I have not even written up my birth story, but I know it will belong here. I also have a lot of processing to do....
Short version: RCS turned spontaneous VBAC (pretty traumatic on its own with tremendous pain, posterior presentation/back pain, followed by vacuum extraction and about ten people pushing on my belly to get her out). Next, my placenta was not coming out...finally determined to be embedded in the uterus and they did an emergency hysterectomy to save my life due to too much blood loss. All of this was very traumatic for DH too, as he thought he had lost me and that the babe had damage due to the extraction. Thankfully we are both here (although my recovery will be long) A true Christmas miracle, but not the birth experience I had intended!
*UPDATED WITH BIRTH STORY* Long version
N's Birth Story
Norah was born on December 23rd at 5:06 PM. She was 3250 grams and 53 centimeters. N is our second Rainbow baby (child born after a pregnancy or infant loss), so of course both of our girls have a special place in our hearts. We had one miscarriage prior to E and then three more before Norah...so yes, Norah was my 6th pregnancy! We had testing done after the last loss that revealed I have multiple blood clotting issues, which likely attributed to the prior losses. To combat this, I was on daily injections of a low weight molecular heparin and mega doses of folic acid from the time I found out I was pregnant. Also, in hindsight I was at a greater risk for placenta increta due to the 4 prior d and c's and the c-section...wish it would have been diagnosed prior!
And the story....
After E's birth, I always assumed that I would try for a VBAC, however early on in my pregnancy with N I felt very strongly that I would schedule a repeat c-section. As much as I wanted to experience a vaginal birth I did not want a repeat of my prior birthing time and foremost, I was scared of something going wrong....RCS seemed to be the easiest and safest option. So, we scheduled N's RCS date for 12/27/2010. We could have scheduled for the 23rd, but opted for the 27th so that I could be home on Christmas and we could have some normalcy before our family expanded. N had other plans. I had my last OB appointment on the evening of the 21st where the doctor said I was still very tight and closed, despite having lost my mucus plug and week and a half earlier and the midwife having said I was a fingertip dilated the week before. Fast forward to early in the morning on the 23rd, 1 AM to be exact. E woke up and was calling to me, I believe she had a stuffy nose or something. I had gone into her room to check on her and when I bent down I felt a gushing. At that moment I realized I had either majorly peed myself, or more probable, my water had broken. DH was still awake and we began discussing things as this was certainly not in our plans!
There were no cabs available for an hour and my contractions had not yet started so I decided that I would walk myself to the hospital. DH was to stay with E until the morning when he could call a friend or neighbor to come and take care of her. The walk to the hospital was uneventful and had I known what was to come, I might have been a bit more reflective! At the hospital it was confirmed that my water had broken (not a surprise) and I was sent from labor and delivery up to the regular ward to wait for contractions to start. I think it was about 2:30 at this point and they put me in a room with another woman, whom I felt very sorry for! The contractions did eventually start and I finally buzzed for the nurse to take me back down to labor and delivery. Once back, I talked to the on-call doctor who wanted to know if I wanted to try for a VBAC or to go ahead with the RCS. DH and I had talked earlier and since N was deciding to come early, we agreed that if everything appeared to be progressing normally, we would try for the VBAC, but if things stalled out we would not wait to go in for the RCS. The doc agreed that it would be fine to try for the VBAC. At 10:AM they checked me and I was still only at 1 centimeter. The next on-call doc decided to add a bit of pitocin despite my being a VBAC, claiming that a little bit would be ok (it was). I was already not managing the contractions well and asked for an epidural. Sometime between 10 and 12 DH showed up after arranging care for E. I was next checked at 12 and surprise, surprise I was already at 10! I couldn't believe it (despite having gone through a crying jag moments before feeling like I couldn't do this.....transition?!?). Unfortunately, several hours then passed without N descending downward. Furthermore, the epidural stopped working on my left side and I was having tremendous back pain. They had me try pushing starting around 3 PM, I think. The doctors were beginning to wonder what was going on and why she wasn't coming, so they did an ultrasound that confirmed N was posterior (and hence why I felt like my back was going to break in two). I was not handling the pain well and I was by far the most vocal (and annoying, I am sure) laboring woman they had seen in awhile). Shortly before 5 one of the docs (there were a few around by this time) gave us the option of trying to get her out in the next three pushes with the help of the vacuum or going straight to the c-section. Having come as close as we had and hoping for the easier recovery that a VBAC ensues, we decided to try the vacuum. I don't recommend it!!! Seriously felt like the guy who was trying to attach the vacuum was tearing my insides out! With a few pushes, the vacuum, and episiotomy and several people all pushing on my abdomen, N was born. I was so happy for the birthing time to be over, or so I thought.
