Briela’s Birth Story
The following is a snip-it from my upcoming book Hope Filled. It’s a little long, but it goes into all the details 🙂
It was two in the morning, March 4, 2015 when my water broke. I knew this baby would come in March rather than the April 4 due date that was circled on my calendar, but I was terrified to discover that our baby wanted out this early in the month.
I called my midwife, who instructed me to meet her at the hospital, then woke my husband Franklin up with a pat on the shoulder and the words “I don’t think you’ll be going to work today”. He was definitely not as freaked out as I was… in fact he was excited! We knew the baby would be healthy and happy based on all the prophetic words that had been spoken over her, so he saw no reason to be worried. I think I was more anxious knowing that premature babies generally spend more time in the NICU, may have trouble breathing, and may have trouble nursing. I didn’t want there to be any ‘troubles’, so I was quite nervous about everything.
I called my mom, and through tears asked her to come and watch the boys while we went over to the hospital. Once she and my dad arrived, we left.
Once we arrived, one of my midwives, hooked me up to some monitors to watch the baby’s heart rate and my contractions. Everything was looking great, baby was doing fine. I was having some contractions, and I was about 2-3cm dilated. The nurse there recommended I stay, but my midwife gave me the option of going home to rest and eat, or to stay… my choice. I chose to labor at home. So at about six in the morning, we headed back home to prepare for a new baby.
We had nothing ready since the baby wasn’t due to come for a few more weeks, so we prepared the bassinet, put the car seat in the van and washed some of her clothes. I got a few hours of sleep and some food to eat.
I had kept in contact with my midwives throughout the day to see how things were going, and when my contractions started becoming about 5 minutes apart at about five in the evening, we headed to the hospital.
Once we arrived, everything moved so quickly. The nurse had set up some monitors to make sure everything was going ok. My midwife, came in and was about to hook me up to some antibiotics when another nurse mentioned we can just move right up to a delivery room because there just so happened to be one available. So we were moved right away into a delivery room.
Once we were there, my midwife was again about to attempt to hook me up to antibiotics when they started noticing a dip in the baby’s heart rate after each contraction. Our healthcare team talked briefly among themselves, then came in to tell me that baby was not happy and we might need to consider a caesarian.
At that moment I believe I went into shock. A C-section was never something I considered, something I never thought I would ever have to experience. I prayed throughout my entire pregnancy that I would have a natural, full-term birth, just like my two previous pregnancies, and that everything would go smoothly.
I was now in the hospital for a pre-term delivery, possibly by caesarian section, and baby was not happy. I had no words. I was completely taken off guard and felt lost.
My midwife decided to check how far dilated I was to see if there was a possibility I was close to being able to deliver vaginally, but I was still only 2-3cm and once she finished checking me, there was a gush of blood.
The possibility of a C-section now became a reality, and the anesthesiologist came in and hurriedly asked me some questions and explained what would happen. They wheeled me to the operating room where they were about to give me a spinal, when I had even more blood flowing out. The baby’s heart rate also dropped to about 70 beats per minute. Everyone was rushing around frantically trying to get everything ready, when the anesthesiologist told me I was going to sleep. There was no time for a spinal.
I woke up in a curtained off room with Franklin standing to my left, holding my hand. The first words he told me were “We have a baby girl!” I knew she would be a girl.
I was still out of it and could hardly keep my eyes open, but I still retain some of the conversations that occurred right next to me. A couple times a nurse or midwife would say “She’s fighting for her life”, “She’s trying so hard to live”, at one point a nurse asked Franklin if it was ok if they gave her a blood transfusion and how they had already done some chest compression’s. Of course he gave them the ok.
Somehow I ended up back in the delivery room when a nurse approached Franklin and asked if he’d like to come see our baby. He went with her for a short while, when he and a few others came back to see me. I believe there were about seven people at this time standing around my bed staring at me. The doctor who had been working on our little girl came about a foot or two away from my face and explained that they had tried so hard, they did everything they could, but she just didn’t make it.
Everyone continued staring at me, as if I was supposed to say something or do something. I just looked at Franklin and asked “Is this real?” It literally felt like a dream. I was actually very certain that it was a dream. This was not supposed to happen! It wasn’t until I asked him that he showed his emotion, his heart ache, and he started to cry.
After hearing our life-changing news, I was asked if I wanted to hold our baby girl. I had never in my life dreamed I would have to make this kind of decision, and it took me off guard. On one hand I wanted to see her, but on the other I did not. I was a little leery of the idea of seeing a baby with no life inside, would it be too weird? I reluctantly said ‘Yes’, and they brought our little Briela in.
This was our little girl! This is the one I fell in love with upon finding out I was pregnant. She brought so much joy into our lives without us even seeing her face. To finally see her face, touch her cheeks, her hair, her tiny hands… I knew this was the right decision for me to make. I needed to see her and hold her, to give her a goodbye that I desperately did not want to have to give.
After being wheeled into recovery and sobbing my eyes out alongside my husband, the NICU nurse came in and mentioned how she was supposedly so busy, and Briela was all by herself in there. She asked if she could bring our daughter into our room for the night so she wouldn’t be alone. We absolutely said yes, and when the nurse returned with Briela, she asked if I would like to hold her again. After agreeing I was then told that I could hold her as long as I’d like. I ‘slept’ with our sweet baby girl on my chest the entire night – the best memory of a severely crappy situation for me.
For some reason it amazed me how the nurses and doctors treated Briela. She was no longer alive in the flesh, but they treated her tiny body as if it was the most fragile thing they’ve held. They were so careful with her, and always made sure she was kept warm with a hat, cutesy girl outfit and a blanket. It was comforting knowing that she was still an important life in the eyes of these professionals. My daughter was one of a kind and will always be irreplaceable. And I can’t wait to meet her in Heaven one day!