On July 5th, we packed our bags into the car for Winnie Palmer, it was induction day. We arrived at 10:45am, after filling out paperwork and waiting a short time – we were taken to a decent sized, beautiful room with windows that overlooked the neighbor hospital and streets below. As we watched the helicopter come and go from Arnold Palmer as the sunset slowly. The nurses were in and out as they hooked up monitors and prepared me for what would be the most intense time of my life. Around 5pm they gave me my first pill, of course this caused us excitement; We watched television and joked, we ate and took naps and at midnight, I received a second dose. When 1 AM rolled around, the contractions began.
The night was consumed with pain. The beginning was slow, but by 4 AM my contractions came two at a time every 1.5 minutes – not even the strongest pain medication they could offer would ease this pain. The pain worsened as the morning sun appeared, eventually becoming so bad they attempted to administer a drug to stop the induction. Unfortunately, the drug didn’t work and I was taken to labor and delivery. The short trip to labor and delivery is a blur, the most I recall is pain, blood and trembling. Once we arrived, the nurses went right to work, cleaning me up and administering an epidural. My water broke at 10:39 AM and I was finally free from the pain – for now.
I found sleep in minutes, Nikki was fast asleep in the chair next to me (especially after the long night before, neither of us knew we should have slept more!) But, we were finally in a position to sleep and so we did. It felt like days, but the clock proved it to be only 18 minutes – the doctors returned concerned as McKenzie’s heartbeat was fading. I laid numb on the bed while they rolled me from side to side, having me hold on to the bars of which I was facing each time. I felt an overwhelming amount of fear, this did
n’t seem normal. After a few rolling sessions, the nurses inserted a needle vaginally into McKenzie’s head, hoping to get a better heart rate. Soon, the room was quiet again.
I was almost asleep before the doctors returned, concerned McKenzie’s heart had stopped several more times. At 11:30 AM the room became crowded with nurses and techs. They handed Nikki a gown and started giving me more epidural medication. At 11:45 I was rushed for an emergency C-Section. The room was large and had a faint sound of music in the background, I suppose they read my birth plan – while nothing else went accordingly, at least we had some music. Nikki was eventually guided into the room and placed in a chair next to my head, the c-section began and my body shook the table as the doctors delivered McKenzie. “Are you ready to see her?” we heard the doctor ask as the nurse pulled down the curtain. I sat up as much as I possibly could, trying to see every inch of the little baby being held in the air. My eyes swelled up in tears as she let her cry out, I couldn’t believe she was finally here;
The nurse began McKenzie’s vitals, cleaned her up and brought her to meet me. My arms still strapped, the nurse held this little baby wrapped in a hospital blanket with a yellow hat on her head and oxygen in her nose. I held her tightly with the one arm I had
released while Nikki stood protectively beside us. The nurse asked for us to look and snapped a quick picture before whisking McKenzie off to the NICU. Nikki followed with them as they began stiching my body back together. As I laid strapped back down to the bed, I felt overwhelmed with emotions and very quickly found myself struggling to breathe. I woke up as I was being rolled into the recovery room where Nikki was waiting. I felt my body shaking uncontrollably and with very little strength- I was asleep again, and awake and asleep again. A few hours had passed by the time I was able to stay awake long enough to acknowledge what was happening. I had a fever of 103 with continued uncontrollable shaking, chills and numbness. The nurses struggled to administer an IV, several nurses and several stabs – eventually an ultrasound machine was used and a vein was found and bloodwork confirmed that I had sepsis.
Frustration set in with hours passing and the inability to see McKenzie. Unfortunately, because she was in the NICU – and I had a temp – I wasn’t able to see her until the temp was gone. This was the moment I learned of a mother’s strength – 1 hour, multiple bags of antibiotics, 1 broken and 9 closed bags of ice on my bare skin finally cured my temp, allowing us to transfer from the recovery area to a room, which also allowed a stop by the NICU to see our baby.