Content Note: Birth Complications
I had my baby about two weeks ago and I’ve been procrastinating on the birth announcement post. I’ve been wanting to say more than “we had many complications but we’re both home and doing well.” But I’ve been struggling with putting our experience to words.
I was booked for a c-section on the 20th to try to avoid the complications I had with Maxson. I ended up going into labour a week before. As I mentioned in my VBAC vs. C-Section post – in the back of my mind something just didn’t seem right. I was terrified of having a uterine rupture (even though the chances are about 1 in 200). So I decided to go for the c-section without a trial of labour. During the c-section they discovered I had adhesions on my uterus/abdominal wall. So what should have been a routine c-section ended up taking much longer as the surgeon meticulously separated my uterus from my abs. The spinal started to wear off so they had to put me to sleep while he finished the surgery. LVL111 and Garrus were taken into recovery to have bonding time until I was able to join.
Once I was out of surgery, Maxson came to meet his little brother. It was so amazing seeing the love and whimsical smile on his face. He has transitioned so well into being a big brother and I could not be more proud of him!
For a few hours after everything seemed fine. I was sore but feeling well otherwise. Until out of nowhere I started vomiting, got dizzy, my vision began to dim and I apparently blacked out. Luckily my midwife had been there for a visit and the surgeon just so happened to be outside my door doing paperwork. He came in right away and asked me a bunch of questions and took blood work. When I came into the hospital my bloodwork showed my hemoglobin levels around 118. This test showed them at low 70’s – high 60’s. Since I wasn’t bleeding profusely from anywhere, we discovered that I was bleeding internally. I had lost 2 litres of blood into my abdominal cavity. I’ll never be able look at a pop bottle the same way again. They took me back into surgery immediately. It all seems like such a haze now, I barely remember the surgeon listing all the risks and getting my signature for consent. What I do remember is thinking that this was the end for me as they wheeled me away.
I came out of surgery after 3 and a half hours with a team of 3 surgeons. Apparently there was a lot of tilting the table and waiting to see if/where the blood was pooling. Going into the surgery, they weren’t sure if they had missed something while repairing the adhesions, and I was told it was possible that my uterus would have to be removed. It turns out there was a tear in my abdominal wall. They were able to stop the bleeding but I had to have a blood transfusion.
I had to spend the night in ICU without 111 or Garrus. They really didn’t want babies in there, but after some persuasion 111 was able to convince the nurses to let me see them for a short visit. It was an incredibly tough night for all of us. The nurse told 111 I asked for morphine 4 times throughout the night…I only remember asking once. The next morning after they made sure I was able to eat, they let me go back to the regular natal care unit. Once again, I seemed to be on the road to recovery. Around midnight I started vomiting again and my belly had swollen so much I was larger than when I had been pregnant. From the anesthesia – my bowels had become paralyzed and I ended up with a blockage. In order to treat it they had to do a procedure called “Nasogastric Intubation” which basically means they put a tube down my nasal cavity, down my throat and into my stomach, and then pumped out the extra air and fluid. That was probably the worst part of the whole experience for me.
I also had a blood drain in my hip. It kept getting knocked every time I moved and was becoming quite painful. Between that and the NG tube, I felt like I just couldn’t take it anymore. At one point during that day I had said “My body is just done. I am so done.” I guess that got the hospital staff worried about my mental health because they took all the tubes out under the stipulation that if I even became nauseous they would go back in. 111 told me that after all the tubes came out – he could see a world of difference in my recovery. I was brighter, my swelling had gone down and I sounded better. I remember just wanting a drink of water that whole day, but I wasn’t allowed any fluids. Once the tubes came out I was allowed to suck on ice chips as long as I didn’t swallow any of it. Let me tell you – ice chips have never tasted so good!
They kept me another day or two for observation and then finally discharged us. That night was mixed emotions for me. I was happy to be out of the hospital, but part of me was terrified too about something going wrong again. Luckily my recovery has been going really well thus far. I know it’ll be difficult but I am just thankful to be alive.
I have to give huge props to 111. The entire time I’ve known him, he has always been amazingly supportive, but he really stepped it up during this whole ordeal. He was such a rockstar and he’s an incredible father. I really couldn’t have asked for a better partner.