Birth Story

Sunday, July 18, 2004

I woke up that morning feeling like I had a burning in my bladder – best described as it felt like a UTI but it didn’t burn when I peed.

We went to church that morning and by 10AM (middle of mass) I was having this pain about every 10 minutes apart. My mom and sister mentioned that I should call the Dr office but I’m stubborn so I didn’t. After mass we ran to Walmart to pick up a camera bag and more barrettes for Miss Maddie.

We came home and I took a bath – remembering that sometimes water can make false labor go away. I had been active (walking around Walmart) and taken a bath. But the “burning” was still coming every 10 minutes or so.

We ordered pizza for lunch. The pain was still consistently 10 minutes apart after eating so I decided to try napping – can you say denial that I was in labor???

I ended up falling asleep for 90 minutes. Woke up and the pain was still coming. We went to my parents for a cookout / dinner. My sister talked me into calling the doctor around 4:00pm to mention the UTI type pain. Dr. Doelger was on call and said that if it was still happening at 5-8 minutes apart, to call back but to sit tight for now.

We ate dinner and about halfway through I was having them about 6 to 7 minutes apart and they were getting to the point where I had to close my eyes to concentrate on them. Arnie decided at this point to go home and get Maddie’s school stuff for the morning since it was looking like I might be going into the hospital that night.

While Arnie was at our house my sister handed me the phone and made me call again. We had them timed between 3 and 7 minutes apart. Dr. Doelger recommended I come in to be checked. Heidi called Arnie to tell him to get back to my mom’s and FAST. While she was on the phone with him I was bent over my mom’s couch breathing thru a contraction. My mom handed me a gift from everyone – it was a silver frame of a cross that has a little girl kneeling and praying and it was engraved with “Olivia Ann” on it. I started crying (from fear and emotions, etc). My sister started talking about how Olivia was going to be just fine and how my grandmother was watching over her. That just made me start bawling even harder.

They made me wait outside for Arnie – it was quite hilarious to watch Arnie speed down my parents street and then run around and help me into the car. The kids each gave me a hug and we must have been a sight to be seen – the entire family waving goodbye to us and Arnie peeling down the street.

Arnie flew to the hospital. At one point he asked if I was going to have her in the car. Not quite. Little did we know the fun was just about to begin…

We get checked into the hospital (I walked from the parking garage, thankyouverymuch). Dr. Delise (resident on call) then dropped the first bomb on us.

Depending on how far along I was it was possible we would be transferred to another hospital due to a bed shortage in the NICU. I thought he meant UCONN and when said Boston – my heart stopped and I started to shake. WE had not done all this legwork and made the decision to stay in Connecticut to then be airlifted to Boston due to a bed shortage in the NICU. I said “Just send her next door to the PICU because that’s where she’ll be after surgery anyway”. He responded with “We’ll do everything we can to keep you here” (to which I heard “keep BOTH of you here”). He checked me at 8pm and I was 5 cm. dialated, 80% effaced. I was too “unstable” to be transported.

Arnie called my parents to give them an update after the head nurse told us that Olivia still may be transported. I begged my mom to leave ASAP for the hospital. And I was TERRIFIED that I would be separated from my baby – and her surgery would be 100+ miles from where we had decided it should be.

Dr. Doelger came in and I was so happy to meet him and he shared my views about no episiotomy / forceps and vacuum.

I asked for an epidural and while they were putting it in Dr. Delise came in and told us he had found room for Olivia in Hartford!! She would NOT be transported anywhere.

My nurse Jane told us had they moved Olivia to Boston I could have been transferred up there as well. But thankfully we didn’t have to worry about it anymore.

My mom, dad and sister finally showed up. I was technically supposed to only have my mom, Arnie and my dad in the room during labor / delivery. But they really didn’t say anything about Heidi being there and she was able to stay for the entire delivery.

After the epidural they moved my room to the special delivery room with a mini-NICU room attached (so if Olivia needed special care, their equipment was all right there.

By 11pm I was really feeling the contractions again. They checked me and I was still 5 cms so they decided to break my water. At that point Jane called for a top off my epidural. Turns out when they moved me to a new room someone forgot to turn the pump on again!!!

I went insane at this point – I was in transition and going crazy from the pain. Thank GOD for my sister and mom who were so there for me the entire time helping me breathe through the pain.

I started begging to push around 11:30pm but was on my side and didn’t want to roll on my back to be checked. Finally they let me push at 11:45 and I was screaming for Arnie (who had gone to the waiting area with my dad to take a nap). Olivia was crowning before the doctor came in. My mom and sister were on my right side – Heidi was in charge of the face cloth and my mom was the hand holder. Arnie was on my left and was hand / leg holder. My dad sat in the chair and prayed.

Dr. Doelger knew that I would like to hold Olivia when she was born and he said that he would hand her to me before the NICU team got her.

At midnight I got a new nurse, Lisa. I couldn’t have picked her out of a lineup before I delivered as I wasn’t opening my eyes for anything. There were 3 people from the NICU present along with the doctor, my crew of 4 and two nurses. A busy room to say the least.

At 12:15AM Olivia Ann was born. She was so beautiful and pink and cried SO WELL! Dr. Doelger placed her on my chest and I was able to hug her and kiss her and cuddle her. Everyone was crying! Arnie was sobbing. The NICU team then took her and cleaned her up and stabilized her and then they handed Olivia to Arnie to bring back to me. We ended up getting about 10 minutes with her before they took her downstairs – everyone got to hug and kiss and hold her. Arnie then went downstairs with Olivia while I got stitched up.

I had a second degree tear that required two stitches. After he stitched me up and delivered the placenta he gave us a “tour” of it. Showed us what part was connected to me and where Olivia was.

Arnie came back up and told us that Olivia’s oxygen levels were at 84 percent. Her apgars were 8/8.

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