SPECIAL Delivery

I joke with my family that after this delivery I am not sure I want anymore children.  Truth is, I don’t even know if I’m joking or serious.  It’s only been 4 weeks since Blake was born.  I’ve heard people say that once some time passes then you completely forget about how awful the delivery might’ve been, and you only remember him being born, and how wonderful it is.  Being a mother is wonderful, and I love Blake more than I could ever possibly have imagined, however, I do not want to have to go through the delivery again.

I write of this story here because it’s truth.  It’s what happened.  I didn’t have a beautiful natural, calming birth.  I sucked up the pain for as long as I could, got the epidural, and the rest….well…. My pregnancy was amazing.  I was only sick a handful of times, and toward the end my back started hurting, but other than that, I had it pretty easy.  I really loved being pregnant!  My doctor commented several times on my visits that I was a textbook pregnant patient: great blood pressure, great numbers, healthy baby, perfect amount of weight gain, and overall incredibly healthy myself.During one of my weekly appointments at week 37, my doctor checked my blood pressure and it was dangerously high. 160/99.  In that visit she checked my bp 5 times, yet it never went down.  I was placed on immediate “serious” bed rest and had to quit work immediately.  She said I’d developed preeclampsia.  
Preeclampsia is considered to be a dangerous pregnancy complication that is common.  Over the course of the next few days my bp continued to steadily rise, with the diastolic (bottom number) rising to 112 at one point.  On the day I was supposed to be induced my water broke naturally in the middle of the night.  The first few hours of labor were easy, with contractions coming and going as normal. At some point, I began bleeding much more than what was considered to be normal.  The nurses kept an eye on it and reported frequently to my doctor.  I was placed on a magnesium IV to lower my blood pressure.  Over the course of hours (and subsequent days) the magnesium did its job, but at the cost of extreme nausea and vomiting.  I continued to lose a lot of blood as my contractions increased, but the plan remained to monitor everything and continue on in hopes of no c-section. (I would’ve insisted on one had I known then…)  Nurses came in every few hours to draw blood to check my blood count. With hours of labor behind me (the exact number escapes me) I hadn’t yet requested the epidural.  My plan was to definitely get one, but to wait as long as I could.  I was told that upon my request the anesthesiologist would be in my room to inject within 15 minutes.  I waited until the pain was too much, which was around 7 cm.  Unfortunately, what was not communicated to me was that due to my preeclampsia and excessive bleeding, they were going to have to have to draw more blood for a CBC then wait for the results to come back before the epidural could be administered.  They wanted to ensure my blood count was high enough.  Fifteen minutes turned into an hour, and where the pain was topping my threshold before, an hour later it was almost unbearable.  Some could argue that I should’ve just waited it out at this point and not even bothered with getting it since I’d waited so long.  I still wanted it!When the anesthesiologist arrived I wanted to hug her! I was very nervous about getting it though, because I’ve heard horror stories about how large the needle is.  The staff did a good job of trying to calm me down.  I think I was most nervous about the pain when the needle went it, just because I’m a big baby. I always make things worse than they really should be. My husband held my hand, but I made him promise that he wouldn’t look at the needle going in because I didn’t want him to unintentionally make some kind of “surprise” face when he saw how big the needle was.  I knew that would freak me out even more.Oddly, the anesthesiologist positioned her finger in a certain place on my spine asking me if where she was touching felt like the middle of my spine.  Now, if you feel your spine you will notice it’s not a large area in width.  Trying to detect if it “feels” like the center wasn’t easy.  I told her that it felt like she was in a good spot (how the heck was I to know?)  She injected it.  Minutes later, after it was supposed to take affect, I noticed that the left side of me was numb but not the right.  So THAT’S why she asked me if she was centered.   I had told her a little too far to the left. Go me! The fix to this was to have me lay on my right side with the hope that the medicine would drift on over to the right.  It finally worked after 2 anesthesiologists came in to check on me and have me move positions several times.I was in labor for about 12 hours before I actually started pushing.  We’ll skip that whole part though…After Blake was born my doctor was unable to stop the bleeding.  After stitching me up due to ripping, I was rushed to the Operating Room to do what she called an “exploratory surgery”and a D & C to find out where the bleeding was coming from.  Little information was given to me or my family as to what was happening.  
One minute I was holding Blake and admiring our new addition, the next I was wheeled away. Nervous doesn’t even describe what I was feeling.  No one would tell me much of anything.  I just remember a bunch of people in scrubs scampering around a room, gathering medical supplies, with me just laying there with wondering eyes trying to understand what was happening. Now, when I get nervous I shake uncontrollably and I get really cold.  I remember laying in the OR and the nurses piling warming blankets on me, which ended up being 6 of them in total.  I asked to be put to sleep during the surgery but they wanted me awake, though they numbed me up really well.  There was a very sweet anesthesiologist who was doing his best to keep me calm.  He even wiped my tears away and kept stroking my hair, telling me how good I was doing and reassuring me everything was going to be just fine. The doctors weren’t communicating with me but I could hear every word they were saying (seriously? Couldn’t they talk in code?)  I say “doctors”, plural, because my doctor ended up calling in the head obstetrician in the hospital to aid her.  I heard things like “blood transfusion”and “what do we do?” After laying there and having NO information, and hearing some of the things they were saying, I couldn’t help but think the worst.  This may sound a little dramatic to some but I have never been so scared in my life.  I asked one of the nurses “Is this a life or death situation?” And she replied with “You’re going to be fine.”  The pessimist in me thought “You’re just saying that to make me feel better!”  I had to watch as they carried towels of blood from me to large bins.  (I really should’ve have been watching what they were doing.)  Looking back now I guess I was a fool for thinking I was actually going to die, but in the moment everything indicated so….at least from my point of view, and I remember thinking well at least Blake is okay, because that was all that really mattered to me. I was in surgery for nearly 2 hours.  I don’t remember much of what happened immediately after.  I’m sure I ended up falling asleep from the time surgery was over, to them wheeling me back into my hospital room.  After surgery I was taken back to my room where  I slept for the next 2 days.  I don’t remember much of anything.  Michael took care of Blake.  I had visitors but my memory of them is foggy.  The bleeding wasn’t explained 100% but was due to a few factors, and some unknown.  My cervix ripped during delivery, some of the placenta was stuck inside of me, and it was discovered I have fibroids.  She said it still didn’t explain ALL the bleeding. (Okaaaaaaaaaay?)Before I was discharged the doctor visited me to give me the run down.  A few factors played into what happened including fibroids, placental abruption, placenta accreta, and my cervix ripping.  She ended up placing a surgical balloon inside of me to stop the bleeding.  On the 3rd day they removed the magnesium IV after my blood pressure normalized.  I was so thankful not to have the nausea anymore, and I could finally keep food down! I was glad when we were finally able to come home.  Recovery took a few weeks, but I’m back to normal now and happy to be home with our beautiful baby boy!Before we left the hospital my doctor told me that if we decide to have more children, I need to make sure I communicate all the issues I had because it will most certainly all happen again.  At this point I don’t even want to think about going through that again! If we do decide to have more, I’m going to opt for a c-section.

They took blood often to make sure my blood count was where it should be.  Thankfully I did not need a blood transfusion after all, but it’s my understanding they were getting close to doing so. In the end, it’s all behind me.  It WAS all worth it for my little man though!  😉


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