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Perfect, pink and beautiful: The birth of Lily Epidural

Perfect, pink and beautiful: The birth of Lily

"The nurse assigned to me came in every five minutes because the fetal heart monitor showed Lily's heartbeat was slowing down."

Our birth story really should start with mom and dad. We were friends in high school (15 years ago) and found our way to each other through social media. Alex and I have that relationship that people only read about. We found out we were expecting, and our lives changed forever!

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We had a pretty normal pregnancy filled with nighttime morning sickness, raging heartburn and the anticipation that only soon-to-be, first-time parents feel. Due to a cervical condition, I had to have routine ultrasounds to make sure my cervix would hold throughout the entire pregnancy. Every six weeks we met with our maternal fetal medicine doctor. With his gentle Southern accent and easy way, he assured us that baby was great—and he was the one who broke the news: We were having a girl.

He tried every time we were there to take a good 3-D picture, but Lily wouldn’t cooperate. When we went for our 37-week ultrasound, our regular doctor wasn’t available. We met with his partner—very nice, just different from or regular doctor. He reviewed all the measurements but didn’t say much. We joked that with three weeks left, Lily finally let us get a picture of her face. The doctor got up to leave, turned and said, “Good … why don’t you stare at her while I go review these results?” Alex and I just looked at each other with feelings of panic starting to rise. He came back into the room and handed me an envelope. He told me to take it next door to my OB/GYN and said that I needed to be induced within 24 hours. Alex asked him what would happen if we waited. He looked at us and just said, “Stillbirth. Her cord is blocked, and she’s losing weight. We need to get her today.”

I tried not to panic, but Alex could see I was losing that battle. I wanted my mom in the delivery room. But she was in Florida and we were in Pennsylvania. My OB/GYN told us we needed to come back by 7 p.m. that night. Alex called his family. I tried to reach mine. I couldn’t get a hold of my mom, and panic really started to kick in. Thank god, Alex jumped in and called my dad who in turn called my mom who then called Alex back. As he was explaining the situation, I was packing my hospital bag, doing last minute laundry and trying to figure out how to pass the time without losing my mind.

 

We went back to the hospital that night and checked in at 7 p.m., as requested. My mom called shortly after and said she had just landed in Philadelphia. She and my older sister would be in my room that night. Suddenly everything seemed all right. By 9:30 p.m., they had inserted a Foley bulb meant to start my dilation. At 11:30 p.m., my mother and sister arrived. Somehow, I finally fell asleep knowing my mom was there and that baby Lily was coming soon. The next morning, the doctor removed the Foley bulb and said we were only at 3 centimeters. She started the Pitocin drip and said she would see me a little later. I knew I wanted an epidural, so the anesthesiologist was called and put on standby. At 11:30 a.m., my doctor said she wanted to break my water. By noon, I was in full active labor, and the doctor was called for the epidural.

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The nurse assigned to me came in every five minutes because the fetal heart monitor showed Lily’s heartbeat was slowing down.  I couldn’t feel anything from the epidural, so I had no idea what was going on. She asked if she could check me. I told her it was fine. The look on her face was priceless. She called for another nurse, and they asked me to give two hard pushes. They made me stop halfway through the second one because she was crowning! By the time my doctor got back to my room, it was game time. At 3:45 p.m., she told me to push. With seven pushes, Lily was born at 3:59 p.m. She was perfect—but tiny. Turns out, she had actually lost a full pound based on estimates from the ultrasounds. It didn’t matter. She was here, three weeks early, perfect, pink and beautiful. All five pounds of her! She has changed my life in the four months since she’s gotten here, but I finally found the job I was supposed to always have … Mom.

Send us your birth story! Whether you had a home birth, hospital birth, 37-hour labor or emergency C-section, we’d love to read the tale of your little one’s grand entrance. Write up your birth story (click here for tips on getting started) and email it, along with a few photos, to birthstory@pnmag.com. We’ll share it on our Birth Day blog and may even print it in an upcoming issue!