non-stress test

Wende's Birth

I met Wende a few weeks before she was due. She had just moved to CA from Massachutes where her, her husband and their daughter had been living for a few years. Before that they lived in the Netherlands. I received an e-mail from her saying that she needed some help during labor because they are new to the area and don’t have any friends or family to watch their daughter so her husband will not be able to attend the birth of their second daughter. We talked and decided to meet at a restaurant to see if I could help her. Right away I loved her honesty and openness. She was very real. Wende told me she was induced with her first daughter, but didn’t have any other interventions. She didn’t want to have an epidural this time around either, she just didn’t see the point. I told her to talk with her husband and that I should meet him to, so we did that and they decided to have me as their doula.

It was November 2nd, Wende went in for her usual non-stress test (NST) that she did every Tuesday for the last couple weeks. She had been “uncomfortable” all night and couldn’t sleep. She though it possibly could have been contractions, but wasn’t sure. In the morning Wende told me she was having more discharge and at about 11 it was pink. I was pretty sure she was in early labor and was finally dilating, but I didn’t want to get her too excited, so I told her to go about her normal activities and to eat well. This was 4 days past her due date and during our first conversation she told me she was going to be early. Friday on her due date, she still was dilated to 0 cm. She wasn’t too excited about that.

The NST showed dips in the baby’s heart rate every time she had a contraction which were about 6 or 7 minutes apart. The doctor wanted to put her on pitocin to see how the baby would react to it. So Wende e-mailed me telling me they were going to induce her. I told her I’d just have to drop off my kids and I’d be at the hospital. I arrived at 3 pm and her husband was already there. Their daughter was in day care, so her husband was able to be there for part of the birth. The baby seemed to be doing good, no more dips in her heart rate and Wende was handling the contractions fine. She told us not to stop talking during a contraction at this point. Rudie, Wende’s husband had to leave to pick up their daughter, but a coworker of his said she could spend the night there, so he took her over there after they had dinner together.

While Wende’s husband was gone the contractions started to increase in intensity. Wende was still handling them beautifully, the only change was she wanted some quiet during them. A couple hours later, the monitor wasn’t getting a correct read on the baby. Her heart rate was showing 80, but when the nurse would listen by ear, it was sounding much higher. The nurse then decided to ask the doctor to rupture Wende’s membranes so they could put an internal fetal monitor in. Wende was told it would be a male doctor and she wasn’t too comfortable with this. I asked if they had a female and there wasn’t one available to do that. So the doctor comes in and breaks her water. This was probably the most difficult part of labor. Wende had a lot of trouble relaxing and it was painful to her. I think it was just a lot with the male doctor, a couple of nurses, she had to be on her back and the lights were very bright. All those sensations just lead up to a rough time for this part. After that Wende was able to get back into her rhythm with the contractions and she was doing wonderful again. But the baby’s heart rate was reading in the 250’s about 100 beats too high. There was no maternal fever and Wende’s heart rate wasn’t increased so there was really no explanation for this. They turned off the pitocin, re-did the internal monitor, used a hand held doppler to measure the heart rate and changed out the machine, but still 210 - 260. So they started talking to Wende about a possible cesarean.
Bevalling Jill 057
At this point I asked the nurse if they knew this happened a couple of weeks ago and they didn’t. They also couldn’t find it in her records. So now they were thinking it is just an arrhythmia in the baby’s heart. I called Rudie to tell him what was going on and there may be a c-section. At about 7:30 the doctor filling in for Wende’s OB came in to tell her the plan. This doctor was a female, that was good. Anyway, she said they need to do a c-section because they can’t monitor how the baby is doing with the contractions with her heart so high and if the baby needs medication for her heart, they can’t do it inutero. So I asked if they can wait for her husband to arrive and I also asked if the baby’s heart went back to normal if she can continue with labor. The doctor did not want to do that just incase. Rudie was about a half hour away so they said they would wait. Around 7:45 Rudie arrived and the baby’s heart was finally back to normal. So they went to have the c-section and Jill their new little girl was born at 8:42 pm, November 2, 2010. She was 8 lbs, 6 oz and 19 3/4 inches long. Her apgar scores were 9 at 1 minute and 9 at 5 minutes. Even through Jill had wonderful apgar scores and her heart was normal, the neonatal doctor wanted her monitored in the NICU for 24 hours. So Jill had to be separated from her mom for 24 hours.
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Now, 2 days later, Jill is doing wonderful, she was back with her mom just under 24 hours and she has started nursing and doing so well that Wende’s milk is in. Wende is feeling much better after her surgery, each hour she says, she feels better. It was wonderful that Rudie made it to be there for the birth of their daughter. They were both worried that he might have to miss it. Especially since it was a surgery she was able to have her husband there with her. Everything in God’s perfect timing. In the end, Wende prefers the vaginal birth because the recovery is better, but she liked that the c-section was very quick and easy. So what matters most is a healthy mom and baby.