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5wks from postpartum hemorrhage (May 2002) -emergency hysterectomy 5wks from postpartum hemorrhage (May 2002) -emergency hysterectomy

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Unread 06-21-2002, 01:18 PM

Well, I see it's 10 pm for me right now. Shall we try now? If both of you log in here and read this, send a reply, I'll see in my e-mail if you responded. Otherwise I would suggest sticking to 10 pm my time, 3 and 4 pm your time for tomorrow, Saturday 22nd of June? Next week I won't be visiting this site, we will go out for a small family holiday, our first one!
Let me know if tonight or tomorrow night is suitable for you too.

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Unread 06-21-2002, 01:35 PM
I am here to chat

Want to meet in the chat room?
Unread 06-22-2002, 06:54 AM
Introduce another hemorrhage story . . .

Hi, I heard about this thread from Erica and would like to introduce myself. I, too, had hemorrhaging with the birth of my first (and only) daughter and had to have a hysterectomy.

My situation is after conceiving my daughter through in vitro, I bled and went into preterm labor at 7 months. Got that under control, but then my water broke at 38 weeks and I was bleeding a little. I labored without any problems for 8 hours before they called a c-section. My uterus was filling up with blood, plus my daughter was stuck sideways a little and would not come down with the pushing. So the incision for the section sliced through an abnormal mass of blood vessels that they did not know were lying on top of my uterus (these could have been from scar tissue after my laparoscopy a year before) and I began a total bleed out. They did staple me up and watched me for a while to see if the bleeding would stop. I went unconscious after they pulled her out. I began throwing up during the section and they gave me nausea medicine. I don't know if I went out from the medicine or because my blood pressure was dropping. Anyway, my dr. said I was a prime candidate for DIC (when you bleed out your clotting factors and it won't clot) which I did develop. They rushed me to surgery and did a hysterectomy. Finally, the bleeding stopped but I took in 40 units of blood products and had a complete system shutdown. I woke up in the ICU on a ventilator and a catheter. My lungs, kidneys, and bowels were not working. Eventually, my systems started back up and I was able to leave the hospital 2 weeks later.

I heard that the causes were various - placenta abruptio, abnormal mass of blood vessels, and extra blood line to the uterus.

Everyone in the hospital came to see me and were amazed that I recovered so quickly. I think they all wanted to see me with their own eyes because they all thought I was a goner. My dr had never had a patient develop DIC and he is near retiring. I read up on it later and realized that it is rare to survive it.

So, I know deep down that I am extremely lucky to be alive much less to have a beautiful 11 month old baby girl who has no problems from the delivery whatsoever. But the in vitro left us with 3 frozen embryos that we had hoped to go back for one day. Now that is impossible without a surrogate and I don't know if I could do that. Plus, the reason for our infertility was my endometriosis. Well, the best thing to help that is pregnancy! We had hoped that it might have gotten better and we could conceive on our own afterward. Now that too is impossible!

I am getting better with my disappointment, but I still feel extremely jealous when I hear about other people getting pregnant naturally and delivering without problems. I really had the impression that pregnancy is the planning for this big party and the birth is supposed to be it. Like a wedding. Your wedding day is supposed to be one of the happiest days of your life and you're supposed to relish every minute of it. Well, my delivery day was the most traumatic and scariest days of my whole family's lives. And the biggest disappointment for me - except, of course, for the beautiful baby girl that I got to take home after it was all over!!!

I would love to keep in touch with all of you to see how you are coping and dealing with different issues - like when people say, "When are you going to have another one?"

Feel free to email me [email protected]

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Unread 06-22-2002, 01:40 PM
welcome here Melinda!

Hi Melinda!
Welcome here! Good you found us, the emergency hystersisters! You must be pretty upset with 3 more embryo's and not being able to carry them. I can imagine this is very bitter for you. My husband and I tried for some time to get pregnant and we were delighted it happened. During my pregnancy we joked about how the 'next one' was going to be conceived so much quicker ... now it hurts to think about these silly jokes. Ofcourse you don't know if it's going to happen a second time, but now we don't even have a chance, we can't even hope. That hurts.

