Monday, August 27, 2012
my real, horrible, traumatic, insane birth story. proceed with caution.
part one of my new series - the things no one talks about.
well, i have been reading birth stories on the internet since I cant sleep tonight. Yup...my two kids are actually snoring and I should be too, but instead I'm riveted to the screen reading one horrible birth story to the next. I didn't know I was in such good company - that so many other women had such god-awful birth stories too. Heres my contribution to the freaky online mess -
DISCLAIMER - if you are not female (meaning - if you are male in gender) or if you are under the age of 18 or if you ever want to have children in your lifetime, turn your eyes away. go look at some puppy pictures on pinterest or something. it'll make you feel much better than what you are about to read.
first off, my actual pregnancy with Elle was quite awful. not only was I incredibly sick and nauseous and throwing up the entire time, about halfway through I developed high blood pressure and was put on bed rest. It was awful and I hated being pregnant. Due to my HBP they termed me a high risk preg and I had to go in 4 times a week for an hour for stress tests. ((Basically sit and moniter the babies heartbeat for that time and test my blood pressure.))
My due date was October 10th and all of the sudden on the morning of August 18th I woke up, feeling okay, but noticed I had started bleeding a very little bit during the night. I thought it was weird and disgusting, but I could feel the baby moving. Just to be sure, I called the OB office and they suggested coming in and getting checked out early afternoon.
So during Chad's lunch break I had him come and pick me up. The thought would be that he would drop me off, go back to work and then I would call him for a ride home. Yes, being the poor people that we are we usually only have one vehicle.
Chad dropped me off at the revolving doors at the front of the office. He helped me out and then went to park the car, and when he pulled away, all hell broke lose.
Suddenly my water broke while I was standing there. It felt like everything I ever imagined it to be - like the floodgates were unleashed. I looked down, expecting to see clear liquid surrounding my feet, just like the movies. Only I did not see water. What I did see was blood. Lots and lots of blood. Dark and red and forming a huge puddle under and around me. It was like Saving Private Ryan or something, I was looking around for Tom Hanks to come and rescue me,
I looked around - no one was outside, and so I clutched my belly and pushed the doors open. I did not stop. I did not look at anyone. I just ran as fast as I could, blood dripping along the way, to the elevator. It was empty and so I ran inside, my heart pounding.
I kept repeating the words "I'm loosing her, I'm loosing her" in my head. It sounds morbid but I could not understand how a little one could survive when I was loosing so much blood.
The elevator stopped on the birthing floor and I ran out. For security, you have to be "buzzed" into the birthing wing. I stood there waiting for a second, and then I started pounding on the glass to get someones attention. My bloodied hands left marks on the windows - I was screaming now at the top of my lungs, and I probably looked like Carrie. (you know, the movie?) If I was a nurse working that day, would I have buzzed me into the birthing wing? Not a fat chance. I looked like I had just murdered ten people and had just finished rolling in their blood.
Some insane/deranged nurse actually buzzed me in. I I remember shaking so hard my teeth were chattering. I was still gushing blood and was getting very cold. The nurses grabbed my arms and got me into a room.
The nurses were helping cut me out of my jeans (my cute pregnancy jeans, they had definately seen better days) when Chad walked in, his jaw dropping at the scene playing out. 5 nurses, moniters, the blood. He said he had seen the bloodied trail, still not cleaned up yet, and not in a million years did he think it was mine. He was just with me, for petes sake! It had been like 5 minutes or less! That'll teach him. Ha.
After my jeans were off and I had been sitting for a few minutes I started clotting. ((Note - I warned you! I told you to head to pinterest! So now you're in for it!!)) Yup, big old blood clots the size of baseballs and bigger...they kept coming one after the other. I was actually too terrified to be grossed out at this point and I think Chad was literally scarred for life. ((I am still in shock that we have a second child after he saw all of this mess...I am not so sure I would have come near me again))
Each time a huge clot would come I could feel it and then I would try to run to the bathroom in time, and eventually the nurses brought me about 25 towels to sit on and would change them instead of me having to run to the bathroom. Then I felt the baby move and this surge of joy washed over me. I had just come to the conclusion in my panic induced mind that she was dead and then they hooked me up to moniters to check the babies heartbeat and stress levels and guess what ... her little heart was beating, beating, beating, beating....
I remember Chad looking at me, in shock, like I was, in shock that she was still struggling in there, even through something was clearly wrong. But the initial joy was short lived. I was almost 2 months early.
The doctor on call came into the room and told me that although they weren't sure what was causing this amount of blood loss and clotting, they would look into it. (ok then, you do that then.) The clotting was causing the bleeding to slow a little as I sat, and the baby was still hooked up to the moniters, her every move captured by the little machines. I started crying and wanted my mom, so Chad called her. She was there within moments and spent the next day or so by my side. ((thanx mom.))
So I sat, still clotting, for another hour or two or three. No food or drink, although I begged Chad to sneak me in some diet coke like the rule breaker that he is. Nope, wasn't budging.
It was starting to get dark out and still no sign of why we were here. Thats when the pain started. Long, shooting, jabbing pains. Down my lower stomach, shooting into my back and my sides. The first couple took me by suprise, and then, I started screaming. It was such a strange feeling, and they weren't contractions because I was still hooked up to all of the moniters. A bunch of nurses came in and started messing with me.
This is where it starts to get hazy.
A nurse came in and gave me some IV pain medication. Chad tells me ((i vaguely remember saying this )) that I told her about 2 minutes after it kicked in "you could charge 100.00 for this stuff" and then I fell asleep. It was around 7 p.m. and the pains were still there but the bleeding had stopped. I was in and out of sleep, but around midnight I woke up and I remember lights. Bright lights, and noise. A bunch of people in my room.
