Friday, February 15, 2013

Adelaide's Birth Story

Adelaide Jane Thomas arrived via emergency c-section at 4:01 p.m. on Oct. 3rd, 2012, one day before her due date. I woke up that morning feeling a little different. I had been having Braxton Hicks contractions for the past few days. While I was putting on my makeup that morning, I just felt a little different.  I told Brook and he told me to really pay attention and if whatever I was feeling started coming in waves, to time them.  Maybe I was already feeling contractions that morning.  I don’t really know.  I was training someone at work and I started feeling something every few minutes. It was a strange feeling and it was coming in waves. The feelings weren't painful, but they were fairly consistent.  They were coming every 4 to 5 minutes. Brook told me to start timing them and that I probably would need to pack up my office just in case I didn't come back. He also told the girl I was training to make sure I timed them because he knew I wouldn't do it if someone didn't remind me. I told my boss that I might not be back that afternoon. I went to lunch at noon at Hammontrees with Rachel and Amanda and the contractions kept coming, but they weren't painful yet. Rachel told me that I probably needed to go to the hospital and get checked out, but I didn't think there was anything to worry about and didn't want to make a trip to the hospital to just get sent home.  I thought it was false labor.  Oh- little did I know, she was coming that afternoon! Amanda told me to just go home and relax and to go to the hospital if they got closer together or more intense. I had some boots in my car that I needed to drop off at the cobbler because I knew I would need them when I went back to work after my maternity leave. Rachel and Amanda told me not to drop them off and to go straight home. I called my doula on the way home and she told me to go home and try to relax. She said to just listen to my body and to call her later that afternoon. I got home and just couldn't relax. I was walking around the house like a nervous wreck.  I was in denial that anything was happening.  Brook told me to pack my hospital bag. Let me back up. We found out Adelaide was breech at 37 weeks. I had been doing all kinds of things to try to encourage her turn.  I wanted to give her a chance to turn. I also really didn't want a c-section. I wanted to have a natural birth. We even took classes at a local midwifery to prepare. Anyway, every day, twice a day, I was lying upside down on an ironing board for 20 minutes, doing breech tilts, putting cold and warm packs on my stomach, putting earphones down low, shining a flashlight down low, etc.  I even quit going to Crossfit and started walking every day.  The owner at La Huerta, Guadalupe, told me to walk a lot and that might help her turn.  At our last appt., she was still breech and my doctor said at 40 weeks, I would have to schedule a c-section b/c she wouldn’t let me go past 41 weeks.  I was convinced she would be late.  I was so wrong.  So, since I was convinced she would be late, I hadn’t really packed a bag yet.  Then I got the brilliant idea to wash my hair.  I had it up in a bun because it was dirty.  My contractions really started getting intense and I had to lean over the bathroom counter and breathe through them.  I asked Brook if that was normal.  Apparently, I had forgotten everything we learned at childbirth class.  I told him to call Sara, our doula, just in case.  He had already done so.  Smart guy.  Washing my hair was such a challenge b/c the contractions were coming every 2 to 3 minutes at that point.  I would yell at Brook from the shower when one was starting.  Then I would tell him when it started fading away.  I managed to get it washed, but I just couldn’t dry it.  The contractions were coming so fast and they were incredibly intense.  Around 2:45 (I think), we decided to go to the hospital.  Knowing she was breech, we needed to get there fairy quickly.  Brook had already packed everything in the car.  He’s a great packer and list maker.  We told the poor animals good bye and got in the car.  The ride to the hospital was quite the ordeal.  Contractions in the back seat of a car are no fun.  Poor Brook was calling our parents and friends letting them all know we were headed to the hospital.  Then, he missed the turn.  I very loudly pointed it out to him.  Bless his heart, I’m sure I was not being very nice to him and he was trying to drive and call everyone at the same time!  We arrived at the hospital.  I had a contraction at the car, in the lobby, and in the elevator.   We walked into triage and the nurse said, “So do we think we are contracting?” in a voice that to me seemed a little snarky like she didn’t think I was having contractions.  I got through a few questions and then it happened.  A big gush of fluid all over me and the floor.  My water broke right there in triage.  How convenient.  They looked at me and said, “Oh, I guess you really are in labor.”  They moved me to the room and had me change into a gown.  I told the nurse helping me that she was breech.  I got on the bed and start having another contraction.  Those next few were probably the most intense things I’ve ever felt in my life.  Not fun at all especially since I was on my back.  One of the nurses checked me and I heard her say, “I think I feel her foot in the birth canal.” to the other nurse.  Then another nurse checked me and said the same thing.  There were about 3 or 4 nurses in the room now.  Then they started moving really fast.  They let Brook in and I remember feeling nauseated.  They put an oxygen mask on me and kept telling me to breathe through the contractions.  I remember holding one of the nurses hands and squeezing it so hard.  I was trying to breathe, but it was so difficult.  Then, the anesthesiologist came in and gave me the news.  There was no time for an epidural.  She was coming now and they were going to have to put me under general anesthesia.  At that point, I was so scared that I didn’t care that I wouldn’t be awake for her birth.  I just wanted them to get her out.  Also, during this time, they inserted my catheter, so I felt that.  It wasn’t bad compared to the contractions.  They wheeled me out of triage and down the hall.  I think I was holding Brook’s hand and we barely said goodbye to each other.  The operating room was so cold and scary and LOUD.  There were so many people in there!  My contractions were so intense and close together.  I think I've said that 100000 times.  They moved me onto the operating table and a nurse told me that I would be asleep soon and I wouldn’t feel anything.  I was so scared.  I kept asking if she was okay.  I started counting backwards from 100 and then I woke up in the recovery room.  I asked if my daughter was okay and I’ll never forget the relief I felt when they said, “Yes, she is fine.”  I kept asking when I could see her and Brook.  Finally, after about 30 minutes, they came to visit me.  I met Adelaide for the first time.  She was perfect.  It was a bit surreal.  She was inside me just that morning and then she was there with us.  The head nurse was nice enough to bring her in the recovery room so I could nurse her.  She took some pictures of us too and I am so grateful to have those pictures.  Looking back, I am so glad we left for the hospital when we did.  All of the nurses and doctors were wonderful.  We love her so much.  She brings us so much joy.  We are very blessed.  Sorry, the pics are sideways.  I can't figure out how to rotate them.


  1. I already knew this story but I still teared up reading it. Love the pictures!!

  2. I still say I had time to drop those shoes off at the cobbler!