Today, Annika is one year old!!! It's a bright, sunny, spring day.
A year ago, I was still being monitored. I had talked the nurses into allowing me to eat something, and around 7am, I had a veggie and hummous sandwich - really, I didn't care at that point. I just wanted to eat anything. We were told that we would be discharged at noon so we were waiting, waiting, waiting ... I had to go to Immigration the next day for an interview, and called my office to say that I would be in the next day, and asked someone to prep the client for me. I called my mom and said that we'd be leaving the hospital soon.
But we were getting mixed signals from the hospital. The nurses seemed to think we were leaving at noon. However, whenever a doctor would come in to check on me, he/she seemed concerned about the pattern in which Annie's heart rate would drop whenever I had a contraction. I wasn't sure what this meant. Would I have to sit and be monitored forever? What about my hungry stomach?
At 10:30, all doubts about my staying at the hospital were dispelled. I was sitting in bed, talking to Jim, when Annie's heart rate number literally dropped in half. I wasn't sure I was understanding the number correctly, so I put on my call light and asked the nurse to come in. The next thing I knew, the room was filled with doctors and nurses. There was a anesthesiologist looking down my throat to see if he could put a tube in. They put me on my side and put an oxygen mask over my mouth. Annie's heart rate came back up, but I knew that I would not be leaving the hospital any time soon.
Over the next hour, the doctors tried to figure out what to do with me. For a while, they considered making me stay long-term for monitoring. They spoke with a senior doctor who said that, given that I was at 35 weeks and the baby would probably be a good size and would survive, it was time to deliver the baby, and the delivery would have to be by C section because Annie was not tolerating the contractions. The risk of leaving her inside, without knowing why her heart rate was dropping, and without knowing the status of the placenta, was too much. They told us their decision, and we agreed, pretty shell-shocked. We spoke with the NICU to find out how difficult this was going to be for Annie. It sounded like there could be complications, but she would probably be OK.
They gave Jim scrubs, prepared me for surgery, and wheeled me into the operating room about 20 minutes after they told us that they had to deliver the baby. That's how fast it was. Annie was born at 1:26pm:
Here's the birthday girl (and her daddy) today: