Lauren’s Story

November 17, 2016

I gave birth to my beautiful boy, Cooper, on the 17th of March 2016. As with all pregnancies, there were moments of fear, nervousness and pure joy, but none of this could prepare me for what was to come.

At 41 weeks and 2 days, I was induced at the mater hospital. My labour began and my waters were broken 15 hours later. Labour was long and painful, but I wasn’t progressing, and as time ticked on, cooper was starting to get distressed and I was developing a infection in my urine, so the decision for an emergency c-section was made. I was in tears, an absolute mess, as this was not what I had planned in my mind. Nevertheless, my husband put on his scrubs and away to theatre we went. Cooper was born and swiftly taken, without me being able to even meet my boy, as he was having trouble breathing. He was sent to nicu and I was sent back to the ward to recover. No skin to skin contact, no feeding. This was tough. As it turned out, cooper and I had been spine to spine which did not allow for me to birth him without assistance.

Cooper spent 3 days in nicu recovering, meanwhile, I was up on the ward, not recovering well at all. I was exhausted, yet kept pushing on for my boy. By day 3, I had started to have extreme tummy pains and my abdomen was literally blowing up like a balloon. I had been unable to pass wind or go to the toilet, so enemas were given, X-rays were performed and I was told I had developed an iliys, which is where your bowls basically freeze from being touched during surgery. They said I needed a nasal gastric tube inserted to let my bowels rest and to fast for several days. The nasal tube insertion is to this day, the worst thing I have ever experienced! You are basically being chocked while still awake, by a tube being forced up your nose, down your throat and into your stomach.

Several days went by, no eating or drinking, and I thought I was improving, so I was allowed some small sips of water. That night, I woke in sheer agony, pain gripping through my back and sides. I was dosed on morphine and phentanol but still no relief. My stats were dropping and I was rushed in for ct scans and further X-rays. No conclusion was found, so the surgeons appeared and said I needed emergency surgery, and could potentially end up in icu and with a colostomy bag (yes, a bag that carries your poo)! At this point I honestly felt like I was dying and asked several times if I was. Nobody answered me. I remember being wheeled into the operating room, the pain so bad I could not move or speak.

I woke up 6 hours later. I had a laparotomy performed and the cause of the pain was a heamotoma that had stuck my bowel and uterus together! Basically, I was bleeding internally and if left another few days, I may not be here today. Recovery was horrible and in this time, my newborn had to go home with my husband every night, while I lay in my hospital bed. I was not allowed to breastfeed due to the amount of drugs in my system. All I could do was spend the time cuddling cooper, letting him and I bond the best way I could at the time.

Recover, rest and be a great mum I kept telling myself. Twelve days later, I started to develop fevers again and decline. My wound was infected. I was being constantly poked and prodded and having drugs administered. I was so over it. The infection was not going to clear after Iv antibiotics, so again, I was taken into surgery and my wound was cleaned and I had a vacuum dressing applied. This was basically a pump attached to me to pull any infection out of the cut and to help me heal quicker. I agreed to have this in order to come home! It was day 20, that I was finally released from hospital and allowed to recover at home with my husband, baby boy and puppy!

For several more weeks, I had home nurses come and go to clean and dress my wound. This process was also ridiculously painful, as I was allergic to the foam in my would and ripping it out caused excruciating pain each time. Recovery all up took about 4 months, and to this day I still feel tender from so much scar tissue. Cooper and I could never breastfeed properly, and although once I was clear of the drugs I did express, I never had full supply. I still have moments where I break down and realise I have not fully healed from this experience, but I am so great full to be alive and well, and have a beautiful son. I would do it all again for another baby. I have learnt to stay strong and to believe in myself.

You can do anything mumma

~Lauren

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