Rewind: Evan’s Birth Story.

December 19, 2008 at 11:21 am | Posted in Baby Weight (Evan), Putting on Baby Weight (Pregnancy) | 4 Comments

I’ll admit it: I was kinda hoping that some way, some how I would get to avoid the pain of labor.  I don’t know – maybe the doctors would see that my baby was huge (after all his daddy was 10 lbs, 13 oz) and they would schedule a c-section before the smallest contraction began.

The good news: I never experienced a single contraction.

The bad news: I experienced an emergency c-section at 36 weeks to avoid liver and kidney failure.

Let’s start a week before.  One evening I started getting heartburn like a motha’.  Right under my boobs and right above my pregnant belly.  Wayne would tell me over and over that heartburn doesn’t go there.  I would be stubborn.  It’s heartburn, damnit.  Then my back started killing me.  It was my middle back – so I didn’t think it was labor pain. 

I was up all night in so much pain that I would later say that it was much worse than anything I experienced during or after the birth of my child.  I didn’t call the doctor until the second straight day of this annoyance (and that’s how I viewed it).  I called the doctor and said that I’ve been having heartburn and backache.  Yeah, just like every other pregnant woman out there.  But!  I told the doctor and washed my hands of it.  The next day was one of my bi-weekly appointments and by that time the pain was gone of course, but he told me to head to the hospital if it happened again.  He guessed it might be preterm labor.  Sweet.  Let’s fast forward to next week, shall we?

It’s Monday morning and I’m at work.  No case of the Monday’s here – just a slight case of the now familiar heartburn.  It’s not that bad however, so I pop some Tums, ignore Stephanie’s cries to call the doctor and go about my day.  By lunch time the backache joined the worsening heartburn and nausea.  After lunch, I did it.  I called the doctor – lest Stephanie kick my ass.  I was told to head to Labor and Delivery at the hospital.  I apologized for taking even more time off work and off I went to what would be my home for the next 5 days.

I arrive at the hospital in some serious pain.  I’m told to strip, pee in a cup and to get prepared to have some blood drained.  After that, they strap me up to monitor myself and the baby.  The baby is perfect, (of course), and to my embarrassment I am only experiencing the mildest of contractions.  Boy, am I red-faced. 

They are going to walk in and tell me, “Sweetheart, pregnant woman have heartburn and backaches – get over yourself and stop wasting our time!” 

Instead, they walked in and told me that there was protein in my urine, my blood pressure was slightly elevated, my platelets were low and my liver enzymes were high.  There were going to put me on an IV because, at the very least, I was spending the night at the hospital.  This doc was leaving it up to the doctor on call.  I called Wayne and told him to come to the hospital on the way home. Dr Powers came to my room later and advised me that they were going to take more blood.  She said she thought I may have HELLP Syndrome.  It’s a kind of pre-eclampsia with a dash of liver and kidney failure.  Fun!  My mother had it while pregnant with my brother.  That was about all I knew about it.  She said that if the this blood draw was worse than the last, the baby would have to come tonight because the only cure, (and the only way I wasn’t going to – kick the bucket let’s say), was the deliver the baby.

Honestly, I’m not freaking out at this point.  I thought nothing would come of it.  They drew more blood.  By this time Wayne had showed up.  We were stunned, confused and not really sure what to think.

Then the stabbing began.  Apparently I have small veins and that means I must be punished!  The nurses were awesome – but they could not get to my veins.  They tried my right hand, arm and my left arm.  My right hand and arm were so swollen and ended up black and blue for several weeks.  3 nurses and 5 stabs later – they got the IV in!  I was bound and determined to be a strong woman and not complain about anything.  I was doing this for my son.  I wanted Wayne to be proud of me and I wanted to be proud of myself.  I hate needles.  HATE.  Needles. But I thanked each of those nursed for trying.

