Miscarriage During Covid, Positive Hospital Birth with Failed Epidural and Episiotomy
Angela and TJ dated for 14 years before getting married in 2019. Angela was happily surprised when she got pregnant immediately after removing her IUD in April 2020. However, at her first prenatal appointment, the doctor couldn’t find a heartbeat. Angela started miscarrying at home the morning of her D&C which was excruciatingly painful. Because of COVID, her husband could not help her into her D&C appointment.
A few months later, Angela discovered she was pregnant again and due right after the 4th of July. She was anxious about miscarrying again but reading statistics about likelihood of a repeat miscarriage reassured her.
The pregnancy continued uneventfully and Angela was able to continue to exercise. By 39 weeks, Angela was convinced she was going to go past her due date. On Friday July 2, Angela had a slightly upset stomach when she went to her noon spinning class. That afternoon she continued to feel sharp gas pains which she attributed to end of pregnancy gastrointestinal problems. It didn’t feel like contractions had been explained to her. That evening, she attended an outdoor movie with her husband and her pains got worse as she laid on a blanket on the ground. After the movie, Angela’s husband convinced her to get out the contraction timer and they realized she was indeed in labor with contractions every 2-4 minutes lasting a minute.
Because her mom’s labor was precipitous, they went to the hospital on the sooner side. Upon arrival, she was 4 cm dilated. After a few hours, back labor began and the only position that provided relief was sitting upright in bed with TJ applying pressure. After the nurses forgot to take her COVID swab to the lab, she was unable to access the nitrous oxide and decided to get an epidural which she had wanted to avoid because she was not progressing past 4 cm.
The epidural insertion was painful and difficult. Angela soon realized it was only working on one side. She was also no longer allowed to sit up in bed to deal with the contractions. Throughout the day, the anesthesiologist was able to do something to temporarily make the epidural work on both sides but it only lasted 30 minutes at a time. Angela and TJ used the Bradley methods they practiced for dealing with the pain.
By 9 pm Angela was fully dilated and ready to push. A new anesthesiologist came on duty and was able to fix the epidural. The environment in the room was very calming during this phase but progress was slow. After more than 4 hours of pushing, the OB on duty said that an episiotomy was necessary which Angela consented to. Arthur was born immediately after that, early on the morning of the 4th of July, and they enjoyed a perfect golden hour.
The remainder of the hospital stay was very positive despite Angela being in a lot of pain from pushing for so long and the episiotomy. They were able to watch the Washington DC fireworks from the hospital window.
Postpartum, Angela dealt with excess scar tissue where she had an internal 2nd degree tear that eventually needed to be surgically removed 6 months postpartum.
Angela Gentile Bio
Angela is an attorney living in Maryland outside of Washington, DC with her husband TJ, hound mix Shackleton, and 14 month old Arthur. She can be contacted via instagram at Iselldonuts.
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