Here I am, sorry I've been MIA for the past six weeks or so...it was a long journey! My daughter Adele was born exactly a month ago today on July 18th, four weeks before her due date. Her dad and I went on vacation up to a cabin in New Hampshire for a week prior to her arrival and had a VERY relaxing time floating in Lake Winnipesaukee. The prior week I struggled to get through the days at work in a child care center, having braxton hicks contractions the whole week.
While sitting on the beach with my DP, mom, grandma and aunt, DP and I decided on our daughters name, Adele Elizabeth---Elizabeth after me (Beth Ann), my mom (Susan Elizabeth) his mom (Debra Elizabeth), my grandma (Elizabeth Ann) HIS grandma (Elizabeth), and my GREAT grandma who is still living (Esther Elizabeth). We also picked a boys name since we weren't sure if I was carrying a boy or girl.
A couple days after arriving home from NH I felt "strange," was having hot flashes and very nauseous. I began having much stronger contractions every 20 minutes and called my midwife. She advised me to relax, get in the tub, take naps, limit activity and stay at home until the contractions were 2 minutes apart---unless anything changed.
I asked my mom to come to my house so I could sit in the tub as DP was at work. Mom was happy to and I sat in the tub for about three hours. Later that night I began having some bloody-mucousy discharge and called the midwife again.
We went into the hospital that night around 10pm and I began experiencing extreme back pain almost as high as my shoulder-blades. Then, I spiked a fever. The baby was being monitored and everything looked fine, so we waited. I was not dilating yet and began spotting even more. My back pain continued to worsen. This went on for most of the night until the early hours of the morning. The Midwives were concerned I may have an infection in my uterus. My fever eventually went down but I was still contracting---and finally began dilating, but only dilated one cm. They began to discuss a c-section since the pain in my back was still so severe that I couldn't lie down in the bed, I wanted to sit up which put pressure on the cervix and they didn't want that since I was still bleeding.
I got up to use the bathroom, as I stood up afterward I began gushing blood. The nurse rushed in and sat me down where I lost more blood, and was rushed back to the bed to lie down. This being my first child, I was unsure if my water had just broken or if it was "normal" to lose blood that way. My midwife and nurse assured me that the baby's vitals still looked very good (I could still hear her heartbeat) but the baby was coming right now. They threw scrubs at my DP and wheeled me into the OR almost instantly. Our baby girl was born less than 10 minutes later!
Thankfully she was a healthy 6.5oz even though she was a month early. She came out screaming which eased my mind! Upon her arrival, her first bowel movement was full of blood since she had been ingesting the blood in my uterus (most likely due to my placenta tearing or rupturing which is why I had such severe pain in my back.) So, she had to be observed and was put on an IV for a day until test results came back determining that the blood in her stools was mine rather than hers. She did lost quite a bit of weight, she went down over the next couple of days to 5 lbs 6 oz. but is finally back to her birth weight now.
I'm so thankful for the staff at Mt. Auburn Hospital (in Cambridge MA). They kept me calm and informed of everything that was happening and took great care of me before, during and after my emergency c-section. They also took exceptional care of my daughter while she was in the special care nursery.
I definitely didn't get to follow my "birth plan" of a water birth---I couldn't even labor in the water since I was losing blood, they would be unable to measure the amount of blood loss. Thankfully I was able to labor in the tub at home the day before, and it sure did help! So, plans changed, but I have a healthy, happy baby girl and I am so thankful!
It's been wonderful to be a part of this due date club! Congratulations to all of the August babies, the July babies that came early and the September babies that may show up a bit late. Congratulations to the mamas as well!! Take care!