The Baby Bean Blog

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Birth Story, Part 4

Well, kids, here's where I wrap it up. The birth was over in Part 3, but there's some details that seem more appropriate to go here than to fit into the next phase of this blog--assuming I'll have some time to devote to this blog on a regular basis, that is.

It's been so long now since it all happened, which is why I really should have written this earlier, but you know how it is with a newborn. Or if you don't, you'll just have to take my word on it. Whatever free time I have is devoted to 1) sleep or 2) trying to accomplish something like eating, taking care of the dogs, or basic household chores. (FYI, I am sacrificing the laundry to write this.)

So what happened? Why didn't little Ella slide out of my vagina like a nice baby should? Apparently, she was in my pelvis at an angle, and that's why she wouldn't fit. Basically, her head could not mold. You know about head molding, right? That's why babies who are born through vaginal births sometimes have cone heads. The plates of bones that make up the skull are not fused together so that when they come out through that narrow opening, their heads get pointy which makes it all possible. But their heads can only mold in one way: dead center. Since she was coming from an angle, her head could not mold, hence she couldn't fit through my cervix, hence the c-section.

I guess the most dramatic detail to follow the c-section is that I lost a lot of blood during the surgery. The reason for this was my long labor which exhausted my uterus and made it "spongy." A uterus is supposed to be "firm." Ah well. I ended up having to get two units of blood via a transfusion on Friday, three days after the c-section, because my red blood count was not rebounding. It was at a 6. Normal is 12. At 4 or 5, you don't have enough blood cells to provide oxygen to all of your organs. I was right on the edge.

Which, coincidentally, is a major reason I couldn't keep my eyes open after the c-section and for the days that followed. I thought it was the drugs, and they certainly contributed. But another part of the problem was that my brain kept shutting down to conserve oxygen. I have a friend who is going through chemotherapy, and she complains when her blood count is 10. 10! I laugh at her now. TRY 6, HONEY-PIE, AND GET BACK TO ME.

The one upside of having a c-section was that I got to have a catheter. Most people hate it. I don't know why. After getting up every hour--day or night--if not more frequently--to go to the bathroom, I didn't have to get up to pee FOR 24 HOURS. It was HEAVEN. I was so sad on Wednesday when they took that thing out. Of course, that also meant I had to get up and go to the bathroom with a searing pain in my stomach. It was almost as if someone had cut me in half and then sewn me back together. OH WAIT. THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED.

But at 5+ weeks out from all that, I'm doing much better. A lot has happened since then. I wish I had been writing about it. Not just for you, but for me to have a record of it, and for little Ella too, of course. I expect that she will be reading this one day. Although it won't be news to her. I'll be telling her at every opportunity how it took 48 hours to give birth to her, and THIS IS THE THANKS I GET? Oh little one, we're in for a long ride together.

2 Comments:

  • Labor was very easy for me, but I was in a lot of discomfort the next day. Reading your story, I realize I really am the big whiny baby my mother always said I was. I'm happy you and Ella had a happy ending. :)

    By Blogger Whimsy Chick, at 3:34 PM, September 25, 2005  

  • I'm sure you're not a whiny baby. My cousin-in-law insists that recovery from a vaginal birth is more difficult than one from a c-section. So who knows who had it worse? I'll tell you that at 2 weeks out, I felt pretty darn good. And I could always sit down and remain sitting comfortably (getting up was a little tricky), and also using the bathroom was never an issue. I hear these things are quite so much fun after a vaginal delivery. Plus, you squeezed out two babies! That's something!

    By Blogger Oz, at 2:48 PM, September 29, 2005  

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