My Two CF Birth Stories: Part Two

Last updated: April 2022

In Part One of this series, I reminisced about the birth of our first son as a new mom with cystic fibrosis. Now, that little boy is four years old and a big brother himself as we have just welcomed another little boy to our family this fall. We are now a family of four and loving it!

My two birth stories are different in a lot of ways, as birth stories always are. Birth is never the same, but with CF in the mix there’s more opportunity for things to go haywire. Once again during my pregnancy, I was booked for a 38-week induction for diabetes. However towards the middle of the third trimester, I started having complications with my placenta and baby’s growth slowed down. As a result, I was booked in for a 37-week induction as soon as he reached full term and was developed enough to limit complications.

Induction day

With our first son, I went into labor before my scheduled induction and wasn't quite sure what to expect this time around. Once we arrived at the hospital the morning of my induction, I was started on Pitocin, a drug that starts contractions, and began bouncing on a giant yoga ball to get the baby in the proper position. A few hours and popsicles later, I allowed the doctor to break my waters knowing with a history of precipitous birth, or very fast labor, that it would be quick thereafter.

Within no time, contractions grew in intensity and speed fairly quickly. At one point, they were getting so painful that I questioned the nurse about an epidural. When I stood up to get into bed from the birth ball, as if history was repeating itself, I felt the same sudden and intense urge to push. I knew what this feeling meant since it was the same feeling as if my body had a mind of it's own I experienced 4 years earlier. My husband ran in the hallway to alert the doctors, the pushing began and amazingly, 3 minutes later our son made his arrival.

Postpartum hemorrhage

Immediately following his birth, I began to bleed quite heavily. A piece of placenta was retained inside my uterus and caused the heavy bleeding. What followed was probably the most painful 20 minutes of my life, as the team tried intervention after intervention to try and stop the bleeding. Manual extraction of clots after just giving birth unmedicated was almost unbearable. Honestly, it was abrasive and gruesome. We agreed that she would try one more time to remove the retained placenta after a dose of IV pain meds. If she was unsuccessful, they would take me back to the operating room. Thankfully, the pain meds hit me, the clot was extracted, and the bleeding stopped. We were all able to relax and finally take a step back and enjoy the beautiful, tiny 5 lb 12 oz bundle laying on my chest.

Even though both births had moments of chaos and intense pain, I am thankful that both of my birth stories resulted in healthy and happy babies in the end. I am thankful as a woman with CF, I have had that privilege of watching my children come into the world and be their mom.

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