The seriousness of your situation sounds like mine. I too needed 40 units of blood products (of which 16 pure blood) and spend the first day in ICU. I was lucky for my organs to be fine, which was more or less a miracle! Like you, all the medical personel came by to visit me in the hospital and they too were stunned by my quick recovery. THe last day one of the doctors didn't recognize me and simply stared at me. 'Is that YOU?!' I was very puffy by the transfusions, I guess so were you? Barely consious I ordered (!) my husband to take photos of me, so I know how puffy I was!

How is your scar, Melinda? Do you have a bikinicut, like Lisa has, or a vertical one, down the bellybutton, like Erica and me?

My relatives are not yet asking for the second child! Are your relatives asking questions like that? Did you tell everybody what excactly happened to you? I would like Erica and Lisa too, what reaction do you mostly dislike or does hurt the most? For me it is: 'but look what you have now, be happy you have your beautiful son!' or similar remarks. It's silly, bacause so many people react in that manner, and maybe I would too had I not experienced this. Most people I don't blame for a remark like that, but it does cut like a knife through my heart. It's like they doubt my love for my son by complaining about what happened to me. It has nothing to do with my little boy. He's the light of my life. For me it's like: 'shut up!'

At after-maternitygym, yesterday, one of the girls asked the teacher when periods return to occur. THe teacher explained they could stay away for about a year. This girl was happy about this and yelled 'Jiepieeee!' etc. At that moment it didn't even hurt me. But when I returned home, it struck me and I bursted into tears. Do any of you experience things like that? Do you sometimes start crying, by just something you see or hear?

Well, ok, let's chat next Saturday June 29? 3/4/10 pm? Melinda can you be there too?
Do we join the general chatroom or do we go somewhere apart? Never done chatting before, so it will be new to me!

Unread 06-22-2002, 02:02 PM
5wks from postpartum hemorrhage (May 2002) -emergency hysterectomy

Hi Gals!

If you have downloaded and installed AIM and have your screen names all set, here's what you can do to have a chat of your own:

First, decide who is going to start the chat.
The rest of you also need to be on line and have your AIM on.

The person who is starting the chat:
In your AIM Buddy List Window,
from the top menu bar, select 'People' by clicking on it.
This brings down another menu.
From this menu, click to select 'Send Chat Invitation'

This opens a window in which you will type in the screen names of all those you would like to invite into your chat.

You can also create a name for your chat room.

After all the names are in the window for invitation, click the lower right corner on the 'Send' button.

This sends an invitation to all that you have typed in. Each who have been invited will receive a pop up window letting you know you have been invited to chat.

You will need to click the button 'Go Chat'. This places you into the chat room!

When the last person leaves the chat, the room is closed, and you must repeat these steps the next time you want to chat together.

Hope this helps! Feel free to email me if you have any questions or if I can help further.

Unread 06-22-2002, 06:31 PM
5wks from postpartum hemorrhage (May 2002) -emergency hysterectomy

Yes, Dutchie, I get sad when I think of no more periods. And I had endometriosis and my pains were pretty bad. But it was such a part of my life and now it's gone. At first I was having mini-periods afterward. My dr. said it was where the top of my cervix which was left inside had some uterine tissue still attached that was functioning normally. So he put some silver nitrate on it, basically cauterizing it. Now no more bleeding. At first I regretted having it done. Like having a mini-period made me normal again. But then to have spotting without a uterus could be a sign of something serious, so now I know any spotting is not normal.

But I still have my old pads and tampons tucked away in the back on the bathroom cabinet. I almost gave them away, but I just couldn't in the end. Isn't that silly???

Like my maternity clothes. I don't know that I'll every be able to give them away. I LOVED them and I remember thinking how fun it would be to get to wear them again. No chance of that now!!!

And I have a bikini scar - that has dimpled? My dr. said that is where it dents in. It looks awful and you can definitely see the outline throug my panties and swimsuit. But I would've had that from the c-section anyway.

Well, logging off now. By the way, I am in GA (EST).

