UAB Women and Infant’s Center is home to hundreds of births per year. As a photographer that specializes in newborn and maternity images I get to hear many amazing birth stories from so many different amazing women. I know when I was expecting my first, I couldn’t get enough of other women’s stories. Some of them are scary and eventful, other stories are ideal and uneventful. All of these stories are so valuable to expecting moms and veteran moms alike. If we’ve been through it, we feel seen and understood. If we haven’t been through it, we can sort of mentally prepare for what our choices are and what could happen that’s outside of our control. Amy is an Alabama mom that has been kind enough to share her experience at UAB Women and Infant’s Center with us. I’ll let Amy take over from here. (to maintain privacy images are not actually Amy or her family)
UAB Women and Infant’s Center | A Birth Story
AMY’S BIRTH STORY
“We found out Oct 28th 2018 I was pregnant (Huge Surprise). I had my 1st Ob appointment on Nov 12th. And everything looked great until I was leaving. I used the bathroom before heading home and I was bleeding. I was scared to death as we had already lost 4 babies prior to this pregnancy. The doctor did another exam and put me on light duty at work and pelvic rest. I had a follow up appointment a few weeks later. I still hadn’t stopped bleeding. By Dec 26th the bleeding increased and was sent to the ER and eventually admitted to the L & D wing for a blood transfusion. I had a follow up the next day with my OB and they did and ultrasound to check on the baby. Baby looked great, my labs looked good, other than low blood count, so they kept me on light duty at work. On Jan 14th I woke up to a bed full of blood and was rushed to the ER. A trip to UAB Women and Infant’s Center was likely. They did the normal tests and ultrasound and all they would tell me is my baby had a heartbeat and to see my Ob ASAP. The Ob couldn’t see me until Jan 21. They did an ultrasound and found out I had placenta previa and a placental Hemorrhage so they put me on strict bedrest.
UAB Women and Infant’s Center | Featured Birth Story
Feb 11th things were the same. On Feb 24 I was getting out of bed to go to the bathroom when I started gushing blood everywhere I quickly changed clothes and headed to the ER for yet another blood transfusion as my levels were very low. Saw my Ob again on Feb 26th for more lab work and everything was still the same; my counts were low and my blood pressure was starting to creep up. On March 10th I woke up to yet another bed full of blood so I headed back to the ER. On March 12th we had our Gender ultrasound and found out it was a girl. Only problem was my placenta previa had not resolved as it almost always does by 20 weeks. Other than that everything with Viviann looked great. I had a follow up on March 25th and they did another ultrasound and this is when I knew something was seriously wrong. My doctor didn’t talk or let me see the screen like always. He said he needed to get the other 3 doctors in the group to come look at my ultrasound and would be right back. As tears streamed down my face all I could get out was please tell me she still has a heartbeat. He just walked out of the room. It felt like forever before they all came back in the room. Each one silent as they did their own ultrasound. The whole time I was crying and just praying to God that my sweet baby girl was still alive willing to handle any other thing. Finally the last doctor finished her ultrasound and they all left the room again. After a little while my doctor and his nurse came back in and said from the ultrasounds it appears that my water had ruptured but they needed to do an exam to confirm. I was shaking and crying so much I almost fell off the exam table. They did their exam and confirmed my water had ruptured. My doctor said he needed to call and speak to a specialist at UAB Women & Infant’s Center Hospital and would be back as soon as he could. I have never been so scared in my life.
I called home to let my husband know why I had now been at the doctors for over 4 hours. We cried and prayed together. About 30 minutes later my doctor finally came back and told me I needed to head to the Hospital as they were Med Flighting me to UAB Women and Infant’s Center. I begged him to give me an hour to go home and say goodbye to my other babies and he reluctantly agreed but said I had to be at the hospital by 6pm as it was now 4:57pm. I got the strength to drive home pack a few things and hug my babies and husband for the last time. Watching my family drive away not knowing what the future held for my sweet baby Viviann or myself was heart wrenching. They checked me in and wheeled me up to L & D. Started me on magnesium and fluids and prepped me for the flight. Just as the helicopter was heading our way a huge storm moved in and it wasn’t safe to fly. So instead I was transported by ambulance. I remember the nurse and paramedic begging me not to go into labor because if I did there was nothing they were legally allowed to do to try and save Viviann. I wasn’t far enough along for them to try and save her. We finally got to UAB Women and Infant’s Center around 11:30pm.
