Monday, September 09, 2013

Baby H's Birth Story

I'm going to preface this birth story with a few things, and thus making this story an even longer one. You may want to grab a cup of coffee. Or maybe even a glass of wine.

(EDITED as we near the 1 year date of Bud's birth I want to help other moms that may have experienced a uterine inversion so I am now jumping the gun so to say and explaining my complications up front) One is that my birth experience was not typical. At all. In fact both complications had a less than 1% chance of happening. The fact that both things happened together? It probably doesn't even register. In 28 years my midwife had only seen a uterine inversion happen one other time. We have found out that Bud's presentation and the inversion were related and I'll address that when we get to that point in my story. However, since I have so many pregnant friends, if you're even a little unsure about the whole birth process you may want to wait to read this one. If not, just remember, that a uterine inversion is EXTREMELY rare and not likely to happen to you at all.

The second is that I am SO GLAD that I chose the midwife practice that I did. I love that I know so many people that have chosen midwives. I had the absolute best care throughout my entire pregnancy, despite my grumpiness there at the end. I know that every time I mentioned "midwife" I got a look with a follow up of, "are you having an unmedicated home birth in your bath tub?" If that's why you chose a midwife then that's fantastic. The practice I chose is a hospital based practice that is partnered with an OB practice. I did not have a birth plan other than, "get this baby out." Part of it is that I knew what to expect from both the hospital and the midwives. So many of the things I would have wanted were already a regular standard of care by both the midwives and hospital - both of which are very pro mom and baby relationship and breastfeeding. I was open to doing my birth naturally or receiving medications, both of which were available in the hospital environment I was in. I was able to labor however I chose and was given the tools and access to do so. Best of both worlds in my opinion.

Now onto the story of Baby H's arrival:

Friday morning the 23rd I had my weekly appointment with the midwife. We talked about options since I was now 4 days overdue. She checked me and I was at 2 cm. We decided to have her go ahead and strip my membranes. We also discussed setting up an induction for the next week because I was just so DONE. I had a sono and a NST set up for the following Monday already and the plan was to go ahead with those. The downside was that when the midwife called later that day, there were no inductions available for the following week. I'd basically be wait-listed unless I went into labor on my own.

John and I left the appointment, ran some errands, and ate lunch. I had started having stronger contractions, but nothing regular. We went home and hung out for the rest of the day. By 8 pm Friday night I was having regular contractions that were about 8 minutes apart. Around 10 my mom texted me wanting to know if she should start driving down. Contractions were still 8 minutes apart so I told her it was up to her. She decided to go ahead and start driving - my parents live about 3 hours away.

By midnight my contractions were getting pretty painful and were about 4 minutes apart. I went ahead and called the on call midwife and she told me to come in. At 12:33 am Saturday morning we were on our way!


We got to the hospital and got checked in. Originally the plan was to have the midwife check me in triage, but it turns out it was a busy night for her - I think she told me the next morning that she had delivered 8 babies that night and assisted with 2 C-Sections. Finally the nurses checked me and I was at 4 cm with a bulging bag of waters. We eventually got to our room, maybe around 2 am? I labored most of the night and eventually got a shot of pain medicine to help me through.




The next morning brought a new midwife on call, Jan, who would be the one to deliver me. She checked me and I was about a 6 or 7. I know at some point I got another shot of pain medicine. John and I spent a lot of time walking the halls and I even labored on a ball.


By midmorning all I wanted to do was sleep, but it turns out I was the only one that couldn't.


About 1 pm the pain was getting worse. Jan came in to check on me and was surprised to find me at the sink by the door, leaning on the counter, and sitting on the ball. She and the nurse laughed that that was the first time they'd seen the sink used for that purpose, but it was the right height for me! She checked me again and I was still at a 7. I decided then to go ahead and get an epidural. I was so tired and the pain by that point was just getting to be too much. They went ahead and got me back in bed and got me set up. I was lucky that in triage they had already set me up with an IV line and ran a bag of fluids through me so there was really no waiting. The anesthesiologist came in soon after and got me ready to go. She joked about how tall I was and that she had a lot of space to work with on my back. (In fact I barely fit on the bed. They were constantly trying to shift me around on the bed because my feet were always hanging off of it.)

The face of someone about to get some drugs.


My epidural originally didn't hit my right side. They propped my left side up to try to get more of the medication to go to the right. After about 15 minutes I was only partially numb so the anesthesiologist came back and adjusted it. It took that time and I was nice and numb. I was finally able to get about 2 solid hours of sleep which was WONDERFUL!

