Steven was born June 10, 2011. He was 9 lbs 15 oz and 22.5 inches long! I was between 1 and 2 weeks overdue (each ultrasound predicted a different due date) so I had to be induced. They gave me the epidural and for the first few hours it was working but then I noticed I could feel my legs and I could REALLY feel the contractions! I told the nurse several times that the epidural wasn't working but she kept telling me everything was fine and it was just pressure. Steven was our second baby, so I knew what it was supposed to feel like. (After delivering, the same nurse told me that my epidural was kinked in 2 places!) I started pushing and a few minutes later the nurses told me to stop while they paged the doctor because I was ready to deliver! The doctor took a little while to get to us because he was with another patient. Once he got there I pushed a few times and Steven's head came out, then the doctor said his shoulder was stuck in my pelvis and he paged for all the available nurses/doctors to come to our room immediately! My husband was pushed to the back of the room, the "unfortunate pharmacy student" (who had previously asked if she could sit in on my delivery) was crying in the corner of the room, 3 nurses jumped up on my bed and started pushing on my stomach, 2 nurses stood on either side of me and pushed my feet up to the bed next to my head. I was pushing with every ounce of energy left in my body. They were pushing so hard on my stomach that I couldn't take a breath, I feared the worst and I prayed God would save my baby. After a lot of pushing, reaching and pulling, the doctor got Steven out. He was very swollen and bruised, and he was very calm and quiet. When your baby is first born you WANT to hear them screaming, and when they don't, you worry. My husband and I were scared beyond belief when we didn't hear him cry... then they took him away without letting us see him. He was moving around and breathing but he wasn't crying, and he wasn't moving his right arm. Then we heard the sound we wanted to hear! Steven started to cry and my husband and I so relieved!
The nurses took Steven to get an X-Ray to see if his clavicle was broken and ran other tests to make sure he wasn't deprived of oxygen or have any other injuries. While the nurses and pediatrician had Steven, the doctor explained to us that he was very worried Steven wouldn't come out, and if he waited any longer he could have been oxygen deprived and the situation could have become much worse. He explained that Steven had Shoulder Dystocia, which means his shoulder became stuck in my pelvic bone. He said that his nerves were in shock and he wasn't able to move his right arm. At that time, they weren't sure if Steven would heal on his own or need therapy and/or surgery. Hearing this news crushed my husband and I. We were numb, we didn't know what to think or do. My husband kept saying Steven would be fine, while I was experiencing extreme guilt... after all, it was my job to take care of this precious baby boy and I felt like I didn't do my job. The doctor sensed my guilt and tried to reassure me that it wasn't my fault but inside I still knew it was.
The doctor's goal was to get Steven out, and even though I wish several things would have gone differently during my pregnancy and delivery, I was and always will be thankful that the doctor tried as hard as he did to get my baby boy out in that quick moment. We are blessed that he is alive and with us today.
The day we were supposed to go home they told us they wanted to keep us another day because Steven was jaundiced from all the bruising that occurred during his birth. We had to keep him under the Bili Light if he wasn't nursing or getting his diaper changed. After a full day and night under the light he was cleared to go home. I was more scared to take my second baby home than I was my first baby! I was worried that we might accidentally pick him up wrong, or hurt his arm in some way. It seemed almost impossible to strap him into a car seat. My husband and I were extremely nervous anytime anyone wanted to hold him. We made sure everyone knew not to touch his arm or pull on it in any way. We found ourselves wanting to cuddle and love on him, but not picking him up for fear of hurting him. We decided that we weren't just going to sit back and "wait" for his nerves to recover, like we had been instructed. We asked our pediatrician to refer us to a specialist when Steven was a few days old. We were referred to an Orthopedic Surgeon who saw us for a few months and then referred us to a hand/arm surgeon. We stopped there and did our own research about what type of doctor we should be taking our son to. We found Cincinnati Brachial Plexus Center and we are so happy we did! If this injury happens to your child you need to find a Brachial Plexus Specialist!