The Post-Birth Complication I Never Expected
Unless you have been living under a pop-culture-blocking rock, you know by now that Jill Duggar Dillard had her baby. (Mabye you've heard so much about it, in fact, that you're actually looking for such a rock!)
A few more details have trickled in now, and although they're still vague, we do know that the birth didn't go exactly as planned. Jill had long been public aboout her hope to have a home birth, but a birth announcement video the couple shared online shows her in a hospital.
Unlike Jill, I didn't make an elaborate—or any—birth plan prior to delivering my twins in July. I just wanted everything to go smoothly, and I deferred to the medical professionals to take the reigns. This always felt like the right option for me. And it turns out, I was glad to be in a high-level hospital when my delivery day took a turn.
After delivering my babies via scheduled cesarean section in the operating room, we all moved to the post-op recovery room, where family joined us and all seemed well.
But when we moved next to what was supposed to be our hospital room for the next four days, things got dicey. As the nurses were transferring me from the gurney to the bed, I noticed a significant amount of blood underneath me. I clearly remember saying, "That's normal, right...?" Turns out, no, it wasn't.
I heard the nurses saying to each other, "It's just that I've never seen a clot that big." Someone told us our babies were headed to the nursery, before whisking them quickly away. And then our small room filled fast with people—my husband counted nine in addition to the two of us.
They were there because I was hemmorhaging: My uterus had been so taxed from carrying two substantially sized babies to full term that, like an overstretched rubber band, it wasn't able to contract properly afterward.
Over a period of hours, the nurses pressed on my stomach repeatedly to encourage contraction. The team administered a cocktail of drugs including Pitocin. And in about a half day, the issue was mostly resolved. A blood test early the following morning revealed I would not require a transfusion after losing so much blood, and with that, the issue was closed.
Although I'd never heard of postpartum hemorrhaging before it happened to me, I'm aware now that it is not very uncommon, and in some cases it does not end as happily. In fact, if it had been another era (not even so long ago), or another part of the world, I might have been in very big trouble. And that's why I will always be so very grateful to the team at Cedars-Sinai hospital, and for my access to such quality maternity care.
Even if—or especially since—it's not what I had in mind for my big day.
Tell us: Did your birth go according to plan?
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Photo courtesy of Alesandra Dubin