Much later Dr Powers showed up again and said, “Your numbers are getting worse.”  And then the floodgates opened and nurses poured out!  About 5 or 6 nurses walked into my tiny room.  Dr Powers said inducing me would take too long and I needed an emergency C-section now.  One nurse unhooked the baby monitor while another gave me papers to sign as another started shaving my belly as another gave Wayne – (who was calling as many people as possible) – scrubs as another started a catheter on me.  My fingerprints were taken and another nurse gave me an antacid.  That nurse, Abbie (11 weeks pregnant), would become my favorite during my stay.  She told me the antacid was nasty so I should just take it like a shot.  I smiled and said I’d never taken a shot before.  I told myself, it was for my boy and drank it down like a champ. 

I never had a chance to be scared.  I was still signing papers as I was being wheeled to the operating room.  I sat up for a spinal block and laid back and papers were draped everywhere.  Wayne came in – all scrubbed out – and sat next to me.  He looked a little nervous and I didn’t want him to worry so I smiled and said, “Our little boy is coming!”

Dr Powers started pinching my belly to make sure I couldn’t feel anything.  She said, “I’m pinching your belly, can you feel it?”  I freaked, “YES! YES! Oh my God, Yes!”  ‘Cause I felt – something – kinda, barely.  Then I felt it again and told her in case she was pulling a fast one on me.  “I’ve started the incision” she says.  “Oh.”

That was when the giggling started.  “Our baby’s almost here!” I kept saying.  I even giggled through a couple more IV attempts.  Why would they be so desperate to insert another IV during a surgery?  They never told me.  But get this: the first attempt in the crook of my arm failed so they tried the hand of the same arm.  Then the nurse bends down and says, “Giggling during surgery, I love it.  Hey, you may feel some liquid coming out of the crook of your arm – it’s because we just inserted an IV into the same vein and the solution’s leaking out.”  No really.  Ew.  Sure enough, I could feel cool liquid dripping out of my arm.  Weird – but our little boy is coming. 

Suddenly, Wayne looked around the curtain and saw our little boy come into this world.

I heard our baby boy cry.  Amazing.  He made it out.  I stepped up the giggles and Wayne cried with his son.  But I only heard one cry and then… nothing.  Of course, I panicked – “I don’t hear him… how come he’s not crying?!”  Turns out he was brought into another roon with the door shut.  As Wayne was ushered into the other room to see Evan, I heard the most wonderful scream that – honestly – I’m not sick of… yet.  I heard someone say four fourteen and I thought… “They are WAY off, it’s like 8:00 something… wait, surely they aren’t talking about his weight!”  I thought I was going to have a huge baby, Wayne was 10 lbs 13 oz!  And I had Gestational Diabetes!  My little guy was just that… little, but no less wonderful.  They bundled him up and brought him out so we could meet.  He was so lovely and so mine.  He could not have been more perfect.  I didn’t get to hang out with him nearly long enough.

Then they started to put Humpty Dumpty back together again.  Holy Cow!!  I felt like a piece of overstuffed luggage that wouldn’t close.  Surely someone was trying to stuff it all in by jamming their foot in my belly.  And – stop the rocking!  I was holding on for dear life.  Pressure, my ass.  The nurse said she could give me something to help me relax but it might take away from the experience.  The being stuffed experience?  OK!  Pick an IV – dealer’s choice. 

Next thing I knew, I was in the recovery room.  Just me and Super-Nurse, Abbie.  At this point I am hooked to hella machines.  I also have a blood pressure monitor going off on it’s own and blood-clot-avoiding thingies squeezing my legs.  I remember tossing my cookies, apologising, getting my incision checked a lot and talking to Abbie about her pregnancy.  Wayne visited and I made him leave to take a picture of Evan on his phone so I could see.  He let me know that his mom and Stephanie were here but Steph had to leave before I could get out and he was the only one who could visit with me right now. 

