Birth Story Part III - Post Delivery

Miss the beginning? Catch up on Part I and Part II first!

When baby E arrived, all I could think about was how hot I was (I was still fighting an infection and fever), and as they put him on me, my first thought was "WHY IS HE SO WARM!?"  (Seriously, even my glasses were steamed up!) He wasn't there for long, though, since he was rushed off to be checked by the emergency team.  It was mostly a precaution, and he turned out fine.  His Apgar scores were 7 and 9, so nothing to worry about. 

I, however, was another story.

The doctor delivered the placenta and verified everything was good there (some previous ultrasounds had shown us some possible complications, but that turned out fine). Once that happened, I guess my uterus was supposed to start contracting to stop the bleeding.  Except it didn't.  Remember how my contractions never really got regular? And how labor took so long?  Well it turns out it was all related.  Possibly even the infection, but that was just a guess by the doctor.  Her official diagnosis was that I had a "crappy uterus" haha, but as she explained it to me, it just wasn't working right. 

She actually said it wasn't the uterus so much as the baby's fault.  That in future pregnancies I could have a totally different experience, but this baby was supposed to send out two signals to start labor, and our baby forgot to send one haha.  The result was that the uterus was not helping me at all.  Usually the contractions would do half the work for me, but mine wasn't.  So during a normal labor, the uterus and contractions would help push the baby out, but since mine wasn't, I had to do all of the work.  Which made things longer, harder, and more tiring.

It also meant that my uterus wasn't contracting, and my bleeding wasn't stopping.  I was hemorrhaging all over the place. Again, probably a good thing that I was only semi conscious at this point. I think things were way worse for Tom.  He said he had already gotten emotional watching me at the end of labor, but at this point he was caught between going to be with the baby, and watching me bleed out all over the floor.

Honestly this part hurt more than all of labor did.  I'll spare you all the details, but part of what was going on was the doctor and nurses were pounding on my stomach trying to get it to contract (I felt bruised for days!), I was given 5 different types of medications including shots in both of my legs, and a few other things were done to help.  At one point I kind of woke up and looked at Stacey and said "Should I be worried now?  Am I going to need a blood transfusion?" And she quickly reassured me that I was fine, but then I apparently missed the part where she asked the doctor the same thing haha.  (The doctor said I was still in "C-Section" blood loss territory, so apparently that was okay?)

During this time, I wasn't able to hold the baby.  Partly because I wasn't fully conscious yet, and partly because they were still trying so hard to get me to stop bleeding.  I started picking up pieces of conversations and heard the anesthesiologist was called in.  I briefly hoped that there had been shift change for him too, but nope, my same guy came into the room.  Where he proceeded to argue with Dr Cook over what the plan should be.  He wanted me in the OR immediately and wanted to put me completely under.  Dr Cook was trying to keep me in the room and control things from here.  It was crazy to sit there listening to them argue, and have no idea if I was about to be rushed into an OR or not.  Luckily while they were arguing, the medicine kicked in and I was no longer in danger.

Finally at 3:00 am (yup that's an hour of hemorrhaging for those of you keeping track), things were under control enough for them to bring over the baby and place him on my chest.  I was still being worked on, but it was no longer an emergency situation.  From there, things normalized.  We got to spend some time with baby E, the room cleared out a bit, and we got some time to just breathe and think about what would come next.  At this point the only person we'd even told that I was in labor or we were at the hospital was Nicole.  Everyone else was sleeping and completely unaware of baby E's arrival!

I managed to get a quick nap in while Tom watched the baby, and eventually we were moved to another room.  It was apparently THE weekend to have a baby, though, which meant the maternity floor was full! (Which doesn't happen often at this hospital). So we ended up in another room on the labor floor, and stayed there until Monday night when we were finally moved to the maternity floor.

We spent the rest of Sunday slowly getting to know baby E, calling friends and family, and watching more movies.  I was still hooked up to a bunch of meds and IVs to manage the remainder of my recovery, so I wasn't able to shower or move about much until Monday.  The whole experience definitely made me happy for the decisions we'd made, though.  I'm so glad that we chose to deliver in a hospital.  Had we been at a birth center or at home, it would have been a very different experience.  I'm also super grateful for our doula, since I'm not sure any of us would have gotten through without her.

In the end, it was long, rough, and painful, but we ended up with a super cute baby E.  And it really is amazing how quickly new mom amnesia kicks in.  I'm pretty sure over the weekend I claimed I'd never do this again, but already looking back, it doesn't seem THAT bad? haha.