Remy’s Birth Story
Hi guys! I’m glad I was able to sit down and get this written before too much time had passed. It’s definitely a different experience than when I had Miles (which you can read about here if you want), but the end result is the same — a brand new, beautiful addition to our family. I hope you enjoy!
I knew Remy would be delivered via c-section at my follow up ultrasound at 28 weeks. They had already discovered my complete placenta previa at 20 weeks, and in checking for its movement at 28 weeks, they not only confirmed it hadn’t moved, but also that it looked like my placenta had attached to the uterine wall, a condition known as placenta accreta.
I had mentally prepared for needing another c-section, even though this time it wasn’t really what I wanted. It took me awhile to accept the second diagnosis, which you can read more about here to better understand the type of surgery I had to deliver Remy.
Delivery was scheduled for December 2, 2020, which I was actually really excited about because I loved the numerical look of it (12/02/2020). Two days before, I received the first of two steroid shots that were given to help speed up the development of her lungs. I also had to go for a COVID test (negative) and some routine bloodwork for them to assess before the delivery. I was also given some large antimicrobial wipes to use the night before surgery. The day before, I received the second steroid shot (both were in my glutes so heads up if you end up getting them 🙂 ).
We needed to be at the hospital by 6 am, with surgery loosely scheduled between 8-9 am. I wasn’t allowed any food or drink after midnight. The night before, I took a shower, wiped myself down with the antimicrobial wipes, and went to bed. I had set my alarm for 5 am, but woke up on my own at 4 am, which isn’t really surprising given what was on the agenda for the day. We eventually got up, got ready, said bye to my mom and sister (and Donut!), and headed to the hospital. I’m really grateful that my mom and sister were able to stay throughout that week to help look after Miles and just be a supportive presence.
Thankfully, the hospital is only 10-15 min away from us, so we parked, checked in, and were taken to a room where I changed into a hospital gown and hung out for a bit (also had to wipe myself down again with the same wipes as the night before). We filled out Remy’s birth certificate, answered a lot of questions from nurses, and went with the flow of whoever came in to talk to us.
Because of the uncertainty of my case, there were a LOT of introductions from different departments, which continued even into the operating room. It was definitely nice to feel so well cared for, but also overwhelming to know that so many people would be there for the procedure. I was also assured that there was plenty of blood for me in the room in case I ended up needing it.
In a normal c-section, nurses place an IV or two in your wrist and that’s it. In my situation, because they needed to be prepared for a potential blood transfusion and to put me completely under if they needed to perform a hysterectomy, my setup was a little different. The anesthesiology department came to place my IVs themselves, and I was given looks and pats of pity by nurses three separate times because of the size of needles the would have to use. So comforting. 🙂
Anesthesiology came and placed three IVs – one in each arm and the third into an artery in my wrist. The arterial line was to monitor in real-time my blood pressure and to draw labs instantly if they needed them. This way they wouldn’t have to constantly have a blood pressure cuff hooked up and could get a reading every time my heart beat. The first IV did not want to cooperate and it took three tries plus an ultrasound view to get it in. The second went in fine and the arterial line also went in smoothly. Neil and I actually had a really great time making jokes and laughing with the doctors, who had apparently been “looking forward to my case all week,” which I think set the tone for the rest of the time there.
All of this happened between when we got settled at the hospital and when we actually got ready for surgery which was between 10 – 1030 am. I ended up dozing off for a little bit in the bed since I had woken up so early and got tired just hanging out. When it was time to prep me for surgery, they rolled me back to the operating room and Neil stayed behind until they were ready to start.
There were a TON of people in my operating room – again, not common. At the time of surgery, Neil counted 16. Representatives from different departments were scattered around this bright, cold room and each one seemed to have their own tasks to be completed. I was transferred to the operating table and hunched over so that they could put in the spinal block and epidural for the procedure. I was laid down and soon I could start to feel my legs going numb. I also started to feel my blood pressure drop, which is one of the worst feelings. It immediately makes me have cold sweats and need to throw up. Thankfully, I said something and they were able to give me medicine through my IV that reversed it. My new anesthesiologist friend with questionable IV placement techniques told me that it’s a common side effect to the spinal block and I’m really glad I spoke up so it didn’t last long.
As the medicine started to work to numb my lower half, they continued poking me with a sharp object to figure out where the feeling came back. They needed to numb me pretty high up because they were giving me a vertical incision, and soon I wasn’t able to feel anything from under my bra line and down. They also put in a catheter after I was numb.
The reason for the vertical incision instead of the more common horizontal one along the bikini line is because cutting vertically gives them a better view of what is going on. They also wanted to cut away from the placenta, which was lower down and completely covering my cervix. This way, they could deliver the baby first and then carefully see what was going on with my placenta without potentially causing any excessive bleeding issues.
