A Close Call With A Happy Ending – A Rose Medical Center Birth Story

what it feels like to be in labor, factor v leiden pregnancy, birth story

My due date was Sunday, October 19th 2014 with my first baby!  At my first of what felt like a million visits we started to cover my overall health history.  A few years prior to getting pregnant I had a blood clot in my arm. My doctor told me she needed to test me for a clotting disorder. They found that I had Factor V LeidenThis is a mutation of one of the clotting factors in the blood called factor V.  This mutation can increase your chance of developing abnormal blood, usually in your veins.   Most people with factor V Leiden never develop abnormal clots, but some do develop clots that lead to long-term health problems or become life-threatening.  Pregnant women are at a higher risk since pregnancy increased estrogen may increase the chance of developing these clots.

I was lucky enough that my OB was someone who I knew and trusted, Dr. Serrahn.  I work at, and would be delivering at Rose Medical Center in Denver Colorado. The OB GYN Office was called Midtown OB GYN and is full of extremely kind and talented doctors.  I was put on Lovenox, a shot that I would give myself every day in my abdomen while pregnant to  help insure I would not get another clot while pregnant.  My last doctor’s office visit was the Wednesday before my due date.  I was hardly dilated but Dr. Serrahn was going to be gone over the weekend and I was running out of room for these shots.  By now I was on a shorter acting shot that I gave myself two times a day and the needle was much bigger.  For some reason my doctor had a feeling that I was going to have the baby by the weekend. Together my doctor, my husband and I decided that if I did not go into labor over the weekend I would come in on Monday to be induced.  That way I would be full term, but would not have to do another week of the shots.

I worked on Thursday and was suppose to work Friday but I wanted to have an extra day to get a couple things done before baby (this for some reason included really needing to clean my toilets).  My mom got into town around 2:00 in the afternoon on Friday, and we went to a late lunch.  That  night we were still full from lunch so we watched a movie, had some crackers and cheese and a glass of wine.  I did a load of laundry.  My mom asked if she could help but I felt great.  I went to bed around 11pm and woke up around midnight.  I thought I was dreaming about being in labor but woke up with cramps that I couldn’t sleep through anymore. My husband asked me if everything was OK?  I didn’t know, I had never been in labor before.  So the natural thing to do seemed to be to google “what it feels like to be in labor?”.

I was so sure when it came down to it I would be more self-aware, and confident that I was in labor, but I was nervous to get everyone excited and be wrong.  I went to the bathroom because I thought that would make me feel better.  While I was trying to go I thought I felt my water break, but I had no way to be sure.  I decided to take a shower and not get too excited.  My husband however, knew exactly what was happening (thank God).  He woke my mom up and had already started timing my contractions. They were three minutes apart so he called the number we had and the on call doctor called us back.  She said since we were 30 minutes away we should probably head her way ASAP.  By the time we got to the hospital it was around 3:30am.  We went through the E.R. and waited for the labor and delivery nurse to come and get us.  She asked me if I wanted a wheel chair.  I remember I said no, because I knew the hospital and it didn’t seem that far.  It ended up being the world’s longest elevator ride.

Then she began to ask me about my birth plan and if I had a copy.  I said I did not have a plan.  Well, I did; the plan was to not have one. This was not because I was unprepared but my husband and I had discussed we didn’t want to have any pressure on the situation if things didn’t go the way we had written in a plan.  We wanted to be open and ready for any situation that could happen.  I knew that as much as I like to be in control, this was a time when I needed to let go and let things happen the way they were intended to.  I wanted to try and go without drugs for as long as I could but I was definitely not opposed to an epidural.

I got all checked into a room, they tested and I was right: my water had already broken.  I got situated and they checked to see how dilated I was.  It was 5am I was 5cm.  I took that to mean I was going to be there for a while and decided to ask for the epidural.  Because of the medication I was on for blood clotting they had to draw my lab work first and get the results before I could have the epidural.  They said this would take about an hour.  I remember thinking ‘I should have asked a lot sooner’.  I received the epidural around 6:30 am, and was ready to rest for a little bit for what I thought would be a long day. The on-call doctor came in to meet me and check me out before she would do rounds at another hospital and be back in the afternoon to deliver me.

Dr. Mcrann started looking at the baby’s heart rate.  She called a nurse in and asked how long had this been going on? (I remember thinking what are they talking about? I was smart enough to know they were talking about her heart rate but this was the first I was hearing about it).  None of the staff had any answers for me, and then Dr. Mcrann did a cervical exam on me.  I was dilated to 10cm.  Dr. Mcrann told the nurse to push a button and all of the sudden there were about 20 people in the room.  She calmly said that my baby was not breathing but the good news was that I was fully dilated and that I needed to push.  I began to hyperventilate so they gave me an oxygen mask.  Dr. McCrann was very calm, she told me we were on borrowed time and if I didn’t want to have an emergency C-section I needed to push.  Within a few seconds I grabbed my legs and pushed one time and out was my sweet baby girl. She came just in time and was healthy enough that I got to hold her.  They slipped her inside my gown where I laid eyes on the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.

Mila Rose was born Saturday October 18th at 7:42am.  She was 6lbs 14 oz 19 ¾ in.  The staff was so supportive and great.  Even though I only met the doctor that delivered her about 30 seconds before she was born she was so calm in the situation that it made me feel like everything was going to be OK.  They are not sure why her heart stopped.  They said it could’ve been the umbilical cord or she just descended through the birth canal so fast that she lost her heart rate. All I know is that everything happens for a reason. I was granted an absolutely beautiful baby girl who would teach me about an unconditional love that I never knew existed.

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