Hi friends, we wanted to share the details of Goldie’s premature birth. The delivery was a very intense experience, but we wanted to share the highs and the lows of this life-changing week.
Our little Goldie Bloom Menzel was born this Friday, July 10th at 12:40pm, 6 weeks before her due date.
Birth Story (Feel free to skip this part if you’re not a fan of medical stuff):
This isn’t an easy week/day for us to think about, it make us feel ill just going through the experience. But, we know that it is important to go through and if we don’t write it out now we will forget the details of the story.
On Monday July 6th I met my midwife at the hospital around noon, because I had been bleeding that morning. As she monitored me I started having mild contractions. I wasn’t dilated, but some blood tests showed that my body was producing an early labour hormone. I was admitted to the hospital right away. The contractions continued all week. I laid in bed hooked up to monitors as the pre-labour pains went up and down in intensity and frequency over the days. I only dilated 2cm over the week, and they decided to send me home since my contractions were fading. As soon as we got home they got stronger and closer together, but I tried my best to just breathe through them.
As soon as I got in bed for the night I noticed I was bleeding again, so we rushed back to the hospital. I was having strong contractions every 4 minutes. When we arrived I was 3cm dilated – not much progress, but they re-admitted me because I was so early. I finally received a shot of morphine and had the greatest couple hours of pain free sleep!
I continued to labour through the night and they were starting to plan an Emergency C-section. Then at about 10am it was time to start pushing. I pushed for a couple hours and not much was happening. They tried to break my water but realized that there were no membranes! Somewhere along the way the membranes had broken without us knowing. It was extremely discouraging to be pushing as hard as possible with every contraction, but hearing “Push harder! Push Harder!” I knew by everyones’ faces that nothing was happening.
Finally they started to see the head. The Dr began pulling on her and doing everything they could to get her out. Her head was very swollen, so forceps weren’t an option because they couldn’t even tell where her face was. She was stuck! The swelling had caused her stomach to be as wide as her body is long. It was a horrifying moment. The Dr was pulling on her head while two nurses were pushing my stomach trying to squeeze her out! Finally, I had the feeling of relief… until they laid her on my chest to cut the cord and realized her body was completely lifeless, silent & pulseless. They quickly cut the cord and began to revive her. The midwife and nurses, in an effort to distract me, immediately got me to start pushing the out the placenta – once again it was stuck! The cord ripped, creating a frantic and traumatizing scene that is very hard for David or myself to think about. Goldie was rushed out of the room and I was rushed to the OR for surgery. They needed to remove the bits of placenta with me unconscious.
While I was asleep they gave me two blood transfusions. Earlier in the day, doctors had noticed that my Hemoglobin was half of what is should be. This whole time, David sat in the room I delivered in while both Goldie and I were in critical condition. He got a chance to see Goldie briefly but only because the doctors needed to let him know that they were expecting she wouldn’t survive the next few hours. I was brought back to the room 4 hours later and saw David, my family, and learned that Goldie was alive, although in rough shape.
At this point we were all in a state of shock and I can’t really even remember what happened after that, other than waiting on updates about our baby. David went to the NICU to go see Goldie and disappeared for a long time. When he came back a few hours later, I learned that his body had gone into some type of shock due to the stress, and he was being cared for in emergency.
Over the next few days I continued to receive blood transfusions, because my blood count was still low and I couldn’t really function or process this situation. We had family around all the time and lots of care from the Dr’s and nurses to get me back to health and to let us know Goldie’s state.
Yesterday (Monday, July 13) my blood count was finally up and I was discharged. I am feeling more alive & present and we have been given a place to stay as a family at the Ronald McDonald House in the Hospital so that we can be just a hallway away from Goldie at all hours.
We have had a lot of people ask if Goldie is sick because she came early, but it’s the opposite. My body knew that Goldie was very sick and that is why she came early. At some point in the last 14 weeks Goldie and my placenta became very sick. They don’t know why, how, or with what, but they both began to swell and Goldie’s body began filling with fluid everywhere. They don’t know her actual weight but she came out 6 weeks early looking heavier than a full term baby from all the swelling. This explains the major growth spurt I had this past month in pregnancy, and why I had absolutely zero energy.
There isn’t too much to explain about Goldie’s condition because it is all unknown. Every part of her body is being supported in someway, she is on a lot of medication to be kept somewhat paralyzed so that they can keep her lungs and heart going. The past couple days they have been very slowly letting up on different supports or medications and her body has remained stable, so that is a good sign. Her body is slowly leaking fluid everywhere, which is causing her swelling to go down. As they are easing up on the medication she has been able to start moving just slightly. It is so wonderful to see her move her toes when I touch her foot, or slightly suckle when they clean out her mouth. We’re celebrating the small victories, like her peeing for the first time yesterday, but still taking it hour by hour and know that things could turn around for better or worse at any moment. She has a lot of trauma to her body from delivery; stitches on her neck, cuts & bruises, a broken arm and a few other things.
We spend a lot of time visiting her room and just talking to her little body laying in the incubator. Every morning we go and listen to the daily report of the Doctors on what is going on, and what their daily goals are for her. The nurses tell us everything that they are doing, and let us do any small thing we can. Last night I got to clean her mouth with breast milk, and put lubricant in her eyes. It brings me so much joy! It’s been so encouraging see how much her medical team cares. Yesterday a nurse gave me a long hug because she was so excited to see that she had made some small progress… As I’m writing this David came back to the room to report that they received info back on the heart and may have had been overly optimistic of it’s stability, and we are still very much at the point of taking it moment to moment.
It’s been such a crazy, life-changing week already – one of those things where you never expect it to be you. You never think you’ll be the family with the sick baby or the crazy story. But we know that God has a plan, and are so encouraged by the amount of prayers, support, love and meals we have received from our families, friends, and community. We hope and pray for Goldie’s body every day and we long for the first time we get to hold her, hear her cry, and feel like a family together. We don’t have any feelings of “why us”, anger, regret, or confusion. We have peace knowing that God has this in his plan and already knows the number of days we will have with Goldie in our lives. Whether we have a lifetime with her, or one last night, we’ve had the blessing of seeing her little life, and God has completely changed ours.