Feeling cheated out of a "normal" delivery

Kristi - posted on 01/08/2009 ( 24 moms have responded )

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Telling my story is cathartic for me, so if you don't want to read a big story, stop reading now. I should start by saying that Wes is our first child. We had no previous pregnancies, and up until November 7, 2008 the pregnancy was completely normal. No high blood pressure, no nothing.

On November 7, 2008 I went into the hospital in our hometown (small town of about 8500) with some massive upper abdomen pain, and since I am a tough one, you can imagine what the pain had to be like. I was admitted pretty much immediately and put on bed rest. My blood pressure was high, but I didn't really know what was going on. I was at that hospital until Sunday afternoon, when it was decided that I had "HELLP" Syndrome.I was transferred to a hospital in a larger centre to be induced, as I was told they have the "facilities and knowledge" to deal with HELLP Syndrome.

No one really explained anything to me, other than I was being moved to a new hospital because my issues were something bigger than my small town’s hospital could handle.
So, then we were in the next hospital and an Obstetrician took over my care. They attempted to induce me from Sunday afternoon to Monday afternoon and then I started to bleed. The induction wasn't working, and now there was an issue with clotting. The decision was made at about 5:00 pm on Monday to transfer me to the Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary because now my health was in danger, therefore Wes's was too. Still none of us (my family) really understood what was going on. I arrived at FMC sometime around 7-ish. I was admitted to the ICU Obstetrics Unit, with a platelet count that was so low the Doc's had never seen it before. I was pretty messed up on drugs by that point, and all I knew was that people were coming in left and right (friends and family) and telling me things. I don't really remember a ton of it though. I know that I ended up needing 3 separate platelet infusions before the Doc felt confident that I could possibly make it through surgery. Finally at just before midnight on November 10 they wheeled me into the operating room and proceeded to knock me out and take Wes. He was born at 12:19 am on November 11, 2008. Don and my mom watched him be born (sort of) but I was completely knocked out. My doc talked to my mom and Don after word and explained that for now things were touch and go for now with me, but were great with Wes (except that because he is a preemie (35 weeker) and could possibly face lots of issues. He was sent to the NICU. I saw Wes for the first time on Tuesday morning around 8am. The fantastic people from the NICU brought him over to the ICU and put him on my chest. Apparently my blood pressure dropped to normal for the 1/2 an hour that I held him, then skyrocketed again once he was taken away. It was amazing to see him, but I was still having a hard time believing that I had a son.

I was in the ICU from Tuesday early am to Wednesday late pm. I had tubes coming out of me and was on oxygen. I was black and blue from the many many many attempts at putting IV’s in me, and then having the veins fail. I was seen by a hemologist due to the major blood issues related to HELLP Syndrome. I can’t believe how many doctors needed to see me and monitor me. I was transferred from the ICU to the normal postpartum unit to attempt to feel functional again. I knew my only goal was to get my son and to go home. I didn't get Wes in my room and out of the NICU until Friday afternoon. I did what I had to do and was finally allowed to go home, with my son, on Saturday, November 15th.

It still bothers me that I didn't get to see my son being born, or experience his birth at all. I was afraid to fall asleep for the surgery, because I was scared that I wasn't going to wake up. But here I sit, with my son sleeping on my lap, and I know that I am truly blessed. I just hope and pray that if we decide to try this again, we have a "normal" birth and I get to experience that amazing moment with my husband.

I would love to hear other people's stories .... and thank you for listening to mine!

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Dana - posted on 02/26/2009

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I truly identify with feeling cheated.  When your pregnancy is progressing normally & with no complaints up until the 5th month like mine was, the furthest thing from your mind is that you will have this expierence so unlike anything the regular pregnancy books and magazines really talk about. After waiting for so long to have a child, I was looking fwd to feeling the movements and the kicking the waddling-etc.  In hindsight I probably would not have enjoyed those things so much, but I figured that this most likely will be my only chance at this and I wanted to have those moments documented. 



After going for the 20wk exam and hearing that everything was normal & progressing just fine with my son,  the sonogram person says that they just want to check my cervix since they were not seeing much. That's when it began..all of a sudden, I now have an incompetent cervix and I have to come back for weekly sonograms and most likely hospitalized bedrest after the baby is considered viable (24wks) until they are born.  Not even 2wks later I have to spend a wknd in the hospital because they want to be sure the baby was not going to just come on out due to the fact there was really no cervix left. I am placed on immediate bedrest at home and to come into the hospital at 24wks to get steroids and stay until whenever I deliver. Talk about immediate life upheaval. After a week of serious stress, I am home & havng been laying down pretty much all day decide to take a shower when I feel something wet on my legs-I am wondering-is it sweat? did I wet myself? what is it? after a quick shower and drying I feel it again. I get the feeling I need to get to the hospital quickly.  My doctor and hospital I was originally scheduled to deliver at which would be near my family is actually quite some distance from where I live-so I went to one close to my home. Turns out, my water did break & I am admitted and at not even 23 wks was told that I would probably deliver within 24hrs even though I was not having any contractions or anything else going on and most likely the kid would not survive or there would be severe issues so forth an so on.  With lots of prayers and refusal to accept such gloom and doom-I made it to 24 wks and was able to get the steroid shots as they now considered my son to have an ever so slight chance of survival. So more hospital bedrest (yay!)   I know it's the hospital's job to give people the worst case possibilities-but I wish more often then not they would give you the positive ones as well. Anyway, 2 days later in the evening I feel some slight cramping and go to the bathroom several times in the evening but the machines say I am not having contractions. In the morning, te decide to do a sonogram and exam since I have so little fluid they want to make sure of what is going on inside.  The sonogram shows my son's upper body and heartbeat and everything is good. So they decide to go for the up close and personal exam, not even 30 secs later I hear-"There is a leg and a torso in the canal" and all H#** breaks loose.



