Here we are 7 weeks postpartum and I feel like it’s time to write this all down. It’s not like I’m going to forget what had happened… after we went through, I won’t forget any of it.
Sunday, April 4th
I woke up at 1am to use that bathroom and noticed that I started bleeding a bit. I called Kaiser L&D to let them know and they told me to monitor the bleeding to make sure it wasn’t a lot (ie. soaking a maxi pad – which it wasn’t to that level). They also said to check my bleeding in an hour. If it was more to call back. If the bleeding is still minimal or if it went away then to go back to sleep. At 2am I checked and the bleeding had significantly went down; however, I noticed I had passed my mucus plug. I ended up falling back asleep.
3am rolls around and I felt this tightening feeling go throughout my whole belly. Was this a contraction?? And fuck, it hurt !! I thought Braxton Hicks contractions hurt, but this… this was something else. I called Kaiser again and they let me know to monitor my contractions. They wanted me to call back once my contractions were 5 minutes apart and lasting about a minute. For the first hour, my contractions were about 15 minutes apart. Then around 5am, they dropped down to 10 minutes apart. Then by 6am they got to 5 minutes apart. I called Kaiser and the nurse I spoke with said that I should wait to see if they get closer and if the contractions get more painful.
Let me tell you. Contractions EFFING HURT. They say like its a strong period cramp, but it was worse than that. Even my abdominal cramps during a UC flare were not comparable. These cramps brought me to my knees. I couldn’t breathe or talk through them.
Around 920am I called Kaiser and I let them know that my contractions were 4 minutes apart and are increasing in pain so they told us to drive in so I can get checked. The whole time I kept thinking “I better be at least 5cm or they’ll send me home.” We get to Kaiser and thankfully found parking towards the front. Right when we get to the front, of course I have another contraction. An employee working the front grabbed us a wheelchair and off we went to L&D.
Once we entered L&D, they brought us into the triage room and I changed into my hospital gown. They hooked me up to a couple of machines: one to monitor my contractions and the other to monitor BB’s heartbeat. They also checked my blood pressure. Once the midwife on duty came in, they checked my cervix and I was 5cm dilated so they decided it was time to admit me. They did a rapid COVID test, which really wasn’t that bad. I barely felt the swab in my sinus. My nurse was great! They also got an IV in, took some blood work, and then gave me some pain meds for the contractions. The doctor also let me know that they’ll be monitoring my blood pressure because it was a bit high.
They wheeled me into L&D Room 9 and got me hooked up to the machines there. After checking my blood pressure a few more times, they diagnosed me with preeclampsia. Also, they noticed that my platelets levels were low so they recommended me getting my epidural ASAP before it was too late and I wouldn’t be able to get the epidural. So T and I ordered some lunch and then waited for the anethesiologist to come in and do the epidural. Also, I had to empty out my bladder and try to go to the bathroom because once I get my epidural I won’t be able to leave the bed.
Around 1pm it was time for me to get my epidural. For the epidural, they made sit up at the edge of the bed and hunch over holding a pillow. Honestly, I didn’t feel anything. People said the epidural would be an experience on its own, but all I felt was the anesthesiologist cleaning the site where he was putting in the catheter. Once it was over, he gave me a little clicker/button that I could press if I needed more drugs. He said I could push the button all I want but there’s a timer so it will only release the amount I am allowed to get. Once the epidural kicked in, I was in heaven. The contractions just felt like mild pressure, but I felt no pain. I was able to move my toes and my legs just felt heavy. Also, the nurse came in and put in my catheter since I couldn’t go to the bathroom to pee.
After getting the epidural around 1, I basically slept unless the nurse came in to check on me or made me switch up my position in bed. Taylor tried sleeping on the little sofa whenever he had the chance to sleep.
Around 6pm, the midwife let me know that my blood pressure was now in the severe range and I no longer qualified for a midwife delivery and had to have a doctor do my delivery. They started me on magnesium and labetalol. The magnesium is to prevent seizures and labetalol is to help with the blood pressure.
April 5, 2021
Around 12:30am, the doctor came in and checked and I was 10cm dilated. The nurse got me all situated to start pushing. She got the stirrups up and told me how to push. Around 1am we started pushing. My nurse would have me push for a 10 count at each contraction. Surprisingly, T looked to see what it looked like down there while I was pushing. At one point the nurse was like “I see his head” and T looked haha. Finally after about 20 minutes, my nurse told me to stop pushing and she was going to call the Doctor in. When she showed up they prepped the room ready for BB’s grand arrival. At my next contraction they made me push, and then I pushed again, and then one more time and out came BB at 1:33am.
I didn’t feel BB come down and out. Thank you, Epidural. I remember looking down seeing the doctor help take him out and started clearing his mouth and nose. I remember seeing him and thinking, he looks wet haha. Then all of a sudden he started to cry and next thing you know I’m reaching down for him and then he was in my arms. All of this was like a matter of seconds. After 60 seconds, they clamped the umbilical cord and asked T if he wanted to cut the cord, which he did.
Surprisingly I didn’t cry. I just kept thinking “oh shit he’s here !!” And “I can’t believe I just did that.” No really though, GET THE EPIDURAL!!!