Unread 06-23-2002, 09:20 AM
5wks from postpartum hemorrhage (May 2002) -emergency hysterectomy

The second month after giving birth, I cleaned out my closet and gave nearly all my maternity clothes away for charity. I wore them after the birth of Rik for a couple of times, because of my scar the wide clothes were very comfortable.
The shirt I was wearing during childbirth I couldn't wear again. Just seeing the **** thing made me cry. The nighty I had worn the first day in the hospital, I thorn that one in pieces and threw it in the waistbin! Feels good!

In my bathroomcabinet I have lots of tampons and stuff! I am not sure what I am going to do with it. No, I didn't have periods at all, but maybe it will come later.

I don't really understand what you mean by a dimpled scar? You mean like a bumpy road? What does your doctor means when he says 'that's where it dents in'? My scar has bumps too and the whole scar is like a channel: it's a bit sunken, but that is slowly getting better. Are you thinking about plastic sugery or anything else to improve your scar?

Unread 06-23-2002, 09:54 AM
5wks from postpartum hemorrhage (May 2002) -emergency hysterectomy

Mine too is like a channel and is sunken all the way along it. But at the two ends there are places that dent in even more - like two dimples at the corners of a smile. I had problems with my wound not healing well. They actually had to open it back up and do irrigations for a few days - not fun - he actually used a swab to clean it out and in the shower I was supposed to flush it with the handheld shower head. He would pack it with gauze after each irrigation to soak up the blood clots and try to pull them out later. My husband was supposed to continue this at home, but fortunately it healed well enough to stitch back up the day I went home. I don't know if the stitches helped or not - it's still pretty ugly. My dr said in a year we would look at it and see if I wanted to fix it or not. He said it would be easy to do, but it would require another surgery. Right now I'm not too eager for that!!!

But if I gain weight and my belly gets really flabby, it will hang over the scar and that could be a problem. My mom had that happen with her old hysterectomy scar. The scar tissue stayed buried underneath her belly flab and got sores. Really gross to think about!!!
Unread 06-23-2002, 10:07 AM
me too

I too had a emergency hyst following a csec delivery back on Dec 3, 2001. My story was a little different, I went to the hospital for an inducement (boy if I could change ANYTHING, I would've waited, Lauren was only late by a week by last menstrual date and just late by one day by ultrasound date). I had not been progressing with labor (she was really still high up and I *was* 9.5 cm dilated, again, I wish I would've waited) so my OB said if you haven't progressed within the next 45 mins do you want a csec? Of course, out of my mind with pain and stress (my whole pregnancy was a big ball of stress because we were building our home and living with my P's as well as raising our toddler, 20 months at the time).

So before I go off to surgery, I get freaked out (I'm an ICU nurse and my dh is as well), literally, he said he knew something was imminent by my freak out session, I started screaming and trying to get free of the 1,000 people in the room...in my mind I saw this as the worst thing and I could not see getting past it. In nursing they call this feeling the 'thought of impending doom' and BOY DID I FEEL IT.

So I go off for the csec and I could not stop myself from shaking, my left leg especially. Kathy, my ob's nurse, whom I felt close to, was in the OR and was like "Hi Marianne how are you?" and I totally ignored her to keep my focus. I then felt myself give in, I can't do anything about it why try? My epidural wasn't the best so I had so many rx boluses to help me with the pain and then he started cutting. If it wasn't for my wonderful anesthesiologist I don't think I could've made it, she sat there and got me through it because I felt the pulling and a little discomfort. Well anyhow, Lauren Elizabeth was born, 7 lbs, 14 oz, perfect and beautiful...my dh was crying, I was relieved...and then...as my ob was inspecting my uterus my dh said he saw a spurt of blood...somehow (I'm still unsure, I was told one thing, the path report shows at something else and the md's notes are unclear) my uterine artery ruptured...my dh said he looked because my ob said "Oh sh*t!" so anyhow, I dealt with the discomfort, they kept trying to talk me into getting intubated and I kept refusing (this is a nurse's worst fear, having that tube down to help you breathe with the ventilator) and I kept refusing...last I looked at the clock it was 7:45 pm and I finally agreed to be tubed.

