Birth story: Preterm delivery at 34 weeks due to preclampsia due Co vid

Birth story: Preterm delivery at 34 weeks due to preclampsia due Co vid

My birthing plan did not go at all as I dreamed and hoped for. I was the most prepared with a midwife wanting a natural birth with a doula but life had other plans for me.

Dec 7th I had my 34 week appointment at the birthing center. My bp was elevated 140/80s so they sent me to Bryn Mawr to be monitored and to draw labs. I arrived to hospital and my bp was still elevated and my labs showed preclampsia; elevated liver enzymes and a drop in platelets. I had to stay the night thankfully my husband was allowed to stay.

Dec 8th 11am they sent me to an ultrasound that showed baby was 4lbs 8oz and my placenta was working too hard. The doctor told me we have to induce you NOW because this can potentially be a stillborn if we go any further. I was in the ultrasound room alone with my husband on the phone. I broke down in tears. I was hysterically crying uncontrollably while they wheeled me back to my room. All I can remember them saying is a 34 weeker girl will do amazing in the Nicu. I just couldn’t stop crying. This is not what I wanted and I was terrified. I arrived back into my room where my husband was waiting and just hugged him so tight while I continued to hysterically cry. I then remembered in the beginning of my pregnancy I had 2 nightmares of having a stillborn which is crazy now to think about. Now since I am officially admitted needing to have the baby they took a Covid test and I was so shocked it came back positive. I only had a stuffy nose which is common in pregnancy. The whole vibe changed. Docs/nurses gowned up and I completely felt like I had the plague. Thankfully they continued to allow my husband to stay with me if he wasn’t with me I seriously don’t know what I would have done with myself.

From Tuesday to Thursday they forced my body into labor with Servidil, Cytotec and a Cervix balloon. Servidil was placed inside my vagina it felt like knives cutting into my body. I was holding my husbands hand so tight and all I remember the doctor saying oh wow she’s strong. My husband then told me his fingers turned blue. After receiving this medicine contractions were the most painful thing in this world. When you are getting induced the contractions are more severe than your body naturally giving birth. The doctors felt so bad for me that they started to give me cytotec as a pill vs forcing there hands into my vagina. I fought through the pain and only took stadol for pain 2-3x with Benadryl and ambien to help me sleep. They also had me on magnesium to prevent seizures. Mag made me feel like I had the flu, my head felt foggy, my sight was blurry, i was hot, drowsy and had no control over my body. I felt flaccid and was unable to do anything for myself. I was beyond uncomfortable as contractions kept coming the only place I was able to fight through them was on the commode or sitting up in a chair. Laying down was the worst. I needed help to do just about anything and was confined to my bed, commode or chair. I had no sense of time or knew what day it was. I laid in the dark in complete silence for 3 days with my husband next to me as he was trying his best to support me. During this time I didnt want any contact with anyone. I was ignoring all text, calls and messages. I honestly was so embarrassed to have co vid and so upset that I wasn’t getting the labor experience I dreamed of. The only person I did talk to was my doula. She was constantly checking in since she wasn’t allowed to physically come due to my Covid status. During our talks we discussed even though things are not going 100% my way we can try to at least keep my placenta and fight through contractions. So In between contractions i kept telling nurses and doctors that I wanted to keep my placenta. They looked at me as if I was crazy saying that my placenta had to be examined because of Covid and preclampsia. I immediately called @mommymadeencapsulation and they told me that I have the right to refuse them from taking your placenta and having Covid did not matter I can still encapsulate. I looked at my husband and told him don’t you dare let them take my placenta lol. I also told him don’t you dare let them separate us because they told us once I delivered he had to go. My doula helped coach my husband on what to do every step of the way. As for me i continued to refuse to talk to anyone as my Instagram/fb/ text messages filled up I had no desire to check i couldn’t even see my phone. My husband would turn on the TV and I would tell him please turn it off. He would then play meditation music for me. It was certainly soothing. I remember when they gave me stadol and Benadryl I felt high as a kite and when I closed my eyes I would see all the sounds of the meditation like birds if I heard chirping.

Dec 9 they re-examined me and I was only 1 cm open. I was like are you fucking kidding me. They then inserted a foley balloon in my cervix to stretch open and placed medicine into my vagina. Anything going into my vagina felt like knives cutting me. This day they continued to give me cytotec pills every 4 hours contractions were becoming unbearable. I was miserable to say the least but I think I did really well with fighting contractions and not being mean to my husband. I do remember hearing him snore and me telling him to get the fuck up and call the nurse because I was in so much pain and had to go to the bathroom lol but other than that all I wanted was for him to be close to me and hold my hand.

