I have always been a worker. Aside from the last 2 years, I have always had a job since I was 16. With my first child, she was breech so I had an emergency C-section after 3 days of Pitocin (for those of you who don’t know, Pitocin is made by the devil to make you wish you would die). After she was born though everything was peaches.
I was 34 weeks along with #2. I felt like crap at work but I had a doctor appointment right after work so I just hung in there and figured I would chat with my doctor. The doctor appointment went well, she just told me to go home and rest, my blood pressure was elevated but came down once I got to rest a moment at their office. So that’s what I did. My BF was at home with my older one (who was 15 months old) so I just went home and went to sleep. My baby shower was that weekend and I had lots to do, so I thought resting would be a great thing for me.
About 3 am I woke up to an uncomfortable feeling. It was the beginning of November and the nights were getting colder; I was in my big fleece PJs all bundled up. I was thinking, “Great, my water broke all over my new $50 PJs.” I was pissed. I woke up my BF and told him to get the car, I think my water broke. He gets up and makes coffee and I went into the restroom to clean up and pee.
I get into the bathroom, get comfortable on the toilet, then feel something weird come out of my body. “What the fuck??” It was 3 am, I didn’t even turn on the light at this point. I get up, turn on the light, and realize my water didn’t break: I was hemorrhaging. The weird things I felt were actually blood clots, the size of my fist. I didn’t know what to do and just let my BF continue getting things together to drive me to the hospital.
I started to feel dizzy. The clots were getting bigger and more frequent. I wasn’t in pain but I was getting very anxious and the idea that there was something seriously wrong started to sink in. I called to my BF, “You better call the ambulance.”
“Call the ambulance. My water didn’t break. I’m bleeding.”
I wouldn’t let him in the bathroom to help me. What could he do anyways? I heard him through the door on the phone with 911. He knocked on the door, “She wants to know how much blood.”
“More than 10 table spoons.”
“What?!” He didn’t understand the reason I phrased it that way. At the time, he didn’t need to know, he just needed to let the 911 dispatch know. “She says more than 10 table spoons, whatever that means.” Dispatch must have clued him in on what it meant because all of a sudden I heard his voice get nervous and fast. “Really? What do I do? Okay. She says I need to get you to lie down on the sofa.”
I didn’t want to move. Every move I made, more clots would pass and I knew that wasn’t a good thing. When I opened the door to the bathroom, I knew how bad it was from my BF’s face. I didn’t realize that I had left a trail of blood from the bedroom to the bathroom nor that my PJ bottoms looked like a scene from the Exorcist. “No, i don’t want to get up. I just want to stay in here.”
He took my hand, “You need to go lie down. 911 said. Please, go lie down until the ambulance comes.” He walked me to the sofa and before I even sat, I heard the ambulance sirens. I felt a little better knowing help was on the way.
The sheriff arrived first and the EMTs were right behind him. As they are loading me onto the gurney, the sheriff is interviewing us to make sure I wasn’t beaten which would cause my issues. I was feeling like crap, anxious, and scared for my kid so his questioning (though afterward I understand the purpose), and I barked at him, “Look at me, if he hit me, you’d be here with a coroner because I would kill him!”
Heading to the hospital, I don’t remember the ride at all. The EMT said I fell asleep. I woke up to being changed over to another bed in the ER. The nurse said we will take care of you in a moment, and left me alone in a room without any way of calling the nursing station. I didn’t have my phone, I didn’t have anything, but I kept feeling the clots coming. I didn’t have strength and I was real dizzy but I kept yelling and yelling for someone to come help me. No one came. Turns out, though I thought I was yelling and screaming, I wasn’t making much of an actual sound at all.
I still wasn’t in pain but I could feel myself going in and out of being awake. Every time I woke again, I would ‘scream.’ After what felt forever, someone came in and said they were transferring me to maternity. It was a younger kid in green scrubs who came to take me to maternity. He stopped twice on the route to the maternity ward to chat with co-workers, banged into doors, and even banged the bed into the wall. I get into maternity and the nurse comes out, signs for me, and wheels me into the back.
They put me into my own room and a couple minutes later the main nurse comes in. She introduced herself and she was very pleasant. She pulled the blanket off of me to move me to an actual bed when she gasped. I was covered with blood. What I heard was, “Oh my God!”
From a clinical point of view, the nurse was concerned about a couple things starting with the blood loss. The baby’s heartbeat was staying around 70 BPM (for babies, it should be closer to 140). Every time to heartbeat would slow, I would hear her say, “Oh shit.” while her and her team were working on me to get me stabilized. The doctor on-call came in and in 2 seconds decided that I needed an emergency C-section. That was at 430 am.
They busted ass to get me into the OR. The anesthesiologist came in and advised that since it’s too dangerous to try to move me, they were going to put me under general anesthesia. I was like no prob! He leaned into my ear and asked me what my religion was. “I’m catholic.” assuming he was asking for blood transfusion permission.