N was whisked away without our even getting to see her. We are assuming it was in part due to having had the vacuum. They brought her to us about 1/2 an hour later and all was ok. I tried to start breastfeeding, albeit not so successfully. My placenta was still not coming out so they tried both pitocin and acupuncture. After more than an hour had passed, the doctor decided to get more aggressive, tugging on the placenta to try and detach it. Some of the placenta had come out, but upon examination they determined some had been retained. They decided to begin doing a d and c right there in the delivery room. I was given more pain meds and shortly thereafter I could tell something was not right. I just kept shaking my head and saying, "this is not right." A few minutes later I hear the doctor saying that I was loosing too much blood and they needed to get me into surgery. Everyone starts to panic and I was being rushed out of the room. I remember looking at Chad and telling him everything would be ok as he stood there holding Norah and asking if he could come with....he was told, "No" and to stay with the baby. The last thing I remember was someone taking my earrings out while a mask was being held over my face.
In Germany the 24th is the *big* day of celebration for Christmas. Being that this was now the evening of the 23rd, they did not have the operating rooms in the Frauenklinik equipped for surgery so I was brought to surgery in the main hospital. I had massive hemorrhaging where i was told I lost 1/2 of my blood. I was given 4 units of red blood products and 4 units of white, not to mention tons of saline. Aparently they had a hard time stabilizing me and at some points my pulse was hardly there. An emergency hysterectomy was performed to stop the blood loss and save my life. The diagnosis: Placenta Increta, where the placenta had grown into the uterus. I was told that there likely would have been a similar outcome had we gone with the RCS, but that there would have been less drama because they would have been more prepared (e.g. blood products would have already been on hand, etc...). I think I was in surgery for about 3 hours total. During this time, DH was left in a bloody labor and delivery room without a clue as to what was going on. The only information he had been given was from someone who gave him my earrings and stated I had lost too much blood and a doctor who shouted with him on the way to surgery that this is what women die from during child birth. At this point, DH was thinking I was going to die and that N was going to have mush for brains due to the vacuum....pretty traumatic to say the least. When the nurses asked for N's name, he gave Tracy as a middle name in honor of me, whom he thought he was going to lose.
I woke up about 10:30 PM when the doctor was handing me a phone...DH's mother had managed to locate me from the USA and had gotten more information than DH had! I also had the doctor call my mom back in the USA. I stayed in the ICU until the next morning when they transferred me back to the Frauenklinik at about 11 AM on the 24th. I finally was able to see both DH and N. We stayed in the hospital until the following Thursday. Unfortunately both DH and E had come down with very bad colds/illnesses and E's contact with Norah was very limited (not to mention that E ended up in the ER on Christmas day with a 104 fever!). N developed a stuffy nose while in the hospital and also spent 24 hours under the bili lights. We came home on Thursday evening and by Sunday N's breathing had become very labored and she had developed a cough. We took her to the kinderklinik on Sunday night where they admitted her due to RSV. We spent a week in the hospital fighting the RSV with oxygen, saline, breathing treatments, physiotherapy and as much rest as she could get.
Thankfully both mom and babe are now ok and both home. I have a long recovery ahead of me regarding the severe anemia. Recovery from the hysterectomy/c-section is going pretty well. Some issues still to contend with from the VBAC. Fun times, but we are all here alive....the best gift ever.
Much processing yet to do and hopefully healing will come in time.
Edited by teeg1973 - 1/23/11 at 4:00pm