Monday, August 23, 2010

Ally's Birth Story

Shane and I arrived at the hospital at 3:30pm on August 12, 2010. My mom met us there and they took us to the room where I would be getting all of my pre-op stuff done which is also the same room I would recover in after the surgery. I was so nervous. I had never been through anything like this before and though I'd seen countless Baby Stories, it felt completely different happening to me. Once I got into the yucky hospital gown, the nurse took my vitals and put in the dreaded IV. I was hoping they'd give me a sedative before the IV but no such luck, haha! Turns out it wasn't that bad; the nurse got it in the first try thank goodness. By then it was about 4:30 and we still had an entire hour to wait for Dr. Swainston to arrive. I was going crazy but luckily my mom was there, as was our friend Mike to keep me sane.

Though I thought that would be the longest hour of my life, it actually went pretty fast. By that time, everyone else had arrived that was going to be there and the nurse came in to say it was time. I kissed everyone goodbye and walked down to the OR. Shane had to wait outside while the anesthesiologist put the spinal block in. It's true what they say... it HURTS! I had a great anesthesiologist though and he kept me calm. About a minute after I laid down on the table, I felt like I was going to vomit. The anesthesiologist ran to get something for me to throw up in and I did. It wasn't my most defining moment, that's for sure! He said it was completely normal and it should subside in just a minute. What a smart man! It did just what he said and I felt fine. Shane was allowed back in after they put the sheet up so we couldn't see what was happening. Boy were we nervous! I was actually more nervous for Shane. I was praying he wouldn't pass out. He did much better than I thought.

My friend Shannan, who works for Dr. Swainston, always talked about a "playlist" that he uses during his surgeries. He is such a character! The first song we heard was "I've Got You Under My Skin" by Frank Sinatra, which happens to be my FAVORITE Sinatra song. Then we heard "All American Girl" by Carrie Underwood which was very appropriate. And somewhere in there was "Breathe" by Faith Hill. See, I told you he was a character! By that time, I heard the anesthesiologist say it was almost time and told Shane to get the camera ready. I couldn't believe this was the moment I was going to meet the baby we've been waiting for, for what seems like an eternity. Just then, I heard Dr. Swainston say, "Nuchal cord times three and body times one". This meant the umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck 3 times and around her body once. Holy crap! That made me so nervous however just as quickly as I heard that, Dr. Swainston showed her face over the sheet so we could see her (I think she looked me right in the eyes but I can't be sure) and she was whisked away to the other side of the room to be examined and Shane went with her. As I was being "put back together", I had a million emotions running through me. I couldn't put my finger on a specific one. It was the most surreal moment of my life.

There was a reason our precious baby did not flip from the breech position; she couldn't! The cord made it impossible for her to move. Dr. Swainston said if we would have tried to manually flip her (called an External Cephalic Version), it probably would have killed her. Thank God I declined to do it. And if I would have tried a vaginal delivery, it would have ended in an emergency c-section. We dodged quite a few bullets and feel so blessed that she is happy and healthy.

It almost felt too good to be true. She had zero complications... no breathing problems, no jaundice, no eating issues, nothing! Not only that, but my c-section went so smoothly and I recovered very quickly with minimal pain. The next day and a half was a whirl-wind of visitors coming and going from our hospital room as well as doctors and nurses galore. I honestly have moments I can't remember because I was so tired. Both Shane and I were completely exhausted and just wanted to be home. Luckily, we were released 48 hours after the surgery (typical c-section stay is 3-5 days) because we were both doing so well. And so begins our incredible journey as parents of this unbelievably amazing person.

Presenting Ally Marie Koehler, born August 12, 2010 at 5:59pm weighing 6lbs even, 18.5 inches long:

The amazing Dr. Swainston <3

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