I am immediately rushed into the delivery rm with barely enough time to call my husband to get over to the hospital pronto. I am strapped down on the table, stripped, poked with needles & prepped for a c-section even though every fiber of my being is saying to do this naturally. I mean he is halfway down the canal already-what are you going to do? pull on his fragile lil head to get him out the other way?   The dr's even start having a debate about it. While other Neonatal dr's are asking me the same question they have been asking me just about every day I have been in the hospital- "What do you want us to do when the baby comes out?" In other words, do I want them to try and help him to survive-which is such a stupid thing to ask repeatedly I think as if I did not want you t do everything possible why would I be here? Of course I tell them to do everything for my child- The dr's eventually decide to let me try to push him out and see what happens. I did push and he was out not even 5 mins later I think. Of course, my husband missed all of that fun.  They rushd my son away to another section of the OR to work on him so I did not even get to see him but was told that he did come out kicking. Meanwhile, they are trying to get the placenta out that does not seem to want to leave. Finally, I am told my husband is outside and that they are getting ready to wheel my son past me to the NICU so I will be able to get a peek next thing I know, I am waking up on the OR table and some time has passed.   Apparently, they decided to sneak & knock me out to take the placenta from me and I did not get to see my son go past but at least my husband did.  I then was told I lost a ton of blood and was now running a fever. So after all of that, it was two days before I even got to lay my eyes on my son directly. 



I don't think I could have in my wildest dreams pictured a delivery like that.

Kirsty - posted on 02/20/2009

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Quoting Crystal:

I understand what you went through. I have been pregnant more than 3 times, and I gave birth to two both being under 23 weeks. The first one lived, but the second one was stillborn. The doctors said that by Naomi ( that's what we named her) being breach, and only 1 lb 2 ozs, she wasnt strong enough. And the worst part about it is that I cant help but wonder if I had gone to the hospital sooner, or if I had dealt with the pain, would she be alive today. I still cry when Gabriel (my first born) come to me and asked "Why couldn't my sister come home". I know that one day I will be able to go full term and feel the baby move, feel the baby kick, and what ever else they do after 23 weeks. And for all those who are going through it, I pray for strength for you.



My son was born at 32 weeks  and i didn' t see him for 24 hours and that was hard enough, my sister had a baby at 23 weeks and 6 days and he is a miracle baby (he is deaf). I believe truely that your chlldren are real miracles, i believed that my sister's son was one of the youngset babies alive and to hear that your child was even younger is incredible and my thoughts go out to you and your family. 23 weeks is so early that your children are true miracles, when in England they say that 24 weeks is just viable for life! You did nothing wrong, you are an amazing mum. well done for what you have achieved even though I know you have lost so much, Kirsty xxx

Deborah - posted on 02/19/2009

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My story is very much like yours. At 39 I was having great pregnancy I went to my 28 week appointment , after the nurse told me I had placenta previa and I would have to have another ultrasound, she checked my urine sample. It was brown, acute pre-eclampsia! They sent me down the street to Good Samaritan hospital, in Cincinnati, Ohio where we live, which is to me the greatest hospital in our city. Their NICU is level 3, and is as good if not better than our children's hospital. They took me off my feet, and drugged me to keep me from getting worse. After 2 days of blood tests, sonograms, and trying to use a bed pan, my liver started swelling again, there was no stopping this ugly disease. They delivered my tiny 2 pound baby girl at 28 weeks and 2 days by emergency C-section. Our families had never been through anything like this, we had churches from the east coast to Hawaii praying for us. I still was very sick and my condition didn't stablize for 2 more days and I came very close to dying. I didn't get see her for 24 hours and didn't get to hold her for another 2 weeks, she was in the NICU 2 months and 2 days. She came through it and beat every problem. she is now 14 and smart and beautiful. Six years later I gave her a sister and for her I went to Dr. Kim Brady, who is the best high risk OB. I still had pre-eclampsia and a lot of other problems, plus I had another C-section because of my first baby being so early, at 37 1/2 weeks, but I took this one home 3 days later. I have never had a normal birth or pregnancy and I couldn't breast feed either one of them but as long as my babies are ok nothing else matters. People thought I was crazy to have another child and then I had a miscarriage between them. My first one taught me, it's not about me, it's about the baby. Don't feel cheated, feel blessed to have your wonderful baby! I pray hard for God to take care of them, and then I do what I have to do. If you decide to have another one, talk to a high risk OB, they are fabulous. I send people to mine all the time and just pray and have faith that God will bring you through. You survived the first time!!!!!!!!!!

