Here it is. The story of my fourth child’s birth. I hope you enjoy reading it and I hope it encourages your heart.
Maxwell Finney Sorge
Sunday night, May 16th, I was laying in bed. Frustrated from having contractions for several days and nothing was picking up. I prayed out loud to Jesus and surrendered my body, the birth, Maxwell, the surrounding circumstances of family going out of town and not wanting them to miss the birth, and surrendering my own wishes and hopes for this birth to Jesus. I put myself in His hands and ended the prayer. I closed my eyes to go to sleep. Contractions started. Nothing too intense but I definitely had to focus on them. They were about every 5 minutes apart from 12:30am- 6:30am. I stayed awake by myself, took a bath, watch a birthing video, watched another movie, and then finally went to sleep around 6:30am. I woke up a few hours later and got dressed. I went to my midwives appointment at 10am that Monday morning, May 17th. I was having small contractions but nothing intense and nothing consistent. I was dialated to a 4-5 and they stripped my membranes and sent me home, saying I was definitely in early labor and would have a baby probably later in the day maybe closer to midnight.
I went home and decided to take a walk around my neighborhood. It was about 11:30am and I got Alexander and Audrey in the double stroller and went a ‘strollin’. I came home 20 minutes later with completely wet pants. My water broke. Joel and I had planned on going to grab lunch somewhere with the kids because it would be our last time with just 3 kids and eating out gets pretty hard to do with 4 kids, or so I’ve been told. I wasn’t having contractions, so I decided that labor would start when it wanted to and I was safe to go to D’Bronx for an hour and eat a slice of pizza.
We packed in the car and headed to D’Bronx. I called the midwives and ended up having to leave a voicemail. I told them my water broke around noon and that I would come in when my contractions really picked up and I knew I was in labor. I asked them to call me if there was anything else I needed to know.
We got home from lunch around 1:30pm and I decided to lay down for a little nap. One of my midwives called and said that I needed to be at the hospital at 4pm because I was GBS positive and my water had broken and they needed to start an iv with an antibiotic. I figured I had 3 or 4 hours to relax and hopefully get some sleep. I laid down and contractions started coming. I talked to a few people and they said not to wait too long because I would probably go pretty fast being I was already dialated to a 4.
At around 2:30pm, I got up to use the restroom, and Sheila, my midwife called me saying that I needed to get to the hospital right now. She was worried that I was going to dialate super fast and she wanted to get me there asap. As soon as I hung up the phone with her, my contractions came on fast and hard. I knew we had to get to the hospital NOW. We called our babysitter, Chauntelle Hall, and thankfully she was able to come right over. She was at our house within 5 minutes, and we headed to the hospital.
I knew something was up when I had 5 contractions getting from the car to the hospital entrance. I was in full blown labor and I could barely walk. As soon as we got up to the maternity floor, I asked to use the restroom and get into a gown immediately. Liesl Arteaga, my dear friend and nurse practicioner, was there to assist me during labor. I got into the bed and asked for them to start the iv with the antibiotic asap because I wanted to get in the tub. Thinking I had to endure such intense labor for several more hours was getting me freaked out and I wanted in the jacuzzi, yesterday.
They are required to do a 20 minute fetal monitoring strip to see how the baby is doing. Praise the Lord for this required test!!!! I laid there having hard contraction after contraction, and they noticed that Max’s heart rate was dropping during my contractions. By now, it was 3:30pm. I had been at the hospital for 30 minutes. I knew something was wrong, when they gave me an oxygen mask and when they saw that I had meconium stained amniotic fluid. Also, they checked me again and I was only at a 5. Sheila, my midwife came in and sat on the bed to check me herself. She put her hand up and said the words, “O no we have a cord.” Next thing I knew was everyone went crazy. People were yelling across halls and Sheila said, “Anna, we have a prolapsed cord and we need to get him out asap.” I just started praying “Jesus come” at the top of my lungs and praying in tongues. Sheila, my amazing midwife, stayed on the hospital bed with me, with her hand holding the cord away from Maxwell’s head. I just kept praying. Now I was in the OR. Joel wasn’t allowed to come. Because of how fast everything happened they had no time for an epidural and I was given general anesthetic. I just kept praying at the top of my lungs through the mask, “Jesus come, Jesus come, Jesus come.” Doctors and nurses were shouting at each other to get things, turn the lights up, get the anesthesiologist so they could get Max out!!! It all happened so suddenly. The only 2 things I remember, is I had a huge contraction right before going under, and they were able to get the fetal monitor on me and we heard a strong heartbeat. That made me have hope that Max was okay, and the other was that the doctor performing the surgery leaned over to my ear and just kept whispering, “It’s going to be okay, you’ll be asleep soon, just keep praying, just keep praying.” And I prayed.
