Fox and Broom

A mom's adventures in keeping healthy, keeping her sanity, and making stuff.

Archive for the tag “labor”

How My Newborn Saved My Life

imageI have spent the past couple of days deciding if I really wanted to write about this. My newest birth story is a hard one. Most of the seriousness hasn’t totally hit me, yet.

My pregnancy was difficult. It started with headaches so severe and strange that my general practitioner had me get an MRI. The headaches faded away along with my morning sickness as I entered my second trimester. Things went pretty well for a little while, then as I got closer to my third trimester, I started to experience muscle and joint pain.

My midwife and I put it off as ligament pain. She did have me go in for a few extra tests and I did come back as very anemic. I started taking an iron supplement and started physical therapy in hopes of helping my poor muscles work better.

I now know that a good number of these symptoms are the lesser symptoms of something pretty serious. Well, something life-threatening, if you want to get to the bare bones of it. I just didn’t show the main symptom of high blood pressure. My bp was actually really great most of my pregnancy. Until I became anemic, then it dropped. And, along with the anemia, my heart rate rose.

My pain became so severe that I was unable to even drive my car. My ribs started popping out of joint at the slightest movements. I was forbidden to sweep or clean. We had to send my youngest son to the grandparents because I was unable to bend down to help him with anything. I had a hard time dealing with him being away from me. My in-laws asked me to stay with them. Partly because they felt bad for me being away from my kiddo and partly because they were really concerned about my health.

On the night of December 22/23, I started feeling pretty regular contractions. I finally woke up my husband at around 4:30. We got dressed, ran home, and grabbed the emergency hospital bag I had packed when I started to hurt. I was 36 weeks and 3 days, which means that I was not allowed to have a home birth.

We went to the hospital and were sent straight up to labor and delivery. My contractions were pretty light, but regular, so we were put in an exam room to determine what was going on with me. They took my blood pressure and then immediately ordered blood tests. My blood pressure had shot up.

When my results came in, my nurse came into my room and told me that both doctors wanted to talk to me and she was going to have to transfer my care to nurses who were more experienced…

The doctors came in and point blank told me that I had HELLP syndrome and preeclampsia. My blood platelet count was down to 24,000. A normal platelet count should be 150,000 to 250,000. Looking me straight in the eye, they both told me that there was a chance that I would die. The cure for HELLP and preeclampsia was to give birth as soon as possible, so I was moved to a regular room and hooked up to pitocin in an effort to really get my contractions going.

I hate pitocin. That stuff is nasty and rough. And because my platelets were so low, I was not allowed to have an epidural. I was also not even allowed to have general pain medicine such as Tylenol and Ibuprofen due to my liver and kidneys not at optimal functioning. I was given a straight drip of pitocin along with magnesium to keep me from having seizures, two bags of blood, and a bag of platelets. I had IVs in both hands. It was as if I had wings of IV drips.

The pitocin started as a low dose. They were hoping to get things going. They slowly cranked it up.

I don’t actually have much memory of the active labor. I know the nurses kept telling me not to push. I pushed anyway. I know I had the whole L & D floor running to my room and the doctor made it just in time to catch the baby. I nearly crushed the fingers of my husband and doula and I guess I was screaming because my throat hurt afterward. I like to think I roared that baby out. It was probably less dignified than that.

Thankfully, I did not tear. I did have more bleeding than normal, but it did stop. Probably due to the clotting shot I was given. I don’t remember what it was called.

And thus was Baby Max introduced to the world. He was placed immediately on me, skin to skin. And we snuggled and I weakly attempted to breastfeed him and he weakly attempted to eat. What a pair we were. I was weak from my malfunctioning blood and he was weak from coming so early.

It has been a week now and my arms still look like I was on the losing end of a fight. I am still in some muscular pain and I have discovered that I really do have to take it easy. If I try to go grocery shopping and do dishes, I am totally wiped out afterwards. I am getting better. With my last lab work, my platelets were still low, but staying steady. I get to have more lab work next week.

