Now that the holidays are over, the birth series will be back on regular rotation!  I am currently looking for more birth stories to feature, so please please! If you have a birth story you’d like featured, please email me at cassmillerphoto at gmail dot com.

This particular story today is so special to me, because it is the birth of my miracle baby nephew and his incredible mom!  I’m so excited she’s allowing me to share it. 🙂


{Hazen’s Birth Story}

October 2012. We found out that we were expecting baby #4. We were all excited, and I was especially excited to go through all that pregnancy has to offer. Yes, I am sick for 20+ weeks of pregnancy, but everything else makes it all worth it and I really look forward to the little person that I eventually create. With my prior 3 pregnancies (besides sickness) everything was perfect. Labor and delivery had become my most favorite thing in the world, and I was anxiously awaiting another great experience just like the ones I had been through.

My third trimester was… weird. I almost can’t even remember all the feelings going through me, but I was extremely anxious and depressed. I knew something just wasn’t right. I kept ignoring the feeling, tried therapy, meditation and other self help remedies and nothing really seemed to work.  Two weeks before my induction date my heart went into A-fib. Knowing very little about it, I knew it wasn’t good, and that we needed to get to the ER asap. When we got there, they immediately took me back, had labor and delivery there, the OR ready, and did a cardioversion on me (shocking my heart to get it to beat normally again). They had to be prepared in case the baby showed any signs of distress, but luckily after the “shock” he was as mellow as could be. After that experience I was pretty traumatized and just counting down the days to my induction date so I could get this baby out and in my arms safe and sound!

A couple week later, May 30, 2013 to be exact, we woke up and knew we would be getting “that” call to be able to head to the hospital! The night before, I slept better than I thought I would and had a dream that I remembered so clearly by morning. I dreamt that something was wrong and I had to have a C Section. I thought nothing of it because of course that wasn’t going to happen when I’ve had 3 other perfect vaginal deliveries. My husband came into the room as I was getting ready and said, “I had the craziest dream last night. I dreamt that you had a C-Section and we had another redhead.” (we had 2 already). My husband NEVER remembers his dreams and we were talking about what a crazy coincidence that was that we both had similar dreams.

Mid morning the call came and we happily headed to the hospital! Something is just so magical about the day you KNOW you will meet your baby, and we were so anxious and excited! They got me all set up and hooked up the heart monitor to my belly and had me wait a bit for the Doctor to come in and break my water. When the Doctor came in, he noticed that the babies heart rate was a little restless. He just said we’d watch it closely after he broke my water and then decide when to start pitocin. About 30 minutes later, I got up to use the restroom and baby’s heart rate dropped down to 56. The nurse was super nervous and thought that the cord must be blocking the way and that his head was hitting it. She called the Doctor back in and he had “the talk”. The talk that I never thought I’d have (because it was a HUGE fear of mine), but then I remembered our dreams. The C-Section. I needed to have one, and I knew it. The Doctor asked my thoughts and wanted to know if I wanted to continue to wait to see if baby mellowed out and I said “No way.” we needed this baby out asap. I felt so strong about that and I was so calm and at peace about it, like I knew this decision was what had to be.

They rushed me to the OR (luckily had given me an epidural early, just in case) and about 15 minutes later a beautiful redheaded boy made his entry into the world. As they were pulling his head out of my belly, they started counting, and I was so confused! My husband and Doctors leaned over the curtain and said, “He is wrapped, but he is okay!” He had the cord wrapped tight around his neck SIX times, then around his shoulder and around his ankle. This baby was here and he was a miracle. The grown man anesthesiologist was even in tears! The experience was definitely different from what I had known, but it was so neat and exactly as it was supposed to be. I never considered how bonding a C-Section could be.  I got over the fact, very quickly,  that it wasn’t how I had planned it!

Fast forward to 4 days post partum, and back into the ER I went with another A-Fib episode. I had been told this should go away when I delivered. I was so frustrated and still felt like something was wrong, besides the fact that I was on cloud 9 with a brand new (healthy) baby! They set us up with a great Cardiologist at IMC and did an echo cardiogram. With that test they detected that I had developed a form of heart failure that comes from pregnancy. (Peri-Partum Cardiomyopathy). It was a tough pill to swallow and I had a long road ahead of me for recovery. After finding out more about my condition, I realized my babe had come C-Section not just to save his life, but to save mine as well!  We had experienced a true miracle.

Even though, 2 ½ years later, I am still recovering and on medication for the rest of my life, I am so grateful for all of it and what it has taught me. I hope that with sharing my story, it can inspire moms to be more opened minded about their deliveries and to just trust that intuition.  We are so blessed to have that intuition!  I hope that in the years to come that there will be more awareness in Peri-Partum Cardiomyopathy and especially that doctors won’t ignore the signs, as most of the time it gets mistaken for pneumonia.

As I am now done having babies (due to my heart condition), I love hearing stories about pregnancies and deliveries. I tell my husband that I just need to volunteer at the hospital and hold newborns when I need my fix! 😉