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Old Sep 6th, 2016, 18:05 PM   1
NZKiwi
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Almost died after rare complication


I had an emergency c section, which was a traumatic birth for me (I was a planned home birth) after I was prescribed voltaran. 9 days later I had no appetite and I started to have black loose stools and severe back pain. My husband got me to hospital where they performed a procedure where they put a camera down my throat into my stomach, it turned out I had two stomach ulcers but as they were looking they actually ruptured and took out an artery. They were able to stop my bleeding but I did have three blood transfusions. I had been sedated for it but came to partially when I bled out, I remember vomiting and struggling violently and being held down, later I came to again and realised I was covered in blood and so was the bed (that's what I had been vomiting up) I was so hot and my chest was hurting and then I faded out of consciousness again. I ended up in the high dependency unit and in hospital for 6 days separated from my newborn. I wasn't allowed to bf or pump to keep my supply as I was so sick the surgeon's wanted my body's resources to go to healing not milk production. It turns out the bad acid reflux I had during pregnancy gave me stomach ulcers, then the voltaran after the c section ate into them and made them life threatening. I almost died in that procedure and was told had my husband not brought me into hospital I most likely would have collapsed and died at home. I now have flashback's and am in therapy for PTSD and pnd.

Just wondering if there are any other ladies recovering from near death experiences from their pregnancies or labour's and how they are coping etc, maybe we can talk here and share and have support (if it isn't to triggering of course)



 
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Old Sep 20th, 2016, 07:03 AM   2
Bevziibubble
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How scary! I don't have any advice but I'm so sorry that you went through this



 
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Old Sep 20th, 2016, 08:44 AM   3
caz_hills
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Oh my goodness you poor thing. Wishing you a quick recovery x



 
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Old Sep 22nd, 2016, 19:59 PM   4
justplay91
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Oh my god. I'm so sorry that happened to you. I hope you are doing better now. Unfortunately, I can relate.

When my son was born over two years ago now, I had a near death experience as well. The birth itself went great, but about two hours after he was born, I started to notice quite a bit of pain and pressure growing in my rectal/vaginal area. I told the nurse, and she took one look and ran out of the room to call my doctor. I apparently had a hematoma (which is basically like internal bleeding, under the skin) the size of a very large grapefruit, and growing fast. A hematoma isn't always a serious condition, but they couldn't tell where mine was bleeding from and it was quickly draining my already-diminished blood supply. It was around this time that I started getting very cold and shaky, and I began to lose consciousness. I heard them say I was going to need a blood transfusion. They were giving me all these different drugs to help my pain and to try and thicken my blood. Right before I went into surgery, I asked a nurse if I was going to be okay, and she said she honestly didn't know.

Thankfully, my wonderful Doctor was able to find the source of the bleed and and stop it. I was later told that if they hadn't been able to find it, I probably would have lost my entire uterus. If not worse. I received two blood transfusions, and they had more on hand in case I needed it. I spent 6 days in the hospital, but thankfully I was allowed to be with my baby. Unfortunately, because of all the trauma, my milk didn't come in until day 8 after birth, and once it did my son had already had to use bottles and wouldn't latch.

I definitely had PTSD from everything that happened on the day of my son's birth, as well as the long recovery (you never completely bounce back from a large grapefruit size swelling on your lady parts! ) They also made me feel like a freak of medicine, because none of the doctors or nurses had ever seen something like it before. Medical personnel from all over the labor ward were coming to see it (after my surgery, of course)! Luckily, now I can look back on it all and not feel so terrified when I think about it. I had a healing birth experience with my daughter. My son is okay, and I am okay. It's been a long road, but I'm honestly just glad it's over.

I can't imagine how hard it must have been for you, having to be away from your baby for so long, and to have had breastfeeding ripped away from you like that. I hope with some time to process everything that happened you will be able to come to be at peace with it. Birth/post birth PTSD is a very real thing!



 
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Old Sep 27th, 2016, 12:33 PM   5
SarahP13
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Gosh that sounds scary NZKiwi, I'm sorry you're still struggling with it but I can understand why. Unfortunately I too had a near death experience with my first, a story similar to yours Justplay.

