checked me again and I noticed that she rushed out to call the anesthesiologist. I didn't know why, she had told me I was only dialated to 7, but she sure was in a hurry. She came back after calling him and tried to put in my I.V. This was a hard part for me because I had never had and I.V. before this day and on top of that, I could no longer hold my husband's hand because after they bursted 4 veins in one hand it was too sore to hold and then they started on the next. Plus, the contractions were really hard and coming on fast, around 30 seconds apart and I was having to use my breathing to get through them. They still could not put in my I.V. and the anesthesiologist was there. He seemed awful anxious too and told them all to move and he would do it. He was successful on his first try. The next part was also hard for me because when they administered the epidural they made my husband leave. We are really close and his support through this was what helped me through all of those pains.

I never shouted, cursed, or even gave him a mean look the whole time. I just needed to be able to see his face to help me breath and get through these horrible contractions and now they tell me he has to leave. Well, when he walked out the door I cried. Not really because of the pain but because I was scared without him there to reassure me. They administered the epidural and it didn't really hurt, or maybe it did but I just couldn't feel it because of the intensity of the contractions. Yet I tried really hard to be still so Jonathon could come back in to be with me. When the epidural was in, he came back in and the nurse told me she had stretched the truth and that when she had examined me about 30 minutes earlier I was not at 7, I was at 9 almost 10. So by this time, I could not longer feel any pain and some of our family was starting to arrive. I said hello to a few people, my in laws, my sister and step-dad and my cousin. My dad and step-mom came a few minutes before the epidural and of course my mom was already there.

At the hospital I was in, they changed shifts at 7:00 and it just so happened that my favorite nurse was just coming on. Since I had been in the hospital so much I knew them all and Julia was my absolute favorite. I was so relieved that she would be with me when I delivered my baby. So around 7:15 she examined me again only to find I was ready to push, but the room had yet to be set up. So she paged the doctor and began to set the room up. Everyone but my husband had to leave and I was so anxious and excited and nervous about pushing that time flew by. When the room was set up and the doctor had just walked in, Julia told me I could try a practice push. I did, and the doctor had yet to put on his scrubs. Julia told me to hurry and stop because the head was almost completely out! I couldn't believe it, my first push! I still think the reason this happened was because I was so afraid that if I didn't push well, they would turn down my epidural and I definately did not want to feel that pain again. So the doctor ran over and finished putting on his scrubs and told Julia that if I wanted my mom in there she could come. (Now let me just stop here to tell you that my mom passes out at a paper clip. So every person possible asked if they could go in the delivery room with us and my husband and I said no. We told everyone no except my mom because we never imagined she would want to stay.) So Julia, without really asking, goes and tells my mom to come back in. Then, I was told I could push again. I did, and my baby's head came out. They told me to stop pushing and I did, and after a few minutes the said I could push again. I pushed and held it until my daughter was born. Screaming, my little Libby came into the world at 7:36, just 5 hours and 36 minutes from my first twinge. My mom, my husband and I were all crying and it was so perfect. Libby was so tiny but she was full of energy. A neonatal nurse stayed in the room while she was delivered in case something was wrong when she was born. It wasn't, Libby, all 4 lbs, 1 and a half ounces was just fine. My mom went to tell everyone all about her and just a minute or two after she was born I was able to hold the baby that I had loved and carried inside me for 8 months. She was so beautiful and perfect and she had a head full of dark blond hair with side burns half way down her face.

It was a rough 5 and a half hours, but I would not trade this experience for anything. Libby is now 1 and a happy, active little girl that is full of curiosity. She is worth more than I can ever put into words. I had asked my husband to not leave her side until they brought her back to me after examining her to make sure everything was done correctly and Libby was taken care of. He did not fulfill my request. When they took Libby to bath her and examine her he went with the nurses, but when Libby was where everyone in our family could see her, he left our new bundle and came to my empty room to check on me. I was alone and excited and even though I'm sure he wanted to be watching every move our new little angel was making, he came to me. To thank me for all I had given him and to tell me how much he loved me. I not only feel so very thankful that my baby was born healthy and strong, but also thankful that I have a husband like him.