Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Day 8: The Prolonged-Early Arrival of Quinn Collins... A mini-series. Part 1

I have had lots of people ask me why Quinn was born so early and by c-section, so I thought I would do a little mini-series on it. Plus, I have really enjoyed going back and reading the post I wrote on Ellie Faith's birth. I would like to be able to do the same with Quinn's birth as well.

Why a mini-series? Quinn's arrival, although it wasn't how we planned or expected, really wasn't all that dramatic or exciting. The mini-series reasoning has more to do with time constraints - I am wordy/long winded... I drag posts like these out wayyy too long. Writing everyday is a challenge time wise for me. Also, not everyone finds birth stories enjoyable. However, I started this blog to document our journey through infertility, (you can read about it here, here, and here) and the majority of my early readers were in similar situations. We enjoy reading about the arrival details of each other's miracles, whether it be through our own physical labor or adoptions, etc... 

I plan the mini-series to be something like this.

Part 1: The curveball 
Part 2: The weeklong labor
Part 3: Meeting our baby... Finally

They will not be on consecutive days since I realize these will not be of interest to everyone, so I will spread them out.

So without further ado...

Part 1: The Curveball 

It all started on the last Wednesday in August. We had returned home from our 10 trip to South Carolina the previous Saturday night.

Pregnancy wise I had been really pretty good. I had some strong-ish contractions at night starting around 6-8pm every night, but never more then 2-5 an hour. They never woke me up at night. Quinn was super active. All signs seemed to indicate we were on track for a normal and healthy delivery.

Monday evening I remember telling Jared that I thought my abdomen growth seemed to have slowed compared to the previous month. Having not made it past 35 weeks with Ellie Faith, I hadn't experienced the end of a third trimester. From what I hear it's pretty miserable as you grow exponentially by the day.

Wednesday afternoon I was scheduled for my 35 week appointment and bi-weekly ultrasound. That morning, I asked Jared if he thought my stomach looked smaller. We both decided the baby has maybe just dropped. Either way, no reason to worry as I was seeing my midwife later in the day.

Jared's parents kept Ellie that day, so I ran around town doing various errands. My second stop was Trader Joes. I remember walking out thinking walking was suddenly becoming increasingly uncomfortable. I wasn't having contractions, just lots of pressure. But again, Quinn was doing flips inside me. I wasn't concerned at all. After all, third trimester pregnancy is not to be considered comfortable.

Around 1:30pm Jared called to say he had finished his sales calls early and was thinking about coming to my appoint nth since he hadn't attended an ultrasound in a while. I told him, gladly, to come on!

It wasn't until I was pulling into the hospital nearly two hours later that I thought crap! God, is something wrong with the baby? Is that why Jared is coming? Apparently, Jared was thinking the same thing.

Fortunately, our favorite tech was the one scheduled to do our ultrasound. I told her as soon as we got into the room that my abdomen felt smaller and that I was having exponentially increasing pelvic pressure. 

She immediately reassured us that the heart rate looked great and that the blood flow through the cord was excellent. That's where the good news ended. My placenta was a grade 3, amniotic fluid was extremely low, and Quinn, who had measured in the 50% just 2.5 weeks previously, was in the 12%, right around 4lbs. Fortunately, once all the numbers were added up, her biophysical still scored at 8 out 8.

As the tech left the room to complete her report and consult with the midwife, I just sat there stunned, saying repeatedly," I can't believe it, I just can not believe it!!" Having gone through this once before, I knew that we would be meeting Quinn within a week, at the latest. Here we were at the end of August , and my due date wasn't until October.

4 lbs at 35 weeks did not bode well for escaping a NICU stay. The nurse in me was all too aware of this.

Jared, we have to get her to 36 weeks! We have got to give her time to gain some more weight and let her lungs develop more. 

This became my fixation. Must make it to 36 wks. I needed a goal to focus on, a focal point, something to keep me sane while others around me were freaking out sincerely concerned. 

We were dealt another, though smaller, shock moments later when we learned our midwife, who had delivered Ellie and had planned on delivering Quinn regardless of call schedules, was out of town for the next two weeks. Bummer. Fortunately, the other two midwives in the practice are fabulous as well.

We discussed a care plan with the covering midwife - I was to be placed on bedrest and to drink water until I felt like I was going to burst. If I went into labor on my on my own, it would not be stopped, but they wanted me to get as close to 36 weeks as possible for lung development and for weight gain on Quinn's part. I would return in 48 hrs, unless anything changed, for a non-stress test, ultrasound, etc...

We decided to do a pelvic exam just to see where things stood, uh... there. I was 2.5 cm and 60% effaced. The midwife said she would not be surprised if we had a baby that weekend.

Even though we were still rather in shock leaving the office, I was pretty calm. We had been here before and had a great outcome. I was worried about a NICU stay, and I was more then dreading a possible induction again. Because of her tiny size, I knew that I would do everything in my power to have a natural birth, just like with Ellie, even if it meant another induction. I'd be lying if I didn't admit that that thought nearly brought me to tears in the office before the thought of delivering a preemie sized baby.

Thanks to my crazy nesting in the weeks prior, everything was in order and ready for Quinn's arrival. I had even completed a huge grocery store run earlier that day.

We called our families on our way home to let them know. They were just as shocked as we were. Since my family lives about 3 hours away, they insisted we keep them very updated, as they did not want to miss the birth. As in they wanted to be in the waiting room when Quinn arrived.:)

We have our small group on Wednesday nights, and I was scheduled to bring part of the meal. We decided to go ahead and go. Its a good thing we did too, as our sweet friends had planned a beautiful surprise shower for us!

legitimately, the best cake I have ever had!
 Sadly, the even was cut short, as two of our friends kids came down with a stomach bug in the middle of dinner. You have never seen several families of small kids pack up and leave so quickly. Thankfully, the plague didn't affect anyone else!

Ellie Faith was sent home with some chocolate covered strawberries from the shower spread, and as you can see, she greatly enjoyed them!

She was not a fan of the clean up process though.:)

Little did I know as I crawled in to bed that night that I was about to experience my first, in many, nights of labor....

... Part 2 is planned for next week... hopefully:)

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  1. I LOVE a good birth story, and it's going to drive me nuts to have to wait for the next two installments! :) Glad you're taking the time to write this all out!

    1. Ha ha Josey, I knew you would be waiting for this! :) I went back and reread Ellie's story right before Quinn's birth - it was crazy how much I had forgotten. It reinforced the fact that I really need to write down these types of moments.