Jen - posted on 02/18/2009

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I can identify. I felt a lot of guilt about my son being born early, even though I know it had nothing to do with anything I did. I also had major guilt about leaving the hospital before he did. Here's my long story.
At 29 weeks I was at my prenatal class, which was held at the hospital. During the entire class I felt what I thought were Braxton Hicks, but they were every 7-9 minutes and for 3 straight hours. After class my husband and I talked to the nurse who ran the class and she said I should go to the assessment room to get checked out. after a long series of tests and checks (we found out my son was already in birthing position, which shocked the doctor), I was sent home to be on strict bedrest (only up for bathroom and doctors appointments). The contractions never stopped, but they never got any worse.
At 34 weeks, they started coming every 3-4 minutes, but they weren't very strong. It was a Monday when I paged my doctor and told her about them. She said if they got worse to go to the hospital. They went back to 5-7 minutes, so I stayed home. My doctor called on Wednesday to see how I was doing and asked me to come in on Thursday. When I went in, my blood pressure was 186 over 124. She sent us straight to the hospital to get checked. They admitted me right away and sent me for an ultrasound to see how the baby was doing (he was fine....not a care in the world). My blood pressure continued to climb. Thursday night they decided that they would have to induce me first thing in the morning when they had a high risk room available. They put in a Cervidal (sp?) overnight to help open the cervix (I was only at 1cm).
Friday morning, they took me downstairs and inserted a foley catheter, which was the worst experience I have ever had - I was extremely sensitive my entire pregnancy and it felt like sandpaper being inserted. I have never actually screamed in pain like that before. It sucked, and no amount of gas helped. 4 hours later it fell out and I was at 4cm (Friday around 11am). Then they started the oxytocin. At 7pm, I had made no progress, so they gave me some morphine to sleep.
Saturday morning came and I was still at 4cm. They broke my water around noon and even though they knew it would slow labour, they gave me an epidural since I was so far past exhausted I was actually hallucinating. That let me sleep for a few hours, then it stopped working. They tried 4 times, but apparently I'm in the 1% of people whose spine just won't accept an epidural. By Saturday night I was exhausted and in pain, but was still only 4cm. Sunday morning the doctor said we had to do a c-section. After 52 hours of labour my son was born on Sunday, August 10th, 2008. He was 5lbs 2 oz and stayed 12 days in the NICU with a feeding tube.
My blood pressure stayed pretty high (but low enough to go home and rest) until he came home. It dropped from 163 over 110 to 117 over 89 that day.
When we have another, I would like to try a VBAC, but the thought of the epidural not working scares the crap out of me. Wow...that was long. If anyone is still reading, sorry! :)

Kristi - posted on 02/18/2009

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I just want the full term part - bring on the drugs for me the next time ... I already know I want an epidural :)



Thanks for your story though, and your gold medal comment made me smile :)

Jessica - posted on 02/18/2009

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darn it! I just typed out a long post and I lost it, so here goes again.  I just wanted to say please don't feel cheated because you aren't missing much at all!  How can I say this you might wonder?  I too had HELLP and my daughter was born via emergency c-section at 25 weeks!  She weighed less than a pound (430 grams), and it was about 2 months until I was allowed to hold my child.  Today we face a lot of complications due to her prematurity.  A year later out of the blue we got pregnant again, surprise!  This time around we had a big ol' healthy full-termer.  And because, like you, I felt cheated out of a normal pregnancy and delivery I decided to go "all natural."  Let me tell ya, it was no picnic.  I ended up having 12 hours of hard painful exhausting labor with no pain meds, no epidural, just me vs mother nature.  I had a successful Vbac and some nice tearing to go along with it, sorry, graphic I know.  Don't get me wrong, I am truly truly grateful that my second child was full-term and healthy and getting to hold her right when she was born was great.  But I really didn't gain any special feeling from going through the natural process, and just know you don't get a gold medal for pushing out a human being with no pain meds!!   ;) 

Kristi - posted on 02/18/2009

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Thanks for sharing your stories, everyone, and reading mine. It get better every day, and of course better to look at my son, but I still "go there" sometimes and wallow a bit. I have decided that I am allowed to do that sometimes. I think it helps me heal!

Randie - posted on 02/17/2009

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Hello, I had my daughter at 29 weeks,due to high blood pressure..it was a rough pregnancy to start off with, we got pregnant in Feb/March (end/beginning) but didnt get a positive result until April 1st, on a home test and a week or so after that through our OBGYN.  I had severe morning sickness, was dehydrated 3 times in one weekend, had to take different meds to keep down water, had gestinational diabeties, when I was about 27/28 weeks my ankles were so swelled I could barely put on slippers/flip flops.  It was sad, and I started having a high protien put out in urine so I had to bed on bed rest all weekend and keep my urine for them to test, and then went in for a stress test, originally it started on weds, went home friday, went back saturday was there for almost a week, went to bangor to have a level 2 ultrasound, found out that the flow in the umbicail cord had stopped and was actually going in reverse, I hadn't gelt her move for 2 days, and she was breeched so we had to go to the hospitail and have an emergency c-section, she weighed 2lbs 7oz, full head of hair, and stayed there for 2 months, had some difficulties breathing even though they gave me steriod shot for her lungs, and a bowel infection, is anemic (low iron) and has severe acid reflux...she's doing better now, she's almost 5 months andweighs 11lb6oz...still small I think but is happy...