Dec 10 I had no sense of time since I’ve been laying in the dark since Tuesday morning. A doctor came into my room and wanted to remove the balloon and see how far along I was. I felt very good vibes from him. He looked at me as he was removing the balloon and said today we are having a baby you are 6 cm. I was like omg I love you. Little did I know the pain would get worse since he broke my water and turned on Pitocin. My water tracking felt like a huge stream of pee that I could not stop. As far as the pain I waited as long as possible and fought so hard through the painful contractions. I talked to my doula and told her I don’t think I have the strength to push because of the pain and magnesium. She then said you fought so hard and I totally understand why you would want to get an epidural now. I want you to have the strength to push especially because they starved me for 3 days just in case for a C section. I had absolutely no energy. My doula said call in the nurse and see how far you are. The nurse checked me and said 7 cm and I was like please get me an epidural I cant do this anymore. The anesthesiologist entered the room and I needed help to get into the perfect position for insertion. Since I was on Mag the nurse had to literally pivot me to the head of the bed. Of course the anesthesiologist seemed like she was in a rush saying to the nurse to have me move up. The nurse was like she’s on magnesium give us a minute. I remember telling the anesthesiologist that I had scoliosis but she was like really she didnt notice but more because my curvature is above where they would put an epidural. She inserted the catheter and was so shocked that I didn’t even move. I remember the nurse telling me this wont hurt as much as those contractions. I got the epidural and didn’t flinch. The nurse was like wow your a champ. Honestly my body was in total shock with contractions that the epidural felt like nothing to me. Finally I felt such a relief. They laid me in bed and told me to rest but I then rapidly started to feel pressure on my bottom like the feeling of pooping I was like wtf. I called the nurse in and I told her I felt like I had to take a shit she said is it constant pressure im like YES. She checked me and said oh shit your completely open I’m not ready to catch a 34 weeker she then ran to get the doctors and all of a sudden it was time to push. Doctor arrived and the Nicu team arrived for my daughter; it was time to push. Since I got the epidural at 7cm and instantly she wanted to come out I still can feel a little bit of my legs. They told me to push with contractions and it was the hardest thing I ever done. In my head I said Jasyra you can do hard things. I honestly didn’t think I can do it but the Bryn Mawr team was amazing motivating me. My husband was on my right side holding one leg and the nurse on the other. While I pushed I tried to hold my legs up but I felt so flaccid. My husband was rubbing my head and remember telling him please stop lol. I kept pushing and didn’t want to give up because I did not want a c section. Not that a c section is something to be ashamed of but the doctors reassured me that baby girl was doing amazing that I would successfully be able to push her out. A few months ago I talked to a psychic and she told me my daughter would be born on 12/12/20 via c section. I had that in the back of my mind and it was my motivation to have a vaginal birth. Pushing with a mask and magnesium was hard af I felt like I couldn’t breath. Finally the doctor sees her head and says you want to feel her head. I touched her head and said GET HER OUT 😂. That damn head sitting stretching my vagina was the worse damn pain. Doctor said “you get her out” he then said I can get her out by cutting you but I don’t want to do that because I know you can do this. I so appreciated him. 40 mins later her head came out and her body just slipped right out. Once that head came out all the pain went away.

My baby girl arrived at Thursday 542pm 12/10/20 weighing 4lbs 2.6 oz. What a fucking relief but of course it wasn’t over as the doctor massaged my uterus I had some pain but thankfully my placenta was so small it slipped out as well and I only had a peri-urethral tear that was stitched with dissolvable stitches and they inserted a foley to monitor my output due to magnesium. When my daughter came out I first didn’t hear her cry they took her immediately to the baby section in my room. I told my husband go check on her then I heard her sweet cry. She only needed a little cpap then was breathing on her own. They brought her to me and she opened both eyes. I said hey Zoe as I rubbed her head and they took her to the Nicu. Hubby and I were not allowed to physically see her because of me having Covid but we got to FaceTime her every 3 hours. Zoe was completely healthy she was only in the NICU since she was considered a premie 34 weaker. She was considered a feeder grower. They had inserted a NG tube and an IV but never had to use the NG tube. She only had her IV for a few hours and was eating like a champ. They were honestly so surprised how well she was doing and suspected she would be with us very soon. Because I felt like complete shit I was honestly relieved my daughter was in good hands and I can have time to heal but it sucked that I couldn’t hold my daughter at all. I was completely robbed of spending her first moments with her. After delivery I was miserable my nose was clogged, I blew my eardrum and busted a vessel in my eye during pushing. I was so frustrated but still determined. I requested a lactation consultant so that I can start producing milk for my daughter. My husband soaked in all the info and helped me pump every 3 hours. He set alarms, set up the pump and clean the flanges for me. He’s honestly the best husband ever.

