SOPHIA ANNALIESE BORN
Born ~2 pm on August 13th, 2007
Weight: 8 lbs, 14? oz (I can’t seem to find these stats right now!)
Name explanation: We chose Sophia’s name ahead of time, but decided to wait til meeting her to make sure. When we saw her, we knew it was the name for her! Sophia means “wisdom” in Greek, and Annaliese is a German name combining Anna, meaning “grace” in Hebrew, with a shortened form of Elizabeth “oath of God” in Hebrew. Grace is my favorite thing, so I like names with it in the meaning, and Elizabeth is my middle name, going back in both of our families several generations (plus both sides of our families are German in heritage).
I didn’t write Sophia’s birth story out at the time, because we were still feeling pretty upset about some parts of it. Sophia is our 3rd child, and was my first VBAC, my first child born vaginally after Eliana came out by C-section. I have a bit more perspective on it now and can say with confidence that it was a good birth and praise God.
As with all my births, my water broke before labor started, about a week after her due date. We had to go into the nearest large city hospital to have her according to the “rules”, where a C-section would be possible in case my uterus ruptured, so all my prenatal appointments were with my local doctor and I only met one of the city practices’ doctors before delivering her. Since Saskatoon is about 45 minutes from our town of Waldheim, we didn’t want to wait too long before leaving for the hospital. However, we left too early, and before I was in “active” labor so that things had basically slowed down and almost stopped by the time we got to the hospital. But they admitted us because my water had already broken (in retrospect I should have left and gone walking!).
Once you arrive at hospital, you have to go on the baby monitor which means no walking usually. They had a hard time getting enough of a “strip” that I was in bed an hour. Since labor had not progressed much laying in bed and we’d been there several hours, the nurse said that we should use the drug pitocin to “augment” labor. I said that because I had read that that is not the best idea to use that for a first VBAC I was not comfortable with it (I was interested to find out that here in CA they generally won’t use it at VBACs!). She said that she would ask the doctor (and I thought that meant that I would talk to the doctor about it). Instead, she just walked back in later and injected it into my IV (which they had put in already for fluids) despite me saying I didn’t want it. When I objected she said that she had talked to the doctor about it. Well, I hadn’t. Finally, they let me use one of the telemetry monitors and walk around the floor, which got the labor started with a VENgeance. We barely made one lap (then the nurse had me come back because the telemetry wasn’t working well). When I got back on the bed the contractions had become so close and so intense I asked for an epidural because I didn’t think I could possibly stand hours of it (again, in retrospect, I was probably progressing rapidly to birth). The epidural made me aware of contractions, and they still hurt, which surprised me, but it wasn’t horribly overwhelming. The nurse left for an hour, telling me to have a rest, during which I told Nathan “I’m surprised how much I can still feel and how close together the contractions are” – ah…apparently because I was experiencing transition. When the nurse came back after the hour, I felt the urge to push. The nurse freaked out and ran out to try to find a doctor to catch the baby. She came back in a few minutes later with a man who was saying “I don’t have time for this, I have other things to do” but as he was getting gloves on apparently one of the doctors at the practice I was registered with happened to come by, so she came in and he left (hurriedly and relieved apparently). A few minutes later and Sophia was with us! The nurse suctioned her and bundled her up (but not washing her, and handling her so roughly she bruised her in several places – Nathan couldn’t believe what he was seeing…not to mention having left needles on the floor in a few places), then handed her to us. She told us that she would be back with the papers to send us upstairs, and disappeared. We relaxed for a little while, and decided to go with “Sophia Annaliese”. An hour later when we finally asked about moving to the next floor we were told she would be back with papers in 10 minutes (again). 45 minutes after that we loaded up in the wheelchair and sat in the hall quietly (which is the polite Canadian Mennonite way of screaming 😉 ). On seeing us in the hall, the nurse appeared to remember us and called an upstairs nurse down to get us…and when that nurse came, “our” nurse spent 10 minutes complaining loudly about us to the new nurse as we sat a few feet away waiting quietly (I guess sitting in the hall really got her goat…I wonder what she would have thought if I had reacted in one of the obnoxious American ways I was contemplating…!). Finally, we were wheeled upstairs and baby and I spent the night sharing a room with another screaming baby and poor exhausted mother. The next day I was told that because I had refused a test at admittance the baby had to stay 48 hours for observation…but after the day and night I’d had, I was not interested. So I spoke with the pediatrician, who said that Sophia looked fine to her but that she could only release her if I signed something saying that I was “leaving against medical consent”, which I signed Gladly and then we went home!
In retrospect, and having talking to several health care professionals, we realized that the behavior of our nurse was so out of line that we should have reported her. We didn’t know any better at the time. And we were so happy to see Sophia. I am sure that God allowed us to get that nurse for a reason, although I can’t fathom why, and I only hope and pray she hasn’t hurt anybody else’s baby. We thank God that Sophia came out a strong, healthy and beautiful baby!