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Birth Stories at StorkNet ~ your pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and parenting community
ElizaBeth and Shelby
An extremely short umbilical cord causes the need for an emergency caesarian section delivery.

I spent Easter Sunday in 1994, feeling very cranky. Pregnant with my first child and eight days past the due date, I was ready for this to be over! I didn't want to eat, talk, or be in the company of family and friends. Everything bothered me-- smells, sounds, chocolate bunnies, you name it! My only relief was warm baths every couple of hours. At 11:00 p.m. that evening, just after one of those comforting baths, I began bleeding.a lot.

We immediately left for the thirty-minute ride to the hospital. We didn't dare entertain the thought that there might be something terribly wrong. I was relieved (and surprised) to see that upon arriving at the hospital the bleeding had stopped.

I was whisked away to a room and monitors were put in place. The monitors indicated that everything was fine with both me and our baby. The hot tub looked good but I couldn't use it because my water had broken and the baby was on the way. Wow, I was in labor! This wasn't so bad. Four hours later, it was BAD. I salute the women that do it natural, but I needed "Mr. Epidural" man. My loving hubby said, "You can do it, I'm right here with you." What loving hubby didn't know was, this felt like I was being stabbed and if he were any closer I'd scratch his eyes out!

Three hours later, I was pushing with all my strength. When I pushed, the doctor felt the baby. When I stopped, the baby disappeared. He couldn't explain why this was happening and was disturbed to see that I was bleeding profusely. The doctor decided it was time for a caesarian. I had it all planned out and nothing was going according to plan.

In the operating room people worked fast and furious in what I'd call a "professional panic." My husband was beside himself with fear and I just couldn't believe that the birth had reached such an emergency status. After the incision I heard someone say, "Oh, my God." I did not feel pain but I could feel the sensation of my daughter being removed. The trouble was they couldn't get her completely out of my body. The umbilical cord was only 7.5 inches long and surgical instruments had to be inserted into my abdominal cavity to cut it. There was an extreme amount of blood present which made it more difficult.

Everything went well after that and although my daughter was beautiful, she did suffer consequences. Both of her feet were severely deformed (clubfeet) and required her to wear plaster casts from birth to surgery at six months. Her surgery was a great success. Today she is an active, happy child, eagerly awaiting the birth of her sister, who is due mid March, 2002.

There has been no explanation as to why the perfectly healthy and life sustaining cord was so short. Doctors assure me that it's virtually impossible for this to happen again.

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