So I never really thought that I would have any interest in sharing my birth story, but things ended up going so differently then I had planned, that I decided it was a story worth sharing.
As I shared in my previous post, I had what is called a Placenta Previa. This condition comes with some serious risks and because of those risks I was scheduled to have a C-section on July 17. Since I’m guessing most of you are not familiar with a Placenta Previa, I’ll give a quick explainer. For me, I had a complete previa, which means my placenta was completely covering my cervix, so there was no way for baby to get out. It also put me at a great risk of bleeding profusely (hemorrhaging) if my cervix were to thin out or open up a little bit.
Strangely enough, my mom had a Placenta Previa with my youngest brother. (It is not supposed to be hereditary, so I guess it was just a coincidence that we both had one.) My mom ended up going into labor at 32 weeks, causing her placenta to separate from her uterus. This caused severe bleeding and she almost bled to death. Needless to say, I was very concerned that the same thing might happen to me. Since I was nervous about this outcome, I heeded the doctor’s orders to take it easy throughout my pregnancy. I was also advised not to travel outside of the area. In the case I did start bleeding, I needed to be able to get to a hospital immediately. This meant canceling a trip to Germany and New York, which was very disappointing.
So all that to say, I was 2 days away from my scheduled C-section, I had finally started to relax, after being nervous throughout most of my pregnancy. Tanner and I were making jokes about how it felt so strange to know exactly when we would be having Winn. We were excited about his birthday being 7.17.17. On the Saturday and Sunday before my C-section I was supposed to go to the hospital to get steroid shots to help with Winn’s lungs development. On Saturday afternoon we headed to the hospital to get my first shot. I’m not going to lie, that shot hurt!! While I was there they were monitoring Winn and me. The machine was picking up that I was having some contractions, but I couldn’t feel anything. Due to the contractions, the nurse had the doctor on call come to check on me. She couldn’t feel my muscle’s contracting strongly so she sent me on my way.
While I was at the hospital the nurse told me that I would need to eat a number of small, high protein meals before my C-section, of course that made me think I needed to have one last huge meal before then. When we got home Tanner asked me what I wanted for dinner, I was strongly craving bread sticks. We decided to try out this casual dining Italian restaurant near our house. While we were there I ordered a salad, a HUGE piece of garlic bread, and a pretty large piece of lasagna. We sat down and to my surprise, I finished almost all of my meal! It was probably the biggest meal I had eaten my entire pregnancy. We were sitting at the table talking about how this was going to be our last time eating out before we had a little companion. All of a sudden I started feeling the strangest uncontrollable sensation. I looked at Tanner in horror and said, “I think I just peed my pants.” I wasn’t sure what to do, I really didn’t want to get up and walk to the bathroom and have everyone see that I had peed my pants. I asked Tanner to find me a towel. He went over to a lady busing tables and asked for a towel. She said, “I don’t speak English” and walked away. Tanner came back and said “Sorry; I don’t know what to do.” That’s when I finally decided to evaluate what had happened to me. I put my hand under my shorts, and to my horror when I lifted my hand it was covered in blood. I then took a look at the floor and a puddle of blood surrounded me. I’m talking a very large puddle, wider then the chair I was sitting on. I have never seen that much blood in real life and it was quite terrifying to realize that it was all my blood. Tanner and I made eye contact after we both saw my bloody hand. I was amazed at how calm he stayed. I was immediately starting to hyperventilate and was on the verge of uncontrollable sobbing. Tanner looked at me and said, “It’s going to be alright, we just need to get to the hospital.” Again, I still didn’t want to get up, because I knew if I stood up more blood would come gushing out of me.
A couple ladies around me noticed my panicked face and came over to ask if I was in labor and needed help. I said that I was and they helped me get up. At some point during this Tanner had acquired a small towel for me. The two ladies helped me get up and started walking me to the door. Of course, we were in the farthest back table and had to walk through the entire restaurant, all the while I am dripping quite a lot of blood! I will never forget the look on this teenage boy’s face, as he was about to take a bite of his dinner. I’m sure he didn’t make it through the rest of his meal. A middle age man saw the ladies helping me and joined the effort. I was really amazed at how helpful everyone around me was.
