Sunday, February 3, 2013

Eva's Birth Story

I don't remember meeting my daughter. But somewhere in the recesses of my mind, I can recall the emotion I felt the moment I was told she was perfectly healthy and had made it out alive. Someone took a picture of me and my baby at this moment, and although I look acned and battle-worn, it was a photo that I will cherish forever. The most precious moment of my life was captured for me to remember in a way other than my own memory. That was just fine. She is here. She is safe. And she is mine.

Saturday, January 26th started out as a fairly regular morning. With the exception of some sharp back pain, I felt as normal as any ninth-month pregnant woman might feel. Yet there was a feeling that something wasn't right. An innate instinct tugged at me, telling me to call the doctor. Finally, at 11:30am, I did. We arrived at the hospital in the early hours of the afternoon. After examination and monitoring, I was told that I was four centimeters dilated, 80 % effaced, and contracting quite regularly. I was told that we would be having our little darling that evening, that they just needed to check the thinness of my blood to see if I could get an epidural to undergo the cesarean section. I now knew that my baby was breech, and that there were several medically necessary reasons that I would need to give birth via cesarean. The bloods were fine and we were tentatively scheduled to go in at 6:30pm. I was excited. Today would be the day.

Moments later my OB and several nurses rushed into the room asking why the baby's heart rate had fallen off the monitor. I told them I hadn't moved. The nurses frantically checked the monitor while my OB did a manual exam. I was fully dilated and the baby was in major distress. "We need to get this baby out NOW!...NOW I said!!" my doctor screamed. As he held the baby inside me with his hand, the medical team frantically gathered and sprinted down the hall as they wheeled my bed into the OR. I lost sight of my husband. My cries became so hysterical that my vision became blurry, my whole world was collapsing. Within moments I was in the OR with my doctor shouting directions at the nurses, yelling to the anesthesiologists, "No time for an epidural! She needs to be out, NOW!" I felt the catheter scratch it's way into me, a tube shoved down my throat and the hands of doctors and nurses scrubbing and prepping my body as quickly as humanly possible. The anesthesiologist apologized and explained that they needed to have my body completely ready for surgery before putting me under as they needed to get the baby out before the general anesthesia reached her delicate little body. I gasped between cries and my world went black.

Eva was born at 4:35pm on Saturday, January 26, 2013. Evangeline Virginia Pearce, that is. She weighed 6 pounds, 3 ounces at birth and was 19 inches long. She takes my breath away every time I peer at her magical face. My chest pounds every moment of every day as I think about just how close we were to losing her. To losing our little miracle. Though the cord was wrapped twice around her neck, little Eva let out a raucous cry when she arrived, letting her daddy know that she was here to stay.

The 26th was both the worst and best day of my life. There aren't too many days that can claim that place in a person's heart. When I think back, I marvel at the utter joy, devastating fear and pure heartache that had touched my and my husband's life in a matter of just hours. I haven't slept much since. Sure, the 12 daily feedings and diaper changes are contributive factors, but mainly I haven't slept because I don't want a moment of my life to pass without being able to look at the little love, the tiny marvel that was conceived just as miraculously as she was born. On January 26th, I won the best kind of lottery there is.

Mommy meets Evangeline