Around 3 Jan came back in to check on me. I was now at a 10 and we decided to go ahead and break my water. Everyone was surprised it hadn't broken on its own. When she broke my water though? My epidural basically stopped working. Can you say FUN? I started having extremely painful back contractions at this point because baby boy decided to flip out of position. They turned me on my right side to try to get him to flip back and the anesthesiologist came back to give me some new medications. At this point anything would just take the edge off rather than numb me back up.

I will say that both John and Jan were fantastic at coaching me. I'll admit that I just about lost it at this point because of the pain I was in. Jan is so calming, but at one point realized that wasn't going to work with me any more and took a much more stern approach with me. It's what really helped get me through the worse of it.

Finally about 4:30 it was time to push. Can I say that pushing basically sucks? I don't know how some can do it for 2 hours. Sometimes I just wanted to sit one out. I'd feel a contraction coming on and think, really? Can't we just wait another minute? Neither John nor Jan would let me though. Something that I never expected was to want to know the baby's progress. It really helped me while pushing to know where he was. Had I been offered a mirror I probably would have looked which I always said I'd never do. At one point Jan even had me touch his head to which I replied, "that is SO WEIRD!"

Originally everyone kept talking about his bald head coming out. Not far into pushing though Jan had me take a little break while two OBs came in to check me. That bald little head was actually a forehead. The OBs confirmed what Jan saw, baby was coming out brow first. Had he been coming face first, we would have had to do a C-Section, but a brow first presentation, while extremely rare, is ok to deliver regularly. Basically baby boy wanted to be checking everything out on his way out.

All the midwives had joked throughout my pregnancy that I was made for birthing babies with my wide hips and height. That came back to bite me in the ass because my big old roomy pelvis didn't require him to turn and tuck his chin like normal. He came out looking up which also meant that his head didn't compress as it came out. I pushed out the entire crown of his head which resulted in a 3rd degree tear and two lacerations on my end and a perfect C-Section looking head on his end.


You're welcome kiddo.

After 40 minutes of pushing baby boy was here. He was immediately placed on my chest and John got to cut the cord - one of many things he didn't expect to do or see that day. Jan had warned us that his forehead would look a little weird and I think my first words were, "oh your poor little forehead is all messed up." He seriously looked like the Hulk.



Baby H - born at 5:13 pm. Weighing in at 8 pounds, 9 ounces and 20 inches long.


Poor little forehead.

While he was getting weighed and cleaned up while Jan delivered my placenta. This is where things get hairy. 2 weeks later and several discussions with Jan and John and I'm still piecing it together.

I pushed out the placenta and remember feeling a pull that didn't feel right. At the time I didn't think much of it, but what do I know about birth? I remember Jan asking for one of the OBs to get back in there stat. It turns out that my placenta delivered and was out, but coming behind it was my uterus.

What we have found out is this - big(ish) baby 8lb 9oz and a gigantic placenta caused my uterus to stretch out to paper thin. Combine this with a forehead presentation and baby's chin basically pulled my uterus out on his way out.

Jan was able to put my uterus back, but in the process it inverted. At this time the room filled with what seemed like 20 people. They gave me a medication to stop my uterus from contracting since they can't flip it back unless it's relaxed. John and I were told what was happening and the original plan was to take me into surgery. John and I got to talk and I got to see the baby again.

At this time my uterus had relaxed and while they were getting the OR set up Jan and two OBs basically did what I call a round robin on my uterus. IT.HURT.LIKE.HELL. Remember that whole, epidural not working? Yeah. I basically felt everything as they tried to shove my lady parts back into place. I'm pretty sure that I terrified every other woman laboring in that hospital during that time. I was hoarse from screaming for about a week because let's face it, there is no way to breathe through that shit.

Finally in a last ditch effort one of the OBs (who turns out isn't a part of the practice, but just has a great relationship with Jan) finally got my uterus back into place. Then came the hemorrhaging. They started hemorrhage protocols (which terrified my poor mother who heard the code called to my room). I found out at my 2 week appointment that they were actually going to take me to surgery again this time to do a procedure where they place a balloon within the uterus to stop the bleeding. When they were about to wheel me into surgery Jan felt my uterus start to contract and knew that the 3 medications they gave me for the bleeding were finally working.

I honestly don't remember a whole lot of what happened. John told later that despite all the pain I was in, I was very polite. I can have a mouth like a sailor, I drop F bombs like there is no tomorrow, but I think I barely said more than an handful of swear words throughout my entire labor process. I do remember just asking for them to please stop over and over and what can I do to make it stop or make it not hurt so much. I also remember the anesthesiologist walking me through all the medications she was giving me but can't remember what they were or what they were for.