Liz - posted on 02/02/2009

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I know how you feel.  Everything was pretty much normal in my pregnancy up until the last week of May. I went into the emergancy room and they wheeled me up. They gave me pills to stop what I think were contractions at the time. ( this was my first pregnancy so I was new to everything)  Then on the morning of June 8th ( the day of my baby shower)  I turned over and I felt my water break. I didn't really know what had happened at first, but it took me about five minutes or so to realize what was happening and i woke up my husband.  We quickly got ready ( and since we live with my parents my husband told them what was going on before we left at 5:45 in the morning) The baby shower went on, and by the time we got to the hospital ( which was only five minutes away)  The horrible back contractions started. By the time I got up to the room and they checked me I was already five centemeters dialated and 100% effaced. My daughter was coming one way or another.  My son on the other had was breeched side ways.  So it was either let my daughter be born and hoped he turned, or do an emergancy c-section. They opted for the c-section and by 7:53 in the morning both of them were born. I was able to see my daughter for a few moments, but was not able to see my son. Since they were born just one day shy of thirty four weeks my son's lungs had not developed quite yet.  I wasn't able to see either of them for a few days.  When I was finally able to see them there was an emergancy in the nursery and I was scared to death it was one of my twins, thankfully it wasn't.  They needed to put my son on some sort of special medicine and on a resperator.  we couldn't even go by him.Luckily four hours later he was off of it and didn't have to be transfeered to another hospital.  Eight days after they were born he was allowed to come home, and as for my daughter she came home four days after her brother because she had problems gaining weight. My son discharged at four pounds eight ounces and my daughter was Discharged at four pounds one ounce.  Now at nearly eight months of age they have to be at least seventeen pounds.

Christina - posted on 02/02/2009

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I hear ya! Jaden was due September 29th, my water broke July 21'st. I was on bed rest at bc children's hospital and he was born aug.1st. I got to hold a poloroid picture of him. Not exactly what you invision childbirth will be! I got to hold him 2 days later for 10 minutes for the first time. And i will never forget "if your gonna talk to him don't touch him, you can touch him but dont' rub him he will be overstimulated" Anyways, he is 6 years old now and healthy and my pride and joy!

Melanie - posted on 01/17/2009

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 understand completely where your coming from my son Ian was born at 31 weeks weighing 2lbs 10.5 ozs. This was my first pregnancy and my husband and I had been trying for 8 years. I had a normal pregnancy until about 26 weeks then I kept falling down alot, which for me seems like nothing unusual i'm very clumsy, but on June 29, 2007 I fell and hurt my elbow so I went to ER to be checked because I was 6 months pregnant they wanted to check baby also, while they were doing all the tests they noticed my blood pressure was up, they told me it could be just because I was in pain or it could be something wrong with pregnancy to go see my OBGYN on monday (this was on a friday and my dr wasn't in on weekends). So that monday I went to see my dr and my pressures were even higher so he sent me to have blood work and 24 hour urine, both came back not good. I was told I had preeclampsia, so they put me on complete bedrest, I was to have stress test done weekly to make sure baby was growing and moving as it should. 2 weeks later I went in for my stress test and they found the baby wasn't growing like he should be, his heart rate was erratic, and I was spilling massive amounts of protein so I was told I would be transferred to another hospital were I would be until baby came. I was in the hospital about 2 weeks when I started having severe abdominal pains, so they came in to check me and found my blood pressure was 198/100, so they decided to induce me at that point. The induction was started and I was given magnesium to keep my blood pressure from rising anymore, well after a couple hours my sons heart rate was erratic so they stopped the pitocin. this went on for four days. Finally on Aug 7, 2007 at 6:30 am with my blood pressure at 211/115 and me ceizing they decided to break my water and see if that would get me delivered they also gave me a ceizure medication to stop the ceizures, at 7:34 am my little miracle Ian was born. I was completely out of it due to all the meds and being worn down from being in labor for four days. I didn't get to see my son, my husband was the only one allowed in the room, so he got to see him for a second but I didn't even know what he looked like. About 1 hour later I was still having severe abdominal pain so they gave me some pain meds but they didn't help so the nurse came over to check me, she pushed on my stomach and I passed a clot the size of a canteloupe so she called the dr in they found that I hemmoraging internally so I was given more drugs to knock me out and was taken back to the OR. I didn't get to see my son for 48 hours. I was so mad because everyone in my family knew what he looked like and all I had was a bad polaroid of him at my bedside. When I finally got to see him all I could do was cry because he was so tiny and fighting so hard to stay alive. My son was in the hospital for 6 weeks and when he did come home he was still on an apnea monitor. On Thanksgiving 2008, I had been really sick all week so I decided to take a pregnancy test, to my astonishment I was pregnant again (My son was only 3 months old) wow were we scared. I kept telling my husband I can't go through this again, well at just 16 weeks they noticed my pressures were going up again so they sent me to a specialist. Well this new dr put me on complete bedrest and had a home nurse checking my pressures 3 times a day. I was told if I could make it to 32 weeks I would be lucky but he would then induce me. Well my pressures did go up but I was able to make it to 39 weeks. My daughter was born weighing 7lbs 9 ozs and absolutely beautiful. So it is possible to have a "normal" pregnancy, I just wouldn't reccomend it quite as soon as I got pregnant, LOL. My son is now 17 months and as cute as can be he's very tiny still but wonderful as can be

