What an eventful delivery! I should have expected this with how UNeventful the whole entire pregnancy was. Seriously, I had no sickness, I wasn’t any more tired than I was previously, if my belly wasn’t growing I would have never known there was a little guy growing in there! Towards the end of the pregnancy I developed cholestasis which just meant that my bile salts were building up in my blood and they wanted to induce labor right at “full term” so the baby’s environment wasn’t compromised…this is the point where the benefit outweighed the risk of him staying put in the womb. I was on medicine to combat the symptoms which worked amazing and was ordered non stress tests twice a week until induction. All throughout the pregnancy my blood pressure had been perfect, even two days before the scheduled induction.
On Thursday, March 19th at 5pm I had my final meal prior to being admitted for the induction. We finally got the call around 10pm that night to head on in to triage to get set up for the induction process. I was supposed to have “ripening” that evening with cytotek as I was not dilated as of Tuesday and was barely thinned out. At 11:30 that night we discovered that I was already having contractions on my own, was 1cm dilated, and 50% effaced! The bad thing was, they discovered my blood pressure was starting to rise drastically since Tuesday.
At about 12:30am on Friday March 20th, we finally got settled into our Labor and Delivery room. The doctor decided that since I was already making progress on my own that they would skip the ripening and start the pitocin drip instead. Every few hours they’d increase the low dose drip and check my vitals. My blood pressure was still increasing but it was only being read during or immediately after a contraction.
At approximately 8am my mother and her fiance joined the forces, my mother in the delivery room with me and Michael patiently awaiting the arrival of “Baby C” in the waiting room. At this point my contractions are about 5-7 minutes apart and I barely felt them but they were measurable on the monitors. My first real check since being admitted occurred at about 3:30pm, right after my husband stepped out for some, ahem, waste removal since he was stinking up the joint. This check showed I was 70% effaced and 3cm dilated and they wanted to break my water…I didn’t want them to do that until my husband got back so we waited. Right after that my doctor was stuck in the OR for an emergency for hours and again, my blood pressure continued to rise no matter what we did to try to bring it down. A lot happened around 10pm this evening, I begged for my water to be broken even if my doctor wasn’t able to do it, and it was – I was 4cm, 70% effaced, and at a -1 station, and because my blood pressure continued to rise they decided I needed to be on magnesium to combat potential seizures due to the still increasing blood pressure. At this point I was tied down, catheterized, hooked up to several monitors, and put on a bolus of magnesium that was just pure torture followed by a drip of it. They explained to me that because I was on magnesium that the NICU team would be present for delivery and he’d be taken away from me for 24 hours after delivery while the magnesium was still being pumped into my body. When they started the bolus, I felt like I got hit by a bus, everything got hot, I felt dizzy and sick and just needed to pass out. The broken waters added pressure that I couldn’t relieve with movement because I was strapped down and my legs were in these walking machines to prevent clotting. I asked for some medication to help me sleep that night so they gave me some Nubain through my IV and I was able to sleep about 5 hours.
At about 5:30am on Saturday, March 21st, I was able to get an epidural. I knew being tied down was going to only cause things to be more painful so the decision was to keep me as comfortable as possible. At this point, almost everything in my birth preferences went out the window…and later we’ll see that the only thing I was able to accomplish from my preferences was not getting a C-Section. The epidural was nothing…Joe was able to stay in the room with me and everything was peachy. They checked me again and I was 5cm, 90% effaced, and at a 0 station. The epidural worked like a charm and I was pain free and hoping I’d be pushing before it wore off! The only thing I felt at this point was pressure…and sometimes it came on hard but it was bearable! At about 8:30am they said I was in transition – I asked to be sat up so that gravity could help bring him down since I couldn’t walk around and as soon as I did that I got sick. They checked me and I was 6cm, fully effaced, and at a station 0.
Contractions continued on strong and at 12:45 I asked to be checked and I was 8cm, fully effaced, and finally at a station 1! They said with the magnesium it slows down the processes so they would check again in a few hours to see how I was making out. At about 3:45 I felt like I needed to push with every contraction so I asked to be checked and low and behold I was at a 10! It was a slow night in L&D so the doctor actually was with me nearly the whole time along with the entire L&D staff cheering me on with every contraction from 4pm on to his delivery nearly 3 1/2 hours later. With every push I was trying to rest and towards the end I was literally passing out between each contraction and woke up to cheering and coaching in my ears from Joe. I had Joe on my left and my mom on my right the entire time. Baby was making progress but getting stuck at the very end. I was exhausted and my options were keep on pushing, which I didn’t have the strength to do having not been able to eat in over 2 days and on medicine that made me feel so sick, or to try a vacuum. I asked for the vacuum and said I can do it just a little longer. The vacuum helped but when he was crowning he got stuck and the vacuum popped off and the doctor had to perform an emergency episiotomy and with one more big push he was out and placed on my chest as I begged to hold my Joey. It was surreal. Every emotion I had running through my body just came together right then and there and it was just beautiful.
