Processing 2 Cesarean Sections: A Twin Cesarean Birth and A C-section Due to Placental Abruption

by Mrs. BWF on April 27, 2012

I know people hear a lot of negative birth stories that are over inflated. I’m not sure why people do this. I try to refrain from sharing these two experiences with expectant moms, because I don’t want to instill any fears or insecurities in them.

I had a very normal, uneventful pregnancy with the twins until 35 weeks. April 27th I went to bed a little crampy. I didn’t think anything was really happening. I was up and down all night. My back was hurting but I paid no attention to it. It always hurt. In the morning I started feeling sick and threw up a few times. I decided I didn’t feel good enough to take my older to school so I called the neighbors. She called my husband and he came home to check on me.

We went to the doctor to get checked out. I was apparently having some nice contractions and dilated to almost 5. Baby A was well, but Baby B was having some problems. My urine protein levels were +4 and my blood pressure was staying in the range of 160′s/120′s and we went for an emergency c-section. Baby B was Frank Breech.

When I got to the hospital everyone was rushing to get things going. I was wheeled to the OR within 30 minutes despite having just eaten. Once I was on the OR table staff was doing things to me like inserting a catheter, cleaning me, and spreading my legs to the point I was becoming concerned about what was happening because no one was telling me.

The anesthesiologist began giving me a play by play of what was happening. When my doctor came back I felt relieved, because he kept talking to me and kept my mind off what was happening. Baby A emerged from my abdomen screaming. He was held up and I was in shock over how big he was. The NICU team began to check him out. When they were going after baby B it felt like they were digging in my chest. When she was pulled from my stomach there was silence. They held her up for a split second and I saw a large baby girl. Her hands and feet were black and I thought “I didn’t know they did the foot prints in here?”

It didn’t take long to figure out her skin was not inked. She was turning black. They were bagging her to get her breathing. They took her to the NICU. They lifted me off the table onto a bed and took me to another room. Baby A came with me. I was moved again about an hour later.

About an hour after my final move, a nurse was trying to make me get out of bed and walk. She said I had 12 hours to do it. I told her to come back in 12 hours. I was unmedicated after the birth by choice. I was in so much pain when I did get up I began to feel dizzy from it.

Baby B spent 4 days in NICU for respiratory distress but checked out of the hospital with us. I remained in horrible pain for 2 to 3 weeks after the c-section. It wasn’t long and I began to question why they did nothing to maintain my blood pressure. I don’t feel the c-section was money motivated, because I was only charged for a vaginal birth.

About 12 weeks later I was pregnant with an unexpected pregnancy. While it was unexpected, it was not an unwanted pregnancy. I was afraid I would have to have another c-section. My OB said I was a great candidate for a VBAC. So that was the plan. I opted out of nearly all testing. The ultrasound at 20 weeks was the only real testing done. We chose to discover gender at the baby’s birth.

The pregnancy was normal with the exception of c-section site pain. I was due 5/18 according to my doctor. My calculations were closer to 5/11. On 5/1/2010 I began having contractions, but since we had moved 70+ miles from the hospital, I wanted to wait it out a little longer so I would not be sent home. I decided maybe some primrose oil capsules orally might help move things along nicely. So I took two and went to bed.

At 3 am I woke up in some real pain. I used the restroom and got back in bed. I laid there for about an hour in a lot of pain. I don’t know why I didn’t get up sooner. I rolled over and felt like maybe my water had broken and was getting ready to leak. Since one of the twins was in bed I woke my husband up so the baby wouldn’t fall out of bed when I got up. I got up and hurried to the bathroom. Three steps into the bathroom there was a big gush, but it was not amniotic fluid, it was blood. It was such a forceful gush that it splashed so forcefully through my underwear that there were blood splatters on the walls and cabinets.

I called to my husband and told him to put the kids in the car. When he appeared in the door way and was panicking over the blood told him not to worry. I told him that this was just the bloody show and it was OK. I knew it wasn’t, but didn’t know what was happening.

On the way to the hospital I was in so much pain, but couldn’t let on that anything was wrong because my kids were in the car and I didn’t want them to be scared. I was very worried because I couldn’t remember if I had felt the baby move recently. Blood was gushing still. It seemed like it took forever to get to the hospital. Hubby took me in and left me to drop the kids off at my friends house down the street.

I left a blood puddle in the elevator and bloody foot prints to the maternity ward. I was examined and told my placenta was rupturing and we needed to get the baby out asap. The babies heart rate was between 40-60 beats a minute and would fall into the 20-30′s. The nurses were moving me into different positions trying to see if it would help, but it wasn’t. I’m not sure why, but they were putting IV’s in my arms and legs and squeezing the IV bags.

I was wheeled off to the OR and the anesthesiologist said if there were any issues with the spinal that I would be put to sleep. My husband wasn’t there and I was very upset and crying. A nurse took pictures, otherwise I would have none. My daughter was born a few minutes later. My husband was brought in the OR a few minutes later.

