Rayla’s Birth Story
(It’s a detailed one!)
September 5th I awoke at 6:45 am to Micah telling me the hospital called saying they wanted to move my induction time. Micah told them we didn’t have an induction and to cancel it. In my slumber I was like “wait, you didn’t cancel my 39 week appointment did you? They talked about maybe stripping my membranes if she was head down.”
As soon as the scheduling office opened I called to confirm that I still had my weekly check up. I went in and was greeted by my midwife saying you never got a call saying I scheduled you for an induction? (Turns out the main scheduler was on vacation and the person in her place had indeed forgot to call and tell me I had an induction scheduled…)
So my midwife takes me back to check me anyway and lo and behold little Rayla had turned breech again. Despite being head down at 37 weeks, head up at 38 weeks, after a chiropractor adjustment (Webster Technique) and binding wearing for almost a week she had still managed to swim head up again! My midwife suspected she was on the smaller side, because of all my amniotic fluid (almost double what most people have) and because she was my third (uterus stretched) she just had a lot more room to keep moving around.
She looked at me and sighed knowing this wasn’t what either of us wanted and asked “how do you feel about trying a version? They are still at the hospital waiting for you because of the scheduled induction. If it works we could induce you. If not, we could do a c-section” (My practice doesn’t vaginally deliver breech babies). I didn’t really hesitate in saying “okay, let’s try it I guess.” She told me not to go home to get my bags and just go straight to the hospital. I got there around 10 am.
I called Micah and let him know that one way or another we were having a baby today so to go ahead and finish his appt and get to the hospital.
By the time he got there I was all checked in and ready for an epidural. The doctor performing the version likes to have the patient ready and prepped incase of an emergency, plus that way you don’t feel the version. The only down side of the epidural was that it made my blood pressure drop reallllly low. I think it was 50 something over 20 something – I almost passed out but they got it back up quickly.
After that my midwife and a doctor literally flipped my baby in 2 seconds. It was the craziest thing ever, put some jelly on my belly and turned her. I didn’t feel one ounce of pain (thanks epidural) and I felt her head go to the bottom! We were all so excited that it worked so easily. They thought I was a good candidate because of her suspected size and all the amniotic fluid but I don’t think any of us thought it would be successful that quickly. After 30 minutes of making sure she handled the flip okay, we started Pitocin.
As with the other two, Rayla was sunny side up so I don’t progress very quickly. After a handful of hours I was only a 5 or 6 so my midwife decided to break my water to see if she would descend more. Not too long after this happened Rayla’s heartbeat would go down sometimes during a contraction…because of what happened with Verity I called the nurse in right away and asked her why it was doing that. She assured me that the dips so far weren’t concerning and they were keeping a close eye on her even if she wasn’t in the room.
Because it was such a good epidural and we were all hopeful things were progressing nicely even if slowly I just read, Micah and I hung out, texted friends and family, etc. It was such a crazy day I think we were just trying to process that we were about to meet our girl!
After a while longer they had me switch positions to see if we could get her to flip and see if it made her HR any happier. I stayed on all fours for about 30 minutes before flipping back over (with help of course). She said she would check me again at 10pm. At around 9 she came back in and said she wanted to check me. Micah asked if there was a reason she was checking me early… she said “yes, that the baby’s HR was starting to dip more and not come back up as quickly as it had before.”
I was an 8 but the more important discovery was… a prolapsed cord. It wasn’t coming out, but she could feel it coming before the baby’s head (imagine like a headband). She said we couldn’t deliver like this and wanted to call the doctor in to see if he could help. The doctor and her (and looking back… a lot of other nurses, etc.) came in. They were an amazing team and worked so well together. The doctor literally had me push a little and while I did he would push the cord behind Rayla’s head. Their goal was that if I could get her to come down enough and get the cord to stay behind her head then I could push her out. I was just 2 away from being fully dilated but she was just still really high and even though they tried for 15-20 min. He looked at me and said, “I think I just want to get her out of there.” So for the second time that day with everything moving so fast, I said, “okay, let’s do it.”
Talk about a change of pace. The doctor, the midwife, nurses, etc. sprang into action, threw scrubs at Micah and the next thing I know I am being wheeled to the OR.
I didn’t tear up until I was strapped to the table, the bright lights, all the people, how fast everyone was moving, it was overwhelming. My midwife grabbed a tissue so Micah could wipe my tears and the medical staff assured me that Rayla was fine and she would be out in two minutes. She was and when she came out she let out the biggest loudest cry and I don’t know if I’ve ever cried purer tears of joy.
- With Haddon, I didn’t cry…it was relief after three days of unmedicated labor.
- With Verity, I cried out of fear when she wasn’t breathing when she came out and was wheeled away to the NICU.
- With Rayla, the biggest most joyous and thankful tears in what I would consider was my most dreaded way to give birth.
Funny how certain things just don’t matter when all is said and done.
I didn’t even care I couldn’t hold her right away. I was just so happy. Micah got to hold her and watch her be cleaned up. Once we got to recovery I got to hold her and nurse her. It was amazing.
The whole C-section experience is a story for another day…
I wondered once, “what if I would have just waited till 40 weeks and I would have said no to the version and she flipped head down on her own.” But I quickly said, well that’s not what happened and am trying to bask in knowing my girl a week sooner knowing that if she hadn’t flipped I would have had a C-section anyway.
It wasn’t until way later that my midwife told me that one of the top 3 emergencies in obstetrics is a prolapsed cord and in her 44 years of midwifery she has only had 2 incidents of it occurring.
There were so many answered prayers throughout the day even though it ended in major surgery. Some specific ones that I don’t want to forget:
- I didn’t shake. I hated the shakes with the other two labors. Haddon I didn’t have meds but I did with Verity and still shook a lot.
- I never feared. I did get overwhelmed right before surgery but I was nervous that I would be so afraid and anxious because of what happened with V. Even when her HR dipped though, I knew they would get her out if they had to. The Lord just totally protected my mind and I tried real hard to captivate every thought.
- She let out the best first cry!!! Every single time I’ve sang “from life’s first cry to final breath Jesus commands my destiny” since Verity was born I have cried in humbleness because of the fact that I don’t control or command either of those things and I trust in a God who does – sometimes that’s hard. No matter if He let’s there be a first cry or when He let’s there be a last breath He is good and trustworthy. My children are His.
- Her cord that provided her life didn’t end it. For some reason I remember specifically praying that very thing in the shower maybe a week before her delivery.
So I pretty much have crazy labor and deliveries. Easy pregnancies – Crazy births.
Each of my children are SUCH miracles. All humans are. But despite crazy odds – Haddon had a true knot in his cord (it wasn’t tight), Verity had respiratory distress (needed 7 minutes of intervention), and Rayla had a prolapsed cord they are all sleeping peacefully in their beds and I get to kiss them and disciple them every single day. It’s not a grace I take lightly. I don’t deserve them at all but I’m so grateful I get to be their mama.
But on a humorous note, why do my girls have to start out that dramatic? Like seriously? No more drama. ever.
Rayla Hope – we all love you so much baby girl.
6 lbs 13 ounces | 19.5 inches of happiness!