Natalie Mae is here and we can hardly believe how quickly time is passing. We are soaking up all the sweet moments with our darling girl. I’m thankful that Natalie and I are healthy and recovering so well from birth.
Birth stories are rarely what you expect and plan for.
In our case, I experienced a potentially serious pregnancy complication on the day she was born and things got scary very quickly. If you want to read the full detailed story, it’s down below, but the short version is that we thank God for the miracle of life and all is well! My doctor, the hospital, and especially Ryan took such great care of us.
Here’s a few photos of our darling Natalie just a few days old:
I had been experiencing cramping and Braxton hicks contractions for several days. Monday was no different. Early afternoon, I laid down to rest while Olivia took her nap. I was feeling some contractions, but didn’t feel like they were strong enough to track. About 1:45pm or so I woke up to a big “gush” of fluid. I sat up in bed, thinking my water had just broke. Simultaneous feelings of giddy excitement (THIS IS IT!) and nerves hit. I headed to the bathroom to cleanup and was horrified to see that the fluid was actually blood. A lot of blood.
It took me a few moments to realize that something was very wrong.
I started panicking.
I rushed around the house looking for my phone and called Ryan and then my mother in law to come watch Olivia (I was so thankful she was napping while everything happened). They both arrived in record speed. Ryan and I flew out the door with the partially packed hospital bag to the ER. The car ride was the first moments that we both really had a chance to process the gravity of the situation. We thought we were losing our sweet girl that I had carried for over 39 weeks. I called my mom and my doctor, as well as the birth center to let them know we were coming.
After what seemed like an eternity, we got all situated at the birth center. Ryan and I prayed over our little girl during some of those early quiet moments. My husband was such a rock through the whole afternoon. We finally got hooked up to check Natalies heartbeat.
Her little heart was beating beautifully strong.
I can’t tell you what a relief this was to see her heartbeat tracking on the monitors. Meanwhile, contractions were coming regularly and I was progressing rapidly. My doctor did ultrasound and found that I had lost some of my water with the blood, but the source of all the bleeding was still a mystery (and I was still bleeding). She checked me and recommended getting an epidural ASAP if I still wanted one in time. Shortly after the blessed epidural it was time to push.
A few minutes in to the delivery, Natalies heart rate started dangerously dropping with each round of pushing. My doctor recommended using the vacuum to get her out even quicker. I remember feeling absolutely determined to get my sweet girl into my arms. With a few pushes she had arrived at 4:50pm. What a whirlwind.
There she was, sitting on my chest as healthy as could be as if she hadn’t just terrified us a couple short hours earlier.
When the placenta was delivered we discovered the source of the bleeding. I had a Placenta abruption. It’s a very rare (less than 1% of pregnancies) and serious pregnancy complication for both mother and baby.
“Placental abruption occurs when the placenta partly or completely separates from the inner wall of the uterus before delivery. This can decrease or block the baby’s supply of oxygen and nutrients and cause heavy bleeding in the mother. Left untreated, it endangers both the mother and the baby.”Mayo Clinic
I started to pass out when they sat me up a bit more from the loss of blood, but other than that I was completely fine. We have no idea why or how the abruption happened (I hadn’t fallen or anything- I was literally napping when I started bleeding haha).
We are so thankful of the timing of everything. God’s hand was clearly upon it all. It was as if my body knew that Natalie needed to come out (and come fast) and went into labor when the bleeding started.
We were so thankful for the wisdom and care from my doctor and the hospital staff.
We are thankful for our mothers, who came and cleaned up what probably looked like a morbid crime scene at the house and had Olivia in expert care.
Most of all, we are thankful for God’s hand of protection for both Natalie and I.
Because the labor and delivery was SO fast, and because I was better prepared for what recovery entailed, it’s made such a difference in my physical recovery. My recovery first time around was really rough, and this has been completely different–what I’d expect to be more “normal” in pain levels, time needed to heal, etc.
Mentally and emotionally, it’s been good for me to revisit the trauma we experienced to process, pray, and give thanks. It was such a surreal whirlwind that it’s hard to even fathom that it all happened. We are adjusting to life as a family of 4 and loving getting to know our dear Natalie. Olivia is doing great in her new role as big sister!
You can read Olivia’s birth story here.