The Incredible Birth and Unexpected Complications of Iris' Beginning (More details) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 02-10-2007, 04:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So I was very pregnant with my fifth baby. I was SURE she was due, and had my first and only "false" labor one week before she was born. I felt pushing, my uterus curled under the way it does with a push, etc...my husband said he could tell I was birthing....

And it stopped. The midwives had arrived, and one was VERY negative (she had just taken a baby to hospital as it ceased to breathe over and over), and I do think that had a lot to do with ceasing to labor for me. I want to emphasise that the MW who showed up didn't MEAN to be negative...she was just very stressed out and busy with trying to set up a barely-english speaking family in a hotel so they could be near their baby...She was on the phone and not really "there" for me.


Fastforward:

A week later, I knew she wanted to be born (although I didn't know her gender), and drank that nasty mix of whatsitcalled....the stuff that makes your bowels move, and orange juice.

I went to bed.

Woke up with contractions so heavy they were almost unreal. I had been dreaming about contractions, and it took me a minute to figure out I was actually having them. I didn't believe it until a few hours later when I finally called the midwife and my husband (who was on duty at the fire station...I always go into labor when he's on duty!!)

The midwife talked to me through a few contractions, and believed me when I said this was it (she'd been there and caught two of my other babies)...so she said she needed to get started out as it would take her an hour to pack up her stuff and get to my house. I told her not to rush, I have nice slow labors, and I didn't want her to rush on the ice, anyway.

Husband came home, we talked and walked and so forth. This was around 4 a.m.

Midwife came, brought a birthing stool which I set up in the tiny shower we have, and on it I sat for a good long time. My contractions were heavy, but SOMETHING was wrong.

I walked out and told D, the head midwife, that I thought the baby's head was malpositioned (from my own internals, I loathe letting other people near my cervix). I had to let her check, to make sure, and sure enough, I was right. She gave me some stances and walking stuff to do to reposition baby's head, and apparently it worked.

As time went by, I was shocked that it had been HOURS since I called D...since I truly didn't expect this labor to last THIS long. My ctx were strong, so strong, but I'd done this before and felt ok with being left alone in the shower on the birthing stool.

My contractions were nicely spaced, easy for me to deal with. I was very excited and all the kids slept until about 8am. After that, they were in and out with me a great deal, which was wonderful.

Then I knew I needed to push, but something else was wrong. (I always push my babies out in about three pushes).

I did my own internal, and oh my gracious, w hat a HUGE cervical "lip" was there. It was so thick and fat I didn't know what it was at first. Then I told D that I thought it was a fat cervical lip, and she checked and agreed, and I told her to push it down while I pushed the baby's head over it. She pushed it down, toward my tailbone, and on the next ctx I held my husband's hand and yelled as I pushed Iris' little head over that cervical swelling.

At that point, my son E (who was 4 at the time,, and very educated on what would happen during a birthing), decided he "had had enough." He covered his ears and walked out of the bathroom to the laundry area. I asked the assistant midwife to check on him, and she said he was just "working it out." He came right back, and told me I shouldn't yell anymore. I told him to remember the books we'd read, and that yelling makes the babies come faster and easier, and that he could yell with me, too. He was ok after that.


Pushing the cervical lip down worked like a charm, and she and husband danced around each other so he could "catch" baby, but D never let go of my hand. I hate the fact that I always yell during birthing, but she reassured me by saying she always did, too.

Husband caught our tiny, tiny baby...Well, we sort of caught her together. I'd been using the showerhead (on a long cord) for much-loved water relief of the ctx, and forgot about it as Iris was born. They had to tell me not to spray her face as her head was emerging. On the next push, she was all the way out. She was incredibly tangled in her cord, it was around and over her shoulder, around her belly, etc. and had been pinched during the pushing. She was purple and blue in spots, and we actually sort of had a tug-of-war over trying to get her untangled. I told DH later that it made more sense to bring her TOWARD me, as she was still "attached" than to try to untangle her cord nearer him.

I sat on the birthing stool and just reveled in her birth. She was so small! (6lbs, 8 oz, my smallest baby). I rubbed the vernix that was on her skin and coo'd like any new mother. All of my children had watched her birth, and they were thrilled and joyful. E really wanted to cut her cord, and he tried, but it was too hard for him and he was a little nervous about the blood in the cord. Finally, my daughter cut her cord (she had also cut both of her brothers' cords, we call her our little midwife).

I left the shower and lay in a sort of nest outside the bathroom, in the laundry room. (Because our stairs are ladder-like and we only have one potty). We made the usual phone calls, waking up friends and being so excited. She was born at 8:56, and husband laughed that if I'd waited just half an hour longer, he would have been home from work.

So it hadn't really been that long of a labor...I woke after 1am, and called D at 3:45 or so, husband at the same time.

