Audrianna's Birth Story

I have been putting off Audrianna's birth story as it is somewhat a blur. They say when you have a traumatic experience that you forget things as a way to heal. I came out with a healthy beautiful baby girl, but getting there was not what I ever expected to experience, would never wish upon any new mom, and I still have a lot of unanswered questions. 

I want to start off by saying I had an epidural with my first pregnancy and had no complications due to it. Most women do not have a traumatic experience. If I knew now what I knew then I would not have gotten the epidural for my situation. Every person, every pregnancy, every hospital, every situation is different. There is a 1% chance of what happened to me will happen to you. Since I have shared my story on social media I have had other moms reach out to me who have experienced that same thing and were a great support.

July 10 

The day started off like every other day, having contractions but nothing major. As the day progressed my contractions became more regular and stayed that way for a while. By 4 pm my contractions were less than 10 minutes apart. I called the doctor and they suggested I go to the hospital to get checked. I was 37 weeks, so I was considered full term.
Brian's Aunt came over to watch Aubriella and Austin, we called our moms to meet us at the hospital and Brian and I headed up to the hosptial. Both of our moms were planning on being there for the birth of Austin and were late since he came so fast. This time they wanted to be there and not miss it.

When we got to the hospital I was 4 cm and having regular contractions by their monitors. A few days prior I was only 2 cm at the doctors office. The nurse said they would check me again in two hours or so to see if I progressed at all. My dad was there (as well as my mom and my mother in law) so he and I walked the hall once and just rested as much as I could, I knew it was going to be a long night. When they checked me again I was 5 cm. Since I had progressed some they decided to admit me with my previous history of how quickly Austin came. (I went from 6 cm to 9 cm with him in less than an hour and barely got a doctor in the room before he came)

Being admitted meant moving from the Triage room to the delivery room. They did this rather quickly. Then I met with the doctor, went over our plan, talked about getting an epidural, etc. 
By 11pm they had checked my again and I hadn't progressed anymore and they were talking about sending me home or just letting me wait it out. I wasn't to the point where they could do anything to induce me yet. I decided to wait and see if I progressed anymore and did some more walking the halls. I ended up progressing to 5 1/2 centimeters they decided to break my water and I decided I wanted an epidural since I was starting to get pretty uncomfortable. I also was assuming it was going to be a long labor like I had with Aubriella (22 hours with her but I was induced)

July 11

Now is where everything becomes a blur. They broke my water my contractions got worse, and I started dilating more, this was around 2 am. The main anesthesiologist and "younger" anesthesiologist came in talked with me and started my epidural. The younger anesthesiologist is the one who was administering my epidural and her first try she took the needle to deep causing a hole in my spinal cord which caused leaking of spinal fluid. One of the anesthesiologist placed a second epidural. It didn't work. I felt all the pain during my labor. 
When I got the epidural everyone else had to leave the room. When they came back in they saw I was crying and knew something was wrong. The anesthesiologist tried to explain to me what happened but it didn't really make sense to me at that time. My fear was something was going to be wrong with my back. I had my back broken 20 years ago. I have nerve damage in my leg, and deal with pain on daily from it. The anesthesiologist came back in to speak with Brian and my mom and said I would have a headache and I would just have to stay laying down and said it was very common. They made it out to seem like no big deal. It ended up being a rather big deal, that affected me for weeks after. More on that later.

At 4am I had delivered Audrianna Rose weighing 6lbs, 1 oz. She was beautiful and healthy. The doctor pulled her out and Brian got to announce if we were having a girl or boy (we had been team green until then). He also cut her umbilical cord then she was placed on my chest for 60 minutes. During this time we also started breastfeeding, she has been a pro since the very beginning. 
I did not tear giving birth so there was no need for stitches. I had to keep my IV and epidural catheter in due to the complications with the epidural. I never felt like I gave birth physically.

We were in the hospital two nights. Both nights Audrianna went to the nursery and was brought back to me when it was time to eat. This was the best decision we made. We were both exhausted and this helped so much. 

My nurses were awesome with helping out. Anytime I had to get up I had to have help, I wasn't allowed to carry Audrianna (even in the room).
When we went home my mom stayed with us for a week to help out. She was a godsend. There was so much I couldn't do. I took care of Audrianna while she entertained, cooked, cleaned, and did everything for Aubriella and Austin. Without her I don't know what I would have done.  

Epidural Headache

Now when they say headache, I say the worst pain in the back nape of my head that I have ever felt. Anytime I was elevated, sitting up I had the pain. It was miserable. I would start crying while getting up to go to the bathroom because of the pain. It was hard to get Audrianna from the bassinet to my lap due to the pain. This is due to spinal fluid leaking. Your spinal fluid is a cushion for the brain when fluid is missing the brain starts to sag causing severe pain. I was on the IV to help replace fluids, meds round the clock to help with pain, and caffeine to help. The only thing that really worked was not getting up, which is not realistic after having a baby who is breastfeeding. 
The following day (July 12) I received a blood patch which they put blood in the hole that was made. It worked for the next 24 hours of no pain, life was back to normal. But it is recommended you don't bend, twist, turn, or cough. (not realistic at all) Somehow I did something and the blood patch reversed and I was back in pain and dealt with the headache for the next month.
When we got home I started researching everything I could online to see what I could do to help with the pain. I could not take care of 3 kids and not be able to sit up or do anything. I found one blog (now I can't find the link) where she recommended getting a post pardum belly wrap like this

One that was elastic and slipped on and was tight, not one that had Velcro and you tightened yourself. This made such a huge difference. By sucking you in and putting pressure on the spinal cord it made it that your spinal fluid had less space to leak out and leaked out slower. I wore this all day everyday for a month straight. I did not sleep in it and noticed a huge difference when I would wake up in the middle of the night to feed multiple times. I wish the doctors or nurses would have recommended this, but no one had an answer for me when I asked. A few nurses didn't even know this was a risk.

During our hospital stay and after we got home and talked with numerous Drs and nurses, we found out that July is when they accept new anesthesiologist who they employ so they don't have to let you know they are new. The week that we had Audrianna there were 17 cases in our hospital alone. Since they warn you of the risks and you sign off there is nothing you can do about it. I wish that no one ever had to deal with the pain and suffering that I had to deal with. I missed out on a lot in the first month of Audrianna's life. From seeing the reaction to Aubriella and Austin meeting her and holding her for the first time, to really enjoying having a newborn. 

If it weren't for these photos I would have never been able to see Aubriella and Austin meet Audrianna for the first time. 

Audrianna is 4 months old beautiful and healthy. We had health scares before giving birth.  Such as her fluid was low, she was small, non stress tests that came back at risk.... All of which turned out to be false. Even with all the technology available they don't always have the right answers. 

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