There are 7.7 billion people in the world today. Each person has a birth story. I’m going to share just one birth story, my daughter’s four-day labor.
This is part of Susie Lindau’s Blessed Project. We are supposed to write a blog post expressing how we have been blessed this year.
By far, my greatest blessing in 2019 was the birth of our seventh grand darling. Youngest daughter Suzee had a difficult pregnancy. She was a high risk and had a lot of complications:
- Blood clot in arm a few years ago
- Had to give herself a shot of blood thinner every day
- Nausea entire pregnancy
- Light-headed, felt like passing out
- Slipped disk caused extra back pain
- Shooting pains into the pelvic floor
Due date was August 10th, but because of all the complications, including high blood pressure the last few months, (meds didn’t help), her doctor decided to induce her early and said, “Expect a two-day labor.”
She was admitted to the hospital the morning of Saturday, July 20. George and I drove to Las Vegas from Southern California that afternoon. Suzee told us, “Don’t come to the hospital until after the baby is born,” so we stayed in their apartment and looked after their Labradoodle, Ruca.
- Contractions three minutes apart
- Dilated to 3 centimeters
You must be dilated to 10 cm for the baby to pass through the birth canal.
Sunday morning- July 21:
At 4:00 a.m., Suzee was given an epidural.
After Brett called to update us, I got up and discovered the dog had had diarrhea. She went all over the carpet and tile in four places with dotted trails to and from. Unknowingly, I had stepped in one puddle and tracked it across the living room. *Scream*
While I cleaned the carpet on hands and knees, Suzee’s labor progressed slowly:
- 9:00 a.m. – Given pitocin through IV to increase contractions
- That afternoon – contractions two minutes apart
- Still dilated to only 3 centimeters
- Arm with IV blew vein
- Arm swelled with fluid
- IV started in other arm
Monday morning – July 22:
- Balloon inserted to help cervix dilate
- They would check her in 12 hours
- Left leg swelled up – Suzee worried she had a blood clot
- Nurse checked for clots – Wrapped both legs with a massage machine that prevents clots
- Brett and Suzee FINALLY sleeping
- His parents paid a visit, anxious to see what was taking so long to meet first grandchild
- There were WORDS
- Suzee flipped out
- In-laws left
- Blood pressure spiked to 200 plus over 100 plus
- Nurses rushed in and tried to calm her down
- “NO MORE VISITORS”
- Blood pressure stabilized
I thanked God my daughter was all right and didn’t have a stroke or heart attack. Upsetting Suzee during labor put her life and the baby’s life at risk. *Deep breath*
- Balloon worked!
- Dilated to 5
- “Get some sleep before hard labor kicks in”
- Active labor is when you’re 6 centimeters
Tuesday morning – July 23:
- 7:35 a.m. – water broke on its own. Dilated to 7!
- 9:00 a.m. – dilated to 9 centimeters!
- Brett called at 9:45. “Suzee wants you here at the hospital.”
At the Hospital
- Suzee is freaking out
- Epidural no longer working
- Built up intolerance to the Fentanol
- Felt full blown contractions
- Like one continuous contraction
- Had tried to push for ten minutes and gave up
- “Give me a C-section!”
- “I can’t take the pain. %*$#!* Too exhausted to push!”
- Nurses will prepare her for a C-section
- “Might take a couple hours before the OR is available”
Everyone (various medical staff and Brett) left Suzee and me alone in the labor room. I told her, “The pains don’t hurt as bad when you’re bearing down. Pushing lessens the pain.”
I had had four babies and wished I could get up on that bed and give birth for her.
When the nurses returned, Suzee said, “Screw it. I want to try to push.”
“Great,” the head nurse said. “You’re allowed to change your mind.”
In the meantime:
- Other vein blew
- IV needed to be reinserted
- Threw up four times while pushing
- Baby’s heart rate dropped to 50
- It’s dangerous if baby’s heart drops below 100
- Doctor applied vacuum apparatus to baby’s head
- Vacuum helped pull him farther through birth canal
Born Ten Minutes Later
Suzee was a warrior at pushing. The baby’s life was at risk and they would have done an emergency C-section if he wasn’t delivered quickly. Finally, at 11:38 a.m. on Tuesday, July 23, 2019, baby boy Nowell George joined us in this great adventure, weighing in at 5 pounds 15 ounces. He measured 19 inches long.
Here’s a video I recorded two seconds after birth. The emotions are fresh and raw. You may need a tissue. Imagine all the women who have experienced the miracle of giving birth. It can boggle one’s mind.
The baby developed jaundice and had to stay in the hospital an extra night, but that was okay. He was healthy and beautiful.
Here’s a video of George doing his Donald Duck impression for the baby when they came home from the hospital:
Three weeks later:
Six weeks later, we flew to Vegas to visit.
Eight weeks later:
Three months later:
Four-and-a-half months later:
What does Ruca have to say about all this?
Just think, there are 7.7 billion people in the world today and billions who came before us. Everyone has a birth story, even if we don’t know all the details.
Cheers to each of us. Here’s to enjoying life and to celebrating each new day. May your holidays be merry and may the New Year bring you abundant blessings.
Blessed Project – December 2017
This is my post from the last Blessed Project: Blessings For All Seasons – December 2017. It covers Brett and Suzee’s last-minute wedding when we thought George only had a few months to live. We are so blessed he is still with us and is cancer free, but I’m sad we lost both George’s brothers this year. Jim passed in August and Gil in November. It’s hard to process. Life is full of joy and sorrow. *Sigh*
Do you have a favorite birth story? Does Suzee’s experience make you appreciate what your mother must have gone through? Do you have a special memory from this year you’d like to share?
We’d love to hear your comments. Thanks so much for visiting!