- 3 years ago
- Wedding: January 2012
So ill start at the beginning… Until 36w I had a text book pregnancy in regards to my health. Baby was always measuring small but we were watched for IGUR and my dr wasn’t concerned after numerous ultrasounds since I’m a small person anyways. I was still comfortable and exercising daily. I was only up about 20lbs and doing ok. The next week I started feeling weaker, nothing I could pinpoint, but just “off” and started swelling. To the point where even my nose was swollen and making it harder to breathe. I gained ~6lb in one week(and continued on this path for the next several) even though I wasn’t eating anymore. DH and I walk the dogs every night and I went from ~3m comfortably to barely doing 1m. At my 37w appt I had protein in my urine but a normal BP. The dr I saw that day ran pre-e blood work which came back “normal limits” and wrote off my symptoms as “end of pregnancy”. Since I also had gained a bit slow they thought the weight was just now catching up.
Next week came, the swelling was worse. I had gained another 6-8lbs (it honestly bothered me and I stopped paying close attention the the scale) but my vitals were normal and the dr again wrote it off as end of pregnancy stuff. Between this appt and the next the swelling wasn’t decreasing at night and I started to get a strange headache. It wasn’t pain but it was like this weird pressure feeling. I also was getting really depressed because I felt so bad but couldn’t say why. That Sunday night I actually had contractions all night to the point where when DH got up I told him to stay home from work, convinced baby was coming. It wasn’t an hour later after telling DH and my mom that they completely stopped again and never came back. This really upped my depression because I was sure I was going to feel awful and be pregnant forever which I know was irrational but again, not thinking straight while feeling sick. (I later found out anxiety can actually be induced from pre-e and I’m sure that’s what happened to me).
So my next appt comes on 4/10 which put me at 39.5d. The nurse takes my BP and then asks me if I feel ok. Surprise, my blood pressure was through the roof high and I had high protein in my urine. It was a moment of slight relief because I finally knew I wasn’t crazy and being a baby about feeling awful but it then hit me how serious this was. I can’t remember the initial numbers but after they told me I had to be induced that day it was up to ~200/110. So the nurse rushed me into the room and had me lay on my side and try to relax. Before the dr even came in I could hear the nurse calling the hospital to tell them I needed to be admitted and getting the paper work started. So my dr comes in and breaks the news of induction which I already knew from hearing the nurse. Then she tells me I have to be on magnesium and it’s not going to be fun since I was in serious seizure risk territory. Finally she does a quick check and luckily I had already started dilating and was at 3cm. (I think those contractions from earlier that week really did do something).
They also wanted to do a NST on baby before sending me to the hospital to make sure she was ok. She was fantastic (and a side note, she continued to be fantastic for the whole 26hr labor. Never once did her hr drop. Go baby!) After monitoring her I was sent right over to the hospital. DH was at work and the night before I asked him to bring my hospital bag back inside from the car because the weather had gotten warmer and I only had one pair of shorts that fit; they were in my bag….so he had to go home and get them. Luckily it took so long for the NST and for me to get to the hospital that DH got there just as I did. They started magnesium as soon as they got me into a room. Iv was first and they actually put something on my hand to numb it before putting it in. I wasn’t looking and was waiting for it to hurt and then the nurse was saying she was done.
Once the first bag of mag was through(which was a huge “load dose”) they started pitocin. For the first few hours I was handling it ok and the dr said I could avoid the catheter and try and labor on my own. The nurse actually said she was surprised I was handing it so well. I think a bit of it was from the shock of it all keeping me going. Anywho as the hours went on and the pitocin was increased it got harder. Unfortunately because of the mag I had to have my oxygen level monitored and it meant I couldn’t leave the small space around the bed. The day nurse wasn’t my favorite but once the night nurse came on she offered to find a yoga ball for me so I was able to at least sit up though the contractions. I’m convinced that if it wasn’t for her i would have ended up with a csection because she was trying everything to help me later that night. By 9pm contractions were coming every 2.5min apart for 1m each but when the dr checked me I was only at 4cm. She also wanted me back in bed because of how high my BP was getting during the contractions and strongly suggested an epidural. This was the point where I consented to have my water broken too. Baby was so low already that it didn’t work well(and when she came out she actually had a cut from where the doctor was jamming the hook).