Next thing I know, I am awake and in a hospital room. Joel was standing next to me, smiling, saying Maxwell was okay and in the NICU. He had taken a huge gulp of meconium coming out of the uterus and they were working with him. I remember feeling so much peace during this time. The presence of the Lord was with me and Joel and I had surrendered this all to Him the night before. I felt that I was in the Lord’s hands and regardless how terrible these circumstances were, the Lord was in control.
My different family members I had invited to be at Max’s birth, came in 2 or 3 at a time to see me, Rachel, Grace, Mercy, my mom, Marci, Katie, and Liesl.
Thankfully, Sheila and my doctor, Dr. Schwartz had taken an hour to go sit and talk with my waiting family members and explain to them in detail what happened and why it happened. I am so thankful that they did this as it brought such a peace to my family to have their questions answered.
Definition of Umbilical cord prolapse- is an obstetric emergency during pregnancy or labor that imminently endangers the life of the fetus. Cord prolapse is very rare and only occurs in 1 out of every 300 births or about 0.14% of all births. It happens when the umbilical cord precedes the fetus’ exit from the uterus. It is often concurrent with the rupture of the amniotic sac. After this happens, the fetus moves downward into the pelvis and puts pressure on the cord. As a result, oxygen and blood supplies to the fetus are diminished or cut-off and the baby must be delivered quickly.
In my case, my water broke at noon, and that’s when the cord slipped down ahead of Max. With each contraction, it was cutting off oxygen to Max therefore causing his heart rate to dramatically decrease into the 60’s when it should have been in the 130’s. That put stress on the poor little guy and he passed meconium during that period.
My water broke at noon, contractions came on hard at 2:30pm, I got to the hospital at 3pm, Max was born at 3:52pm.
Sheila came in the next day to talk with me. She explained to me that Maxwell is my miracle baby. Normally, from the time they call a c-section to the time they actually take the first cut, it is 30 minutes. In my case, they called the c-section and Maxwell was out in 17 minutes. It was one of the fastest emergency c-sections they have ever done. Sheila, who fractured her knee in December, squatted on my bed holding his head back away from the umbilical cord for 20 minutes. She is my hero!!! Throughout my contractions, she kept her hand there and actually had some bruising on her hand from the pressure of my contractions. In the ten minutes before Max was delivered, I went from 5 centimeters dialated to an 8. My contractions were very strong and Sheila did an amazing job of keeping her hand in place and squatting for such a prolonged period with her bad knee. I am eternally grateful. Sheila made a comment after the whole thing, saying “Anna, God wanted this baby more than any of your other babies.” She is not a believer and had to proclaim the goodness of the Lord in this situation. She said that if I had come into the hospital 30 minutes later, we would either have a dead baby or a severely brain damaged baby. Max really was in the Lord’s hands and the Lord brought him forth. My doctor described this as a perfect outcome to a terrible situation.
Within 2 hours after having a c-section, I was in a wheelchair on my way to the NICU. I was dying to see my baby. The neonatal doctor who had been at the c-section, explained to me how scared everyone was for me and the situation. She said she fully expected Max to come out not breathing. Max came out crying, praise the Lord, but had swallowed a huge bit of meconium. He immediately had his stomach pumped and spent 6 days in the NICU recovering. I will not go into detail about what happened that week in the NICU and me in the hospital while Joel stayed at home with the kids. It was a long hard week, full of ups and downs. I thank each and every family member and friend who prayed, helped out, brought me meals, and watched my children.
I praise the Lord for bringing my baby out in health and wholeness! My heart rejoices. Even though this is not the birth I envisioned, it is the birth I had. And I rejoice in the Lord, for He is only good, only sovereign, and has good plans for me and for Maxwell Finney. I pray that this encourages your heart as you read it. For the Lord truly is King over our lives and He will bring us through whatever trials
Max just a week old