Birth Stories

David - Born with Emergency Unplanned C-Section under General Anesthesia

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David had an EDD of Valentine's Day, but we had to deliver 6 weeks early - on New Year's Day!

On NYE, I visited my OB for our weekly checkup. I had been feeling nauseous and having a pain in the center of my abdomen. I thought that LO was in my lungs and that I was experiencing normal 8 month pregnancy ickiness. These were symptoms that later made sense.

Doc was more concerned after noticing protein in my urine. She pulled blood for labs and we went on our way after LO passed his BPP. She said that she was going to review lab results the next day, and if we didn't hear anything, we were in the clear.

At around 2 pm the next day, we got the call. My liver and kidney enzymes were elevated, and my platelets appeared to be low. She insisted that we pack a bag and head to L&D. She said that we would need to plan on being in the hospital until at least Monday - they wanted to run a few more labs, monitor baby and do a 24 hour urine. She said it was possible that we may have an early delivery.

I thought that the worst case scenario is that we would be bored in the hospital for a few days and deliver sometime later in the week. I thought I would have the opportunity to experience labor and was okay with being induced if I had to be. I knew that the possibility of a c-section was there.

What I didn't expect was to be told within that I would be delivering our child under general anesthesia ASAP. There were no other options - I had HELLP syndrome ( and it would be too dangerous to allow the pregnancy to proceed or for me to attempt labor. Having an epidural was out of the question. I was going to be asleep when my baby was born and DH couldn't be with me. 

It felt like a ton of bricks had been dumped on me. I had never considered this situation. DH and I were totally unprepared.

I was surrounded by family, and felt supported, but couldn't stop crying during the 3 hours I waited for the doctors to wheel me into the OR. They started me on a loading dose of mag sulfate to hopefully deter a chance of seizure, so much of that time was a haze. I remember praying a lot and kissing DH goodbye.

Once we were in the OR, it all happened very quickly. The room was full of nurses and specialists. I knew at that time that I needed to suck up the crying because the nurses and doctors needed their full attention on the procedure. The only way I could cope was praying for a safe delivery and that my baby would be healthy. 

They prepped my tummy and my airway at the same time. They stopped and checked procedures, and then they administered the anesthesia. Within 15 minutes, David was delivered and handed off to my husband, who was waiting in the recovery room for me. He learned that we had a son by himself (we were team green), and he had the opportunity to show him off to our family as he walked him to the NICU. 

I woke up in the worst pain I have ever been in. What they don't tell you is that you have to completely wake up before they can start the morphine. Unfortunately there was some sort of delay, and it took longer than normal. My DH and parents were there to comfort me, and I learned that we had a son and that he was doing really well.

Then the hard part started. I spent the next 26 hours on mag, in a dreary haze and crying to see my baby. I finally got to see him for a few minutes as he struggled for breath in the NICU. He had a long day, so I didn't get the opportunity to hold him until late the next morning. My heart was broken to be separated, and I couldn't process all that had happened in such a short time.

I stayed in the hospital until Wednesday, and my heart broke again when I had to leave my baby at the hospital. But, I think it helped me to recover quicker because I was bound and determined to make it to 3 feedings daily until he was released. It didn?t take long ? we got the chance to room in the following Saturday and he came home the next day!

I'm thankful that we caught the syndrome - it is only by a lab diagnosis that we could have found out. I am thankful that we are both recovering and that we spent less than the time projected in the hospital. 

But it is weird to have a baby and to have never gone through labor. 

I'm sharing this long story with my thoughts and feelings in case it helps anyone else prepare for the worst case scenario. Talk to your partner about how you would handle a surprise delivery. Try to prepare for the support that you would need. Don't just blow it off as something that can't happen to you, even though the chances are small.




PG#1 - 3rd cycle BFP. Team Green. HELLP syndrome @ 34 weeks.
Later diagnosed with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, possible link to HELLP.

PG#2 M/C 3/14 - Surprise BFP 2/13. Beta's doubled every 52 hours from 3w5d-5w5d
Viable pregnancy scan at 5w5d; 2nd u/s showed 2 days of growth in 7 but a HB of 120
3rd u/s on 3/10/14 had no HB and baby had only grown 7 days over 14
D&C 3/17/14 - complications - DX Retroflexed uterus, multiple tears to cervix

All Welcome


Re: David - Born with Emergency Unplanned C-Section under General Anesthesia

  • I am thankful this was caught in time but so sorry that you were the last to enjoy in your delivery. God be with you and your new son.
  • wow, thanks for sharing. so glad you and your little one are ok!
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  • Congratulations on the birth of your son. I'm really glad that your LO had a short NICU stay.



  • Congrats on your little boy. I'm glad to hear both of you are doing better after such an eventful birth. 
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  • I'm so sorry you had such a traumatic birth. I also had HELLP so I know some of what you went through. And yeah, no one tells you that when you wake up from your c/s, that you are completely unmedicated. Luckily the pain of that fades.

    I'm sorry your LO was born early. I feel so fortunate that DS was exactly at 37 weeks when my condition reared its ugly head. There are a few of us on here who had HELLP. If you ever want to talk about anything, you can PM me. I know when I first delivered, it helped to find other moms who had HELLP to talk to.

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