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Friday, October 23, 2009

Birth Story - warning, this is long

Well mine was a planned birth story. No, "honey I think it's time, get our bags". I've honestly been putting off writing this post because I needed to be more emotional stable (not that I am now emotionally stable, but enough, I believe, to go ahead and share...and I need to write about this for my own mental well-being). Pretty much, everything I was afraid would happen during my labor process happened - with the exception of anything life-threatening happening to me or Rilynn..which I am very thankful for.

I went in to the hospital to be induced on Wednesday evening. They started an antibiotic (and that IV hurt like the dickens) because of my Strep B and did that thing that's supposed to soften the cervix. I had to lie sideways for two hours. Then I was able to sit however I wanted and I could eat and drink up until midnight.

The nurses got me up a bit before 6:00 AM Thursday morning and I was able to take a shower. Then, back to the bed - where I stayed until Saturday mid-morning.

Pitocin was started around 6:30AM. The doctor came in. I will leave her name out because of what I will say. We will refer to her as Dr. C (short for Doctor c-section). When she first came in, the first words out of her mouth, after good morning, were "You understand this is probably going to end in a c-section right?" Um, no...I thought I was being induced to AVOID a c-section. Why would you tell me that? She then proceeded to say if I didn't progress in the labor process by the afternoon, that they'd unhook everything and try it all again the next morning...oh, unless I wanted to do a c-section instead.

Dr. C continued to say how big she thought my baby was. Look, I know my belly was pretty stinkin big. But she, of all people, should know by now that big belly doesn't necessarily mean giant, unbirthable baby. Septtro told me later she saw him in the hall and said, "I'm really sorry if the baby turns out to be 6 or 7 pounds but I really think she's gonna be big". So apparently, she really didn't know for sure...never did she mention a 6 or 7 pound baby in my presence.

Early labor was fairly easy. I honestly didn't really feel the contractions much at all. My mom was pretty amazed at that.

Around 2:30PM or so, my mom was sitting at the edge of the bed rubbing my feet and I felt a small trickle. I told her I think my water may have broken. I didn't call the nurse right away because I thought maybe I'd look stupid. About a minute later, I called her and she checked. Oh yeah, it was my water. That was a weird feeling.

After that, the contractions got REALLY strong. I started asking for the epidural. Look, I knew I was gonna be hooked to an IV because I was being induced so I already planned to use the drugs to avoid pain. They said it'd be about 45 minutes before they could give me the epidural. In the meantime, they gave me the stupidest drug in the entire world. I don't know the name of it and I honestly don't remember giving them permission to give it to me. I do remember the lady saying, "This won't take the pain away but it will just make you not care as much". Oh really? Have you taken it? It was seriously awful. It didn't take ANY of the pain away. Here's what it was like: "Oh, here I am in la-la land. I feel like I've been in a deep sleep for hours and hours. Ouch, what's that? Ow, ow owie! Something hurts in my tummy. Oh, wait, I remember I'm in labor now. Ow the pain! Oh, it's getting better now. Breathe. Ok, back to la-la land." This was repeated over and over again. And this dumb drug made me so drowsy for the rest of the labor process. I was aware of what was going on. But when they finally came to do the epidural, I could barely sit up on my own. I was ohhhhh so tired. Just let me sleep. Stupid, ridiculous drug that is a mean trick to pregnant women and it should be banned forever. I remember Dr. C coming in at that point and saying, "Ok we might actually do this". Thanks for the encouragement doc!

At some point, Dr. C came back in and talked about doing a c-section. She said there's a really high chance of me having a 4th degree tear and/or the baby's shoulders being too big. She then asked how many kids I wanted. I told her perhaps 4. She said that once you go down the road of c-section, you have to keep having c-sections (not true cause my mom had two VBACs) and there are also complications with having too the uterus and placenta fusing together or something like that. Keep placing those pebbles on your c-section scale Dr. C - it's definitely starting to tip your way.

