Real Talk

Our Birth Story

I want to start out by saying thank you for following along with our pregnancy journey and for all the kind messages full of congratulations!

At 35 weeks, Robyn’s heart started to skip a beat. The doctors called it a heart arrhythmia. On top of that, my amniotic fluid increased, the amount was considered “excessive”. Between my OB appointments and high risk appointments, the doctors monitored her heart and the amniotic fluid just incase I needed to be induced earlier than the 38.5 weeks that was already scheduled. The doctors still don’t know what caused the increase in fluid or the irregular heartbeat. The best guess is a side effect of my Lovenox blood thinner shot or my Hashimoto’s medicine, but without those, I wouldn’t have stayed pregnant. The doctors warned me that due to her heart, she could be transferred to Dell Children’s hospital in Austin after going through some testing and if her heart needed more testing than what the hospital I delivered at could do, then she would be transferred.

Fast forward to Easter (I made it to 38.5 weeks), I checked into the hospital at 7 PM to start the induction process. CJ hung up pictures I had printed out with encouraging scriptures for me to focus on and pray over during the hours before delivery. Throughout the night, Robyn’s heartbeat wasn’t reading consistently on the monitors. She was technically fine, but without a proper reading of the heartbeat, there was a chance I would need a C-Section because a vaginal delivery could cause problems (due to the heart arrhythmia and excessive fluid).

The nurses put a bluetooth monitor on my belly in replace of the normal monitor, and that seemed to pick up a better reading of her heart. Shortly after that, I got the edpidural, which was WAY less scary and less painful than I thought it would be. The doctors started Pitocin around 11 AM and I delivered Robyn at 4:36 PM! I pushed for 42 minutes!! The labor was a dream. I felt no pain, CJ and I were laughing in between pushing. I even did my make up and watched TV because I got bored waiting for her to come. It was the most amazing, calming and beautiful experience ever.

My sister-in-law recorded the audio of Robyn entering the world. Robyn was laid on my chest for only a few seconds before she was taken away due to her breathing. She was then taken to the NICU. My body didn’t recover quickly from the epidural, so I wasn’t cleared to see her until close to midnight. Sitting in the delivery room, not knowing what was going on with Robyn and not being able to see her was really hard. Having sushi and a Dr. Pepper made the wait to see her a little better.

I had a birth plan that I never gave to the nurses. CJ and I didn’t get to do skin to skin. I didn’t get to breastfeed her until 2 AM the next morning. To be honest, I felt robbed. Robyn is most likely going to be our only biological child. I wanted to experience what everyone else gets to because of that. I had envisioned it all going a different way. I knew that things could go differently than expected and I prepared myself for that. I just never thought I would not get to see my baby for so long, and immediately bond with her.

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Robyn’s breathing and heart improved by the time I saw her, but by morning it had gotten worse. Robyn was having premature atrial contractions. The NICU doctor basically told me, she had no answers, she didn’t know why Robyn wasn’t improving and she was blunt with me and said, “I don’t know how to help, when I don’t know what is causing it.” She recommended her to be transferred to the NICU at Dell. I was discharged earlier than I technically should have been, but my doctor wanted me to be with her to breastfeed and for peace of mind.

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I didn’t get monitored for blood clots, which was scary because that was suppose to happen the next day, but instead I was recovering at Dell Children’s hospital. CJ and I stayed there overnight for two days. Altogether, Robyn was in the NICU for four days. The doctors and nurses were amazing and I would have lost my mind without them. Recovering at a Children’s hospital with no nurses or medical attention was difficult, but the nurses at Dell did everything they could to make our stay peaceful.

The day before we were released the NICU doctor told CJ that looking at Robyn’s results vs her results from the day she was born, was like looking at two different babies. Robyn had improved and we were cleared to have her stay in our room at Dell to “pass the test” to be approved to go home. It was a rough night because she was taken off of all of the machines that were monitoring her breathing and her heart. I checked if she was breathing like a million times. I didn’t sleep. I was stressed, excited and nervous all at the same time.

Robyn now has a low resting heart rate. Her breathing and heart are now normal. She is doing so good, and as I write this, she is wide awake staring at me with her beautiful eyes. Our birth story makes me sad, but also it’s a blessing. Throughout this pregnancy we had SO MANY people praying for us, and that didn’t change after she was born. I’ve never felt so supported. Seriously, thank you to all of the people who took the time to pray for us.

The NICU, as well as Dell Children’s Hospital are emotional places to be at. It was a crazy, emotional experience, but we are very fortunate that everything worked out the way it did, and I’m seriously so grateful.

Between previous miscarriages, my health, the pregnancy with Robyn and after her being born, so many different labels were given and scenarios told to us. Genetic mutation; blood clotting; Hashimoto’s Disease; high risk; heart arrhythmia outcomes; risks of excessive amniotic fluid; etc.

BUT, here we are, healthy and home. If your’e pregnant, high risk, or thinking about having a baby, don’t let our birth story discourage you. My labor was amazing and I wouldn’t change a thing about it. My daughter is healthy, happy and growing well.

Thanks for the read.

xoxo, Shelby

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