Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Belated: Birth Story, June 3, 2009.

Albeit belated, here is the *looong* birth story. It was QUITE an event, for sure.

Well, the story begins the night before the induction. My blood pressure had spiked again to a lovely 170/110. I called the on call doctor, who said to go on in to L&D and to bring 'all my stuff', as they'd probably keep me until the induction the next morning. So, of course my blood pressure went back down by the time we got there, and L&D was full/ too busy due to the full moon. They sent us home at 1:30am, and we were told to come back at 8am for the induction. I was wired, and didn't get to sleep until about 3:30am.

Fast forward to the induction. The pitocin got started around11am. I was still only 1cm dilated and about 80% effaced. At 1pm, they decided to make things more interesting by breaking my waters. Strangely this didn't hurt nearly as much as an internal exam, though the warm gush of fluid was really weird. An hour or two later, I was having painful back labor and asked for drugs. I guess it was too early for the epidural, so I got some nubain. It made my eyes really loopy, but took the pain away for a good couple of hours. Finally it was time for the epidural. (I'm not sure what time it was by this point) It really wasn't as bad as I had expected! Then I continued to nap. Naps are good. When it was getting closer to the time for me to push, the pain kept getting worse. I asked if I the epidural was still working- so they called in the anesthiologist, who did some kind of pain test by scratching on my belly. My belly was totally numb, but my crotch was NOT! The Dr. said my epi was working just fine, and I didn't need more meds. I could still feel and move my feet, and I definitely felt everything else. The contractions were probably a little less painful, but that's about it. I had seen one of those BabyStory shows w/ a natural birth and remember them talking about the pushing and how you have to push through the 'ring of fire' when the head is crowning. Yeah.... I felt that! There's no way I should have felt that w/ an epidural... Anywho...

While the pitocin was running the contractions kept coming. They had to turn it off for me /baby to rest twice after the baby was in distress. Without the pitocin, the contractions stopped progressing altogether, which made the whole process last longer. (12:45 total from induction until birth)

I'd say it was 10-ish when it was determined that I was ready to push... we did that for a little bit, but it jacked my blood pressure and dropped my oxygen levels. Enter the oxygen mask. My crappy lungs did not have an easy time of the whole 'hold your breath and push' thing. I hyperventilated a lot and had a very difficult time breathing in general. At one point (I think), the baby was in distress again and things got serious. My doctor said we needed to get the baby out NOW. (ugh)
By this point I had been 'in labor' since 11am (it's probably 11pm at this point), and my water had been broken for 8 hours. Because the baby wasn't progressing as quickly as everyone would have liked, my Dr. decided to use the vacuum to assist in the birth. I would have agreed to just about anything at this point! Just

Even with the vacuum and an (very) extensive episiotomy, the birth was difficult. Baby was BIG... I am NOT. David said there was no slithering, and he did NOT come flying out like you see on TV. Windsor Foster was born at 11:45pm. And then things got really interesting!

They (nurses, I'd assume) whisked the baby over to the warmer to assess and clean him up. While this is going on, my Dr. was trying to deliver the placenta. I don't think it was budging, or I couldn't push it out, or something. All I know is that it was a Problem. I couldn't hear Windsor cry, so I frantically asked if he was ok. (he was) I guess when I got the answer I began to sob. At this point, what I'm writing I have NO recollection of. I've pieced it together between what David and my Dr. told me happened.

I then turned white as a ghost and closed my eyes and stopped breathing. I had passed out. The doctor called it a vegel reaction. I seized, they called a 'code blue' (think ER!) and a gazillion doctors and nurses came running. David got whisked out of the room with Windsor and a nurse. The last person he saw running down to my room was the hospital chaplain. By that time someone had told him I was going to be ok, but can you imagine? I don't know what they did to bring me around, but I had a very large bruise on my right arm from *something* involving that ordeal.

We were kept in Labor and Delivery until 4am when everyone was satisfied that I was stable enough to go down to recovery. Usually you're kept for an hour post-delivery and are then transferred to the post-partum recovery area. I was kept for 4. I was extremely weak, swollen, tired, and in pain. Once down in 'recovery' they woke me up every hour (super annoying, but necessary) and my (still) sky high blood pressure. Once it was morning, my Dr. came back in to check on me and ordered the blood transfusion to help with my anemia. A normal person's iron level is 12. Mine was 6. That's one of the factors that contributed to the complications during delivery. After I got 2 units of blood my levels went up to 9. As I write this they're at about 10.5.

