A week or so before the (unplanned) birth, I asked Salim a question that was starting to haunt me: « Am I going to die while giving birth?«
I admit it was an intense question, but hey I am kind of a drama queen, sometimes.
He replied with a huge smile on his face by diminishing the probability of dying while giving birth since you know, we’re in 2014 and all.
I honestly laughed as well. Because nothing’s going to happen, right? I’m giving birth in one of the best hospitals in France. I’ve taken my preparation classes. I’m like, so ready for this!
Then came D-day. I went to the ER that day, a month before the birth was programmed, because I noticed some water dripping. Nothing too significant but I was advised by a friend-gynecologist to check it out anyway.
Salim took a few things with us in the car, in case I do give birth, I laughed at him, almost nervously.
I was told that I was going to give birth in the coming 24 hours. I’ll give details about that in another article.
So here I was, waiting in the room, for the little dude and dudette to decide to start coming out of my huge belly:
I was obviously very tired.
A few hours later, Diane was born. It was pure joy. I thought she was absolutely gorgeous. Then Alexandre was born. I didn’t have the time to think anything.
It was too good to be true since I started right afterwards feeling that there was something weird going on when they « evacuated » the kids and asked my husband to go « take care » of the kids. He said « no, it’s okay, I’ll stay with Lara« . They insisted. I asked questions in my head about whether this was standard procedure or not. No one told me anything about that!
Then there was absolute silence in the OR. I was surrounded by medical personnel. I was too afraid to ask what was happening. Then being my eloquent self, I dared « Hmmm, is everything okay?«
My gynecologist answered by saying things I didn’t quite understand but amongst everything she replied, I assimilated a « you’re bleeding, a lot, and we’re trying to stop that ». She didn’t look at me while saying those words, I could tell by the blood on her hands and the other gynecologist’s arms that it was indeed pretty serious.
Fine. They’re pros, right? They’re going to make everything right. I’ll be reunited with my newborns in no time and we’re going to live happily ever after.
I don’t know how much time went by, but it was too long and way longer in my head. Then the gynecologist took off her gloves, looked at me and explained stuff. I’m saying stuff because I have no idea what she said. She explained what they’ve been trying to do. Great, I figured. Can I go now?
She finished by saying: « Nothing is working, we’re not being able to stop the bleeding. We’re going to have to transfer you to a more specialized hospital ».
This struck me. Everything I could think about was my new tiny babies. They’re not serious! I’m not being transferred right? It’s all a joke. I started begging my gynecologist to do something since I really didn’t want to leave my babies for an intervention in God-knows-where. We discussed for a few minutes and she told me that she was going to try again something she had already tried.
Miraculously, it worked this time. They immediately brought blood bags to « fill me up » again since I’ve lost around two liters of blood in this process. I stayed 24 hours under surveillance without being able to move so they make sure I don’t die or something.
That certainly didn’t feel like I imagined it would. I didn’t feel like a mom. I barely held Diane and I barely saw Alexandre, I couldn’t even hold him before he graciously left the room. I was mostly extremely tired and very disappointed. I was feeling like I was living in a dream-a bad one.
Long story short, here’s what happened (as told and discussed by my slightly-traumatised-by-this-experience gynecologist):
After Alexandre’s birth, my uterus that was extremely huge since I was carrying relatively big twins, and that had to contract after the birth, well, didn’t.
I lost a very big amount of blood and I was continuing to lose blood in big quantities. The medical team feared that by the time I actually get to the other hospital, I wouldn’t really make it. But at some point they didn’t have the choice.
Here’s a photo of me, a few hours after the « incident », when I started feeling a bit better:
Scary and white as a sheet, I know.
That being a very disturbing story, I shall point out a few tips and tricks, or at least stuff I’ve learned from that experience and that I would absolutely love sharing with future moms, not to scare you guys but so you can get to live this experience more peacefully than I did:
1- Although giving birth in atypical ways/ at different places (homes, in a tub, in the nature, on a bird nest) might sound fun and comfortable, I highly suggest you actually give birth at a good hospital.
2- Trust the medical team: Choose a gynecologist you trust so that in difficult times, you don’t have existential/weird questions about whether you should have checked if the doctor has a medical degree.
3- Stay calm.
4- Bear in mind that this is still a very rare thing to happen. Being pregnant with twins, I had a higher risk of complications but that doesn’t mean you’ll have the same experience.
Please do share your stories in case you have similar/ extremely different ones with maybe tips from your own experience! You can also ask me whatever question you have in mind about my experience of giving birth.