After Mom Started Bleeding Profusely, Baby Matthew Was Born

Nancy from Ohio had a manageable labor and speedy progression, until she started bleeding profusely. Upon her arrival to the hospital, a "silent" placental abruption was diagnosed and healthy, strong baby Matthew was born shortly thereafter. Read on for more about his eventful birth!
by Nancy

see more birth stories here!
Mom's story
I wanted to get my birth story typed up while things were still fresh in my mind; though I have no doubt I'll forget what we went through to bring Matthew into the world. I mentioned that I had lost my mucous plug a week ago today. I had been feeling contractions off and on Thursday, Friday and Saturday but they weren't really painful and were never regular. Scott and I did a massive clean of our house on Saturday and stocked up on food, anticipating that the baby would be coming soon. On Sunday, January 23, we finished up some cleaning and I played with Hannah most of the day while Scott watched football. We put Hannah down for a nap around 3 pm and I finally noticed that when I had a contraction, I would not only feel it in my back, but also down my thighs. I decided to lie down and relax to see if they were possibly "the real thing." My parents had still not arrived and I was getting worried they wouldn't be here.

Around 5 pm, I started having Scott time my contractions and they were mostly five minutes apart, but there were some stretches of eight minutes, some two minutes, still not very regular. I wanted to get in a hot bath so I filled the tub with steaming water and stretched out in there to try and allieviate some of the pain I was feeling. At this point, Scott put a call into my doctor's office and one of the OBs called back to talk to me. I then find out my OB is out of town until Tuesday, so I'm not going to have her there to delivery my baby. Bummer. Dr. King tells me to time my contractions for another 30 minutes or so and that she would let the hospital know to expect me sometime that evening.

My parents show up around 5:30 pm and I'm still in the tub and in some pain but it's never really unbearable. Hannah wakes up so Scott takes her downstairs to stay with my mom and dad and then we figured we would get ready to go to the hospital since we have a 35 minute drive ahead of us. When Scott comes back upstairs to help me out of the tub, he says, "Wow, Nance, you're losing something." I look down and the water is all bloody so I knew we had to move FAST. I wasn't sure what was happening but I got dressed as quickly as possible, all while having some pretty intense contractions that seemed to be on top of each other.

As we pass by the hospital in our city, I had a fleeting thought to just stop and go to the emergency room there because I could feel the urge to push and we had a drive ahead of us. I don't remember much of the drive to the hospital except that I was screaming in pain while squeezing Scott's hand. He later told me he was doing 80 MPH down the highway with his hazards on and he said everyone was getting out of his way! We pull into Riverside at the Emergency entrance and Scott gets me a wheelchair and helps me in. As I get out, I notice my butt was all wet so I thought maybe my water had finally broken but I found out later it wasn't amniotic fluid, but blood.

A woman starts to wheel me up to Labor & Delivery while Scott turns the car off and he luckily catches up with us at the elevator. We get to the floor and I'm moaning and telling them that I have to push. It seemed like they were all moving in slo-mo, asking stupid questions like my name and my insurance! Made me wonder what the point of pre-registering was! I get helped into a LDR room, get stripped down to nekkidness and have a gown put on for me. I must have four nurses in there helping me and I hear comments about how bloody my clothes are and how I'm dropping clots everywhere.

I am literally hanging on the edge of the bed on my side because it just felt good that way but they made me move towards the center of the bed so I could be checked. The nurse states I am at 9 cm and have a bulging bag. The house doctor comes in and the nurses try to talk her into breaking my water but she won't do it and says we have to wait for my doctor.

I continue to be monitored and breathe really well through contractions and don't feel the pain is as intensely. In between contractions I start hyperventilating so I'm breathing slowly in my hands to stop that and I'm asking for a shot of anything. They tell me they can't give me anything because I will be having the baby within the hour and any pain meds could be detrimental to baby and his breathing so I'm out of luck. It seemed like forever before the doctor from my practice shows up. I had only met her once, briefly, so she's introducing herself as she gets prepared to check me out.

Things are fuzzy after that. I remember her breaking my water and then doing an internal. She states that I am ready to push, so they get the bed ready for me to be able to do that. I feel really weird and still feel like things are moving in slow-motion as I scoot to the end of the bed and bear down with my next contraction. It didn't feel right and I could not seem to get my push done effectively. It was after two or three pushes that I notice major concern in everyone's voices and I see them wheel in the vacuum extractor and notice my doctor asking for something that turned out to be a internal fetal monitor.

I'm not sure what was going on but Dr. Miller started to insert the extractor and the damn thing was defective. It didn't do a thing. So she starts yelling that we've lost the heart rate and we have got to get the baby out NOW. It still didn't register with me what she was saying. It felt like an out of body experience. I have her in my face yelling to push as hard as I can, Scott is screaming to the right of me and he's crying :*(, and I have a nurse laying on top of me pushing down on my belly. I'm trying to push but I have zero energy and I'm crying, not sure what is happening. Dr. Miller gives me an episiotomy but there is no time to numb me first! I didn't feel it at the time but thinking about it later makes me wince. With the nurse pushing on my belly, my trying to push and the doctor opening me up wider, we get the baby out. After an eternity (five seconds), our baby boy starts breathing! So they call off the NICU and immediately put him under the warmer as everyone cheers with relief that he is okay.

Scott goes to check him out while I lay there spread-eagled trying to regain some strength. His apgars were eight and nine. At this point, Scott wants to decide what we should name him and I tell Scott he can make the call and he picks Matthew Scott. It takes 45 minutes to sew me up, thank god she does take the time to numb me for that.

We come to find out that the cause of the bleeding was a 30% abruption of my placenta. As I delivered the placenta, the doctor showed me where it had started breaking from my uterine wall and since that was where baby gets his oxygen and nutrients, that was why we needed to get him out as soon as possible. Had I been at the hospital when the bleeding had started, they would have had to perform an emergency section but because baby's head was engaged, it was too late and he had to come out vaginally. I was so weak from the amount of blood loss but my counts were high enough that I didn't have to be transfused.

After getting admitted to the floor where I would stay, they take Baby Matthew for monitoring and we find out he's 6 pounds 10 ounces and 18 3/4 inches long. His head circumference is 13 so he was small all around, but incredibly cute! I forgot to mention but while still in the LDR room, he nursed like a champ and he still has a vacuum suck. Breastfeeding is not a problem for sure! Matthew's big sister sees him for the first time through the glass and you can tell she's excited about having a new baby brother.

My regular OB comes to visit me to release me from the hospital and tells me what a scare I caused and how we're the talk of the ward. ;-) I asked her if there was any way we could've known about the abruption and she said that I had none of the risk factors -- high blood pressure, smoking or drug use -- that would put me at a higher risk for abruption to occur. She said the term for what I had is a "silent abruption."

We've been home for a couple of days now and settling in as a family of four. Hannah loves to hold her baby brother and gives him kisses all the time. Looking at each of their newborn pictures, it is incredible to see the resemblance!

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