I tried to push it for another hour or so but they had upped the pitocin to 16units and were going to increase it again and I couldn’t deal with the pain anymore. The nurse actually came in to say she had to increase it and that was when I gave in and asked for the epi. Honestly the epidural was one of the most painful things for me in the whole experience. I thought maybe I was imagining things but DH confirmed, it took them a good 10-15min to get it in. The nurse was the only reason I was able to get through it; she talked me though and helped me deal with the contractions. Once they got it in my left side was much number then my right but I at least couldn’t feel pain so they decided to leave it for a bit and have me lay on my right to see if we could get the medicine evened out. It must have worked or I was starting to get so out of it from the mag that I didn’t notice it other then I had more strength on my right side so it was easier to turn myself that way.
Worst part was I had 7 different things attached to me from that point on, epi line, blood pressure cuff, o2 monitor, IV line, 2different monitors on my stomach, and a catheter. I was miserable just from this. After several hours my pitocin was up to 20units but I was only at 6cm. The on call dr was ready to go for a csection but gave me a few hours and this is where my nurse was amazing. They had a peanut yoga ball and she kept turning me and trying to help me dilate. They also upped my pitocin to 30units and it was clear the nurse was concerned because standard care is 20max. But the magnesium counteracted the pitocin and the doctor said it would be ok. I really appreciated her speaking up for me though. I tried to sleep but I needed to hit the epidural button every 15-30m so didn’t get much sleep. Thankful I went from 6-8cm in only a few hours and the doctors changed and I got lucky as one of my practice’s favorite doctors was on call.
Around 9amish I had the urge to push. The day nurse I didn’t like was back on and she didn’t believe me but called the dr who decided to push some kind of heavy duty narcotic through my epidural to remove some pain and allow me to labor down more. The first dose didn’t work but the nurse insisted I couldn’t actually have to push yet as I was checked only an hour ago and at 8cm. The anastheologist had to yell at the nurse to get her to check me and I was really thankful she did because I proved the nurse wrong as I had made it to 9.5 cm( I had a lip that needed to go away). The new drugs they put in started making me really shaky and hazy and it’s all even blurrier from that point. My doctor was in another labor so I had to wait until 1 to start pushing.
Finally we could start and until the end it was just the nurse and DH. It was at least nice because it was quiet and calm. Once I got to a certain point, about 8ish sets of 3 pushes, the nurse went to get my dr and it was only a few more pushes and she was out. I only pushed for about 45m total. The doctor had me go really slow at the end which really helped me and I only ended up with three tiny 1 degree tears. I’m sure it wouldn’t have been so easy without the epi and for the first time since all this begin I was glad I had the epidural. Anyhow. I remember reaching down to grab baby and vaguely meeting her. She was perfect with both apgar scores at 9. The one funny thing I remember is she screamed just when the nurse tried to take her temp. Those darn thermometers sure hurt guys! She weighed 6lbs, 12oz and was 20 1/4 in long.
After a bit of time it seemed like something was going on down south. At the time I thought I had a bad tear and even asked “how bad is it?”. But apparently that wasn’t the problem. DH later told me they couldn’t get me to stop bleeding but he didn’t want to say anything and scare me. I made the mistake of glancing that way and saw a needle and thread in my DRs hand and almost passed out. (Im a biologist who chops up various animal brains for a living so I’m not squimish but there was something about knowing that was being used on my lady bits that gave me a doozy.) DH said the dr finally pushed really hard on my stomach and “a bunch of stuff came out” and the bleeding slowed. I’m guessing I had a piece of placenta retained which pre-e can cause it to deteriorate and this to be more likely. At this point we were able to sloppily breastfeed. I think she bit wrong at one point but I was too drugged up to notice and I ended up with a horrible blister on the edge of my nipple. I ended up with a scar from it.