With BB on my chest (skin to skin contact), T and I just stared at him while the placenta was birthed which I don’t even remember happening. T said it just came out and he saw it. Gross. After, I had an IUD placed cause I’m not trying to have another baby any time soon. Then doctor stitched me up. 2nd degree tear. 20 stitches. Yep. That’s how we knew he was a big ass baby. After about an hour, the nurses took BB away to examine him and T was able to watch them as they checked him out. At that time one of the nurses asked if she could bring me anything to eat, which I happily said “Yes!” And got a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and some juice and fruit haha
BB came back to me and I learned he was 8 lbs 12 oz and 20” long. Again, he was a big ass baby !! After a bit, the nurses were going to take us to the postpartum room. When I tried to get up to use the bathroom, I automatically felt sick and asked to lay back down. They let me rest for about an hour, which I apparently ended up sleeping. The nurses came back to see if I could get up to use the bathroom so they could move me. Again, I tried to stand up, but I couldn’t, so they brought over a bedpan to see if I could go in that. That didn’t work so the nurse had to put another catheter in to empty out my bladder. After, she grabbed the wheelchair and wheeled me to the room. Another nurse had BB in the bassinet, and T had our bags.
Once situated in our postpartum room, T got comfy cozy on the little sofa and fell asleep. BB was sound asleep in the bassinet. As for me, I was able to fall asleep for a little bit, but then the fun began…
I woke up in PAIN. I just felt this throbbing pain down there so I pressed the call button for the nurse to come in. When she did, I told her that I was in pain. She checked to see if I was bleeding, which I wasn’t. She then asked me what I wanted and I asked for the doctor. Unfortunately, the doctor was tied up in a delivery so she wasn’t available, yet. She told me that she was going to page the doctor to come when she was available.
I try to go back to sleep, but I just couldn’t. The pain was just too much for me. I feel like I kept calling the nurse into my room every 10 minutes because I just needed something.. anything to make the pain go away. After about 2 hours of this back and forth, I call the nurse back in and at this point I am in tears and literally sobbing from the pain. My crying basically wakes up T and he comes to my bed to find out what’s going on. Whatever I was feeling was the worst pain I have ever felt in my life. Finally, a doctor came into my room to examine me. She tells me that I have a vulvar hematoma (a collection of blood that pools in the soft tissues of the vagina). I asked her how would I get rid of it and the pain and she said that we can let my body reabsorb the blood and heal on it’s own or surgery. I asked how long does it usually take and she said it can take a few weeks, which I responded with “Can we have it surgically removed cause so am in too much pain and I can’t wait several weeks?” The doctor tells me she’s going to talk to another doctor for their opinion and in the meantime she’s going to give me pain meds, which help dull the pain for about an hour.
The doctor comes back with another doctor to examine me again. At this point my swelling has increased. I reiterate to both the doctors that if they can do surgery to please do it. The 2nd doctor said she can take me to the operating room to take a better look at what’s going on and if they needed to do surgery they will. I agreed to the procedure and she said she will prep the team and will come back for me.
Around 8am, the nurse puts in another catheter and then wheels me to the operating room. There the doctor examines me and determines that surgery is needed to remove the pooled blood. When the anesthesiologist came in, they made me sit upright as the anesthesia was given in my lower back/spine similar to my epidural. Sitting down was so painful that I was crying again. One of the nurses in the operating room was like “We need you to stay absolutely still for this so if it helps, just hug me while you get it.” So here I was holding my breath cause I was in pain and I didn’t want to move while hugging this nurse haha. Anyways, I lay down and then I was out.
Apparently I was in surgery for about 3 hours. They had to check to see if the bleeding was just in the vaginal area, or if my bladder and rectum were also bleeding – which they weren’t. During my procedure, they removed about 1500 ML of blood that had pooled in the area. That’s 50 oz or 6 cups. that’s a whole shit ton of blood.
I finally woke up in the recovery area. There, my nurse let me know that they were going to give me a blood transfusion due to all the blood I lost. They gave me two units (aka bags) of blood. Finally, right before 6pm it was time for me to go back to T and BB.
The fact that I spent all those hours away from T and BB just sucked. I missed them. I wanted to start being a mother to my son, but I literally couldn’t. While I was gone, the nurses took such good care of T and BB. They made sure that T got food. They taught him how to swaddle BB. Since I wasn’t there to feed BB, they had to supplement by giving him formula, so they taught T how to finger feed using a feeding tube and syringe. One of the nurses helped T wash BB’s hair. T did amazing and during the time I was out, he was able to develop such a strong bond with BB.
When I got settled back into our room, we ordered food for dinner and T got me caught up with happened while I was gone. After dinner, the nurse came in to see if it was a good time for BB to be circumcised. They took him in his bassinet down the hall for the procedure. Since I wasn’t able to walk, T went with them but then came back cause he said he couldn’t watch them do it cause he felt bad haha
That first night I let T sleep. I had the nurse wheel BB’s bassinet next to me so I can watch him sleep. I honestly had a hard time sleeping because I was so uncomfortable and I was just nervous. I wanted to make sure BB was OK and breathing. Since I couldn’t get out of bed and T was asleep, the nurses helped me with changing BB. Finally after about 5 or so hours, T woke up and fed BB.
But yeah. That was BB’s birth story. We were at the hospital from Sunday morning to Thursday afternoon. I had another blood transfusion on Tuesday. Started physical therapy on Wednesday to help me get out of bed. Even left the hospital with a walker. BB’s birth was definitely not what we expected. My OBGYN came and visited me on Thursday and she was like “OMG! I can’t believe you went through all of this!” I even went back to the ER the day after we were discharged. Although all the complications having T by my side and the help of all of our amazing nurses made our experience easier. Maybe I will go more into detail on the rest of our stay and after we left, but for now this will do.