The OB on call told me that when she began to inspect the placenta it more or less fell off the inside of the uterus. The placenta was discolored, mushy and was falling apart as she held it. They sent it to pathology to see if they could figure out what went wrong. They never figured it out. Our baby never had any issues resulting from any of this. They said Zazi may be mentally disabled, blind, etc but she is absolutely perfect in every way. She is a beautiful baby with a wild spirit.  In my medical records it says “repeat c-section”.

I feel the first c-section could have been prevented. I’m angry about it. The scars might be all better, but I’ve certainly not healed.

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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Ruthie April 27, 2012 at 2:35 am

I love you, mama.

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Jana Stuffel April 27, 2012 at 2:56 am

I wish I had had a ce section with my first born. He was a week late, almost 10 pounds. The pregnancy and labor went perfectly smooth, but delivery was another story. He was so large he had gotten stuck at the shoulder. When he finally was delivered, he was so blue my mother and husband thought he was dead. The doctor told me ha the delivery literally taken 2 minutes longer, he’d have been stillborn. this could have allbeen avoided if Id had a CSection… which they were considering, given the size of the baby. They knew early on he was going to be a large baby. My second baby, 2 years later, was also measuring big and so they scheduled a CSection. She was born big and beautiful Im so glad they decided on CSection. It sounded as if your Baby B was quite close to dying prior to the delivery…. had they not gone in and gotten her, and just waited for her, arent the chances of her making it less likely? If her hands and feet were already black?

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Melissa April 27, 2012 at 11:49 am

How insensitive of you. You have no idea how she feels, it took enough for her to share her story and we should be thankful and supportive of her. Every situation is different. I’m happy you got what you wanted, this Momma did not – even though she has three healthy children.

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Red April 27, 2012 at 1:58 pm

Tbh Melissa, I think you’re jumping the gun a bit. I’m not the OP but I didn’t take Jane’s comment as insensitive at all but just sharing her story and trying to relate with the OP a bit. It seemed like a completely innocent comment to me but I could be wrong. /shrug

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Jan April 27, 2012 at 10:48 pm

I agree with Red. Sometimes doctors don’t tell us what is going on or explain the reasons clearly. If Jana had a similar experience and her doctor was more open, why wouldn’t she share it. Maybe it would give the OP some peace knowing what that sign meant and that it was necessary.

I’m so sorry you had to go through the experiences. I’m not sure I could have kept myself quiet knowing what the blood meant and that my baby could be at risk. You are a strong woman.

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Valerie May 9, 2012 at 10:48 am

I understand where Melissa is coming from. I interpreted her words as saying that the OPs first cesarean of the twins was NEEDED -even after she stated she didn’t believe it was necessary. I don’t think she meant to be insensitive, but not exactly the supportive words people want to hear.

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Mandy August 16, 2012 at 9:23 pm

I agree w/ Valerie.

Natasha May 1, 2012 at 6:07 pm

Just wanted to throw out there that big babies CAN be delivered safely and don’t need to be an automatic C-section. My 2nd (a VBAC) was 9.5lbs and came out fine (1.5 lbs larger than my c-section baby). Skilled providers can recognized when baby is having a hard time coming out and sounds like you should have been on your hands and knees as soon as his shoulder was stuck.

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Aisha April 27, 2012 at 5:01 am

SO SORRY THAT YOU HAVE HAD SUCH DIFFICULT BIRTHS!BUT IT’S A GREAT HAPPINESS THAT YOUR BABIES ARE HEALTHY!!!IGOD BLESS YOUR BABIES!

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Shannon April 27, 2012 at 9:29 am

WOW, thank you for sharing this story! I am stunned and saddened and so happy that she has 3 beautiful babies! Thanks for having the courage to write this!

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B April 27, 2012 at 10:23 am

I had a placental abruption with my first born also. My story is quite similar to your 2nd pregnancy. I bled like you did for about 10 hours in the hospital before they decided to do a c-section. It was too late and my daughter was severely brain damaged. She passed away a month later. I also felt like everything could have been avoided had they paid more attention.

I would like to do a VBAC home birth for my next child, but was told the likelihood of another placental abruption is high. Does anyone know about that?

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Catherine S April 28, 2012 at 8:14 am

The statistics I have read and been quoted by my OB is in the range of 10-20% high chance than the average mother of having another placental abruption. Unfortunately, I don’t have a source for that, but I have read medical articles related to this topic, so they are out there. You just may have to dig a bit. I had a cesarean with my first for a partial placental abruption and had a hospital VBAC. Given the increased risk for another abruption, the (small but often catastrophic in a home birth) risk of rupture, and the availability of a very supportive provider, I was more comfortable in a hospital.

I am very sorry for your loss.

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Melissa April 27, 2012 at 12:14 pm

Congratulations on your three healthy children; I am so sorry that you are still healing from your deliveries. Surround yourself by supportive people and embrace your family of five. Thank-you for sharing your difficult journey with us.

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Chasity Boatman April 27, 2012 at 1:21 pm

Thank you for sharing your story. You should be proud that you went into it wanting a natural childbirth. However, sometimes that is just not possible. You’re not a failure. You tried your best.