Julia - posted on 01/14/2009

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I have a long story too...In 2004 I have a beautiful baby boy Gavin Eric. He was born at 25 weeks. At my appointment the week before I had him, my blood pressure was a little high, and my so called "doctor" said that if it went any higher, they would probably put me on some medication.  She also told me that I would start to feel braxton-hicks contractions around this time. Well about a week later I was having some period like cramps pretty much the whole day, which I took for the braxton-hicks. I had never been pregnant before, so what did I know? Well around 9 pm I went to the bathroom and it felt like something was coming out. So we rushed to the hospital and my doctor didn't know what the heck she was talking about or what to do. I was already 10 cm dilated and had a bulging bag of waters. She was a small town doctor (about 3000 people live in the town) so she called the hospital where there were high risk doctors and such and he told her to break my water and deliver the baby, I would have gotten to ride in the helicopter to the bigger hospital but since there was a lightening storm, I couldn't. So they sent the ambulance with all the medical equipment to pick my baby up and bring him back to the NICU in that hospital - an hour away. Well she broke my water and my cervix closed completely. She had never seen that before. So, she had to call the high risk doctor again (you can see why I called her a so called "doctor") and ask him what to do. He said to do a c-section. So I was prepped for surgery. I was awake when I delivered, but I didn't get to hold him, or even see him. They rushed him away to be taken to the NICU an hour away from me. He was born at 11:59 pm on June 17. Gavin was 1 lb. and 12 inches long when he was born. My husband and mom went to see him that night after everything was okay with me. They had him baptized right away that night while my husband was there, because they didn't think he would make it too long. The next day they called me around 6 pm and said that they didn't think he would make it through the night. So, me having c-section surgery not even 24 hours before that, told the nurses that I was going to see him before he died. I told them I was going with their help or not. So, they helped me get dressed, loaded me up with pain meds and off we went. I wasn't even discharged from the hospital, I was to go to the NICU and come back to the hospital afterwards. He was so tiny...my husband and I held him as he died. He passed away at 11:59 pm on June 18, living exactly 24 hours.  That was the hardest thing I have ever had to go through in my entire life. I hope nobody ever has to go through that. They didn't know why I went into labor and they couldn't explain why my body acted like it did after they broke my water.



They told us to wait a year to get pregnant so I would heal completely.  Well, we waited 2 years because my husband went to college and we wanted him to finish before we had another baby. So we started trying, and trying, and trying after 1 1/2 years of trying, my doctor put me on Clomid. Let me tell you, we got pregnant with Gavin the first month I was off the pill, so this 1 1/2 years trying to get pregnant was getting tiresome. I had 2 rounds of Clomid, then my husband was laid off for 2 weeks, so we couldn't affort the $50 for the clomid the 3rd month, and that was the month we got the positive pregnancy test. It ended up taking almost 2 years to get pregnant, finally!



My doctor put me on progesterone injections weekly to help keep premature labor off. They kept a close eye on me because of my past pregnancy. I was just so worried it was going to happen again, because I didn't think that I would live through it if that happened again. So the 25th week went by and I breathed a sigh of relief, but I was still not completely relieved. I still had 17 weeks to go. At my 33rd week I was starting to have those period like cramps again, but I didn't wait this time because I didn't want anything bad to happen. So we timed them for about a half hour and then called the hospital. We were living in a different area then when I had Gavin, so I had a WAY better doctor. My contractions were all over the place, 11 minutes apart, 5 min., 3 min. 10 min. 1 min. So the attending doctor told me to come in and they'd check me out. We went in at around 11 pm January 7th, 2008, they doctor checked me out, put a contraction belt and a fetal heart monitor on me and I layed there. I was 1 cm dilated when I went in and stayed that way the whole night. I kept having contractions even though they were giving me meds to try to stop labor. In the morning they started giving me steroids to help build my baby's lungs up in case I had to deliver since my contractions were not stopping. Around 3 pm January 8th, 2008 my water broke and it was filled with blood. I was terrified..was my baby dead? am I going to die? So they prepped me for surgery and rushed me to the operating room. They totally put me out  for the delivery. My husband was not allowed to be in the operating room with me, but he was able to be in the room where they took my baby afterwards. My little girl Kya Leigh was born at 3:57pm Jan. 8th, 2008 at 33 weeks. She was 4 lbs. 12oz. and 17 inches long. They told me she came out screaming and didn't stop until they wrapped her up and made her warm. The doctor told me that my old c-section scar on my uterus was starting to tear and the placenta was starting to detach, which is why there was blood when my water broke. He said that if we weren't already at the hospital when it happend me and my baby could have died. I woke up an hour or so later (I think...it was kind of hazy) My little girl was healthy enough that they didn't have to give her any oxygen and they kept her there until I woke up so I could see her before they took her away to the NICU (once again, an hour away). She was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen in my life. I'm so glad we have her, but she'll be the last one because my husband told me he wants me around to grow old with and my doctor couldn't guarantee that all this wouldn't happen again. She's now 1 years old and the love of my life (along with my husband of course!) She spent 17 days in the hospital, never needing any oxygen or anything. The only thing she had was sleep apnea, where she stopped breathing for a bit while she was sleeping. They wanted her to have 5 days in a row without an episode of apnea and we were able to take her home. She's so smart, sometimes too smart for her own good. She's right on schedule for babies her age, she even started walking at 11 months.  Thank you for listening and reading my story...it's actually the first time I've ever written it down...my shoulders actually feel a little lighter now!

