Happy Birthday, Baby Boy!! I am so honored to be your Mama. I am thankful for every moment with you, every smile, every dimple, and every sweet snuggle. You are such a happy, beautiful baby and an amazing blessing. Your surprise just keeps giving with all of the happiness you have brought to my life. I love you, my dear Samoo.
We called my mom to come stay with the kids, threw our stuff in the car, and headed to the hospital. Chad called the dr on our way up there to let them know we were on our way. When we got here, I was having full blown ctx one right after another (probably about 3 minutes apart). We got checked in the triage room and the dr came in and checked me. I was 4cm, 80% effaced, and a minus 1 station. We all seemed very confident, including the dr, that I would be able to have my vbac. I was really excited that for once, my body was cooperating and doing what it was supposed to. YEEHAW!!!
A couple of hours passed and the nurse couldn’t get a good reading on the baby’s heartbeat, so she decided to call the dr. The dr came in and I was 5cm, so they decided to break my water and then they could do the internal monitor on him, but also measure my uterus and the amt of pressure that was coming with each contraction. Everything looked ok for a while, then suddenly, the baby’s heartbeat started decelerating with every few contractions. As long as I moved from one side to the other occasionally, we could keep it pretty well under control and he’d recover quickly. Eventually, my nurse decided to go to lunch and some other nurse came in to relieve her, at which point his heart rate started to decel with each ctx. They called in the doctor and plans were to set up for an immediate c-section. Then? The *fun* began. I was broken hearted that I wouldn’t get another vaginal birth, but totally willing to do what would keep my baby safe. So, they put an oxygen mask on and I lay in the bed tears running down my face, and trying not to let my mom see me cry.
Chad and David had walked across the street to CVS to get David a snack and to get out of the hospital room so David wouldn’t see me laboring quite so much. We thought they had about two hours, instead it was more like 20 minutes at most. When we made the decision for the c-section, my first question was, “Will there be enough time for them to get back?” The dr assured me there would, but then I saw nurses swirling around, moving quicker than I had expected. My mom was trying to get in touch with Chad, but his phone was going straight to voice mail, I was scared. I knew something more was going on, but no one was telling me the full story. Finally, Chad walked in and they handed him an OR suit and said, “Get these on and we will be back for you!”
The nurses wheeled me into the OR and the anesthesiologist was standing there waiting. I moved with their help to the OR bed and immediately the fears began to increase. For some reason, I immediately got the “This is going to be bad…I’m going to die in here today” feeling. It was not the same, “Oh my gosh, I’m going to have surgery and might die” feeling I’ve had with other surgeries, this was a true feeling of imminent death. The epidural that I had gotten earlier in the day was kinked inside my back so the anesthesiologist could not get the spinal block to go into the tubing. He had to move it around a lot and finally it went in. Next, he started trying to use my IV lines (I had two). Neither of the IV lines worked anymore (though they did in the l&d room), so he had to pull those and start over. He tried SIX TIMES before he got one line to work, I’m not sure about the 2nd line since by that time I was not quite as coherent. He told me that I should be, at that time, numb from around the top of my abdomen to my toes. Instead, I was numb all the way up to my nose – my ears, nose, throat, mouth, everything was numb. I felt like I couldn’t breathe because the muscles in my chest were all numb and I couldn’t feel my body working. I started telling him how scared I was and that I couldn’t breathe and he kept saying, “You’re going to be fine, Honey…you’re going to be fine.” Truth is, I could hear the anxiety in his voice too.
About this time, Chad came in. I looked at him and he held my hand, but I couldn’t feel him. I started throwing up and the anesthesiologist held my head while Chad held the pan. At some point prior to making the c-section decision, we had asked the doctor, “If we decide to do a c-section or if it becomes an emergency, how long will it take you to get him out?” The dr assured us that as soon as I was numb, she could have him out in less than 90 seconds. I didn’t know how long it had been since she started, but it felt like an eternity. Chad told me later that it was almost 10 minutes. He said that the operating room was strange because it was not a peaceful c-section, there was a lot of ordering, quick moving, etc. He tried asking what was going on, but no one would talk to him.
At 4:01pm, they pulled a baby boy out. He was 7lb3oz and 20” long. I only remember hearing “7-3” and then I started throwing up again. The anesthesiologist kept telling me, “Honey, don’t force it up. It’s just post nasal drainage, don’t let it get to you. Don’t throw up, you have to hold it.” I was crying and couldn’t stop, it was just coming. I kept asking him for anti-nausea meds, and he kept saying, “As soon as we can get your husband out of here, I’ll give you something for anxiety.” At the same time, I was having an “out of body” type of experience. I was looking around, listening to the nurses and commotion, but it was as if it was me looking at someone else’s situation, not my own. I truly thought I was going to die… I heard my favorite nurse on the phone telling the pharmacy, “I need BLAH BLAH and I need it NOW! I don’t care about the damn order, I need this NOW!” And then she was on the phone, “I NEED TWO UNITS ASAP I WILL WALK THE ORDER TO YOU LATER!” I still had no idea what was going on or the severity of the situation. I was scared, I thought I was going to die, then I heard the anesthesiologist say, “Deep breath, honey.” And I don’t remember anything else.