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Stacy April 27, 2012 at 1:23 pm

Wow, I can’t imaging going through what you have, mama! I’m so happy that all of your babies are healthy, but I also know how hard it is to move on from a traumatic birth experience. I had an unexpected c-section with my first, which I think could (should) have been avoided. I am also angry about how it happened, and how I am now in the position of fighting for/trying for a VBAC (at home) this summer. I don’t think we will ever fully move on from those experiences, and people that haven’t been in that position don’t and can’t understand why. Just know that you aren’t alone in your feelings; that they do matter. ((hugs)) Thank you for sharing your story! It does help to know that there are others out there with the same anger and frustrations surrounding their births.

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Stacy April 27, 2012 at 1:49 pm

And after I read this, I see that BWF posted a link to Mama Birth’s blog re: the birth experience does matter! http://mamabirth.blogspot.com/2011/10/obstetric-lie-88-birth-experience.html?spref=fb

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Jenny K April 28, 2012 at 11:35 am

Love to you, mama.

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Natasha May 1, 2012 at 6:04 pm

Thank you for sharing your stories with us! I just wanted to throw out the International Cesarean Awareness Network and the peer to peer support they can provide. If you go to: http://www.ican-online.org you can find a local chapter near you. At our monthly meetings we help women deal with the emotions that surround a c-section. I hope you can find the support you need. Hugs <3

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Amanda May 4, 2012 at 11:05 pm

You said it yourself your baby was in danger with the first one she was BLACK when she came out. You saved her life by having that c section and shouldn’t be angry with yourself for having the surgery. If anything you should be happy that she is here with you because YOU made a GOOD choice when it counted. I am far from pro c section but when it’s obvious that a c section was needed you shouldn’t feel guilty for it.

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Sarah May 28, 2012 at 12:03 am

I agree with Amanda. I think your c-sections sound like legitimate surgeries. I know it must have been horrible for you and so very scary, but it seems like both of them were needed. I hope some day you will be able to come to terms with that and I am sorry for what you went through.

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Mandy August 16, 2012 at 9:24 pm

I think she is more upset that her bp was not in control and the doctors should have caught and managed that before her emergency cesarean.

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Hannah May 19, 2012 at 11:42 am

((hugs)) to you sweet mama. what you went through sucks and I’m sorry. <3

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Kathleen Neely June 20, 2012 at 4:42 am

I had my first son at 45 1/2 weeks delivered by emergency C section. I was 17 years old and my mother went on and on about how horrible birth is and how bad It was going to hurt. She scared me so bad that I didnt go into labor until 5 weeks after my due date. I had a beautiful healthy baby boy! I breastfed him and loved him to pieces despite the circumstances. He really was that overdue, I knew exactly when I got pregnant, The Dr. who delivered him told me family that he had never in his entire career seen a baby go that far overdue and be born alive. Thank God he was OK. I felt really bad about my c section and it bothered me for aa long time. Then at 31 years old My husband and I had a baby, Long time in between!! I decided to have a midwife follow me and take care of me, The baby was Frank breech, and that sounded scary to me. Of course I did not know very much about natural birth anyway. I scheduled a C section and had my Baby J at 38 weeks. I had an easy pregnancy and birth, but he suffered from prematurity, and spent several years in Spec Ed. If I had it to do again I would have had a vaginal delivery for J. Repeat C sections are not always a good idea. Now he is grown up and healthy and very very smart. But In retrospect, I should have waited for his due date to have him and /or given birth naturally. To those of you who Vbac I salute you. To c section Moms its all OK. God Bless Se Safe!!

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Kathleen Neely July 11, 2012 at 5:57 pm

a cesarean is always a scary thing especially when it is an emergency. Im so glad that your babiea re Ok. I know that Doctors like doind C sections for any reason and it is really hard having that surgery. I had 2 c sections and they were both pretty painful. my second child was done too early and had to be in the NICU for a week. It is all very upsetting and frustrating to feel like a Guinea Pig for the OBs. Sometimes a C section does save a life, sometimes not, sometimes it can cause serious problems for many years. Give it to God and ask him to heal your memories of this trauma. God bless you. Kiss your babies and thank God for them every day.

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K August 17, 2012 at 3:51 am

I’m guessing that although the original c-setion was undoubtedly necessary in the given cirumstances that the OP questions whether that would have been the case had her BP been better managed. Would baby B have been in distress if mama’s BP was normal ?

Knowing that your c-section is completely necessary doesn’t make the grief at being denied the birth you had envisaged go away.

I had an all natural birth with my first born and was so excited to be planning a repeat for my second baby. It was never to be :( I ended up in my worst nightmare scenario – an anterior grade 4 placenta previa which meant that there was to be nothing natural in any shape or form about my baby’s arrival earthside. I was denied even the experience of labor and the benefits that would have brought hormonally to myself and the physical benefits to my child. I have never felt so completely out of control of my body or my life and the experience of living on the knife edge from diagnosis to delivery (5 months), knowing what was to come at the end even in the best case scenario and having my distress dismissed by my health professionals like a kid throwing a tantrum because Santa didn’t bring me what I wanted, haunts me even years on.

I feel your pain mama and wish for you a future in which the upsetting memories fade and your children bring you much joy and healing.

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