Monday, June 12, 2006

Naomi's dramatic arrival

The full story ...

On Thursday morning I had a routine 38 week ante-natal check with the community midwife. Naomi's heartrate was fast, my blood pressure was up, and I hadn't noticed any movements that morning - although as it was only 9.30am I hadn't thought anything of it. The midwife felt that my poor health over the last few months (all the asthma, coughing and repeated viruses) had started to affect the baby and sent me to the hospital to have her heart rate and movements monitored.

We arrived at about 11am and after taking a somewhat circuitous route via the Emergency department ended up attached to monitors on the delivery suite by 11.45am. After 30 minutes a senior midwife checked the heart trace and wasn't at all happy with it - not only was Naomi's heartrate consistently high, but there were none of the variations which would indicate normal movements. She called an obstetrician who was even less happy. She briefly considered inducing labour, but when she realised that she couldn't prod Naomi into any movement or response decided she needed to come out immediately by the express route ... a c-section.

From that point things moved at a speed that would not have disgraced a TV medical drama. I was prepped for surgery before you could say knife (ouch! terrible pun!). I discovered later that the lady whose planned c-section was just ending was shifted out of theatre in short order due to the pending emergency (we ended up in the same room after our sections). One of the anaesthetists came to take my medical history, check what I had eaten and so on, and to explain what would be happening. This doctor was an absolute star. She stayed with me throughout the entire procedure, holding my hand, reassuring me, and talking me through every aspect. Thanks to her I was able to stay calm despite the fact they were obviously seriously concerned about Naomi's condition and determined to get her out as fast as possible. I was rushed through to theatre where they had me hooked up to drips and given a spinal block in the time it took Tevye to get into a surgical gown. No time to wait for the spinal block to take its normal course ... I was tipped backwards to help the anaesthetic act quicker and the instant they were sure that I wouldn't feel any pain from the cut they started the operation, warning me that I would feel a lot of pushing and tugging but that there was no time to wait and it would ease up as the spinal kicked in fully.

Naomi was born at 12.48pm, two minutes after the operation started and within fifteen minutes of the decision to carry out an immediate c-section. I discovered later that her Apgar score at birth was an abysmal two (anything under seven is considered to be poor) . The fifteen medical staff in theatre included three pediatricians who whisked her off for resuscitation and worked on her simultaneously. Thanks to their efforts within two minutes she was breathing independently ... but oh, that was a long two minutes! When she began to cry everyone in the room broke out into huge smiles. Five minutes after birth and her Apgar score was up to nine. She was brought over for us to cuddle for a few minutes before they took her off to special care for observation. An hour and a half after she was born she was returned to us with a clean bill of health.

According to one of the midwives present at the section the cord had been wrapped round Naomi's neck. Whether this was the cause of her distress, or whether it was a function of my poor health, or a combination of the two, we don't know. Whatever the cause, we are grateful beyond measure to the medical staff whose prompt actions ensured that we now have a beautiful, healthy, little baby ... and to all those people who have prayed for us throughout this pregnancy. Those prayers have been answered every step of the way from the earliest days when we knew that there was a very high chance of miscarriage because of my age right through to the circumstances of her birth. Once again we have been privileged to see God's love and care for us in action, just as we were with Tevye's surgery back in March. And what a wonderful gift he has given us in our precious little daughter Naomi Rose!


Anonymous said...

How scary but what a wonderful ending! My first child was an emergency c-section. I just relived all the fear and joy through your post.

God bless you!


Anonymous said...

I'm all teary-eyed reading this post and so happy that Naomi is healthy and resting safely in your arms! Keep enjoying your babymoon and rest, rest, rest!
God bless,
Jennifer in TX

Anonymous said...

Kathryn: thanks for posting your birth story. What a dramatic one! God's hand in action indeed. Hugo also had an initial apgar of 3, after a difficult emergency C section, and look at him now!


Karen E. said...

I have goosebumps, just knowing how serious it was and that all of this happened at a routine check ... thank the Lord she is here and well! Blessings!

Love2Learn Mom said...

I'm glad to hear everything turned out all right and congratulations on your beautiful babe!

Our #2 (now 10 years old) was born with the cord around his neck and started out with an Apgar score of 1 (low heart rate, not breathing, completely pale) but made it up to 9 within 10 minutes. So scary though. His situation wasn't recognized until well into labor so we are grateful that at that point things progressed rather quickly because he was definitely in distress.