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Old 02-16-2012, 02:37 PM   #1
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The complicated hospital birth of Eden Mae (planned HB)

In honor of her 4wk bday, I'm finally posting this! It's been so hard to find the time to type it up! Sorry for any typos.

******
On January 17, 2012, at 39wks and 4days pg, I suffered a small stroke. I woke with my left side numb and unresponsive. At 36 and otherwise completely healthy, hearing the word stroke in the ER was the last thing I ever expected. But an MRI confirmed it and I was admitted to the hospital. (It seems a blood clot had formed somewhere in my body and had broken free and reached the brain, essentially killing a small area in my brain.) To my relief they did not insist on an immediate c-section, but it was decided that I should be admitted to labor and delivery for an induction the following day. I had been planning to birth at home, as I had done and loved with my first birth, but alas this was not to be. They were concerned about the possibility of another stroke and with my left leg still almost totally unresponsive I could not even walk unassisted. So my vision of an active birth in the comfort of my own home, with the midwife I loved so much, and the hope of delivering in the water, had to be given up.

Despite all this, I woke the next day excited to meet my baby finally. They moved me to L&D around 12noon, but things went along very slowly after that (all the Dr.'s being very concerned about my unusual situation) and it was 5pm before the epidural was placed and the pitocin drip started. (Although I had a medication free birth with my first and really did not want the epidural, the Dr.'s were adamant that I at least have it in place--both in case of emergency and b/c they felt that I should not place my body under undue stress, i.e. pain.) I was already at 1-2cm and 70% effaced with a low baby when the induction began and my body quickly began contracting, although the contractions were very mild for a few hours. Then I began to experience some back labor as I had during my first labor and without the benefit of being able to move or get in the water, I was glad after all for the epidural. Around 10pm I managed to fall asleep for an hour (one of the benefits of an epidural ); when I woke, they checked my cervix, which I was disspointed to hear was only at 4cm, but while they were checking me my water broke. Almost immediately the pace of my labor changed. The contractions got more intense and I could feel pressure with each one. Maybe an hour later they checked my again and the nurse exclaimed, "you just went from a 6 to an 8 while I was checking you!" Things were definitely going fast now! A little bit later I got the shakes and I said, "I must be in transition." I had kept the epidural dose as minimal as possible, so although I wasn't in extreme pain by any means, I still had a lot of sensation. The next check I was completely dilated and the nurse said, again with some surprise, " you *were* in transition before. you know your body well."

I start to feel more pressure and the urge to push. Now for the hard part--because of the stroke the Dr,s really do not want me to push for fear of too much pressure on the vascular system and the risk of breaking loose another clot. The OB is ready to do a vacuum assist, but I have formed a plan with my midwife who is now in the role of doula, of breathing through my pushing contractions as long as possible and letting my baby come down the birth canal on her own, something the hospital staff seem skeptical of, but which my midwife assures me is possible. What I didn't realize is how incredibly hard it would be to feel the overwhelming urge to push and not push! With each contraction the need to push grips my body in a very primal way and only the coaching of my midwife (to sing "ha ha ha") gets me through each time. The work is paying off though, as the nurses begin to say they can see my babies head. The OB attaches the vacuum and in just one contraction I feel the intense stretch of the head emerging and then look down to see her little body slide out. My baby daughter is placed on my belly and despite the stroke, despite the hospital interventions, I am transported into that ecstatic moment of seeing my child for the first time. How can one describe this moment adequately? This person that has lived and moved in you, is suddenly there, warm and slippery in your arms. You already know them and yet they are a wonderous mystery. One of my first thoughts was, "she doesn't look like ds at all!" We finally reveal her name-- Eden Mae. She was born at 1:19am on 1.19.12.

The hospital is great with all my requests--to delay the cord clamping, to let her do the breast crawl, to save the placenta, to delay her newborn checks--and so we spend an amazing 60 min or so just bonding. Eden latches on well and DH and I just marvel at her. The epidural is wearing off, but I had no tears, so I'm not in any real pain. Everything seems stable and good, so my midwife prepares to leave and we decide that DH should go home to be with ds and to get a little sleep for the rest of the night/early morning. Eden is finally taken to the warming bed and weighed and checked--8lbs and 6.8 oz and 19.5" long.

We are transferred to the postpartum maternity ward about 4:30am. I'm feeling tired but good, but as they are settled me in to my new room I suddenly feel faint and they realize I am bleeding quite heavily. The nurses rush into action, while Eden lays contentedly sleeping in the bassinet. I am given pitocin and another medication and they do a constant (and ouchy) uterine massage, but it doesn't slow down. So they call the OB back up from L&D. They are able to stop the bleeding without my needing a transfusion, but I am left extremely weak and have to send Eden to the nursery for a number of hours, even though I hadn't wanted to be parted from her at all in her first days.

In the end not at all the birth I had envisioned and I am left with the work of stroke recovery to begin as well as the normal postpartum recovery and adjustment, however, I have my beautiful, healthy daughter and that truly is all that matters.





*UPDATE* It's been 7 weeks now since my stroke and I feel about 75% back to normal. In the hospital they kept telling me it would take 3 months for a full recovery and it is looking like they were correct. The healing power of the body is amazing! First two weeks home from the hospital I had to use a walker and now I'm back to walking almost normally--I have a very slight limp left and I can't run. But I can walk my toddler to the park, which is all I really wished for when this happened. I just want to be able to do my mom job. Left arm is almost normal, I'm a little slow with typing still, but I can carry my baby and change diapers just fine.
I'm still having physical therapy and i haven't started driving again yet, or going places with both my toddler and my baby without DH. . .but I feel very positive about my recovery despite some lingering fears since they haven't found a definite cause of the stroke.

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Last edited by kismetbaby; 03-06-2012 at 08:43 AM.
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Old 02-16-2012, 02:46 PM   #2
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Congrats on your precious girl! Hope your recovery is quick.
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Old 02-16-2012, 05:37 PM   #3
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Re: The complicated hospital birth of Eden Mae (planned HB)

Miss you guys! So glad to hear Eden's story. I hope we get a chance to call soon!
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Old 02-16-2012, 06:04 PM   #4
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Re: The complicated hospital birth of Eden Mae (planned HB)

That is a beautiful newborn and a great birth story! TFS!
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Old 02-18-2012, 01:04 AM   #5
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She is beautiful! Congrats, mama!

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Old 02-18-2012, 02:02 PM   #6
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Re: The complicated hospital birth of Eden Mae (planned HB)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ladymeag View Post
Miss you guys! So glad to hear Eden's story. I hope we get a chance to call soon!
So glad you saw this! Hope we connect soon
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Old 02-18-2012, 03:43 PM   #7
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Holy crow mama! I'm glad you're both okay - but talk about a scary circumstance! She's absolutely gorgeous.

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Old 02-18-2012, 06:52 PM   #8
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Re: The complicated hospital birth of Eden Mae (planned HB)

I'm so glad that you're ok! How frightening.

Your baby is gorgeous. Congrats!
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Old 02-18-2012, 06:52 PM   #9
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Re: The complicated hospital birth of Eden Mae (planned HB)

DP!
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Old 02-24-2012, 03:19 AM   #10
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Wow. Just wow. So glad you are both ok. I hope your recovery goes quickly. Congrats on a gorgeous baby girl!

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