I've come to peace with the intervention I had with Tehani's birth. Who knows, if I had planned a homebirth, if I wouldn't have been transferred to the hospital due to prolonged rupture of membranes and very slow progress. I understand now that because I was tired, my uterus was tired, and a tired uterus doesn't contract well (thank you, Peggy Vincent, author of Baby Catcher).
It get a sick feeling in my stomach to think how close I came to having an unnecessary c-section. I realize now how lucky I was. I'm lucky that my sweet Tehani handled pitocin contractions so well and didn't go into distress (I think will love her for tolerating labor well all her life). I'm lucky that Mindy suggested the interventions that she did to get Tehani out before the on-call OB showed up with his scalpel. ETA, I also believe that I'm lucky that Tehani was in a good position when Mindy ruptured the headwaters and that she stayed in a good position, despite the epidural.
I wish America was different. I wish women, especially first time moms (who tend to have pretty long labors), didn't have to labor under threat of c-section.
I want another child and a chance to have a better birth experience, but now is not the time.
Stumbled upon this tread
wow, just stumbled upon this thread and it helps to see that other people are still hurt after having an unnecessary c-section too! While I am not opposed to medical interventions I wished I would have been a little wiser when I had my daughter two years ago. I wish I would have know that every intervention I had (induction, epidural etc.) would highten my chances for a c-section. I am still not healed emotionally from surgery and I am full of regret. I am thinking about ttc for #2 and am leaning towards a natural birth plan in order to avoid another c-section. DH is leary about V-bac and I am trying to educate myself as much as possible. Anyway, thanks to all of you who have posted your not-so-great stories and maybe together, we can gather stregnth from pain.
Well, I've entered into a new phase of my healing journey. I am pregnant and due in May 2009!! I am so excited and we are planning for a homebirth. I'm excited to think that we are doing everything we can to make this birth a more positive experience for both me and baby. I have my fears, based on what happened last time, but I'm doing everything I can to work through those and stay positive. I feel like along with blessing my family with another child, God has given us a new chance to do things in a better way. :)
Activism continues to be my healing path. I sat on Tuesday night with a group of doulas who are associated iwth DoulaCare in Toronto, who patiently listened to my birthstory and waited through the pain it still causes me 2 1/2 years later, and who all entered into a passionate discussion about birth and breech birth and what they can do to help their clients and implement change. What a restorative, inspiring evening. What beautiful, beautiful women.
It does bring home to me how fresh that day still is, how fresh the pain still is if I actually allow it to come forward.
I just "discover this thread" ! SORRY...
Well I have GHOST..; this is how I refer to my birth experience...
I had my ideas... (we all have) and a great (super) DOULA and DH... but
I never had "early" labor I went from NOTHING to Active labor : contraction every 3mn or 4mn lasting over 50sec each..... started at 2am.... went to Hospital after talking to my OB and my doula at 9am.... NEVER dilated (arrived at 1cm) after 24hr I was barely 5cm....
Baby turned and he went from perfect LOA to EXTREMELY PAINFUL BACK LABOR.... I got saline shot for this and the pain went away... (my doula knew about those)
got an EPI (agreed on without regrets) after 24hr was DEAD TIRED....
I asked for LOW dose and I could move my legs alone...
after 36 hr or active labor my OB and my MW came in and told me (I was only 8cm then) it is UP TO YOU we either go now on C-Section or we can give you an other 12hrs....
I was exhausted and tired I said NOW...
I am very UPSET after ME and NOBODY ELSE....
why did my body didn't work with me...
why didn't had the strengh to go few more hours...
I have a "hole" now.. I have a baby but never really gave birth to him...
Only the one who had C-Section like me understand the "giving birth" mising part....
I still can't look at my scar... and it is has been almost 9 month.....
I love my son and Idon't think of the hours before I had him him my arms when I am with him!.... but alone at night I do.....
This is it for now.....
I had a realization last night. Even those who understand that the birth experience is significant separate from the outcome have tried to help me by saying, "Just look at your beautiful baby and let your love for him help you heal" or other things to that effect...
But it doesn't help. In fact sometimes the suggestion that it should help makes me feel resentment towards him - and that's not fair. And when you know that over 80% of babes born in developed countries are born healthy no matter how they got here - it helps even less. You can't make it a goal to achieve something that is all but guaranteed.
