This post on my 12-hour labor and delivery serves as a follow-up to my post, My doctor recommended I abort at 8 weeks. If you haven’t read it, I suggest you start there.
For those of you ready to continue, I suppose it’s best we begin with my first encounter with Dr. Gloria Martin. I instantly liked her. After catching her up on the goings-on during the first half of my pregnancy and my experience with my first OBGYN, she had her assistants send for my labs before chatting with me about this and that. It didn’t take long for me to see that this was a tiny little lady who meant business. She was from the South and on that day dressed casually in her pink and green, but she spoke matter-of-factly about what she wanted to happen on delivery day.
Because of the size of my fibroid, Dr. Martin did explain the possibility of delivering prematurely. I appreciated the way she explained it: my body would begin to labor when it felt the time was right, and couldn’t quite differentiate between a large fibroid and a baby ready to drop. That made sense. She let me know that C-section was highly likely if the fibroid obstructed the birth canal, and let me know she would have everything ready and in place in preparation for whatever my body decided to do. Dr. Martin also delicately prepared me for the very real possibility that I would need a blood transfusion if I began to hemorrhage, and that a hysterectomy may be necessary.
There is a big difference between telling someone about a tunnel and telling someone about the light at the end. She didn’t mince words when it came to telling me about the real risks, but for every potential challenge, she offered a possible solution. She knew I was concerned about losing weight despite eating everything in sight. She knew my blood pressure was becoming a problem. She knew my iron levels were dangerously low, and she knew I was tired toward the end and running out of steam. She had a solid game plan and enough confidence for the both of us. I liked her. I trusted her. I felt ready to face my tunnel.
Towards the end of my pregnancy, I started failing important tests. My blood pressure inched its way closer and closer to 160 over whatever other number is important, and little ma’am still wasn’t showing any signs that she’d be making an appearance any time soon. Although my due date was December 2nd, Dr. Martin scheduled me for induction at 7:00 PM on Saturday, November 28th. It was time to meet Aevrie Rhose.
Friday, November 27th
I arrived at the hospital for my mandatory pre-delivery COVID test. I walked in behind a very bewildered woman who was bleeding from her head. Yikes. The front desk was a bit of an unorganized mess and sent a very hot, waddling, pregnant woman floor to floor to track down who was doing what. I got my test, blew my nose, and drove back home.
As I was sitting on my bed folding clothes and packing what I’d later realize would be far too many hospital bags, my water broke. I called the hospital to let them know (after texting my mom who was at work) and proceeded to finish washing dishes. I fed the dog, took out the trash, and continued packing until my mom arrived. All the while, fluid was running down my legs. Listen — I had stuff to do.
We drove to the hospital.
I was admitted at 1 cm dilated, and “grossly ruptured.” I think I owe them a chair. Sorry y’all.
The nurse began Pitocin.
Saturday, November 28th
The nurse increased the Pitocin.
After eating a terribly dry turkey sandwich, I vomited. The nurse warned me the food was terrible.
My blood pressure reached 184 / 112. Medicine was administered to prevent seizure and stroke, but the name of it escapes me. I requested an epidural soon after. By that time I was 5 cm dilated. The pain wasn’t unbearable at that point, but I didn’t want to wait until it was.
The epidural is completely in. God bless that man.
“The baby’s heart rate is down.”
A nurse called for backup before a swarm of nurses came rushing in. I was 8 cm dilated and placed on oxygen.
Everything had stabilized again. Please look at the time again.
Dr. Martin arrived, and told me it was time to “practice pushing.”
Aevrie is here!
After about 5 rounds of pushing, Aevrie Rhose was born at 6 lbs 15 oz. My mother cut the umbilical cord! Aevrie was born angry and alert, perfectly healthy, and absolutely beautiful.
Because of my iron levels and the amount of blood lost, I did need two blood transfusions. I had a very lovely 3-day vacation at the hospital where I enjoyed repeating my story over and over to the fifty-eleven nurses that cared for me during my stay. After my blood pressure returned to normal, I was released back into the wild with my fibroid still hanging out in my womb and a daughter who steals the show wherever she goes. I’m alive. My child is alive. I don’t take that for granted one bit.
Color me grateful.
Candace Alike Smith is a Las Vegas-based content creator, womb warrior, and matcha enthusiast. Candace founded this site in 2015 to help women of color reclaim their vitality. Follow Candace’s content on holistic beauty, mental wellness, herbs and essential oils, non-toxic products, healthy libations, wellness travel, and self-reflection. Green is her happy color.
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