Friday, 16 July 2010

Orson's birth... and death

This is the story of Orson's birth.

Thursday had been a good day. No bleeding and Orson moved a lot. I woke up at 7:30 am. Friday and again Orson moved. Since I was tired I went back to sleep. At 9:30 I woke up with a mild ache low in my pelvis. It lasted 1 or 2 seconds. Half an hour later and I felt another. I had a routine appointment at midday, thought I felt Orson move and was convinced this wasn't labour. It didn't feel like the contractions I had felt with my first son. My bump did not get at all tight.

So I carried on as normal. My partner took our son to nursery and I got ready. A few minutes before I was about to leave I noticed the pain was worse and more frequent. But still it didn't feel like a contraction and the pain was mild.

When I got to the hospital I asked to be seen immediately. I asked for paracetamol. Still not realising I was in labour. They scanned me and found a heartbeat and absolutely no fluid. Orson was still transverse possibly a bit oblique. During the 5 minute scan the pain intensified dramatically and came every 2 minutes. The midwife realised I was in labour. I was shocked it felt nothing like with my first son.

The midwife left me and my partner in the scan room and went to call the labour and delivery ward. She was gone less than 5 minutes. By the time she came back the pain was almost unbearable and when I tried to move I felt very sick and dizzy. They got me a wheelchair and took me down to the new ward in the lift. By now I was screaming and begging them to help the pain stop. Unlike with my first son it just did not ease it felt constant then occasionally got worse.

They scanned me again. By now I was surrounded by doctors and midwives. I didn't notice who scanned me first, then a doctor scanned me and I saw her whisper no heartbeat to my consultant. My consultant scanned me, before she could start I said "you can't find a heartbeat can you?" she said no and said she was going to scan me thoroughly and would be very quiet while she did. She found nothing. Orson had died in the 10 minutes or so it took me to get to the labour and delivery ward.

It must have been about midday. They checked and I was 8cm dilated. They gave me pethidine and then they explained that Orson was still in a bad position for delivery but they were going to try their best to let me deliver vaginally as a c-secton would have a bigger impact on me and could effect future pregnancies.

An anaesthetist gave me an epidural. It was so hard to stay still for that whilst I was in so much pain. But when it finally worked it was great.

They put a cannula in each hand. They started me on IV antibiotics as they decided I looked very ill. They took blood samples etc.

I didn't cry. I think I must have been in shock. I was just numb. By 5:30 they checked me again. I was fully dilated. Orson's arm had prolapsed. He was still in a vary bad position. They scanned me again. A consultant told me that he would try and move Orson but that it would be very difficult because my uterus had never grown any bigger than him because I had never had enough fluid. My bicornuate uterus made it even harder. I was told if they couldn't move him I would need a c-section.

They prepared me for a c-section. S put on his blue scrubs. I was told the risk of a c-section and signed the consent form. The only risk I recall was one which led to hysterectomy. I just remember thinking, no I want another child, please no.

It was about now that I realised I felt very cold and was shaking uncontrollably. They took my temperature, it was about 38.7 degrees C. They put me on a paracetamol drip. They took more blood samples and cultures before they wheeled me to theatre.

I have never been so scared as I was in theatre. They gave me a spinal which meant I was completely numb from my arms down and had a big sheet up to stop me seeing anything. S sat one side of my head the anaesthetist the other. So so scary.

It was half six when the Consultant told me he had delivered Orson. He was breech. He then had to manually remove the placenta.

S saw Orson first whilst still in theatre. I chose to wait. I didn't want him far away though. Whilst they wheeled me to my room they pushed Orson in his little cot.

He looked big to me. Not like the small premature baby I had expected. He was the same weight as the average 34 week old premature baby, 4 lb 11 oz. I kept him in my room until about 3 or 4 the next day. The midwives lifted him out of his cot three times for me to hold. One unwrapped his blanket to show me his foot and hand. So small but perfect. It was so hard to say goodbye. To tell him I loved him and that I was sorry. My partner told me to hold him as long as I wanted but I knew they had to take him away because I didn't ever want to let him go.

I had to stay in hospital another two nights. The first night I couldn't leave the bed, the spinal took ages to wear off and I had a catheter. In the morning I felt dizzy and sick. My blood pressure was very low so they gave me saline. I was on IV antibiotics until the night before I was discharged.

My stomach hurt loads because they had manipulated me so much. I also tore and had stitches.

Leaving hospital without Orson was heartbreaking. I hate how I can't look after him anymore.

They told me I had a staph infection in hospital. I was on oral antibiotics when I came out for a week. Now I'm just on iron tablets. The combination of birth and masses of blood tests they ran on me made me anaemic.

My stomach doesn't ache any more. It just hurts low down in my pelvis if it's pressed. I am incredibly sore where I tore and everywhere else down there. It is very painful using the toilet and walking around for very long. Much worse than with my first son. They reckon it is because it was so difficult to manipulate Orson my bladder and everything else down there got bruised. I was told to give it another two weeks and then to see my GP if the pain is no better.

