Tuesday, July 31, 2018, is a day that I will never forget and will always be thankful for. It was the scariest and best day of my life.
I learned at 20 weeks pregnant that my pregnancy was high risk, therefore, I was seeing my midwife, maternal-fetal medicine, and ended up making a few visits to Cape Coral Hospital Family Birth Center. At every visit, my midwife, doctor, and nurses at the hospital trained me and reminded me to “Count the Kicks.” They would always say something like, “If your baby has less than 10 movements in an hour to come in and let us check on you.” I listened and faithfully counted his movements every day. I even talked to my husband or my mom about how many I had been counting before I went to bed.
On that Tuesday, I woke up really early; about 3 a.m. I was feeling some cramping and started counting his movements. By 6 a.m. I was only counting 4-5 movements an hour and I noticed that I really had to try to help him move by touching my belly and switching sides in bed. I tried drinking some ice cold water, eating some dark chocolate covered strawberries and hoping the cold/sugar would do the trick. It did not. My husband was working in Venice which is about 30 minutes from our home and more than 1 hour from the hospital. He told me to call my midwife or to just go to the hospital. By that time it was about 7:30 a.m. I really began to feel as though something was wrong. I talked to my mom and told her that he was not moving near enough and it just didn’t feel right. I asked her to drive me to the hospital and my husband said to go now, not to wait for him. He was worried too. We stopped on the way to get another cold drink and I continued counting the movements on the way. It took us about an hour to get to the hospital and I only counted 4 movements on the way there.
Upon arrival, the wonderful staff at Cape Coral Hospital Family Birth Place checked me quickly into triage. The nurse in triage was named Donna. She was taking care of me and another patient. She hooked me up the monitor and it took a minute to find my son’s heartbeat (to me, it felt like forever). It was strong, about 150 bpm. I felt a little relief at that moment. Donna notified me that she was going to step out to check on her other patient just beyond the curtain. It was then that she came running back when she heard the “decel.” I remember looking at my mom with panic when I no longer heard his heart rate. My mom tried to reassure me by saying, “He’s probably just moving around.” Donna set on the bed with me and moved the monitor. She said, “I believe your baby just had a decel.”
The next several minutes were a whirlwind as my son’s heart rate continued to rise and fall, rise and fall, or not even detected. Donna quickly began making phone calls and in a matter of minutes, there were at least 6 people surrounding me that seemingly came out of nowhere. My midwife, Theresa Buckley was there within 2 minutes. She literally dropped everything to be at my side. She appeared with a big smile, grabbed my hand, and said, “I really wanted to catch this one! Your baby is telling us he needs to come NOW. You are going to have a c-section.” She continued on reassuring me that she would be with me the whole time. Donna also never left my side. Dr. Bower quickly introduced herself and I began to have a panic attack. They placed oxygen on my face and told my mom she would not be able to come back with me due to the emergency of the situation.
My mom held my hand and told me not to worry. She called my husband to update him and he immediately left work to get there as soon as he could. I remember leaving triage, going into the surgical room, and looking around as they began to prep. I remember being so scared not knowing if my son would make it, or what would happen to me even….mostly I was scared about Daeo.
The next thing I remember is waking up, looking over, and seeing my husband hold our beautiful son. He was alive. I was alive. Our family was okay. I am so thankful that I was well-trained and reminded to count my baby’s movements. I am so thankful that the amazing staff at Cape Coral Hospital Family Birth Place truly listened to me and did not waste a single second. Their quick action and attentiveness to me and my son saved his life. My family and I will forever be thankful. He will be two weeks old on Tuesday. He is our greatest adventure and most wonderful miracle.
Perspective of Daeo’s Mimi:
My daughter is my HERO. She and the AMAZING staff at Family Birth Place in Cape Coral saved my grandson’s life and took care of my daughter too. Thank you will never be enough. I remember my daughter telling me almost daily about how many movements she had been counting each day. Usually, it was well more than 10. I could tell something was really wrong on that Tuesday morning because of the sense of urgency in her voice when she asked me to drive her to the hospital. She was right and my precious grandson is here today with us because of it. My son-in-law was so completely unselfish in telling her to go on to the hospital and not wait for him as well because he knew I could get her there faster. These two were wonderful parents long before Daeo made his appearance. I hope their story helps to save lives. Our little miracle baby boy has changed our lives and we are forever thankful. I will never forget waiting outside the double doors of the surgical room with the amazing CNA who waited and breathed with me as I was on the phone with my son-in-law updating him as he was on his way to the hospital. The nurse came out and said, “Baby is out and he’s crying. Your daughter is okay too.” That was the BEST feeling in the world.