Samuel ~ My Miracle Baby
I had known I had 2 large fibroids and I was scheduled to have an embolization. Two weeks prior to my presurgical testing, I got a positive pregnancy test. Surprise!!! Now, I had 4 previous children (ages 14-20) and one stepson (age 10) and although a pregnancy was not planned I took it in stride. I went to the midwife for care, I had my last child at home. At 12 weeks I went to the Emergency department with cramping, thinking I was miscarrying, the doctor told my husband and I, this baby was ‘meant to be’. He said it was a miracle I got pregnant due to the large size of my fibroids. The cramping stopped and we went on as normal.
As the pregnancy continued, and Samuel grew in size he pushed the fibroids to the bottom half and he rested in a transverse lie on top. It was like he was hugging me. I had multiple ultrasounds and they all came back the same, two fibroids,one healthy baby.
At 28 weeks I went into atrial fibrillation. I thought I was just having a panic attack. I took some gravol and went back to bed. When I woke, I still felt exhausted. My mother was there and took my pulse and immediately called the ambulance. I thought she was overreacting until I got in and my heart rate was 228 and my blood pressure was dropping. Needless to say they put on the sirens and lights and off we went to the hospital I work at. They cardioverted me (stopped and restarted my heart) and got me back into regular rhythm, checked the baby and sent me home. I went to work the next day, laughed and joked about the whole thing, promised to come back if there was an issue. I did a couple more times, but basically everything was normal.
I was not happy about the transverse lie as the maternal fetal specialist, my midwife had consulting, told me it would mean a c/section with a classical (vertical) incision. I was still hoping to get out of this with minimal scarring and be back up and running as soon as possible (I don’t sit still well,lol). Then the baby flipped to a head down position at 36 weeks and the general thought was I could have a vaginal birth.
I’m sure I must have had many angels looking out for us. Every ultrasound I had at this point was wrong and showed two large fibroids and one huge baby who would weigh 11-12 pounds if I went to 40 weeks. I have had two 9 pound babies and was more than a little frightened at the possibility of pushing out an 11-12 pound baby out. I (which is not like me at all) asked what my options were and we booked the c-section for the next morning. I convinced the surgeon to do a horizontal since the baby was head down. He opened me up and there was a fibroid the size of a softball in front of Samuel’s head. They removed it and there was a second one the same size behind it. They removed that one and there was one larger than my head behind that. At that point they sliced through it and cut upwards. They still couldn’t get at my baby and the placenta had been cut for 10 minutes(not good). The neonatal team was waiting for Samuel in the hallway, expecting him to come out blue. He had an APGAR of 9 and was screaming as if to protest the indignity of the situation. He was perfect and beautiful and healthy. My midwife held him next to my head while they continued to work to save me.
I was shaking and my blood pressure was really low. I had lost a lot of blood. They did a hysterectomy to stop the bleeding and at the same time removed the remaining fibroids. In total there were two larger than my head and four the size of softballs. I have a huge inverted T scar and had 60 staples and a 4 hour surgery,but we both made it! Samuel was only 9.5 pounds, but was healthy and carried to 38 weeks and 6 days, a small miracle considering everything going on in my uterus. I ended up in ICU for one night and 6 more on the maternity ward. I keep looking back to all the things that went in our favor and am grateful. I firmly believe in fate and know that even though Samuel’s birth was a very ‘unnatural’ one, I know it was our best birth.
November 12th, nearly one year after my atrial fibrillation, Samuel and I completed a half marathon together (he slept through most of it in his jogging stroller). My friend offered to take him at the last mile, but I refused to give him up. I just kept thinking, we finished the first race together February 1st, we’re finishing this one together as a celebration of our lives together.