And the thing is that I can accept that the MW had a valid reason in her mind that made her decide to transfer - it's what happened after that decision that was truly traumatic. It was being stripped of my support systems and being attended by this MW who did not, by her actions, have the best interest of me or my baby at heart. Inside my birth experience I was violated, stripped of my dignity and all my desires for the birth. I had no advocate and no one to protect me or my baby. Not during the birth and not afterward.
As it turned out, Yitzchak was born with low apgars and was blue and taking his time getting a full deep breath. But it was in spite of the MW, the doctors and the nurses that he filled his lungs and brought himself fully into this world. They did nothing but harm and yet in spite of that my son is healthy and beautiful and here. So how do you evenheal from that? How do you find purpose or meaning or peace in a circumstance that seems to have none?
I know it's only been 3 weeks, but I feel I don't have a way to make this heal, I feel like it won't be different in another 3 weeks, or 3 months or 3 years, b/c I don't see a way to come to peace. It might be duller, but will it go away? I don't know...
I've been avoiding this board, and birth, and myself for more than six months. If healing has happened for me, it has been passive - like the way your body heals from a cold if you ignore it long enough,and then one morning two weeks later you realize you slept all night and you're not congested at all.
In the past two weeks Birth has hunted me down, forced me to remember her and remember how much I once loved her. And also how vicious she can be. How subvertivly she injects her precepts into every other chapter of your life. She found me, I cowered and she insisted that I watch. That I be present and informed and that I bear witness to her beauty and her ugliness, her silence and her fury, her undying strength and her paralyzing fear.
I watched, I advised, I conferred, and I wept.
And now I know that there is an active part that I must play in my healing - and I must take this step. Today it was shown to me that I am at the hub of a network of people that need to be connected and that the butterfly effect that I pray will ensue can affect real, tangible change for women giving birth here in Israel.
I'm putting this here in the hope that getting these thoughts out will be a step towards making them a reality. I know I'm being ambiguous, but that's because it's still ambiguous to me. And it feels too big to put into words. But this purpose has filled me the way water fills every crevice of space in its container, the way it will even defy gravity to fill in each crack. As I find the words, I will share them. But for now I feel I have taken a necessary step just by writing this down.
I keep coming to this thread and then chickening out... Maybe soon I can start dealing with it. I created a private blog tonight to start putting my feelings together. I think that's the first step...
Now to hit Submit Reply before I chicken out again...
*My healing birth story edited with what I wish I had done, and would do now in the same situation, as well as what I discovered after reading my medical records.*
(First, I would have hired a doula and taken some sort of childbirth preparation that was not hospital based; Bradley or Hypnobabies.) Sunday December 14, 2008, I began having contractions around 3 a.m. that were spaced around 5 minutes apart. I tried to go back to sleep to no avail, so I got up and got in the bathtub hoping to ease the discomfort. Nothing seemed to work, so I got back in bed and just waited it out. Later that evening DH and I decided to go to L&D and see if there was any progress. The Wednesday prior at my 38 week appointment, I was dilated to maybe a “fingertip” according to my doctor. After they examined me in L&D I was about 1-2 cms. They sent me home to wait for my contractions to get more painful or closer together.
Monday December 15, 2008, I was in a lot more pain throughout the early morning. I did not get any sleep and decided to see if my OB would see me in his office so we would not have to drive all the way to L&D again. When I got there he said I was still maybe 1-2. I was almost in tears at points because the contractions were so intense, but no closer together. I had a prenatal massage scheduled for that morning that I almost cancelled but decided to go in the hopes it would relax me a little. That was the best thing EVER! During the massage and afterwards, my contractions completely eased off. I could feel the tightening, but no pain during them for several hours.
Later that afternoon when I got home, I started to get the chills and took a bath because it was really cold outside. Then it occurred to me that I might have a fever. I took my temp and got 101.9 and we were off to L&D again. After the exam (I would not have allowed this exam as that was not the reason I was at the hospital. I was there for the fever.) the doctor said I was around 2.5 dilated, and baby looked great on the monitors. They then sent me home and told me to take Tylenol. (Here I would have told them that I was already taking Tylenol and I would have insisted that something be done, or at least requested a second opinion. I had the "gut feeling" at this point, but I was allowing them to talk me out of it.)
Tuesday December 16, 2008, I woke up early morning again with a ton of contractions around 3 to 4 minutes apart but still the same intensity. BUT I had horrible chills. I felt like I was rocking the bed. I decided to get up and take a bath to try to warm up and I took some Tylenol, phenergan, and tried to drink some water. After my bath I got really nauseated and threw up. I decided to take my temperature again and got 103.5! Off to L&D again!
