Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Birth, Part 4

After the nurse and midwife spent time cleaning up the baby and taking our vital signs and putting us all back together, they left us for several hours so that we could sleep. After two hours, halfway through the time we were supposed to sleep, I woke up and felt like I was bleeding a lot. I asked Francisco to check and call the nurse. It turns out I was hemorrhaging. The nurse and midwife were on top of it quickly--giving me pitocin and cytotec to stop the bleeding, and catheterizing me (it turns out that the hemorrhage happened because my bladder filled up really full and didn't give my uterus room to contract). And then the midwife stuck her hand (twice) up into my uterus to get out the clots. I yelled again like I yelled when I was in labor. And the whole time, I was wondering (as was Francisco, poor man) if I was going to be ok. I've read enough romantic novels in which the woman dies of a hemorrhage after giving birth to know it was serious. I asked the midwife if I would be okay, and she said that I might have to go to the hospital next door for a D&C, which turned out not to be needed.

The next morning, I nearly passed out on the way to the bathroom from the blood loss (4 pounds). So then there was talk of discharging me from the birth center to the hospital, rather than to my home. But the nurse let me go home on the promise that I'd stay in bed for several days. The nurse and midwife said to each other, it's clear that this one will listen to us (they could see that I'm perfectly fine with being taken care of).

Thankfully, because my mother was staying with us after the birth, I could be essentially on bedrest for several days. I have no idea how people recover from the trauma of birth without being taken care of as completely as I was by both my mother and Francisco. (My mother was incredible--she put the baby to sleep and changed his diaper and cooked and cleaned and I, all over again, owe her everything--and, after going through childbirth, I am now aware of how much I really do owe her everything.)

The midwife who was there through the really hard stuff ever so nicely said that she noticed in my birth plan that I claimed that I didn't have a high pain tolerance, but she thought that I absolutely did. She also apologized later for hurting me when stopping the hemorrhage, the pain of which, of course, probably saved my life.

I spoke to my grandmother on the phone later, and she asked if I wished anything were different--if I wished for pain medicine or an epidural during the birth. The funny thing is, as much as I thought that the labor and delivery were hell, something I hope I never have to go through again, I never wished for any sort of medicine. Francisco and I were just overjoyed that we were able to deliver at the birth center, where we thought we received very good care.

I haven't mentioned much about Francisco: he was perfect. He supported me through every moment of labor and delivery, providing every comfort that he could. He was excellent, even though he was exhausted, too. I couldn't have done it without his encouragement, without the support he was whispering in my ear throughout the whole process. And now, seeing him be a father might just be the best part of having a child.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow... it was great to get the details! Way to go All of you!
Papa L