We have arranged Orson's funeral for the 30th July. I should have been 34 weeks by then...

I said yesterday that I get sad and think of Orson every hour but as I said it I realised it is more than that, it's just that I only lose it and actually cry once an hour. Orson and the sadness is always there. I wouldn't want anybody to go through this. To not be able to hear your baby cry, to see him move, to tell him you love him is truly awful.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Email sent on 10th July informing a work colleague of Orson's death

Copy of an e-mail sent to a work colleague shortly after I had Orson, I was still in hospital at the time.


Our son, Orson, died on friday during labour.

I'm still in hospital being treated for infection. I hope to go home
later today.

It's very very hard to cope at the moment, but that is a really
inadequate way to describe how bad it is.

Orson looked perfect and weighed 4lb 11oz.

I will write more when i'm home.

Please let everyone in work know.


Thursday, 8 July 2010

31 weeks pregnant. A whole day without going to the hospital?

I am 31 weeks pregnant today.

I was back at the hospital again last night. I was worried about the baby's movements. The midwife found the heartbeat instantly, nobody has ever found it so quick! They monitored the heart rate for 55 minutes and I felt him move a couple times. The doctor then asked for me to be monitored for another 40 minutes as there had been a deceleration probably caused by cord compression. But the second trace was fine so I came home sometime after midnight.

Everything has been okay so far today, in fact there have been lots of movements but we'll see, it seems this week I'm destined to visit the hospital every day! If I don't go today my routine appointment is tomorrow.

M and S came with me to the hospital yesterday as I wanted S there in case it was bad news. It was M's second time in the Labour and Delivery ward, the last time was 2 1/2 years ago when he was born there!

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Passed a clot today

I spent this morning in hospital after passing a clot. Apart from that I felt fine. They tried their best to terrify me. The midwife spent 10 minutes failing to find the baby's heart beat on a ctg monitor, then failed to find it using a sonicaid. Then called a consultant who turned up with an ultrasound machine looking very concerned. She kept asking when I last felt the baby move. After 5 minutes she couldn't find the heartbeat and went off to find someone else to look. Eventually they found it, and monitored him on the ctg for 20 minutes and all was fine. They reckon the lack of fluid and lower powered ultrasound machine made it difficult to find the heartbeat. I reckon it's that consultants just don't do ultrasounds very often!

They reckon that there is about a 5% increased chance of a further bleed and the consultant advised me to stay overnight to be observed. But I didn't feel like they did anything last time this happened when I was in hospital so didn't stay. I'm not far from the hospital (10 minute walk and i would get S to drive so it would probably be quicker) and will call/ go there with the slightest concern. The midwife said she couldn't say for certain I would make it to the hospital in time but she said that would always be the case. My main concern was if something happened whilst I was asleep but the midwife reckoned I would wake up and anyway if I was in hospital I would have to sleep and nobody would check on me during the night.

So I'm just going to watch myself extremely carefully. Hope I made the right decision!

Monday, 5 July 2010

30 weeks pregnant & had a show

I had another hospital appointment today. I am 30 weeks and 4 days pregnant. Blood tests as normal. They did a trace on the baby, all ok. They also did a scan to check fluid levels. First the midwife did it and came up with the highest fluid level I've had since my waters broke. So I asked my consultant to recheck it as I didn't believe it and I was sadly right. The midwife had been measuring pockets of cord so still no fluid.

I asked the consultant whether I should be worried about cord compression because of the lack of fluid and she just said that the baby's lung development is still far more worrying. She discussed when I should deliver assuming nothing happens before and she seems to be thinking 37 weeks in the hope that some how a bit of extra time will help with lung development. But she also said that any concerns after 34 weeks no matter how small and they will deliver. She is going to discuss this with 2 of her colleagues and let me know.

I get the impression that the most likely outcome even if I get to 37 weeks which seems unlikely is that they still won't be able to help him when he's born. It's frightening, but they just can't tell how his lungs will be until he's here.

Reading this back it seems really depressing doesn't it? But I'm actually ok. I was much more scared when I woke up this morning. Loads of blood loss in the fluid and then what the consultant reckoned could be a mucous plug/show. And to make me more scared the baby decided to pick this morning to be really quiet and not move!

Friday, 2 July 2010

30 weeks pregnant after PPROM, more decelerations of the baby's heart rate

My hospital appointment went okay today. No real changes since Tuesday. But I am now 30 weeks pregnant and one day.

There is still no fluid around the baby, still transverse presentation. Blood and swab results were okay.

The heart rate trace on the baby was okay. Again there was a deceleration in the baby's heart rate but they told me the same as last Tuesday they said it's just because of cord compression and it's going to keep happening. I'll ask the consultant about it on Monday when I see her. But I think unless it stays low for a long time they will not do anything about it as it's better for the baby not to be delivered yet.