My midwife tells Mike it’s time to cut the cord, but before he even has the chance to grab the scissors, the umbilical cord completely falls apart in Robins hands. It broke. In half. And that was that. No cutting the cord for daddy.
Emma was immediately placed under a warmer & dr’s went to work on her. Checking her lungs, clearing them out, trying to get her to cry, examining every single detail. To be honest I don’t remember hearing her cry. But I was so out of body at this point. Robin and her student were working on me & I felt so tingly all over. I was freezing. To the point of shaking. Mike’s standing over by E. I told him to take pictures, but I think he was just in awe of our daughter because there aren’t many in focus pictures from that time.
Robin is telling me they are still waiting on my placenta to come. She apologizes for yelling at me. Emma got stuck. Her right shoulder wouldn't come. There was no time for me to take a break because I needed to get Emma out. Robin says she didn't have the time to explain what was happening while it was actually happening because everything happened fast. (Mike agreed that this was a quick thing. The bruises all up & down Emma's right side are further proof that she was stuck. Robin had to use force to get her unstuck. To get her out) She also tells me that the umbilical cord was the shortest one she had ever seen. They are pushing on my stomach. She tells me I tore just a sliver but it’s so small she can barely tell its there anymore. I feel like I was in and out of it here. I only remember these details because Robin told me about them the next morning so I was able to write them down.
Mike is by my side again. He says she’s perfect.
I was told early on that I wouldn’t be able to hold her right away. No skin to skin. No immediate nursing. Because of her premature birth, the dr’s needed to assess her and make decisions for her health immediately.
But God is so good. As I’m looking at Mike & asking for details of what she looks like, his eyes get big and he gets a huge grin on her face. At the same time I feel the warmest bundle placed on my chest. I look to my left and there is the sweet nurse from the nursery that we had passed many times on our hallway walks earlier in the day.
She says to me… “You have 30 seconds to love & kiss on your girl, I’m not sure when you’ll get to hold her again.” Oh friends, those 30 seconds were so surreal to me. E smelled so sweet. She wasn’t cleaned up at all, but her scent was so strong. She was perfect. Her eyes weren’t open & she didn’t seem to even flinch, but she was in my arms. Something I thought wasn’t going to happen for awhile. In hindsight, my heart cries thinking of what the nurse said to me…She knew things were much more serious than everyone had thought. She knew that Emma wasn’t doing very good. She knew that I needed to hold my baby before she left that room. She just knew.
And for that, I am so thankful.
Then they took Emma to the nursery. Mike said he planned on staying with me to make sure I was ok & I told him no. I needed him to be with her. I couldn’t imagine her alone for even a second. So he went.
Robin finishes up & I’m left alone. Completely by myself.
The room is still full of everything that was used during labor, yet it was so empty. It was cold in there. The nurse had brought me a heated blanket but I was freezing. It all hit me that I just had a baby & that baby wasn’t in my arms. I had no idea what was happening to her. I don’t think I prayed. I think I cried. Just cried. And stared at the clock. Wondering how long it would be until I wouldn’t feel so empty.
My midwife comes back in & tells me how proud she was of me. That she knew I could do it without the epidural. That everything was going to be fine. She leaves with the promise of stopping in the next day to check on me. A nurse helps me out of bed to get cleaned up. Mike stops back in to tell me that E is getting a chest x-ray & needs oxygen. He doesn’t know much of anything else. Except that she weighs 6 lbs 9.5 ounces and is 20 inches long. He goes back to the nursery & the nurse wheels me to a new room. She gets me in the bed & I’m left alone again.
Adrenaline kicks in at this point, it had to. Because my behavior over the next few hours is nothing like me.
The pediatric nurse comes into my room & tells me that Emma is having an extremely hard time breathing. She can’t do it on her own & there is a nurse specifically assigned to pumping air into her lungs through one of those green oxygen bags. She tells me that the decision has been made to transport Emma to the children’s hospital. In Buffalo. Over an hour away. She needs a drug that Olean isn’t able to administer. She needs care that Olean isn’t able to give her.
I don’t remember crying. I think I actually smiled and said ok. I was numb to emotion then.
I didn’t understand what was happening, which meant I didn’t know how to deal with it either.
to be continued...