Ten years ago today, I gave birth to Annabelle. It was a lovely experience and looking back now through a new midwife's eyes, I realize how incredibly lucky I was to have Anne Peacock, CNM at my side...and how she may have had an angel on her shoulder the morning of Annabelle's birth.
At the time, I was a nursing student finishing my capstone and getting ready to graduate. Annabelle was due on July 13th, but obviously had plans of her own. The night of June 22nd I began having sublte back pains. I had a gallbladder attack the year before and thought that I was getting ready to have another. I paged Anne and when she called me back she just told me to take a warm bath, drink lots of water and try to go to sleep. What?! But what of my impending gallbladder attack? She just reassured me that she didn't think it was my gallbladder and told me if I felt fine in the morning to come into work. You see, I was a nursing assistant at the University of Iowa OB/GYN clinic. I worked mostly with the physicians, as the managers thought that the midwives could do their own BPs, urines and weights. Every now and then, I would get sent to assist the midwives and I was in heaven!
So the next morning, I went to see Anne before my shift started. I was still having those nagging back pains, though I was able to sleep the night before. With a little gleam in her eye, Anne asked me if they were coming and going, hmmm...they were coming and going about every 10 minutes. Anne checked my cervix (which I thought was odd, because I was sure my gallbladder was spasming) and told me to go about my day. So I did.. As the day wore on I noticed that once in awhile I would have to stop to think about the pain as they sometimes took my breath away. This day I was a student, so my mentor Ann Freyenberger put me on a the monitor for a little NST during our lunch break. Wow! I was having contractions and I didn't even know! At the end of my shift, Anne checked me again and told me I was 2/80/0, to go home, eat and sleep. She said she thought the would see me sometime that weekend (it was Friday, June 23rd). When Adam came to get me and have dinner with me before going back to work, I told him what Anne said but he didn't seem too convinced. My contractions were still very mild and I was so sleepy. I didn't feel like eating so instead fell asleep. At 8pm, I was awakened by the most incredbile contractions, at 1030 we went to the hospital. My labor was pretty typical, I was cranky, didn't want anyone to speak. What I remember is Anne rubbing my legs and telling me that I was doing so good, wow..I sure didn't feel that way. I was complete at 1230 and started pushing. Annabelle was born at 1:04..into Anne's waiting hands.
It's what happened afterward, that gives me pause today. I remember the labor nurse searching for my fundus and rubbing continuously and Anne mumbling something about "Is it firming?" I saw the labor nurse shake her head no, and then Anne asked for some meds and I recieved two shots..now I know those were probably Pitocin and Methergine. Then Anne warned me of what she was doing next..what I know now as bimanual compression. OUCH! I did not have an epidural, so I felt everything. I realize now as a new midwife that my situation must have been dire and that I must have been hemorrhaging pretty bad for her to do that. She was so calm throughout, that I didn't realize how serious my situation could have been.
So today, on the ten year anniversary to my daughter's birth I would like to thank Anne Peacock, CNM for taking such incredible care of me before, during and especially after and for perhaps saving my life..so that I could be the Mommy that I dreamed of being.