I woke up Monday, July 4th, at 5:30am, and wasn’t feeling much movement from Jack, so I went downstairs. I proceeded to walk in the kitchen and all of a sudden felt a ‘gush’ and thought my water broke…only to find tons of blood when I got into the bathroom. I called the hospital and they told me to call 911 and be brought in. The ambulance arrived shortly after and we got to the hospital in under 30 minutes… Joey followed in our packed up car – we had it packed and ready from the previous day when we were actually at the hospital since I was having tons of BH contractions and severe back pain. The ambulance ride was not comfortable and extremely bumpy, but thankfully, because of that, Jack started moving a ton during the ride – that eased by concerns a bit since he hadn’t been moving much that morning.
When we got into triage I was losing a lot of blood (which included large clots) and eventually started contracting…AND they found I was up to 4cm dilated! They told me some women just lose a lot of blood in labor and since all my vitals (and babies) were fine, they didn’t seem overly concerned at that point – even though I had a deep feeling something truly was wrong. They monitored me for a while and every thing seemed fairly normal, except babies HR dropped lower (85-95) a few times, when I’d contract…but that was it. After two hrs in triage and being monitored very closely, I was taken to labor and delivery. Contractions got stronger, and I was still bleeding (a lot). I dilated to almost 7cm and the pain became so strong and I chose to get the epidural because I also hoped it would allow me to stay calmer since I was so worried about what was happening. I got it and quickly dilated to 10cm (this was around 1:30pm). I felt the urge to push and they then had me start trying. At this point there were more than 8 nurses/doctors/anesthesiologists etc…. so I begin to think that something bad was happening but tried focusing on the task at hand. They had me try pushing for a few minutes and then told me to stop because his HR was still dropping (lower than before but I refused to look at monitor, my husband later informed me it was in the 30’s) and Jack was inevitably in distress. I remember hearing “crash cart…” and “emergency” and saw them hand my husband some scrubs; there now had to have been over 12+ people in our room. They came over and told me we needed to do an emergency c-section, and I told them I’d do anything to keep my baby safe.
I remember being pushed through the hallways, just closing my eyes, breathing and telling myself it was all going to be OK. We then got into the room, they monitored me for a few more minutes since Jack was doing better, but when they had me try pushing once more, they found out he was also “sunny side up” (hence, my severe back pain) and his heart rate was dropping again. C-section was happening. It all happened so quickly, but Jack was pulled out and started crying instantly. Unfortunately I did have a bad reaction to the anesthesia, and with the mix of hormones and adrenaline, I felt so exhausted that I could not open my eyes for the life of me – my body had also become numb from my shoulders down. I remember having them ask me if I wanted to see and hold Jack in the operating room, but I couldn’t even move my arms – let alone lift my eyelids. It was horrible. Thankfully we were quickly brought into the recovery room where just after I few minutes I was able to open my eyes and they place him right on me. – the moment I felt as if I had become a Mother.
From the c-section, they were able to confirm that I did have a partial placental abruption (where placenta tears away from the uterine wall) – which was causing the bleeding and clots. It wasn’t the way I expected the birth of our son to go – but I can tell you that I am so proud of myself for pushing my pride to the side and solely focusing on him. In truth, there really was no other option. I never had an actual birth plan and had always told my Dr that ‘getting Jack out safely’ was our foremost priority. At the end of the day, we got our son… it was extremely traumatic… but he is here; safe and healthy.
After reading this through – almost 2 years later– I am still just as proud of myself for doing what I knew I needed, and had, to do. I am now pregnant with Baby #2, and I’d be lying if I said any of these abruption worries comes back ever so often – but i’m working closely with my OB and have already met with the High Risk team who will be monitoring me throughout my pregnancy with Ultrasounds & Growth Scans. All of which will lead up to a planned c-section; which I’m hoping will be my “redemption L&D” story and all will go well. However, because of what happened with Jack, I know anything truly can happen – so I’ll take it as it comes, and rely on my strength and the assistance of my Medical & Care Team.