Milo’s Birth Story
June 24, 2016 – The Day You Were Born
You were born on a Friday morning, but the story of us meeting you starts the day before. I had been scheduled for induction on Thursday night, because my blood pressure was high. I was very nervous, but even more excited. I worked all day seeing patients in clinic and spent the day worrying your sisters would be sad without me that night.
When I got home from work Ouma was there, she’d spent the day with Amelia and Reese and was planning to stay the night with them so we could go to the hospital. The girls were SO excited that we were finally going to get “the baby” out of mommy’s belly. We had dinner together, finished packing a bag, and got your sisters to bed. Around 9:40pm we headed to the hospital knowing the next time we walked through those doors we’d be a family of five!
We got to the hospital and checked in. Our room was adorned with sweet decorations and beautiful flowers thanks to the nursing team and my co-residents. We got settled in and the doctors started giving me medicine to help you come out. It was a long night for me! Your dad stayed up with me and held my hand and we talked about you and decided for sure that your name would be Milo. We still could not decide on a middle name – we talked about all the ones on our list and still none of those would up being your name! Daddy tried to watch a movie while we waited on you, he wanted to pass the time, but it was hard to concentrate with everything going on.
The next morning my doctor came in and told me I should get an epidural before she broke my water. This turned out to be the only reason I got to be awake when you were born, I am so thankful she encouraged me to do it. Our nurse called the anesthesia team and one of the chief residents came and placed an epidural. It was the strangest feeling!! My legs felt like jello and I couldn’t tell what they were doing, I was so numb! I asked them to turn it down a little bit, because I wanted to be able to move my legs a little better. It was just so strange to me when I couldn’t feel them at all. They told me to give it a little time before we turned it down…this also turned out to play a big part in why I was able to be awake when you were born.
Sometime after 8am our doctor came back and broke your bag of water. She said you were swimming in lots of water. A little bit later your heart rate started having some dips. Knowing this could be normal, I wasn’t worried at first and wasn’t paying much attention to the monitors. Then I started to notice a bit more activity in our room – people coming in and out, asking questions, checking on you. It turns out your heart rate was dropping more often and staying a little bit too low for a little bit too long. Our doctors and nurses – all the wonderful people I work with every day – gathered in the room to turn me on each side and see if we could make your heart rate stay normal. This is when I started worrying about you and if you were okay in there. They turned me left and right and left and right and still your heart rate wouldn’t improve. I didn’t know at the time that your placenta was bleeding quite a bit, since I couldn’t see or feel anything, but our nurse told me later she was really worried about you.
At some point your heart rate was so low they wanted me to take all the pressure off of you by rolling all the way over on my hands and knees. Remember when I said I couldn’t feel my legs at all? This made staying on my hands and knees so hard!! I was really embarrassed since everyone was having to help me so much – I couldn’t feel anything, they just kept moving me around like a heavy piece of jello. Our team was watching you so closely and I was starting to get really nervous. I was crying and shaking, I was worried you were going to be sick (or worse) when you were born. Your heart rate dropped even lower and wouldn’t come up despite all the medicine and maneuvering, so the doctors decided they needed to get you out emergently.
Your poor Dad was so confused, there were people everywhere and nobody was really telling him what was going on (rightfully so, they were focused on taking care of you and me, but he later told me not knowing what was happening made him feel nervous and helpless and he wasn’t sure what to do). He texted your Ouma, trying to keep her updated, but wasn’t really sure what to tell her – I think he was mostly just trying to stay out of the way so our team could take care of you.
We all left my labor room and RAN to the operating room for a c-section. The anesthesiologist said he might have to put me to sleep since everything needed to move very fast. I was so sad and I begged him to try my epidural since I was so numb already (he probably would’ve done that anyway, but at the time I felt like I needed to ask). I guess it worked perfectly, I don’t remember feeling anything painful during the surgery.
My best friend in residency and one of my most kind and patient physician teachers were the surgeons getting you out. You heart rate was 60, which is way too low, and it stayed that way even after we got to the OR. They unplugged our monitors in the labor room at 10:13am and you were born 8 minutes later at 10:21am (that is very, very fast to move to the operating room, prepare everything, and do a c-section – I’m really thankful they moved so quickly).
When you came out you weren’t crying. All I remember is being terrified that you were dead and I was about to hear them “call a code.” Everything happened so quickly that I don’t even think I noticed your dad wasn’t there until I saw him walk in. Then I heard you for the first time – a faint, tiny little squeal. I realized you were crying and immediately felt a sense of relief wash over me. Although I knew there could still be problems, you were alive and at least breathing. I hadn’t even had time to process all of this when I saw the nurses walking over to me with a little bundle of blankets. I looked at your face and realized suddenly just how scared I had been that you would be taken from us before I could even see you. My fear turned to overwhelming joy and thanks when I met you. There you were, a pink, squishy-faced little boy blinking at me with such beautiful eyes – my little Milo.
I see babies born into this world every day. I’ve been a part of deliveries far more terrifying (and certianly more heartbreaking) than yours, but nothing I’ve experienced in my life quite compares to the day you were born. The unusualness of being in a completely familiar environment, but in an unspeakably new circumstance on “the other side of the scalpel,” is hard to explain. Maybe because I know how differently things could have turned out or maybe just because you’re my sweet, squishy babe and I love you, but I am so incredibly thankful for the team we had the day you were born…and even more thankful that you’re so happy and healthy today.
Welcome to the Jones family, Milo Caden – there’s a lot of love and adventure in your future.
I love you with all my heart,
I originally wrote this in the weeks following his birth, mostly just to have it documented. After several requests on Instagram I decided I would share it here. It is purposefully written with only a limited amount of medical information, as I wrote it more as a letter to my son than a blog post for you guys. 🙂 Either way, hopefully someone will find it helpful.