Epidural Gone Bad – Part 2 of Z's Birth StoryMolly Thornberg
In part 1 of Z’s birth story, we talked about PCOS and infertility. And here is part 2:
We were pregnant. Bring on the baby shopping! Finally we were buying for our child, not for a baby shower of family member. We were going to be parents.
The next 35 weeks of pregnancy were spent vomiting. We’re talking intense puking people. 3 ocassions on the way to work, I couldn’t even get the door open in the car quick enough. And then cleaning the mess equaled pukeville. And that lasted up until delivery. Zofram helped, but not enough.
Pregnancy was the best diet for me (kidding). I lost 15 lbs before the 20th week. All in all I gained 5 lbs.
A week before my due date I went into labor. We had gone out for mexican food, knowing we would need to enjoy these times without kids with time together. On the way home, the contractions started followed by intense pain – back labor.
We picked up our hospital bag, and headed towards the hospital. All I remember is the tears and pain and screaming for an epidural before even entering the building.
The nurses had me walking to help with the back labor. I cried my way thru the halls until I was dilated enough to get an epidural – 15 hours after entering the hospital. The pain wouldn’t stop. The anesthesiologist was called in and he prepped me for my epidural. Relief. or SO I THOUGHT.
While doing the epidural prep, a nurse started taking my blood pressure, all while I was having intense back labor. My husband had asked her to stop, “I have to, protocol.” The anesthesiologist inserted the needle and something went wrong. He tried again. And again. And again. And finally several stabs later, in his words “I finally got it”.
I started vomitting, a metallic taste in my mouth wouldn’t go away and I went completely numb from the neck down. They had given me a spinal, not an epidural. The baby was coming quick at this point.
The room was prepped. I couldn’t even put my feet on the stirrups as I felt as if I couldn’t move. One of the scariest feelings ever – all while trying to welcome this sweet child I had been praying for – for years. All I remember was the nurse trying to talk me into having a mirror. I told her HELL to the NO, and started screaming because I could see my reflection in the television. Sorry people, not something I want to see, it was rough enough going thru. A nurse took this leopard print diaper cover and hung it over the tv and said FOCUS on the heart (there was a heart on the butt of the diaper cover).
Somehow I managed to push and my little angel Z was born. All 6 lbs 1oz of her. The picture is unedited. She came to the world bright eyed and alert, aware of everything. She still today is this same way. “HELLO WORLD!”
We were over the moon. I slowly recovered feeling in my body and was in awe of this little bitty thing I was holding. None of the closet of clothes that I had brought fit her, Z was so petite and fragile.
The anesthesiologist called at least 3 times while I was in the hospital asking if I was okay. Awkward but yeah, I had my baby.
Then we went home and hell began.
I remember getting setup in bed holding my baby, trying to breast feed that first night home and then all of a sudden PAIN. My head. It was like an iron weight was pushing down on the top. The worse headache ever imaginable. What in the world.
Oddly enough, the anesthesiologist’s office had called the house. My husband told him I had a crazy headache, and was then informed that I most likely had a spinal headache and that I had 2 options.
1. Lay flat. Do not move from laying down without a pillow. Get a bed pan if needed. My spine needed to heal a puncture in order for the spinal headache to go away.
2. Come in for a blood patch.
We opted for #2. I just had my baby. How was I suppose to breastfeed or care for my baby laying flat?
My husband laid our SUV’s back seats flat and put a blanket so it would be comfortable for me to lay while he carted me back to the hospital. F
I arrived in the ER, I laid on the nasty couch chair things in pain. I didn’t care how germy they were. Finally they moved me to the triage area. I had no idea what a blood patch was, I just knew my head was going to explode.
An anesthesiologist came in with a huge needle that seemed I don’t like needles. He took blood from my arm and then placed that blood in my epidural space. Apparently your blood in the epidural space after a spinal clots the hole. The pain. It’s one thing when you are having a baby and know that this will make you feel better, but this was HELL. I wanted my baby and no headache.
When he was done he suggested I not get another epidural as “I have a weird spine”. Also told me to lay flat for the next 2 weeks (yes, contrary to what his office said I had to lay flat, but with a little more flexibility as in I didn’t have to use a bed pan). This would prevent a patch blow out. Patch blow out? Really. That just sounds scray.
My back was beaten all to hell. It hurt to lay on. At the end I had numerous puncture marks and bruising. My husband kept after me to talk to a lawyer, but honestly I was so hurt by the whole thing emotionally I couldn’t think about. I just wanted to be a mom, and I actually had my baby so we didn’t pursue.
My little girl Z spent the first month trying to breast feed. At her month check-up she was diagnosed as failure to thrive – weighing only her birth weight. I wasn’t producing milk. Talk about feeling like a failure. First the blood patch incident. Now I can’t breastfeed. And to make things crazier, she was colic for 12 weeks.
We survived and have a crazy story to tell because of it all. After my epidural gone bad – I refused epidurals the next 2 pregnancies, and am really thinking against again on this 4th delivery.
Our sweet 1st child turns 8 next week. It all seems like yesterday. The little girl I always wanted is mine. Except if someone knows how to stop the growing up so quickly, please let me know.