Thursday, October 01, 2009

not exactly the sweetest birth story and uterine tearing

we don't always get what we want
sometimes the hardest lessons in gratitude are forged with scalpels and narcotics and crash carts
and this is where the story of ev's birth begins
i've debated as to whether i would write about this - back and forth for days
but i know it won't disappear by ignoring it, and i think there is a message for others in my experience

i had a particularly challenging pregnancy this time
but it was all me, not the baby
was sick til 20wks
on all sorts of restrictions
and then for the last 5 wks was on complete bedrest with the hopes of getting to full term this time around
3 days shy

if i had made it to 37wks i was planning on a homebirth
and was sad that i was so close
and at the same time filled with joy that i made it almost to term

so even though i knew when i went into labour that i was destined for a hospital birth
i was at peace with that

labour began normally
and went very badly very quickly
there was endless pain
and i knew something was wrong
there were no gaps
and the pain was centred on my lower abdomen
my midwife was showing a lot of concern
and she is solid, practical, earthy
the obstetrician came in
- your pain is not normal
i have only seen this once before
- i urge you to have a section
then he left for a few moments
and came back again

i was just blinded by the pain in my lower abdomen
but consented
and was out of there the second i said ok
and wheeled into an or

i begged to be awake for the procedure
as i knew it would take a lot longer to be alert after the procedure if i wasn't
and so had a narcotic and spinal injected
and the cut was so broad and deep that baby e was popped out in what seemed like seconds
there were crash carts as e had a huge decel during the cutting
his head was swollen and there were concerns about how he would do
my midwife and husband went with the nicu team
and somehow,
despite everything
he was ok

it took a long time to stitch me up
i looked at the clock - nearly an hour
and then the dr revealed the other case
he said it had been a complete uterine rupture that didn't end well
and although my uterus had started to tear, they were able to stop a full rupture and the bleeding
and if it had been 10 minutes later things could have been very different
for me
for the baby
he remarked that i had no scarring, so this was a spontaneous tear
but he said the way i described the pain was what made him keep insisting on surgery

if there is anything i have learned about birthing is it has nothing to do with who you are as a mother.
and to accept the things you have no control over
and be grateful that you don't have to lose everything when things go wrong

these are the signs i had...
disproportionate pain
pain that doesn't stop - contractions only add to it
pain that is localized in the lower abdomen and not diffuse like you normally feel with a contraction
a baby that looks like he's been in the birth canal and then pushes back up

UTERINE TEARING can spontaneously occur
previous births are not necessarily a predictor of uterine rupture
i had no internal scarring and this happened
listen to your body and be mindful that there is bad pain

my body doesn't tolerate birthing well
i've attended homebirths as labour support and will continue to do so with reverance for those whose bodies naturally provide, even if i can never have the experience myself

i am grateful to be moving to mothering only and leaving birthing behind, and that my body is functioning naturally as a mother in a way that it never could in birth.


Mandy said...

Beautiful, and heart breaking. You told it well.

star*mora said...

in sadness - joy.
and one helluva tough lesson in gratitude

thanks for visiting, mandy

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