From Birthing Life to Being Close to Death: A Touch and Go Story
It started off as the most textbook perfect pregnancy. I was glowing and I had never loved my body more.
Max was due on Australia day, but decided to make me wait an extra 5 days. I had been booked in to be induced starting with the balloon. Jordan and I went into the maternity ward and had the "balloon" inserted. It honestly wasn't as painful as I'd prepared myself for. It was a pretty boring long afternoon until around 3am. I got out of the hospital bed, to go for what I thought was a wee, but the balloon had done its job and my waters had broken. It was like a movie waters breaking scene! I pressed the buzzer as I got scared and froze.
Fast forward to 7am and still nothing had really progressed. So, they started the drip and wow the first few contractions killed me. I had already set myself up for failure and felt I couldn't do it, so they turned it down and it was a lot better. My body started working with me, and I went between the ball and leaning over the bed. I tried the gas and that made me vomit so they offered me water injections as it was more back labour. I declined and requested an epidural, the anaesthetist came in after what felt like forever, and by this point i’m yelling at her saying, put it in, yes, I agree just get moving! There was instant relief. I was exhausted, so I had a little sleep before it all was to get going again which I think helped a lot.
6pm came and it was pushing time. I had a little bit of feeling but not 100% so after 2hours of pushing they decided I needed a episiotomy. Once I seen the lady walk in, I found a new strength and pushed like i’ve never pushed before. Within a few pushes, he was out without needing any help.
Jordan handed me Max and as he placed him on my chest I remember feeling like horses were trampling on my chest. I asked someone to take him as he felt too heavy and suddenly I remember hearing code blue room 14 ... I just remember thinking shit this is bad. I don't remember if I was crying or I just couldn't see anymore everything went from perfect to terrifying.
I started seizing and my partner Jordan said 20 + people came into the room and was an organised mess from the head doctor to the lady with the clip board, it all was just so organised. I remember coming around and looking at Jordan with Max on his chest doing skin to skin and telling him it’s okay. I told myself, it’s okay if I die Max has you.... I really thought I was going to die, it still chokes me up when someone asks me about it.
They needed to work out what was going on with me, as everything had been text book. From my blood pressure to go up so high and so fast and then for my placenta to come out in one piece but still very healthy, they just had to go through the steps to figure out what was going on.
Then, I don't remember anything until the next day when I woke up, I'd forgotten what had happened and asked Jordan if I had to have a c-section, to which he told me the head doctor was going to come explain what had happened. I knew it wasn't good because I was hooked up to a lot of machines and Jordan was sickly pale. He had tears in his eyes, telling me how proud he was of me for making it through.
The doctor came in and told me I developed H.E.L.P.P and eclampsia once my placenta came out which is very uncommon to happen after birth.
The midwife looking after me had been a midwife for almost 30 years and she had never come across this, only heard or read about it. From there my platelets were at 21, which was quite dangerous as I had a high chance of bleeding out. For 3 days I was not allowed a drop of water or any food. It was awful, I would beg for just a sip, I was too sick to have anything and they needed to keep me closely monitored as my organs, especially my liver, were starting to fail. They recommended I didn’t have visitors as I needed to get better and rest. I look back at photos and don't even recognise myself. After 4 days I finally got to show my baby off to a few visitors.
My platelets started coming back up and my 1hour observations and 2 hour blood test became less frequent, which also allowed me to sleep more. After a long 8 days, I was able to go home and enjoy my baby, he was healthy and that was all I cared about. I had to have my blood pressure taken weekly for the month, which was fine. I was so incredibly lucky to not have any long term effects, and to come out of the experience healthy and happy.
Now max is almost 3 and perfect in every way.
So 2 years on it was time for round 2 we really wanted another baby but knew it would be high risk.
After 6 months of getting my period every 2 weeks I found out I wasn't ovulating. So, the gynaecologist said that when we were ready to start trying, I'd need a round of Clomid (fertility medication) but we had a Bali trip coming up, and my best friends wedding, so we were going to wait until after that.
Then, a few days before we were going to Bali I felt "off" but just thought it was because I was stressed about taking a 1year old on a plane. I took a test and bam! I was pregnant. I didn't really believe it because I thought I couldn't get pregnant. I had decided with my gynaecologist that it would be best to have the same obstetrician the whole time because there was a high risk I would get preeclampsia and H.E.L.P.P. In the end they decided that as soon as I hit 38 weeks, I would be induced. I had a perfect pregnancy again, just the normal sore body and pregnancy hormones. 38 weeks came and I was getting weekly blood checks to monitor my platelets and I attended extra scans to make sure my placenta was healthy, my obstetrician decided to let me go to full term as everything seemed fine. Happy due date! I went in for my last appointment and the baby’s heart rate was very slow so they booked in the induction, as they were worried he would get too tired for the birth.
I went in and was already 3cm dilated so they broke my waters, it was a tiny trickle this time. About 10 minutes later I said to the midwife that I need to poo, and as I waddled to the toilet and sat down, what felt like banks on a water slid out.
It felt like a massive swoosh, I stood up and realised my water really broke and had my first contraction. Wow, it was breathtaking almost made me feel sick, but at the same time not that painful, it was strange.
I then zoned out with my headphones on, listening to a playlist I'd made, and swayed while the midwife was organising my paper work and the induction. She then hooked me up to the machine on the lowest dose as that's all I needed. As soon as it hit, baby was ready. I had about 5 intense contractions and said I am ready for the epidural now (I knew I wanted one ASAP this time).
I walked to the bed to be checked and I yelled that he was coming, shouting help help! The midwife looked at me like God this is going to be a long shift, so she asked me to lay down and sure enough she whispered to Jordan; “it’s time.” His head was poking out, and we had no time to lose, he was in a rush. In came 2 other ladies, and one of them said he had a very large head, and was not waiting. She told me they needed to cut me. I was in shock, it all seemed so easy, I felt like I had just got there. She gave me a episiotomy and after 3 pushes he was out.
I instantly started freaking out, and thought what happened with Max was about to happen again. I just remember saying to the midwife, who was holding my hand as Jordan was helping lift Banks out, I am going to die and started panicking. She reassured me I was fine, and kept pointing to the screen everything is perfect so I relaxed and cried as I cuddled banks this whopping 9.8 pound "baby" I got to do delayed cord clamping. Everything I missed out on with Max, I felt like I experienced with Banks. He just bopped his head around until he found my breast and was so content, I just couldn't believe what had just happened and to me how perfect it was.
About 5 minutes later, the doctor was there stitching me up with the midwives looking. She ever so nicely said Kate you’re bleeding out, and we can't stop it ,so you’re going straight to emergency surgery.
It was all so fast, it turned out my uterus hadn't contracted yet, so they did the surgery and I got an amazing sleep. Once I was in recovery Jordan was sent home as due to covid he wasn't allowed to stay. That night, I was so groggy and unable to lift a finger, let alone a baby so I had the midwives come in to help as much as they could, Again, because of covid, they were not allowed to take the baby like they usually do to the nursery.
The next day Jordan was allowed to stay 2 hours, and I had to be a Mum and put all the pain aside, and care for my baby. It is amazing what us Mummas can do for our babies.
Now Banks is a thriving chubby baby, who is perfect, just like his older brother.
Special thanks to the wonderful @katequanchi05 (Kate) for sharing her story.