The long awaited birth story is finally here! As many new mom’s can probably relate, my life has been turned right side up since I found out I was going to be having a baby…even more than I could have possibly ever imagined! I wouldn’t have it any other way. Our sweet boy Leviticus Thomas Albernaz came into the world weighing in at 7lbs 6 ounces on January 20th, 2018 at 3:29PM after 12 and a half hours of labor at Boston Brigham & Women’s Hospital. Many of our friends and family knew we had planned an all natural home birth. Admittedly, I was super unprepared for the complications that arose and led us down a hospital birth path. Here is our story:
When I was 38 weeks pregnant, I began to notice some minor irritation on my stretch marks around my belly button. It was a little itchy and even with my obscene obsession with coconut oil, the irritation got progressively worse as my pregnancy went on. I later learned this rash was called PUPPPS, a highly rare skin condition during the last few weeks of third trimester that is caused by hormone imbalances. At first, what started as a little itchiness, turned into a violently red, hive covered rash that spread all over every stretch mark on my body. By 40 weeks, I had tried every cream, lotion, ointment and tar soap recommended by doctor google and my midwife…NOTHING was working. It was at 41 weeks and 1 day and two false labor attempts later that I pulled
the plug on my natural home birth plan and decided to go to the hospital to get induced. Everyone told me if I wanted my rash to go away, I needed to induce and get the baby out. So off to the hospital I went!
When we arrived at the hospital on that Friday night, they essentially told me there was “no room at the inn”. I was so exhausted and frustrated at that point I was at my breaking point. They were prepared to send me home with more lotions and creams but I burst into hysterical tears and amazingly they said, “We’re moving you to labor and delivery.”
They came in and checked and I was about 2cm dilated but nothing was progressing so they suggested using the balloon method also known as the Foley Balloon Catheter. If you ever hear those words, JUST SAY NO. Basically, they’re forcing your cervix to expand by blowing up the balloon while its inside of you. Not natural, and although they claim its safe and effective, from my experience, it is not only extremely painful, it was also extremely foolish. I can’t 100% say it was what caused my complications but I’m about 99% sure it was. At this point, I gave up on my natural process, the pain was unbearable…and this is coming from someone who has an extremely high tolerance for pain. One well meaning nurse came to my side while I was harnessed up into a sideways stirrup and whispered in my ear “You’re doing great, about half way there…probably another 10 hours to go”…I promptly screamed out for an epidural. By that time my midwife arrived just in time to see me giving up on everything we had planned.
Once the epidural came, I was my usual chatty self. I could hardly sleep from being so excited to meet our boy. At about ten hours into labor, I started to feel very cold. They kept covering me with warm blankets but nothing seemed to be helping. I was so cold that my body began to shake violently and my teeth were chattering. The nurse checked my temperature and blood pressure only to find that I had a pretty high fever. They monitored me and the baby to make sure everything was okay but diagnosed that I had an infection and left us with no other option but to do an emergency C-section. To say I was disappointed in that moment would be a huge understatement. I had never had surgery before, and all I could think was to pray to silence all the fear that rushed in at that moment.
Levi was out in under 10 minutes. It was amazing! He was healthy, beautiful and worth every moment of all of it.
Unfortunately, the infection was pretty difficult to manage and it took them almost two and a half hours to stabilize me. I lost over two liters of blood and I was shaking violently from the fever during the entire procedure while I was awake. I begged one of the doctors to put worship music on…he said, “How do you spell that?” which still makes me laugh today.
As I lay there shivering, crying, wishing desperately that I could hold my boy, I could feel the peace of God and knew it was going to be okay. In the midst of disappointment, and despite overwhelming fear, God showed up in that hospital room. He reminded me of the miracle we just created. We made the most beautiful and amazing little boy. He’s turning six months old this week, and never in my life have I met a more happy, content, giggly, silly baby. He’s fearless, determined, fascinated by his surroundings and knows he is loved and that made this all worth it. Share your birth story with us in the comment section. I’d love to hear how other moms experienced this precious gift called life.