The UAB Women and Infant’s Center doctor on call came in did his own ultrasound and exam and confirmed my water had ruptured. Your normal amniotic fluid level is 800ml and I had 0.2ml. They prepared me for the worst then transferred me up to the high risk wing until I delivered. They did warn me that most woman deliver within days of their water rupturing which meant I still wouldn’t be far enough along for them to save her. I have never cried and prayed so much in my life. I was already dilated to a 2 and she was breach. The new doctor who took over my care said if I made it 2 more weeks she would let me get out of bed and walk for short amounts of time so I didn’t go crazy. I finally got to see my family again on Easter and it was amazing! But it broke my heart even more when they had to leave.
UAB Women and Infant’s Center | Labor & Delivery
On April 29th I was out for my daily walk and fell in the UAB Women and Infant’s Center hospital on something someone had spilled and hadn’t been cleaned up. My left knee took most of the fall but I did hit my stomach as well. I layed on the floor of the hospital for 5 minutes before anyone even noticed I had fallen and needed help. I finally made it back to my room and told my nurse what happened she called the doctor on call and they wanted a non-stress test done right away. Viviann’s heartbeat was there but she started having dips and being non-responsive to stimuli. Finally after 4 hours they unhooked me. The doctor couldn’t even be bothered to come himself he told the nurse to give me something to make me sleep and leave me be.
UAB Women and Infant’s Center | Featured Birth Story
The next 8 days my blood pressure started rising more and Viviann was having more problems with her heartbeat. On May 5th I was taking a shower at UAB Women and Infant’s Center when I passed a clot the size of my hand. My placenta was now ripping apart and failing. On May 7th my blood pressure was 220/110 and they said it was time to have my baby girl. They finally did an ultrasound (this was the 1st one since being admitted) and said she was still breach and took me down to L & D. We got in my room at 11:55am. Within 5 minutes of being in L & D and on the monitors Viviann’s heartbeat dropped to 30 then we lost it completely. If it hadn’t been for my friend Casey being with me I would have completely lost it . I didn’t even have time to call my husband before they were rushing me down the hall into the OR. I remember handing my phone to Casey and telling her my passcode so she could call my husband and let him know what has going on. I remember shaking so bad and screaming at the nurses that I couldn’t breath as they put me to sleep.
When I woke up at 2:30pm in UAB Women and Infant’s center recovery no one even told me if my baby was alive. I had to ask. Thankfully Casey came back and told me all about my tiny miracle upstairs fighting to live. Viviann was born at 12:46pm weighing 3 lbs 2 oz and a whole 12 inches. She had a very very rough start: her Apgars were 0,2 and 4. When I finally got to see her she was so beautiful and all I wanted was to hold her. I thanked God for keeping her safe. She spent 29 days in the NICU for various preemie problems. Feeding, breathing, temperature regulation, weight gain and 5 rounds of jaundice.I noticed right away that something was wrong with the left side of her body. Her left leg was folded up and her left arm was completely limp. They tried telling me it was fine and normal for babies who are breach and she would be normal by the time we left the NICU. To this day her left side is severely impaired. And now she has been diagnosed with a very very long list of health problems.
Viviann is the light of our life and fought to be here. She has brought so much love to our family and we are now complete. Though it was a long scary road I wouldn’t know what to do without her. She is the light of our lives.”
Not all birth experiences are as dramatic as this UAB Women and Infant’s Center story! But every single story is unique and beautiful. This amazing career has given me a window into the lives of truly amazing local moms who have been through so much. Mom’s are the strongest people I know. Amy, you’re a rockstar.
While you’re here you might enjoy reading these:
Birmingham Women’s Hospital | What to Pack for your Birth
Why You Should Hire a Montgomery AL Doula
5 Montgomery Pediatricians You Need to Know About
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