So I got my epidural. Ahh, I should feel nothing now. The nurse went to check me again. Hmm, I can kinda feel that. Maybe they just have the drugs lower than normal. The more prodding they did, the more I felt. And I could still feel the contractions. I thought I was just really gassy. And I said I felt some pressure - like gas pressure. "Oh that's normal". My mom was texting my sister in law. She said really bad gas pains are what contractions feel like. After more prodding from the nurse and more moaning from me, the nurse finally called them back in to redo the epidural. This time, it worked. Oh, so THAT's what no pain feels like. By this time, I was already at 9 centimeters and in a flash, I was at 10 centimeters. I had gone through the transitional phase of labor without pain medication - all while on pitocin which increases the intensity of the contractions. I think I should get my money back for the epidural.

They let me sleep a little bit after I was at 10 centimeters - that was around 9:00PM. I thought that was weird but ok. So I slept for about an hour. I remember the nurse waking me up and saying, "Ok are you ready to push?" to which I responded, "Can you give me a minute to wake up first?"

So everybody was excused except the nurse and Septtro. I started pushing, they did the counting to 10 thing. I wasn't sure I was pushing right because I couldn't feel anything. The nurse said I was (thank you TLC and Baby Story). We kept going, and going, and going. The nurse said I was starting to swell and bruise. We kept pushing. The nurses changed shifts. We took a 10 minute break. The nurse said she could see the baby's head but she really wasn't moving much at all. Dr. C came in and started putting more c-section pebbles on the scale. "I really think you need to do a c-section". I knew I didn't want a c-section. That was a last resort as far as I was concerned. I told her I really didn't want to do that. We resumed pushing. After each push, I would ask the nurse if the baby had moved down at all - to which I was told, "No not really". After an hour and a half, Dr. C returned and kept mentioning a c-section. She said we could try to lessen the epidural so I could feel more. We did that. I didn't feel an urge to push but could feel the contractions really badly again. I pushed - not much progress. We changed positions. I pushed...not much happening. We changed positions two more times. I was exhausted, frustrated, and in pain. I felt alone even with so many people in the room. I looked at Septtro and asked him to tell me what to do. He didn't want to make that decision. I asked the nurse....I was looking for guidance. Was a c-section REALLY necessary? Nobody would say - oh, nobody except for Dr. C. It was clear from the beginning she thought a c-section was the way to go.

Septtro would say he'd support me no matter what I decided. I asked the nurses again if she was moving at all. I was told they really didn't think she was going to fit. So I said it - the words I regret..."Ok, let's do the c-section then".

Looking back, I was in such a vunerable state. Looking back, I wish so much I would have insisted we keep trying. I'm sure there were other things we could have done. Yes, I had pushed for two hours. But Rilynn was fine, I was fine...I could have gone longer. But I felt the pebbles Dr. C had been placing on that scale all day had finally tipped it in her favor. I caved. I feel like I caved to what she wanted instead of doing what I wanted and felt was best.

The c-section went fine. She was born at 12:49 AM on September 25th. I heard her cry - and I immediately fell in love.

I remember them saying, "Yeah I really don't think she would have fit" after they saw her. They cleaned her up and gave her to Septtro. I couldn't hold her. I couldn't even touch her. I hated that. After stitching me up, they gave her to me and wheeled me to my new room. It was done. She was here.
Before all this happened, people would tell me when I mentioned my fears of being induced and having a c-section that when she got here, how she got here wouldn't matter. Not true. It does still matters. It's something I'm still struggling with. I feel I was robbed of the birthing experience I longed for. I can barely watch baby shows now without tearing up - seeing women birth their babies. Was I just too small to birth babies? Is that possible? Can I not have a lot of kids now? Will I EVER get to experience a natural birth? I felt jipped. I feel jipped. I feel duped. I feel I was taken advantage of during a very vunverable time. Emotions run high after you give birth - a lot of my tears have been due to having a c-section. I think it would have been easier to accept had it been because Rilynn's health was in danger or my health was in danger. But it wasn't. I felt Dr. C wanted it all along - and she won. "You obviously can't birth your own baby, so let me do it for you" - that's how I feel.