I had a 30 hr active labour with DD1, after about 20 hrs labour going from 3cm to only 6cm I was in agony with no break between contractions. I eventually gave in and had an epidural, it took three attempts to get it correctly inserted as my contractions were so strong and non stop. They also put me on the drip to strengthen the contractions to help me get to full dilation. After another 10 hrs I was at 9cm but not progressing so had to agree to a c section. When they tested my feeling I could feel too much so had to have a spinal, another three attempts to get it working and it was still borderline as to whether I could feel too much but we decided to go ahead. I could feel as they cut through the layers and I was in tears as they were trying to pull her out (she was stuck so far down the birth canal!) as it was painful. It was such a relief when I got to see her and I was thrilled to have got through it.

They lay her on my chest but then I started shaking and it felt like my chest was caving in, my blood pressure went mad and I was going into shock. They asked my husband to leave with DD as I was bleeding so much. I was starting to panic and begged them to give me a general anaesthetic but the anaesthetist basically said the surgeon had to stop while he put me under and that the surgeon really couldn't stop right then. I could actually see blood dripping onto the floor from the table. After what felt like hours but was probably only a few minutes, I was finally put under and honestly felt like that was the end for me.

Two hours later I woke up in recovery with DD attached to my boob!! Very strange sensation having never breastfed before. It turns out that my uterus had basically collapsed (instead of contracting slowly as they are 'meant' to do!). I'd lost loads of blood and had to have four transfusions. OH had asked at one point if I might have to have a hysterectomy and the nurse had said that wasn't even being considered as they were too busy trying to save my life- that shocked him massively I think. I had a ridiculous amount of wires coming out of me, my mum (who was a nurse for 40+ yrs) said she'd never seen anyone with more wires. Drips, pain killers, antibiotics, I had three wires coming out between my legs! Including one attached to a balloon which was keeping my uterus inflated.
At one point a nurse needed to take some blood and had to go between my toes as I had no veins available anywhere else!!

My milk didn't come in until day 8 because of the blood loss but DD was a ferocious feeder (9lb7.5oz!!) so with colostrum and a formula top up we kept going and by day 10 she was exclusively on the breast. I am so grateful to OH, my mum and a wonderful midwife that they put her to my breast while I was unconscious rather than give her a bottle. I spent four nights in hospital- one night with a midwife sitting with me constantly to monitor me, a further night in a private labour room for monitoring every hour and two more on the ward. I had an amazing recovery though, OH went back to work after two weeks and I was driving within three weeks.

So a year later I get pregnant again, decide on a vbac. Had a fab labour and birth (8hrs from first contraction to birth and only with gas and air). Thought I could finally put the nightmare of DD1's birth behind me. An hour after birth I started bleeding and going into shock. The midwives deduce I have some retained placenta and rush me to theatre. I have a spinal, all is relatively calm and they are 'clearing me out' without too much panic. Then my uterus collapses again!!! More blood loss (although far less and no transfusions required) and another balloon in to inflate uterus. Two nights in hospital though and I was fit as a fiddle.

This time (bonkers enough to do it again!) it's a planned section, as little stress on the uterus as possible. Surgeons will know all my history and have blood to hand. In theory all should be well!

I'm terrified!

X



 
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Old Sep 27th, 2016, 13:27 PM   6
sophxx
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sorry you was so poorly. hope your therapy helps your ptsd.



 
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Old Sep 28th, 2016, 22:45 PM   7
justplay91
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Wow SarahP13, that is a truly terrifying story. I know all too well the feeling of being put under general anesthetic and honestly thinking that was the end. And then waking up attached to every machine under the sun. That's so amazing that you were able to breastfeed, though! Amazing thinking on your DH and mom's part to latch her on ASAP. So scary that it happened to you again. I consider myself very lucky that my 2nd labor recovery went much better than my first. I didn't take it for granted, though. Sadly I think when you've had an experience like this, you always know in the back of your mind that it can happen again.