Dec 11th They still had me on magnesium and every nurse I had I requested for them to turn it off because I couldn’t see and felt so drowsy. Finally they decided to check my mag level and of course it was elevated which is why I felt so awful so they lowered it but it honestly didn’t make a difference but the nurses were amazing and advocated for me. Because I still had no strength and was basically bed bound a nurse asked me if I wanted to be cleaned so that I can feel more like myself. I really appreciated her. She then gave me a bed bath. I told every nurse that I was a RN and told them I cannot believe I’m getting a bed bath something I use to do with my own patients. They laughed and said hey we all one day need some help. I was just in complete shock that I was experiencing this all and needing so much help. The nurses even had to change my pads and clean me because I could not walk. My husband had to feed me. I was honestly frustrated because I couldn’t do anything for myself. During the night a nurse decided to take my foley out and motivated me to try to get up. I was so scared to get up and when I first got up it was like learning how to walk again. We first got up to the commode then I worked up to getting up to the bathroom. I was so excited that I started to move on my own but I was slow AF lol.

Dec 12th i have spent 5 days hospitalized and finally I had more strength and asked if I could take a shower. Thankfully they said yes. I stood in the shower letting the hot water run down my body. I probably was in there for 30 mins or more. After my shower they decided to discharge me. After they gave me my discharge papers the nurse decided to check my pressure and it ended up sky rocketing to 170/100s. I was so upset that I was still having issues after delivery. Doctors suspected that co vid was still giving me BP issues. They decided to give me labetalol 200mg, fed me and gave me a Benadryl to take a nap. Few hours later my bp dropped to 140/80 and they decided to discharge me with labetalol and I was told to check my pressure 2x a day. I was so upset that I had to take medication but I was going to do whatever possible to feel better and have the energy to be able to take care of my daughter when she came home. The sucky part is once I arrived home I still could not do anything for myself because any movement increased my pressure. The only thing I did was pump, eat and go to the bathroom. I really didn’t feel myself and I knew my high blood pressure was affecting me because my body had never been through this. My vision was blurry and I just felt awful. At night I would feel hot then cold. I would wake up completely wet. My body was tingly. I didn’t know wtf was going on. I would cry because I felt like I couldn’t take care of my daughter in my condition. The Nicu kept telling us she would be home soon and I just completely was losing it because how could i take care of her when my husband was taking care of me. During this time my husband was my rock. He was feeding me and getting the house ready for our daughter since we still had some things to do before she arrived. I felt inadequate and cried a lot but I appreciated all that my husband was doing. I was monitoring my pressure 2x a day and the discharge instructions were a bit confusing but my pressures were in the parameters to not take my meds. I would call my midwife every time I was confused on what to do with my med due to my low heart rate. They advised me to continue to hold my Medication. I felt myself declining at this point again not feeling great at all. I just didn’t know how to explain it but I knew I shouldn’t feel this way.

Dec 14 around 2pm my pressures elevated to 150/80 I felt awful so I decided to take labetalol. I called my midwife to let them know. I rechecked my pressure around 6pm and it increased to 160/100s. I called my midwife again and they decided to transfer my care to the team who delivered my daughter. I called the doctor on call and informed her of what happened. I wasn’t in the system for her to prescribe me another Medication so she made me recheck my pressure and it was 170/100s she advised me to go to your emergency room. At 8pm I was admitted back into the hospital with high bp. This time I was completely alone. I never been away from my husband for 13 years. I was so lost. My labs were trending down but my bp was uncontrolled. They decided to add on more bp meds. I was being followed a OB and internal medicine doctors. I started to get really bad anxiety and honestly didn’t sleep since dec 7th. My chest was feeling tight and I didn’t know if it was my pressure, Covid or my anxiety. I laid in the dark only focusing on pumping, eating and trying to relax myself with meditation. I honestly felt like I was going to eventually die. I didn’t understand wtf was going on with me and I was so scared. I wasn’t sleeping and the only person I wanted to talk to was my husband.

