My Labor, Delivery, and Postpartum Hemorrhage Experience.


Arriving at the hospital


My boyfriend and I woke up early Thursday morning and made it to the hospital about 5:30 AM. I had been contracting for several weeks now, but they weren't getting any closer together. Staying at ten minutes apart, I was over it, and was ready to meet my baby girl. At registration, we were both given masks, and asked those famous C19 questions. Have you traveled in the last 21 days? Have you had a fever, chills, or headache? Have you been around anyone with symptoms or anyone who has tested positive for C19? Have you been tested for C19? All of which I am grateful that I was able to answer with a "No". We were escorted to the second floor elevators and best wishes along with a congratulations was given.


When we made it to the second floor, we were greeted by a labor and delivery nurse who took us to the room in which I would be welcoming our daughter. I was given a gown, asked to change, and then I sat down on the bed. A few minutes went by and she came back to hook me up to the monitor just to see about my contractions and to also start an IV with antibiotics because I was GBS positive. They were getting closer. I was monitored for about 20 minutes, then I was encouraged to walk around for a bit. When my midwife came to check me, I was four cm dilated. Which was good. We made the decision to do a membrane sweep to see if we could move things along some. I had this done with my eight year old and it helped out a lot.


Intense


After the membrane sweep I could definitely feel the intensity of the contractions picking up. My boyfriend and I walked some more, went back for more monitoring, and my water was broken. Which was a decision that both my midwife and I made. Again I had done this with both pregnancies before this. My water has never broken on it's own so I was okay with that choice. I remember the pain but I also remember saying I wanted to do this natural. I had two epidurals before and I had also delivered without one so I knew I was capable. But then the contractions started to hurt, really, REALLY bad. My boyfriend has always been attentive, but today he was more so that usual and I greatly appreciated it, I needed it. "I think I need some drugs." I remember saying. He went to get the nurse and I was given some Fentanyl, which immediately made me feel drunk but did nothing for the discomfort I felt. "I think I need an epidural. I don't think I can do this." I said while I held on to the bed rail.


My midwife came in and asked to check me to see where I was. Guess what? No epidural for me. I was already at a 9! "Tiffany look at me, you've expressed to me that you wanted to do this natural. You are strong and you've done this before, you can do it again. We will help you." Kindest words ever but I was in pain. My boyfriend agreed. He told me I can do it.....and so I began my epidural free delivery. My boyfriend, midwife, and nurse, guided me through each contraction. They took the time to lead me through each breath. After what seemed like forever she was out. Eight pounds, one ounce, and 20 inches. I did it! I wanted to ask about keeping the placenta and cord attached to her for some time afterwards. I had done some research about the benefits but I was in so much pain I forgot about it. My boyfriend however didn't. I remember being in between a contraction and he asked her about it. She was in agreement so we were able to accomplish that.


Chaos


Thinking back I remember my midwife mentioning something about me bleeding. I was so in love holding my new precious baby that I didn't chime in too well. I sat there after she was done and started to feel bleeding. Squirting out here and there. I asked about it and I was checked, it seemed like everything was fine. My nurse asked me if I wanted to get up and try using the restroom. I wanted to because my bladder felt so full. We made our way to the bathroom and I started going but I never stopped. I remember calling out to my nurse who had left to get some things for me. I felt dizzy and nauseated.I was bleeding out. Just like that I lost consciousness. When I came to there was a team of people frantically trying to get me from the bathroom to the bed. "How many fingers am I holding up?" The nurse asked. "Two," I responded. "What's your name?" She asked. "Tiff..." I was out again. When I came to I remember looking up at the ceiling and saying, "I'm not dying today." My girls faces all started to flash in front of me. All I could think to do was fight. I had to fight. They finally got me to the bed and the team I had was absolutely amazing!!! They did everything in their power to save me. I laid there looking at my boyfriend and my baby. I was thinking about all the women who had gone through this and not made it. They continued to talk to me and work on me all while keeping my boyfriend calm.


Postpartum Hemorrhage


I laid in the bed and started to hear dripping. I was bleeding again. I had lost 1/3 of the blood in my body so I ended up having a blood transfusion after everything was said and done. I laid there looking up at the blood that was coming into my body via IV and thinking back to earlier when I completed the paperwork to either receive or deny the transfusion in case something happened. I was coming around slowly but surely. After I started to feel some what better the nausea came back. I was given so many medications to help with the bleeding so I'm not sure what caused the nausea. I was hot and cold, then hot and cold. The nurse looked at me and put both hands on my face. "How do you feel?" she asked. "I'm feeling a little better." She looked at me directly in both eyes and said, "you scared the crap out of me. You can't go anywhere you've got that little one over there."

Postpartum Hemorrhage is the number one cause of maternal mortality in the United States. Even more so among women of color. I've read so many stories about women who have delivered their babies and for various reasons not making it.


Still Here


To my understanding postpartum hemorrhage is extremely rare and not many providers are trained to properly handle events such as this. I will definitely be a voice for this and how important it is to have the tools and training necessary to save mother's lives.

I would be lying if I said the events don't replay in my mind. I'm sure they will for some time to come. I'm ecstatic to have made it through something so traumatic.My faith was always strong and it's only grown stronger. I honestly feel like my team made all the difference. My team at the hospital sprung into action. My team saved my life. I remember praying and calling in the right team for me to deliver my baby and take care of me. I was provided just that.


Until next time sending you peace, love and light

Tiffany Underwood

Certified Health Coach (Pregnancy and Postpartum Support)


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