Saturday, July 8, 2017

What to do when your uterus tries to murder you

"Look at it this way" Sean told me, stroking my head as I fought off the anesthesia, "At least this way your uterus can never again try to kill you." I was laying in the hospital bed, a few hours after coming out of my postpartum hysterectomy, and holding my newborn son, Ben.

Nothing about this pregnancy has been easy, but I know how lucky I am.  In 2015, after having a placenta accreta, I routinely passed blood clots the size of grapefruits, and was rescued by a helicopter paramedic named Alan Jackson.  During this recent pregnancy, the doctors were looking via ultrasound every two weeks for signs of another placenta accreta, but found nothing.  Lured into a false sense of security, we went into labor expecting no complications.  Little did I know, my uterus is a murderous bitch. Here is a rough breakdown of how Ben's birth unfolded.

Early Labor 
  • 1:00 pm- My water breaks conveniently, while we happened to be at the hospital. 
  • 3:30 pm- The doctors check me, I have dialed from 3 to 4 1/2 cm! 
  • 5:00 pm- I am now 6 cm dilated and handling the contractions like a pro. Sean and I high five each other-- "The second time really is easier!" We tell each other.
  • 6:00-  All of the nurses agree that my hair looks really good. 
  • 7:00 pm- No progress in dilation, but Sean and I are having a hospital dance party to Sturgil Simpson, so things will probably move along soon. 
  • 8:00 pm- Shift change! Still only 6 cm dilated, but our new nurse tells me I have pretty mermaid hair, so I am placated. 
  • 9:00 pm- The doctors put me on pitocin. Surely this party will get started soon!
  • 10:00 pm- They up my amount of pitocin.  My contractions are now strong enough to make me involuntarily pee myself. #progress!
  • 11:00 pm- More pitocin. 
  • 12:30 am- A new doctor comes in.  She says that the other doctors have been lying to me, and I'm actually only 5 1/2 cm dilated.  My heart is broken into 1,000 pieces. 

Active Labor
  • 1:00-3:00 am- Contractions now extremely painful.  I begin to see that pitocin is an evil drug, designed to torture me. Hair is looking disheveled, but still ok. 
  • 3:30- My back is on fire.  I want to stab this yoga ball, which is in no way easing my pain. 
  • 4:00- Fuck You, pitocin. 
  • 4:30- Screaming out loud now. 
  • 5:00- Surely I will die from this pain. 
  • 5:00- I aggressively beg Sean for pain medicine.  Without drugs I will surely die, I tell him. 
  • 5:00- I realize Sean is a heartless asshole. 
  • 5:15- Oh shit oh shit oh shit oh shit. My hair looks bad. 
  • 5:30- Baby is born. 

  • Holding this child is incredible. 
  • Sean is most amazing husband on planet. My love for him is incomparable. 
  • Doctors still fooling with my stomach, trying to deliver the placenta. Very annoying. 
  • My baby has dark hair.  I name him Benjamin Henry. He is my precious. 
  • Placenta won't come out.  We head to operating room for D & C. 
  • Stay with Daddy, Precious. I'll be back soon. 

Operating Room
  • Doctors give me an epidural.  I feel truly nothing, confirming that the last 14 hours of pain have been totally optional, and I have suffered needlessly the name of natural mommy-hood. 
  • "If anything is wrong with me, just take my uterus" I tell them. I want to get back to my precious. 
  • They start the D&C. I see nothing, My face is under a sheet.
  • I'm still reflecting on my natural childbirth. "Your arrogance has brought you nothing but pain." I tell myself. 
  • Doctors repeating saying the word "hemorrhaging."
  • "This is definitely an accreta." The doctor says. My heart stops.
  • Terror. I am in terror. 
  • Hysterectomy. Pain. Drugs.
  • The surgery is over.  Blood everywhere  
  • They wheel me back to Sean. I hold my precious, shaking violently. We are kissing. Then, I sleep. 

When I woke up, my eye was crooked.  The optometrist later told me the trauma was so great it actually knocked me cross eyed for a day. I didn't care. I was back with my family.  When Millie came to the hospital, my little world was complete.  I'll be dammed if I will ever let us separate again.

Obviously, My uterus had been planning this the whole time.  She let me believe that this pregnancy would hold no surprises, then she waited until I was most vulnerable and pounced.  My uterus is a ruthless and scheming bitch and I'm glad she's dead now. As we lay in the hospital bed, Sean stroking my hair, and me starting at him with my crooked eyes, we began to wonder what we should name her.  Hodor turned out to be the perfect name for my cervix.  For my uterus, we developed this list of naming criteria:

  • Must be a female name
  • Must be murder-ey as hell
  • Probably has some maternal or redeeming qualities
  • Deceitfulness is a plus

Based on this list, I have developed a short google survey, which I hope you will complete.

Update 1- My eye is back to normal, and my hair looks really good.
Update 2- I am holding my precious.

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