During this whole process John was a champ. Usually they would kick him out for something like this, but he did such a great job at remaining calm and just taking care of the baby. Of course he saw everything that came out of me and all of the blood. And there was a lot of blood. Jan told me later than during a normal birth a woman loses 100-300 ccs of blood. I lost 2500 which Google tells me is 2 1/2 liters. I don't remember the exact numbers, but she told me one of the reasons I recovered so quickly was that when I checked in my hematocrit levels were extremely high. The next morning after all the blood loss and receiving two bags of blood, my levels had only dropped a little bit. John though, he's still a little scarred by it all. He expected to just hold my hand and stand behind a sheet. Instead he was holding my leg, checking out the baby's progress, cutting the cord, and then of course seeing your wife's uterus outside her body is not exactly a walk in the park.

He took such great care of our little guy during it all. He was born hungry, and because they expected me to go into surgery, John got to feed him his first bottle.



Proud Papa


As soon as everything was done, which was really less than an hour, I finally got my baby boy back. We had some skin to skin time while they cleaned the room.


Family of Three.


Don't mind how rough I look. My uterus just fell out.


The amazing Jan and baby H.


As bad as everything sounds we were able to go home after 2 days. They kept me down in L&D that night so they could monitor me more closely. By early evening the next day we were finally up in a regular room and got to go home the next day. I've healed up well and everyone even commented on how quickly baby boy's forehead returned to normal. Being born forehead first and your mom having her uterus fall out makes you both the talk of the maternity ward. Everyone that was there the night before came in to check on us the next day and I think I recapped what happened with just about every nurse that we had - all of which were wonderful by the way.

By the way, the first time you stand up after having your uterus fall out, you shouldn't make a joke about it feeling like your lady parts are going to fall out. It can cause quite the stir.


  1. I've been waiting for weeks to read this story and I'm (almost) speechless. I thought I had a story with my ten pound baby but you, my friend, take the cake.

    I'm glad you're both healthy. How is your recovery going?

    1. Thanks Jen. I'm actually doing great. The first few days at home were rough and it was mainly just pain the tearing.

  2. Oh wow! It take a strong lady to handle all of that and come out smiling! Congratulations on the birth of baby H! He is very handsome. And what an amazing birth story he has!

  3. Oh. My. Gosh. What an experience. I'm so glad you are both OK and doing well!

  4. Oh my goodness! Glad y'all are recovering nicely now! What an exeperience! I love Jan - she delievered my little guy and Amy was my MW for Alexis.

    1. I've met so many people who have had Jan deliver them! Of course I love all of them there at the practice.

  5. Oh my goodness! Glad y'all are recovering nicely now! What an exeperience! I love Jan - she delievered my little guy and Amy was my MW for Alexis.

  6. Totally horrifying experience, but you got a gorgeous baby boy out of the deal so there's that. I mean, seriously? Your uterus fell out? I can't even handle that.

  7. oh god. They actually mentioned that sometimes the uterus tumbles out after the baby in one of classes. I was horrified. I am so sorry that happened to you! (I am also glad to know that it's very rare. I would definitely like my uterus to stay on the inside.)
    Baby is adorable and I am glad y'all are doing well!

    1. Thanks! They say a lot of times it's because an inexperienced Dr pulls on the cord when the placenta comes out. I'm sure you'll be just fine Julia.

  8. oh god. They actually mentioned that sometimes the uterus tumbles out after the baby in one of classes. I was horrified. I am so sorry that happened to you! (I am also glad to know that it's very rare. I would definitely like my uterus to stay on the inside.)
    Baby is adorable and I am glad y'all are doing well!

  9. My friend, I am so sorry that this happened to you. But of course you were brace through it all... no surprise there. Hope that the transition into motherhood won't be brought down by the experiences you had during birth. I know that they have a sneaky way of clouding the good parts. Cheers to a good husband too!

    1. Thank you Jacki. Jan said something very similar and writing about it has definitely helped. It was definitely an edperience, but the end result is worth it!

  10. Replies
    1. LOL Melanie. It would have made great conversation at book club right?

  11. Your what did WHAT? I love reading birth stories, and I thought Isla's labour was tough, but lady, you win! You'd never guess that your lady parts wanted to say hello to the world - you look wonderful post-birth! You're little Hulkster is just so adorable. I'm pretty sure the toughest labours are for the cutest babies ;)

    1. As they should be! No. Never expected to go into labor and have more than a baby come out from down there. It terrifies me to think of having number 2.

  12. FAITH! Oh my goodness!! I mean, I am done having babies and you REALLY had me CRINGING and crossing my legs and 'ewwww-ing'! I am SO glad you have an awesome husband and great midwife!

    But now, I must ask, what does this mean for future babies (should you decide to have them)?

    PS: If your husband is like mine, you will hear about the process forever.


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