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Sunday, June 12, 2022

Ayker Alexander : Birth Story

This story is not like our others, sweet baby three really wanted to be unique!!

39 Weeks 4 Days - Saturday, June 12, 2021

I was woken up by a gush around 12am, Saturday. There was more where that came from so I was certain my water broke but my contractions were few and far between and not intense. I tried to go back to bed but around 1am I woke up again and told Steve we should head to Fargo. Living 1 hour from the hospital and this being our 3rd baby I really didn’t want the baby to be born in the car. 

Grandma Teresa got to our house a little after 1am and Steve and I headed to Fargo. 

Around 2:30am we got to Essentia and were brought up to 6th floor. The intake process seemed to take forever. When they checked me I was at a 4 but the nurse didn’t feel baby’s head like she wanted to. Immediately I thought baby turned breech and really hoped that was not the case. The on-call midwife came in and did a bedside ultrasound and thankfully baby was still head down, just pretty high up there and tucked into my right side, my contractions had some work to do. 

Finally around 4:30am we got checked into our birthing room, number 612 for a baby that would be born on 6/12 - it seemed fitting!! 

I continued to labor with mild contractions and tried to take a little nap. At 5:12am I texted Dalayna, our birth photographer, that I was at a 5-6 and she could head to the hospital. My midwife thought there was still some water bag that hadn’t broke but I knew once that went, I would go fast. 

And here comes the part of the story that we hadn’t prepared for. 

Around 5:45am my midwife checked me again. The nurse made a comment that baby’s heartbeat was doing opposite of what they’d expect because it was stronger when I was on my back vs my side. 

I was dilated to a 7 but still had some water bag that wasn’t fully broke. I had a contraction while she was checking me and with that, the rest of my bag broke. When all that fluid came out, and there was a lot, she said the 3 words that (unbeknownst to me at the time) no one wants to hear: I feel cord

Now, if you are like me and never researched “cord prolapse” then you might be thinking, just put the cord back in up past baby and baby will come out … hah well that was my thought and ya, that’s not a thing. With every contraction now, baby’s head pinned the cord and cut off oxygen supply. Baby’s heart rate plummeted. 

While my midwife’s hand was still inside me trying to keep baby’s head off of the cord she had me flip onto my hands and knees. I asked her the plan and she calmly explained that the baby’s heart rate was back up now in this position and we would be headed to the OR for an emergency c-section. 

Not. The. Plan. 

I had no time to mourn another beautiful natural delivery - it was time to save our baby. I gave Steve a kiss and we just stared at each other not really knowing what was going on with the blur of codes being called and an influx of people in our room. 

So there we were, me in my bra (yep, that’s it) on my hands and knees with my midwife behind me on the bed with her hand inside, holding baby’s head off of their lifeline - getting rolled down the hallway (with an audience no less) to the OR. 

Since I opt for a natural birth, I wasn’t numb but we were going try and do a spinal when I got into the OR. If they couldn’t get a spinal done, then Steve wouldn’t be able to come into the OR because they would have to put me completely under. Steve was in the OR waiting room getting scrubs on and I was on the OR table while the anesthesiologist was assessing my back. He asked me if I had scoliosis and I said yes slightly, he said I was the 3rd one that night, and I jokingly replied, that was perfect because he knew what he was doing then. In order to do the spinal I had to move from my position on all fours to sit back on my heels - and yes all this time I am still having contractions and my midwife still has her hand in me keeping the head off the cord. 

So, while I was on my knees kind of sitting on my heels I had a contraction but with it, more cord came out, “a whole loop” if I remember my midwife correctly. It was a super fast “you need to roll over - put your right arm under your body” move. They had to put me out. I was praying so hard for me and my baby. Staying calm and doing my best to breath. I got a mask over my face and was getting put to sleep. One of the last things I remember before I slept through our child’s birth was iodine. Haha seriously it was everywhere, I felt like each person in the room had a squeeze bottle of it and was taking turns at squirting my belly!! I squeezed a nurses hand wising it was Steven and then, I was out. 

At 6:14am our sweet third baby was pulled from my stomach, in a room full of life-saving strangers, while I was out and Steven was pacing in another room. Around 6:25am back in our birthing room, Steven was handed our newest son. Ayker Alexander, 9lbs 6oz 21 3/4”. I started coming out of anesthesia and am told I asked a lot of questions multiple times, but around 7:20am I can consciously remember getting to set eyes on the little face I carried around for almost 40 weeks. 

It all happened so fast but I was super calm. I keep waiting for this rush of emotions over the whole thing but I think I’m just so happy we are both alive that I’m okay with how it all went down. This was not the birth story we envisioned but after two beautiful natural births I'm glad we still decided to go with the midwife team at Essentia because the third time isn't always a charm. It really threw it into perspective for me when the on call OB came in the next day and said “now you had a true emergency C-section, sometimes that term is thrown around lightly but yours really was an emergency.”

Photography by the amazing Dalayna McKnight

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