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Feb. 11th, 2010 | 06:56 pm
Here is the story.
2am- went upstairs to go to sleep....while walking up the stairs, my water broke. I tried to get some sleep, but that didn't seem to work too well for me. The contractions hurt way more when I was not upright.
Contractions were all over the place, time-wise. They trended toward 55 seconds long, 3-5 minutes apart. The weird thing is that they did not stay consistent. I labored in the tub for a very long time, groaning and rocking and enjoying the hot water. A few surges felt REALLY strong and just ‘different’ and I asked Kelli to check me. She realized that even though I’d had a gush of waters and continued to “drip” all morning, I still had an intact bag so she ruptured it and I was 10 CM dilated and ready to push. (And wow was there a TON of amniotic fluid coming out! I just walked to the shower and got in there to let it keep coming out.) I have NO frame of reference of time, but I think this was just after noon.
And I tried to push in the tub, but didn’t seem to be getting far and they took me to the birthing stool. I didn’t like the sensation of leaning BACK and wanted to lean forward. Then they took me to the bed and I laid down on my back and Kelli again followed me putting 2 fingers in, helping me find my push. Then they rolled me on my side, then my other side, then on hands and knees and then back to the birthing stool.I do know that I kept saying that I didn’t know how much longer I could continue. I wasn’t able to relax my legs at all in between contractions, so the gaps were still uncomfortable and did not allow me to recover and get ready for the next surge. Also, I had tried several times to urinate but I could NOT seem to do it. (Ah, foreshadowing! )
Kelli was checking my BP and gave me a strong dose of Mama Calm to drink. She kept checking it and was not liking what she was seeing. And I honestly felt that my body was giving out on me, so when she said that we needed to go over our options, I was ready to transfer. All I said was “Not Winnie” and she said okay. I kept experiencing really strong contractions and everyone was telling me to breathe through them to keep me from pushing. THAT WAS HARD! I was carrying all my tension in my legs and it was hard to make it to the car- a rush at the top of the stairs, one on the stairs, one as we got into the car, and several on the drive….one in the wheelchair in the elevator, one in the hallway as I was being pushed, one in the room of a BAJILLION people, asking me to get in bed, take off my clothes, sign forms, answer questions. Oh yeah, and I was in such a rush to get to the hospital, Chylain helped me into a Depends, I already had a sport bra on and told Kirk to grab a nightgown for me. I didn’t grab my phone, purse, or even shoes! I think it was just after 5pm when we decided to go to the hospital.
I am not 100% certain of the details of this, as I was in a haze, but from what I could tell, when we got there, the surgeon (Dr Crider) asked Kelli if we should "do an epidural and let her keep pushing" first. OMG! HOW AWESOME IS THAT GUY??? Kelli told him she was pretty sure that would not be an option, but that if he wanted to take a look at things, to feel free....he came in and did a quick assessment and realized (of course) that Kelli was right and surgery was going to be needed. And again, thank goodness for a holistic provider- she wasn't just looking at paper read-outs or numbers from a monitor...she had the wisdom to know something was not right. (But again, props to that guy- seriously.)
And then my legs relaxed and I felt such relief that I didn’t even know was possible. All that tension I was carrying in them was instantly gone. And I was so tired that I felt like I was going to go to sleep right then and there.Honestly, when we decided to transfer, I felt like I had “wussed out”. While I was upset that I was letting myself down, I was in so much “scary” pain that I didn’t care. It felt different than the pain I’d been having. And maybe that should have been a clue.
The anesthesiologist placed warm blankets on my arms to keep me cozy. Then he asked if I would like to see the mirror and watch Levi coming out….of course I said yes and it was WONDERFUL. Then they brought him to me, laid him on my chest, and let him sit there for awhile.
The surgeon was AMAZING- he was so kind and he was explaining everything that he was doing after Levi came out….he “recommended” staples because of the bladder problem, he “advised against” another VBAC attempt because of the uterine opening. (Yep- you read that right....) And Kelli totally agreed. And frankly, so did I.
Here’s what led to my transfer: the same EXACT scenario as Jackson’s birth. He would not descend- he was handling it just fine, but my body was having problems. My BP spiked and wasn’t going down. Once I was opened up, they found particulate matter in my bladder- enough to render the catheter unable to drain me (and I had not been able to pee at home, despite drinking TONS of coconut water) which was likely causing me to hold the tension in my legs. Also, there was a “window” of opening along my original incision line….so my uterus was not working efficiently because it was not intact in the way it’s supposed to be. These things combined made me feel my body wasn’t working with me- because it WASN’T- it needed help.I cannot say enough good things about that surgeon- Dr Crider, after the surgery, walked around the drape to talk to me face to face and explained that the uterus had a "window" (never used the scary "rupture" word) and that it wasn't working at maximum efficiency as it is supposed to- and that was part of the reason that the home birth did not work for me.
Post-surgery, I had a catheter (and I did until the following Wednesday- 10 days- ugh!) and my bladder eventually had to be irrigated because of all the blood clots. (They used 6 LARGE containers of saline and it wasn't completely clear, they had to change the cath opening to a much larger size so that the clots would not cause a problem with drainage, and until they did that, the thing had to be changed/re-inserted three separate times.) *Side note- I felt like I was in an episode of Scrubs, b/c the urologist told my nurse to "get the residents up here" and when they arrived, he was like "do you SEE this?" and then gave them a dressing down about not doing anything. It looked like someone had been slaughtered on my bed when he was done- bloody saline was EVERYWHERE- on the walls, the curtain, the tray by the bed, and soaked all the bed linens of course.
Even the nurses were saying "you've been through so much" at that point. One of them even called me TWICE from home to see how I was doing. (This was the one who was on staff at the time that I had the run-in with Dr Alanna The Evil, who had told me it was "child abuse" to not feed Levi at least an ounce every 3 hours when he was not yet 48 hours old.)
I know I am leaving a lot out, but that's all I've got right now.