Read Part 1 here.
The details of what happened after the birth may be a bit sketchy, so I'll do my best to remember.
After our sweet Genevieve was born, all was well and we were elated. I remained in the tub, with Genevieve resting on my belly, while we waited for the cord to stop pulsing. Once the cord had been cut, we then had to wait on the placenta to deliver. The bleeding at this point was minimal so there were no concerns. Once the placenta was delivered, Genevieve was passed over to Daddy so that I could begin cleaning up. By this time, it had been about 20 minutes since the birth . Just as Janet was helping me to get out of the tub, I suddenly felt strange. My arms felt extremely tingly, so much so that it was quite uncomfortable, then my ears clogged up. The next thing I knew, Janet had her hands on my face and she was yelling, "Candace, Candace!" I had passed out.
At this point, everyone began working quickly to try to get me out of the tub. My midwife determined that my placenta had only partially detached, so I was bleeding heavily! Time was of the essence, so my husband came to my side to assist in getting me out of the tub. As Greg and Janet lifted me to the edge of the tub, I felt that tingly feeling again and my ears began to clog. I yelled, "I have to sit back down!" I lunged myself back into the tub and, again, the next thing I knew, Janet was yelling my name again. I had passed out for a second time.
Once I came to, they couldn't wait any longer trying to get me out of the tub. I remember the other midwife, Holly, getting into the tub and explaining to me that she had to "go in" and pull out those leftover bits of placenta that were causing all the bleeding. I had no idea what that would be like, but I quickly found out. This was the most excruciating procedure I had ever been through in my life....a manual D & C....with no drugs! After labor, passing out twice, and loosing blood, I had nothing left in me to handle the pain. I am normally a quiet laborer. But at this, I screamed at the top of my lungs, begging her to stop. It took three times for her to get everything out, but once she did, the bleeding stopped almost immediately!
Now that the bleeding was under control, they could get me out of the tub and transfer me to my bed. I was very weak, but it was good to finally be out of the cold, hard tub and into my soft, comfy bed. Over the next couple of hours, the midwives worked tirelessly to stabilize my blood pressure. I would feel fine one moment and then very ill the next, vomiting several times. They kept me on oxygen and tried intermittently to get me to eat and drink. In the meantime, Janet had sent a friend out on a mission to track down liquid chlorophyll. It seemed as if everyone was out of it, so she pretty much drove all over town trying to hunt this stuff down. Thankfully, her mission was successful, because as soon as I began to consume this rather large bottle of green plant cell pigment, I began to feel better almost instantly! Hooray for chlorophyll! It should be a must at every birth.
Finally, I was well on the road to recovery. I was able to sit up and nurse little Genevieve for the first time....two hours after she was born. She latched on and nursed like a pro! All was well and the midwives stayed by my side for several hours to make sure I remained stable.
This was the first time I had ever experienced a partial placental detachment. All of my previous births had been smooth and uneventful. Of course, this would happen at my first home birth. But God, in His grace and sovereignty, had His hand on the situation and it was certainly no surprise to Him! He gave the midwives all that they needed to handle this emergency. He gave my family and friends strength in the midst of worry and fright. And He gave me the comfort of knowing I was in capable hands and surrounded by loved ones. I also felt a huge peace in knowing that our new baby was near at all times, and in the loving care of family and friends.
With that being said, I understand that this was a very alarming situation, quite traumatic for my husband, my older girls and my mom. From their perspective, seeing me pass out, turn ghost white, and convulsing, was extremely frightening! I'm sure there was a moment when everyone in the room wanted to call 911. Thankfully, the midwives were equipped to handle this type of emergency and would have called 911 if necessary.
My overall assessment of my first home birth: Wonderful! I do not regret in any way having Genevieve at home. Some people have assumed I wouldn't do it again. Why? My placenta didn't know whether I was at home or in the hospital. Midwives know their craft and I trusted mine to do what was necessary! And she did!
So this is my story and I'm sticking to it! ;-)
God is good and we give Him the glory for the entire birth! Feel free to ask me any questions regarding the birth, or, if you were here during the birth, to chime in where I may have left something out!
Today, our sweet Genevieve is one month old! My, how time flies!