Thursday, December 29, 2011

The birth story

en i woke up on nNov2nd2011 Iknew my li fewas going to change, but not how much. due to chronic hypertension throughoutmy pregnancy, I had an incuction scheduledat 7:30 that morning. Iwokemyhusband, not aneeasytask at6am. and we pscked up s few  final things. wes huffled into the early motning light and rode to the hospital,laughing as we listened to our favorite early morning radio show wehea headed inside, if Ihad known this woulbe the last time Iwould walk unassisted Iwould have skipped into thelevator that took us up to L&D I got settled into m y room my midwife, eMary Alice tnteredcheerfully sheinserted s foley cathater into my cer vix toaide in dialsting me and started my fdreDREaded pitocindrip.the contraction started comin hard and fas to sI opted to vclimb intot he tub andetermined that Iwould stay there all day.thurge to pee got me out of the tub by that point I was"singing thlsbosong"as the midwives who kept checkin g on mr would blood pressurr kept climbing nomatter how muchmedicstioncstion they got down my throat . The lasthingI remember is lay in g on my rright side staring t the striped pattern of pillow case and listening tomy husband coach my breathhng t, imploring me to resist the urge to pushhrough each contraction, Iwas developing a terr i ble hedache on thright dide ofmy headterrThe,accordingtohim, theentire accordingto  my husbandit is at this point that myentire leftside seized up and he called fohelp, then the room was flooded with medica lltypeswho determined I had to have an emergency c-section

The nexthin Iremember is a room flooded with whit light dn filled with lots of people asking me where Iwas and whothe president was and to squeeze this and look intos th s lightIsaw my huband as he wndered a round throom with something thatlooked like ababyHasked me what we should name her I directed him to thbook ewhereI had written all of thenames Ilike and Ireminde him of myfavorite name, Chsrlotte I coul not figure out why Icouldn'tspeak correctlyt hen all of the information was finally conveyed tomr Ihad had a hemorrhagic stroke durin child birht, my left ide was paralysed. Ihave no recollection of the first moment s o my daughter's life, that moment of ecstatic emotion you see in every birth video as they place the baby on th mother'chest was taken fro m me as has the ability to be an effective mother and to  these are thmost devastating facts that willturn me into puddle of tears when Ithink about thm


  1. I had hypertension throughout my last pregnancy - they called it chronic hypertension because it started at 15 weeks, but I had perfect blood pressure before getting pregnant. I was started on meds at 16 weeks, and I fared pretty well until 30 weeks when all hell broke loose. No matter how many meds they gave me, my pressure would not come down. I was hospitalized at 32 weeks, December 29th, 2010, to see if bed rest would help. After 24 hours, it seemed to. I had a 2.5 year old and 4 year old boy at home and I was a SAHM. However, about 48 hours after I was admitted, my blood pressure climbed and climbed up to 188/133. I was surrounded by a medical team, put on magnesium sulfate and air-lifted 500 km away to the nearest city, nearest NICU in the wee hours of New Year's Day 2011. Fearing the worst, that I would have an emergency C-section at 32 weeks, we were beside ourselves. I was honestly also terrified that I would die and never see my baby or my boys again. Miracuously, upon arrival at the city hospital, my bp came down to 140/92. No longer panicked, the doctors observed me for about 6 hours, then took me off the MgSO4 and sent me to the antenatal ward, where I was to remain on strict bedrest and constant monitoring (bloodwork 2 or 3 times a day, blood pressure checks every 4 hours round the clock). Again, I was ok for about 36 hours, when hell broke loose again, worse than before. I was rushed back to L&D at 32 weeks 4 days, put back on MgSO4 and waited to see what they would do to me. My husband was a complete mess. That night, I started having early labour contractions, and by 9 am, I was getting prepped for a foley catheter, followed by breaking my water followed by the pitocin drip. At 4 pm, the baby's heart rate started to drop to aout 40-50 bpm with every contraction, but there were no doctors in the room to deliver. The nurse frantically set off searching for the neonatal team and the ob team, and our daughter was born at 4:10 pm. Throughout the labour, I was on IV pushes of medication and oral medication, as well as the MgSO4 to prevent seizures. After her birth, my husband followed her as she was worked on by the doctors and stabilized in the NICU. I was not allowed to move from my bed as I still had all the signs of being high risk for stroke or seizure. I managed to convince the nurses to take me to her 24 hours after she was born. She opened her eyes at me and I held her. I then had to go back to the L&D room, where I had to stay because I was still very sick and on so many scary drugs (17 blood pressure pills per day and my blood pressure was still 160/110).
    It has been a long recovery. Ivy (my daughter) fared amazingly. She was a superstar and was discharged at 35 weeks 2 days gestational age (19 days old) and weighed 4 lbs at discharge.
    I have seen many specialists and have been told I was lucky this time, but may not be so lucky if I choose to get pregnant again, telling me I could stroke out, I could die, my baby could die, or all of the above. Sometimes I get angry at the fact that my body will not let me have any more babies, but then I remember how lucky I was to have survived, even if I have hypertension for the rest of my life now and will have to take medication forever.
    I am so glad that you are blogging about your journey and recovery. Enjoy every moment of your daughter's life - you definitely earned it.
    Sending blessings your way from Peace River, Alberta.

  2. birth has always been a complicated subject for me. i have had two c-sections that i still regret & then fought so hard to avoid a c-section on my 3rd pregnancy that i inadvertantly put my baby at risk & she was born brain damaged. i wish there was something i could do to help. i think you are very brave & am glad you decided to share your story!