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A Wild Ride

Whoa. That wasn’t the week I had planned. Not even close.

The thing I’m learning, and rather quickly, about this whole parenting game, is that you just can’t plan for it. At all. Big thanks go out to Hubs for giving you all little updates as the labor and delivery progressed. What it taught me, in a life-altering way, is to just step into the current, allow myself to be carried along, and be thankful to arrive at the destination, wherever it may take me.

I’d like to share with you what happened. It’s a harrowing tale, full of unexpected twists, hairpin turns, and near collisions. Ultimately, it was a wild ride. Strap in folks, this one’s a long tale.

To say that things didn’t quite go according to my plans/ideas/expectations is the ultimate understatement. In fact, things went all very, very wrong, beginning last Thursday morning. I awoke around 12:45 a.m. with cramping in the side, exactly like what I’d felt 3 weeks ago when I ended up in the hospital. Within 15 minutes, it had gotten horrible. I could barely walk and I began to become physically, and violently, ill. We arrived at the hospital around 2 a.m.. My midwife, who met us there, said I actually wasn’t in labor. She didn’t know what was causing the pain, only that my preeclampsia was getting out of control, so they induced (my liver and kidneys were failing and my b/p was getting higher and higher so they also hooked me up to a magnesium sulfate IV to keep me from going into eclampsia and then having seizures, which I’d just began to experience as full body tremors).

I had the baby naturally a good bit later, at 10:20 p.m. (my epidural didn’t totally take, which I’m glad for, because I felt all of the contractions, as well as the urge to push). I labored for 6 hours and pushed for 40 minutes. All seemed well and they transferred us to the “Mother and Baby” floor around 3 a.m. Suddenly, six hours after the delivery, I began to massively hemorrhage. About six nurses filled the room, pushing very, very, very hard on my already tender abdomen. To hemorrhage so late after a delivery is really, really rare.

The next morning the pain that I’d experienced Thursday that sent me to the hospital initially returned with a vengeance. At first we thought it was a kidney stone. It wasn’t until Saturday evening, though, following an X-ray, a CT scan, and an ultrasound that we learned what was causing such horrific pain. It turned out I had a twisted ovary, known in medical parlance as an “ovarian torsion.” This, apparently, is also exceedingly rare (the surgeon that ultimately took it out said I was only the 3rd one he’d seen at such a late stage of labor in his 20 years of medicine). The ovary had become necrotic, and had began causing me to bleed internally. Emergency surgery was performed, which saved my life, and the ovary and its fallopian tube removed. We left the hospital Sunday evening and I’ve been home recovering since.

Clearly, none of this was what I’d planned. Honestly though, I am so, so very glad for how it all worked out. Had I labored and delivered at home, the midwives would have been gone by the time that I hemorrhaged. Also, I might not have had my god-awful pain (the ovarian pain was way worse than labor) dealt with as expediently, professionally, and superbly as it was. The surgeon told me I dodged a bullet-twice. In the old days, I’d have been one of those ladies that didn’t make it through labor. And so, I am so eternally grateful for the way it all manifested, what I learned in the process, and for the love muffin Hubs and I received in return.

Huxley Wild English is great, and, given the circumstances surrounding his arrival, muchly deserving of his middle name! The hospital staff and my midwives are absolute angels masquerading as humans. Things are beginning to balance out. My mother-in-law, another angel, is with us until next Wednesday, visiting from Florida. She’s been truly wonderful!

It was certainly an epic ride. I’m absolutely loving being a mother. I even love the late-night feedings, multiple diaper changes, and intermittent sleep. I love calling Huxley “peanut sauce” (this one even has its own song!), “monkey”, “pea pod”, “chicken”, “nugget” and more. I love staring at this tiny eyelashes, listening to his soft breath, and smelling his sweet smell. All’s truly well that ends well. I’m utterly smitten.

I’ll take pictures of Huxley soon and post them here once we get our whole nursing/sleeping/pooping thing down a bit more first. Thank you for your kind words of care and concern. The love surrounding my family is truly palpable, and infinitely appreciated.

Welcome to the world, wee one! You’ve got loads of folks with your best interests in mind!

*Image from here.

49 Responses to A Wild Ride

  • Congrats on Huxley and on surviving such a crazy ordeal! I'm so glad it all worked out in the end and that momma & baby are healthy and happy. Best of luck on this new adventure!

  • Elle Ross says:

    What a journey! I'm glad everyone arrived safe. Congratulations to all of you!

  • Medical interventions do have their time & place and boy howdy was yours a rare case! Happy to hear that you are recovering. Hang in there with breastfeeding–things get much better after a couple months and the growth spurts start to slow down, making the nurse-a-thons less frequent.

    Congrats again on the arrival of your beautiful little one.

