20 February 2007

Birth Story

Okay, okay, the kid is now three years old, but I never did write this down, so here goes. Besides, I have a couple of other posts brewing, for which this will be background.

At the 20 week ultrasound, we learned that I had a complete placenta previa. But, by the follow-up ultrasound at 28 weeks, the placenta had moved out of the way. It was still low lying, but out of the way.

About two and a half weeks before my due date, I woke up at about 4am to go to the bathroom and discovered a gush of blood. I thought my water had broken. I called the doctor, and they sent me to Labor & Delivery. L&D checked me out, said it was probably the edge of the placenta lifting up as the cervix worked towards readiness, and sent me home a couple of hours later after confirming that the bleeding had stopped.

Two days later it happened again. This time, I was seen in L&D by one of the four OBs in my practice. He said I had to stay – one bleed was okay, but two wasn’t. After discussion, we decided that an induction was appropriate. So I spent all day Sunday hanging out in L&D waiting until a midnight dose of misoprostol – hospital policy says that inductions start at midnight - I guess to try and make the deliveries happen during office hours? The misoprostol got labor started by about 5am and things were cooking by the time OB#2 arrived – I was 4cm dilated around 8am. She thought, we thought, everyone thought she was going to deliver this baby. But no. Labor stalled. They added pitocin. I had an epidural. They broke my water. Nothing. OB#3 arrived around 3pm, and I’d only gotten to 5cm by 4pm, with increasing amounts of pitocin. No dice. OB#3 convinced us that a c-section was appropriate so off we went to the operating room around 5pm.

The section was not nice. To start with, there was a tiny spot along the incision where the nerves weren’t blocked. OUCH. From there on, it’s kind of a blur. I remember W. looking over the drape and taking a picture of the baby coming out (8 pounds 4 ounces at 5:36pm). I remember him coming back after she was cleaned up and sitting by my head with baby M. in his arms, and I remember stroking her cheek. I remember saying to the anesthesiologist “I don’t feel good,” and “I think I’m going to pass out.” I remember seeing someone hang a bag of blood for a transfusion. And then I remember waking up in recovery and seeing OB#4.

It turned out that after the baby and the placenta were out, the uterus failed to contract properly and I lost about two liters of blood. They gave me two units of blood. OB#3, who’d started the section, thought she might have to do an emergency hysterectomy, and so called in OB#4 for back-up. As it happened, they got the bleeding stopped and didn’t do a hysterectomy, but I was in the OR for about two hours, and in recovery for about 16 hours. The baby was in the nursery that whole time. I didn’t get to hold my baby until about 22 hours after she was born, when I was finally settled in my room.


Aurelia said...

Oh Magpie, holy mackeral....wow. Please tell me you don't have long-term damage, and this is the most dramatic it gets.

Mayberry said...

That is harrowing. No wonder it took you three years to write it down!

Anonymous said...

All I can say is Wow. I'm glad you both made it through that.

Magpie said...

Thank you all. No long term damage, though sometimes I've wondered what would happen if I had another baby. Not that there's much chance of that, given the difficulty of getting pregnant with Miss M., and that I'm 46 now.

Anonymous said...

How scary! And not entirely numbed--oh no! Having babies can be so frightening. Glad all turned out well, considering.

Anonymous said...

Phew! I'm so glad you're okay, physically. Scary bleeding. It so sucks to have that separation, too. It is not what's supposed to happen.

FYI, it may be that your hospital times inductions that way b/c of the evidence that labors tend to start naturally in the early hours of the morning--something about oxytocin levels being higher then, or your body being more sensitive.

Which would be kind of a crunchy approach.