David's Birth Story

David was born in 1989 in Steubenville, OH at the hospital. This was a planned pregnancy, I had an ob/gyn and I was seen once a month. I had an ultrasound and blood work. I took prenatal vitamins. We had taken our first Lamaze birthing class and I was planning on a vaginal birth and an epidural. The very next night, I was laying on the couch watching LA Law, I got up to go see the new ceiling fan in what was to become the nursery and my water broke. This was very shocking and scary as I was not due for another 4 weeks. I changed a couple of times but we finally gave up and settled for sitting on towels in the car as my husband drove me to the hospital.

I was admitted immediately, put on all kinds of monitors and was not allowed out of bed. I had relatively minor contractions throughout the night. In addition to be scared and upset I spent a lot of time on a bedpan which was very embarrassing. The doctor called and talked to me, talked to the nurses, and said he would see me in the morning. The thought was to wait and see what happens, he wanted to give my baby more time in the womb, wanted to see if I would stabilize and if the contractions would subside. By about 9am the following morning I had dilated to about 2-3 centimeters, had a slight fever, my baby was in distress (heart rate, fever, and breathing) and there was a fear of infection since there was meconium present. My baby had decided he wanted out and he wanted out now. I needed an emergency C-section and while I believe it saved both of our lives it was a horribly traumatic experience.

I was given a spinal block, so I could be awake for the birth, and believe me I wish they had knocked me out instead. In addition to still being very painful, I could feel every cut, every stitch, every staple, and it felt really weird when they pulled out my son. Then it got worse. Everyone got really quiet, my husband started crying, and they rushed him and my newborn out of the room. The Doctor told me that my son was in distress and needed immediate medical attention, I did not see him. I do not know how I would have made it through the rest of the surgery without the anesthesiologist- he held my hands, gave me comfort and got me through. The next I remember I was in recovery and my mom was there, I was in ALOT of pain but I had to wait until the spinal block wore off before I could be given more pain medication. I am not sure when I found out that my son was born with a birth defect, a complete bilateral cleft lip and palate, weighed under 5 pounds and had severe jaundice. I do know that they wouldn’t let me out of bed and they wouldn’t bring my baby to me, I finally said either they take me to him or I was walking to the nursery myself. I finally met my son that evening.

He was in the hospital for about two weeks, I was released after a couple of days, although I kind of lived at the hospital afterwards so I could be with him and do his feedings. My parents came up and stayed to help. Given his condition I was unable to breast feed, nor could I convince my breasts to give up their milk. They gave me a pill and bound my breasts. It was rough, I had a minor bout of postpartum depression just to complicate everything a little further. When he was 5 pounds we took him home and called him our little sack of sugar. He had his first major surgery at 3 months and pretty much had some sort of procedure every year after that until he was 18 years old, everything was elective after that and he decided enough was enough.

He is a great son, we made it through all the complications and he is now a successful young man with his own business, a self-proclaimed Pizza King. So even though it was a rough beginning it all worked out very nicely in the end.