After this everything went downhill. The placenta was delivered, the doctor was stitching me up but there was massive bleeding. There was placenta still stuck and the doctor had to manually remove it but there was hemorrhaging that had to be taken care of immediately. Before the baby was taken to the NICU and after he was cleaned he was placed on my chest for a few minutes of bonding but I couldn’t even keep my eyes open because of the blood loss…I was passing out and asked my mother to take him and give him to Joe.
They cranked the Pitocin up to 100, hooked up a new epidural and continued to manually remove placenta and push on my uterus with all of their might. The bleeding could not be controlled so they wheeled me off to the OR for a blood transfusion and to get the hemorrhaging to stop while applying pressure both inside my uterus and outside at the same time. By the time we arrived at the OR I was in and out of consciousness trying to answer questions the surgical team were asking me. They were able to get the bleeding to stop because of my doctor’s quick action of applying pressure the entire trip to the OR. I was told I was lucky to still have my uterus and I was later told I was lucky to be alive. I remember telling Joe and my mother as I was being wheeled out from L&D to the OR to stay with baby, I needed to make sure he was ok, but they waited for me instead. Apparently they were left in the room as everyone shuffled to get me and baby out and safe.
Joe was great keeping everyone informed on a group I created on facebook, but everyone started to get worried once the updates stopped at 3:30 and the next one wasn’t until after I came out of the OR and was admitted to the special care unit for constant monitoring.
Joe’s update: Update! Baby “Joseph Michael Cutri, Jr.” has arrived!!! 19″, 7lb 1oz! Mom and baby are both doing well now… Sorry for the lack of updates… Once Erin Michelle was actually 10cm, she was able to start pushing for a natural birth… After 3 1/2 hours of pushing, we were barely able to see his head. We were given the option for use of a vacuum to assist in delivery, which didn’t work out according to plan at all… The vacuum got his head out, but it snapped off and left him crowned and unable to fully come out…emergency episiotomy got him out. They cleaned him up but he had swelling on his head which was a result of the vacuum.
They had to put him into nicu because of this swelling and the magnesium sulfate they had to give erin for her blood pressure…
Then, things went a little further downhill ….erin was bleeding internally and sent for an emergency D&C to scrape the uterus for remnant placenta particles and to try to stop the bleeding.
I was suddenly left in the room filled with blood and soiled linens and Joan Kaub… In a panic, they sent us to the waiting room to get us somewhere until they had a clue to what was going to happen next.
On a definite upswing, the bleeding stopped on its own and her uterus was clear of placenta…she was given a unit of blood and properly stitched up.
Baby C was supposed to be 5lb 15oz and about 16″ on Tuesday….little Joey came out quite large!
Spending his first night in nicu tonight, he’s doing well. The girls there are monitoring him closely. He had an apgar score of 9 out of 10!!! Dude is something else! Wishing him luck his first night out of momma and on his own, we are sending him our love and kisses!!!
Because of the magnesium I wasn’t able to see little Joey until the following night. I had massive swelling from the pitocin and magnesium and had to be wheeled to the NICU but I was finally reunited with Joey! His faces are just precious. He had a bout of jaundice which kept him in the NICU a day longer than my stay, we took him home on Tuesday, March 24th and after a home care check on Thursday, March 26th they needed to re-admit him to the NICU as his bilirubin score went all the way up to 19 and they wanted him monitored there under phototherapy in case alternate means needed to be taken. Luckily that was the highest it went and we were finally able to take him home on Saturday, March 28th (our 6 year wedding anniversary!) where he was finally able to meet his grandma who hadn’t taken her NICU bracelet off because she hadn’t gotten to hold him yet.
He’s been nothing but an angel since being home and even now he is sleeping in his bassinet next to me while I write this making the cutest faces and noises. I am so in love and would do it all over again for him. It’s true what they say that it is one of the most painful things you’ll ever go through but you quickly forget that pain once you have that babe in your arms. The pain is a distant memory, so is the gravity of the situation. I’m healing nicely and he is healthy and that’s all that matters. His blood recheck came back better than expected yesterday and he’s already passed his birth weight! My blood pressure has gone back down and doesn’t need to be re-checked and am already almost at my pre-pregnancy weight again only 10 days postpartum.