Friday, May 26, 2006

Ruby's Birth Story

Ruby's birthday is tomorrow and what a perfect opportunity to share her birth story. Let me get right down to it and bring out my drama queen: I almost died.
It started out relatively normal. I was laying on the couch watching tv when my water broke. I called my doctor's office and let them know and before we headed off to the hospital I had Jim run out and get some food. Having done this before I knew that if I didn't eat now it could be a long time before my next meal.
When we got to the hospital the nurse did an examination to check for amniotic fluid. When the ph strip didn't turn the right color they told me that my water had not broke and that I could go home. I refused to accept that. With all three of my previous babies the first thing to happen was the water breaking. I knew that my water had broke and I was not going to be told otherwise. They finally did a sonogram to measure the amniotic fluid. Yeah like I told them, my water had broke.
By the time I got settled in my room it was later in the evening. The nurse told me they could go ahead and give me petocin and we could have this baby tonight. I asked if my doctor would be here and I was told that it was the nurse midwife who was on call from my doctor's practice. Knowing the complications of my previous births I told the nurse I would feel more comfortable waiting for Dr. Reynolds to be here. Later on I would realize this was of the best decisions I ever made.
The next morning the petocin was started and soon after that the contractions came on fast and furious. Before too long I was ready for the epidural and the anesthesiologist came in to stick me in the spine. I had an epidural with all three of my previous births and they were great. This time it didn't work. They tried and tried over and over again but they weren't getting it in the right spot. I was not happy, I didn't want natural childbirth! After a couple of hours of petocin strength contractions the assholes finally got it right, just in time for me to start pushing. This part went pretty easy and after a few pushes our little girl was born.
This is when things started going downhill and my memory is spotty. While the nurses were weighing Ruby and cleaning her up Dr. Reynolds was working on getting the placenta out. It was not coming out very easily and I was bleeding a lot. At some point the bleeding became excessive. The nurses handed the baby to Jim and there were a lot of people in the room. Dr. Reynolds was still working on the placenta and at this point I had lost so much blood I was going in and out of consciousness. Jim said it was like mass chaos had erupted and he felt helpless just watching. Dr. Reynolds called out for a blood transfusion and shortly after that I was wheeled away for an emergency hysterectomy. Jim said there was blood everywhere and a trail of blood coming off the bed as I was wheeled away. Even though I was mostly out of it I was still aware enough to know that things were not good. I told Dr. Reynolds to not let me die.
After the surgery I was taken to the recovery room. Jim came down to see me for a few minutes, it was so good to see his face and to see the person who went through this with me. We were both in a "What the hell just happened?" state. I sent him back upstairs to be with our baby. The hour I spent in recovery was on of the longest of my life. I couldn't wait to get back up to my room and to hold my new baby and be with my family.

All in all I lost 3 liters of blood (yep, that's more than half). I was also left with a nasty scar on my stomach. Since the surgery was an emergency there was no time to make a neat and pretty incision. I have a big scar that starts right under my belly button down about 5 inches. I've gotten used to it though, I consider it a life tattoo. A reminder of the difficult day my beautiful baby girl came into my world. Happy Birthday to my Ruby.

Our first picture together.
(I had a really good excuse for looking this bad.)

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Blogger weigook saram said...

Wow, that's really scary! You're right, it's a good thing the doctor was there.

That's such a sweet picture.

And happy birthday to Ruby!

8:56 AM  
Blogger cameo said...

i remember that day too. love you!

11:22 AM  
Blogger Catherine said...

I feel chilled right now just thinking about how much blood you lost!!! Amazing, amazing story. And, by the way, you and Ruby both look beautiful in that photo. Last but not least, HAPPY BIRTHDAY RUBY!!

11:40 AM  
Blogger Mommy off the Record said...

Oh my gosh. What a story! Thank goodness you had the doctor there. It sounds like it was a close call--half your blood was lost? Wow.

