It was the last doctor's appointment we had before we decided what the next steps would be to begin labor. I was overdue, uncomfortable, anxious, excited, and so ready to meet our little one. Our doctor decided we needed to do an ultrasound to determine her weight as precisely as possible as we were approaching a 50/50 chance of a C-Section. Knowing this was my last resort, unless medically necessary for her health, my doctor said that he would give me every chance to labor on my own IF possible and would be very patient in that process. We scheduled the ultrasound and a gel induction for later that day. The ultrasound was also a biophysical profile test which means they tested for muscle tone, breathing movements, amniotic fluid levels, and heart rate. She scored an 8/8! However, her weight was approaching 4,500 grams- 9lbs. 13 oz! My induction got pushed back to the next day due to hospital availability, and so the long night ahead of us began. How do you even begin to relax and fall asleep knowing that you are going into the hospital the next day to be induced?? I did finally fall asleep but woke up with strong contractions around 3am. As it turned out they only lasted about an hour.
Griff and I woke up and took the morning easy. We met my parents for lunch and ran some last minute errands for my hospital bag. What a surreal day. Honestly such an odd feeling. I got a call from the hospital at 1:30pm telling me that the doctors reviewed my ultrasound and asked that I stop eating and drinking and come in at my scheduled time of 4:30pm to begin the induction. When we arrived at the hospital we got settled into a small room in OB triage and got hooked up to all the monitors. Everything looked great. Then one of my doctors' partners came in and said "you know what, let me grab a chair". My mind immediately raced to the worst possible scenario-they were going to send me home without inducing OR a C-Section was on the agenda. After explaining that he had spoken to my doctor (who came in at 10pm) and they were very concerned that Maile was too large to fit through my pelvis and I could still try the induction, however I may labor for up to 3 days with no progression and still end up with a C-Section or if we tried to do a vaginal birth she could become stuck in my pelvis and have shoulder dystocia. He explained that this could cause her to be born with a broken collarbone, broken arm, and even permanent disabilities in her hands. That was all I need to hear to agree to a C-Section. I did have the option of when to do it. I had to wait until at least 10pm because of the last time I ate, but I could do it that night or any day over the weekend. I told him if I didn't do it that night, I was likely not to come back! :) Plus my doctor was in that night. I had been praying my whole pregnancy that he would deliver her. God is so faithful and his hand so clearly orchastrated this moment.
I am not going to lie and say that I was not terrified of a spinal block. My intention all along was to be open-minded but to try to labor naturally with no epidural. So to be told that I am going to need a C-Section and a spinal block really threw a wrench in my control freak plan. I asked my nurses and anestiologist, and my doctor, and pretty much anyone who walked in if they thought I would ever walk again and if I could handle the needle and what it would feel like. I think it is safe to say they thought I would need sedated. LOL. My anestiologist was amazing! It felt like we had known each other for years and he really put my mind at ease. My nurse who went in with me to surgery was a God-send.
May 2: 10pm
The time had come. I was prepped. Griff had on his scrubs. My doctor came in and went over some last minute details. He even told me he was going to call me the night before and let me know this is the route we should take, but decided I wouldn't sleep so he thought it best to wait...I thanked him profusely!! :) They had me walk into the operating room-seriously-how awful is that? Looking around at all the tools they were about to use to cut open my stomach was a bit much so I just kept my eyes down and sat on the table-some of those labor breathing techniques came in handy. I was shaking uncontrollably from how cold it was in there and from nerves. Griff wasn't able to come in until after the spinal block was done, so my nurse coached me through it and it was honestly nothing like I envisioned. My IV hurt 10x worse. The feeling of your legs going numb and growing heavier with every passing second is a very weird sensation. After being completely prepped my doctor came in and said "Ok, this is it. This girl has been through hell and back getting to this moment. I actually thought I was going to have to give her one of my children. Let's do this." Griff held my hand and before what seemed like 5 minutes I heard my doctor say she was crowning. Our anestiologist told Griff a great photo op was coming and he was right-Griff has some amazing photos of her being pulled out. Incredible. I began bawling (as I am know writing this) from sheer joy when I heard her first cries. They were absolutely the best sounds I have heard in my life. I couldn't see her right away because of the screen that was up, but Griff took a ton of pictures and showed me. Once the nurses started cleaning her up Griff held the screen back and I just stared! I was in utter disbelief that this beautiful miracle was finally here after more than 2 years of struggles and devastation.
Soon after, I was all stitched (and stapled) up and headed to recovery where we had to stay for 2 hours. My parents met us in the hallway and said how beautiful she was. I learned later that when she was born the hospital played a lullaby signaling her birth. I still get chills. My recovery time went so fast. After her bath the nurses brought her to me to do kangaroo care and nursing. We then headed up to our room. I spent the whole night just staring at her in my arms. I had no care in the world and was in awe of this miracle God had placed in my arms.
We stayed in the hospital 2 days and went home on the 3rd. I was more than ready to go home, although we had some great nurses during our stay. I was so tired. I had not slept more than 3 hours since Wednesday night and it was now Sunday. Literally...not more than 3 hours. How could I? I was running on pure adrenaline and mostly love. My doctor checked in on us via text as he was off for the weekend. He told me how incredibly happy he was for us and that he will be there for all our children's births. :)
Since Maile was born, my life has been forever changed. I care for this little girl more than anything in this world. Nothing else matters. When she smiles at me and looks at me with those big blue (yes blue) eyes, the world stops turning. I stare at her all day, everyday. I can't stand to be away from her...meaning not in the same room. I had planned on using her crib from day one...that went out the window the first night. She is in a bassinet right next to me.
Griff and I could not be happier. Our lives are fulfilled and it is hard to remember life before this pregnancy and her birth. A huge void in my life has been filled and I have a new meaning to my life. I was born to be a mother to this to this girl. We are so thankful to each and every one of you who has prayed for this little one along with us. God heard our prayers and answered with a miracle. "For this child I prayed, and the Lord answered my prayers..." Thank you for all the kind words and well wishes. And last but not least, I apologize in advance for all the pictures I have been posting. I cannot help myself. :) I will end this here, as my tears are making it too hard to type! ;)
Maile Grace Tran. Born May 2, 2013 at 11pm. 10lbs. 21 inches long.