  • Leigh says:

    Whoa–labor is hard enough. So very glad to hear that you are okay and were in the right hands for the situation. The medical establishment does have its place! Huxley is absolutely beautiful, and the hardest part is over–for now. :-) Enjoy those timeless nursing cuddles. Much love to your family!

  • Amanda says:

    I can't believe you had to go through all of that, but thankful you're recovering with your little Huxley nugget! Can't wait to see pics! xo

  • uncanny says:

    Wow! What a birth story. Glad you and Huxley are safe and sound. Enjoy every minute of these early days. They pass in a blink of an eye, but rest assured, each day keeps getting better and better.

    Lindsay – mama to a 14 month old.

  • annemarie says:

    Wow! I'm really, really glad you're still around to blog that story! And be Huxley's mama, of course. :)

  • Emily says:

    You and Wild Nugget are resilient! I haven't been a mommy for long myself, but letting go of my expectations was one of my first lessons too. So glad all is well now. Going to the hospital was a blessing in disguise for sure!

  • Maria says:

    Holy Cow, Ashley! I'm so glad you two are doing alright! Wow!! After all that, I'm rooting for a nice, relaxed, easy postpartum for you!!!


  • Tami says:

    Thank goodness you both are well. Enjoy that baby smell…he will be off to college before you know it!

  • Tami says:

    Thank goodness you are both well! Enjoy that baby smell…he will be off to college before you know it!

  • pamwares says:

    smiles…many, many smiles from me! congratulations and so happy you and nugget are happy and well.

  • Rosanna says:

    What a harrowing tale! So glad it ended well, and congratulations!

  • DarcC says:

    Yikes! So glad you had top-notch care. Can't wait to see more of Huxley, and best wishes for a speedy recovery!

  • EcoGrrl says:

    He's a lucky, lucky boy to have a mum (and pop) like you!!! Love hearing your stories, great energy always. Big love going your way :)

  • Cate says:

    A wild ride, indeed! I'm so happy you and Huxley are safe, and I'm glad you're enjoying motherhood! He's one lucky kid. :-)

  • Josee says:

    Oh my! Glad to hear that everything turned out ok in the end. Congrats on your little one :)

  • tigress says:

    OMG ashley what a scary ordeal. so happy that all is well now. and I can't wait to see photos!

  • Sue says:

    That is definitely the “wild”est birth story I've ever read. I'm so, so glad for you that you had such great medical care. I love the idea of birth being a natural process, but it's also gotta be the most difficult, exhausting and wrenching natural process that we will go through (short of death). I'm also very, very glad that you are able to dive into your babymoon, despite such a huge medical complication. Enjoy, take it very, very easy, and let the blog go if it's the least bit of trouble!

  • Kayt says:

    Wow! I am so happy that everything went the way it needed to go. I'm so glad you had a successful delivery, and you guys are all healthy now. Bf'ing is hard at first, but I know you'll do fab. Enjoy your Wild one, and ignore the blog if need be.

  • Lcoppola says:

    God Bless You and your family.

  • my goodness. I am so glad you and your little one are safe. I have a good friend who discovered she had a large brain tumor the day after she delivered. She had also planned a home birth but had to go to the hospital for complications.
    I'm finding out more and more that things work out for the best, even as plans go awry.
    blessings on your family.

  • Kristina says:

    I had a friend who had a worse ride and ended up losing one of her twins, so I am glad VERY GLAD you had a happy ending.

    I have a friend who swears by birthing at home notwithstanding the risks (she's had three), and it's stories like these that make me scared of going the home birthing route.

    Congrats on the new family! Sorry you went through such horror, but again, glad everyone is safe and sound!

  • Anonymous says:

    congratulations! and thanks for sharing your story. you are an inspiration to me in so many ways! so glad you guys are doing well. is a “homemade baby” book in the works i hope?

    – lucy

  • ellen says:

    I love reading your blog and am so relieved you and your baby are well after such a traumatic experience. I am so glad that it all worked out that you were where you needed to be to get the life saving surgery you needed. Take the time you need to recover and meld into your new life as a mother. Much joy to you all.

  • Julie Smits says:

    Congrats on your baby boy, I'm really happy for you that everything turned out well and that you are enjoying your baby even after the complications that happened at the hospital. Enjoy your precious first moments with you baby, can't wait to see the first photos…Love, Jules

  • Terri says:

    Oh my… that is a wild ride! I'm so glad you and Huxley are okay & home & happy. Congratulations!

  • wow.. thank you for sharing your story. you are very brave and inspiring.

  • My word, what a story! Although it's too bad things were so wild for awhile, congrats on your new little one and for making it through – he's one lucky little guy to have such great parents.

  • Megan says:

    Oh, Ashley! I am so glad that everything turned out okay for you all! I had different births in mind for my own children, but were it not for modern medicine, none of us would be here.

    He is a beautiful child with a seriously great name! Congratulations!

