Mama Miller Parenting

Passionate parenting and homemaking.

K’s Birth Story

on August 9, 2012

This is the birth story of my son that is now 3. It does contain details and is long. My story is not all warm fuzzies. Reader discretion is advised.

When my husband and I had been married for about 8 months we decided to move back to our hometown area from our college town. We were both at new jobs and still basking in newlywed bliss. We had decided to wait a few years before even thinking about kids.

I was in church one morning and I just didn’t feel right. My mom asked if I was ok and being close followed up with, “Are you about to start your period?” I’m pretty sure all the colored drained from my face at that moment. In all the stress of moving and starting a new job, I hadn’t even thought about when I was due for my monthly friend. One pregnancy test later and I was bawling in my parents kitchen that afternoon. I was delighted and scared witless.

Yes, I had finished college first. Yes, I was married first. But I was just not ready to be a mom. It took a couple weeks to wrap my mind around it. I had been on birth control and was definitely not expecting this.

I quickly decided that I wanted to go as natural as possible. I picked a midwife group and decided to breastfeed from the very beginning. The only problem was that, from the start, I was treated as high risk.

My grandmother’s rare blood disorder, my husband’s cousins born with cystic fibrosis, and my weight all worked against me. I saw my midwives for visits but had to attend genetic counseling and do extra testing.

When I hit about 32 weeks I was told that my blood pressure was high and I was referred to the doctor associated with the midwife group. I was now seeing the doctor and the midwives for visits. I had to do even more testing to make sure my kidneys were functioning properly.

I ended up spending the last month of my pregnancy on bed-rest. It was so stressful. I had to go in for fetal monitoring three times a week and stay in bed the rest of the time. I was suddenly told that they would probably induce and that I would be forced to have an epidural because they wanted to keep my blood pressure down. I never expected my natural birth to be taken away by a midwife.

When I was 38 weeks along, I was told that it was time. I went home that Wednesday after my appointment to pack my bags. Andy met me, and we headed to the hospital to check-in.

In the process of getting my blood work and IV started, I had two different veins blown out. They finally called in one of the anesthesiologists to place my IV. I had cervical dilation medication placed inside and was on an automatic blood pressure cuff that was on top of one of my blown out veins. I had mild contractions brought on by the cervical medicine but we settled in and tried to get some sleep.

The next morning they started the pitocin and my contractions went from mild to awful very very quickly. I had the blood pressure cuff going off every fifteen minutes on my bruised arm and it would often coincide with a contraction. I never yelled at a person but I did yell at that blood pressure cuff. I hated it. When I was told that my blood pressure was high I said it was because the cuff was stressing me out.

They broke my water later that morning. By 1 or 2 pm I was finally dilated to a 4 and decided that if I was doomed to have the epidural I didn’t want, now would be a good time. The effects were weird but wonderful. I was tired but I couldn’t feel the contractions. It went on like this for hours. The nurses had me flipping from one side to the other to keep my blood pressure steady. At one point I started feeling contractions again. They checked my epidural and found that it had detached. Luckily, they were able to hook the tube back in without placing a new needle.

At 9 pm they started talking about the possibility of a c-section. I hadn’t progressed at all and I felt utterly defeated. I had been in labor for about 18 hours and stayed at a 4. It was heart breaking and terrifying.

They started prepping me for c-section at 11pm. It was so surreal. My body was so tired. I hated being lifted onto that table and the cold room. I was meeting a doctor for the first time that would soon hold my life and my son’s life in his hands. My midwife went from being the one who would deliver my baby to a mere cheerleader. My arms were stretched out like I was being crucified. I could feel tugging and pressure.

At 11:55 pm we heard our first little cry. There was our K. He was cheesy and covered in yuck and had a cone head but he was beautiful and he was ours.

Our first family photo.

I was so fortunate that my midwife stuck with us. When they whisked K away to clean him up and Andy had followed to take pictures, I got the shakes and started throwing up. My midwife stayed by me and held the barf bag.