Patty - posted on 01/14/2009

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I can identify.  I had a healthy normal pregnancy.  At 32 weeks, on a Friday night I went to the emergency room because I felt that something was not right.  They told me I was fine and sent me home. That Sunday my water leaked  around 6 pm. 



I went to the hospital and they spent the next three hours trying to figure out if my water truely broke.  I was contracting but nobody seemed very worried.  After they determined it was amniotic fluid they started trying to stop the labor with magnesium and such.  At 1 am they told me they were going to keep me pregnant as long as possible, pump the baby with steroids, and hope for the best.  They gave me a sleeping pill, made a bed for my husband, sent my mom home and OOPs the baby was born 45 minutes later. 



 



 I was so out of it I barely remember.  My mom barely made it back in time, my husband was a wreck.  I was in la la land.  All I remember were how black his eyes looked when they held him up.  I didn't get to hold him until he was three days old.  He was transferred to a children's hospital at 10 days and my experience there was much better but the first week or so was HELL!



He is 6 now and doing great.  He has hydrocephalus and is shunted and that is something we will have to deal with for the rest of his life.  I wonder sometimes if it could have been prevented.  Did the nurses take me seriously when I first came in?  What about the Friday I went in and they sent me home?  I guess I'll never know.  The experience made me a stronger person but I would have done anything to prevent my son from the pain he has endured.

Sumi - posted on 01/10/2009

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I know what you mean when you say you feel "cheated" out of a normal birth experience. I had twins that were born at 32.5 weeks. Aside from them being twins, the pregnancy was very normal even though I have chronic health issues.

I was due Sept 4, 2008 and was told I would probably be scheduled for a c-section (if my son was still breech) or induction in mid to late Aug. On July 14, I was having some cramping in my thighs but didn't think anything of it. When it started to feel like cramping in my abdomen, I called my doctor and described what I was feeling and was told to come in.

I went in and the doctor was so convinced that he could stop my contractions, that I didn't even get an IV and the nurses got me dinner. We talked about it with the doc and decided to 1) admit me and 2) send my hubby home since I was just going to be getting med to stop the contractions throughout the night and the last time I had contractions they were able to get them stopped. Well, things kept happening.

The contractions were non-stop but every time I told the nurse this, she looked at the monitor and said it didn't appear that way on the read-out. Then I started to get the shakes. I mean, this is L & D so they should have recognized that I was in transition (especially since there were other things happening that are just TMI to add). Well, by the time they finally checked me (it had been about 2 hours since my dilation had been checked - 0cm at that time) I was 6-7 cm dilated and 80% effaced. The nurse and OB resident on duty swore (not real reassuring to hear) and put in a call to the perinatologist since I was high risk and he is the one who admitted me.

He came, checked, and said I should call my husband. So, they rush to get an IV in and wheeled me very rapidly down the hall to the OR for a c-section (so glad we already knew that my son was breech). They said that when my husband arrived, the nurse would bring him in. When they were ready to deliver the twins, the doctor asked if I want to wait for my husband, I said that I wanted to go ahead since he would've been there had he arrived and I was scared and just wanted it over. I had no one in the room with me. Luckily the anesthesiologist was nice and held my hand when he could or I don't know what I would have been like. My husband walked in to the OR as they were closing. It turns out that he had been there for 25 minutes but no one got him after he got all gowned up!

The twins spent 19 days in the NICU. It was really hard for me when I was discharged and they weren't. I cried as I left the hospital and I'm sure people were wondering what was wrong. I still don't think I have completely accepted the way they were born. I keep wondering if my husband had stayed, would he have been able to get them to pay more attention to me. I was so out of it with pain that I couldn't do much more than tell them what I was feeling. I wasn't a very good advocate for myself. If they had checked and saw that I was dilating sooner, could they have tried stronger meds? There are so many "what ifs." I try to stay positive and think about the good things, like the fact that I have both twins home and healthy, but it's hard since we're not planning on more children. I am never going to get the "normal" birth that so many other women have, and I do feel bitter. But then I look at my twins and remember that it was the perfect birth in one very important way, my twins arrived.

Amy - posted on 01/10/2009

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Kristi-



I had a very similar experience.



