The Aetna nurse said in her 10 years on the job, she’s only seen it 3 times…Our delivering nurse took a picture cause she had never seen it before…My doctor said it’s very rare, and very dangerous…Every nurse that came in my hospital room already heard the story and just had to meet my angel baby. They call it a “true knot”. It’s often the cause of stillbirths, or “fetal demise”, as one article puts it. My son is proof GOD IS STILL A MIRACLE WORKER!
Tuesday, 3/25/08 - I had my weekly doctor visit. She said, “You’re one finger dilated and your cervix is ready, do you want to go to the hospital now and be induced tonight?” I was so surprised since just 2 weeks before she said it seemed the baby would be on time, somewhere around his due date of April 5th, 6th, or 7th. I decided against induction since, #1, I had a photo shoot that day, and #2, if the baby was on his way, I wanted to let him pick his own birthday. At only 37 weeks, there was no medical reason for induction - my doctor just wanted the timing of delivery to be convenient. But babies never come at a convenient hour! Thursday, 3/27/08 - I was ready for baby to come out! Aches and pains were increasing, sleep was more and more uncomfortable, and the swelling of my hands, feet, ankles, and face were very uncute. Knowing my cervix was already opening, but also knowing it could still be a couple weeks before his birth, I decided to start taking long walks, drinking raspberry tea, and I also heard sex could encourage the little one to arrive. PJ and I went for a 45 minute walk and got home around 10:30pm. I should’ve packed an overnight bag for the hospital weeks before, so I finally stopped my procrastinating and got it together. I made some raspberry tea, and by 11:20pm, I was getting ready to make pregnant love maybe one last time.
PJ climbed in the bed as I stood up from the toilet, and then “POP”, I felt (and almost heard) something that felt like a water balloon being popped inside me. A small gush of water came out and I quickly sat back down. At 11:47pm, I told PJ, “Sorry babe, I know you just laid down, but my water broke.” Friday, 3/28/08 - By 1:30am we were ready to drive to the hospital in Santa Monica. Two hours went by quickly as I called my mom, and my brother, I showered, straighted up our room a little, we packed a bag for PJ, and for the coming baby, we also pulled the car seat out of it’s box to put in the car. The movies have you believe your water breaks and there’s this flood, then the baby comes. Nope. Once you feel that little pop, the gushing doesn’t stop! Every half hour, another gush! Water just kept coming and coming. I didn’t think I was having contractions, but every 10 minutes or so I did notice some slight lower back pain. The car ride was a little harder. Sitting still, the pains were a little stronger and now every 5-10 minutes or so. By 2am we were at the hospital. Robin, my first shift nurse, got me hooked up pretty quickly. I had an IV, a monitor for the baby’s heartbeat, and a monitor for my contractions. The nurse asked me a bunch of questions including, “How far apart are your contractions?” I said, “I dunno if I’m having contractions. I feel a dull lower back pain every 5 or 10 minutes, but it’s not bad, and not regular, and I don’t feel it in the front.” She looked at the monitor, then touched my stomach and said, “Do you feel that? See how your stomach is hard? You’re having a contraction right now and they’re coming every 2-3 minutes!” I laughed cause I really didn’t feel anything. She checked my cervix and said, “You’re 2 centimeters dilated and 90 % effaced, definitely in labor.” Robin called my doctor to get an okay for an epidural, and Dr. Sehdeva said it was okay when I was 3-5 centimeters. My mom, PJ’s mom, and my brother came and labored with me. The waiting game began. By the time the anesthesiologist arrived, about an hour or more later, I was 3 centimeters. Right on time! I also started feeling those contractions by then. The pain still wasn’t bad, but I definitely was aware of them coming every 2 minutes. I had to use the bathroom a couple times, I threw up once, and my teeth chattered for a while, so my body was feeling it more than me! I was able to take deep breaths and close my eyes through the pains. I also requested PJ not talk to me until the contraction passed. That made it very bearable.
