Aftermath After Birth

1 May

Even though Ben’s birth is at the center of our story, there are many elements from which we are recovering. Some physical, some mental. This post is mainly about the physical recovery. For my brain’s sake, I’ve been organizing it all in my head and heart.

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A Story About Life and Death

21 Apr

This is a story about life and death, but it’s not Ben’s birth story. Hang with me.

When you go through trauma—gosh, when you go through life!—you pick up on acute coincidences, divine dealings of our God who cares and is involved in it all. In our everyday, here and now. I know and believe His Holy Spirit is always teaching, showing, and molding those who follow Him. Also comforting, loving, watching.

In his grace, He sanctifies us—yes, even through a birth story like Ben’s.

And the only appropriate response I can give, the one required of me, is to look for those mercies, those graces, and recognize them, learn from them and share them.

So, here’s what I have learned and here’s what I will share. I’m going deep to write about Jesus and the gospel—because I’m utterly compelled and can’t not write this down.

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My Uterine Rupture and Placental Abruption (Part 3)

18 Apr

**Disclaimer: I report what I remember as I remember it. I was, however, in lots of pain and heavily drugged.**

I am not educated on how the body perceives pain. I know I didn’t feel the pain at the spot it apparently occurred, my former C-section incision site. A nurse told me when you experience acute pain, your body just knows to respond with feel pain! You could feel it anywhere. I felt the pain of rupture higher in my abdomen.

I also had a vivid experience, and saw two growing arcs of pain, that climbed and climbed then met at a point at the top. And at the top, they broke. I keep trying to explain this to people, but it’s hard because, like the buzzing in my ears, I admit it’s bizarre.

The rupturing, which likely simultaneously caused the placental abruption, did actually almost feel like a contraction, but it outperformed any contractions I have known. It was a pain where you have to holler. One additional event followed, with arcs of pain that built and met then broke. I screamed. And then I knew something had ripped. I reported it as a pop to the nurse, though, and also that I’d gone a little numb. These were of high interest to her; she had me repeat what I said, her eyes wide. She was afraid now, and I knew it.

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My Uterine Rupture and Placental Abruption (Part 2)

18 Apr

**Disclaimer: I report what I remember as I remember it. I was, however, in lots of pain and heavily drugged.**

It was a Thursday. When I woke up that morning, my baby was still in my womb, healthy and moving. My body was still intact, functioning as a safe place. My life was still giving life to my little one. And my mind was still calm, unprepared for what comes next.

Whether it began that day or over the weeks and years before, I’m not sure. But on March 28, 2019—my womb, my body—everything started to expire. The hours were numbered.

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My Uterine Rupture and Placental Abruption (Part 1)

18 Apr

**Disclaimer: I report what I remember as I remember it. I was, however, in lots of pain and heavily drugged.**

Birth is such an interesting phenomenon. People seem to universally agree. And just when we want to think of the phenomenon in the traditional sense, it’s hard to downplay the marvels of medicine—we must admit that surgeries, too, not just vaginal deliveries, qualify as phenomenal in the end. Just ask a woman from the 18th century. Or me, who has now had 50% childbirth, 50% emergency C-sections.

All my births wrapped into one make up my personal “phenomenon.” They weave together in sometimes pleasant, sometimes painful ways. They never start and end the same.

And this, my latest and last pregnancy—the one where my uterus ruptures along a scar and we almost die—actually begins with my first.

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Sally’s Birth Story: Part 4

12 Sep

While to date Rose’s labor remains my hardest and most physically challenging, she is my only baby who didn’t go all high-maintenance during birth. Both her sisters had heart-rate drops, not Rose. Both her sisters had placenta issues, not Rose. I like this about Rosie. She’s a happy-go-lucky little girl who loves life, and I think she was ready to get started. I like that she behaved perfectly well during her debut into this world. Hers was also the easiest and best recovery. Middle child 1, other siblings 0.

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Sally’s Birth Story: Part 3

12 Sep

In the early morning hours of Tuesday, August 23, I woke up to use the bathroom at some point. Don’t know the time. I was quite uncomfortable, and thought I had downed way too much Chick-Fil-A lemonade before bed and had really held it in for too long. I went and then got back in bed, and my bladder and sides of my lower abdomen felt noticeably sore. Sometime later—could have been hours, could have been 20 minutes, I have no idea—I again woke with the feeling I really needed to use the bathroom. It was 4 a.m. I kicked my poor orange tabby cat out of the bed and sat up.

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Sally’s Birth Story: Part 2

12 Sep

Within minutes of my C-section with Jane Darby, my doctor made a point to tell me I’d be an excellent candidate for a future VBAC. I guess she wanted me to know right then so I could keep it in the back of my mind and be encouraged. I have always supposed my “excellent candidacy” was because I didn’t labor long at all with Jane Darby, and she never got close to being in my birth canal. For me, laboring a second child would really be like laboring a first.

I never really explored the idea of VBAC with Rose, not because I didn’t want to, but I just didn’t believe it would ever actually happen. The C-section hadn’t seemed all that bad to me, and I never felt like I needed to reclaim what was lost to me by having a baby via caesarean versus vaginally. Also, I think I was scared. What little labor I’d gone through had spiraled out of control very quickly, and VBACs carry some weighty risks. Terrifying, life-threatening, traumatic? Been there, done that, no thanks.

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Sally’s Birth Story: Part 1

12 Sep

Before I had children, I never thought I’d be someone who would have dramatic birth stories and surprise-in-the night deliveries. I also figured my babies would always be late, because my mom’s were. Perhaps when you’re short and your husband is 6’5″, you get more than you bargain for, because here I sit, new mom of three, and I’ve yet to ever make it to a due date. Actually, I’ve never made it to 38 weeks 5 days. And somehow my water has broken twice, and I have a C-section, VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean) and natural no-drug delivery under my belt, in that order. My doc said there really isn’t any other way to have a baby, unless I want to have one on my bathroom floor. Drew doesn’t like that idea.

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Rose’s Birth Story: Part 2

27 Feb

If you already read Rose’s Birth Story: Part 1, you probably noticed a pattern: I’m complaining. A lot. I realized this, and the irony of it, after I’d published the post.

Who really actually thought that bringing a child into this world was supposed to be not all that painful? Not easy, but at least not excruciating? Well, I guess I did. I’m a big ‘ole dummy. But truly, as I said in Part 1, I didn’t really think much about labor at all. I just didn’t see a VBAC happening for me, so I failed to research. I feel sure a lot of women are in the same boat.

With that said, it sounds awfully honorable to be a person who never complained about a contraction, or who never begged for an epidural, or who never asked, “Can I have my repeat C-section now?” (Yep. Sorry. I did do that.) But I don’t want to beat myself up too much. Truth is, it was hard. And it hurt. A lot. I do wish I would have handled labor better, both emotionally and physically, and I hope I will next time.

But instead, you’re just going to get the true story about a baby. And that baby is me, a whiny baby. At least it’s a good true story! Continue reading 

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