Congenital Anemia, Three Days in Labour, and a Hospital Cesarean.

I was high risk my whole pregnancy. My doctor never thought I would make it to full term. After four blood transfusions throughout my pregnancy for severe congenital spherocytosis anemia, some bed rest, and hospital monitoring twice a week to make sure my fluids were okay, we made it to 40 weeks! I was induced Monday September 10, 2012, since my anemia was getting pretty bad.

We came in to the hospital at eight am and they had a heck of a time getting my IV started. After they finally got one they decided they needed to do another since I would need blood immediately after I delivered. They started me on the first round of Cervidil and that had to stay in for 12 hours. After 12 hours there was no dilation, and a little bit of thinning. So the next round was put in. 12 hours later I was only dilated one centimeter. They gave me the option to either start Pitocin or to take Cytotec, and I was NOT going to accept Cytotec.

They started the Pitocin and I felt a few contractions before the hospital was put on lock down. My husband was gone taking a shower so he was locked out. There was a ‘code silver’ which meant there was a hostage or armed person in the hospital. I was freaking out: what if i have my baby during this? Four hours later all was cleared and they found nothing. My husband was finally able to come up with me.

Contractions were really starting to hurt and I was only one centimeter dilated. It was seven hours after the start of Pitocin and I was begging for the epidural. At 11 pm I got it and man, did I feel amazing. I was finally dilated to a two! Now we waited, and waited some more. At three am I felt a big POP! My water broke all by itself. They checked me and I was a three, finally making progress. After I got the epidural I was feeling agonizing back pain, and there was nothing I could do except sit straight up. It was horrible.

Here we were, three days at the hospital now and no baby Andrew. I wasn’t dilating past a three and my water had already been broken for 12 hours. The doctor came in and told me I had until five pm to make some progress. Sadly, I was still at a three when five o’clock came around. So they decided to do a C-section, since Andrew clearly did not want to come out. I was very scared. I didn’t want to have a big surgery at 19 years old. My whole family was there to support me. We went in for the C-section at six pm and they got me all prepped. I had a fantastic anesthesiologist and team of nurses. They let me know what they were doing as they were doing so.

They brought my husband in and they began. About two minutes later the anesthesiologist said, “Baby’s out!” And I heard my sweet baby boy crying for the first time. I was immediately in love. My husband got to cut the cord. I was so relieved to know my baby was finally here and okay. I don’t remember anything from when I first heard him cry to when I woke up in the recovery room. Sadly, I don’t even remember seeing him once he was out. I’m guessing they knocked me out to finish me up since I was so scared.

Andrew David Santiago was born at 6:29 pm on September 12th, weighing 7lbs, 5oz.

I finally got to hold him once I woke up and he immediately wanted to nurse.

I wish I could have done a water birth but with my high risk pregnancy (and needing to receive blood after the delivery) it was out of the question. I am happy with my birth experience and hope to have a VBAC with my next baby. Here is Andrew now almost a month old.


  • Ashley

    What a powerful story and what a strong momma you are! So brave and so AMAZING. Your strength and love for your Son SHINES through each and every word of your birth story. You’re so Divine. What a great momma little Andrew picked. Many blessings, Love Ashley.

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