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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Johanna's Birth Story

Being pregnant was hard for me. I had horrible pregnancy acne. I gained 50 lbs throwing up everyday for 20 weeks (how is that possible?). I had contractions starting at 26 weeks that sent me to the hospital twice. I was completely unprepared for how difficult pregnancy was but I was thrilled to be having a baby. I was even more excited when I found out this little miracle was a girl. Up until the ultrasound I told myself I didn't care, boy or girl. When I found out she was a girl I realized how much I actually did care. Chip and I went to Main Street Deli and wrote out our favorite names on paper. Then we compared and looked to see if we had chosen any of the same names. We both had Johanna on our lists and we wanted Danielle for a middle name after her daddy. Johanna Danielle. We settled it right there at lunch. I couldn't wait to get my baby girl's room ready with pink EVERYTHING.

11 days before my due date I went to a basketball game that Chip was coaching. Ridgeville vs. Yellow Springs and it was close and nasty. I was contracting through the entire game wearing my red Ridgeville t-shirt and cheering wildly. I didn't think much about my contractions since I had them all the time, but on the way home I realized they were different and had started burning a little. I got a little too excited and at about 11 pm headed to the hospital. When we got there I was told I wasn't dilated at all and they sent me home. I woke up the next morning still contacting and knowing that this was the day. I had no idea what I was in for! I went to lunch at a Mexican place with Hank and his friends and then to our family Christmas party that evening. I was trying to keep my mind off the the contractions that were getting VERY uncomfortable. During the party I graduated to the couch and was having trouble keeping it together. My aunt was making inappropriate comments and I was tired and in pain. We headed back to the hospital. After being checked I was told I was almost 1cm. wtf. I burst into tears. I couldn't imagine what I was going to have to endure before I got to 10cm. Thank the Lord I wasn't able to imagine that. I was given a shot of morphine and given the option to stay or go home. We went home and I got in bed. The Morphine had made me drunk and my breathing was loud and uncontrolled. Chip was nervous and scared about the way I was acting and got me out of bed and into the car. We were back at the hospital an hour after we had left and I had made it to 4cm. They started moving quickly and getting ready for the epidural and gave me another pain killer in my i.v. I do not remember getting the epidural (very drugged out) but I was able to sleep for three hours.

I woke up from a sound sleep to feeling my insides ripping apart. Chip was asleep on the couch but I couldn't move or make noise. I hit the call button and a nurse came and everything got crazy again. "at a 10", "time to push", "wake him up", "lift your leg". Poor Chip went straight from a peaceful sleep to holding my leg and seeing things he couldn't have imagined. First push and his head went down. He was out cold. If I hadn't been in the worst pain of my life or if this wasn't the man I loved more than anything, maybe this moment would have been funny. The bed side was pressed up against his throat and I could hear him gargle to breath. He was the only one on that side of the bed and I was the only one who noticed he had lost consciousness. I started yelling and sobbing "Please help him! He can't breathe!". They gave him smelling salts and he popped right up saying "I think I just took a little rest". Right. My mom got there a few minutes later and I was emotionally and physically spent. I had been pushing thirty minutes and my midwife came and told me "Usually first time mom's push for two hours. That means you have an hour and a half to go." I started crying again.

I pushed for fours more hours. The doctor was brought in to asses the situation and administer the "Mighty Vac" as a last attempt before an emergency c-section. I screamed as my baby was being pulled from my body. And then......there she was on my chest, all 8lbs 5oz of her. I remember seeing her fists and thinking those are the biggest baby hands I have ever seen, I think I gave birth to a toddler. Chip said I kept saying "my baby" over and over but I don't remember. I nursed her for the first time and they put a little pink and blue striped hat on her head. After about an hour they took her out of the room and I told Chip to go with her. I didn't want her to be out of our sight. He went and saw her get her first bath.

That night they brought her back to me swaddled up tight. She was puking and gaging on mucus and blood and I called the nurse in a panic. She said it was normal and just suction her out. After it happened a few more times and I was shaking and delirious I asked the nurse to take her to the nursery. I decided I should trust the team of professionals to watch my child so I could sleep. I could hear other women moaning and screaming in the night as they labored. I just laid in my bed and cried. I so wish Johanna could have stayed with me through that night. I wish I hadn't been so scared to lose her even from the first moment that I had her.

The next year brought so much fear and anxiety when there should have only been joy. This is where my throat gets tight as a write. When that little body came out and I loved her so completely, my world was rocked. I think the next year was me trying to figure out what to do with a love that changes everything.....a love that knocked me senseless.....the love for my first born.


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