Posts Tagged ‘eclampsia’

When Your Pregnancy Ends in a Complicated Birth

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

When Your pregnancy ends in a complicated birthLooking around, I was terrified. The bright lights of the operating room, my husband in scrubs, so many nurses, and a doctor setting up. I felt a wave of nausea kick in and the nurse held up a bag to me to be sick in. I had not eaten in 18 hours and was so hopped up on medications that my stomach just could not take it. I remember telling my doctor this was the worst moment of my life–that the baby was going to be awesome but this royally sucked.

This was not the birth I had planned or wanted. I dreamed of a peaceful, calm birth filled with joy and happiness. I got a heavily medicated birth to alleviate the eclampsia that was making me sick and harming the baby.

Whether it is exactly as you planned or a complete deviation from the plan, birth is something that cannot be controlled too carefully. There are often bumps and twists in the road, unexpected complications and surprises. The most common childbirth complications are pre-eclampsia, postpartum hemorrhaging, abnormal presentation, failure to progess, umbilical cord prolapse, umbilical cord compression, and embolism. These can happen to anyone, of any health, age or social status regardless of fitness level or prenatal care. Often we prepare for baby and pregnancy and prepare for the care of our newborns but no one really prepared for any of the issues with birth.

When things do go south, many mamas often feel cheated out of what they feel should have been their experience. These feelings of sadness and regret can lead to aiding in postpartum depression, issues bonding with baby and general melancholy about the whole thing. But occasionally interventions are necessary both for mama or baby, and in my case they were life saving.

What I found in dealing with the aftermath of my birth experience this time around was that I needed time to mourn. Mourn that my dream of natural birth was not to be, accept that my body would heal and the pain and swelling would leave me. Talk to the professionals who deal with postpartum periods, with loss, with difficulties and understand that while every hour of this time might feel like an eternity, every day in the NICU or ICU spent worrying about whether baby or you will be ok, every second of pain and confusion is merely a short time in your life. This too shall pass.

Sometimes as mothers we wish we could control everything, but coming to terms with our experiences gives us peace and allows us to focus on what is truly important: a sweet healthy baby, a growing family, and the love that comes with it all.

Pia Watzig is a stay at home mama of three small boys ages five, two and seven weeks. She lives in constant chaos of trains, legos and laundry in Portland, Oregon.