From Plan A to Z: Preparing for Unpredictability
My son's birth was not something I had in my birth plan, not in plan A, B or even C.
Just a little bit of pre-history - we had tried to get pregnant for 2 years, had 4 miscarriages and 2 unsuccessful IVF rounds. I had fallen pregnant naturally just as we had decided to take a break before our very last IVF attempt. Every day that the pregnancy progressed well was a gift for me.
I had expected and predicted many things to go wrong… except for gestational diabetes.
At 37 weeks I was advised by my doctors to be induced due to my blood sugars being too high, and not being controlled by insulin any longer.
We came to the hospital at around10 am. The midwife confirmed that I was dilated at 3cm, so we started to settle into the delivery room. My blood sugars had to be monitored very closely during labour, but everything was going well so far. The anaesthesiologist had finished with my epidural and the nurse suggested that my husband go get some food as it would be at least 2-3 hours until the labour would progress further. Just as he left to go to the cafeteria, my blood glucose level dropped to level 1! While a nurse was trying to get me to eat a juice and a banana, my baby's heart rate dropped, and the midwife realised that I was already fully dilated! From 3 cm to 10 cm in one hour! The emergency bell went off and the room was flooded with doctors and nurses within seconds. I was told that they are going to rush me to get an emergency c-section.
Everyone was moving so fast, machines were beeping, instruments unpacking. The midwife kept speaking to me, but I couldn't understand a word, I felt frozen with the fear of losing my baby.
My husband finally returned to the room with me, dressed in surgical scrubs.
I couldn't hear what he was trying to say, but I saw no fear in his eyes, which gave me so much hope.
Just as I was given the second block of epidural, and was ready for c-section, the doctor suddenly said it was no longer a viable option, as the baby was crowning and will have to be immediately delivered. Everything went silent, the 2 doctors that I could see in front of me, started to work more intensely and no one was saying anything. Our son's umbilical cord had been wrapped around his neck twice, the doctors had to rotate him manually before they could use the forceps to deliver him. This was the longest and the most scariest time I have experienced in my life. I felt as if I was having a complete out of body experience, just watching everyone including myself from a distance.
Our son was finally born, with few bruises and scratches but otherwise absolutely healthy, breathing and screaming. I think this was the moment I was finally able to take a breath. As long as he was here and he was okay, nothing else mattered.
Little did I know that it was only the beginning of a very long and difficult road to recovery.
As a result of a birth trauma, there was some substantial tissue, muscle and nerve damage, I ended up staying at the hospital for 2 weeks, unable to walk or sit up, as well as some damage to my bladder and loss of sensation or urge to use the bathroom.
I left the hospital with a catheter bag attached for another 12 days. I started properly walking and being able to sit up within another 2 weeks after being discharged. However, full recovery and bladder sensation took about 8 months to normalise.
I am forever grateful to the doctors, midwives and wonderful nurses for everything they have done, every single one of them went out of their way to help me in any way they could, even beyond their job responsibilities.
My son's birth was very traumatic but he was born healthy and safe.
My husband and I were determined to give him a sibling, which we were able to do, our daughter was born 2.5 years later via planned c-section, due to previous trauma it seemed like a safe option. I recovered from her birth very fast, without any complications and right now I am totally enjoying this wonderful baby bubble.
Special thanks to the wonderful @dayswithliam (Natalia) for sharing her story.