 
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Old Sep 29th, 2016, 03:10 AM   8
SarahP13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justplay91 View Post
Wow SarahP13, that is a truly terrifying story. I know all too well the feeling of being put under general anesthetic and honestly thinking that was the end. And then waking up attached to every machine under the sun. That's so amazing that you were able to breastfeed, though! Amazing thinking on your DH and mom's part to latch her on ASAP. So scary that it happened to you again. I consider myself very lucky that my 2nd labor recovery went much better than my first. I didn't take it for granted, though. Sadly I think when you've had an experience like this, you always know in the back of your mind that it can happen again.
The things we put ourselves through to have kids! I swear if men gave birth then the population would decrease massively

I can honestly say that being able to breastfeed made a huge difference in my acceptance of how terrible the birth was. I felt like I'd failed hugely and if I'd failed at breastfeeding too then that would have pushed me over the edge. Obviously the rational part of me knows I didn't fail at giving birth and, had I not been able to breastfeed, that wouldn't have been a failure either (I would be so angry with someone else who thought they'd failed having been through a traumatic birth!) but hormones are not rational!

Bizarrely I'd read a story about a woman who was keen to breastfeed and the midwife put the baby to her breast when she was unconscious after a section and mentioned it to my husband. I never dreamed for a second that I would be in a similar position but he remembered the story so when my mum suggested it he jumped at it. The midwife was happy to do it but needed reassurance from him that I'd be ok with it.

Can I ask, did your son stay with you while you were recovering? I know some US hospitals take babies to nurseries etc. DD only left my side twice in hospital, both times she was right outside having cuddles with the midwives while I napped for an hour. I'm sure that helped with the feeding.

I hope both of you ladies are feeling better about things now. You've done truly amazing things and should be proud that you are great mums. Talking about it definitely helps (even 5.5 yrs later.) Time helps too.



 
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Old Sep 29th, 2016, 06:11 AM   9
NZKiwi
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Hi, wow, scary experiences. Glad to see you have both gone on to have more children. Did either of you have anxiety around that decision? Justplay glad your second was uncomplicated. I worry about what my experience could mean medically for another pregnancy and labour. Especially since I will be offered an elective c section and I'm not allowed any antiinflammatories at all ever.

Sarah re the breastfeeding thing, I had huge feelings of guilt and disappointment around it, because of the trauma of the labour my milk took a week to come in, after the drama with my ulcers I had to work very hard to build my supply back up, but I have gotten there.

I've been doing better with counselling, although the sudden passing of one of my aunt's in tragic circumstances triggered my PTSD quite bad, but generally the flashback's have stopped. Unfortunately my ulcers are back, but obviously no where near as bad, they were so severe that the medication i was on for ten weeks following my hospitalisation didn't completely heal them so I have another two months of medication

Justplay, how is your PTSD? Did your second positive experience help?



 
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Old Sep 29th, 2016, 22:18 PM   10
justplay91
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SarahP13, yes they allowed my son to stay in the room with me. In fact, I think in the entirety of my hospital stay, they only took him once for his hearing test and brought him right back. Even when I was recovering from my surgery and blood transfusions, they wheeled his little cot into the recovery room to be with me. I loved that about my hospital. Still can't believe the presence of mind your husband had in that situation! So awesome of him to think of breastfeeding, even when he was probably so shaken up and worried about you surviving.

NZkiwi, I definitely had a lot of anxiety about getting pregnant again. I know I certainly suffered with PTSD in regards to hospitals and all medical situations for awhile. The decision to have another was a hard one, but I knew that my anxiety probably wasn't going to go away any time soon, and I definitely wanted my son to have siblings. So we bit the bullet and went for it. My pregnancy, especially towards the end, was rough. Stepping into the hospital I had been near death in almost gave me a panic attack. When I did go into labor and gave birth, my wonderful Doctor made sure to warn the nurses to keep a very close eye on me for the next few hours. Normally my hospital has a policy where they kick out any visitors and let mom and dad have a "golden hour" with just them and the baby, but in my situation they let my mom stay. When nothing happened for a few hours, I really began to relax. They kept a close eye on me for the night, but luckily everything went fine. And we were out of the hospital in 24 hours! It was truly a healing experience.

Has your doctor/midwife said anything about what they will do to prevent a similar problem with your ulcers if/when you do get pregnant again? Just reflux medicine maybe to keep them from getting bad? My FIL has had emergency issues with bleeding out from ulcers as well. I know it can be extremely scary. The plus side is, they know what to look for and what not to give you medicine wise.



 
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