You might have noticed a short blogging hiatus here on the Fellowstream blog.  That’s because my husband and I just had our first baby last month.  Meet Eleanor, our beautiful bundle of joy:

Obviously, she’s a keeper.

Eleanor’s birth, however, did not go according to our “birth plan.”  She was born via emergency Cesarean section.  It just goes to show that sometimes you just have to be flexible and do what’s best for all parties involved.

The emergency emerged 5 hours into labor.  Normally, a baby’s heart beat increases with each contraction…your heart would race too if a major human organ were trying to shove you out the door.  In Eleanor’s case, her heart rate started decreasing with each contradiction.  At one point, she went from a normal 140 bps to 60 bps, a sign of major distress.  This pattern continued long enough that the doctor didn’t want to put the baby into further danger and strongly recommended a C-section.

Naturally I was disappointed, but my disappointment turned to huge gratitude toward the staff at Sacred Heart after the operation.  When the doctors pulled Eleanor out, she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her throat four times.   To give you some perspective on how rare this is, only one of the eight people in the surgery room had ever seen that many wraps before.  The medical charts only have space for 1, 2 or 3 wraps around the body.  Essentially, the cord was getting pinched in such a way that each contraction was cutting Eleanor off from oxygen, strangling her and causing her heart rate to drop dramatically.

If I had continued on with a vaginal delivery, a very real tragedy could have occurred.  I am extremely grateful to be sitting here writing you this with a perfectly healthy baby sound asleep next to me.  And I’m also glad that people like doctors and nurses have built-in systems when things don’t go “according to plan.”  Sometimes, that’s just what you need to literally save the day.

-Deborah Fike

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