Our Birth Story

As told in my last update… Baby Pip didn’t come without a few complications. We started out our morning on August 21,2013 expecting to have a normal labor and delivery. What actually happened is anything but normal.

We were scheduled to be induced two days after my due date. I was miserable and BIG! I hadn’t slept in months for more than a couple hours at a time. I was ready. We started out the morning getting up and ready. I kissed all the kids good bye and we headed to the hospital. My husband and I prayed the entire way to the hospital. It’s through those prayers that what lie ahead turned out to be ok.

When we arrived at the hospital, everything went as planned at first. They gave me a pill to induce labor around 7 am. MY
plan was to have a few contractions, ask for an epidural, and then sleep for the rest of labor, since I hadn’t slept in months. All went as planned at first. I got my epidural around 8:30 a.m. The entire time I was getting it I felt like she was pushing a rod into the back of my neck, and into my head. Now, if you know anything about epidurals they put the needle in and then thread the tube down. There was nothing going into or even near my head! Just felt that way! I soon began to feel relief and decided to take a nap. I just laid there for a while chatting with my husband and mom. Since we already have 6 children, my husband really wanted to stop after this one. I kept insisting that we have as many as God had planned for us. Through some prayer, he finally stated during labor,

I prayed and told God as long as he keeps me able to provide, I’ll have as many children as HE wants us to have!

Little did he know God would give him the answer to that prayer shortly after.

It wasn’t but a little while after that I sat up in the bed and told my mom my eyes felt numb. I complained about “the rod” in my neck too. There wasn’t a rod in my neck but it felt like there was. I laid back down and said my chest feels heavy and immediately started panting. That was when I had my stroke!

The rest of the story is from faint memories and from what others tell me. I don’t remember much. Mom says that I had a blank stare on my face, eyes wide open, but no response. She looked at the monitors and my blood pressure shot to 195/105 and my heart rate jumped to 198. She knew right them I was having a stroke. It didn’t take long for the nurses and doctors and anyone else they could round up to come into the room. They began examining me and trying to wake me. My right side was completely numb with no movement at all. They summoned to a neurologist but he was busy so my doctor went down to the emergency room and got the attending down there. He came and knew right away that I had had a stroke. He said the drugs that they give stroke patients would kill the baby and myself so there really wasn’t much they could do but wait it all out and see what happened on it’s own. The anesthesiologist came in and turned off the epidural. The doctors kept telling me to open my eyes. I couldn’t. I could hear what was going on but couldn’t respond to their requests. It was frightening. It was as if I was in a bad dream.

I remember the moment I opened my eyes. My momma was standing at the end of the bed, nurses and doctors everywhere in the room, my husband was at the far end of the room. I thought to myself, why is my Mom crying, I was only taking a nap. I had no idea what was actually happening to me. They started to ask me questions and I couldn’t speak. I tried but nothing came out. They told me to raise my hand, I couldn’t. It was then I started to blink once for yes and two for no to some simple questions. First was, do you know where you are? Of course I knew!

Not so long after I began to speak again. The first thing I said, while patting my belly, was BABY! They all assured me everything with the baby was fine. That was a relief….

I was rushed down to radiology for a MRI and CAT scan. NOTHING was there. As this was all happening my labor was still progressing. I was then dilated to 5. At this point the contractions were starting to kick in as the epidural had been off for a while. I remember the neurologist checking me out. Trying to get me to lift hands, and legs, squeeze and so forth. My right side still had nothing. I listened after his exam as he told my husband,

You already have 7 mouths now to feed, if I were you I wouldn’t have any more children. You wife my not be ok after this.

I was shocked! In disbelief! Scared! How could a small nap, and what felt like the epidural being to much for me turn into NO MORE BABIES?!?!?!?!?!

I delivered little PIP at 12:15pm. They didn’t want me to push because they hadn’t figured out the “cause” of the stroke, so they suctioned her out. She came out all cheesy looking and with a large round suction cup cone on the back of her head, but all else was fine with her! I breathed a HUGE sigh of relief. With all that was going on with me, the only thing I really cared about was if the baby was OK!

I started to be able to move again on my right side shortly before her delivery and gradually got better afterwards. I was not nearly as strong on the right side, but I could move and squeeze and point my foot like they asked me to. I nursed little PIP shortly after delivery then they took her away for her clean up and stats and such.

At this point my Husband, God love him, says

I need to go into the bathroom and loose it, I can’t be strong anymore!

He had kept it together this whole time with everything going on but it was time to release and cry! He and my mom kept trying to explain to me that I had had a stroke but I kept insisting it was just the epidural. I was in denial I guess.

That night after my hubs went home and got the kids and brought them up to see me did I realize something wasn’t right with me. I couldn’t speak right. I kept stuttering, couldnt’ remember things, and was weak. It was the side effects from the stroke. I remember Dexter crying and saying honey whats wrong. She was sad but come to find out later she was devastated and scared. She knew something was very wrong with momma.

It took me only a couple days to get my strength back and PIP was doing great. We went home that Friday, just two days after delivery with instructions to follow up with the Neurologist for the stroke. Those words penned on my discharge papers was the point I came to realize it wasn’t just the epidural as I had thought, I had a STROKE!

Now, I had EKG, ultrasound of arteries, and all kinds of other tests. THEY FOUND NO BLOCKS or BLOOD clots!!!!! I still to this day think what happened was something went wrong with the epidural, an air pocket or something, and THAT is what caused all of this! It’s the only thing that makes sense to me. It’s what I know in my heart to be true.

I do still have some side effects from all of this. Sometimes my thoughts are jumbled. I get frustrated easy because I cant’ think straight. I get overwhelmed so easily. I am able to function, have complete strength back but the internal side effects are difficult to deal with. My husband continues to help me learn to give myself some grace. I CAN”T do it all anymore. I’m not the “SUPER MOM” I once was, and I’m ok with that! I’m learning to be a new me, a me….. POST STROKE!!!

MUCH love and blessings to you,