Every mother has a different birth story to tell and everyone has probably heard a countless number of birth stories, especially if you’re pregnant. At least while I was pregnant, I heard happy ones, uneventful ones, terrible ones, hilarious ones, etc…I should have known during my pregnancy that nothing was going to go according to plan. Even though I didn’t really have a plan, I was hoping it would at least go smoothly. Now, I would like to tell my story.
Before I tell you about the day my son was born, let me backtrack a little to my pregnancy. The first trimester was pretty typical, lots of morning sickness that lasted all day long and actually lasted until about 20 weeks. That sucked. Then in my second trimester, this is the time everyone says is the easiest and most manageable. Nope. I caught a cold and was sick with congestion, cough, and asthma for about 2 months. Then my third trimester rolled around and I ended up having gestational diabetes! So not only was I so uncomfortable, but I had to count carbs now too?!! On the bright side, I only gained 14 lbs throughout my whole pregnancy. I am by no means complaining about my experience, I am just so happy that part is over.
Warning: This is going to be long, so I totally understand if you don’t want to read on =)
Okay, now onto the good stuff. Because I had gestational diabetes and the baby didn’t seem to be growing much, we ended up inducing 5 days prior to my due date. The good part about it was that we were able to be prepare everything prior to the baby coming. We checked into the hospital around 7:15pm. I wasn’t dilated at all so they gave me a drug to soften the cervix and help me along before they planned on giving me pitocin in the morning to induce and start contractions. Well, we didn’t get that far. I didn’t need pitocin because my contractions started right away. They were right on top of each other, not giving me much time to relax in between. My baby’s heart rate wasn’t variable enough so they had to put me on oxygen and made me move from side to side to try and get his heart rate up. My water finally broke a few hours later and the nurse checked to see my progression…2cm. What? Only 2cm? I thought I was such a wuss for wanting the epidural already, but I had my husband ask anyway. They said it would take 30 minutes because the anesthesiologist was in the OR. Aghhh! By the time the nurse came back into the room, I was vomiting. The anesthesiologist finally got in and gave me the epidural. It didn’t take at first, I was still feeling the horrifying contractions, but then that wonderful man gave me an extra dose and I finally felt relief. 10 minutes after I received the epidural, the nurse checked me one more time…”I can see his hair! It’s time to push.” Looking back, I am so glad I asked for that epidural when I did. They had to use the vacuum on the little guy because his heart rate kept dropping, but after only 3 pushes, he was out screaming his little head off.
That’s not the end of my story.
While my son was on my chest and the doc was stitching me up, I started to tremble a bit. I’ve heard of this happen to other people so i totally thought this was normal. About 20 minutes after, the doc called in another doc to assist for I don’t know what reason, but I’m assuming it was because I was still bleeding. After about 30-40 minutes, I was shaking uncontrollably and I started to feel really cold. I handed our newly born son to my husband and told him that something was wrong. He later told me he already knew I was going into shock. While the docs were pressing on my belly to contract my uterus, I saw the blood that gushed out of me and immediately started to throw up again (sorry for the details). They rushed me to the OR. I was still alert and aware of everything except I didn’t know the severity of it. Before they got me in the OR, I could see the worry in Mike’s face, and I think that scared me the most. I could also see in the nurses’s faces, especially the ones that looked like they just graduated high school, that this was something they normally don’t get to witness. Before they did anything I had to sign paperwork to give consent in case they needed to perform a hysterectomy. I signed without a blink of an eye. From what I could gather, there was about 5-6 surgeons in the room and about 6 more nurses/assistants. The last thing I remember is a doctor with a British accent talking to me while putting a central line in my jugular. Then someone started holding my hand. I couldn’t open my eyes to see who it was, but I was grateful. I have enough faith in God to know that everything happens for a reason, so at that point I wasn’t scared anymore, I just started praying, mostly about being thankful to God for allowing me to see my son being born and praying for Him to give Mike strength to raise our son alone in case I didn’t make it. I know that sounds dramatic, but it was the first time in my life I actually felt like it might have been my time.
I woke up in recovery. They told me they had to give me 9 units of blood and that the bleeding was coming from a long cervical laceration and they were able to stitch it up. Unfortunately, I had to go back into the OR a second time so they could check that the hemorrhaging had officially stopped. They transferred me to Sharp Memorial to be admitted into the surgical ICU where they had to give me one more unit of blood because I was still had a low hemoglobin count. From here on, it was all about recovery. The worst part about it was I could only see my baby twice a day for about 15 minutes. Fortunately, I was was able to go home within a week at my request.
So, that’s my story, it was definitely one of the most traumatic experiences for me, but I am so grateful that it was me who had the complications and not my son. I’ll take that any day.
At home, I’m still recovering but it’s getting better everyday. I’m walking better, getting stronger, and the pain is starting to subside, making it easier to take care of my baby. Thank the Lord for my parents that are both retired and only live 20 minutes away. They have been a tremendous help to us!
Aaron James is one-month old today and driving me crazy (in a good way). It’s still so weird to say that I’m a mom but I’m sure it will hit me sooner or later. All I’m trying to do right now is keep him alive, haha. No one could have ever explained to me what it was like to be a first time parent, now I understand.
Here’s Aaron visiting me in the hospital (left) and the two of us 3 weeks later (right).
Here’s one of Aaron and Mike while we were still in the hospital.
I always knew that Mike would be a good dad some day, but he has surpassed all my expectations. He really stepped up when I couldn’t be there for Aaron, and he took care of me when I couldn’t take care of myself. I can’t imagine how stressful it would be to be in his shoes. I see the love he has for the two of us and there’s nothing he wouldn’t do for us. I believe he is a better dad than I will ever be a mom (that sounds weird, but I hope you know what I mean). I am very blessed.