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Emergency Hysterectomy - Childbirth

From the Princess Stories Articles List

My husband and I were what you might call "party animals". We were always throwing parties, etc., so when we got married, we said we would wait until we were "ready" before we had children. Well 12 years later, we finally grew up and decided to start a family. I found out on St. Patrick’s Day 1999 that we were going to have a baby. We were sooooo happy! We had tried for about a year and it finally worked! Right after we found out though, my doctor that I loved, lost his license due to malpractice. I asked around and found a new doctor, but I didn't get the warm fuzzies that I had from my old dr. My pregnancy went wonderful. No morning sickness, I had quit smoking and drinking so I felt better than I had in years. I was eating right, exercising; it was the best time in my life.

Sometime around the 7th month, we found out the baby was breech. We didn't really worry, we figured he would turn. He didn't and we were told we would have to have a c-section. It was very disappointing at first, because we had taken our Lamaze and as strange as it might sound, I was looking forward to labor. My doctor told me that instead of scheduling the c-section, we could wait until I went into labor, and then they would take the baby. I was happy because then it would be more like normal, and we could have the excitement of me paging my husband and saying "this is it!" She told me to call "at the first signs of labor".

On November 17th, I woke up with cramps and noticed they were coming every 10 to 12 minutes. I paged my husband, who hurried home. We were soooo excited!! We called the doctor, and went to the hospital. They hooked me up to a monitor, waited about 2 hours, and told me I wasn't in labor and to go home. We asked him if he could go ahead and do the c-section, since I was only 1 week ahead of my due date. He said he didn't have time, and to call my regular doctor to schedule a time she could do it. Now I was really scared because I thought I really was in labor and I thought, "If this is only cramps like they say, how bad are contractions going to hurt??" We knew our baby was butt breech and had been told that he probably wouldn't fit because of my small cervix anyway, so we were very nervous.

We went to see my regular dr. and she said she could do the c-section on Saturday!!! That was 3 days away!! Well, we thought, O.K., and went home. My mother and sister flipped when I told them. They said all of the women in our family have labor exactly the way I was describing and I wouldn’t make it to Saturday. Well, they were right. Later that night, my husband woke up and I was in a lot of pain. I was embarrassed because they had told me I wasn't in labor and I felt like such a wimp because I couldn't stand the pain, but I didn't want to go to the hospital twice in one day for a false alarm. My husband called the dr. anyway and he said come right in. On the way to the hospital, things progressed quickly. I was having contractions 2-3 min apart by the time we got there.

Things are a blur from there, but they had to do an emergency c-section because I was in their words "in roaring labor". Well they couldn't get the epidural in and after 5 or 6 attempts of sticking the needle in my spine, I begged them to put me out and take the baby.

I ended up spending 10 days in the hospital with numerous infections, and had to have a blood transfusion because they told us after I started going into shock a couple of days after delivery that I had "LOST" half of my blood, but they didn't know where it went, and my crit had dropped to 18. I must of had hundreds of needles in my veins, so many that my veins were blowing out and they had to call in specialists to get blood or start IV's. On about the 6th day, I woke up at 3 in the a.m. shaking uncontrollably and had a temp. of 105. More infections I was told. I had night sweats so bad I had to blow dry my hair 3 or 4 times a night and have someone change the sheets. Somehow, I was allowed to go home the day after thanksgiving.

I started to bleed really bad the 3rd day after I got home. My husband called the dr. on call and he said "don't worry about it, it's normal". Well, that’s what they told me for the next 6 weeks every time I called to complain of pain or bleeding. I felt like a wimp because I still felt awful and it had been 6 weeks and I was still on pain meds.

On Dec. 20th I called my parents in tears. I had a sinus infection and felt terrible. They said they would come and get the baby and me and bring us to their house for x-mas. My husband would join us in a few days. I still felt something was wrong and I talked my husband into staying a few extra days. On the 27th I was getting ready for bed and started to bleed. My sister called for my husband and mother to come upstairs. I passed out from losing so much blood. I was taken by ambulance to the ER. The next day they did a laparoscopy to find out what was wrong. The dr. couldn't believe what he saw. I was so deformed; he thought my mother had taken DES when she was pregnant with me. It appeared to him that they had nicked an artery during the c-section, which had formed a hematoma, cutting off the blood supply to my uterus. It had been slowly shriveling up and dying. The artery was breaking loose every now and then, bleeding, and then clotting and stopping itself. Before he could go in to fix everything, all hell broke loose. I was talking to my husband and a nurse when I felt something. I said, "I think I'm bleeding". The nurse looked under the covers and said "Oh my god", and called for everyone on call to come to my room stat. I went into shock, and don't remember much except about 30 people in my room, squeezing bags of blood into me.

They took me to surgery, and had to do an emergency hysterectomy to save my life. The artery had broken loose, and this time it wasn't going to stop bleeding. I lost all of my blood and if I hadn't been already hooked up to and IV and in the hospital, I would have died, in fact, I came as close to dying as you can that night, or so I thought.

I was put in intensive care and don't remember much from then on. Apparently, because they had to pump so much fluid in me, I had no clotting factor at all and had started to bleed again. All of my organs were starting to fail because of all of the stress. I was swollen up like a pumpkin and they couldn’t stabilize me. My heart was racing to 200 beats a minute and I was having a hard time breathing, even on oxygen. They decided I needed to be transferred to another hospital where they could do uterine embolization right then. I spent New Years Eve in surgery, and they had told my family they weren't sure if I would survive it because of all of the trauma my body had already been through.

Because I had already been under general anesthesia twice in three days, and because of my deteriorating condition, they had to keep me hovering on the edge with the anesthesia. This meant that I would wake up every now and then and feel what they were doing, which felt like battery acid running through my veins.

Well, I made it through the surgery, but had many days ahead with much pain. My veins were now all blown out and they had to put a central line in my groin. This clogged and they had to put a central line in my jugular vein in my neck - gross! A lot of things I don't remember. My doctor said I would only remember about 20 percent. It's a blessing, he said. I am so grateful to him for saving my life. He is a wonderful dr., not like my dr's from home.

I spent 3 months recovering at my mother’s house. She took care of my baby and me. The hardest part of all of this was being apart from him while I was in the hospital. This was supposed to be the happiest time in our lives, and it was a nightmare. My husband had to go home to go back to work and leave his wife and baby behind. It is about 3 hours away, so he would come every weekend to visit, but it was heartbreaking for him to be home in an empty house all week.

05-31-2005 - 01:48 PM


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