  • sk says:

    Oh my goodness! I'm so glad that you and the little boy are okay! That truly was a wild ride.

    Thanks for sharing your experience with us, and I look forward to hearing more about what it's like to be a new parent!

    Love & Light,

  • Lindsay Road says:

    Oh my goodness, I'm so glad to hear that you're okay! You just reminded me why modern medicine is so important! I'm wishing you and your little one well!


  • Rosanne says:

    I'm very happy for you, Ashley, and glad to hear that your precious son arrived safely, and that your life was spared after such serious trauma.
    Now I'm praying that you will heal quickly and thoroughly — I understand your being “smitten” — babies are truly miracles, and I could never get enough of feeling, smelling and looking at my newborns — I was awestruck as well as smitten.
    :o) Rest every minute you can!!
    Bless you all!

  • Wow. I hope you are getting the help you need as YOU heal through the physical aspects of all you've been through. Blessings to you and Huxley and Mr. Hubs. What a lovely family.

  • Dulcimer says:

    Thanks for sharing your story! I'm so glad everyone made it through this wild ride. I had a similarly crazy experience with my daughter, who I had planned to deliver at a midwife center. But hours after my water broke, we finally discovered that I have a very strangely shaped pelvis — one that could NEVER deliver a baby — and I had a c-section. I, too, would have been one of those mamas who just wouldn't have made it through childbirth. It's so surreal to live with the knowledge that modern medicine saved your life, and I'm not sure I'll ever get over that strange feeling, but I'm awfully thankful.

  • Melanie J. says:

    Goodness! Thank the gods you're OK. Your son is beautiful, and I'm glad you're on the mend.

  • Best wishes Ashley and I'm glad things turned out o.k! I love living in a world with both all things natural and homegrown, but also the beauty of the modern world, like the internet and modern medicine.

  • melissa says:

    I don't usually get into “birth stories.” I'm not one of those women that gets all gooey over other peoples' pregnancies. But I don't think I breathed the entire time I read that. :O So glad you both made it through alive and well like champions. :) And hurrah to your support system for being there through it all.

  • I had ovarian torsion a year ago and I can affirm that it is so so so so much more painful than the worst pains of childbirth. I can't believe you experienced both virtually simultaneously! Let me say to you what the surgeon who operated on my torsed ovary said to me after my ordeal: “You are incredibly strong!” Like you, I felt immense gratitude to the medical establishment that (although in other instances, such as my son's birth, I readily criticize) in this case saved my life.

    Congratulations on the birth of your baby!

  • afreckledlip says:

    Wow, I cannot imagine how scary that must have been. What a blessing that everything turned out well in the end. What a beautiful baby boy! Congratulations.

  • The Beast says:

    OH MY GOD. I'm so glad you're doing better– what a crazy, crazy experience! Your reward though, has got to be the most amazing in the world. Congratulations on having what is apparently one of the best medical centers around, and on your beautiful blessing of a son!

  • Wow, how scary but thank goodness you were able to get rapid medical care. I am glad you and your new “chick” are doing well.

  • Your story brought tears to my eyes, Ashley. Wow, that is some birth story! I'm so happy everything turned out ok and you got the care you needed. Huxley is just darling. Congrats!

  • Kate says:

    What a scary turn of events – but I'm so glad you came through OK! And believe it or not, I think this is a wonderful testament to responsible midwifery – rather than try to “tough it out” (with disastrous results), your midwives recognized that you needed the care of an OB. I think a lot of anti-homebirthers don't give midwives that credit.

  • Kate says:

    That sounds like a terrifying ride. I'm so glad to hear of Huxley's safe arrival and your health restored. Looking forward to seeing photos of the fam soon.

  • Liane says:

    i'm so glad you are both ok. we just had a frightening experience with my 4 yo niece adelaide this past weekend and she would not be here without modern medicine as we know it. i tend to not give all the advances we make with medicine enough credit. thank god for it. and the people who work so hard to take care of us in the profession when we are most vulnerable.
    happy mothering to you. nothing like it.

  • Holy moly, mamacita! What an incredible story. I already thought you were one of the most amazing women on the planet, but now you've officially reached Superwoman status. Huxley has one heck of a birth story…and some pretty awesome parents!

  • ~Heather says:

    I had to do a double take when I saw your son's name, my 6 year old is also a Huxley! Glad the 'Wild' ride had a happy ending, with Mum & Baby safe.

  • SarahBHood says:

    I came a little late to your story and I'm glad I read it backwards: seeing pictures of a healthy baby first. All good wishes for getting well soon!

    My sister had a similar tale: different details, but an equally unexpected and worrisome start for her daughter Tara, whose now 8, tall, strong, happy and generally amazing. (Her mom's pretty impressive too.)

    I look forward to reading more as you long up days and days and days of boring, just-as-planned days!