Embrace the Moment

3 min read

My water broke Monday, May 9th but labor didn't start until Thursday night. By Friday morning I was ready to go to the birth center. I had started swelling about half way through my pregnancy. It seemed excessive (I gained about 60 pounds) but my blood pressure was 90/60 for most of my pregnancy only starting to go up during the third trimester. When I arived in labor, my pressure was still not all that high, but it was far enough from where I started (and my reflexes had suddenly changed) my midwife sent me off to the hospital saying I had pre-e. The hospital confirmed it and started me on meds for that and something else to help my cervix open. I had an epidural as well. Later, they started the pictocin. During the night I opened up to 5 but then never made it past that. My contractions were registering as hard on the monitors, but they determined they weren't hard inside my uterus. Some time Saturday afternoon the epirual stopped working all the time. It was painful to randomly feel a contraction out of nowhere. I asked the nurse why it was happening, and she only mocked my pain pointing out I'd never been in labor before. She was so rude I asked for the OB so I could demand a c-section. I was simply done.

I don't remember a whole lot after that. It turns out after being on the epidural for over 24 hours it had started to leak and I lost my grip on reality. I thought we went across the ceiling on the way to the OR. I told my mother-in-law late that evening that our husbands were fighting in the civil war. Those are just the parts I remember. Apparently in the middle there I would fall asleep and stop breathing. Only my husband could wake me up and I remember he kept yelling at me to breath and I didn't know why he was mad at me. The next day the staf went on about how they had never seen a woman go through so much epidrual... like I was somehow responcible for my overdose.

Sunday was uneventful. Though I was still detached form it all. I only help my little one to nurse him. In fact, I never felt like a mother at all until he was two weeks old. I hardly remembered him being born. He looked just like his father, so we had proof he was his... but where was the proof he was mine? I was just enduring.

Monday night I couldn't lay down. I thought I was just processing my overdose ordeal and having anxiety. It lasted all night through. Still, I blamed me. When it happened again the next night I wasn't surprised, but the hospital staff didn't like it. They took me down for tests in the middle of the night. I was so sleep deprived by then, I don't hardly remember any of that either. The next morning they told me I had PPCM, some women died and no more kids. I just accepted my fate. Figured maybe God knew I couldn't raise more than one kid. My husband had more faith in me than I did.

I wasn't dischared until the next Sunday, the 22nd. My inlaws had taken Ryan home with them for two nights because I wasn't able to nurse on the meds at the time and couldn't hardly move about 'cause of my c-section. Sunday wasn't his coming home... it was mine. The loss of his birth experience is what greives me the most now days. They ended up putting me on meds that I could nurse one (enalapril and lopressor, lasix, coumidin). Nursing is the only part that went as planned!

Three months later I had an echo and saw my cardio. My ef was 70%! My husband and I have since decided that if my EF is still good at my one year check up, we will go off the meds and ultimately try for a second child. :-)

The lesson I keep learning in life (first with a miscarriage and then through all of this) is: Life waits for no one; embrace it. No matter how bad things are, there is still life to had that day if one has the determination to embrace the pain with the joy. It's worth it.

Edited July 4th, 2014

I did in fact go off the meds. When my heart remained stable, we went forward with a secon pregnancy. My cardio put me on a low does of bb as a hopeful preventitive. The pregnancy was uneventful with mild swelling only the last couple of weeks. She was born full term after 5 days of labor. I had a VBAC with an epidural the last four hours (as soon as they finally admitted me!). It was a great experience. She is healthy and at my four month post partum echo, it was confirmed that I am too. I am back off the meds for now. We plan to try for a third child in a couple of years.

My Details

  • Date Diagnosed: 17/05/2011
  • Child: 1
  • Initial EF: 30/35%
  • Current EF: 58%

Story By Katie Tobey

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I have a hard time finding another story quite like mine no matter how hard I look. I was 26 and pregnant with my second

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