I haven’t shared the story of the day that June Belle was born because I wasn’t ready. And I honestly don’t know if I’m ready now but I feel like someone out there may need to hear my story so I’m going to share it anyway. I’ll start at the very beginning.
It was the week that the baby was due and I was ready to have the her so I had Tim get eggplant parmesan. The next day, I started having mild contractions at work - maybe the eggplant parm trick really works, maybe not. Anyway, the following morning was my due date and I had my scheduled 40 week doctor appointment. I was thinking that I wasn’t too far into labor but the doctor checked and I was actually at 5 centimeters and 80% effaced! I couldn’t believe it. She sent us home to get our things and come back to the hospital. I was terrified. But it was Halloween and alot of the nurses and staff were in costume and that really helped the fear. We were checked in by a nurse dressed as a jar of playdoh and we were taken to our room by someone dressed as a giant baby. It was hilarious.
So we were at the hospital by noon, we called the doula and the labor commenced. I wanted to have an all natural birth with no drugs or interventions but it never goes as planned. I labored all day and night and the pain was unreal. I progressed to 8 centimeters over time but June Belle wasn’t having it and didn’t want to come out. Around 3A, I asked for the drugs. They were suggesting that the pitocin would help my labor progress and they were starting to question June Belle’s safety because she was stuck. A few hours later, nothing was progressing and the doctor started talking about C-section. We decided that would be best for baby so we went in for the surgery and she was born at 11:05A on November 1st. I couldn’t believe it when I saw her. She was so incredible and had a head full of hair! I was thankful she was safe in our arms and she was absolute perfection. Weighing in at 8 pounds, 5 ounces and 20 1/4 inches long, we were absolutely smitten. When we got back from surgery, our hospital room was filled with people we loved getting to meet our perfect girl. We had a few hours of absolute bliss and then around 3P I hemorrhaged. And after that, it’s kind of a blur for me.
They got the bleeding under control and then I hemorrhaged again a couple of hours later. The nurses were frantic as soon as I hemorrhaged again, they whisked the baby off to the nursery and one nurse told Tim to kiss me and tell me he loved me. As in, her life is in danger and you may not see her again. They rushed me to the OR and it was honestly like on the TV shows. I was laying there weak and in and out of consciousness watching the fluorescent lights pass by me above. When we got the OR I just remember asking everyone I saw if I was going to be okay. No one answered me. So I either just thought I was saying it out loud or no one knew if I was going to make it so they didn’t know what to say. The last thing I remember thinking was, “dying isn’t that scary after all”.
While I was in surgery, my family was scared. They still cry when they tell me about it. They spent hours not knowing if I was going to be okay. We read later in my charts that my blood pressure dropped to 56/25 and then shot up into the 200s. I lost over half of my blood and had to have a transfusion. The doctors had a hard time figuring out why the bleeding was happening and it turns out my uterus wasn’t contracting and was basically just like a deflated balloon.
I woke up after surgery not knowing that any of this happened to me. Not realizing that my family didn’t think they were going to see me again. The doctor cried when she told me that they had to do a hysterectomy in order to save my life. I woke up without a uterus. Here I was, completely elated to finally have this baby girl after all we’d been through to get her and then also completely devastated to learn that I’d never be able to carry another. And I’ve basically been on that rollercoaster ever since that day. The only thing keeping me sane is gratitude. I’m grateful for having this healthy baby and I’m grateful to be alive.
Some days I try to figure out who is to blame. Sometimes I blame myself. Was there something that I could have done differently? What if I’d had a different doctor or given birth in a different hospital? But then I hear God’s voice and He asks me the same things, what if you’d had a different doctor and they couldn’t save you? What if you were in a different hospital and they did things differently and you didn’t survive?
So I’m going to be celebrating June’s birthday on November 1st but I’m also going to be celebrating the fact that I got to stay in this world and raise this baby girl with Tim.