Tanner and gone outside to get the car and was pulling up just as I was walking outside. Everyone was asking if we should call an ambulance because I shouldn’t be bleeding if I was just in labor. Tanner and I both quickly explained that I had a high-risk pregnancy and we knew this was a possibility and that we just needed to get to the hospital as soon as we could. One of the things the doctor had told me previously, was that if I did start bleeding, blood could be coming from the baby as well and it wouldn’t take long for my sweet little baby to loose too much blood. It was an incredible relief when Winn started having the hiccups on the way to the hospital. We called the hospital to tell them I was coming back, and then called both our parents to let them know what had happened. All the while Tanner continued to speak calming words to me, keeping me as calm as I could be. It was all such an out of body experience.
Once we got to the hospital we were quickly ushered into a triage room where they immediately hooked me up to a monitor to hear Winn’s heartbeat. It was still beating strong! They were able to get the bleeding under control and immediately started prepping me to have an emergency C-section. As you might remember, I had just eaten a HUGE meal! They doctor talked about having to put me all the way under if I started to get sick. I had to drink this very disgusting drink to help calm my stomach. The doctor that we had met earlier in the day was still the doctor on call, and it was such a relief to have already met her. There were so many people in this tiny room asking me questions, having me sign paperwork and hooking me up to things, that I didn’t even notice when I had my IV put in. I was wheeled down to the operating room, where I had to get a spinal. The doctor was so great and so calm. She talked to me the whole time I was getting my spinal that I hardly felt it. Shortly before they began the surgery the doctor wanted to make sure that I knew with a placenta previa if the placenta is too attached to the uterus, they would have to remove my uterus. I knew this was a possibility, but I hadn’t given it much thought until that moment. Luckily, they were able to remove my placenta without removing my uterus.
Tanner was still getting ready to come in when they started surgery, so the anesthesiologist held my hand and kept telling me I was going to be ok, and that she was with me. I didn’t even realize that I had been cut open before Tanner had gotten in the room. During my surgery I was very concerned about 2 things: 1. Who was going to feed our cat Dexter and 2. Those poor people at the restaurant who were trying to eat. I felt really bad about ruining their dinner. Tanner was so good at reassuring me that everything would be fine. Shortly after Tanner had come in, I felt two very hard pushes on my abdomen and then our little man entered the world. They pulled down the curtain and held up a tiny, very blue baby boy. I didn’t get to have that moment where they bring your baby over and you get to see and touch him. I did see that he was a red head and I was pretty surprised and excited about that! He was having trouble breathing, so he had to be intubated and taken down to the NICU. Tanner went down to the NICU with Winn as they stitched me back up. I was so amazed at how quickly everything went. It was only about 30 minutes from the time we got to the hospital to the time Winn was born.
After I was all put back together I was sent to recovery. I spent almost an hour and a half in the recovery room and was doing quite well. Unfortunately, a few minutes before they were about to take me to go see Winn, I got sick. As I said earlier, I had eaten quite a large meal right before I started bleeding. Needless to say, by the end of my time in the recovery room I was pretty much covered in that meal. Since I had a C-section, I couldn’t shower, so overall I was just disgusting. I had a bag full of bloody clothes and then a bag full of clothes I had thrown up on, definitely not my proudest moment.
Once I had finally been cleaned up as much as I could, I finally was able to go down and meet Winn! I still wasn’t able to hold him, but it was such a relief to be able to see and touch him. He was no longer intubated, but he was still struggling to breathe. It was sad to see him struggle with every little breath, but he was beautiful! After some time with Winn, they took me to my room, where I had one of the worst nights I can remember. I was having some strong side effects from the morphine; I was so incredibly hot that they couldn’t get the AC turned down far enough to cool me down. Also, my face was soooooooo itchy I couldn’t stop scratching it. Finally, at about 4:00 in the morning they gave me some Benadryl and I was able to sleep.
Overall, the experience was very traumatic and I don’t think I will be visiting that restaurant ever again. I am so relieved that Winn was all right and that I was able to get to the hospital so quickly. They were able to perform the C-section so quickly that I didn’t need a blood transfusion, which is something I had been worried about. Unfortunately, since I wasn’t able to get both the steroid shots Winn ended up needing help breathing and staying 12 very stressful days in the NICU, but that is a whole other story!