The most terrifying three minutes of my life:
I never wrote about this earlier. I didn’t see any reason to include it in Ronan’s birth story. Everything turned out okay, and I’m so thankful for that. But the whole experience wasn’t perfectly perfect. Here’s what happened.
Just after I got the epidural, the nurse had me laying on my left side. She said we’d rotate to the right side in about an hour, to make sure that the medicine didn’t begin to just numb me on one side or the other. Everything was moving along nicely.
About an hour later, she came in and told me to roll over to my right side. I gladly did so (with a little help) and continued on with whatever conversation I was having with Brock and Pam at the time. Ronan, this whole time, was on the fetal heart monitor, and his little bump-bump rhythm was very comforting. Not much more than a minute or two after I rolled onto my side, Ronan’s little ‘bump-bump’ became a “bump……………….. bump……………….bump” – his heart rate had dropped into the low 50’s. (Normal is between 120 and 140.)
A minute went by, and the nurse hooked up an oxygen mask and had me start breathing into it. Another minute later, she rolled me back to my left side. Another minute went by, and the tears started welling up in my eyes – his heart rate needed to come back up PRONTO, or we were no longer talking about a fast, happy, healthy delivery.
About this time, my co-workers come in to say hello. As soon as they walked in the door, they were all looking at the monitor, knowing something was terribly wrong. Dr. Shaver quickly walked over to the nurse to ask her what was going on. I remember thinking, “Thank God Dr. Shaver is here.” Almost exactly then, Ronan’s heart rate began picking up again. “Bump……………bump………..bump……bump…bump-bump-bump.”
I finally was able to breathe again. My heart was in my throat the whole time. It felt like a hundred years, and in reality is was less than 5 minutes. I felt so terribly close to losing him, after everything had gone so well. After that major hiccup, everything proceeded completely perfectly. But I will never, ever forget the longest 3 minutes of my life.