After TTC for about a year and a half, it’s easy to understand the apprehension in being excited over pregnancy. I had taken so many pregnancy tests out of habit. So, when I took a test (before even missing a period, because my periods were irregular,) I expected another negative indefinitely. That amazing, wonderful morning, I took a test thinking “unlikely, but maybe,” and then hopped into the shower. Forgetting about my test entirely, I continued to get ready after my shower. While doing my makeup I looked down to see two, TWO, glaring pink lines. My heart may have actually stopped. I quickly dismissed it as an “evap line” (which really happens more often with blue ink tests, and had happened to me twice in the past.) I took two more tests that morning, which both showed faint positives. I still wasn’t sure. I took two more. And then another. All different brands… ya’ know, just because I didn’t trust them. So, like $40 later in pregnancy tests I finally believed it. It was real. After it was confirmed at 6 weeks pregnant at my doctor’s appointment, I finally felt some relief.
Yet, I knew something was wrong. I knew. In my gut.
My entire pregnancy I was apprehensive. I had purchased a fetal Doppler on eBay (awesome, and only about $30. Totally worth the money.) I listened to my little guy’s heartbeat at least weekly. It was the reassurance I needed. I spent days worth of my life researching cord accidents. It consumed my thoughts entirely. For some odd reason, I couldn’t stop thinking about it.
At around 33 weeks my guy moved head down. He had gone from a total wiggle-worm, to rarely moving throughout the day. I was dilated, effaced, and my doctor feared he was coming too early. I had a stress test done, and they monitored his movement. It wasn’t great, or at least not what they wanted to see. They watched him closely. I ended up going past my due date, ironically, and was induced. Thank God I was induced. Thank God for the medical professionals that knew what they were doing, and the research I had done to find an amazing OB. They broke my water in the hospital, and things suddenly changed. The loss of amniotic fluid tightened the cord on Lucas, which was around his neck. His heart rate kept dropping dramatically, down to 50BPM. I had nurses, doctors, positioning specialists, all trying to get it sorted out. I ended up in CRAZY positions trying to help loosen that cord (I mean, on all 4s face down after having an epidural. Yeah. That happened.) They put internal monitors on him, and started injecting saline back into my uterus to loosen that cord up.
Ryan and I were scared. Our family was scared. But I trusted my doctor, and feel like my intuition had been preparing me for this moment. I was seconds away from the operating room if they decided he needed to come out quickly.
I pushed for 3 hours, with close monitoring. When I got to my last two sets of pushing my doctor told me he HAD to come out. It’s amazing what the female body can do. I knew that I couldn’t push anymore, that my body didn’t have the strength, but my body got that tiny guy out. The doctors quickly pulled the cord off and got him to start breathing. That screaming baby was the most beautiful sound I’ve ever heard. My Lucas was healthy. Here. He was here and in my arms.
I’m not saying that I generally believe in intuition. But this time, it was spot on. My body knew something was wrong.
Cord accidents are common. They estimate that 1 in 3 babies will have the cord wrapped around them. It’s less frequent for them to have the cord around their neck, and even less common for it to actually cause problems. The cord is naturally lubricated, making it slide and slip around easily, as to not get stuck around the baby.
My situation was compounded by Lucas being born face up, 1 in 20.
The scary: Cord accidents cannot be prevented.
The not-so-scary: They are rare.
I cannot stress it enough: If you feel like something isn’t right, be absolutely relentless with your doctor. If you can’t get the reassurance you need, keep on them.
I got lucky; things happened in a way that likely saved my LOs life. Had I not been induced and my water broken naturally, I may not have gotten the saline that I needed to keep my guy’s heart rate going and to keep that cord loose enough. I had medical professionals that knew how to work these stressful situations, and I was in a facility that is top-notch for infant care.
We were luckier than some. We don’t take a single day for granted with our guy.