Please Help

QUESTION

Dear Midwife,
Hi there, I'm am writing to you as I need your help. I am 21 years of age and have a little girl who is 3 and a half. I am currently pregnant with my second baby and am around ten weeks.

I am writing as I am so worried about this labour, when I had my little girl I had just turned 18 was young and afraid nothing went right for me!!! Starting from the day I got taken in as I was ten days over due, her heart rate was going down so I was induced, which was sore to be begin with, half an hour after having been induced I started having contractions one every 5 minutes for the first hour then for the next ten hours every mins which were lasting between 40 and 50 secs long.

I had done a birth plan but because Abis heart rate was such I could not move anywhere so was strapped to a birthing ball/ bed.

I started on the gas and air, my midwife was so unhelpful I had asked her for diamorphine 3 hours previous and she still had not arrived with it. then half an hour later she came with it. They did a second internal which was very painful and I was very upset , I had not dilated anything I was still only 1 cm.

I was told I would need a drip to dilate me that bit quicker, however the midwife informed us she did not like putting drips in and therefore I had to to wait a further hour before they could get a doctor.

By this point they wanted to do another internal and I was in agony I pleaded with my midwife and sister to wait until after I had my epidural. It took a further 3 hours for the anesthetist!!

Anyway 3 hours for him to come and he gave me epidural I had to walk from one room to the other to get this!!!! I was feeling relieved from the pain but he was called away to an emergency. He reassured me he would be back so I could press the button to release the morphine myself. However hours past and the contractions were coming back even more fast and furious and the pain was in my back it was agony.

He finally came back and gave me another doze. By that point a doctor called in on me and was furious with the midwife and sister as Abi was back to back and wanted to know why this had not been picked up.

Several hours earlier they had taken all my jewelery off to take me into theater but it had been soo busy that night I had to wait. She told me how to lie and it a matter of minutes Abis head was there however her heart rate was dropping so quick I had to push. Problem was I wasn't having any contractions to push out the baby as I had earlier had an epidural. I managed somehow.

My partner at the time was saying I knew she could do it and she didn't need cut. The sister said twice you wouldn't be saying that if your baby was born asphyxiated!! Which was terrible after having Abi.

I was soo ill I was being sick all the time and they were forcing me to get into the shower and I couldn't. I got up with all my might holding on to things as I was so dizzy. One of the staff had shouted watch that girl in there in case she faints which made me feel even worse.

After the epidural there is meant to be a spray the midwifes use to take the tape off. one midwife came in and ripped it off my back, when another midwife came in she was horrified and told me I should have had a spray put on. I received rubbish care all through my labour but because it was so bad I'm so frightened I won't go into labour myself again. I would hate for that to happen to me again.

I'm sorry it's a bit long and winded but I need reassurance, my experience was such when I found out I was pregnant I considered termination.

ANSWER

Your birth was a traumatic experience. It makes me angry just to read it. I realize that it's possible that it was just an unusually busy time and no one was at their best. But when we have traumatic experiences, it usually takes professional help to really get over it. The best thing you can do for yourself, your little girl and this baby is to get help from someone who specializes in recovery from trauma. It is not your fault that any of this happened, but it is your responsibility to make sure that it doesn't affect any more of your life than it already has.

I could tell you that nearly everyone has a much easier time of it the second time around. I could tell you that if anything like this ever happens again, you should ask to speak to whoever is in charge and request a change in who is taking care of you. I could tell you to get a certified doula this time who will help you to relax no matter how your labor goes. I could suggest you consider an out-of-hospital birth if you could relax better there, maybe have a water birth. I could tell you that the best way to go into labor on your own is not to make adrenaline (the fight or flight hormone produced when you are anxious). But I don't think any of this will help until you get the assistance you need to grieve the birth you didn't have the first time. If you are able, come to Live Chat the second Tuesday of January and let me know how you are doing.

-- Cynthia, CNM

Cynthia Flynn

Cynthia Flynn, CNM. PhD, is the General Director of the Family Health and Birth Center which provides prenatal, birth, postnatal, gynecological and primary health care to underserved women and their families in Washington, D.C. Recently Cynthia served as Associate Professor of Nursing at Seattle University. There she not only taught, but remained in full scope clinical midwifery practice at Valley Medical Center where she cared for pregnant and birthing women, and practices well-woman gynecology, family planning, and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases.

Cynthia founded Columbia Women's Clinic and Birth Center, where she took care of pregnant women and infants up to two weeks of age and attended both birth center and hospital births. Before Cynthia earned her CNM, she worked as a registered nurse in labor and delivery and postpartum and is a certified Doula and Doula trainer.