Vanessa’s Birth Story

I don’t know about you, but it seems that everyone around me is either having a baby or just found out they’re preggers. I’m currently waiting on my little niece to make her grand appearance.

Dear baby niece,
Listen hear kiddo. You’re overdue and we’re ready to meet you so come on out. I don’t blame you for holding on until the bitter end, your dad (my brother) makes terrible jokes and he’ll probably torture you when you’re a preteen, but he and your mom love you SOOO much. Plus, you’re grandma keeps talking my ear off about when she’s going to visit and your cousin needs a break from all the spoiling.
Your Auntie Maria

On to the topic at hand, my dear daughter’s birth story. I always figured I’d be the girl who’d have a completely natural birth with a midwife, the whole nine yards. You know, very “crunchy” as some people might say. So since I had a relatively uneventful first trimester, we went ahead and went the midwife route.

Well, enter the second trimester and we get some not so great, but not terrible news. Choroid Plexus Cysts. We were super scared at first, but the doctors put our minds at ease since she didn’t exhibit any other genetic abnormalities. I had the choice to do an amnio and full genetic testing, but decided that I was going to be optimistic and didn’t want to risk miscarriage that far along.

We moved in the middle of my second trimester and made appointments with my new OB who came highly recommended by one of my best friends (Hey Jessica!). I hadn’t had an ultrasound since 18 weeks and he just wanted to be sure the choroid plexus cysts were gone. Plus, I was concerned that the baby didn’t kick much. That’s when we got the news that I wouldn’t be having a “normal” pregnancy or natural birth. I had oligohydramnios, which basically means that my amniotic fluid levels were dangerously low. Probably why the ultrasound picture above makes it looks like the baby is in crazy cramped quarters. She was also frank breach and that wasn’t going to change, so I’d have to deal with nearly no kicking and be extra vigil.

Anyway, I was put on partial bed rest, had to visit the hospital three times a week and drink two gallons of water a day. The goal was to first make it to 29 weeks, then 31 and finally to 34 weeks. I was constantly being hooked to machines and was bored out of my mind.  I went to one of my final ultrasounds and they dropped the gadget (yeah, that’s what I call it) and told me go to the hospital, do not pass go, do not collect $200 and at that particular moment the most disappointed news was “DO NOT EAT”. My husband raced home to tell my mom what was going on and I went straight to the hospital.

 So glamorous, I know 

So hospital bed rest was ordered, but it was short lived. At 4am just two days later, Vanessa’s heart rate dipped dangerously low due to cord compression. It was just my luck that I sent my husband home the night before so he could get some rest. He rushed over to the hospital, but once he got there they had her stabilized and put me on the board for a c-section after an ultrasound. They discovered that my fluid levels had dropped even further. I was down to about 1.5 tablespoons of fluid. Yes, you read that correctly. 1.5 TABLESPOONS. Crazy, huh?

We waited until it was our turn in the operating room while the nurses monitored me from the station. About 2 hrs until our scheduled c-section I go into labor unbeknownst to yours truly.  I was braiding my hair watching some tv and slightly peeved because I hadn’t had anything to eat in 17 hours. Then, BAM!  I have never seen so many nurses in one room going into “game” mode in my entire life. It was INSANE.

The nurses said I was in labor for about 15 minutes and my contractions were regular and about 20 seconds apart.  I apparently can’t feel labor contractions and labor at super human speed. This also means I might deliver any future children in the middle of the grocery store if I’m not careful. No, seriously. I might be that chick.

I had dilated 5cm (I wasn’t even 1cm that morning), the contractions were still coming and the baby was not handling the stress well. They had to give me drugs to stop labor, had me stay in one position, nearly upside down and on oxygen. The look on my husband’s face broke my heart. He was scared for our baby and he didn’t have to say a word, it was written all over his face. Meanwhile, I was trying to keep it together, to not cry, to be strong. That was hard.

The doctors and nurses prepped me for surgery while my husband waited in the hallway. He said it was the longest wait, seconds seemed like minutes until the nurses told him he could come in.

The doctors tried to pull Vanessa out for nearly 5 minutes. She was frank breach and facing me so they had nothing to grab onto to pull her out. The doctor was finally able to pull her out, butt first. How cute.  
My husband started snapping pictures. I’ll spare you the blood and guts portion of photos. I held my breath until I heard her cry and they told me she was 5lbs 4oz (they had me on carb overload to fatten her up the last 4 weeks). That sound was so perfect, that sweet little cry brought tears to my eyes. I cried for the first time in weeks. I got to see her for a few seconds before she and my husband left for the NICU and I headed to the recovery room.

I got to see photos and videos my husband took for me while I shook uncontrollably for nearly an hour in recovery. A side effect of all the drugs mixing together. She needed an oxygen tent and showed signs or stress, but she was doing really well for a baby born at 34w2d.
My husband and I joked that she kind of looked like Mr. Miyagi from the Karate Kid and then the nurses rolled my entire bed into the NICU so I could be with my baby. I was so happy. My life was complete. I had a little girl and I was a mother. I couldn’t wait until I got to hold her for the first time. 
Doesn’t she look like Mr. Miyagi?
She was a serious trooper. She recovered so quickly that it shocked the nurses and doctors. She started breathing without oxygen after a few days and went into an unheated isolet without the wires on day 6. She spent one week in the NICU before she got to come home with us. We were going home as a family for the first time. 
Despite my roller coaster of a pregnancy and cord compression scares, I came home with a perfect little baby girl. And I would do it over again a thousand times. She lights up my world and has her daddy wrapped around her tiny little finger. She is perfection and she makes our lives whole. I’m grateful to have her EVERY.SINGLE.DAY.
Thanks for reading and congratulations to all my girlfriends having babies!


  1. 1

    Maria! I had no idea about your birth story! This is amazing! I definitely cried haha.

  2. 2
    Maria @ Craft Crazy Mom says:

    I just read it over again and cried too while Vanessa kept pointing and saying mama, dada, baby :)

  3. 3
    Anonymous says:

    I had no idea either. What an absolutely amazing story Maria! Wow. It certainly puts things in perspective!


  1. [...] and resulted in an emergency c-section due to cord compression (you can read about her birth hereĀ and watch a video here), but since this was going to be my first “trial of labor” [...]

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