I've been reminded lately over and over again that God is in the miracle business, so I thought I'd share the story of our little miracle.
When I was pregnant with Adalyn we discovered at our 20 week ultrasound that she only had a two strand umbillical cord. Typically umbilical cords are made of three strands: two arteries and one vein. The vein delivers the nutrient rich blood to the baby, and the arteries return the nutrient depleted blood. Instead of having two arteries and one vein, Adalyn's cord had only one artery and one vein. This means that one artery had to do double time. This occurs in about 1 in 100 babies, so it is not all that rare. Sometimes other organs (specifically the kidneys) that are forming at the same time as the cord may have also formed incorrectly, so the ultrasound technician looked closely at those. Everything else looked great on the ultrasound, so we were simply watched more closely throughout the rest of the pregnancy.
As we neared the end of my pregnancy, we began to discuss the possibility of induction. Rich and I were planning on doing everything as natural as possible, so of course induction was not my first choice. Not only did I want Adalyn to choose when she was ready to come, I had learned about the intensity of petocin induced contractions and did not want to go there.
On Tuesday, December 30th I was four days past my due date and went in to my midwife, Andrea, for my final appointment. We had an ultrasound and learned that Adalyn's growth rate had begun to slow down, which concerned our midwife slightly. Rich had begun to really feel strongly that we needed to induce as well, so after some discussion and prayer, Rich and I decided to schedule the induction for the next morning.
Now, it's important for me to tell you that Rich is most definitely gifted in the area of discernment. If Rich feels strongly that we need to do something, it is a good idea to follow those feelings.
Wednesday morning we got up early, headed to the hospital, and began the induction. Everything was going smoothly (can you really use the word 'smoothly' when talking about labor???) until sometime in the afternoon when Adalyn's heart rate dropped drastically. Suddenly I had my midwife, nurse, and according to Rich, half of the staff of Parkview North in my room. An oxygen mask was thrown on my face and I was quickly turned to my left side, then my right, trying to find a position that would allow Adalyn's heart rate to come back up. All in the middle of an intense petocin induced contraction with no pain medication I might add. Slowly, it began to climb back up.
We were given two options:
Continue labor without the pain medication and if her heart rate drops again we will go in for an emergency C-section in which I would be knocked out and Rich would not be allowed in the room,
go ahead and get the epidural so that if her heart rate drops again, I am already medicated and prepared for a C-Section, giving the doctors more time to get Adalyn out, allowing me to be awake for the experience, and Rich to be in the room with me.
So....what did we choose? Even though I really didn't want that medicine, I have to admit that epidural felt pretty nice. :)
Labor continued for another hour or two (with no more scares), I pushed for 41 minutes and Adalyn was born, beautiful, healthy, and bright pink!
After Adalyn was born our midwife discovered something else about Adalyn's cord that we had not known throughout the pregnancy. Normally, the cord inserts into the middle of the placenta, but this was not the case for Adalyn. She had what is called a velamentous cord insertion, where the umbilical cord inserts on the edge of the placenta, meaning that the vessels are exposed and could easily rupture. If this would have happened, chances of Adalyn being born alive would have been very slim. This condition apparently can often lead to miscarriage or even death during labor. If I had been allowed to go into labor naturally and my water broke at home, the pressure of my water breaking could have possibly caused a rupture, allowing both Adalyn and I to bleed out, but that didn't happen. Instead, Adalyn was born inexplainably healthy and strong. Our midwife kept saying over and over that she was a miracle baby. And it's true.
God is good.