The Excitement Starts
An epidural feels weird. Dr. Roberts was very nice and explained everything he was doing. Only PJ could be in the room with me, and he was great at keeping me focused and calm. We thought Dr. Roberts was done when he said, “Okay, that wasn’t quite in the right place, I’m going to do it again…” That made me nervous, but it turned out just fine. My left side when numb first, and that scared me too, cause my cousin said her epidural only numbed half her body! But a couple minutes later, my right side felt all warm and tingly too. AAAAHHHHHH, I could open my eyes again. But this time Dr. Roberts WAS done, and yet, he didn’t leave the room. Robin all of a sudden looked worried. She called for another nurse. Then she told me to lay back and roll over, “No, faster, roll all the way over…okay, roll on your other side, now roll back over, c’mon move faster.” She’d look at the monitor, and then push on my stomach, look at the monitor, roll me over, push on my stomach. The other nurse put an oxygen mask on me…”Take big deep breaths, give your baby some oxygen…” I looked at the monitor and the heartbeat that was once at a steady 135 - 140 was now at only 70! I looked up at PJ and as scared as I knew he was, he just smiled down at me saying, “The baby’s okay, everything’s okay.” The nurse pulled out a shot of something and stuck me in my arm. A few seconds later, everything was back to normal. Robin said, “You just had a 3 minute contraction, we gave you a shot to stop it. It looks like there may be an umbilical cord problem and your baby’s supply was cut off by the long constriction, that’s why he had a deceleration of heart rate. Stay on your right side, the baby’s rate drops a little when you’re on your left. We’ll keep monitoring you and hopefully that doesn’t happen again.” A couple hours later, it did happen again.
Things Get Scary
After several hours of labor I was only 4 centimeters dilated. The nurse explained that once you get to 4, it usually takes an hour each centimeter to get to 7, and then a half-hour each centimeter to get to 10, which is fully dilted, ready to push. This meant I had a good 5 or 6 hours to go. But a ..couple.. hours after that, sometime around 7:30am, I was STILL only 4 to 5 centimeters. Maybe it had something to do with that shot they gave me, I dunno. Progress was slow, but with my epidural, I was just fine. Everyone in the room was nodding off or sleeping. Then, out of nowhere this older, petite, German woman with short grey hair comes busting into the room. With one arm, in one swift motion, she threw PJ’s lazyboy chair out of her way, and it went sliding across the floor. The jerk of the chair woke him and everyone jumped up to see what was going on. The woman ran around to the side of my bed and started giving the instructions Robin had given earlier…”Roll over, quickly, okay, back to your other side, roll over again.” She pushed on my stomach to get the baby to react to her and to massage out the contraction, she watched the monitor, she kept me rolling back and forth, she called for the nurses to help, she asked for the shot to be prepared, she had me taking deep breaths of oxygen. My mom decided to ask who she was, but she didn’t have time to answer, she just said, “I’m the head nurse!” and kept working on me. After a couple minutes, my baby’s heartrate came back up, just before they were about to administer the shot. My mom said she saw it drop to 60 this time. Now that the baby was okay again, superwoman nurse had time to explain through her German accent, “I’m Marika, the head nurse and I’ve been monitoring you from the station. Here’s what’s happening, since your water broke several hours ago, you’ve lost all your fluids. It looks like the baby has a cord problem, so when you have a long contraction like that, your stomach tightens around him and also his cord, so his blood and oxygen supply get cut off. You are only 4 centimeters and he has had a deceleration twice already. You have two options at this point, we could do what’s called an Amnio Infusion. That’s when we put fluids back into your uterus and hope that allows the baby some cushion through your contractions. You’re stuck between a rock and a hard place because the contractions are causing him distress, but you need to have the contractions in order for labor to progress.” I asked a couple questions about the infusion, but she couldn’t tell me much. It seemed like they don’t have to do them very often. I said, “You told me we have two options, is the second option a c-section?” Yep, that was it.