The pain started in my upper abdomen on Christmas day 2007. I blamed it on overeating on the holiday. It came and went for a week, I decided it must be my gall bladder and resolved to talk to my doctor at my appt on Jan 4. I had last been to the office on Dec 18 and all ways fine.



When I arrived for my appt (routine gestational diabetes test) they were running very behind and didn't get my blood drawn in time. While they tried to figure out what to do someone took my blood pressure 160/102. They told me to lie down and took it again 10 minutes later. It was still high so I was sent to the hospital.



Thinking I was simply going to be put on bedrest, I told my husband to wait until after work to come to the hospital (he works over an hour away in the medical profession so it's hard to just up and leave).



At about 3:15 the midwife came into my room... I had HELLP syndrome, my platelets were dangerously low and my placenta had begun to abrupt. They would perform an emergency c-section as soon as the doctor arrived. The next 30 to 40 minutes was a blur: doctors, nurses, the neonate... My husband arrived just as they were wheeling me in. Because of my low platelets I could not have a spinal and was completely under for the delivery. My husband was not allowed in the operating room.



My son was born at 28 weeks 4 days on Friday afternoon. On Sunday my ICU nurse brought me down to the NICU for a VERY short visit. It was the first time I saw him. I spent three days in ICU and required to rounds of mag and a blood transfusion to get my bloodwork to start in the right direction. My son spent 79 days in the NICU coming home on Easter Sunday.



One year later and my blood pressure is still erratic (I never had high blood pressure before the pregnancy). As a result of his premature birth my son has chronic lung disease and some gross motor delays. His life is truly a miracle, another 24 hours and neither of us would be alive today.



You've been through so much and have every right to mourn the loss of the "normal birth." But given the severity of HELLP syndrome you are so lucky to both be home. Love him and enjoy him!

Sandra - posted on 01/10/2009

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Wow Kristi as I sat here reading your story tears came to my eyes .... I went through a very similiar situation to yours, also with our first child. Our son was born at 35 and a half weeks (april 08) by c-section ( he was 5lbs 6oz) as I was also suffering from HELLP, and whenever I look back at it I feel like I was robbed of the miracleof my sons birth. I was fully put under after recieveing both platlette and blood transfusions for my low blood pressure and low platlette count, my husband wasn't even allowed in the O.R so we have no pictures or memories of our son when he was first born just minutes old, but like you said having a wonder precious baby boy who is healthy certainly takes some of the pain away from the way he was born and we too hope that if we have another one we are blessed to have a normal delivery. I also spent 2 and a half days in ICU and only got to see my baby for a few minutes after he was born (and I was very groggy) then not until he was a day and half old, but the nurses in the NICU and Maternity ward were great with my husband and little guy. Best of luck to you and your husband with your new little one and Thanks for sharing your story it really helped me to be able to read it and share mine as well. Take care

Kristi - posted on 01/09/2009

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Thanks for sharing your story, Crystal. Sorry to hear about your losses.  I do take comfort in others stories, as I know there are other people that understand. I don't know what it's like to have a little little baby, but I understand what it's like not to be able to keep them in as long as they should be!

Crystal - posted on 01/09/2009

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I understand what you went through. I have been pregnant more than 3 times, and I gave birth to two both being under 23 weeks. The first one lived, but the second one was stillborn. The doctors said that by Naomi ( that's what we named her) being breach, and only 1 lb 2 ozs, she wasnt strong enough. And the worst part about it is that I cant help but wonder if I had gone to the hospital sooner, or if I had dealt with the pain, would she be alive today. I still cry when Gabriel (my first born) come to me and asked "Why couldn't my sister come home". I know that one day I will be able to go full term and feel the baby move, feel the baby kick, and what ever else they do after 23 weeks. And for all those who are going through it, I pray for strength for you.

Kristi - posted on 01/09/2009

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That's one thing that drives me nuts - "well at least he's healthy now" ... my sister in law says that to me all the time. I want to scream at her, but instead I usually smile and walk away ... yeah, I know he's healthy now, but things could have been very different, and I could have died, I came very close, actually. People who don't understand should probably not say anything at all.



I am hoping for a "baby story" birth the next time ... :)

Susan - posted on 01/09/2009

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Wow... it all sounds familiar.  My second, Rowan, was just born this October.  With Noah's birth, I had the same out of it experience where I wasn't able to focus and was in and out of consciousness from the meds (and probably lack of sleep), so I know about not feeling connected at first.  They laid Noah on my chest for a second, then rushed him to the NICU.  I had magnesium too,but my nurse was great and went to bat for me with my dr and he finally okayed me to go see Noah late that night.  I didn't actually get to hold him till the next afternoon though.  It's nice to get empathy from others who have been there.  Other people don't get it and say, "well, your baby is healthy now so just be happy".  THat's hard to deal with because it's true, but you see everyone (on "Baby Story", etc. also) having normal pregnancies and just wish that it could have happened to you too. 