I woke up and saw my dh, he was so happy to see me awake. He took my hand and asked if I wanted to see Madeline (our toddler) and I was like 'yes' and they handed me Lauren for a few minutes (the picture from that is HORRIBLE, my lips are purple and poor Lauren looks as if I will drop her because I was so weak I barely had hold of her!). Maddie came in with my parents and visited for a few minutes, then I went to sleep again. I woke up again around 11:00 and I saw that my ob and my anesthesiologist were there. I was freaked out...they never stay that long! So I asked my dh how many times did they have to shock me...he looked at me like I was nuts...again I asked, he's like "we didn't have to do that...." but I knew something was wrong because he had tears in his eyes, looked like he had been crying a long time and the docs were still there. He looked up towards my other side and my eyes followed and I saw 3 units of blood hanging...I then understood. I said how many? And he said he didn't know...I think he did but he was scared to tell me. I asked him about my hemoglobin count (determines the extent of blood loss) and he said 3.7 in the O.R. he said I held the record for # of lap pads used in the csec O.R. (lap pads are the gauze type pads they use to soak up blood in the O.R. to visualize what they're doing and other things) (I feel like I should get a medal) anyhow, they thought I was stable so they left me in the care of the rn's on night shift.

I started having horrible pain whenever they'd palpate my uterus and then it started with my right side during the night-early a.m.. My dh said I looked transparent at one point...they took me back to the O.R. and here I am, post hysterectomy, right ovary removed, bladder repaired (another fear realized, a Foley catheter for 2 weeks, yuck!) and lost my milk production (due to extensive blood loss, they said my hypothalamus just shut down production...). A questionable hormone problem, some relationship issues thrown in to boot (we're doing better right now but it's been hard for me), nevermind a 2 year old to raise and a brand new house to get in order as well as working outside of home (thank goodness it's part time!) and one could say I've had more than my share.

That's my story, how I'm doing right now is better. I'm trying to move through the grieving process and totally come to terms that I need to get over the anger-denial stages and get on with it. I have 2 girls and realize how EXTREMELY lucky I am (although I really wish we could try to have a boy...but that's not possible so I try not dwelling). I slip sometimes, sometimes I feel like this is too much for me to handle but I am trying and that is what matters. If I would've died, oh my, if I would've died I would've missed *so* much, and my girls wouldn't have a mom, which is the absolute worst so I try to get on with it (it's been 6 months of work to get to this stage, also seeing a therapist occasionally is helping both my dh and I).

Sorry about the length, it is longer than I planned. I hope things are well with all of you.

Great big hugz,
Unread 06-23-2002, 01:35 PM

Each time we find another woman with a pph & hysterectomy the emotions and experience as so familiar. We each had different but in so many ways the same experience. Two weeks ago, I knew no one who had experienced this now there are 5 of us!

Several things you wrote jumped out at me. My hemmorrage was 6 days after my Lauren was born. My uterus was contracting and everything seemed normal when I left the hospital then an extra placenta lobe that no one was aware of while I was pg breaks loose 6 days after I deliver and I start hemmorraging at home. We rushed to the ER and they operated on me 25 minutes after arriving at the hospital. OB said if I had waited even 20 minutes to come she probably would not have been have able to save me.

Things you mentioned: The shaking- I remember I started shaking violently right before they intubated me.

Blood counts- I think I was a 3 after a unit of blood during the surgery. I had several more transfusions the following day to get my count up to 8.

Your OB cyring- When my arrived at the ER I could see the fear in her eyes, when she saw the amount of blood she literally started pushing my gurney down the OR hall by herself and was hollering orders to people as we moved. I looked up at her and said "I feel like I am living an episode of Maternity Ward!" She didn't laugh.
She held my hands as they intubated me and said "I am going to do all I can, but a hysterectomy may be necessary" I just shook my head.

Angry & Feeling Lucky- I have both of these emotions at the same time often. I am so grateful she saved me. I have two boys (ages 5 & 2) in addition of my newborn. I can't imagine them losing their mother. But I do feel angry over the loss of control over my body, my reproductive choices, etc.

Your milk supply- I was 6 days postpartum, my milk was in full supply when I hemmoraged. There was NOTHING left the next morning. Nothing. Luckily, we had been supplementing Lauren with formula because she was still really tired from being a little premature and having trouble nursing, so she didn't have any trouble taking the bottle.

I could write more... and I probably will in the future

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