Whilst originally due around Feb 19th, our babygirl aka “Tinkerbell” was scheduled to be delivered by c-section, originally Feb 13th, then moved up to Feb 8th.
With Chinese New Year falling Feb 10th 2013, we managed to just squeak in to the Year of the Dragon. Specifically the Water Dragon. For those of you who follow the Chinese lunar calendar, the Year of the Dragon is considered the luckiest of the Chinese lunar years.
But our little girl wasn’t just satisfied to be born a bit early, into the year of the Dragon (who wants to be a 2013 Rabbit anyways?) she arrived with as much drama as possible. Clearly we have a Diva-in-training.
So here follows her birth story:
Early on the morning of the AM of the 5th of February I began feeling strong contractions as I lay in bed. From 3am -4am they were a bit erratic, but strong and 8-10 mins apart. When my husband went to the restroom a little after 4 I told him I’d been up for the last hr tracking contractions. Within moments I coughed, (having caught a bit of cough from the boys) and felt a pain in my lower left abdomen and wetness suddenly down below. I got up to check it out and sat on the toilet where I bled quite profusely. Infused with panic and calm at the same time – I rang the hospital to tell them of the development and determine whether it was faster to come in by taxi or ambulance.
Luckily my Mom had arrived from the US earlier than she had originally planned as she and I both had a suspicion I wouldn’t last to my scheduled delivery date. We woke her up and left her in charge with the boys as we went to the hospital by taxi. As the taxi drove us the mile to the hospital, through empty streets, I almost screamed at the driver as he stopped at red lights – but figured me screeching and explaining would probably have the opposite effect than desired.
We pulled up to Chelsea & Westminster hospital’s front doors, of course which were locked as it was about 4:30 am so hubs and I waddled over the A&E where we explained the situation and were walked by a porter through the dark and silent hospital to the Kensington Wing – where I was scheduled to be seen. As we got to the doors a Midwife was just coming out with a wheelchair for me. Guess I beat here there! They hustled me to an exam room where they quickly realised I was in pain, still bleeding and both baby and I were in distress. I had a placental abruption. Basically this is where the placenta tears away from the uterus, causing bleeding and endangering Mom and baby. I was told I’d have to have an immediate c-section and by general anaesthetic (totally knocked-out).
I had been concerned about this 3rd delivery – even spoken to the anaesthesioligists in advance, you see each delivery has gone spectacularly wrong in a different way. Each uniquely traumatizing. Each time I’ve been told that it almost never happens, that it’s 1% of 1%, that it wouldn’t happen again. They are right – it didn’t happen again but something different an awful does each time.
Baby 1, “Captain Hook” – 2 weeks early my water broke. I went to the hospital, contractions stopped so they put me on pitocin etc and had strong contractions for almost 2 days before I pushed for 4 hrs, then had emergency c-section and the anesthesia only worked on half my body and they hadn’t tested the non-working side so I screamed through the surgery as they cut through me with no anesthesia on 1 side…
Baby 2. “Peter Pan” – while aiming for a VBAC I was told 3 wks before delivery that wouldn’t be possible as he was suddenly over 10lbs and I’d have to have c-section. This was scheduled for a Mon, the Thurs before I went into labor. By the time I got in to the hospital (they kept telling me to stay home when I called) I was dialated to 6, at 3am. I was told I’d have to wait until 6am for the Dr as he was busy with other c-sections, and no although I was in labor I couldn’t have any pain meds as they didn’t want to mess with the meds I’d have for surgery. So I sat through 3 hrs of labor and contractions in the hospital without meds which is so unfair! (especially as having been through it for hrs already at home) and was finally walked to the operating theatre where
Back to baby 3, “Tinkerbell.” I did end up having the c-section by general, and it was done quickly. I was woken up and told that baby was fine, my hubs had already seen her and her oxygen levels at birth to the brain were good so they weren’t concerned about that. I was brought to the recovery room where I got to meet her, count her fingers and toes – and of course realize how much pain I was in. Thank heavens for morphine drips.
As crazy as each of my deliveries have been – I feel I’ve been very lucky. I’ve had complicated situations that in another time, or even now in another place in the world my babies and I wouldn’t necessarily faired as well as we had.