Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Trauma Part Two - Rielynn's Insane Birth Story AKA the most painful night of my life
oh my -
were you traumatized by Elle's birth story yesterday?
if not, read that first -
Elle's Insane Birth Story
Well just in case that didn't phase you,
if you think you have heard it all -
here is Rielynn's birth story.
Yup - its worse, folks.
Once again I'll say - If you don't like hearing or reading about all of the little things that happen when you push a baby out into the world and it goes horribly wrong, go watch Happy Gilmore or something.
First off, being pregnant with Rielynn was much better than being pregnant with Elleia.
I was still termed a high risk preg due to my placental abruption with Elle which basically meant that I had to go in to see my doctor a little more often than the average pregnant chick.
We scheduled my induction for the morning of January 11th and I remember thinking Rielynn would have the coolest birthday ever - 01-11-10.
We made it upstairs, got checked in, I got all hooked up to the monitors, and Chad and I read magazines, watched some morning news shows and laughed with our nurses for the first few hours. Everything was fine - then the pitocin kicked in.
Since I had never experienced contractions with Elle, I did not know what to expect, but the first hour or two or three, I laughed in the face of contractions. They felt like super uncomfortable period cramps, and I thought to myself "haha - all of these women who whine about contractions are wimps. I can handle these, this is nothing."
My mom showed up around 3 p.m. with a book "The Secret Life of Bees" and started reading out loud to me so that Chad could run and grab some food. Everything was going great.
Within the course of 5 minutes, something changed. Umm....wow. The contractions started to hurt. Like, hurt. LIKE, REALLY, REALLY, REALLY hurt.
My mom was sitting there reading out loud to me, but the words were just background noise because I wasn't thinking about anything but the pain.
I didn't want my mom to know that I was now being a sissy when I had joked to her that "this contraction stuff is nothing", but pretty soon she noticed how my arms gripped the bedrails every few minutes. Eventually I did not care anymore - I didn't want her to read, I did not want to be touched, I did not want to be spoken to.
I was in a world of white, hot, piercing pain. I started to sweat. I felt like I was being split open slowly with an ax. Yes, that is exactly what strong contractions feel like. I felt like I could not breathe through the contractions like my mom and the nurses were telling me to do. Did they not know what this felt like? I got really crabby and irritable and snappy.
Chad walked in with coffee. "oh, don't you look so comfortable and happy with your coffee!" I snapped. He put it down and tried to help me breathe through the contractions with my mom and the nurse, but suddenly I felt a familiar burning in my stomach and I didn't even have time to say anything - I puked all over myself. In between the next contraction the nurse helped me change gowns and then asked me if I wanted the epidural.
Umm...no, thats okay. I'd rather just DIE here in this bed.
YES...I WANTED THE EPIDURAL!! What a dumb question to ask.
She left the room to call the anesthesiologist and when she returned with him about 20 minutes later it was like God himself walking into the room. They took Chad and my mom into the hallway and told me to open the back of my gown so that the anesteseiologist could stick that freakishly long needle in my back. I did not care about the needle size - I did not care about anything except finding relief from the white hot screaming pain.
The nurse told me one thing before he started.
"If a contraction hits while he is working back there, you have to sit really really still and try not to move, okay?"
Easier said than done.
First of all, I don't want you to think that there was anything wrong with the anesthesiologist. He was just a nice old man doing his job. But he met his match when it came to my back.
I felt the cold swab of that gross looking orange disinfecting stuff they put on your back and then I tried to hold really still while I felt him pierce my back. Then the needle started going in.
And something went horribly wrong.
I started to feel horrible, SHARP, intense, shooting pains all up and down my back and in my neck. Was this normal? It was a horrible feeling. Then they went away. Then he started pushing the needle in further and the weird, horrible pains started again.
"Take it out!! Take it out!!" I yelled. He was a little startled. The nurse moved closer to me.
"I don't know - somethings wrong! It feels like 100 needles are poking me!!"
Once the needle was out, I felt a little better, except a contraction had started.
The anesthesiologist fiddled with some things back there and then stuck the needle in again, just as my contraction hit - and it was the worst one yet.
I started screaming...at the top of my lungs. You guys are going to think all I do is scream after reading Elle's birth story and this story, but it really is true - I really did have insane, not-normal birthing experiences, and I really did scream. Like tons.
I saw Chads face at the door, looking worried. The nurse ran over and told him I was fine.
But I was so not fine.
Not only was the anesthesiologist in the wrong part of my spine, he was piercing nerves. Since the spine is the central hot spot for nerves, and he was in my spine, in the wrong place, he was causing pain all over my body and even my head. I felt like my brain was going to explode. I felt like my body, all of these nerves being poked, would cause me to spontaneously combust. It was the worst pain. Ever. At the same time, the worst contraction hit...and I had to try to sit still while this foot long needle was still stuck in my back while I was being internally split open with an ax.
Oh, pain. I know you well.
I screamed and screamed and the nurse came from the door and grabbed my hands.
"What does it feel like?" she said.
"Like horrible shooting pains all over my head and my body! I can't do this!!"