This time as soon as they hooked me up to the monitors, I knew something was wrong. My LO’s heart rate was around the 200s. The doctor seemed really concerned and immediately admitted me. During the exam I had not made any progress (I would not have allowed this exam either; again, I was there for the fever and the pain, not to see how much "progress" I had made). They put me on fluids, and continually monitored the baby. Later that evening my fever broke (I sweated through all the linens… gross!) and the baby’s heart rate dropped to a better level. They said if my fever stayed down they would talk about inducing on Wednesday. (At this point, knowing now what I know about Chorio, I would have insisted on an immediate induction since time is of the essence with this infection. The longer the baby stays in when the infection is uncontrolled, the more risk there is to mother and baby especially if you are at term, and I was 39 weeks.) They also did an amnio to make sure the baby’s fluid was not infected, and then they flu-tested me and took all kinds of blood. The rest of the night was pretty uneventful, and the next day is where all the fun began.
Wednesday December 17, 2008, at 8:30 am they entered the pill to ripen my cervix (Cytotec) some more since I had not had any progress but was having regular contractions (I would never have allowed Cytotec if I had been truly informed). At 1:00 pm they started the pitocin. The contractions got a little more intense, but nothing unbearable. At 2:30 pm I was 100% effaced so the doctor decided to break my water (I would never allow AROM knowing what I know now about Chorio or knowing she was posterior). I immediately went to about 4 cms and the pain was tremendous, especially to my right side and around the right side of my back. (This is where I would have INSISTED that I be able to get up and move around. I had been redirected back to my bed and on the monitors several times at this point.) At 3:00 pm they allowed me to get the epidural (With the infection and the increased pain perception it causes, I think I would have ended up with the epidural anyways, but I would at least have waited until hitting 5 cms since I now know that getting one so early significantly increases the chance of a c/s). It gave me some relief but never took effect on my right side or right side of my back. (Here I would have asked for them to re-do the epidural instead of just giving me more doses of the meds. Or if that was not possible I would have asked for a spinal.) The next few hours were pretty much a blur of pain and DH telling me to breath. They gave me several doses of the epidural but it never took full effect on my right, although my legs were completely gone. Around 12 am I started throwing up because of the pain and was losing my mind because I had not made any further progress. The doctor decided to do a C/S due to “failure to progress”. I was ready for anything; I just wanted to be out of pain.
They finally took me to the back and gave me so much epidural medicine that the anesthesiologist had to call and get a second opinion. They kept asking me in between contractions if I could feel them pinching my belly and I could. The epidural only took effect from my hips down. So they decided I would have to go completely under. I was so upset because DH could not be there, but I felt like I was going to die if they didn’t do something soon. I went out like a light. (I would have wanted to try the spinal before going under general anesthesia.)
Sylvia Joleigh was born at 3:18 am on Thursday December 18, 2008. She was 8 lbs. and 19 inches long. I wasn’t really able to enjoy her at first because I felt so weak and I had the shakes so bad. They were uncontrollable. DH was wonderful though. I knew he was really worried about me, but he took great care of her during that time period. We were sent to postpartum and I thought everything was going well until the nurse noticed that my baby girl was grunting constantly. I thought it was just normal baby stuff, but they took her temp and it was low. Her blood sugar was also extremely low (around 35). And that’s when they made the call to put her in NICU. I think that maybe she ended up with the same infection I had. They did so many tests (on her and me) and they all came back negative. No flu, no cold, no nothing; just an elevated white blood count. But they decided to keep her and run a full course of antibiotics. It was heartbreaking to me to see her with an IV in her head and oxygen on. I have never cried so much in my life. I couldn’t stand having to leave her every day.
Finally on Sunday they released me from the hospital and we stayed in a hotel across the road until they released Sylvia on Tuesday. The best Christmas present ever! She is breastfeeding like a champ and doesn’t seem to have any problems. And in between that time DH’s command denied a Red Cross request for an emergency leave extension (but that’s in a whole other post). (Here I should have raised HOLY HELL with his rear-detachment and Red Cross!!!)
So it was a very long, painful, and emotional, process but totally worth it when I look into my little girl’s eyes, or watch her while she sleeps. Thanks for reading!