I woke up in the recovery room begging for pain relief. Chad said he was afraid to touch me in there because I was screaming and crying in writhing pain. He also said that I kept asking him, “What happened to me? Where am I? What am I doing here? Did I get run over?” He said he doesn’t know if I realized that I’d had a baby…I didn’t, I had no idea, I just knew I was in pain! The nurse told me when she came to see me the other night that she wanted to cry, hug me and hold me. She said I kept asking her, “Sara, please can I have something for pain? Sara, help me, please? Sara, I thought you loved me, but you won’t help me.” She said she felt so helpless and sorry for me, but she couldn’t do anything until I had been given so much fluids and at least 1 unit of blood. She said the anesthesiologist gave me a LOT of med before he sent me to recovery, but apparently it wasn’t enough…ya think? LOL I don’t remember much about recovery other than the pain and not wanting anyone to touch me or see me. I was still sure I was going to die and I remember thinking, “I don’t want anyone to come see me, it might be the last time they see me and I don’t want them to think of me being like this.”
Eventually, they sent me to my room and Chad stayed the night with me. They brought the baby to me and I was happy to see him, but still so “out of it” that I didn’t realize he was mine. I did know instinctually that I was supposed to start nursing him, so I did and he was a great nurser. It was good bc if he hadn’t been, with all I had been through, it’s likely that I would have said, “Ok, give him a bottle!” It was still hard, he was hungry and I did not have enough milk to hold him over until Wednesday. So, we did a lot of nursing, napping, crying, and more nursing with almost no sleep the first few days/nights. Wednesday morning I woke up really early throwing up nonstop. They gave me phenegran, but it did nothing to help me. I kept begging for zofran, but the OB on call from our group was dealing with a serious situation and was unable to write the orders for it. So, I was miserable all day. By night, my milk was in and I had a very happy baby boy. I’m sure the hormones are what were causing the nausea.
When all was said and done and the doctor came in to see me on Monday morning, I asked her, “So..tell me what happened.” That story, quite scary as well. Apparently, my first c-section had caused a lot of scar tissue. That scar tissue caused my uterus to adhere to both my bladder and to my abdominal wall. When she got in to do the c-section she had to get those three parts of my body separated and then get through the uterine scar tissue to get to the baby. When she got in, the baby’s head and shoulders were turned one way and the rest of his body the other way. I guess, kind of twisted at the waist? She wasn’t able to just pull him out, she had to maneuver his body to get him out. At about that time, I started throwing up again and it caused me to hemorrhage. At the same time, the retching from throwing up caused my bowel to slip and move out of place, it made my uterus begin to hemorrhage, and made me bleed uncontrollably. I lost around 2+ pints of blood and she was unable to see what she needed to do because of all of the bleeding. When she was finally able to get the uterus sewn back up, she said sewing the good part of the uterus to the part that had be shred from the scar tissue and surgeries was like sewing a piece of leather to a piece of wet toilet paper. She never came out and said, “You almost died on the table” but she did tell me that it was a very difficult surgery and a close call with my ability to come out of it. When I asked the OB on call the next day, he held my hand, nodded his hand, and said, “It was a hard day for everyone, but you and baby boy came through it.” The nurse told me, “No one dies on my watch, so you were fine.”
So, February 7, 2010 at 4:01pm, Reginald Samuel Herrington was born. He weighed 7lbs3oz and was 20” long. He has a head full of black hair and everyone seems to think he looks like someone else. From a Mommy’s point of view, I think he looks a little like his Uncle Josh and a lot of expressions he makes remind me of my own Uncle Tom Owens. He is an excellent baby and is just as handsome as can be.
He is named Reginald after my Daddy’s brother. My Uncle Reggie is one of the most amazing men I’ve ever known. He is one of the most Christ-like individuals to walk on this earth. He is the kind of person who not only “talks the Christian talk”, but people know he walks the walk. You can feel Christ in the presence of my Uncle Reggie. He is just, in my eyes, one of the world’s most amazing men. I hope my own little Reginald Samuel can be such an upstanding man. Samuel is a family name in Chad’s family, and also a Biblical name that I love.
Chad and I have recounted the events of Sunday and are so grateful to know that God was holding us in His hands. There was an Angel with us that day and I am sure I know exactly who that Angel was…someone who was an Angel here on earth, but was the Angel who, from Heaven and with God’s help, kept Samuel and me safe on Sunday. God knew I couldn’t leave my babies, they all need their Mama and I am so thankful and praising his name to know that what could have happened … didn’t.