"I can't do this. I don't know whats going on. I don't know why I am hitting her nerves" the anesthesiologist said.
UM...not what you want to tell a patient when you have a needle stuck in her spine.
He pulled it out and I heard him on his phone a second later.
5 minutes later another anesthesiologist walked in and together they had me hooked up to my epidural just in time. They said if it had taken any longer it would have been too late since my labor was progressing quickly.
Once on my epidural I was in a happy place. Chad and my mom came back in and hung around, watched tv and read. I slept.
My labor progressed, slower since the pitocin stopped.
Around 11 pm a nurse walked in to check me, and told me I was fully dialated and ready to push.
I was completely numb.
"Lets turn off your epidural so you can push" the nurse said.
Ok nurse - lets put some crushed up glass in your milk, shall we?
That single decison to turn off my epidural was the worst idea EVER.
My doctor came in. I love her. She is sweet and fun - but tonight would push her to her breaking point.
All of the big lights came on and another nurse walked in. Chad and my mom were getting excited. The baby was coming-she was going to be born!
The first few pushes were fine. I felt like I was doing a great job and the nurses and my doctor were encouraging. However I was still pretty numb and could not feel what I was doing.
That changed pretty quickly. As the epidural wore off I kept pushing and pushing and pushing and it was like I was hitting a wall .Literally, thats what was happening to the baby. She was not making it out of the birth canal but my doctor didn't stress out too much yet. She told me to keep pushing.
Around 11 30 and a half hour of pushing I started feeling intense contractions as I pushed again, but the baby was not making any progress. It was like she was stuck on something.
Meanwhile, the pain continued getting stronger and stronger and you guessed it, I started yelling again.
The doctor started getting this concentrated look on her face as she tried to help me and tried to help the baby come out but it was not working. We asked the nurse to turn the epidural back on again but we later found out that she forgot to. - did you read that correctly? - she FORGOT to.
About 45 minutes in I was exhausted, in serious pain, the worst pain of my life, and the baby was stuck. The doctor started getting worried. They called the NICU and several people came down to take the baby right away once she was born. Since she had been stuck in the birth canal they were worried about her breathing and heart.
The doctor told me to give a few big pushes, the biggest of my life.
And I tried. Oh, I tried so hard. Trust me I wanted this pain to end. I wanted the heat and light and ax-murderer pain the end. So I pushed like my life was counting on it. Still nothing.
The baby really was stuck.
The doctor took a vacuum (you know, they stick it on the babies head to help the baby come out) and literally ripped the baby out of my body.
If that sounds crazy I'll say it again.
She put the vacuum on the babies head and as I pushed - which was doing nothing - she stuck her hand down there and with the intense sucking vacuum, ripped Rielynn through the birth canal out of my body.
Everything went quiet in my ears - a distant humming. I felt like I was floating above my body.
I heard the blood dripping off the bed before the doctor did.
There was no happy joyous moment between any of us.
I was about to bleed to death on the bed.
Because of how Rielynn was forced from my body, I tore internally.
I was bleeding out all over the bed and I. FELT. EVERYTHING.
Thats right - no epidural, no pain meds.
I. FELT. EVERYTHING.
For the next two hours, I experienced the type of pain that you would inflict on someone if you are torturing them for information. I laid on the bed with my mom next to me crying, Chad across the room with the baby, (the NICU doctors waited for me, they let me say hello to her before they took her upstairs, but it took 2 hours) and the epidural turned off - thats right off - as the doctor tried to sew and stitch my insides together again.
I didn't even cry. Not that much, at least. I think my brain was processing too much pain to handle it, so it kind of shut down or something. Because I recieved nearly 300 stitches in my torn apart, ripped open body (all internally) with no pain meds. There was so much blood, and every few minutes the doctor would take a towel and roughly wipe me up to clear away the blood. I actually think that was the most painful part of all. I guess I was moving alot - um yeah, you think? No epidural turned back on, and everyone thought it was but the nurse forgot - so the doctor actually yelled at me towards the end.
"Emily, you are loosing too much blood. You are going to be in surgery in about 5 minutes if you don't hold still."
So I tried. Oh, I tried. With my new baby girl across the room, with my mom crying next to me, with hot tears starting to roll down my face. I laid there in agony.
Around 2 or 3 a.m. I kissed my daughter and they took her to the NICU.
I stayed almost a week in the hospital to heal, and since I did not want to take any narcotics I only took IBProfen for the pain. And there was pain. So much pain in the next day or so that I started chewing my hand at once point, and the bed rail at another. Yes, I remember doing this. Yes, the nurse probably thought I was insane.
All that to find out I have an unusally tilted uterus and it was not lined up for birth. Looking back the Dr. says I should have had a c-section. Thanks for letting me know, it does us alot of good now.
Rielynn had to stay in the NICU for 9 days due to low apgar scores due to her being stuck in the birth canal.
There are my two insane, horrible birth stories. While Elle's story is weirder, Rielynn's story was so much more painful x 100.
EDIT: Did everything go back to normal? Absolutely...amazingly!! Thank you GOD!!!
And thank you God for a patient husband ;)
Will I have another baby ever?