All of the kids took turns holding her, the girls got her dressed and the boys (younger than the girls) got to pick out her clothes. We kept her nude except for a hat and wrapped in towels and prefolds rather than dress her for the first 12 hours or so, though.

She kept getting purple spots around her face and D said that was called "transitioning" because of the cord tangling.

I had a VERY hard time trying to pee after the birth, and when I finally did, I was elated, sure it was all over. I had to stand up in the shower and run warm water over myself to accomplish even that.

It wasn't.

12 hours later I found myself upstairs with my newborn and my 2yo child, crying and swelling and with a migraine from hell.

Usually after a birth, I am soooooooo excited and energetic. This time I was actually in so much pain I couldn't handle it.

My DH came up and helped us all down the stairs.

The swelling went on and on, and the pain in my head got worse and worse. I've had migraines for 24 years, and this was beyond all that pain.

My DH is an EMT-III and I'm an EMT-I, and I knew my BP was astronomical. It was 167/99 when we went to the HCP's office 5 days later.

The doc in charge (whom I loathe), said I should go home and rest! The Nurse-Midwife whom I see for everyday stuff said she'd like to admit me to the hospital, but I didn't know I could take tiny Iris with me, so I declined.

Next day, I was in so much pain I *almost* gave in. The BP meds they had given me were doing nothing, and we didn't know what was going on.

By 7 o'clock on day 6, I told my husband to call and set it all up.

Took two days to set up the admission, as they neglected to tell me that I'd have to have an adult with me at all times because I was being given morphine. Grrrrrrr. I was actually AT the hospital, in a gown and all, when they informed me of that policy. I was looking so forward to not being in pain any longer, and I had to get dressed again and go home.

So, finally, we got the other kids sorted out, found friends who had time to stay with me (including one who was 40 weeks pregnant herself!) and I was admitted.

After 3 days of NO relief from constant morphine injections,(10mg every 2 hours, five mg by IV, five by injection), I was given a shot of Imitrex and a pill (not oxycontine, but something that strong). I had been on a constant IV of mag sulfate to prevent seizures from the BP issues.

My pain went from a 10 to a 2 in minutes.

Nobody did the promised ultrasound to check for retained placenta. They did do a CT for some reason.

Turned out I *did* have a retained bit of placenta, which only released itself five weeks after Dd's birth. I was petrified, sure I was experiencing an inverted uterus as I felt that "something coming out" feeling....at the g-ddammed dinner table.

I couldn't even tell my husband until the next night, I was so scared by what had come out of me.

I am angry that I don't remember the first 5 plus weeks of my last baby's life. I am angry that I had to endure soooooooooooo much pain needlessly. I am grateful that I didn't have to have surgery, because I have a morbid fear of things like that, but...trading memories of my daughter's first 5 weeks (I was in too much pain to do much more than lie in bed and nurse) for no surgery is a tough one. Had I had it to do over again, I'd have demanded the ultrasound and had another doctor do the surgery.

But I'm glad to have her here, to have a husband who loves me enough to support me through this horrible nightmare of a pospartum period...

And I'm glad I knew what was going on during her birthing, and that I was believed on that score.

love, p

Bookworm Mama to 6 wonderkids and stepmama to one more: 22, 21, 18, 13, 10, 8 and our Z born April 2013. . Partner to my       
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#2 of 9 Old 02-10-2007, 08:19 AM
 
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you sound so wise. I'm sorry about the scare, and so glad you made it through!
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#3 of 9 Old 02-11-2007, 08:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you, sphinxie. I heard through the grapevine later on that there was actually a plan in the making for how to help my husband with all the kids if I didn't survive. I really didn't realise how bad it was, I guess.

They sent me home with astronomical BP, all they wanted was to get my diastolic under 100! (By the time I was admitted, my BP was 190/110). One nurse (at 2 or 3 am), even refused me any meds, and I didn't want to wake my husband up by calling him to ask him to help fix it all.

When it was over, I was actually accused by the doctor of "being responsible for the headaches, you are an EMT, you know morphine can cause headache." !!!!! I wasn't an EMT at that point, I was just a mother in pain, trying her best to nurse her baby and make it through.

At one point, one of our burly, I mean a big guy, firefighters (who is not married and has no children or experience with them) was the only one who could stay with me. They gave me an ibuprofen...now, I hadn't been able to eat anything for four or five days (I was admitted on day 8 after her birth, this incident occurred on day 11). So the one 600 mg ibuprofen thay gave me irritated my stomach enough that I knew right away I was going to throw up. I had to lay Iris on the bed and shuffle myself to the bathroom (I am loathe to throw up in front of anyone!)...so our burly firefighter friend was alone with the baby. She wailed as I was throwing up what felt like gallons of water, and when I walked out, there he was, standing over the bed, looking petrified, but not touching her. It was pretty comical. He thought he'd break her if he picked her up. This man actually set his own turnouts ON FIRE because he's so fearless, and got too far into a hot housefire, but he couldn't pick up a newborn.

love, p

Bookworm Mama to 6 wonderkids and stepmama to one more: 22, 21, 18, 13, 10, 8 and our Z born April 2013. . Partner to my       
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#4 of 9 Old 02-12-2007, 05:40 PM
 
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I am sorry that you had to go through that, but you made it!

