I can HARDLY believe tomorrow it will have been one whole year since Claire was born! What a wonderful accomplishment for our daughter! It was a crazy birthday and birth story, but one we wouldn't change for the world. I figured I would write Claire's birth story today so tomorrow can be dedicated to her 1st birthday!
After a week of trying to keep Claire from being born, on Tuesday last year the doctors decided there wasn't much more they could do to stop it. They took me off all of the IVs and told me just to take it easy. I was allowed to eat real food again and get a shower which was nice. It was mine and Trent's 8 year wedding anniversary. We spent it together in the "comfort" of the labor and delivery room. There are a few pictures from that day but they WILL NOT be posted! I was in my hospital gown and both Trent and I looked like we hadn't slept in years. We took them just because it was our anniversary and one day we might want to look back and remember how we spent it. ;) Those are the last pictures of me pregnant with Claire.
That evening, the nurses came in and asked if I was feeling all of the contractions and I told them no. I felt some, but not every 2 minutes. I really wasn't paying attention. So they told me to start writing them down as I felt them. I did that from about 6 pm to 9 pm and realized the contractions were pretty close - like 2 to 3 minutes apart. After 9 pm I didn't really feel like writing it down anymore, so I quit. My high school best friend came by to visit around 9 pm and we didn't really think anything was going to be happening that night. We decided we better try to get some sleep. Me in the hard as a rock hospital bed (not a normal hospital bed, but one for labor and delivery) and Trent on the fold out couch thing. Anita was going to sleep in the waiting room and my mom and sisters went to Julie's. We all thought we could get a good night's rest. Thought was the key word.
I seriously couldn't get comfortable. I was tossing and turning. Well if you have ever done this on bed rest, you will know you have a heartbeat monitor thing attached to your stomach to track the baby's heartbeat. So every time I turned, the nurse had to come help me and to readjust the monitor. I bet we did this about 200 times from 9 pm to 11 pm. I am sure the nurse hated to hear my call bell ring! Claire's heart beat was not easy to find. She was so low, her heart beat could only be found like in the crease of my leg. It's hard to keep a belt thing on with the monitor like that.
The nurse stuffed pillows all around me. I bet I wiped out the whole L&D floor of pillows that night. I just couldn't get comfortable. My back HURT. I cried because I couldn't get comfortable. Trent was out like a light. Next thing I remember is the nurse asking me if I was maybe having back labor. I noticed then that maybe my body hurt so bad because of the contractions, not the fact I just couldn't get comfortable in this hard bed that I had been stuck in for forever. So the doctor came in and checked me. I was about 4 cm dilated. Trent still didn't wake up. I was in serious pain by then and begged for pain medicine. He finally woke up in the meantime.
The doctor came back in a bout 5 minutes later, checked me again and I was already 5 cm dilated. Trent asked should he start calling family, and she said probably not. It could take a while. I was really hurting by then and freaking out. I told the nurse the contractions were a 10 on a scale of 1-10. About 5 minutes later, Dr. Kara came back in. I was 6 cm. This was going too fast! She told Trent to start calling. Even though it could take a while, it was happening. All I remember is Jay Leno was on TV.
While Trent was calling, Dr. Kara checked once again and I was 8 cm dilated. This seriously all happened within like 30 minutes. The nurse handed Trent his outfit he had to wear with his cap into the OR. They were delivering Claire in the OR because the area where the NICU team was set up was right beside the OR. Trent ran out into the waiting room to get his mom, had called Julie to tell them to come back to Duke, and we were heading to the OR. I remember telling him to get my chap stick because I couldn't live without it. I remember getting to the OR and an OR person was NOT happy that we were there. She had not been told we were coming. Uh, hello?!?! There wasn't time woman!
I was 10 cm dilated when we got to the OR. My legs felt like they were being ripped from my body. I remember thinking in my head and repeating "Why? Why did I ever think I could do this? Why? I can't do this! I am going to die!" They anesthesiologists said I didn't have time for an epidural to work, so they were going to try a spinal block. I didn't care - they just needed to do SOMETHING! They did the first block, I started pushing, and it was bad. I actually told the whole delivery team something really crazy. I know this sounds stupid, but it was the truth. They told me to push and I looked at them and said "but I don't know how! I haven't gotten to that part in my book! And we haven't taken any classes! This wasn't supposed to happen for another 3 months!" Geez, how naive did I sound?!?! So they explained and I tried.
Claire's arm was caught so the doctors were trying to push her arm back down. I felt everything. The doctor asked why I was upset and asked if I could feel that. I said yes, and she said, "well, the spinal didn't work!" Oh Lord, please help me!!! I remember Trent holding my hand and telling me everything was going to be ok. I was hoping he was right.
So they sat me BACK up on the table to try the spinal block again. It felt like it took 10 years, but I am sure it wasn't. That time it seemed to start working about the time Claire was born. The doctors told me that either I push and get Claire out or the next step would be to try the forceps. If that didn't work, then a c-section. I looked over and saw those huge, cold, silver forceps laying there and thought there was no way they were pulling my baby out by her head with those. So I gave it all I had and Claire was born at 1:16 am weighing 3 lbs, 2 oz and measuring 16" long.
They whisked her away into the next room, but as they did Trent told me to look. They were holding Claire up as they walked out and I could see her little mouth opening. That was it. They continued to work on me and told Trent he could either stay with me or go in the next room with Claire while they stabilized her. He said he would stay with me, but I told him to go with Claire. I was ok. I had to know she was ok. He had to tell me she was ok. All I could do was pray over and over again "please God, please let Claire be ok." I bet I prayed that a million times over and over.
Trent came back into the OR with me as they were taking Claire away to the NICU. They held the door open as they rolled her by so I could see her. She had a head full of dark hair! Trent said she was moving and making noise. Her APGAR scores were 5 and 7. They tried to intubate Claire but she wouldn't have any of that. So she was just on the nasal cannula I believe. By 1:45 am, I was back in my L&D room shaking and itching from the nerves and medicine. My mom and sisters had barely made it there in time to be in the waiting room when Claire was born. They almost wouldn't let them up to the 5th floor when they got there. My mom said she almost had to give her right arm for the receptionist on the 1st floor to let them on the elevators!
I remember all I wanted to do was see Claire and know she was ok. I was told I could probably see her around 3-4 am and to get some rest. Yeah right. I had the nurse keep calling back to the NICU to get status updates. It wasn't until almost 1 pm that day before we could see Claire. Almost exactly 12 hours! That was killing me! They were having to stabilize her, do echos on her heart, ultrasounds on her liver, try to get her blood from fighting itself, etc.. Nurse Tammy wasn't my nurse that day, but she kept checking on me and calling back to the NICU for me for updates. It was all so fast and so crazy. But it was totally worth it!!!!!!!!!
We will forever be so thankful for Dr. Kara and Nurse Tammy for their kindness to us and our family during that whole experience.
We are so excited to celebrate Claire's first birthday tomorrow and this weekend. We just can't say enough how proud we are of Claire and all of her strength, endurance, accomplishments, and zest for life.
The Scott Family