I was embarrassed by what was happening to me and I didn’t want to post any pictures of my daughter or discuss what was happening to me because i wanted to feel better and have her in my arms when I introduced her. I had a special way I wanted to introduce her and my situation of not seeing her physically didn’t allow that. My husband was still getting things together for Zoe and I to be home. He even sent my placenta to the company, I cant even imagine how he felt but I know he was scared that I was declining and unable to take care of our daughter.

My anxiety was getting worse due to being alone and worrying about my health, finances my daughter and everything else. I thought I also was getting depressed. They decided to give me some Xanax at night with Benadryl to try to get to sleep because at this point my memory was shot. I couldn’t remember shit. I would call a nurse for something and then completely forget what I called her for. It was so bad and I felt like a horrible patient because they had to continue to gown up to come to my room. I asked the doctor wtf is going on with me she stated you havnt got any REM sleep so your not going to remember anything. I was so upset with just everything. Everyday they would say they would be discharging me but I didn’t even feel better to go home. They found that I had a uti possibly due to the foley they inserted in me after delivery. They then started me on antibiotics. I requested if they would give me something for anxiety when I was eventually discharged and they put in a psych consult. I talked to a psychiatrist via zoom because of course no one really wanted to come into a Covid room. Even the lactation consultant said she would call vs coming in and I told the nurse this is so unfair I feel like I’m not getting the support that I need as a new mom. I am a visual learner and also my hearing or memory wasn’t so good after labor so talking on the phone wasn’t best for me at the time. Thankfully they understood and started to come in my room to talk to me. During my talk with the psychiatrist she reassured me that I went through so much in 2 weeks I had the right to feel the way I did. To be honest I thought she was going to say I was going crazy. I also still was struggling with memory loss but I had a really good talk with her and she decided to prescribe me gabapentin 100mg for sleep and Paxil 10mg for anxiety temporarily. I didn’t want to be on medication again but all I wanted was to be in control of my body again so I can take care of my daughter. I was FaceTiming my daughter every 3 hours when I pumped and I started to notice she was getting sleepy and not drinking all her bottles so they had to put an NG tube in to feed her for a few feedings.. I then started to blame myself that it was the medication they had me on that was causing her to not take all her feeds. I continued to talk to nurses and doctors about my concerns and also asking do you think I’ll be able to get off all these meds. All I wanted was to be myself again. Doctors reassured me that the medications they choose for me were completely safe for breastfeeding and that my medications were not causing my daughter to regress it was just that she was a premie. They also felt confident that my situation with medications were temporary but I was scared it wasn’t.

Dec 17th Finally my pressures were getting better with the antibiotics and they decided to discharge me but they made sure to discharge me with a women’s support appointment for my anxiety and possible depression. I spent a total of 3 days during this admission. The day of discharge I was overwhelmed after the nurse went through the instructions. They discharged me with labetalol 100mg every 8 hours, nifedipine 60mg daily, aspirin 81mg, gabapentin 100mg, Paxil 10mg, Xanax, microbid, Tylenol and colace. I also had to check my bp 2x a day and make 4 follow up appointments. I almost had a panic attack thinking how the fuck am I going to do this all with a newborn. I then realized like wow I use to give instructions like this to my patients and I feel so bad because I now know how overwhelming it feels to be on so many medications. The nurse helped lesson my anxiety by making a schedule for me on when to take my medications with pumping. I truly appreciated her because I just couldn’t even think. My husband picked me up and it was so good to see him. We arrived home and I had my therapy session and I was a huge mess telling my therapist what happened to me. I couldn’t stop crying and honestly didn’t see a happy ending to this disaster. All the medications I was on was also causing me to feel all the side effects on top of the hot flashes at night waking up completely soaked. I kept checking my temp and it was completely normal. I honestly feared needing to go back to the hospital again. I still couldn’t do too much for myself in fear that my pressure would rise again. My midwife contacted me daily to check in with me. They kept telling me that what I was experiencing was normal postpartum hormonal imbalances. I was still waiting my placenta pills and was praying it would help me. I kept contacting @mommymadeencapsulation asking her are you sure it’s ok for me to take these pills with all that’s going on with me. She reassured me that the pills were going to help me feel better. My midwives also approved and said if there is a possibility that it can help you why not. I was honestly losing it my anxiety was through the roof I felt like I had so much to do to prepare for my daughter to come home but I was incapable of doing anything.