Hmmmmmm.

I thought that midwives always checked the placenta to make sure that it all comes out???

What did your midwife have to say about this whoel thing?

Barbara

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#5 of 9 Old 02-12-2007, 08:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yaboobarb View Post
I am sorry that you had to go through that, but you made it!

Hmmmmmm.

I thought that midwives always checked the placenta to make sure that it all comes out???

What did your midwife have to say about this whoel thing?

Barbara

Hi, Barbara. My midwife *did* check the placenta, she even went over it with the apprentice midwife in a sort of "here's how you do it" way.

Apparently I had an attached lobe that left no real signs that it had detatched.

It happens. But the swelling and BP issues...those should have been huge red flags within 24 hours, and I didn't know enough to know what kind of red flags they were. I love the DEMs here in town, but I was their first case of retained placenta *ever* that they hadn't caught.

Until the placental lobe detatched itself five weeks later, I was dx'd by my regular HCP (a Registured Nurse-Midwife) with postpartum pre-eclampsia. Nobody knew what was going on because nobody did an ultrasound...which would have made the most sense.

FWIW, the DEMs completely respected my need to be left alone and not have lots of "checks..." so I'm sure that has a lot to do with why they didn't see the extreme bleeding or more of the swelling.


love, penelope

Bookworm Mama to 6 wonderkids and stepmama to one more: 22, 21, 18, 13, 10, 8 and our Z born April 2013. . Partner to my       
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#6 of 9 Old 02-12-2007, 09:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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For anyone interested or curious...(I do think it's important to share this stuff, just like I wish someone had told me about pospartum clots before my first baby!)...

The lobe, when it detached, did feel like a "something coming out." I was petrified, as my huge fear has always been an invert uterus, which I've seen on an ambulance call once. It was horrifying.

Anyway, I got up from the dinner table quietly, and when I went to the restroom what came out looked like...I can't put it any more mildly, a small grayish gut pile. (If you know what a gut pile looks like...if not, picture a small pile of grayish intestinal squggles). It was the size of a baseball.

I was horrified. I don't know why I didn't tell my husband or call my MW right away....I was too scared. Too horrified. Too sure I knew what had just happened and not sure how I felt about it.

When I finally told my husband, he begged me to go to the Registered Nurse-Midwife who is my normal HCP. He'd done a LOT of research on it after I told him, and he was petrified after what we had already been through.

Nothing scares my husband. NOTHING. But having watched me go through over a month of indescribable pain and bleeding and more pain...this frightened him.

The swelling, for those interested in having the info at hand, was *astounding*. I had fingers so swollen I thought they'd split open within about 18 hours of her birth.

24 hours after she was born we went to a swim meet to watch our two daughters swim... I couldn't stay much after the first hour, I was so swollen and in a lot of pain. (The other parents were horrified that I'd "had her at home"...I was even asked "Oh, so they let you out so soon?" ).

ANYONE who has rising, abnormal BP issues, swelling, horrible headaches, massive bleeding, or even just one of those things, after the birth of their babies, should have an ultrasound to check for retained placental fragments.

It would have given me memories of my daughter's first 5 weeks had I had an ultrasound right away.

love, penelope

Bookworm Mama to 6 wonderkids and stepmama to one more: 22, 21, 18, 13, 10, 8 and our Z born April 2013. . Partner to my       
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#7 of 9 Old 02-13-2007, 04:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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And FWIW, I do think hubby and I had our little tug-o'-war over the cord because at that point he was reacting as a Lead Medic, and maybe (maybe) a tiny bit afraid by the color of our daughter.


The head midwife, D, told me later that she was about to step in and stop the tug-o'-war JUST as we argued it out and I grabbed Iris and untangled her myself.
love, p

Bookworm Mama to 6 wonderkids and stepmama to one more: 22, 21, 18, 13, 10, 8 and our Z born April 2013. . Partner to my       
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#8 of 9 Old 02-21-2007, 08:17 PM
 
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Wow, what a story!

Just had to say I love your DD's name, I chose the same one for my first DD!
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#9 of 9 Old 02-22-2007, 02:13 AM
 
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So happy that you are doing well, and thank-you for posting this story. What a great learning experience for all of us who were fortunate to read. I had to laugh at your discription of the medic/firefighter, I was a emtp and remember the tough sides and most gentle of character of some of my fellow workers. Blessings to you and your family.
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