I was one of those doe eyed first time momma freaks who took the birthing classes, read libraries full of books and even (and I still chuckle at this) created a birth plan. That’s right my dream birth plan included a leisurely stroll on the boardwalk whilst admiring the view of the Atlantic Ocean….followed by a trip to IHOP where I would consume whatever the hell I wanted. Full disclosure…. I was a vegetarian when I became a human incubator and instead of embracing the new ageiness of it all I decided to reintroduce hot dogs and red meat. I was of the mindset that if my body wants it, I must need it. Idiot. That aside, my birth plan included stacks of pancakes and bacon, glorious bacon……delightful, right?
At 39 weeks preggers I had this ache behind my left knee. Whenever I tried to sleep on that side (I know who sleeps at 39 weeks pregnant) it hurt more. I told my doctor about it and she sent me for an ultrasound, no biggie. I worked from home at the time and I told my boss I would be back in an hour or so. The ultrasound tech asked me to wait while she had the radiologist review my results….sneaky bitch didn’t give anything away. Within 5 minutes I was told that I had a Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and I needed to go straight to the hospital.
Sh*t got real very fast but I still wasn’t entirely clicked into how serious it was. They left me in the room and I promptly went to the hospital (hey they told me I needed to go to the hospital). When I arrived at the hospital I was greeted by the staff and scolded for not taking an ambulance, it was literally a block away. The panicked looks on the scrub wearing faces around me started to clue me into how serious the situation was….a clot could have easily broken away from the DVT and killed me instantly. I was told to make one last trip to the bathroom put on a highly fashionable hospital gown and oh DON’T MOVE.
Within a couple of hours I was taken to a trauma unit. The plan was to insert a retractable filter in preparation of childbirth (which BTW is fertile ground for throwing blood clots). The filter would, fingers crossed….break up any clots before they got to my lungs, heart or brain. I was petrified. I sent my husband on an errand to distract him. Told him I needed a tuna sub because the hospital food would suck and hey I never got my birth plan bacon so feed me. I silently begged God not to take me or my son away…thoughts of my husband raising our boy alone….I can’t even. So…..stone cold sober I am told to turn my head and then don’t move. First they inserted a needle in my jugular vein to numb the area (thank you and next time a little Valium would be good just to ya know take the edge off) after that the retractable filter was gently guided in place. I don’t remember how long it took….I do remember a sweet nurse holding my hand and telling me it would be OK while a stream a defiant tears were released. I wanted to ugly cry with sobs and snot with hunching shoulders but the procedure did not allow for that.
So the retractable filter became my little get out of jail free card. The doctors and nurses were pretty sure that I wouldn’t clot out so they immediately got into let’s get this baby out mode. Shortly after the procedure (tuna sub, consumed) I was told that labor would be induced. Well sh*t what first time mom doesn’t look forward to that. OK so I get the prostaglandin insert which is basically a tampon from hell that is supposed to make you go into labor or at least get things moving….I had mine “in” overnight. The next day was removal time and lucky for me they sent Freddy Krueger in for the process. Bitch could not get it out despite her multiple best efforts. Finally my OBGYN came to my rescue and removed it. So then it was a waiting game.
The hours ticked by and I happily took the epidural. The idea of biting on a stick or focusing on some object to get me through this seemed a bit ridiculous – at this point I was happy to be alive. Eventually it was time to push. I pushed and pushed and pushed some more, even crapped on the table (proof of pushing people). Two hours passed then three my OBGYN told me she had to go to NYC that night. I pushed harder, she told me about the doc who would fill in her for her if things pressed on….four hours of pushing then five. My baby wasn’t coming out and my sweet doctor stayed with me. Makes me cry right now thinking about it. I have no idea what she sacrificed to stay with me that night but she did and I will always love her for that. Back to my non-compliant baby…… at some point it was obvious that my baby wasn’t coming out the “traditional” way and a c-section was in order. Great let’s do it. Whaaaaaat? I have to wait for an operating room? And oh wait for it…..there is a back up for c-sections and since my baby isn’t in distress I need to wait. I understand that truly I do and I was grateful my baby was not in distress…….I on the other hand was exhausted. About an hour later we got in and my son was born c-section. I will never forget the relief I felt when I heard his cry. I wept tears of joy and at that moment I knew that I would do it all over again….because that sound….he was fine.