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Emergency cesarean birth and hard postpartum times

Updated: Feb 28, 2021

@samanthawarren92 shares her first birth of baby Hunter and how tough the postpartum period is right after baby is born. "We found out we were expecting a baby on our way to our honeymoon! We were so surprised it happened just after our first time trying. It was a great pregnancy, no sickness almost to good to be true for the most part! At 37 weeks though I got a bad cold and then ended up with pneumonia in hospital for a few days. From then on I kept getting shortness of breath and felt hard to breathe. It was hard to tell if it was from being sick or if my anxiety was really setting in. From 38 weeks pregnant I would be awake all night on the couch feeling short of breath unable to breathe properly unless I yawned, but as soon as I was in hospital things seemed ok. The day before I was due I was swelling up so fast and felt so short of breath I went in at 3am complaining again. They checked me over and said I had hypertension, which I suspected (high blood pressure and massive swelling in legs) and needed to be induced the next day before it turned to pre eclampsia. I had a stretch and sweep and around 2am the next morning felt light cramps starting. We got to the hospital ready for induction at 7am and I was still having frequent contractions but not strong and upon examination I was 4cm. They started the oxytocin drip and broke my waters. What a weird feeling it was! I at first felt like I was in a nice warm bath until I remembered my husband was standing right there looking at me like, wow that’s a lot of fluid lol! Everywhere I walked I had a student mopping up fluid. My stomach was so big and my body so swollen it was hard to keep track of babies heartbeat so they put a scalp clip on which made it sooo difficult to sit, walk or do anything with cords hanging from inside me. Not to mention trying to walk with a drip attached to me. I felt like I could never get into a good labour position without fear of pulling the cords out. The nurses got my hopes up and said I’d have this baby by lunch and was progressing well for a first timer. I was soo excited but nervous thinking how much worse can this get?!

The contractions started almost immediately from the drip and I was in agony. I wouldn’t breathe through them either, I’d tense up and clench my jaw and whole body. My body just had no time to work it’s way up the pain threshold, it just hit so hard and fast from the start. Lunch time came and still only 4cm. I started losing hope and getting upset. I didn’t eat or drink any fluids I just wanted to sit in the chair in the shower, too scared to move at all. This went on for hours until 6pm the midwives said I should look at getting an epidural to relax the body. I accepted and it was great, I think I fell asleep for half an hour until I had the doctors come in and say I had only dilated not even a cm more and the baby's heart rate kept dropping low since the epi they worried if this kept going it could get worse. They said they’d give me an hour but if nothing changes they need to stop the oxytocin as they can’t use it longer then 12 hours and I would need a c section. I cried so much as that was my fear!

And just as I feared, the time came where I had to sign consent papers. I could barely read as I was so tired and drugged up. I got to choose either anti nausea drug or pain. I chose pain but wrong move! The whole time on the table I was a shaking mess throwing up and kept having to have my head turned to throw up while I could feel them moving around my tummy. Each time I threw up I’d have the oxygen mask put on and I was in full panic mode that I was about to die on this table! The words “are you ready” calmed me and I was soo excited to see what we were about to have. As I saw them lift the baby I saw a huge set of balls and I cried it’s a boy! They laid him on my chest, we got a photo and instantly felt sick again. I told them to get him off me as I was throwing up again. I was so sick and couldn’t stop shaking, I kept asking why am I shaking so much am I ok but they assured me it was normal for some people. Eventually once they were done teaching the student how to sew up my belly I was taken to recovery and had midwives milking me while I was in and out of sleep.

I was so out of it my husband held the screaming baby all night while they would come in and express colostrum from me in a syringe. Our 9 pound 3 beautiful boy Hunter used his lungs all night but calmed by morning. We ended up with a 7 day stay until I begged to leave as he had phototherapy to treat his jaundice, but became well enough he didn’t need it so we agreed we’d keep coming back everyday for his bloods. He kept dropping in weight and we didn’t understand why until I had mastitis twice and then they said he had dropped double his weight, no nappy output and needed supplementing ASAP. I cried and thought I was such a failure at everything - I couldn’t endure the pain of feeding and having people yelling at me "he’s too sick you need to top up while he gains strength to feed" so I just stopped suddenly and didn’t realise doing that was silly and ended up in hospital with a nasty breast abscess!! As crazy as our experience was, as soon as he was on the bottle he was happy and I was so happy! I loved him and loved life so much and none of it mattered anymore!"

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