Please forgive my absence from my blog the past few days.. You are about to read the very difficult journey that my little Natalie Rose made into this world, just last Thursday and about my crazy life since..
Natalie was born on Thursday, June 28th, at 7:06pm. She weighed 8 lbs, 5.1 oz and was 20 in long!
Now are you ready for our story? (It’s a doozy, just to warn ‘ya!) Yes? Ok, here we go.
As you all know, I went into the hospital to be induced on Thursday morning. I wanted to try for a VBAC so the doctor was going to start me on light Pitocin to get things moving so he could break my water. Then we were going to see how I progressed throughout the day and we hoped to have her via VBAC by the end of the day.
That is a short version of what we had planned.
Unfortunately, that is not what God had in store for both myself and little Natalie.
Some of you are friends with me on Facebook and already know what has happened but I wanted to create a post to share with you all because I do truly appreciate all the thoughts and prayers!
So. Here is Natalie’s birth story; definitely exciting (though not in a good way) and something I pray never happens to anyone else. Ever. Especially not to one of you dear readers..
Wednesday night, I was having contractions that lasted all through the night and prevented me from getting a lot of sleep.. But I wanted to hold off for the morning because I knew that’s what we had planned. So Thursday morning, at 6:30, we headed for the hospital with not a lot of sleep but totally ready to have a baby!
Once we got to the hospital, they checked me and I was already 2.5 cm! Yay! (This was really wonderful to hear because at my last doctor’s appointment, a week before, my cervix was still hard and I was not dilated at all..) I was very excited at the thought of my body really being able to DO this, even though there were times that I doubted it.
We got settled in, they started a light drip of Pitocin and we just hung out for several hours.. The more painful the contractions got, the more my blood pressure went up so I was already starting to doubt my ability to go through labor without an epidural. (This wasn’t too big of a deal to me, though, because my main concern was to get the VBAC, not necessarily to do it drug-free) Around lunchtime, I could not take the pain anymore and decided to get some relief from an epidural. After that, things went much easier and my blood pressure immediately lowered back down to where it was supposed to be.
Shortly after getting the epidural, my doctor came in to break my water and get things moving a little faster.. At this point, I was about 3.5 cm and 90% effaced. After breaking my water, the doctor left me to labor some more on my own. I went on like this for about 2 more hours and when the nurse checked me next, I was about 5 cm. It seemed to me like it was taking a while but everyone who was there was encouraging me that I was doing well.
In the next couple hours, I was having very steady and strong contractions. Thankfully, my epidural was low enough that I could feel all the tightening without any of the pain.. When my nurse checked me again, around 5:30, I was shocked to hear her tell me I was at 9 cm! WHAT?! That sure had gone fast!! I was so excited because I was thinking that I really could do this and I was almost there!
She called the doctor about a half hour later. He took a little while to come up so while we were waiting, I began to do some pushing with the nurse. It was around this time that my epidural started wearing off.. I pushed some more (for about 15 more mins) but finally said I needed another dose into my epidural before I could push anymore. We waited and the anesthesiologist arrived very quickly to help out. My doctor arrived at the same time and so after getting the extra boost, I started pushing for the doctor.
I almost did it. I was probably an hour or so away from holding my baby girl. I was pushing and she was crowning!
Then it got terrifying. I started having the most intense, sharp pains in my entire abdomen. I was crying and telling them that something was wrong because I should not be feeling pains like this! Then my doctor saw blood in my catheter and told everyone that I needed to get into the OR right now.
My uterus had ruptured.
(We knew there was a chance of uterine rupture.. Everyone, VBAC or not, has the same risk; 0.6% chance; less than 1%. There is such a low risk of this that I had not even considered the possibility. The thought had crossed my mind, when discussing the risks of trying for a VBAC with my doctor, but it exited as quickly as it came.. I never dreamed this would become my birth experience.)
The next few minutes were the most terrifying in my entire life. I honestly thought that either I or the baby were going to die. The pain I had was nightmarish (something I pray to God I forget quickly) and being ran into the OR, people flying all around, all the commotion and panic in the air, was the scariest experience I have ever been in.
Due to the urgency to get the baby out of me, I had to be put out. In a matter of seconds after getting the drugs in my IV, I was asleep.
When I woke up, I found out that my baby girl had been driven quickly to our local Sacred Heart NICU Unit (the best in the area), which thankfully, was only about 15 minutes away from the hospital where I delivered. My uterus had, indeed, ruptured and had done so very severely, also causing my bladder to rupture at the same time. It took my doctors about an hour to repair my uterus (which they did, even though I am not advised to get pregnant again) as well as my bladder. My uterus did not tear on my previous c-section scar but diagonal across most of my abdomen. When they pulled Natalie out, they actually found her outside the uterus entirely, in my abdomen. I had never even heard of that happening before.
The fact that we both survived was a complete miracle.
Even though I have no idea why God caused this to happen to me and my baby girl, He was watching out for us! My rupture occurred right during shift change, right before 7pm, we were right across the hall from the OR, we both survived and I got repaired with a surprisingly small amount of blood loss!
All that happened on Thursday. It was a very busy and terrifying day for me. But in the end, I got my Natalie Rose, my beautiful miracle, and that is ALL that matters.
Since our traumatic experience on Thursday, I think that Natalie and I are both doing much better. Of course, I am doing better than she is.. I am on lots of meds and because of the bladder rupture, I have to have a catheter in place until the 12th (not pleasant, let me tell you…). Other than my physical pains, which are pretty minimal, I am still trying to process through what happened. It was truly the most terrible day of my life (as well as the best because I got Natalie) and I think I am going to need some time to recover emotionally from what took place..
Natalie, on the other hand, has been in the NICU since after birth but she has been healing so quickly! She was without oxygen, from when the uterus ruptured to when they got her out, for about 10-15 minutes. So we are not sure the damage, if any, that has had on her yet. All we know is that she is doing extremely well and is a very brave, strong and feisty little girl!
For 3 days, she was under cooling protocol, which cooled down her body temp to make sure there was no swelling in the brain from lack of oxygen. This is a semi-new procedure that helps a lot with young babies in the NICU, to help them heal faster from various injuries..
On Sunday night, she was warmed up and since then has thrived and amazed all her doctors and nurses!
She has been breathing on her own extremely well so they took our her ventilator. Then out came the stomach tube. Then out came her bladder catheter. Then out came her umbilical IV’s.. In just 2 short days, she has become detached from about everything, except for her central IV line and her heart monitors.
She has tests scheduled for this week to see how she is doing on the inside.. Today, she had her MRI and EEG done, both are different tests of the brain, to see if there is any visible damage. We will get the results tomorrow so I will update with a new post when I have news!!
*Natalie’s test updates coming as soon as we get them*
I apologize for the long post.. But I know that most of you want to know what happened with me and my baby girl. We had a very hard experience but are both recovering and working through it well. Please, please continue to pray for my daughter. She is strong but no one is too strong for prayers! I love her SO much and she means the world to me already!
Thank you for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers. We have a long road ahead but I promise to let you in on the ride!