Dec 15 I had my women’s support meeting and it was the hour that I just felt completely depressed. One thing that made me upset was that the lady who was interviewing me didn’t even prep herself by reading my chart. So I had told her I was a RN and that it was important to read up on a patient. I’m sure she was annoyed with me but I was honestly tired of telling people what happened to me. She asked me all the postpartum depression questions and of course I scored high AF. I was like fuck I’m depressed. They wanted me to attend 3 classes a week for 9 hours I told them that’s just not possible especially with my baby coming home. An hour after that call I started to feel better. My midwife called me and I told her about the call and she said Jasyra your not depressed. Your experiencing baby blues and with what you are going through it’s ok to feel the way you feel. I appreciated the daily calls from my midwives. It was one positive talk I had a day that made me think I will get through this.

Dec 19 My placenta pills arrived. @mom told me to take 15 and so I did. That night I did not experience hot flashes and the next day I had way more energy, more milk and didn’t feel so down. We continued to talk to our daughter and she was thriving and we were told she would possibly be home tomorrow. I was really anxious and scared for her to come home because all I wanted was to feel better and be the best me for my daughter.

Dec 20th my baby Girl is coming home. Because I was still in quarantine we had to do our discharge via FaceTime and they handed her off to me at the hospital entrance. It was honestly so weird and I really didnt feel supported as a new mom although they did try to educate my husband and i via FaceTime but it wasn’t the same. I’m thankful my Nicu experience helped but it being your own baby you still become clueless to what to do with your child. First day home with baby girl was scary. Since Zoe is a premie she has reflux due to her underdeveloped stomach muscles. So if we lay her flat she throws up. She also grunts so our first night and week with her was team no sleep. I was freaking out about everything; my anxiety was taking over me plus being a nurse makes situations worst because I then started to diagnose her, google things I contacted every doctor I can talk to her pediatrician and found her a chiropractor. It was a rough couple days especially with having no help due to Co vid. My doula was unable to come visit and none of our friends and family could come to help. I felt so lonely and sad because this overall was obviously not what I expected or wanted. Postpartum is hard but even harder when you don’t have extra help. We spent Christmas and New Years completely alone and it makes me so sad that my friends and family have missed seeing my baby Girl grow. The first 3 weeks with Zoe was the hardest. Trying to find a routine with feeding, pumping, eating, sleeping and finding me time was and is a struggle. I hated that I didn’t have extra help in the mode crucial days of my daughter arriving and with all the stress I honestly didn’t want to talk to anyone but I’ve appreciated the mom support I get daily on social media. Zoe and I have been in and out of appointments which has also been hard for me leaving the house with a strict pumping schedule. I do have portable devices but it’s so much to remember and travel with. Pumping has been a nightmare as well. I developed soreness, cracks and nipple thrush due to the antibiotics I was on and I’m only making enough to feed her which has been another stressor for me. I also found out I have elastic nipples which not 1 of 3 lactation consultants I talked to told me this. It’s been a really hard journey for me and I’m still trying to figure this all out.

Fast forward to today my friends and family have yet to meet my baby girl. I’ve been struggling with major anxiety but taking it day by day. I’m officially off all my BP meds. I am only currently taking aspirin and gabapentin with my healthy supplements like prenatal and my placenta pills. Hopefully I’ll be completely off pharmaceuticals soon. I still have not found a balance with my life or a routine that works Just yet. I have been through hell and back but I’m grateful that my daughter and I are alive and I’m most grateful that my daughter is completely healthy and a true little fighter. She is growing up fast and never would i have ever thought to say I wish I could rewind the first month with her because my anxiety and depression made me feel like I wasn’t 💯 present and I didn’t take many pictures with my daughter because I hated the way I looked and felt but with all of that I made sure to provide milk and cuddles 24/7. Im not out of the darkness but I am getting better with each day and spending every moment giving me daughter so much love. At this time I know that’s all that matters.

This is my story and I’m sure I have missed some moments but mom brain is real. If you read this far thank you for taking the time out to read my crazy birth story.

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