Trigger Warning: This birth story contains details of a caesarean, CPR, haemorrhage and uterine tear. If you are triggered by these topics you may wish to skip this blog or read it once you have support available. If you are seeking support for your birth trauma, you may wish to contact our Peer Support Service.
This is our story:
It’s been 7 weeks and one day since we welcomed our fourth blessing Eteline Elisa. Our birth story’s very different from our previous ones.
On Mon 20/5/19 at 3am contractions became stronger but still far apart. My husband and I were very certain that we’ll meet our baby girl soon but then things took a different turn for the worse. By 8:30am I started screaming and asking for an epidural, during the procedure I felt a sharp pain on my right side, Elisa (the midwife) quickly asked me to turn on my side as they’ve lost track of baby’s heartbeat.
I was fully dilated but the heavy bleeding made it hard for baby to make her entrance and she even went back up. Code green/blue was called and all the docs, nurses midwives rushed into our room and I knew something was wrong but couldn’t feel anything as I was slowly passing out from blood loss.
I could hear my husband calling my name saying to hang in there whilst midwife Elisa tapping my face to stay awake. As they wheeled me into the theater, sadly they told my husband he couldn’t join us.
They started the caesarean and were shocked to find our baby girl floating in my abdomen because I had a uterine tear from top right side, towards the fallopian tube, past my kidney, bladder and vagina. It was a 15cm tear.
The midwives started performing CPR on baby and thank God after two mins her heart started beating again. I didn’t come out for another 6 hours. I woke up in the recovery room to find my husband holding my hand with a team of nurses asking questions about where I am etc.
An hour later they wheeled me up the nursery to meet my baby.
The pain I went through meant nothing when I heard her cry for the first time. It was a relief. I couldn’t breastfeed her for three days and it broke me so much that I cried every day.
Tuesday morning 21/5/19 a team of docs came to see me and my husband and talked to me about what happened. I broke down when they mentioned that I was lucky to be alive.
I ended up feeling traumatised by this whole thing, I started experiencing anxiety and had mental health issues always blaming myself that I almost lost my daughter because I was so sure about giving birth naturally.
The amount of support not only from the docs, nurses, midwives, family members, colleagues and a social worker has helped me and my husband heal.
My husband was the one affected the most because before our baby girl arrived he lost his mum to gastric cancer, then he saw us fighting for our lives. We spent 10 days in the hospital and each day we became stronger and more able to accept the fact that this happened to us.
It will always be a part of us and having counselors visiting us to talk about our experience made it easy for us to share our story with other people. So I thought I’d share with ABTA. I am forever thankful to the amazing team of doctors, nurses and midwives for the amount of support shown toward us during our stay and for working tirelessly to make sure we were well looked after. We owe you guys heaps.
If you, or someone you know is struggling with their birth experience, there is help available. Our P2P Mentors can direct you to local services that can help or simply listen to your story without judgment.