There are hundreds of babies born every year at Alabama Hospital, Grandview Medical Center. This story takes place in Birmingham, Alabama and is the second part of a really great birth story about two sweet twin babies and their Mama, Ashton. If you haven’t read part one the link is at the bottom of this post. If you have read it, we left off with Ashton in triage receiving an ultrasound revealing that Baby A’s amniotic sac had ruptured. Unsure of what the next few days held she and her mom geared up for a longer stay at the hospital than expected.
A Birth Story | An Alabama Hospital Experience
“Thursday sort of melted in Friday, and Friday night I finally had a room ready. I was moved to my labor and delivery room and tried to relax, even if it was just for a short period. Throughout the duration of my Alabama Hospital admission so far, I’d established a pretty predictable routine. I would call a nurse for help, spend several minutes unhooking various wires, slowly walk to the bathroom while holding the towel between my legs to keep the ever-escaping amniotic fluid from getting everywhere, come back from the bathroom, get hooked up to everything again, and then fight with the fetal heart monitors for approximately 20-30 minutes until the whole production started again. I was exhausted, my mom was exhausted, my nurses had starting warning the incoming nurses at shift changes that Greyson was hard to get a read on and preparing them to stand bedside and hold the monitor in place. By the time Saturday morning rolled around I was sore from having the monitors constantly pushed around my belly trying to catch enough of a heartbeat to have the rhythm analyzed. Saturday morning my regular OB saw me at the Alabama Hospital and went over my goals. The plan basically consisted of hospital bedrest with only necessary moving around, the goal to get the babies to 34 weeks gestation. I continued to be poked and prodded the remainder of the evening and overnight, always trying to get good readings on those babies’ heartbeats. At one point overnight Saturday, I burst into tears when a nurse came in to check on me. I was so exhausted and scared and in so much pain. The thing that I wasn’t prepared for was how much physical pain I would be in without even having a contraction. I battled sciatic pain and SPD (symphysis pubis dysfunction) my whole pregnancy. I was physically incapable of laying down even remotely flat, but flat was the best way to get a read on babies’ hearts. I remember laying there, almost flat, in tears while I had a nurse on each side holding a monitor over a baby. Those first few days, Thursday night through Saturday night, are a blurred together memory of that scene occurring on repeat.
A Birth Story | An Alabama Hospital Story
Finally, around 2 am Sunday morning, I got the go ahead to stop the magnesium drip which also meant stopping the IV fluids. It was also determined by the Alabama Hospital doctor that morning that the babies were stable enough to not need continuous monitoring, and we moved to getting a 20-minute reading every couple of hours instead. I was feeling much better without a constant pump of magnesium, and mama and I decided it was time to make our peace with spending possibly two more weeks in the hospital. I was 32 weeks and 1 day by then, we’d had a few friends bring us things we needed, and all of the prayers in the world were covering my and my sweet babies. Late in the afternoon I had another “gush” that seemed much larger than normal, but I was very used to the sensation at this point. Sunday night remained mostly uneventful other than the continued shifts of pairs of nurses coming in to sit on my bed with me and hold the fetal monitors in place for 20 minutes at a time.
An Alabama Hospital Birth
Monday morning, I woke up in the Alabama Hospital yet again but this time determined to be optimistic and try to soak in the process, good or bad, since this is likely my only birthing experience I’ll ever have. The doctor that did rounds that morning gave me the green light to take a short, seated, assisted shower which I finally had the energy to do shortly after lunch. When I got out, I got back in bed intending to take a nap while my mom got her much-deserved shower in. Within a few minutes of being left alone in the room I had a very solid contraction. I made a mental note that it was 3:07 pm as I’d been asked to let nursing staff know if I had more than 6 contractions in an hour. Between 3:07 and roughly 3:40 I had 6 contractions of increasing intensity. I had a nurse in my room in less than 3 minutes after that. by 3:50 I was 4 cm dilated, 80% effaced, and waiting on the on-call doctor. As it turns out, that gush I experienced on Sunday was Baby B’s (Ava) water breaking. I’d had two more contractions and was 5 cm dilated by the time he got there about 10 minutes later. Everything happened very quickly after that. I laid there flat on my back, in pain and knowing it was too early for these babies and that NICU had already been notified. I was prepped very quickly to go the OR for my emergency C-Section. I was very emotional and very clearly scared of what was about to happen. My angel of an L&D nurse sat on my bed, grabbed my hand, looked me in the eye and said the single most calming thing I’d heard. She said, ‘I know that this feels chaotic and rushed, and it needs to be quick, but know that it only feels that way to you. We do this every day, we know what we’re doing, and we know how to do it quickly so that you and both babies are safe’.”
To be continued….
I just want to give this sweet nurse a hug! If every Alabama Hospital or really ANY hospital nurse had that sort of bedside manner the world would be a better place. If you’re enjoying this birth story so far, you might enjoy reading a few others while you wait for the final installment of this amazing birth.
If you’d like to know more about a photography experience with me feel free to read more about the experience HERE or send me a note if you’d like to chat with me about it instead! I’d love to hear from you.