A Decision to Make
Sometime around 8am Marika called my doctor to explain the situation and have her come in right away. Dr. Sehdeva wanted to talk to me. She said, “You’re only 4 centimeters and his heartrate has decelerated twice already. The only way to make sure the baby is okay is to do a cesarean. If his heartrate drops again, we don’t know for sure if they can get it back up the next time.” I asked, “What about the infusion?” She said we’d still be taking a risk with the infusion because there’s no way to know for sure if it would help the situation or not. She said we could try it, but if it didn’t work, then we’d end up having to do an emergency c-section, and an emergency situation is never the best. PJ and I looked at each other and felt like we should go with what the doctor said. I REALLY, REALLY didn’t want that surgery, but if it was to only way to know our baby would be born safe and sound, then we figured we should do what was best for the baby. However, Marika was also really against the c-section. She made a case for the infusion. She said, “Jumping to do the cesarean is like going from point A to point C. You should at least try it and if it doesn’t work, THEN do the surgery. Why skip point B? Either way, we have to wait for your doctor to do it, a nurse can’t do the procedure. There are a couple risks involved because if we don’t monitor you carefully, ..which we will.., but there’s a chance we could put too much fluid in you and your uterus can rupture, and…” She said something else, but I don’t remember it, all I heard was “UTERUS COULD RUPTURE”! Oh LAWD! But maybe the infusion was the best thing, we could always fall back on the c-section. Man, oh, man, we were scared and disappointed. What could we do?
Pray - God is Listening!
So here we are, over 8 hours into labor, only 4-5 centimeters dilated. Our baby’s heartrate had plummeted twice, our doctor was recommending a cesarean section, the head nurse was suggesting an Amnio Infusion, and we were really nervous about making the wrong decision that could cost our child’s life before it even started. We didn’t want the c-section, but what if it was the only way our baby could survive? The room was full of people waiting for us to say the word. We had nurses and resident doctors and family all standing around looking at us. I said, “Could everyone please leave the room, my husband and I have to talk.” After everyone left, I said, “You know what, let’s not try to decide on our own, we need to pray.” So we prayed! God knows we want to have more children, he’s the ONLY one who knows what’s best for me, the baby, and our future babies. We asked him to take total control of the situation and for his will to be done. We asked for peace with the right decision. PJ called our pastor and his prayer partner, and a few minutes later, we called Marika back in and told her we felt it was right to stay calm, not panic, trust God, and try the infusion first. She called a different doctor since mine was still on her way, and cleared the room and a path in the hallway incase we needed to run for an emergency c-section. Dr. Rude arrived and checked out my chart. Both my mom and PJ’s mom were so nervous, they were asking questions and trying to fill the Dr. in, but she was brushing them off saying things like, “I’m the doctor here, let me worry about that,” and “Who in this room went to medical school?” I’m surprised no one slapped her (knowing our moms), but the situation was serious, so instead of arguing for too long, PJ’s mom left the room and mine took a seat for a moment. Around 9am we were ready for the infusion. By this time, I started to feel my contractions through the epidural. The doctor came to my side and showed me the tube she was going to insert. She said, “See how small this is, and the last time you were checked about an hour and a half ago, you were 4 centimeters, so you see, this will go in very easily.” She explained she had to insert something else and place it on the baby’s head, blah, blah, blah…I said, “Dr., for the last two contractions, I’ve felt pressure in my bottom.” I know that means the baby is coming, so I thought I should tell her. She brushed me off and said, “Well, that’s just the baby’s head moving down the birth canal.” She picked up the tube and started to open the plastic package it was in. My mom, who had earlier let the doctor know she’s only given birth five times and assisted with several births, shouted from her seat, “She says she’s feeling pressure, why don’t you check her…” Dr. Rude rolled her eyes as though it was a waste of her time, and with her free hand, she checked me. Her eyes opened wide, she set the tube down, said “We don’t need this, you’re 9 and 1/2 centimeters dilated, you can push!” and she walked out of the room. We were expecting several hours of labor before we got to this point! Everyone was. But God don’t waste no time!
