As we got the labor and delivery floor we meet Kim our nurse. She knew we had a transverse baby and that Dr. Wasserman was either on his way or was in the hospital for us. We got into our triage room right around 10 and she monitored you to make sure things were good. We were going through the registration questions and just chatting until the chief OB resident came in to do an ultrasound. As she did we discovered that you were back to a single footling breech position. You foot was down, you bottom was jamming down into my pelvis and your head was bent down to your bottom. Your spine laid on my right side and you were as squished down into yourself as you could possibly be. The ultrasound hurt as she jammed it low to get a good reading on your foot, but I just figured it was because she was working hard to see things. Turns out that was an indicator that things were moving along. Dr. Wasserman came in to meet us and discuss our options. His opinion was that we could do the version right there and then if it worked we could induce with a Foley or we could go home to try for a birth center birth. Or we could try and wait until tomorrow and do the version then in a better environment. Or we could just do a c-section right then or wait and do one in the morning (when Debby thought he’d be more optimal). The version had risks that he explained, things like uterine rupture or placental abruption and if those happened we’d be going right into surgery. I made it clear that I’d like to try for the version and try for a vaginal delivery if at all possible, but they gave us a minute for Daddy and I to talk about it with Debby and Coral while they stepped out.
I headed to the bathroom and had another strong contraction with pressure in my bottom. Debby wanted me to get on the bed because she thought it would go away, but it was one that bothered me more than most had been. As we talked it became obvious we needed to find out if I was moving into labor because if I was all options were off the table and we would be having surgery. When Dr. Wasserman came in we told him to check me so that we’d know what options we had available to us. They got me a sheet and he checked me. I’ll never forget his mouth falling open as he said “She’s 9+ and I’ve got a foot.” He turned to run and then turned back and told us that things were going to get crazy and move fast. I just told them to go faster as I knew my body would be pushing in no time and I couldn’t do that to you without really hurting you. I had a contraction right away and Debby climbed up on the bed and talked in my ear to get me to blow it off. Coral was at my feet telling me to “hehehehe” and Daddy came over to my side. Kim announced “Everything off” and Coral grabbed my socks off in one motion, I took off my shirt and Debby took off my bra. Your Daddy tried to lighten the mood by announcing that he was pretty fast at getting my bra off and we all just gave him a look and a “Michael!” as I was shocked that he’d think of something like that at the time!
The OB resident was yelling questions at me about previous pregnancies and Kim was asking about allergies and I just wanted to get moving faster. I had to sign a consent form in the middle of a contraction and they yelled at me to just make an ‘x.’ I did sign my first name, but I doubt anyone could read it and they grabbed it before I could even try and sign my last name. I know that as we rolled to the surgery suite the anesthesiologist’s assistant came and asked me about allergies and such as well. I asked her a question that I don’t remember and she just looked me in the eye and said “All we are worried about right now is your safety and your baby’s safety.” I remember having only two thoughts about everything happening, that I could NOT PUSH because I was afraid it would kill you and that I wanted them to GO FASTER because I still wanted to be awake so that Daddy and I could be there for your birth. I knew there was a big possibility that I’d be put under and if that happened Daddy wouldn’t be allowed there either. We had made a list of things we’d like to have if we did have a c-section and all those things were out the window when he discovered I was in full blown labor and we had no time to spare.
Daddy gave me a kiss as they rolled me through the doors and he waited and got dressed for surgery. They got me onto the surgery table and as I sat up for the spinal my water broke and I had a really hard pushing contraction. There was meconium in the water and they were now having to rush all over and not slip in the huge puddle on the floor. I’m sure they thought I was crazy, but I was blowing like mad and yelling at myself to not push. As soon as it passed I was taking long breathes for you and Dr. Habibi was working quickly to get the spinal in. I had one more big contraction and was trying so hard to hold still for him to work, blow off all the pushing urges and was yelling that I was pushing and not to push. It was a crazy couple of minutes and I just wanted them to get Daddy in there and you out so that I knew you were okay.
Before that contraction was even totally over I was down on the table and they were putting IVs in, blood pressure cuff on and bringing in Daddy and the woman who needed to draw labs. She was a bit concerned because she didn’t know where to get a vein since they had so many things on me already and asked if she should come back later. They got her to the side so that she could get a draw and they were opening me by the time she left. Your actual birth was something that we didn’t see, although I swear I heard the tiniest noise from you as they brought you out at 11:12 pm. They didn’t lower the drape as we had hoped because you were not in good shape once they saw you. Dr. Wasserman had told me that he would bring you to me before you went to get checked out and he did, although very, very quickly. As you were coming out he told me that he was going to brush my hand with you and he literally did just that. I didn’t see your face, but got a glimpse of your trunk and legs, enough to think that I maybe saw something. As you were over being attended to I kept saying “Did I see something? Is it a boy?” Finally someone answered that it was a boy and we announced that you were Evan Otto Schneider. I wanted Daddy to go to you as had been planned, but they told him to stay by me. I couldn’t see you at all, but knew that they must be working on you because you were not making any noise and they didn’t let Daddy come over.
It turned out that they had to deep suction your lungs (they got out about 3 ccs of bloody mucous) and then intubate you. They bagged you for 5 minutes and once they removed the tube you let us know that you were NOT happy with how things had been going. Those angry cries were one of the best sounds I’ve ever heard! During the entire time they were helping you I kept saying your name and trying to let you know that we were there. I kept telling Daddy to talk to you too and he did, but he was also able to see what was happening and didn’t want to let me know all that he was seeing. We both knew that it would work out okay, it just had to! And we knew that you were in very capable hands. Daddy says that he had a lot of confidence that you were okay because you were moving and fighting as they were helping you breathe. He did hear them say something about transport and that worried him, but then he realized you were just going upstairs, not to another hospital. What a change to go from a perfectly normal, healthy pregnancy to an emergency delivery and a baby that wasn’t breathing in such a short time.
After you were wrapped up and ready to head up the NICU they brought you over to me. You were perfect! No tubes or anything, just a little burrito baby held in the arms of a wonderful nurse named Nancy. She took you and Daddy and you all headed out. I have no doubt that we were where we needed to be and you had the team around you that was necessary, but I will always miss that you and I didn’t get those first precious moments together, sweet Evan.
Things we learned later…the surgery suite we used was one that was no longer in use because of the huge remodel of the hospital. It probably was cause for some of the crazed running around, but also meant that we had one that was open, was only steps from my triage room and didn’t mean a trip on the elevators to a different floor. Every minute mattered. Dr. Habibi was the best in the hospital (top 10% in the country according to Dr. Wasserman) and any other anesthesiologist would have put me under. He took a lot of pride that he was able to keep me awake and still be so fast. Dr. Wasserman told me he had to use ‘unusual maneuvers’ to get you out and Kim told us that you required a lot of pulling and force to come out. I did my best to not push you out, but obviously my body was fighting me on that. The stress of those contractions added to your distress and lack of oxygen and if we had not been where we were you probably would have not made it. Your cord pH was 7.19 which is headed into dangerous territory. Your apgar scores were 5 and 8. When the surgeons heard those numbers the comment I overheard is that they expected the first set to be about a 2…you were much stronger than they expected! The what ifs of the night scare me so much and I am so grateful that things turned out as they did and that you had such an amazing team there for you. The prayers from around the country were heard and answered and for that we are so thankful!