It's Complicated: Birth Story Part 2

After Liam was sent off to the NICU and I had been all stitched up, Bryan and I began calling family and close friends to let them know our good news. At this point, it was about 8:00 a.m. and we were exhausted, given that we'd been up for basically 24 hrs.

One note here: One thing I was looking forward to the most was telling my Dad that we named his first Grandson after him (Albert is my dad and Grandpa's name). He was very happy and humbled at the honor and now calls Liam "LiBert." Oh, Dad.

 Dad and Liam meet!

Anyway, in any birth, part of the recovery is pressing on the stomach to make sure the uterus is contracting down (shrinking). By the way, having someone press REALLY hard on your tender belly that was just housing a kid is SUPER PLEASANT. (note sarcasm). Since I spiked a fever/infection during delivery, I was also getting monitored for that.

My L&D nurse pressed on my belly and, as is normal, blood came out. 15 minutes later, she does it again. More blood, but this time she seemed concerned. The blood, while normal, was both clotted and there was a lot of it. She told us that when women spike a fever/infection during delivery, they are more prone to hemorrhage. She said we weren't there yet.

We went through this process several times, and each time, more clotted blood exited my body en masse. The nurse started weighing each output and finally, called in a doctor.

I'm pretty out of it at this point, drifting in and out of sleep. I know something is wrong, but it doesn't seem too serious yet.

The doctor explains that the bottom of my uterus is not contracting, which was causing me to clot and bleed in excess. He gave me some medication to help and we kept monitoring. A short while later, there did not seem to be any signs of slowing down. The next step was to insert a device that was designed to balloon while inside and press against the bottom of my uterus and stop the bleeding that way. 

As this is happening, there are about 20 people in the room. Doctors are explaining what's happening and prepping us for the next steps should this effort not work. By now, it's a few hours later (rough guess..I'm so exhausted and out of it, I have no idea). 

I remember being SO effing thirsty. I hadn't had any water since 830am and I couldn't have any now with my current situation, in case they had to operate. 

Other moments of clarity: after they gave me the medicine to try and stop the bleeding, I was laying there, and still receiving my epidural for pain through all this. It's me, Bryan and my nurse. All of the sudden, I hear the loudest fart imaginable. I look around, shocked. "Was that ME???" I asked, horrified. Everyone laughed and the nurse said, "Oh yeah, we forgot to tell you - that medicine causes uncontrollable diahrea." Umm, seems like a detail most people would want to know.

Thankfully, I had not shat myself (yet) and so I held on to a small shred of dignity that I still had.

Let me be clear: my husband and I are best friends. We share everything with each other. But we do not fart in front of each other, pee with the door open or talk about our bowel movements. We just don't. 

So by now, not only has Bryan seen my 10 CM vagine, he has seen copious amounts of blood exit from said vagine and now, he is hearing me fart like a man. All of this is what it is and I know he didn't care - but I'd like him to want to sleep with me again someday.

Anyway, when they realized the device was not working as planned, things became much more serious. We were told I needed to have a procedure done where they would go in through my femoral artery and look for what was causing the bleeding. Then they would embolize it. If that didn't work, they would have to "remove my uterus." 

As in, a hysterectomy. As in, Liam would be our only child.  

This is when the severity of my situation hit us both. Keep in mind, I'm still pretty loopy. I remember looking at Bryan, tearful and panicked, and he was so comforting. And ultimately, if the choice was my life or no more biological children - the choice was clear. 

Everything after that happened fast. I had already lost a lot of blood and had a transfusion. When all was said and done, I lost 3L of blood and got two blood transfusions. 

I remember a lot of people coming in to talk to me and reassure me. Bryan walked me to the room where they were operating. It was a tearful, terrible moment saying goodbye. Bryan told me later the doctors pulled him aside and said that if worse came to worse and I couldn't consent to have the hysterectomy, he would have to do it. He couldn't bear the thought of having to tell me that my uterus was gone and that he'd been the one to tell them they could take it.

I'd like to take this time to talk about what a rockstar my husband is and was. I mean, imagine your son, born hours ago, taken to the NICU and then your wife being threatened with either loss of uterus or life. I know he felt torn between me and Liam, and I kept encouraging him to go to Liam, and take pictures, get updates and give him love. I couldn't have made it through the emotional roller coaster without him.

Dad keeping tabs on Liam

I was "awake" during the procedure. I remember hearing them talk. I remember shaking uncontrollably, dry heaving intermittently and not being able to move.

Anyway, I'll save the gory details but several hours later and the procedure, while a close call, was successful, and I was recovering. I have never been more thirsty in my life. Keep in mind, I last had water at 830am and it was now 830pm. I was so desperate I was sucking water off sponges. 

Bryan's parents came that day, which was a comfort to us both. I stayed on the labor and delivery floor for the night and Bryan and I finally got some rest. It wasn't until the following evening when I got to go to the NICU to see Liam 
for the first time since labor. 

Our first meeting :)

It was so emotional. I tried not to cry but it was impossible. Seeing him, knowing he was OK and then seeing how he recognized me was amazing and overwhelming and a relief. 

The next day, I was finally able to move into post partum. I hated not having Liam in the room with us, but we spent every day, morning to 11pm, in the NICU with the baby. I was pumping and breastfeeding, so I made sure to be there every 3 hours. I was discharged on Sunday and Bryan and I stayed in a hotel near the hospital for two nights until my mom came into town. 

excuse my engorged breasts...

Liam was kept in the NICU while they checked him out. He was threatened with brain damage, meningitis, and other stuff. Him being in the NICU was not in our "plan" but there was not much we could do but keep positive and love on that peanut as much as we could. He ended up being so healthy, and we could take him home on Christmas Day, after he finished 7 days of antibiotics. Merry Christmas to us!


Our labor/delivery and everything that followed was the best and worst day of my life. More than anything, we are just thankful for our healthy, beautiful boy. If it would have turned out that he was the only one we'd get, I would be happy with it, because he is so amazing.

Being Liam's mama the past 7 weeks has been awesome and I can't wait to tell you more about it!

1 comment:

  1. Natalie gave me the link to your blog (I'm 27 weeks pregnant) and I have to admit that I've been stalking it waiting for this post! What an amazing birth story-- I'm so happy that everything worked out for you guys! I just want to let you know that I find SO much comfort in reading your pregnancy posts and accepting my "normal" (yes.. even my 30 pound weight gain!) Thanks for posting :)


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