Hannora Nicole Crouse: The Beginning

Karyn called me at 7:30 p.m. last night to let me know that she thought she was having contractions. She was going to take it easy and had an assignment to report to her midwife (via phone) an hour later. At 8:07 p.m., she sent a text message stating that she was going to the hospital.

I arrived at the hospital around 9:30 p.m.—after all the scary excitement. Karyn’s contractions became really intense and painful really fast, so she and Bryan rushed to the hospital. The baby’s heart rate had dropped really quickly without cause. The women in my family are high-risk for needing Cesarean sections, and Karyn was no different.

I spent the night in the room with Karyn and Bryan, nurses coming in every half hour or so to check in. Progress was slow, but everything was looking okay. The midwife prescribed pitocine, but very slowly. Around 4 a.m. (I think), another scare with baby who was not reacting very well to the pitocine. The nurse stopped that and added an amnioinfusion to help cushion the baby and relieve some of its stress. That ran for about two hours until the midwife began pitocine again. This time baby was much more receptive to it!

There was still a bit of talk about performing a Cesarean, but the nurses and midwife seemed confident in the amnioinfusion and pitocine. Contractions were sporadic and did become more intense for Karyn, but both she and the baby managed just fine. Dilation was slow, but the extra time allowed Karyn and Bryan to rest up as best as they could.

Things started to look up around 1:00 p.m. and the nurse prepped Karyn’s room for natural delivery—Karyn was dilated 6cm. Karyn’s final check-in was around 4:00 p.m. and her midwife confirmed that she was dilated the full 10cm—time to start pushing!

Karyn took many breaks between pushing at first, but everything seemed to be going well. Baby wasn’t coming too fast or disagreeing with the pressure. Bryan was a rock and helped Karyn with counting and breathing when the midwife and nurses were busy prepping the room.

At 5:32 p.m., my first niece, Hannora Nicole Crouse*, was born in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. She weighed 7lbs 0oz. She had a full head of dark hair and was good at crying! I took many photos of Bryan and Karyn with their beautiful little girl, but they’re all on Karyn’s camera at the hospital. I’m hoping to return tomorrow to snap a couple more photos that I can share right away, but the photos on Karyn’s camera are worth the wait, too.

I’m so proud and so happy for my sister and brother-in-law. They were happy and comfortable when I left the hospital to let them rest, and I’m sure they are head-over-heels excited about the addition to their family! I can’t wait to spend more time with them.

* Hannora was my maternal great-great-grandmother’s name.

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