There were a few reasons why we chose an induction day. (1) We specifically chose a day that my doctor would be on call at the hospital. My doctor knew our birth plan and what we wanted. (2) My doctor was nervous that if my water broke at home, Harper’s umbilical cord could slip out before her in the 40 minutes it would take to get to the hospital. (3) We wanted to monitor Harper’s heart rate closely during contractions.
We arrived at the hospital at 5:00am on February 15, 2018 (I was 39 weeks and 6 days pregnant). And believe me, I begged my doctor to let me come after the sun came up so I could sleep in 🙂 After getting checked in and getting comfy in the hospital bed, they started the induction process by giving me some medicine so my body could start contracting. Over the next few hours, my lower back started to get uncomfortable but never really painful. Please note, during this time my wonderful, amazing husband thought it was the perfect time for him to go get a haircut across the street and a bite of lunch. By lunchtime, I didn’t progress a whole lot so my doctor wanted me up walking and moving around. Around 4:00pm I still wasn’t progressing like I was supposed to so they gave me a higher dosage of medicine. At this point, I still had moderate pain in my lower back and I could start to feel my belly contracting, but I could easily walk and talk through it. After hours of sitting, walking, talking, and laughing it was time to get serious. My doctor came into the room around 8:00pm and said it was time to break my water. We both agreed that I could get an epidural beforehand just in case we needed to do a c-section. She broke my water around 8:30pm. For the next 20 minutes, Harper’s heart rate would drop every time I would have a contraction. Around 9:00pm my doctor decided it was best to call a c-section. She was nervous that if Harper’s heart rate dropped again, it may not come back up. Within 5 minutes the OR team was in my room rolling me out. I did have enough time to hand a nurse my camera and to give Dillon a kiss. Over the next 20 minutes, it was a complete whirlwind. When you have a c-section it is like getting a tooth pulled; you don’t feel the pain, but you do feel all of the tugging and pulling. Luckily, I had a good team of doctors and nurses that kept telling jokes and being funny to keep my mind busy from what was really going on.
Harper Abigale Johnston was born at 9:19pm, weighing 4lbs 11oz and was 17inches long. She had to be given oxygen immediately because she couldn’t breathe on her own. After they were able to get her stabilized, a nurse brought her over to me for a few minutes and then she was taken straight to the NICU.
Harper was born with a TE fistula (her esophagus and trachea were connected together, so anytime she would swallow her saliva, she would aspirate), 3 VSDS & 1 ASD (holes in the heart), cysts in her brain, her left kidney wasn’t fully developed, clenched hands, and a mild case of rocker bottom feet. We did not do any type of genetic testing to confirm Trisomy 18 because her markers relate to the genetic disorder.
Harper had her fistula repaired at 4 days old. She remained in the NICU for three weeks. She went home on March 9th, 2018.
Side Note: I recovered well from my c-section.