Ready to Push
Robin had long gone home, my new nurse, Adrienne had replaced her. She came into the room and reminded me that my doctor, Dr. Sehdeva, still hadn’t arrived. She also reminded me that although I was just about fully dilated, we still had this cord problem to think about and we had not gone through with the infusion. She wanted me to do a practice push to see how the baby would react. She nixed that idea when she realized how important it was for my doctor to be there incase something went wrong. So what we did is called passive labor. I layed on my side and just let the contractions push the baby down on their own. It was hard to feel my body pushing him out, to feel the urge to help, and to just lay there and breathe through it. The pressure got stronger and stronger each time. It was like needing to take the biggest poop ever, but you can’t go sit on the toilet. Just before 10am, we couldn’t wait any longer, I HAD to push. Tons of people flooded the room. We had a couple resident doctors who wanted to observe, we had my nurse, Adrienne, an assisting nurse, the head nurse, Marika, my father-in-law dropped in, my brother was still hanging out, PJ was at my side, our moms weren’t going anywhere, and there were two resident doctors who would deliver my baby if my doctor still didn’t show up in time. Those two doctors didn’t help much! Infact, they made everyone nervous. My mom asked if they were the observing residents because they looked so clueless. One of them kept running back and forth putting his gown on and taking it off, washing his hands, putting gloves on and taking them off, the other doctor just stood there with big ole eyes wondering what to do. When it was go time, they both just stood staring inbetween my legs looking like kids who were about to witness a birth for the first time. I knew they had no idea how to deal with this tricky situation. But they were all I had, so I kicked my brother and father-in-law out (they were happy to wait in the lobby with my dad and little brother), and I started pushing. PJ’s holding one leg, my mom, the other, PJ’s mom is holding my head up. “Push harder, harder. Okay, good. Deep breath, let’s go again…” I pushed for about 25 minutes and everyone could see his head. With the next couple of pushes, I FELT his head! It was like a hard coconut down there. All of a sudden Marika starts yelling, “Where’s the other heartbeat!? We only have one! Who’s heartbeat is this, the baby’s or the mother’s? We lost the other heartbeat.” She was going from the monitor to my side back to the monitor. She was frantic for about two whole minutes. Even with his head right there, they had me roll on my side again. I was terrified! Only ONE heartbeat!? The nurses all got in my face, “You have to push this baby out now. Push, Jessica, push as hard as you can!” I was so scared to push because I wondered if my pushing was constricting his cord and killing him. They told me to just push him out, no time to wait inbetween contractions…it was getting difficult, but I pushed!!! Just then, Dr. Sehdeva showed up. She jumped in the chair and started cheering me on. She said I was a good pusher and was happy to see the baby rapidly on his way down, but because we were in such a rush to get him out, she did a quick episiotomy and a minute later, I felt his body slide out of my body. That’s an amazing feeling. And there he was, perfect. Following him was his cord, the doctor lifted it so I could see a true knot. She looked me in the eye and said slowly with gravity in her voice, “You guys are so lucky.” Not lucky, blessed! Our son must’ve been very active in the womb.
Noble One, Exalted by God
It’s crazy to think that knot was in there with him since he was small enough to spin around and create such a loop. No wonder I couldn’t lay on my left side the last couple months of pregnancy! No wonder he came early! Knots don’t happen often and they can be deadly. Dr. Sehdeva wanted to say “I told you so,” but she couldn’t because our baby was born healthy and naturally. They put him on my chest and then quickly rushed him away to check on him. He let out a yell and I knew he was okay. They doctors gave us only two options, but with God, there’s always an X factor. Forget option A, B, and C, I’m rolling with option G-O-D! In a time when people say they don’t want to bring children into this dark, lost world, it’s never been more important to bring rays of hope! It is our duty to be Kingdom builders, to be FRUITFUL, producing seeds of life that will make a positive difference, that will be warriors against evil, that will rise in the face of hopelessness. After a miscarriage the first go-round, after 39 weeks of a second pregnancy, after about 35 minutes of pushing, 11 total hours of labor, at 10:27am, on Friday, March 28th, 2008, our precious son came into the world, guided by angels, in Jesus’ name. He is strong, he is a fighter, he is beautiful. Praise God!!! ..
Patrick - NOBLE ONE, Jeremiah - EXALTED BY GOD Jeremiah 1:5…… “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
PATRICK JEREMIAH WESSON born Friday, March 28, 2008 - 6 and 1/2 pounds - 19″ - Beautiful baby boy!