I plan to talk to Dr. C about this at my postpartum checkup. I know I'll cry. But I want to know - if they were so concerned about the size of my baby, why did they wait so long to induce? I had an ultrasound at 37 weeks indicating she was around 7 pounds 11 ounces. Nobody mentioned at that point they felt she'd become too big for me to birth. My gestational diabetes numbers had been slightly high but they said I'd passed. But that was also brought up during labor, but not before, as a reason why I should opt for a c-section.
Recovering from the c-section was horrible. I hated being confined to a bed. I couldn't get up to tend to my crying newborn. That was hard.

I know, and knew before this began, that I placed myself under the care of this practice. And I know God is sovereign. And I know God is good. He allowed me to go through this experience. I need to accept that. I will accept that. I'm just not sure I'm there yet. I guess I'm mad - yeah, I'm mad at the doctor - and slightly upset with my decision. I guess I regret it. But I can't stay that way. I can't become bitter. I don't think I should get a sick feeling in my stomach when I see the hospital where we were. But I do. But I'll get past this. I just need time - and lots of prayer.

But again, she's here. Oh she's here! And my how I love her! She is a precious, precious gift.


baby cope said...

she IS here and SO beautiful. i will be praying for you and this very emotional time that i know is so special to you. please know that YOU are such a strong woman and a fantastic mother to your baby girl!! postpardom is such a emotional rollercoaster and i remember very vividly all the tears that i cried, and at times you know what you're crying about and half the time you have no clue why your crying! i am glad that you decided to share your story!

kellination said...

I love how you shared your heart in this post. Wow! What a story. God can really use this in so many ways!!! I will pray for you as you heal and we too are thankful that she is safely here. Love ya,

amber said...

o girl...we should talk..i know how you feel about being jipped from being able to experience that. kyley was breach so i didnt have a choice, but still i wonder...could they have done something to try and turn her or something else...but anyways..i will be praying for you. but all that matters is that we have our healthy little girls. love ya girl

Shawna Steenback said...

Ri was not born how the dr wanted her born, she was born how God wanted her born, and there is nothing you could have done or the dr could have done to change that plan. I know it's dissapointing, but try not to beat yourself up about it because it was not under your control or the dr's control. Just look at that sweet face, those tiny little hands and are so blessed with a healthy baby, and the end result is the reason you go through the birthing process, not for the experience of actually giving birth. She is here safe, praise Him!

Joy said...

Your feelings are very valid and you shouldn't shove them aside whatsoever. This is not post partum depression but it can definitely impact PPD.


And people wanting to say, "Well she IS here and fine" really don't know what they're talking about. There are some medical blogs on my blog and there were some really good articles about emotions after cesarean and I CANNOT find them! If I do I'll send them your way.

And P.S. A normal vaginal birth IS possible after cesarean!

Jacque said...

Thank you for sharing yourself so openly! May God be glorified through this difficult time. Know that He does in fact love you and will never forsake you!! Praying for you my dear.

Anonymous said...

oh susan... i just read your birth story and my heart broke. I too had to be induced with Jackson. Although i didnt have to have the c-section. I pushed for 2 hours and at about an hour and half of pushing they called the OR to prepare a c-section. Just when they did Jackson started to make his way through my birth canal. FINALLY! I also had strep B, and because of that Jackson got sick and had to stay in the hospital for a week. I was an emotional basket case knowing I had to go home without him. Chris and I were at that hospital every couple hours. I cried at everything. No one could even ask me how I was and I would start crying. I just want you to know that you are not alone in this. I was told to be induced because Jackson was so big and it compromise my health and his. I hated that I had to be and I hated that he got sick but God prepares are hearts as mothers to handle this. God's make us mothers stronger than any man or child. Just know that the next pregnancy and child will be completley different. Do not let that Doctor have that power of you! that doctor can not still your joy! Praying for you and your family

April Emery said...

Oh. My. Word. I cannot believe you had such a horrible, non-supportive doctor. I absolutely hate that this was your experience, ESPECIALLY with your first child.

You are right in all your questions - if the baby was developing fine, but looked large then they SHOULD have discussed with you your options instead of waiting so late. C-sections sound easy and quick, but there is a lot of recovery time, etc.

I am thankful that you are clinging to the Lord through this. Your daughter is so precious, as I am sure you are aware (ha ha).

Hopefully your next labor and delivery experience will go much more smoothly and pleasantly.

The Mommy said...

Again...I can SO relate to you.