Monroe’s Birth Story (*Trigger Warning*)

I’ve retyped this story dozens of times. I wish I could rewind this story as quickly as hitting the backspace button. Restart Roe’s birthday again like starting a new paragraph.

I’m telling my story because:

  1. So many have asked for the details.
  2. To remind you that life is precious and shouldn’t be taken for granted.

I’m officially into chapter (month) 10 of motherhood. The pages/days keep rolling, and I’m officially ready to tell this story. 

Naturally, any story needs a bit of context, right?

The Preface

I had a horrible, messy, tiring, yet beautiful pregnancy. Horrible because I was so sick. Like, lost over 17 pounds, close to hospitalization sick. Messy because my dear ole mom bod decided I can’t handle insulin and was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. And tiring because…well, I’m creating a human! Regardless, it was amazing and empowering, and I really did love it.

Because of my gestational diabetes, I was on medication. These meds aren’t great for a baby so the second I hit 38 weeks and Roe’s lungs were deemed mature, we planned to induce.

The Beginning

It was a Thursday. I was wearing my favorite maternity biker shorts, and I walked into the hospital so hopeful, excited, and genuinely calm.

I was not dilated at all and was 0% effaced. I was warned this induction could be long because I was going early, and my body wasn’t naturally ready for labor.

I took all the doses of Cytotec I could take in 24 hours, but was still dialed at a 0. (But holy contractions!) We moved on to another medicine (Cervidil) overnight. And woke up to…you guessed it…zero dilation.

At this point, we had been trying for 36+ hours to START labor with no success. My doctor decided to send me home and try again in 48 hours. I was minutes from being discharged when my water broke….all over my beloved UGG slippers. (RIP my fuzzy feet pillows!)

The Middle

In hindsight, this was the calm before the storm. I got my epidural, napped, Jacob and I played cards, and we had the BEST nurse. It was picture-perfect. 

I started pushing around 7 pm, and dare I say I had fun?! Because I truly enjoyed it.

At 8:18, our beautiful baby girl was placed into my arms. It was the best 3 minutes of my life…until it wasn’t. 

Until I saw my doctor sit up straighter and a labor nurse go pale. Until my birthing mirror was pushed aside. Until my doctor told me that I was losing too much blood, and she couldn’t see what was happening. 

How can the best moment turn into the scariest moment of your life? How can my baby be taken from me so quickly after I just carried her for 38 weeks and labored so long for her?

At this point, my doctor told Jacob to call my mom and tell her to get here quickly. To make the call fast so he could spend every last second with me.

The room turned to chaos as nurses were scrambling to get me ready for surgery. And all I could think about was whyyyy why whyyyy is this happening to me? Why am I not comforting my crying baby right now? Did I really just agree to have a hysterectomy should I need it? Did I just have my one and only child? Will I ever get to hold my baby again? Or wake up next to my best friend and husband?

The last image I have of Jacob was his determined face to be the best dad and sorrowful eyes as he held our crying baby and signed countless surgery release papers. 

Well, I’m alive, obviously. And I didn’t have a hysterectomy, miraculously.

My doctor is my new favorite person. A quite literal angel on earth. Because she saved my cervix, uterus, and my life, with no hysterectomy scar. Yep, ANGEL!

In the days that followed, we learned how seriously close to dying I was. I became that Grey’s Anatomy patient where all the staff comes by to see the anonymity.

Because it turns out, I had a cervical avulsion. Which quite literally means my cervix completely detached from my uterus, or as my doctor said, “rolled out of me like a cinnamon roll.” (Cinnamon is ruined for me forever, BTW.)

It’s apparently extremely rare. My doctor of 14+ years hadn’t repaired one ever, my anesthesiologist of 40+ years had never seen one, and my nurse didn’t even know what it was. You won’t find a Wikipedia page about it, just some research papers doctors wrote of their first-hand experience. 

It took nearly 5 hours to repair, and I ended up losing nearly half my blood.

The Ending

I wish I could say I woke up optimistic and thankful.

But I wasn’t. I was in shock to be alive. I was confused about what went wrong. I was in so much physical pain I couldn’t breathe. I was so swollen that I didn’t even have to blink — my eyelids were that puffy.

I felt guilty for missing Roe’s first day of life. I felt unworthy to be a mother. I was so desperately sad I missed so many of her firsts. I waited countless days to see Jacob become a dad and to see him hold her, and that moment was stolen from me.

I dreamed of feeding my baby with my body only to be told I lost so much blood, my body might not produce milk. (PTL, it came in… 6 weeks later through relactation. But that’s a story for another time.)

Imagine finally waking up from surgery and asking to hold your baby. Why am I having to ask this? Shouldn’t she already be in my arms? I felt like such a fraud. 

The Afterward

It’s not fair. Truthfully, ten months later, and I still panic when I think about this moment. Birth trauma is real. But I’m dealing with it. I’m still mourning the moments I didn’t have.

Monroe is my world. She has brought me perspective. She’s taught me patience and grace. How could a 7lb, 9oz baby quickly become my world?

Nearly losing your life does give you perspective. I’m thankful for that. And I really would do it all over again just to have her.

All in all…I’m grateful. I’m happy. I’m honored. I’m blessed.

This story isn’t easy. Thanks for reading it and being on this journey with me. Now go hug your loved ones extra tight! 😉

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