Happy birthday to your Ruby. I'm sure it's a day you'll never forget.

12:35 PM  
Anonymous mothergoosemouse said...

Happy birthday Ruby!

What a frightening time. Did the doc have any idea what the problem was - why he was having so much difficulty with the placenta?

1:07 PM  
Blogger Marcie said...

Mothergoosemouse- Not to gross anyone out but the placenta was coming off in pieces. I think the final diagnosis was placenta increta, meaning the placenta had grown into the uterine wall. My doctor had this same condition on her last pregnancy and also had an emergency hysterectomy. It was a comfort to know that she had experienced this as a patient as well. She's a great doctor, she has eight kids and her husband is an OB too. Kind of crazy, huh?

2:19 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

What a beautiful photo - and you don't look bad at all!

I am always amazed when Medical folks don't listen to women about their labor. Thank goodness you stuck with your intuition!

5:29 PM  
Blogger lildb said...

I really want to read this right now, but I've gotta get the family packed for a trip to NoCal this weekend (SF), and won't have a chance to do any blogging. I will say, though, that the picture brought tears to my eyes.


loaf you, Marcie.

8:07 PM  
Blogger lildb said...

Marcie, I -- god. I am at a loss for something to say. That is such an amazing story. I'm so glad you made it. Gee -- to think, this cool, funny girl that I met online was almost not here because of that craziness. I - wow.

*totally sobbing*

10:49 PM  
Blogger lildb said...

p.s. I obviously managed to find some time to sneak back online. I *had* to read your post. I'm so glad I did, too.

10:49 PM  
Anonymous Izzy said...

I just realized as I finished reading your post that I was all tense and nervous, wondering what was going to happen! I'm glad you made it and Happy Birthday to Ruby! How old is she now?

11:32 PM  
Blogger Marcie said...

Izzy- Ruby is two years old today. I can't believe how time goes so fast!
Lildb- Don't be upset, the story had a happy ending:) Have fun in the bay area this weekend. I'm so jealous.

7:22 AM  
Blogger Corey said...

So when Ruby's a teenager & acting like a brat are you going to hit her with the "I almost died ..." guilt trip?

Ruby: Mom, can I go to the movies?You: No.
Ruby: Why not?
You: Because, you almost killed me.


Ruby: I don't want to go to school today.
You: Well, you're going.
Ruby: But I don't want to!
You: Well, I didn't want to almost die giving birth, but...

; )

10:34 AM  
Blogger Pattie said...

That must have been a surreal experience. I am glad you are here to tell us about it.
Happy birthday to Ruby!

12:01 PM  
Anonymous wendy boucher said...

What are you talking about? You look great in that picture! I had a relatively easy C-section delivery and I looked like a prize fight loser compared to you.

Your story is scary and wonderful all at the same time. I guess the best stories are.

Thanks for visiting my blog today!

10:00 PM  
Blogger Shirley said...

Even though that story was already a memory for me, I couldn't help but shed a couple of tears (while holding back a harder cry) on the part where you told the Dr. to not let you die. I love you Marcie and little Ruby Lou too!, and I'm so thankful for modern medicine and your womans intuition.

4:39 PM  
Blogger Gina said...

Great and scary story. I am speechless as I can't imagine something like that happening to me. How surreal and frightening!

I love reading birth stories. You can read mine on my May 8th post.

9:33 AM  
Blogger wordgirl said...

Wow. What a powerful story...with a good outcome. I love the name Ruby.

11:21 AM  
Blogger sunshine scribe said...

OMG! That sounded so scary. I have one of those horrified expressions on my face right now. I thought my labour was bad -- but you just won hands down! Yikes.

But a great big happy, happy birthday to Ruby!!!

2:05 PM  
Blogger something blue said...

That is one of the scariest medical emergencies ever. I'm so glad to be reading a happy ending!

I hope Ruby had a terrific second birthday! I also must mention that I absolutely love her name!

3:04 PM  

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