Having a Traumatic Birth Experience
Having a Traumatic Birth Experience
My previous three births were pretty basic. Morning sickness, back pains, early contractions, stuff I was used to by baby number 2. This last one turned out to be a traumatic birth experience I had no control over. For us moms it can be hard to talk about the bad things that happened to us and especially our children. We would rather forget and move on; or think it wasn’t that bad. Having a traumatic birth experience has lingering effects that have caught me completely off guard. Here is my story of baby number 4.
I was 31 weeks pregnant. I was at home on a regular day. We had the bonus 2 children over for the weekend. I woke up I had a banging headache. I used to suffer from frequent headaches so I tried to wait to see if it would get better. It was not getting better. So, I took a Tylenol and another nap. When I woke up my headache was still there, and it was a weird feeling in my chest and I felt short of breath. The voice in my head told me something was wrong. So, I made the decision to go to the emergency. A pregnant mom’s nightmare.
They took me to the back room of emergency and began taking my vital signs- temperature, blood pressure, and pulse. They immediately realized my blood pressure was high, like really high. It was 160/90. They made me sit for a few minutes and took it again, it was now 172/101. Yikes. They immediately took me to a room to monitor my heart and lungs. I had to get a CAT scan and everything. Good thing they didn’t find anything wrong with that, but my blood pressure would not come down.
I was diagnosed with preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is high blood pressure caused by pregnancy. If left untreated it can turn to Eclampsia which is severe high blood pressure that can cause seizure and death of mom or baby.
The doctors recommended that I stay in the hospital on bed rest for 3 weeks. They wanted to induce me but not until I was 34 weeks. The doctors tried a variety of medicines to bring my blood pressure down. Sometimes it would work but for a short time. Then my blood pressure would shoot back up.
Being on bed rest in a hospital is no fun, at least the not being able to leave to get good food part. Honestly, I enjoyed being away from my mommy responsibilities. I had to keep myself entertained for two weeks. Eating, sleeping, and watching tv was getting pretty boring.
After 2 weeks of my blood pressure not going down after a variety of medications the doctors finally decided to induce me at 32 weeks. I was scared but something in my heart said my baby would be OK. To induce me they used this tampon like device with medicine to speed up delivery. My contractions got stronger, my cervix dilated more and more and the baby continued to move into position. I got the epidural and was able to sleep for a bit but still felt the contractions as a constant cramping.
After the nurse checked on me, I told her I felt like I had to push. She checked my cervix and rushed to get the doctor, it was time. They got into position; because he was early they wanted me to wait so everybody could get into position. Wasn’t no waiting. I could feel him pushing his way through. In 4 pushes he was out. Daddy didn’t even have time to grab the camera. He was here.
I got to hold him for a second and then he had to be placed on a heater and wheeled to NICU. His name is Owusu. He had to spend two weeks in the NICU. Luckily the hospital let us keep a room there so we could spend the night. With three other little ones, me and dad alternated spending the night at the hospital so Owusu would never feel alone. I had never left the hospital without my baby. He was alive but not with us. His siblings were looking forward to him coming home. It was a tough feeling. The only reassurance was that he didn’t need oxygen just a feeding tube until he was able to strengthen his feeding reflexes. It took a little over 2 weeks for him to be able to gain enough weight and drink on his own. He was ready to come home.
We were so happy to have him home. He was so sweet and slept well for a newborn. He was home for about a month when he got sick. It started with a runny nose. Then he got really stuffy. We knew he caught a cold and thought it would eventually run its course. The stuffy nose and cough lasted for a week and was not getting better. It was getting worse.
He was becoming lethargic and it was getting hard for him to breathe with all the congestion. We tried so many things to try and help him feel better- baby vicks rub, humidifier, dressing warmly, even medicine. It wasn’t working.
The night that changed everything and shook my soul. I was holding my one month old, rubbing and patting his back hoping that would move the phlegm. It was so difficult for him to breath. He stopped breathing right in my arms, turning purple blue. His father jumped up, blew in his mouth and some of the built-up phlegm flew out his nose and he was able to breath again.
We monitored him all night and the next day he was alert and smiling. By that night again he was having trouble and stopped breathing. This time I had to give slight CPR. That is when I made the decision to take him to the emergency room at Children’s Hospital.
I wish a mother to never see their newborn baby on a table with doctors around trying to get him to breath. It was like seeing him laying there lifeless. It was so scary not knowing if my baby would make it or would he die in this hospital table. The only way to keep him breathing was to insert a breathing tube down his throat and to his lungs to deliver oxygen.
Once again me and dad had to alternate being there with our precious baby while he had to spend a week on a breathing tube. Luckily while one of us was home we got to monitor him on the baby cam. It was comforting to see the nurses take good care of my baby.
After a week he was finally off the breathing tube and ready to come home. Again. Thank God that was the last time he had to stay in the hospital. He is now 1 year old and strong and determined to make his mark.
Be grateful for your loved ones. You never know how long they will be here on this Earth with you.
Be You Confidently