Welcome to the world, Halley!!
Halley LaVonne Skow was born on September 1st, 2018, at 12:32pm. She weighed 6 pounds 2 ounces and was 18 inches long, and she was beautiful! This is her birth story.
In week 37 of my pregnancy, I was uncomfortable. Most women are at that point in pregnancy! I was getting so antsy to just meet my little girl, and was working through my anxiety about something going wrong and being unable to take a baby home again.
I had decided that I’d start maternity leave in week 38, so Friday, August 31st was my last day of work. I was surprised with the best remote baby shower by my coworkers on Thursday (we’re all remote/from home), and was ready to have some time off to finish preparing for baby. I had started feeling pretty funky that week, though – I couldn’t quite explain it. I had a headache, I felt almost angry, and just didn’t feel great, so I wondered if I was getting close-ish to the baby coming.
On Friday night, I felt fine. Colin and I decided to order Chinese food, and we got a whole bunch of it and ate like a hungry pregnant woman and her husband. We had a normal Friday evening and went to bed around 10:30.
I had been using a contraction counter/tracker on my phone for the last several days to keep track of the random contractions I had been having. They were really random and only coming once every couple of hours, so it wasn’t anything to even bat an eyelash at. So, when I woke up at 2:30am and felt a couple contractions, I figured it would just be over shortly and tried to go back to sleep. When they kept coming, though, I reached for my phone so I could time them. To my surprise, they were coming every 4-7 minutes! Colin had awoken while I was sitting there timing, and we decided to call the hospital to ask if we should come in. We made the call to Methodist Hospital, where we were supposed to deliver, and told that we needed to go in, but we couldn’t go there…they were full. Yikes! We had to drive to Abbott Northwestern, which is maybe 15 minutes further. So, we grabbed the hospital bag and hopped in the car.
I was getting more uncomfortable with the contractions on the way there, and it really started to sink in that it was actually happening. Safely at triage, I was 3cm dilated. They had us hang out there to see if I’d progress, and I sure did – I went to 5cm in just the 45 min or so we were in there. So, I was admitted to have our baby! I definitely needed the epidural at that point, so the anesthesiologist came in. They had to stick me twice because the first one wouldn’t go in right, but then I had some much needed relief.
We tried to get some rest while I was laboring, but it was pretty hard to sleep! I progressed fairly quickly, though, and was able to try pushing at about 10am. However, since I had suffered a 3rd degree tear with Jonah, the nurse was trying to help me deliver slowly. When she didn’t feel any progression with my pushes, we decided I should labor down for a bit.
Around 11:30, it was time to try again. I got a couple good pushes in, but then the baby’s heart rate started decreasing with each push. The nurse had me quickly turn onto my side or the other side after pushes to get the baby to increase her heart rate again, which was ridiculously scary. I only knew loss and was terrified that we’d lose this baby too. The nurse seemed nervous during the decelerations and called the doctor in. After pushing again, the doctor felt the baby’s position and told me she wasn’t making progress – she was just going back up again after each push down. She told me she’d recommend a c-section at that point, which I was really ready to accept by then. I really didn’t want one, but my fear of my baby dying outweighed my desire to not have a c-section.
When you’re laboring for a bit and then decide to have a c-section, the room goes nuts. A call is made and then the room fills with people rushing around you, hooking/unhooking things, grabbing things, moving things. It’s really unnerving! I knew it was for the sake of the baby and that she was still okay in there, but still starting crying out of pure anxiety. Scrubs were thrown at Colin while I was wheeled out of the room – I didn’t even get to say goodbye to him as they wheeled me out the door! Of course, he was going to join me in the OR as soon as I was prepped.
Lying on the table in the OR, I was still feeling really anxious and was crying a bit. They began pushing the drugs to make me totally numb for surgery and a kind nurse leaned over me to ask what was wrong. I stammered out through tears that my first baby was stillborn, and she was so nice – she firmly told me that that was not going to happen this time, and that the monitor showed a healthy heartbeat in the 140’s. Baby was totally fine in there.
They pinched me to make sure the drugs had taken effect, and I FELT the pinch. I anxiously told them that I felt the sharpness of the pinch, not just pressure, and they pushed more drugs. When they pinched me again and I still felt it, they told me I had to be put under. Of course, I cried harder then, knowing I wouldn’t be awake for my baby’s birth. Still, I fell asleep knowing I was about to meet her, and that helped calm me.
I woke up groggily in recovery. I remember just being able to say one word at a time, and the first things I said were “ouch” and “baby”. The nurses told me I just needed to be awake for a few minutes before they’d bring the baby over. Those were looooong minutes. I could already feel the incision, and it was really painful. I remember asking why it hurt so much, and the nurses gave me some pain medication. Finally, they said it was time to bring the baby over.
In walked Colin with our baby in his arms. I couldn’t see a lot of her until he laid her on me with her face toward mine, and that’s when I lost it. She was here and she was so, so beautiful and perfect <3. Jonah has a little sister!
We looked at her together and decided that she was Halley 🙂 It was our top name and it fit her perfectly.
So, Halley’s birth definitely did not go to plan AT ALL. But really, what does go to plan in this messy thing called life?