What I found out after the fact, once I read my medical records in 2010:
(I should have insisted that my OB sit down with me and take the time to go over my medical records at my post-partum appointment. I tried to ask questions, he gave me a bunch of medical mumbo-jumbo that I didn't understand, and then rushed me out the door. I wish I had made him go through page by page and explain to me what happened and why.)
-I had an infection called Chorioamnionitis. Some of the signs are high fever, increased fetal and/or maternal heart rate, uterine sensitivity, extremely ineffective contractions, excessive bleeding after birth
-Amniotic fluid of an infected mom also often shows low glucose and elevated white blood counts, both of which Sylvia had after birth
-The baby was posterior
-One of the worst things you can do with a mother who has Chorio is rupture membranes if they haven’t been ruptured. I also should have never let them rupture my membranes since she was posterior.
-With Chorio, every effort should be made to limit cervical exams
-Sylvia had to be resuscitated at birth
-I lost 800 cc of blood which is basically a hemorrhage
Well, there ya go! Thanks for reading if you made it through. I know there is no sense in re-playing and wishing I could have done things different. At least I am at peace now knowing that the pain I was feeling was justified and not just from "being a first-time mom". I am also at peace knowing that the c/s was most likely imminent. I think it is something like 60% of moms who present with Chorio need a c/s, and that it is considered a medical emergency. There for the longest I felt like maybe I had dreamed all of this up in my head and that it wasn't as bad as it sounded or looked when I wrote it out. But it was bad! WAY bad! I also found out later that Chorio can be fatal in newborns; I can't remember the exact number, but 10-15% who are born with signs of infection do not make it :(
If you need a little back story, here is my birth story: http://www.pregnancy.org/bulletinboa...&postcount=321
I think every day about William's birth. I think about things I wished I had done differently.
I know I was at the end of my rope. I know that at the time I couldn't trek on anymore. I know I had to go to the hospital for the epidural, but what if I had slept longer maybe I wouldn't have needed the epidural. After 25 hours of labour, and multiple hours stalled at 9cm I was exhausted. If I had slept longer after I went into labour at 3:30am would I have had the energy to carry on? If I had done more squats on the stairs would William's head have turned so I could have pushed him out at home? If I had him at home my midwife would not have cut an episiotomy like the OB did. I wouldn't have had to walk around for weeks after William's birth with that pain as a reminder (and wouldn't have a scar forever). I should have told the OB not to cut me, but I was scared enough as it was and just wanted my baby out.
I've had people tell me "I knew you'd get the drugs". I didn't get the drugs for the pain. I laboured for 25 hours without the drugs. The pain wasn't the reason I got the drugs, I got the drugs because my body was exhausted, I was exhausted and an exhausted Mom can't push out a baby.
I talk about natural birthing and I've had people tell me "well you didn't have your baby naturally"... no I didn't... but I wish I had.
After William's birth, I said up and down that I was "okay" with his birth. But I wasn't. I don't know who I was trying to convince. I was sad. I didn't get the birth I wanted, the birth I'd envisioned.
I had the honour of attending 5 home births. There is part of me that is so crushed because I can't say "I got my homebirth". I am such an advocate for natural birthing, especially after William's birth. "Aren't epidurals wonderful?" No... No they're not. Once I had my epidural my labour stopped, and once I had the pitocin William's heart rate crashed. I also feel a little cheated because of my epidural. I didn't get to feel the birth of my son. I know some people would tell me I'm lucky for not being able to feel the pain of childbirth. But I wanted the whole birth experience. Having been to births I had an understanding of the pain that was involved, but I wanted that, I wanted to feel my boy being brought into this world.
I know next time will be different. I know next time I can try again for my home birth.
I tried to go into William's labour open minded. I knew that complications could happen; I just didn't think they would happen to me.
I've been debating posting anything at all, I feel like I shouldn't complain. I feel guilty for complaining about the birth of my perfect son. I feel like complaining about the birth means I'm complaining about him, even though I know none of this birth was his fault. He couldn't have done anything differently...
I feel really silly and unjustified in my feelings. It could have been worse, I could have had a c-section, and other people have had worse birth experiences... so what gives me the right to complain? After all, I was able to delivery my healthy baby vaginally.
Anyway, I just needed to get this out and put it some place where people have been through the pain that I feel. I'm sad that other people have felt this sadness, but at the same time, it's nice to know I'm not alone.
I know I'll become more and more okay with William's birth and someday maybe I'll look back and say "I gave it my all". But for now, 4 months later, my heart hurts and aches from the birth I didn't get.