Got My Epidural :)

I am queasy just thinking about writing this one…but here goes…

First of all…I am sorry-especially to my mother 🙂 for posting such a dramatic update on facebook and then not communicating very well afterward. I have a really good excuse for my poor judgement….lack of blood to my head (and every other organ :)) but it was 2am when it was all over and I was wiiiiiiiiiired with nothing to do and didn’t really think I would be worrying everyone.  I am so sorry if I did!!

So here is the rest of the story…

Oh and I should caution you…this may be TMI for some…so read at your own…interest, I guess.

After you have a baby…you have to deliver the placenta.  After that…they press on your belly a few times and make sure that all that “stuff” comes out…a few clots, etc.  Then your uterus begins to close.  If your uterus does not close…you continue to bleed…and bleed and bleed…

In a hospital, it is common practice to administer Pitocin to facilitate this closing.  It causes it to contract which helps it “clamp” down.  Breastfeeding also causes these contractions.

As they wheeled me to my postpartum room they told me that I would need to try to pee.  As I did, we both heard some clots fall in (sorry for the graphics :)) and the nurse looked concerned.  As I stood up, my legs gave out and the room became a tunnel and I couldn’t hear anything.  She pulled the emergency cord. I just kept saying “I can’t hear anything”.  They got me into bed, ran an IV and put me on oxygen and I began to feel fine.  I thought the ordeal was over and simply chalked it up to normal weakness from my delivery.

Nope.

The nurse continued to check me and the bleeding wasn’t stopping.

She said if I felt a “gush” to call her.

I nursed Caleb, had a contraction, and I felt a gush and called her.

I felt another gush and called her again.

I felt another gush and called her again.

At some point I began to apologize feeling like I had to be annoying her for seemingly no reason.

She said “maybe you have a laceration I am not seeing or something. I am going to call the on-call doc to have a look.”

Dr. Martinez came in almost immediately and did an exam…

Remember…since I will never forget 🙂 I had no pain medication from the birth just hours ago so things are a bit…tender.

During the exam she gasped! “Her uterus is not closing.  Oh my gosh there are so many clots.  Dear…I am so sorry but I have to get them now!  I have to do it. I am so sorry!”

Seeing and hearing the urgency in her made me more willing to just brace myself.

I can’t describe the pain and I am not even going to try.  I may have (honestly) broke the nurses hand I was holding.  This all happened so fast, Mike was pushed aside, standing there…holding our newborn.

She said “Honey, I couldn’t get them all.  I need to try one more time.”

This time-between the pain and the blood loss-I went into shock. The shaking and convulsing was utterly uncontrollable and the more I tried to control it, the worse it got.

They placed a sonogram wand on my belly to see if she got all the clots and she immediately said “There is placenta embedded in her uterus (a condition called Placenta Accreta)…we need a table in O.R. now!”

She looked at me and said “this is a major surgery-you need to tell me if you want an EPIDURAL (ahhhh the irony!) or to go under.”

I juuuuuuuuuuuust had a baby-I couldn’t go under.  I chose the epidural.  A spinal block, actually.

They gave me some Demerol to stop the shaking and blasted me with a bag of Pitocin.

They grabbed me up by my bedding, tossed me on anther table and told Mike they would be back with an update.  I can’t talk much more about that-I am way too hormonal and emotional 🙂 I can’t imagine what feelings were rushing through his mind and heart as the room emptied and he stood there alone, holding our baby.

I will say the “what if” crossed my mind simply because I had noooooooooo idea what all of this meant, what the surgery entailed, how bad I was, etc.  It all just happened-like that! I don’t know if I could have died…I know if they didn’t act when they did I could have but either way…I was scared-I got those lyrics back in my head and asked God to leave me here longer…but if it was my time….okay.  Then I felt a peace that all would be okay however it turned out.

We had met the anesthesiologist, Wendy, before giving birth.  She had told me all of my pain treatment options for labor and I told her to stay far, far away from me and to not let me see her again…she was too tempting 🙂  So when she walked in the operating room to administer the spinal block and saw me….we both just laughed!  Apparently I was laughing at everything by now 🙂  I managed to make a joke that I am the only person that has a drug-free delivery and leaves a junkie 🙂

I laid under a white light (a real one…not a God one :)) and that is the last thing I remember.  When I came to-they were plopping me on my postpartum table and telling me I will be getting a blood transfusion.  She gave me some gruesome details about just how bad it was but I was really out of it and remained pretty out of it until I finished receiving the blood transfusion.

With the entire pregnancy roller coaster and thrilling delivery-I never anticipated postpartum complications.  I am soooooooooo grateful that they caught it when they did-they acted as quickly as they did and for all intents and purposes….it is all over now.

My body has to recuperate to get my blood levels back to normal-so I am still weak and tired but feeling better and better.  Caleb is healthy and amazing and Mike is taking great care of EVERYTHING else so I can take care of Caleb and myself.

I don’t want to overdo the cheesiness here but even with all of that craziness I think of every.single.blessing and provision throughout this and am beyyyyyyyyond grateful that in the big picture…we are simply left with a big ‘ol happy and healthy family of Five Buckaroos!

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5 Comments on “Got My Epidural :)”

  1. OMgosh! That sounds so so so scary! I’m so thankful you are okay. I mean, people die from that. Or have to get a hysterectomy! Need more Caleb pics!

  2. Heidi Hollenbach says:

    SO glad to hear the rest of the story, Rechel! I was wondering, but from the looks of the photos, you were OK, so I was patient :). I was in tears hearing your story…I cannot believe what you had to go through! It sounds as scary as my C-Section, although at least I had several months to adjust to the idea! I cannot imagine how scared you and Mike were. BTW, when my (very handsome!) doc came in to administer meds for my surgery, I went into shock, too. I was trying to hard to keep my emotions in control and just trust God, but all of a sudden, I began shaking and couldn’t stop! The doc was very kind and said it was a natual reaction, which made me feel better, but then I was on this slippery slope of feeling scared and fragile. Anyways, enough about me :). I am SO, SO thankful that you are OK, that your doc and nurses were so attentive and that you and Caleb are resting peacefully now. What a wonderful husband Mike is to “do it all” for you! Love you. Hope to talk soon! Heidi

  3. Kara says:

    Rechel! So sorry to read about your postpartum course. You didn’t need a hysterectomy did you? Did they make an incision or go up your you-know-what? Was it placenta acreta or just retained products? Caleb is beautiful and you did it naturally! Glad you are now home and well! XOXO

    • Accreta and it was discovered by the ultrasound she did to see if she got all the clots (thank God she did!) Nope-I got to keep all my innards 🙂 just lost a lot of blood. Oh….the next day (after transfusion) they did labs again and said my blood levels went down….do you know why???

  4. […] and completely perfect Caleb…for my beautiful birth story…for my quick healing after surgery, especially after learning how it should have resulted in a hysterectomy but my utmost gratitude […]


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