Then I started getting really dizzy and shaky and handed DH the baby. I started vomiting after and had to be given several different drugs to get it to finally stop. Our hospital participates in the magic hour where no one bothers new moms and babies but DH had to hold her the whole time as I was getting sick and trying to not pass out. My mom showed up right when they were moving us to the recovery room and she later confessed she thought I wasn’t going to make it by how bad I looked. DH said I looked like a ghost I was so so pale from all the blood loss. He didn’t know people could actually look that pale. I had to be on the magnesium for the next day too. Which meant I still had 5 things attached to me and I couldn’t leave the bed. Every time baby cried I had to have someone bring her to me. At night DH stayed but he was exhausted too and at one point didn’t wake from baby crying. It broke my heart that I couldn’t get to her and it was here where I had a total break down. Everything that had happened just got me plus not being able to take care of myself which I’ll spare details but bleeding a ton and not able to wear anything down there is horrible. This made my BP spike and made me more upset because I was sure I wasn’t going to be allowed to get off the mag the next day. When the dr came in that morning I couldn’t even talk I was so close to hyperventilating from crying. She allowed me to stop the mag early as long as I agreed to take an oral BP med.
Finally I was able to get unhooked from everything but the BP cuff and allowed to shower. It wasn’t until the next day that I was allowed to leave with the promise of coming in to the office the next day to check me. This lead me to having to go in several times for the next few weeks. This was really hard because baby also developed severe jaundice and we had to go to the pediatrician every day that first week. It took 3 weeks for my BP to go down enough that I could stop meds. 6w out and it was still higher then normal but in acceptable limits.
As for the physical recovery… I had such bad swelling after birth from the IV fluids and pre-e that I’m pretty sure my normally ~140lb self walked out of the hospital at at least 200lbs. I actually ended up with stretch marks on my legs after birth from getting so big. I was miserable. I felt and looked like the Michelin man. The lady bits were even extra swollen which was super fun. Trying to sit down was horrible. I was also so weak for the next several weeks that I could barely take care of myself and was afraid to carry the baby too far the first week. I had to have DH do most diaper changes and carry her around. My stitches didn’t even come out until 5ws and so the tugging feeling down there sucked.
My favorite thing no one tells you about is how awful the postpartum period can me. I woke up for several weeks straight drenched in my own sweat. Like soaking sheets and clothes bad. I suppose it helped shed pounds though as I’m only about 8lbs above my pre pregnancy weight. I don’t think Im going to lose it until i stop breastfeeding though as nothing seems to work. They lie when they say breastfeeding sheds lbs. my dr actually said it makes your retain more fat stores. I’ve also developed a horrifically itchy scalp.
They also lie and try and make breastfeeding out to be sunshine and rainbows. It sucked until 8ish weeks. We never had problems with latch but in the hospital she did some major damage since I was barely conscious and then it was weeks for that to heal. DH said “your poor poor nipples” when he saw them at one point. But oh, it’s not just pain from baby. It’s also pain from having bowling balls attached to your chest that hurt something horribly. I had several clogged ducts and finally realized it was from my sleep nursing bras. Here’s an added bonus: you wake up in puddles of milk. So not only are you miserably sweaty, you are drenched in milk. Now try sleeping without a bra though all this because everything hurts to touch the girls. I started wearing stickable nursing pads in my shirt to try and help some of the grossness. It finally seems to have gotten better at 8w but there were several times when it was all I could do to just make it to the next day. My boobs are now in a very sad state because the only bra that doesn’t cause issues is really not supportive.
Through all this I absolutely would not change a thing (well other then being more pushy about my doctor and not feeling well but being brushed off). I’m not sure I can be talked into doing it again for a second one, but my little girl was soo. worth everything. From the infertility problems to leaky boobs. I know this is long but I wish I had seen more detailed” when things don’t go as planned “stories and the subsequent recoveries. Hopefully this prepares someone else if they have to face the same thing. Summary, it sucks but will eventually get better.