During this time, they had also put both my legs up in stirrups, which I watched but couldn’t feel at all. It was wild. What was also wild was that my lower half faced the doors to the operating room, so for a large majority of time, I was naked and spread-eagled for everyone entering the room. There really wasn’t much to do but laugh at the situation, so whenever anyone entered, I just greeted them with a big wave and a “hey, how ya doing?!” 🙂
When they had everything ready to go and I was sufficiently numbed, they brought Neil in to sit by my head. They raised a large curtain so that I couldn’t see what was going on, and they started the surgery. I only knew it started because I asked my anesthesiologist friend if they had and he looked over the curtain and said “yup.” Thankfully, I couldn’t feel anything and spent most of the time talking to Neil and the other doctors in the room.
I’m not sure exactly how much time passed, but soon I heard “get ready to meet Remy!” I felt some pressure (nothing bad at all) and soon I saw a tiny pink baby with long legs being held up for me to see. They pulled down the blue part of the curtain so that I could see her through the remaining clear part, then they handed her over to the NICU team who was waiting behind me. She only needed a little help breathing right after delivery, but by the time they took her to the NICU, she was doing it all on her own.
Remy Grey Bahadur was born at 11:15 am, 3 lb 14 oz, and 16 inches.
One of the doctors took Neil’s phone and snapped some pictures for us while she was being cleaned up. I was distracted trying to look at her and see what was going on, so thankfully I wasn’t stressing about what they were finding about the condition of my placenta. Eventually, I heard one of the doctors says that they were not proceeding with the hysterectomy and they were going to close me up. From here on my memory is a little jumbled, because they also started giving me other medications that apparently made me ramble about nonsense with a lot of “Neil, did I just say that out loud?” HA.
I tried to find out more information, but I think it may not be until my 6 week follow up where I can find out what the exact situation was. It seems that my placenta was able to come out easily and if it was attached, it wasn’t attached that strongly, so they were able to proceed as they would with a normal c-section. I remember apologizing to everyone in the operating room because it felt anticlimactic for so many people to be there and then not have anything crazy happen.
The number of people drastically lessened as they worked on closing me up. At some point, it started to feel really uncomfortable, but I was having a hard time articulating that. Neil said that one of the anesthesiologists was keeping an eye on my face and paying attention to when I winced, so they were able to tweak the medicine. I think I finally said something to Neil, which was overheard by one of the doctors. She asked me if they should pause and I remember saying “yeah, let’s just pause.” They took that time to make sure I couldn’t feel as much and then they finished closing me up.
Once everything was over, they rolled me back to the recovery room. I was tired and had trouble keeping my eyes open, but couldn’t actually sleep. I just laid in bed with my eyes closed for a good while and Neil went to visit Remy in the NICU.
I didn’t write this section with Miles, but I think it’s so important for people to know about. Each recovery experience is different, no matter whether you’ve had a vaginal or c-section birth, but it’s important to talk about. This recovery was also different from Miles’, but a good amount of it is the same, so I want to write about it so I can also remember it.
We were eventually taken from the OR recovery room to our more permanent room on the women’s floor. The first day and night after having a baby is my least favorite. Nurses are in and out to check your vitals, push on your stomach to see if your uterus is going down, check your bleeding, and give you medication. Obviously, it’s all important, but it definitely prevents you from getting sleep.
I knew from having Miles that there were some things that I would need to stay on top of. Nurses are so wonderful and magical, but they deal with a lot and may not be thinking about how that IV you have may be ready to come out, etc. I knew from before that I wanted all my IVs and cords and catheters and anything extraneous removed as soon as it could come out. I made sure to ask the nurses when they could come out, and I think that helped me get a lot of things removed quickly. Because I was significantly numbed for the surgery, I had to wait until all the feeling came back in my legs for them to remove the catheter. Feeling came back that evening and they took the catheter out before I went to bed.
In order to make sure that everything is working well post-birth, they need to measure your urine output for awhile. There is a plastic container in the toilet to catch and measure your urine, which either you can report to them or you can leave for them to check when they come in. You’re also supposed to rinse yourself with what’s called a peri-bottle rather than use toilet paper because it doesn’t irritate the area. One thing they did differently at this hospital was use an ultrasound after urinating to check how much urine remained in my bladder after I went.
The first time I got out of bed was rough. I woke up during the night because I had to go to the bathroom, and it took me awhile to be able to get there with Neil’s help. I was also cold from having night sweats (another common post-birth thing), and I quickly felt dizzy. I managed to get to the toilet and go, but it was definitely an experience. I ended up still having a good amount left in my bladder the next few times I went, so the next day I needed to have another catheter put in to fully drain it. I was terrified because I wasn’t numb, but it actually didn’t hurt at all. After that point, my body seemed to figure out what it was doing again and my output returned to normal.
I didn’t see Remy in person again until the day after she was born. This was also my experience with Miles. The day and night of surgery I was so tired and in pain that I didn’t physically feel like I could go. Thankfully, Neil was there both times to spend time with our babies and give them all the love. After a day to recuperate, I made the trip downstairs to see her. We were brought a wheelchair, but I was somehow able to walk (albeit slowly) and we never used it. I tried to walk as soon as I was able to help the recovery process and prevent swelling in my legs.
So here we are. Little Remy is still in the NICU as I type this, but she’s doing great and can hopefully come home soon. Thank you guys for all the well wishes we received in the hospital and continue to receive now that we are home. As always, if you have any questions about anything, feel free to leave them in the comments. 🙂