My pregnancy to Alex was pleasant. I did not have many of the common symptoms like morning sickness. I also did not have specific cravings. But my appetite was through the roof. I gained 45 pounds. During my last trimester I was placed on bed rest due to spotting and fear of premature labor. Since I was no longer working I read allot… about labor. I did not watch videos. I felt if I watched videos and actually saw it my anxiety levels would rise and that was not good for the baby. Labor is different for everyone. I went into labor on April 06, 2016. My water broke at 11am that Wednesday. I did not feel contractions; strong ones until I arrived to the Hospital. I was 5cm upon arrival. My doctor was also not in town that weekend so I had to come to the realization that the doctor on call would be delivering this baby. My contractions at this point were crazy, no lie.
Earlier in my pregnancy I made the decision that I would get an epidural. After the epi was done truly it was bliss. I was having contractions and no pain. I was on my phone making plans and talking with family members. I was nervous and excited. Thankfully I was able to dilate to 10cm and at 8:08pm Alex was born. Birth weight 6.6. The doctor on call and nurses truly did a wonderful job making me feel at ease and I have no complaints on that. The disaster began after I gave birth. My son was born healthy and strong and I will forever be grateful for that. I would go through everything again if I had to.
A couple of hours after giving birth I experienced something called ‘spinal headache’. Research it, it’s real. I never heard of this condition until it happened to me. Apparently it is a common side effect of the epidural. Now this is my personal experience and I for one know many women who have gotten an epidural and never experienced such a thing. The best way I could describe a spinal headache is someone rattling your brain and you have no control of your coordination and the pain. The only way this headache would improve was lying flat without a pillow. The moment any inclination was made the pain would return. Because of this I was unable to do much for my son. The feelings of guilt, remorse, and just sadness were overwhelming. My son would be next to me and I was not able to get up without feeling like I was going to pass out.
Thankfully I had a great support system. From my husband; who automatically went in ‘papa bear’ mode and took over all responsibility while I was flat on that hospital bed. Who helped me shower while I was about to pass out. To my parents and in laws. Everyone was wonderful to me. But during these days it was really tough to not sink into depression and I was really afraid of getting post-partum depression.
There is a procedure called ‘blood patch’, where basically they draw blood. The spine tap procedure is done again and that blood is injected. With this the blood serves as a patch to stop the leak instantly. This procedure was done and unfortunately did not work. At this point lying down flat, medication and now the blood patch was not working. The anesthesiologist was very persistent how there was very little chance of this procedure not working. I honestly was afraid something more serious was at works if nothing was working. The decision was made to try the blood patch again. After the second blood patch; the anesthesiologist made the suggestion after an hour to get up and try walking. I decided to stay lying down flat all night. The next day I was able to at least stand up and decided it was time to leave. I was still having headaches but not severe. One week had passed and my son was not allowed to leave because of me. I had enough. I was discharged that same day.
The days after the headaches were slowly improving and I was finally able to hold and care for my son with less assistance. Women are truly the strongest creatures. We bring life to this world and face so much to do so. It is such a wonderful journey; from pregnancy to labor. It’s really unexpected and different for everyone. Alex is my perfect gift. Like I said I would go through everything again just to hold him and be his mom. If you are a mom share with me your experience. If you are not and are planning, please note this post is in no way meant to ‘scare’ anyone. It is my journey and when you experience yours, it will be one never forgotten. Trust me.