A nurse, her face totally covered by one of those creepy green surgical masks. Wheeling my bed out into the hallway. Umm...hello? Was she kidnapping me or something? A masked serial killer roaming the hospital?
"Emily, we are taking you to surgery. The baby is in danger and she needs out now."
I stopped fighting the bright lights, and just closed my eyes. I remember feeling the cold breeze of the surgery room, kept chilly to keep germs at bay. I remember hearing so many voices, and I remember shaking from fear and cold.
I started to freak out...just a little. Ha. Yeah right. A TON. I opened my eyes and tried to sit up but I couldn't. I started looking around the room for Chad, and I couldn't see him anywhere. Then again everyone looked alike in their puke green surgery scrubs.
I started screaming, and that got everyones attention for a second.
"I want to see Chad nnnnnnnnnnooooooooowwwwwwwww" I screamed,
and the nurse treated me like a poor sick puppy, patting my head.
"He's coming, he's coming" she said.
Then she told me "listen, we are going to put you to sleep and when you wake up, you are going to have a baby, okay?"
uhhh...not something that has ever been said to me before. how do you respond to that?
I remember hearing the doctors start talking about something and I really really really remember freaking the heck out that I was still awake. Its like that movie Awake, where they are doing surgery and the guy can feel everything and is actually awake under the knife in the surgery room but he cant open his eyes? Thats what it felt like, so I started hyperventilating.
"I can feel everything! I can feel everything! Help! Help!"
The nurse bent over me and I think she was annoyed at this point.
"You haven't even been given the medicine yet."
And then I remember laughing hysterically as they covered my nose and mouth with the medicine or gas or whatever, that puts you to sleep. I was literally there on the surgery table, totally exposed, no Chad yet, about to get cut open, and laughing like a crazy woman.
Then I was out.
Thats the last thing I remember before it gets even weirder.
The next memories come to me like pieces of a dream. Snapshots. Like scenes from someone elses life.
The lights were so bright on my eyes, and I could not open my eyes.
I wanted to ask them to turn off the lights but I could not find my words.
I remember hearing voices, it seemed like the voices of a hundred people.
I didn't know what was going on, and I was having dreams/hallucinations that seemed more real than life itself. I could see in my head little green people and puddles of blue and green blood.
Time stood still for me, but actually several hours passed.
I remember thrashing in my bed.
I remember screaming...and being so thirsty.
I remember it being so so so bright. That was the worst part of it. I could not open my eyes because of the brightness. I felt like I was living my worst nightmeres. Not being able to communicate with anyone. My eyes not opening. Was I still alive? What was this - some horrible purgatory for people who die in labor?
My mom and my husband remember it a little differently.
They tell me I was acting like I was possessed.
My mom says she still cant believe what she saw and heard that night.
with my eyes closed,
they say I swore non stop for hours. ((and I don't swear.))
they say I told the nurses I was going to kill them.
they say I kept screaming at them to take the baby out.
they say they had to hold my arms down to keep me from trying to rip out my stitches.
they say I called my nurses horrible profane names ((i still feel awful about that especially))
- all of this with my eyes closed, moaning, rolling back in forth in bed.
I had a hard time coming out of the surgery coupled with the amounts of blood I had lost and the trauma my body had gone through.
All I know I that when I awoke as myself at 7 a.m., there was no one in the room except for Chad who was crashed on the pull out couch.
I had no idea what had happened and was only remembering being wheeled into the surgery, nothing after that yet.
A nurse was walking by and saw my eyes open and ran in.
"How do you feel? What is your pain level?"
"ummmmmmmmmm....mmmmmmmm...i dont know...what happened?"
she looked at me, up from her chart.
"You don't remember? You had a baby. A little girl. Shes upstairs in the NICU, so go back to sleep. You had a rough night. You will see her soon. "
16 hours after she emerged into a screamingly bright surgery room surrounded by strangers, Elleia Linden was in my arms for the first time. My 3 pound 3 ounce preemie. My three pound 3 ounce miracle baby.
I found out later that day that my placenta had abrupted. Heres what wikipedia says about it-
Placental abruption is a severe complication of pregnancy wherein the placenta lining has separated from the uterus of the mother. It occurs in 1% of pregnancies worldwide. Placental abruption is a significant contributor to maternal mortality worldwide; early and skilled medical intervention is needed to ensure a good outcome, and this is not available in many parts of the world. Treatment depends on how serious the abruption is and how far along the woman is in her pregnancy. - wikipedia
thank you wiki. you people are so darn smart.
We also found out I was a Class Two abruption, and that Elle and I were incredibly close to death.
So close that if this situation had taken place a mere 20 years ago we would both be dead.
They do not know why my placenta abrupted.
Elle was in the NICU for 5 weeks.
My c-section cut got horribly infected and I was re-admitted to the hospital
Two months after Elle was born I was diagnosed as "Severely post partum with suicidal tendencies" and had my own little mini ((okay, major)) breakdowns.
I battled post partum for 4 months, and it was the worst 4 months of my life.
But thats for a different story.
So there you go. Elles birth story. Thanks alot, Elle. You really put me through hell.
By the way, the birth story of my 2nd child ((yes, I can't believe I actually allowed myself to become pregnant again after this trainwreck)) is even WORSE. Tilted uterus, anyone? We'll save that awesome story for next time.
- click here to read Rielynn's birth story (my 2nd daughter)
Trauma Part Two