A Belated Birthday Birth Story

I originally intended to post this on my actual birthday, but I didn’t have any internet connection that week, and THEN I had so much else to post about, so this is a little late.

This is the story of the day I was born… but Mommy had a somewhat difficult pregnancy and her labor and delivery experience were NOT the norm, so if you are expecting (or you are squeamish) you might want to skip this one. Otherwise, you’re welcome for the free birth control!

Warning: Probable TMI ahead!

I was born at 10:29pm on Monday, August 24, 2009. I was 20 inches and 7 pounds 6 ounces.

And the details:

Mommy was in the kitchen making a late breakfast when she thought *maybe* her water had broken (She was 38 weeks pregnant). She went to the bathroom and didn’t feel anything major, so she went about her morning – checking her e-mail, reading a bit, etc. About 20 minutes later, she felt a similar amount of moisture so at that point, she called her doctor’s office, fully expecting to be told not to bother them since she wasn’t having contractions or anything, but they told her to come in and get checked out that afternoon.

Daddy and she headed off to the doctor’s office about 25 minutes later. They waited in the lounge for about 10 minutes or so before they hooked Mommy and me up to the fetal monitor. At that point, she was feeling a little ridiculous because she hadn’t felt any further moisture and had convinced herself that it was nothing…

The fetal monitor has 2 hook-ups: one to record the fetal heartbeat and one to monitor uterine pressure. My heartbeat was holding steady and the monitor immediately indicated some minor contractions – but that was really nothing new – Mommy had been having similar contractions on the monitor for about 6 weeks by then (She had gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia, so was monitored weekly). They leave you on the monitor for 20-30 minutes, though, before a doctor comes in for an exam and Mommy and I began to feel increasingly more and more uncomfortable… She sent Daddy out to tell the receptionist/nurse that she really needed to use the restroom so they needed to unhook us, but all of a sudden there was a TON of liquid – she was sitting in a pool. The doctor FINALLY came in and she told her what had happened and she sort of nodded like “whatever,” before starting the exam – Mommy had, after all, been fairly insistent that this was probably nothing not 10 minutes before…but amniotic fluid regenerates, plus she had been lying down so it just kept coming; the doctor barely checked before observing, “Oh, honey, your water DEFINITELY broke.” She sent us off to the hospital – Mommy wanted to stop at home and pick up her bag, but Dr. S didn’t think that was a good idea.

Daddy, at this point, got a little weird. First, he hooked up the GPS unit to find the best route from the doctor’s office to the hospital and REFUSED to just go the way we know when the GPS didn’t boot up. Our county is really not that big and we’ve been to the hospital multiple times (it’s only 7 miles from the doctor’s office – we know where it is) and Mommy convinced him to just go. Mommy asked Daddy to drive through the Dunkin’ Donuts because she knew once we were in the hospital they wouldn’t let her have anything and she was really thirsty – she hadn’t had anything to drink at all that morning. They went through the drive in (Daddy arguing the entire time)… and they gave her the entirely wrong order. They gave Daddy the wrong thing also, but that wasn’t their fault – he didn’t tell them he wanted his drink iced. Anyway, he had a little tantrum and made a U-turn to go back – he went inside this time and came back with the proper beverages. By then, Mommy was feeling a little crampy, but again no big deal.

We made it to the hospital and Daddy fought with Mommy over whether to drop her off or just park – and WHERE to park, but she convinced him that she could walk the 15 feet to the door and we headed up to Labor & Delivery, where they were expecting us.

They had Mommy change into a hospital gown and hooked us up to another fetal heartrate/uterine pressure monitor and interviewed her for her medical history. They also discussed her birth plan – which consisted ENTIRELY of 2 concepts: an epidural and exclusive breastfeeding. They took a blood sample and left us alone for a while. Mommy and Daddy watched on the monitor as her contractions got stronger for about an hour, but they were still perfectly manageable. (Daddy called and cancelled his afternoon plans at that point.) Mommy was in pain, but nothing she couldn’t handle. They were concerned with her and my blood pressure (because of the pre-eclampsia) and it was reading pretty high so they made her stay on her right side – which made her more uncomfortable – the contractions were getting increasingly painful and she couldn’t move around at all. They also came back with some blood test results – apparently the pregnancy had caused her platelet levels to drop dangerously low. They hooked her up to an IV (after SEVEN very painful failed attempts) and hung fluids in preparation for a possible platelet transfusion.

