Sep 18

Bethany’s Birth Story, Part 2: Tuesday Night

Bethany was born at 4:31 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 9. For the first 90 minutes after birth, everything was normal. Bethany and I were having skin-to-skin time, Tim was taking pictures, and Naomi (who stared out the window and refused to watch during delivery) turned around and came over to meet her new baby sister. The placenta was delivered and my midwife repaired a minor tear. Bethany and I had our first nursing session. Tim even went downstairs to the cafeteria and got me a sandwich and banana, which I ate about half of. We called my parents to let them know Bethany was here, and they started driving out to the hospital to see us. Everyone was feeling really good.

Naomi refused to watch the delivery but was happy to come over and meet her new baby sister

Naomi refused to watch the delivery but was happy to come over and meet her new baby sister


At 6:00 p.m. I told my nurse and midwife that I was feeling several gushes of blood, and that I wanted to get up and use the bathroom. I wasn’t concerned at all, though I probably should have been, because that’s when we all discovered I was sitting in a big puddle of blood. Everything happened super fast after that. My midwife deployed the hospital’s “Rapid Response” team, and people descended into my fairly small labor room. More IV’s were started. They placed an oxygen mask over my nose and mouth so it was hard for me to talk to anyone. No one was thinking of letting me get up or even sit up, so they began a catheter, and they gave me a sedative through my IV. At this point, I was pretty annoyed because one of the main reason I had chosen natural childbirth was so I wouldn’t be hooked up to IVs and catheters–and here I was attached to everything under the sun anyway!


My parents showed up right around this same time. A nurse took them straight to a family waiting room, but didn’t give them any details about exactly what was happening–just saying that “we are doing a process right now and can you wait here for a bit?” My mom immediately looked at my dad and said, “We need to start praying.”

My mom said,  We need to start praying.


I quickly realized this was getting serious so I asked Tim to take Naomi out of the room and to the waiting room where my parents were. Therefore, thankfully she was not present for most of the scary moments. When Tim came back to me, I asked where Bethany was. I couldn’t hear her or see her from my bed. I was told that they had taken Bethany to the nurses’ station and the nurses were holding her. At that point, I started crying. It seems irrational, but I felt like I had failed as a mom because not only could I not hold my own baby, but I didn’t want Tim to leave me either, so now she was in the care of strangers who didn’t even know her.


The timeline gets a little blurry after this for me, probably a combination of blood loss and the sedative. I know everyone kept taking pads soaked with my blood and weighing them on a scale, trying to figure out exactly how much I had lost. Then they asked my permission to start a blood transfusion. I consented, blood was ordered and brought up from the blood bank and they started the first of many transfusions.


Still no one knew why I had hemorrhaged so badly, but it seemed like things settled down between 7:00 and 7:15. The bleeding slowed, and people started leaving my room. My parents and the kids were finally able to come back and see me and Bethany, and Tim took a few more pictures. My family did not stay long, and left by 7:30.

My mom holds Bethany for the first time while Rachel and Sarah look on

My mom holds Bethany for the first time while Rachel and Sarah look on

After they left, my midwife and OBGYN came to check on me again, and the bleeding was back. The OBGYN–whom I had never met before that day, actually, because my pregnancy was considered totally low-risk, so I had only ever seen midwives at their joint office–recommended a D& C, a surgery to scrape the inside of the uterus to be sure no parts of the placenta were still being retained.


I asked who was going to feed Bethany during the operation. A nurse helped me hand-express a few drops of colostrum into a cup, which was given to Tim, along with a spoon, so he could feed her.


An anesthesiologist was called in. Because I had been eating and drinking recently, he didn’t want to do a spinal block, so I ended up being put under general anesthesia. By 8:00 I was saying good-bye to Tim and being taken down the hall to the operating room.


This was my first time ever in a real operating room. They moved me to a pretty skinny table/bed and put another oxygen mask over my face. I knew they were going to be putting me to sleep with medication through my IV, but I don’t even remember receiving the medicine. I was asleep after just a few moments.


What was supposed to be a 30-minute procedure actually took 2 hours, and I woke up at 10:00 p.m. I remember the sweet words Tim spoke to me as I was coming around. I will always treasure that sweet reunion. It would be Wednesday morning before I understood everything that had taken place and how much of a “close call” I had experienced. But at that moment, I knew that I was there with Tim, he was with me, and Bethany was with both of us; and that was enough for me.

Proud big sister Sarah

Proud big sister Sarah


About the author

1 ping

  1. Reflection » Small-Town Preacher's Wife

    […] as a family, faced my first major health crisis when Bethany was born and I suffered a PPH. We then faced financial trials when our home in Alabama required all-new flooring and interior […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>