Just then our doctor said, “Huh, that isn’t normal.” These are not words you want to hear while strapped down to an operating table.

He went on to tell me that one of my ovaries was enlarged and that he would have to investigate. Investigating turned into surgery to remove a large cyst. What should have been a 45 minute birth was suddenly almost 2 hours of surgery. I started to regain feeling and my heart rate dropped. I remember knowing that Andy was talking to me but I didn’t have the energy to respond. I found out later that my blood pressure and heart rate had dropped much lower that they should have been.

After all of that, I ended up losing the ovary. There wasn’t enough left to save when he finished removing the cyst. I finally regained total consciousness and am told that I furiously proclaimed, “I don’t like it! I don’t like it! I don’t like!” when they did a big push on my abdomen.

During all of this my family was left completely in the dark as to what was taking so long. When they brought us out at around 1:30 am, I was the one to explain to my family that I had lost an ovary. My first picture holding K makes me look like a druggy. My body was worn out. I couldn’t even support him. Everyone got a quick look at him and headed home for the night. The nurses begged me to nap and try nursing when I could function.

I didn’t see my baby again until around 9 am that morning. I had asked them not to give him any bottles, but instead of waking me up they had given him one. He had trouble digesting it and was put on a watch for several hours. I was begging to see him all morning.

I finally got to nurse but it was slow going. I was so sore. I had friends and family coming in an out all day. It made it hard to get nursing down. It was magical and stressful. We had this tiny miracle.

At the hospital

By the next day I was walking and had finally gotten all the IVs out. I had trouble getting him to wake up and nurse that morning. I felt like I needed to nurse him right then, but he was taken away for his circumcision. I felt so bad that he hadn’t eaten before his procedure.

We went home the next day. I don’t mean to be a downer. It was one of the most joyful times in my life, but I felt like a total failure. It is amazing how much joy and sadness can coexist in the weeks following birth. My body wasn’t able to do what it was built to do. I had trouble nursing. I hurt all over.

I wanted to rest but we were in out of doctor’s appointments that entire first week. K was jaundice and we had to get extra testing to make sure he didn’t need extra treatment. He was losing weight and we had to supplement formula. He also had issues with his little feet turning in due to his position in the womb. That meant we were also seeing an orthopedist. I don’t think I slept at all that first week and I just felt broken.

A week later I met with my doctor and was finally told more about my ovary condition. I had a cystic dermoid. It is a rare type of cystic tumor that doesn’t hurt or show up on most sonograms. It would have kept growing until it started floating up and twisting my fallopian tube. It was very probable that my ovary had been dead for some time. I also found out that the hormonal fluctuation was probably making nursing difficult. I also found out that I had a chance of developing the same condition on the other ovary.

I had been asking God, pleading with Him, why things had turned out that way. Why had we gotten pregnant before we planned? Why had my natural birth plans failed? Why was breastfeeding so hard for me?

It turns out that He had a plan all along. If we’d waited several years, I may have already lost the other ovary and been infertile. If I had a natural birth, my condition wouldn’t have been discovered until it started causing pain. I now knew that if we wanted more children it would have to be sooner rather than later. I knew why I had gotten pregnant on birth control with only one working ovary. With the help of some corrective shoes, K’s feet were righted without surgery. He only nursed for six weeks but I gave him what I could and he is a happy, healthy 3 year old today.

I had been a foolish child. God had a plan all along.

I love being a mom. That little boy has opened my eyes to my calling and my favorite ministry. I love motherhood and ministering to other moms. It is my passion. My story was hard and painful but it helped shape me. I had to mourn my lost plans but now I can celebrate my story.

Holding K at one week old.

My little man at 3 years old. Bowties are cool.

2 responses to “K’s Birth Story

  1. […] had a very difficult delivery with my son. Nothing, and I mean nothing, went as planned. I was left feeling horribly broken. I […]

  2. […] labor beforehand. To read her birth stories in their entirety, please visit her blog, here and here. And, though I don’t know much about it yet, she also has just had her third baby, which you […]

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