March 02, 2016

Eden's Birth Story, Part 2

Ok, contrary to popular belief, I did not mean to leave you hanging off a cliff. I just have like 27 kids and all their laundry too.

Read part 1 here.

When we left off, I had Eden in my arms but things were taking a turn for the worse. Some of you may remember that when Luke was 10 days old I hemorrhaged pretty severely and had to have an emergency D&C. I also mentioned briefly in another post that I had had bleeding in Eden's pregnancy too that was subsequently diagnosed as placenta previa. (This all relates, stick with me.)

Only a few hours old! I couldn't resist the head wrap. 

Proud daddy.

Ok, here's a little more to Eden's story. When I was 13 weeks pregnant with her, I had a deja vu moment when I again woke up in a puddle of blood. (I'm so sorry for the graphic picture, but it's what happened.)

When they diagnosed it as a complete previa, it was thought to most likely be a result of the D&C I'd had when I hemorrhaged with Luke. If you've had a D&C it increases your risk for a placenta previa. So from weeks 13-19 with Eden I was on bed rest/light duty. Obviously total bed rest wasn't possible so I had to cut back severely on everything else. My mom was totally even more amazing than she normally is during that time, coming by almost everyday to keep the laundry going and kids bathed and everything else that goes with life. She's the best.

My sweet mama.

This next part is actually a really cool story but I'm trying to avoid a novella so, in short, the elders and pastors of our church anointed us with oil and prayed for a complete healing (like James 5 says to do) and when I went in the next day for my appointment it had completely moved. Completely and totally moved. Amazing and a true miracle because exactly one week prior it had still been a complete previa. Now, they can move and that's the hope but not in a single week's time. So, truly a miracle.

But because I'd had it I was still under supervision from the high-risk OB and at several ultrasounds he noticed concerning things with my placenta, mainly what he called "placental lakes." He said it can cause IUGR (intra-uterine growth restriction), so he wanted to keep a close watch on her growth, especially since she'd consistently measured behind. It wasn't concerning enough at that time to set an induction date but something to keep an eye on.

We had been hoping she'd be born before the New Year for our insurance purposes but again wasn't something we could force.

Ok, now fast forward to right after she was born. The nurses had just finished cleaning things up and when I sat up I felt a huge gush of blood. They quickly got my midwife who flew back into the room and sure enough blood was gushing out of me. She said she was going to have to do a manual sweep (um, ouch) and amazingly was able to get several large pieces of placenta (called a retained placenta) but the bleeding wouldn't stop. She made the call to have the on-call OB come in and do an emergency D&C. This is where things for me get very hazy and I'm relying on Matt's account of the story. I didn't know for several weeks that I had gone into shock. I couldn't figure out why I had such little to non-existent memory of what happened.

Matt said that the anesthesiologist came in and this is where it became like a movie. He said he was barking orders to everyone, saying things like, I don't want you to think her blood (for a transfusion) is on its way, I want you to know exactly where it's at!

Everything was a flurry of action and working to try and stop the bleeding.

I had so much fluid pumped into me in such a short amount of time (Matt said that the anesthesiologist was literally pumping the fluid bag by hand) that my eyes were swollen shut. Which I didn't know was the reason I couldn't see so when I came to I kept asking Matt to wipe my eyes, thinking I had something on them that kept me from being able to see anything.

So I was whisked away for surgery and my favorite story Matt told me about coming to was that I croaked to the recovery nurse that I could still feel blood coming out and she leaned over and said so sweetly, That's ok sweetie, a little blood is normal. Is this your first baby? He said I didn't even say anything, I just held up 5 fingers.

I tell you, I can't even escape myself in my unconsciousness.

When I finally came fully to I was a wreck. Not only was my body recovering from having a baby but also severe blood loss and surgery. I despaired that entire first day of her life, totally unable to fathom how I was going to be able to parent three other kids and have a newborn. All I could think about was how difficult it was recovering after Luke's hemorrhage and now I had another kid and another newborn.

The boys seeing her for the first time!

Sweet Luke was (and is) so gentle with her. 

One of my favorite moments of my entire life.

That was Sunday and on Monday the high-risk OB made the call to do a blood transfusion. He said in this day and age odds are 1 in a million of having an adverse reaction, but I could have honestly cared less. All I wanted was a  jump start to recovery. There was no way I could go home with how depleted I was from all the blood loss.

I got two full bags of blood and I do not exaggerate when I say the effect was immediate. I couldn't believe that I hadn't gotten one after my first hemorrhage. It would have made all the difference in my recovery. But I'm so thankful I did this time because it truly was just what I needed.

The boys meeting her for the first time was amazing. They were so sweet with her, even our wild Lukey.

Our other Nana, Matt's mom. She's awesome too.

Hospital room shenanigans.

How to keep three kids entertained: food and TV. 

Because of all that I had to stay in the hospital for a couple days longer than normal and I was so happy to finally go home.

Going home!

One last thing. I'll be writing a whole post on this but Matt and I have always used Natural Family Planning (NFP) in our marriage, and though I had felt from the beginning of Eden's pregnancy that it was my last one neither Matt nor I felt good about making that kind of permanent decision just because we felt that way. We literally talked about it the entire pregnancy. And in such a gracious way, the Lord really answered the question for us.

I said in the beginning that everything related and the common denominator was my uterus. The doctors said I have so much scar tissue in my uterus that another pregnancy is almost guaranteed to result in the same way.

One of the most sobering things that we learned from my midwife was that as unhealthy as my placenta was, that Eden really came when she needed to (she was 12 days early). Which is also why she was so tiny, my uterus simply wasn't healthy enough. To give you some perspective, Asher our second son, was ten days early and weighed 8lbs, 3oz.

So Eden is our last baby. And I have total peace about it. We couldn't ask for a sweeter, more perfect ending to this childbearing season.

Just a few days old.

(More on our experience with NFP in a future post. I know it can be a divisive subject but I promise it won't be inflammatory, just informative.)

Thanks for following our journey, friends!


  1. She is so gorgeous and your family is beautiful I love stalking you via your blog.

    Also, the 3 boys staring down at heart squeezed so hard with love. Just amazing!

    Ok finally, we are NFP'ers and LOVE it! Looking foward to that post amazing mama :)

    1. Carly, I love hearing from you!!! I stalk your blog too! 😆 I love hearing from other NFPers, it's such a different route to go these days but I love it too. Yes, I'll get that post written! Good to hear from you, friend!