Laura - posted on 01/09/2009

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I know exactly how you feel. My son was born at exactly 34 wks in 2004. I had a normal pregnancy up until New Years of 2004. After that I started gaining 15 pounds a week and then on Jan. 11 during a visit to my doctor, he sent me over to the hospital for 24 hour urine check. I got there at 3 in the afternoon thinking, "hey no big deal, I will be home tomorrow" Then at 7pm they came in and said they had to get the baby out now. I was freaking out and had no idea what was going on. I had preeclampsia very bad and they were inducing me that night. They started Monday night and I had only mild contractions thru Tuesday. Then on Wed. they started pitocin and after Thur night, I do not remember much. I was in terrible pain and exhausted from the four days of labor that the doctors put me on a lot of meds to keep my body functioning. Unfortunetly, it caused me to be in and out and my son was born on Friday Jan. 16th at 3:27 in the afternoon. He was 4lbs 3oz and 17 1/2 inches long.

I remember bits and pieces of that day, but that is all. I was unable to see him until Saturday afternoon because the doctors said I needed to be on bedrest and magnesium for 24 hrs and he had to stay on machines. I was able to take my son home after 10 days and he caught up fast, but I still felt a little distant and it took me awhile to get over that.

It feels to see tv shows were a mom gives birth and then immediatly holds her baby....I didn't get that and I felt angry and depressed for a long time. I don't remember my birth and I was not able to hold my child for 24 hours and I was mad about that.

My son will be 5 next friday and only has cold induced asthma. Otherwise he is taller then all other 5 year olds around him and in the 75 percentile for weight.

I am thankful for him everyday and that he made it when so many others don't!

Kristi - posted on 01/08/2009

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Yep, I know what you mean. I wanted the whole "let's go to the hospital" and the "it's a boy" moment, but being knocked out, that didn't happen for me!!!  I am definitely pissed off, but I can't stay pissed off because I have a wonderful son, and a great husband to hold me when I need to cry about it!



When was your second son, Rowan, born?



Thanks for sharing your story, I appreciate it greatly!

Susan - posted on 01/08/2009

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Kristi,



I know how you feel.  And talking about it all does seem to help some.  I have two sons and both came out prematurely, although my dr has no idea why... blood tests for clotting has come back negative, so who knows.  With my first son Noah, everything was great until I was about 25 weeks preggo.  Then I started spotting some and was sent to OB Triage twice to stop contractions that were 3 minutes apart, that I didn't even feel.  Then at 30 weeks, I was determined to have a mild placental abruption.  I was told to work part time and when I came back a week later, it was determined that things were not so crucial, so I could work regular again.  Then a week later, I was having more contractions and was put on bedrest after getting steroids in the hospital to help the baby's lungs.  One week later at 3am, my water broke (or I peed on myself one, as they didn't check until a few hrs after admission) and I was admitted for protein in my urine and to be observed for 24 hrs.  By 4pm that day, I was having contractions that magnesium couldn't stop.  Noah was born at 8:12pm, 32 weeks and 6 days gestation.  He stayed in the NICU for 21 long, exhausting, and scary days.  Now he is 19 mos old and doing wonderful.  He even started walking at 11 mos. and has been on regular track the whole time. 



When I got pregnant with my second son, Rowan, I was nervous, but my dr said that she thought the abruption was a fluke and that caused all the issues, but they kept a close eye on me.  All was fine again until about 30 wks when my fluid looked a little low (7.9).  The next week, it was 4.6 and he wasn't moving in the ultrasound.  I was admitted to the hospital fo rlow amniotic fluid (8 is the lowest normal range) and told I was going to stay till the baby was born.  I had daily morning ultrasounds to check the fluid level and make sure he was growing okay and each night, I was told not to eat or drink anything after midnight in case I would need a csection the next day if the u/s showed he needed to come out.  His heartrate decelerated a few times at night, so I was afraid he wasn't okay whenever I would sleep, so I couldn't sleep at all.  They said that if it deceled too long, they would do an emergency csection.  Luckily, that wasn't a huge issue with him, but they still kept an eye on it.  Then all of a sudden, I started contractions that meds couldn't stop again and I dilated from 3 to 10 in less than 20 minutes (just like the first time).  Rowan was born at 33 weeks 6 days and stayed in the NICU for 9 days. 



I don't know why I have preemies but I know the "cheated" feeling you have.  I have pregnancy clothes that I was going to wear for the holidays (Rowan's due date was in December).  I had only gotten to wearing size large the week or so before my bedrest in the hospital.  The clothes are all still in my closet because I don't want to move them out.  We probably won't have anymore kids because the chances are high that this will happen again.  But I never got to have a full pregnancy.  I loved being pregnant and get sad whenever I think I can't do it again.  So I know how you feel.  No one else in my family has ever had issues like this so no one else gets it.  I hope this group helps you.. I hope it helps me some too.  Although I have healthy preemies, I still wish I could have had the whole regular pregnancy where you go full term, time your contractions till "it's time", and the baby is in the room with you.  It didn't even feel like a celebration because no one came to see me in the hospital afterwards or sent flowers/balloons because no one knew what to do.... anyway, I guess I wanted to get out my story and tell you that I understand.

Nichole - posted on 01/08/2009

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i really do understand were your cummin from i had my little girl at 26 weeks it was the most worse thing i was soo scared and alone because my partner was there 4 the 1st 3 weeks than he was gone again he had to come so he could work bing a manger of a big car shop

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