I Wish I Had Known.

My pregnancy was largely picturesque. Full-term, healthy weight all around, only one stress-related preterm scare. The day was March 17, 2004. I was 21 years of age, expecting a little girl.

I had been awake since 8:30 am on March 16. Having gotten ready for bed, I was increasingly uncomfortable. I cooed to my daughter to come on out, as she was nearing 3 days overdue. It felt like she was stretching hard into my ribs. I stuck it out until the morning, calling my grandmother to come and get me. I checked into my prenatal's office to see if I could get my appointment moved to that day. Watching how I walked, they sent me across the street to the hospital. I had no idea I would be admitted at that moment.

The nurse immediately brought in a fetal monitor and ultrasound. She noted there was distress and that my contractions were 5-10 seconds apart. There is not too much I remember about the rest of the labor, given how much everyone was scurrying around the room. My boyfriend was there, terrified something had happened to our girl. I remember them saying she wasn't in birthing position, my water breaking an hour after laying in that bed, and the doctor ordering the heaven-sent blessing in the form of an epidural. Mom said I was thrashing around from the pain. I don't remember it. I was running on adrenaline, fumes, and determination to bring that little girl into the world. The nurse didn't even have a chance to fully clean up the epidural supplies, when I had to push. I got her out.

I didn't respond when she didn't cry. I was too out of it.

By God's grace, the little black and blue human started breathing on her own, regaining color. They took her away for nearly 4 hours while I was cleaned up, moved to a room, and given a chance to come down from the rush. She was monitored and cleaned up. When I finally got to see her, she was perfect. ..and then, she shivered. I thought she was cold. I bundled her up more snugly. I'd later find out, that was a Grand Mal. She was moved to the NICU that night, due to the seizures. She had some blood on her brain from when I pushed her out. The abruption had pushed the blood back into her body. I went home the next day, she stayed another week for testing.

I still don't know what caused the abruption. Stress? Prior miscarriage? Just because? Who knows? She is now 8 years old, with a minor case of Cerebral Palsy. We found out that you can get little ones into physical therapy nearly immediately. Our girl was 2 weeks old when she was sent to a pediatric physical therapist. I think that helped lock-out and changed a whole bunch of things that could have happened.

I know that if someone who knows me reads this, they'll know exactly which little girl I'm talking about. I'm also hoping that sharing this can help someone, somehow. To know that there are resources out there for newborns..to know that this can happen to anyone of any age.
FrenchFried FrenchFried
1 Response Jan 11, 2013

Thank you for sharing your story. I, too, suffered a placental abruption and my labor was extremely traumatic. Thankfully both my daughter and I made it through unharmed. I am so glad both you and your daughter survived. My daughter is 5 years old now and I still have times when it is difficult to deal with my trauma during labor.