In August 2011 I gave birth to our first born son, Max, who was stillborn. (If you’re new to my site, you can read all about our family and Max on the about us page.) Since then I’ve gone on to have living children (3 boys!). However, each pregnancy since our stillbirth has been very closely monitored by not only my ob/gyn but a perinatologist as well. Since we recently moved to Orlando, I had to find all new doctors than my previous providers in South FL. It was nerve wracking to trust new doctors to guide me and my baby safely through this new pregnancy, but I had faith that everything would turn out ok. (I also interviewed quite a few doctors by phone before deciding on one!) The doctor I ended up selecting took over a week to carefully comb through my medical records from my South Florida doctor to make sure she was up for the challenge of caring for me. She is honestly a saint of a woman, and I’m SO thankful to have found her.
photo by Strictly Bella Photography
Baby V’s Birth Story Part 1
On Thursday June 15th, 2017 I went to my ob/gyn’s office for a regularly scheduled NST and BPP. If you’re not familiar with a NST it’s a non-stress test performed by monitoring fetal heart rate and movements. A BPP is a biophysical profile of the baby performed with an ultrasound machine that checks for the reactiveness of the baby and includes checking: baby’s heart rate, muscle tone, movement, breathing, and the amount of amniotic fluid around your baby.
This wasn’t the first NST or BPP I’d had during the pregnancy, and I expected everything just be another routine visit. I was 36 weeks and 6 days pregnant. I was huge and getting uncomfortable but tried to keep in mind that I was almost to the finish line! In the few weeks prior, the amniotic fluid around the baby seemed to be on the low-ish side but not overwhelmingly a cause for concern. My perinatologist suggested that if it got any lower by my next appointment we would have to consider inducing the baby since that can indicate issues with the placenta function.
I sat in the monitoring room with the NST straps around my big baby belly for a while. My mom came with me that day so we chatted while we waited for the NST to be over. Usually I went alone, but she wanted to tag along to check out the baby on the ultrasound machine. I’m glad she ended up coming!
After the NST I went to the ultrasound room, and my doctor quickly told me that she saw variables on the test. Basically, the baby’s heart rate was looking a bit funky. This was not good news for me. So far the pregnancy had been smooth sailing, and hearing that something could possibly go wrong sent my anxiety through the roof!
My doctor did the rest of the BPP test, and the amniotic fluid was looking quite low. She left the room and called my perinatologist. They both agreed that I needed to head into the hospital for further monitoring, and to be induced the following morning when I was officially 37 weeks pregnant. My doctor told me to go straight to the hospital, not to go home and get my hospital bag or husband! So, my mom and I drove over to Winnie Palmer Hospital in downtown Orlando to get the show on the road!
My husband met me at the hospital, handed our older boys over to my mom, and I got settled into a room. They set up the monitors on the belly, and I was stuck there for a while. However, I was glad to be in the right place for the baby to be carefully monitored.
Around dinner time my husband went to the cafeteria, and I was texting some friends on my phone. The weather had been pretty bad in Orlando with weeks of non-stop rain and this day was no exception. It seemed like there was a monsoon outside! When the rain let up I looked out of my 6th floor window and saw the most magnificent rainbow that stretched across the entire sky in nearly a perfect arch. In this moment a wave of calm and peacefulness came over me. It may sound crazy to some of you reading, but I knew that our son Max was looking over us and his new baby brother. I knew the baby would be ok and brought safely into the world.