Later, once I was relatively recovered, the coolest thing happened: they wheeled me, stretcher and all, straight into the nursery so I could hold my son for the first time.  So awesome.  They let me stay there for quite a while.  I hear horror stories of women what can’t see their babies for the longest time or they have to recover in a room with lots of other people.  I lucked out.  I was wheeled then to my room and the Magnesium Sulfate that I had been hooked up to for the pre-eclampsia started to kick in.  Either that or it was the Morphine that was pumping into me, (and the hand pump I had for extra fixes).  But I was screwed up!  I spent days with only one eye open and feeling like I was napping every time I blinked. 

I remember little about those days.  Here are some things I do remember:

~Wayne snoring SO LOUD the first night that I was actually looking for something to throw at him so he would wake up.  He couldn’t hear me over the snores.  Even the nurses down the hall could hear him.

~Wayne feeling guilty about going to see the baby all the time when I couldn’t.  All I really cared about was that one of us was there.  The baby didn’t get into my room until Thursday when the IV was taken out.  I was allowed once to be wheeled via wheel chair once I was able to stand – kinda – into the nursery where I tried like hell to stay awake.

~Speaking of standing, you can’t when taking that Magnesium.  But nurse Abbie wanted me to try and damnit I wanted to be able to do it for her.  I would sit up go to stand and promptly faint.  After a while I admitted that that was no way in hell I could go vertical just yet.  Later when I was able, I walked so far that I was scared I wouldn’t make it back to bed.

~A couple of times that Evan had this awesome nurse, she and Wayne would sneak him into my room in the middle of the night.  She would hang out and I could hold him.  I was like a 3am surprise-lovey-NOM NOM NOM… I could eat him up.  It always made both my eyes open.

~”Wow, you were really sick” was what I keep hearing from doctors who would check my chart.  Although no one would tell me how close I was to kicking the bucket, I got a clue when I asked if I was staying at the hospital Thursday night even though I was starting to feel better.  She said, “With what you just went through?  You can stay quite a while if you’d like”  I went home Friday. 

~Blood.  They took some – they gave some.  There is something icky about a blood transfusion.  Then when the last bag was empty, they just let it hang there.  Ew.  I asked a nurse to take it down because, “Somehow it’s reminding me of milk going bad”.

~I made people cry.  Wayne had to hurry up and call people to let them know what was going on as I was being prepped.  So while I was giggling on the operating table, people were crying for me and my baby.  My grandma said she cried until she heard from Wayne again.  Steph said she was crying on the way up to the hospital.  If you ever want to know how many people would come to your funeral, try almost dying.  So for me, 4 people would show.

That’s the jist of it.  I know I’m forgetting stuff.  Like the nurses that kept me supplied with water and mixed orange and cranberry juices together for me 8 times a day.  Or the first time I fed Evan which was the first time I fed a baby.  Or that fact that we were so very blessed in every way possible.  I don’t know what type of people we would be without Evan, he has already made us so much stronger.  We stare at him everyday in awe because we made that and he’s so perfect.



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  1. Amber, even though I knew the whole story I cried when I read this. So count me in on someone who would come to your funeral. Wait, that’s not what I meant. Beautiful story and I am still glad you are ok. I was worried sick but he is a beautiful and perfect little guy. Well worth it!

  2. […] that makes me hardcore and if that means dealing with a bit of pain then so fucking be it.  Well, we all know how that turned out.  I didn’t want to be a pest so I suffered in silence without making a phone call.  I […]

  3. […] September 8, 2010 at 10:48 am | Posted in Baby Weight (Evan) | Leave a Comment It’s his birthday.  Today my son turned two.  Two.  That’s all.  It’s such a cozy little number.  […]

  4. […] doesn’t have a ton of family and I wanted to make him some.  Wayne was vehemently against it.  I got pretty sick when Evan was gestating and he was having no more of that.*  Then in September, my beloved Grandmother passed away.  After the funeral, Wayne agreed that […]

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