Following my bout with postpartum depression (PPD) after the birth of my first child, I experienced it again with my second in 1998. This time, I recognized the signs right away and got on medication.
Fast forward to 2007, which saw a divorce, new marriage, and the birth of my son leading up to it. Even though I didn’t experience PPD after the birth of my son, the birth story alone is the subject of this blog post. My blog isn’t going to be all about childbirth, but I thought it was important to share what happened to me, because I was sure I was the only one.
Fortunately, my first two pregnancies were always positive experiences with little to no nausea, no swelling, and no real discomfort. I was actually a fitness instructor and personal trainer during my pregnancies!
After my brutal first delivery, my second was a walk in the park so to speak. I was in labor for eight hours and only pushed for 10-15 minutes before she popped out into the world.
Because of this, I assumed my third delivery would be even easier.
Boy, was I wrong!
On August 15, 2007, my water broke in my sleep at approximately 2am. I never had my water break before I went to the hospital, so I wasn’t sure if my bladder was just weak. But after further investigation, I realized it was amniotic fluid, and my son would be arriving earlier than his due date, which was in 3 weeks.
We headed to the hospital at the crack of dawn, and I experienced intermittent contractions. As the contractions became more intense, I was given an epidural. I had epidurals with my other two deliveries, so I knew the drill and was ready for it. I felt great and was excited to meet my little boy in a few hours.
My poor dreary-eyed husband wanted to stay by my side, but I insisted he grab some coffee and a paper in the hospital cafeteria. I’d be fine. It was only 9am. I was sure he had plenty of time, and I could take a little nap.
Within five minutes after he left, I could hear a change in my baby’s heart rate. It would go from a fast, rhythmic underwater drum sound to a much slower-paced rhythm. Immediately, a nurse entered my room to do an internal check. Her face showed worry. She ran out and came back with another nurse to check me as well. She looked concerned and told the first nurse to call my doctor right away.
I was freaking out. What in the world was going on???
The nurse explained that my baby’s umbilical cord was coming out first. The contractions constricted the umbilical cord and caused his heart rate to plummet. Both nurses turned my bed upside down trying to cause the umbilical cord to naturally go back inside. What a sight that must have been!
As I was lying upside down, tears streaming down (or I guess it was up) my face, my doctor ran in to check me and decided I needed an emergency Caesarean section! This certainly was not part of my birth plan!
At this very moment my husband walked in, coffee in hand, and he turned white as a ghost as he took in the spectacle before him. He had left for 15-20 minutes and during that time, all hell broke loose! I was put on a gurney and the nurses ran me down the hall to the OR.
What happened next was a complete blur.
I remember the glare of the OR lights, people scrambling around me, a curtain being put up at my chest, the doctor getting into scrubs, and my husband looking like a petrified puppy. He was given scrubs, a hair cap, and surgical mask.
The anesthesiologist pumped my epidural full of drugs, and I received an oxygen mask. Next thing I knew, it felt like an elephant plopped itself on my stomach. No pain, just incredible pressure.
Within 30 seconds, the doctor lifted my baby boy over the curtain, our eyes met, I fell instantly in love, and then I passed out.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t end there.
To be continued on Wednesday…