Dr. P stopped in with disconcerting news: because of the platelet levels, an epidural was not an option at all – Mommy could end up bleeding into her spinal cavity. That sort of terrified her and the contractions were getting stronger so she was almost in tears – and she couldn’t have any pain medication yet because they were waiting for her platelet transfusion first. In this time, she had slipped into active labor (REALLY quickly, timewise), so she spent an hour CRYING because we were waiting for the platelets and she didn’t have ANY pain meds. Finally, they decided they could give her some IV Stadol before the platelets came and she got a brief respite.

The hematologist came in with more bad news, though – her low platelets were not standard-pregnancy-caused variety, but also could indicate some immune deficiency – which I could have as well. That completely ruled out a vaginal birth because if I suffered some trauma during the birthing process and DID have the same platelet problem then I wouldn’t clot correctly. They removed her Stadol while they deliberated what the options were, so once again she was back in active labor with no meds.

The doctors decided that Mommy needed to have an emergency c-section, but she couldn’t have a spinal block (similar to an epidural) so she would have to be put under general anesthesia – which meant she was going to be put to sleep and Daddy couldn’t be in the room. Additionally, they needed to wait for the Stadol to clear her system before they could begin.

Another hour later, they wheeled Mommy into an operating room and began the process to put her under – she had IVs in both arms and they had them strapped down and they had an oxygen mask on her face – which was basically her last straw; she’s claustrophobic and just really felt like she couldn’t move or breathe AND the nurse was pressing on her throat because they had to intubate. Luckily, there were only a few moments of that hysteria/panic before she was knocked out. Apparently, the surgery itself went fairly uneventfully, and I was born about 15 minutes later – less that 12 hours after Mommy’s water had broken.

I was taken to the NICU, where I was tested (my platelets and blood glucose were fine, my Apgar scores were 9 and 9!) and Grammy and Coach and Daddy got to see me through the window. Mommy was wheeled into the ICU room directly across from the Nurse’s station to recover. She woke up at about 12:30, when the nurse was checking her – she was hemorrhaging really badly and slipping into shock so the nurse called the doctor back in to figure out what to do. After delivery, her platelet count had doubled, so she was bleeding a LOT, but it was clotting and not draining properly – there was a real risk of infection and they called in some blood to have on hand for a possible transfusion. They needed to press down on her stomach every 10 minutes or so to clear the blockages (Ummm, she had JUST had major abdominal surgery…). They couldn’t give her any pain meds because she had just come out of the general anesthesia and they started talking about having a to do a D&C. Mommy really began to think she was going to die.

Luckily, the clots started to abate before that happened, but she lost a LOT of blood. They gave her IV iron (and *finally* some morphine) and wheeled her into the mother-baby unit at about 4:00 am, where she rested until the morning when Daddy came back to see us.

I was still stuck in NICU and Mommy was not cleared get out of bed so she couldn’t come see me, while everyone else got to. She finally threw a TANTRUM at 10:30 (12 hours after I was born!) because they still wouldn’t let her go and the NICU nurse wanted to give me a bottle because I was “fussy.” Mommy threw a fit and they finally let her come to the NICU and try to feed. She held me for a while and went back to her room – I was released from the NICU about 2 hours later and they let me go room in with Mommy like we wanted.

Now? Mommy and I are totally healthy and fine… but Mommy is not in any hurry to make me a big brother!

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One Comment

  1. Oh my goodness, Sarah, thank God you and Cole made it through this perfectly fine last year. May I ask–what hospital did you deliver in?

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