Friday, July 29, 2011

A true nightmare or what a birth should not be

I gave birth to my son Nicolas on June 13th. What should have been an easy and beautiful birth became a nightmare the minute I requested an epidural. It was 2am and a sleepy nurse missed it three times, one of them releasing liquid from my spine. She truly did not have a clue what she was doing as the pain from the contractions came back every 90 minutes and she had to give me more painkillers each time. Had I known this I would have certainly skipped the epidural as I experienced most of the pain from the contractions and had post-partum complications due to the wet spinal tap. Nicolas came out with three pushes in a matter of minutes at 12.15pm.

To make a long story short, I soon experienced unbearable spinal headaches and neck pains when sitting or standing. I was therefore told I immediately needed a blood patch. That's when a butcher anesthesiologist came and with no local anesthesia, sitting up in bed, he injected 20cc of my blood in my spine. I will never forget that pain in my life. I then had to lay flat for 24 hours, not being able to nurse or attend to my newborn baby. I left the hospital 2 days after the birth and the neck pain and headaches soon came back. My OBGYN prescribed ibuprofen against the pain and "to make sure the blood patch worked" he said, and the only thing I could do was lay flat on my back for ten days. Thank God my mother was there to help with my 3 year old daughter and my baby.

I started looking online and found a community called Brain Talk Communities.One of their forums is about spinal leaks and that's where I found out more about what they had done to me and how a blood patch should a. have been done with local anesthesia, laying down on my stomach and therefore be painless b. have been done 24 hours after the birth and c. have been stopped the second it started to hurt, i.e. too much blood had been injected in my spine. That is also where I found a recommendation to see a neurologist. My OBGYN wanted me to go back and have another blood patch since the pain had not disappeared, but that I refused. I went to see the neurologist specialized in spinal problems and had to have an MRI to make sure I did not have a blood clot in my brain given that too much blood had been used during the blood patch. He also explained that I should have never taken ibuprofen against the pain as it is an anti-inflammatory and the purpose of the blood patch is to cause an inflammation in the spine so that the leak created by the spinal tap can close itself. As a result it will now take months for my leak to close itself, if it ever does. I should not be carrying anything heavy which is obviously impossible with a 3 year old and a newborn baby. But if the pains I am still experiencing in my back and neck have not disappeared by mid/end of August, I need to go back to see Dr. Adams.

The reason why I am writing all this is because no woman should go through what I went through during a magical moment such as birth. All this happened at the Mercy Hospital in Miami. Avoid it at all costs and make sure a certified anesthesiologist performs your epidural, not a nurse. Inform yourself.

2 comments:

Satterlees said...

Thank you for sharing. My epidural went wrong too and I appreciate hearing others who suffered along with me.
Kami

V said...

Very sorry to hear that Kami. Hope all is good now...