It was approximately an hour after birth, I was having the magical moments with our new baby daughter and I was starting to feel a bit faint, I wasn’t quite with it and I could feel my brain slowing down, almost like I couldn’t talk properly and people were there but not there, if that makes sense. I could also feel gushes of blood coming out, which I assumed to be normal at this point, as I know it’s normal to loose blood. Jane came back into the delivery suite and explained that she had checked the placenta and there was a little piece missing!
Firstly, I never realised that the placenta was checked after birth, until that moment and secondly I didn’t realise just how phenomenal our bodies are. Jane carried on to explain that this little piece will cause blood loss and if I start to feel faint, then I need to say. So of course I described how I felt and within minutes I was being examined- hearing words such as “so much blood”, “clots”, “examination”, “theatre”… I was a little daunted at this point.
When you deliver the placenta your womb contracts to basically scab over the area where the placenta lived for 9 months and if there is a bit still in your womb, it prevents the area from healing and therefore your body keeps contracting in an effort to scab over. So, my body kept on bleeding and bleeding because it was trying to fight this alien object inside of me. Which when you think about it, is very clever- just not very good for me!
They called the doctor very quickly and he did an internal examination which needless to say “killed” and I was screaming the place down. I did have gas and air but it wasn’t helping. He said he thought he’d got it amongst other clots and he was happy. So they cleared me up… Dean said the pad that was under me ballooned as they lifted it, as it was full of blood, he used his hands to emphasise the amount of blood and his hands were about 30 cms apart! After 10/15 mins (Dean had just enough time to call our mums and tell them the news) they realised I hadn’t stopped bleeding, when I shouted across the room that I was going to faint, they called the doctor back in and it was all systems go to get me to theatre.
Unfortunately for me I had no choice but to have a spinal tap, I hate needles and I hate the thought of a needle in my back but I had to have it and to be honest I felt so weak I wasn’t going to argue. My words were slurring, the room was dipping in and out, I was shaking so wildly because of shock that my bottom jaw was chattering and my jaw was aching- I was going to let them get on with what they needed to do without any argument. The anaesthetist told me off for having KFC for lunch and in went the injection. I had a pins and needles sensation run through the bottom half of my body. It was so surreal, I couldn’t move or feel my legs but when people touched me I could feel their presence by this pins and needles sensation. Because I had been shaking so badly they put this special warming device over me, it was amazing, it was a plastic sheet with a hose attached and the hose was blowing out hot air, it was fab and that entertained me whilst doc did his stuff. After 10 minutes I heard “I’ve found it” and then “I’m going to keep looking just in case theres more” and after a short while it was over. He stitched me up, yes I know, I survive child birth without a hiccup, pain relief (pretty much) and stitches only to arrive here, typical! But again, I’m very grateful for what they all did and the team work, quick thinking and precision of each of their actions. I will not, however, ever loose the vision of the doc at the end of me basically scooping out the contents of my womb, but I guess it’s a small price to pay, considering what the alternative would have been.
I was quickly hooked up to a new lifeline; some A Positive blood and taken back up to my room to see hubby and Isla waiting for me. Dean looked so frightened but happy when he saw my face, although I felt sick and wasn’t with it quite yet, he said I looked grey in the face, but he was happy I was ok.
After about an hour I started to feel myself again, I think I’d had 2 units of blood at this point. I was told I’d lost 2.5 litres of blood, which I am estimating to be about half of my blood supply as I am smaller than the average bear! It was 6:45pm now and we eventually got to hear Isla’s weight, she was a dinky 5lb and 12oz and daddy changed her nappy to discover a lovely black poop welded to her lower half, the poor thing had been neglected in all the drama, I felt so sorry for her and helpless as I was bed bound until my legs came back to me. It was funny, I felt like my legs were still in the stirrup position and spread apart but they weren’t, they were completely straight and flat on the bed, must have been from theatre. Mum came to see me which cheered me up and she had a snuggle with Isla and by 10pm I had finished receiving my 3rd unit of blood and I felt on top of the world again, like the past few hours hadn’t happened. I was amazed.
Daddy had gone home, I was taken to the lilac ward to recover and bond with my new daughter and I just felt so emotional from when Jane had said to me “I saved your life today”, it hit home when I got to the ward- she did! If she hadn’t of checked the placenta properly and hadn’t of seen that piece missing, who knows how much more blood I would have lost and if I’d have made it through the other end. I just wanted to call all my family and friends and tell them I love them, because I’m a soppy prat and quite frankly I felt lucky.
I have been told that I cannot give blood now I have had a transfusion, but I just wanted to say that to any A positive blood donors out there; I really appreciate your generosity and thank you, thank you so much for basically saving me… My midwives, the theatre team and the blood donors, I am extremely grateful.
Two days in hospital, antibiotics, pain relief, iron tablets and my baby girl, I was on the road to recovery & home. I know I’ll have a sore tummy for a while but she is just so perfect, I don’t really care what I’m going through, I’m going to do the best for my daughter to give her the best start in life & carry on the job I’m doing with Noah…
Angela SmithMay 17, 2012
Oh Sonia, glad you are ok now, does sound very traumatic. Did they cut you tummy open or carry on down below? I lost a lot of blood and my son was 4 hours old before he was weighed, he didn’t even have a nappy on and had pooed! I have to see a consultant for this pregnancy because of the blood loss, my appointment is next week. I must look up to see how much I lost. I didn’t have a transfusion but I think I should of done as I struggled with breast feeding (previously found it easy) and got ill and was admitted back to hospital when baby was 8 days old. My mum works in a doctors surgery and has seen people’s notes who had a transfusion and loss less blood than me! My platelets were low on my last blood test during this pregnancy I hope they have improved by next week when I have more! xx
jessica whitehead-stevens (@jessws2011)May 17, 2012
Wow It must have been terribly scary for you and you partner. We nearly lost my daughter (strep b) seven years ago. Its hard to process your feelings when thing go wrong at or just after the birth. I really do hope that all things go well for you.
KaraMay 17, 2012
How scary – you never think that childbirth can be do dangerous but I am so pleased that you are all well now.
My husband is A+ and gives blood regularly without fail. I’m B- and gave my first pint since having Eliza last month.
Oh – she is truly beautiful too – congratulations x x x
Danielle AdamsMay 17, 2012
Wow hun…. what an (after) birth story that was! Really makes you appreciate every little moment. I’m sorry it was traumatic for you… really glad you are fit and well now!
(she is beautiful btw)
Sarah AdamsMay 18, 2012
You are so brave. That all sounds REALLY scary, you have done amazingly. It really does make you think about what can happen…you often think about things that could happen in labour, but not about what could happen after. Isla looks beautiful, you must be so proud…and should be just as proud of yourself for all you have been through! xxx
Donna BirdMay 18, 2012
I know I told you this on twitter but I will tell you again, so glad you are both ok. This post made me cry, you must have been really scared. So glad they looked after you so well. The photos of your princess are beautiful. xx
NadineMay 19, 2012
Sounds very scary, so glad you are ok though! And Isla is really beautiful! Congratulations xxx
Emma LoweMay 21, 2012
just read all 4 posts about baby and her birth. thanks for sharing, until it happens to you, you dont think anything like that happens. glad you are both fine.
Vikki @ Love From MummyMay 21, 2012
This part sounds so scary and traumatic but so glad you’re both well and doing ok now! Your princess is beautiful Sonia, you must be so proud and happy xxx
KateMay 28, 2012
You are truly blessed hun I hope you are better now and I am so sorry that at one of the most beautiful moments of your life you had to go through something so traumatic and scary. I wish I could have been there for you all but pray nothing like that happens to you again xx