He said, “You may want to start saying your Hail Mary’s. This is going to be a long night for you.”
I started saying my Hail Mary’s like a champion (!) but then I kept forgetting the ending. Shit. I would start again and again and again but I couldn’t remember the end at all! I didn’t realize he already gave me the meds to put me to sleep, I just felt like an asshole catholic.
I don’t remember much after that.
I woke up a few hours later in post-op with my BF sitting next to me. When he saw me wake, he leaned over and kissed my forehead. “Hey.”
“Hey. Where am I? What happened?”
“What do you remember?”
“I remember the ER kind of. I remember going into surgery, but nothing else.”
His face was grey. “Well, the baby has a problem.”
In reality, she had quite a few problems. I sat there and listened the best I could considering I was real tired and fuzzy. He explained to me that the baby was born with a pneumothorax (a hole in her lung), a weird curve of her spine, and it took over an hour to get her hands and feet changed from blue. She had been whisked off to NICU and was going to stay in isolation until they can figure out how to heal the hole in her lung. Her prognosis was sketchy.
My prognosis was also sketchy. The doctor said I had lost almost 50% of my blood and I needed a transfusion right away. My BF went to NICU Iso to be near our new baby and I was taken into my own isolation to start my first of 3 blood transfusions. It took 2 days for me to start feeling better. Turns out I’m anemic. Who knew!
What had happened was I had a 50% placenta abruption. How the doctor explained it to me was my body couldn’t sustain the baby and me so it was trying to self-abort by separating the placenta from my uterus’ wall. The clots that were coming out weren’t just blood, but pieces the placenta. Yum. I hope you’re not eating dinner during this post.
I wasn’t allowed to visit the baby until I was strong enough to walk 50 feet. I was practicing by walking around the hall outside NICU just so I could get a glimpse of my little baby, lying alone in a clear box.
She was 3 days old when I first got to go visit my baby. I wasn’t allowed to touch her but I got to sit next to her box so that was something. She was so small – only 5 pounds 8 ounces – so I nicknamed her bean, because she was as tiny as a bean. She had feeding tubes and oxygen tubes and she had an irregular breath pattern. You could just see the pain every breath was for her.
That night, BF came into my room a bit pissed. “Let me tell you about this asshole,” he said, “The respiratory therapist.”
He goes on to tell me how this respiratory therapist (RT) was changing out the baby’s tubes and said he didn’t know why they were continuing with the tubes. RT said, “It’s just going to kill this baby.” Though RT didn’t know my BF was in the room, who the FUCK says shit like that?!? I was flaming pissed.
I called the nurse in and told her to get the charge nurse and the head doctor down to NICU right now! I got up, walked my hobbled ass to the NICU with my BF, sat in front of my daughter and waited.
The Charge Nurse comes in and brought a security guard. I told her I wasn’t about to talk to just her, that I want who ever is in charge of the doctor staff too. She tried to tell me she was but I wasn’t having it. The on-call doctor came up to talk to me.
“No one has come in to talk to ME about the state of my child. Not one person. However, her father has to hear this asshole say that this treatment is killing her?? What the bloody fuck is going on here?!”
The charge nurse tried to explain that since they speak with my BF, they don’t go back and explain the same things to me, it would be a waste of time. I told her to shove that in her ass because now – since there was no communication with me directly regarding my kid – I was going to waste serious time. I told them to come up with another option for the pneumothorax, and that I wanted to be informed on every little thing regarding my kid because: THAT’S MY KID!
They switched the baby to what they refer to as ‘the hood.’ It looks like a cover to a donut plate or something that you would find on the counter at a diner. There are tubes that come out of it feeding in new O2. But instead of forcing O2 into her lungs like the tubes were doing, the free flowing O2 in ‘the hood’ made it easier for her lung to heal. She started to improve in a matter of hours.
Being that she couldn’t breathe that well, the nurses hadn’t been able to give her a proper bath. They wanted to avoid having her cry because it could damage the lung further. Once the lung healed (took about 3 more days), we were able to hold her for the first time. Still in NICU Iso, I cried when I got to hold her for the first time. I have shoes that are heavier than this little baby. She still had her tubes and such but at least we could touch her.
She was in the NICU for a total of 11 days. I was discharged on day 6. It’s an awful feeling to go home from the hospital without your child. It’s sickening. Everyday we would go back and visit her. She was responding well to that ‘hood’ thing, the curve in her spine had resolved itself, and her heart was strong and healthy.
I’ve never been so happy and thankful when we were finally able to bring her home. I think this is the first time I thought about that day without crying. Well, that only took 7 years.
I am so grateful and thankful for the wonderful little kid I have… even though she makes me want to go crazy some times.