Thursday, January 10, 2013

Our Birth Story: Part II

I have to back up a little so that Part II makes sense…
It was late Saturday morning and the anesthesiologist entered our hospital room to give me an epidural. I am so afraid of pain that this was part of our plan the entire time, unless it wasn’t an option for whatever reason. 
So, the resident - we learned that there are nurses, med students, residents, attendees and doctors, each with their own level of authority - starts talking to us about the procedure, what he’s going to do, etc. The doctor comes in a few minutes later and sits to the side to observe the resident. At this point, I had felt like a guinea pig on display for three days, so this was no different. {Sidenote: We spent 4 nights in the Labor/Delivery Room…these rooms are meant to be used for hours, not days, so when nurses would come back on for their shift the next day, we would get, “You’re still here?!” Haha}
Okay, back to the epidural. The resident positioned me, got his stuff in order and started the procedure. Well, his first “attempt” was unsuccessful…he said the spot was too tight. Okay. I figured it was no big deal kind of like when they go to draw blood and need to pick a second spot. Silly me should have thought that he was putting a needle in my SPINAL CORD! Gah…anyways, he never mentioned that there could be complications or to watch for any side effects; he just moved to the next spot and was successful.
So…back to Part II
Sunday, July 1, approximately 2:45am
Cameron was born and I was beside myself that I had a beautiful baby boy. They laid him on my chest and we couldn’t stop staring at him, kissing him and holding him as close as possible. 
The doctors continued to “work on me” for quite a while, but I was so enamored that I didn’t pay attention as to why. Basically, my body had been forced into labor and when the labor was done, so was my uterus. In an ideal situation, the uterus contracts to a position so that the uterine walls stop allowing everything through to the baby, including blood. Well, my uterus was tuckered out from being forced into labor for almost four days that it didn’t finish its job and was still allowing blood through the walls - 1,700ml of blood to be exact. The doctors were frantically trying to get my uterus to contract by massaging it internally and externally and finally did get the blood to stop. Thank the good Lord above that I had no idea what was going on because I probably would have had a nervous breakdown. (Please excuse my description of the medical procedures - I may be slightly off and/or used the wrong vocabulary, but I just learned all of this while in the hospital!)
Monday, July 2
After a late night (well early morning), Cameron slept in the nursery and Chad and I got a little rest in the delivery room. Around 7am, the nurses woke us to take us to the Mommy/Baby wing where we would stay the rest of the time. I was SO EXHAUSTED and had no idea why - I thought that child birth was just that hard! At this point, I had no clue that I had lost so much blood and was now anemic! So, I slept a LOT of Monday and when I finally got up to use the bathroom, I had the worst headache in the entire world. Once again, I just thought it was part of child birth, but when I mentioned it to my nurse, she brought up the failed epidural and said that it sounds like I had a spinal headache. The best way to cure it was to do a blood patch - a procedure in which they take my own blood and fill the hole that was made so that spinal fluid stops leaking. 
We scheduled a blood patch to be done that night and in the meantime, I got a blood transfusion to replace some of the blood that I had lost. After the blood transfusion, I felt like a new person! It was amazing…it was like someone had inserted caffeine into my veins. Except that I still had this awful headache. I had the blood patch done that night and rested until the next morning.
Tuesday, July 3
I woke up and felt great! There was no headache, I had energy and we had our family together. My doctor came in and said that I could get another blood transfusion - I agreed that it would help me get back to close to 100% and did that on Tuesday afternoon.  We planned on “checking out” the following day and starting our life together at home. Until my headache came back that night…I thought I would try to sleep it off because I wanted to go home so badly, but it wasn’t that easy.
Wednesday, July 4
I talked to my nurse about my headache returning and she said that there was a 5% chance that the blood patch wouldn’t work. An anesthesiologist came up to talk to me and said they could do another blood patch. The idea of putting another needle in my spinal cord freaked me out so I opted for Plan B - wait it out. He said that it should heal itself by Friday, so I decided to just suck it up and wait. GAH. Worst decision ever. On top of that, my blood pressure continued to rise so they told me that I should stay until Thursday so they could monitor me. Thank God for the nursery - they took such great care of Cameron so Chad and I could get some sleep and so Chad could return to work for a few hours. Looking back, it was so refreshing to have someone to watch over Cam while I recovered, but I am also sad that I missed that 24/7 time with him.
Thursday July 5
We finally got to go home - headache and all! We packed up, snatched our new son and headed on home. What a great feeling! I hadn’t left the hospital in 8 days and it was starting to wear on me. Thank goodness I was so drugged up most of the time; otherwise I probably would have become quite the b*tch! When we got home, Chad took great care of Cam while I continued to “rest” so my headache would go away…but it didn’t.
Friday, July 6
Chad had to work most of the day, but came home as quickly as he could to take care of Cam again. I was barely able to get off the couch to change/feed him and felt so awful that I couldn’t be there to take care of my brand new baby. IT KILLED ME!  Finally, around 6pm, Chad called my doctor and told them that I had decided to have another blood patch done. My headache had not gotten any better and I could not continue like that!! Mom took me to the hospital around 9pm while Chad stayed home with Cameron. 
Saturday, July 7
The anesthesiologist started the blood patch around midnight and told me to lay flat on my back for two hours…poor Mom was crunched in a chair trying to sleep while I was comfy on the operating table! When they came in at 2am to check on me, my headache had gotten better but had not gone away. They told me to lay back down for two more hours - and when I finally stood up around 4:30am, I felt like a new person. Mom and I left the hospital, grabbed some McD’s for breakfast and headed home. I continued to lay in bed all day - there was NO WAY I was going to mess this up!! {Sidenote: We think that the first blood patch failed because I got up and moved to quickly.}
By Sunday, I still felt great and was able to be with Chad and Cameron again. Being away from them and from my new family was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. However, it was a blessing in disguise because Chad and Cam got to bond so much over those few days…he was the one feeding, changing and playing with him, and now they are the bestest friends!!
So, that’s the story…It’s long and kind of woe-is-me, but I learned a lot!! I learned that I will not be induced again unless absolutely medically necessary for either myself or my baby. I learned that I will get an epidural again - and have a blood patch done until my headache is gone (IF they botch it again). I learned that doctors are not always right - they each have their own practice (they call it art) and opinions and you need to do what you feel is right. 
At the end of the day, nothing that happened is permanent and nothing will affect my next pregnancy (and yes, there will be a next pregnancy…in a few years!). I will be considered “high risk” due to my anemia, but my body will be okay and so will my future baby(ies)!



  1. How crazy! Glad it all turned out well!

  2. What an eventful entrance to the world your little boy had! I am so glad it all ended up okay and both you and C are healthy but wow, woman, you are a tough tough cookie.


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