Well, you might be wondering where the baby went for all of that. He was taken to the nursery for the night and I didn't see him until 10-ish the next morning. I really was still too weak to deal with him, and I was told to not breast feed until I had more strength back. David sprung him from the nursery / 'baby jail' around 10am the next morning, and Windsor hung out with us for most of the day. Grandparents all visited (and were thrilled as punch to meet baby Windsor!) and I got the blood transfusions-- it took about 4 hours to 'download', and I slept for most of that time. Apparently I still looked awful / white as a ghost... The phone kept ringing with well wishes, and David told people to not come to visit- I was pretty weak and not up to dealing with people. (grandparents included, but you can't say no to them!) Windsor was doing really well on his first day on the 'outside' --loving his formula bottles and making the appropriate wet / dirty diapers. His apgar scores were 8 / 9 at the 1 and 5 minute marks post birth. That's great! This whole time it's always been *me* that's the problem; baby Win has been completely perfect. (he *is* genetically perfect, you know. lol)

Friday morning (2nd day after delivery) my OB stopped by, and said I could be released if my blood work improved enough. Thankfully it had. We were released (only had to sign ONE piece of paper! You have to sign more to adopt a cat these days!) Around 4pm and were on our way HOME. Ok, so we stopped at McDonald's (baby's 1st McD's) and the bank on the way. If anything, it was nice to be home and in my own bed and eat my own food again. While I did feel a lot better after the blood transfusion, my blood pressure was still really high and I was still rather weak. I was put back on bed rest for the whole next week. David's parents were really helpful in caring for Win and letting me 'rest' (eg: sleep... alot...), albeit I was a little miffed at them for being 'baby-hogs'. I was back at the Dr. on Monday and Wednesday the week after he was born. My blood pressure started to go down, and the fluid I was retaining started to come off. Somehow I lost (peed) 7lbs between Monday and Wednesday. Nuts!
David had planned to go back to work that Wednesday, but because I was not even close to 100%, he took off the rest of the week. I got the OK to drive again when he went back to work on the 15th. Yay! Mind you I had been on bed rest for 2-3 weeks before delivery, so I was dying to get out of the house and do *something*. Anything... outside of the house.

My next OB appt isn't for another three weeks- that'll be my 6 week follow-up. I'm supposed to be all 'healed', but who knows if that's really the case. I still can't tell how extensive the stitches were, other than that David tells me that she spent a 'long time sewing you up'. Mmmmm hmmmm.
It surprises me each day how much better I feel. I didn't realize how bad I really felt before delivery! I felt BAAAAD. Like I probably should have been in the hospital bad. I do wonder why I didn't get the blood transfusion before the birth, but perhaps it's bad to do that w/ a pregnant woman. I don't know. (another thing to ask at my 6w appt) I wonder what she'll say about how to manage another pregnancy. This pregnancy was generally pretty OK until 34-36 weeks when the blood pressure went wacko. I was anemic at the beginning, and had bad all-day sickness, but nothing life threatening or too unusual.

One of my close friends is also expecting- she's about 4 weeks behind me and had talked to her OB about what had happened to me. Her Dr. said that they did everything right, and that my Dr. didn't do a c-section because of the anemia-- that I would have probably bled out on the table. I had *no idea* it was "that bad". (it was worse!) The delivery was 'that bad' because there wasn't really any other choice to get him out since a c/s was too risky. The more I think about it and hear about other people's experiences, mine sounds all that worse.


Elana Kahn said...

Your story gives me flashbacks to my delivery (which was a C-Section). I was also anemic, although not as bad as you were. I needed 4 units of blood while I was in the OR. My son's placenta separated before delivery (I was at home), so I was essentially bleeding to death and didn't know it. All I knew was I was in serious pain and needed the hospital asap. They needed to do all sorts of things to me while I was under anesthesia just to keep me alive, and the twins weren't really breathing when they were born. *sigh* Not fun! Next time you and I take our iron pills like candy, ok?

Julie said...

WOW so glad everything turned out great.

Hua said...


What an eventful birth story! I'm glad to hear that you are feeling better now!

I really enjoyed reading your blog. With your positive outlook on life, I feel that your blog would be a great addition to Wellsphere's HealthBlogger Network (HBN). The HBN has over 2,600 bloggers that share a common goal to share their knowledge with others, which enables Wellsphere to provide information that is personal and relevant to over 6 million visitors a month.

You must be super busy taking care of the baby but when you have time, please visit our Health Blogger Network at, where you can apply to join. Or just email me at hua [at] wellsphere [dot] com.

Have a great day!
Director of Blogger Networks

Me said...

Hi. I'm the one who sent you the message on FF about the table being kept for CCRM'ers who do PGS testing. It is in the thread titled "CHG/MA/PB Chart - Need Info" on the Colorado board on IVFC.

(I couldn't send you the link on FF because they get all Nazi about promoting other boards and would have blocked the message.)

Ally said...

This is a fab story, so happy you have a baby boy now congrats!! I'm also going through a long process in trying to conceive. We have problems too and after a few failed iuis we started on ivf. Have put back two fresh embryos today so it will be a two to four week wait for any news.

I'm quite restless by nature so am a little frustrated as to how I can get through this period of time stress-free and positive hehe. :)

RD Robertson said...

Thanks for sharing your birth story. I really like it.