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I have lost a lot of weight from this pregnancy, which I think some people would think a good thing. And while I do not mind some of the weight loss, I do mind the muscle mass that I am also now missing. I can now pick up a dinner plate and a full water bottle, but it is more effort than it should be. At least I do not have the pain that I had when I attempted these tasks while pregnant.

Now, I am healing. Max is growing. We are going to be ok. I will be making sure to get back to my gym as soon as I feel able to. I plan on getting a session with a personal trainer to set me on a track to rebuild what I lost. I think I will set a goal of at least one 5K this summer or fall.

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The New Addition

Samedi was born on November 12, 2010 at 9:26pm PST.

I know I am 2 weeks late in getting this up here, but I’ve been busy. My new little guy was born with no complications and little pain. I had apparently been in labor since the day before, but didn’t realize it. Normal contractions feel nothing like induced contractions. They are a little uncomfortable, but way more bearable than the induced ones are. The doc still had me induced when I got to the hospital, just to get things moving faster. Boy howdy, did they ever move fast too. I had Sam in my arms 6 hours after I had reached the hospital. They didn’t even clean him off before they handed him to me:

It was messy and wonderful. They let me hold him and nurse him until I felt ready to hand him over to be cleaned up.

Poor Sam does need some minor surgery done on his tongue. He is unable to nurse properly due to the tongue tie (that piece that attaches your tongue to the bottom of your mouth) being too long. He can not stick his tongue out of his mouth. I still nurse him when he wants, but we then supplement with a bottle and I pump to keep my milk supply up. I am taking him in to a consultation next Tuesday to find out more about the procedure. I am not looking forward to it, but I want to make sure my boy is healthy and if this minor surgery will help him to gain weight, then I will do it.

Sol has been a super big brother. He likes to help wash Sam and feed Sam. I think he is still unsure what to make of this strange, small, funny-sounding creature, but he is very gentle and patient with Sam.

I plan to start exercising again in the next week or so. My sister-in-law gave me a free gym pass good for 12 visits. I just need to find the time to go. I need to be able to have someone watch Sam. I can take Sol with me and leave him in the daycare, but Sam is still too small for that. Once I start that up, I will start to record my progress here.

 

Counting down to the finish line.

Within the week I will need to change the name of my blog as I will no longer be a “Preggo Chick.” My doc decided that I am ready to deliver and even set up an induction date for Thursday, November 11. The baby is small, but not too small. According to the ultrasound I had today, the baby is approx 6lbs, 11oz. I was relieved that he/she is not 9 or more. I was a little worried that may be the case as that is usually what happens with gestational diabetes. However, I had to wonder about it since I have gained a total of 13 lbs myself (not counting the 4 lbs I lost in my 1st trimester). If you had read my blog before I found out I was pregnant, yes, I was overweight to begin with. I have tried to keep active and eat mostly healthy. The eating healthy went into overdrive after I was diagnosed with diabetes. I suppose I should admit that I “cheated” a few times. Eating fast food or a piece of candy here and there. It is amazing how it can really change your mindset over these things when it these things affect someone else’s health as well. I have come to realize that I did some of this in order to keep myself healthy, but mostly to keep my baby healthy. I know I would not have been so stringent for my own sake.

So anyways, I had my last ultrasound today and an exam. Both revealed that baby is perfectly healthy and doing well. The doc decided, based on my gestational diabetes, the fact that I am on medication for it, I have been experiencing an increase in discharge (TMI I know), I am dilated at 2 1/2 cm, and an increase in Braxton Hicks that it would work in all of our favor to attempt to get this baby out into the world this week. He ruptured my membrane in an effort to get labor to start on its own. I have to say that since he did it, I have been getting more severe feeling contractions. In fact after this blog, I fully intend to sit in a bath for a little while. I have heard that a bath helps with the pain. I didn’t get to try that when I had my first child.

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