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Labor & Delivery

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I’m going to tell you all about my “labour and delivery” with Logan.

Well, what I can remember of it. A lot of it was told to me afterwards by my best friend and husband.

15 months later and I’m still working through the feeling that I was robbed. Don’t get me wrong, I’m beyond happy that my son is and was perfectly healthy, but there are so many things I would do differently.

This blog may or may not end up making sense. I’m sitting here typing it and refusing to read through it once I’m done or I’ll never actually post it, and I feel as if by writing it down I’m finally facing the reality of the situation that occurred. I apologize in advance for the lengthiness, but there’s a lot that I need to get out.

I was put on bed rest early on in my pregnancy. I have the date written down somewhere but I’m not quite ready to go through all that information yet. I think it was around 24 weeks the doctor put me on light bed rest because my blood pressure had started rising and I was having trace amounts of protein in my urine, which are all signs of pre-eclampsia.

24 weeks – start of bedrest

I was sick a lot during pregnancy, there was a lot of vomiting involved and headaches, but from 24 weeks on it just kept getting worse.

Almost everything I ate would make me puke. If something had any sort of mild spice or flavour, I would be up all night with the worst heartburn imaginable. Somewhere around 30 weeks, it started becoming common for me to wake up in the middle of the night, choking on stomach acid.

At 34 weeks, I woke up in the morning choking on stomach acid, and kept coughing. I was coughing so much I had to puke so I made my way to the bathroom. I puked up blood.

What. The. Fuck.

I kept half coughing/half puking, and it was all blood.

Panicked, I woke Mike up and told him what was going on, as I ran to the bathroom to puke up even more blood. I tried drinking water thinking that might help – but it made it worse.

Then I started contracting.

My best friends’ husband drove us to the hospital – breaking many speed limits along the way. I got there, and promptly puked up blood and stomach bile in the nurse’s stations sink as it was the closest thing to me. Immediately I was brought into a room, hooked up to multiple monitors and an IV of fluids. It was confirmed that I was contracting regularly every 3.5 minutes, but they were hoping that by hydrating me, contractions would stop. After seeing a doctor, I learned the reason I was puking up blood. The heartburn I’d been having constantly was actually acid reflux, and during the night while lying down, stomach acid was making it’s way into my esophagus, would sit there until I choked on it, and basically, had started burning a hole into my esophagus. Lovely. I was given a prescription for Zantac to help control it, and has the intensity of my contractions slowed down, I was released and sent home.

To me, this was almost the beginning of the end. My next doctors appointment was at 36 weeks. My blood pressure was up even higher, and I had more protein in my urine. The doctor ordered the first of what would end up being 3 different 24 hour urine collections.

Me at 36 weeks pregnant

Looking back, I know I was pre-eclamptic, but the doctor was refusing to acknowledge it – because it wasn’t a textbook case. My blood pressure would spike really high for 1-2 hours, then drop back to normal, and then spike really high. I guess normally, your blood pressure continually stays high.

I was still contracting every 3 – 5 minutes. I was not dilating – hell, not even effacing.

By 37 weeks, I was seeing my doctor every 3 days to monitor my blood pressure and the protein in my urine. I started getting wicked headaches everytime my blood pressure would raise, and my legs/ankles/feed had swelled up so much I didn’t have knees, ankles and barely any toes.

Still, the doctor refused to say it was pre-eclampsia.

Finally, at 39 weeks, contracting regularly every 3.5 minutes, my doctor decided it was time to induce me and sent me to the hospital. From there, I was sent home with the promise to get a call when a bed opened up to start the induction.

The next day, I woke up even more swollen, feeling like absolute garbage with a massive headache. By mid-afternoon, I started vomiting and couldn’t even keep water down. I decided it was time to go to the hospital instead of wait for the call.

39 weeks – as I was leaving for the hospital

Mike, is in the military and at the time, was in Kingston (2 hours away) on a course, training. He would have 72 hours leave, and then plan was that my best friend would come to the hospital with me, and we would tell Mike to leave Kingston when I was 5-6cm dilated.

I get to the hospital, am admitted and checked. Yup, machines confirmed the regular contractions and the doctor checks to see if I’m dilated – not at all. Still not even begun to efface.

My blood pressure was getting really high, so they started an IV of magnesium. I still don’t know if this is a normal response or not, but as the nurse put the IV in, I felt the magnesium enter my hand, arm, all through my body – as it felt like my veins were filled with liquid fire.

Everything after this is a blur. I’ve been told that from the time I was admitted to when Logan was born was roughly 38 hours. I don’t remember.

I vaguely remember a very large headache, a lot of vomiting, and my blood pressure monitor alarm sounding off every few minutes.

I remember a brief consultation with a neurologist. Then she came back with another doctor. Then another, and then another, until the entire neurology department was in my room assessing me. I remember looking at them and wondering why they were shaking. I remember 3 of them coming over to help me stand up – and that I would have fallen to the ground if they hadn’t been there supporting me. My legs didn’t work.

My blood pressure went even higher. My nurse told Nicky to call Mike and get him there as soon as possible as they wanted to perform an emergency c-section.

I was later told, the doctor had pulled Nicky out into the hall to make sure she was comfortable if she had to make any decisions regarding me and the baby, and to tell her to prepare for “when” – not “if” – WHEN I have a stroke.

There was a kerfuffle regarding my c-section – the doctor didn’t want to perform it until Mike got there. I don’t know why, but she refused.

Nicky told me she had some “nice words” with the doctor in the hallway, and then they began prepping me for surgery. Mike showed up just in time to throw on some scrubs and make it to the operating room.

I vaguely remember laying on the operating table, with Mike holding my hand.

Mike holding my hand during my c-section

I do remember that “Sweet Child Of Mine” by Guns N Roses playing on the radio as my son let out his first cry.

They stitched me up and started transferring me to my hospital bed to wheel me into recovery. It suddenly got extremely cold and I couldn’t stop shivering – and then I started vomiting. And couldn’t stop.

I was in recovery for almost 5 hours while they tried to stabilize my blood pressure. I guess it plummeted way too fast.

I don’t remember anything – I swear, I was only in that room for 20 minutes.

5 hours after delivery, I finally got to hold my son for the first time. He is the most beautiful creature in this universe. I would do anything for him.

Holding my son… photo courtesy of Nicole Murphy Photography

I still don’t know what happened that day, and it breaks my heart every time I think about the day my son was born. I feel like I was robbed of what was supposed to be the happiest day of my life.

You know what angers me the most? A few months after delivery, I made an appointment with my doctor to finally ask questions about what the hell happened.

All that is in my medical record about this delivery are the following 2 sentences.

“Patient had high bp – started magnesium drip. Male baby delivered by requested c-section.”

What. The. Fuck.

I don’t think I’ll ever know everything that went on during those 38 hours, but I do know I am incredibly thankful to have such an amazing friend in my life that stuck by me through everything. I don’t know what I’d do without her.

I’m very blessed to have her in my life, and I am incredibly blessed to have an amazing little boy that astounds me every single day, and a man that drops everything to be with us.

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2 thoughts on “Labor & Delivery

  1. It may have been a blur and alot of unpleasant times and not remembering but that can be all put behind you now and times to remember are the 1st time you held your very cute lil bundle Logan and all wonderful times hence then <3 your alive Logan is alive your both healthy and happy that my dear is all that matters <3

  2. Omg Ange, that was beautiful and heartbreaking. I had no idea all this happened. I wish I could have been there for you, but glad that you had Nicky and Mike.

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