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For the longest time, I couldn't even think about Stevie's birth story without bursting into tears. I am still angry about what happened but I don't cry anymore.
It started around 2 am on July 22nd. I had gone to bed about an hour or two early. I was awoken by a gush of liquid. My first thought was, "oh, crap, I just got my period" but then I thought, I am pregnant so that's not likely.
I got up to use the bathroom but I didn't see anything unusual. I thought I might have peed myself so I changed and then got back into bed. As soon as I laid down, I felt another gush. I got up again and saw that I had soaked through my pants again. I woke up DH to tell him that I thought my water broke. I wasn't having contractions though. Well, nothing strong anyway.
We decided to try to get some more sleep before going to the hospital but every few minutes I felt that gush. We were too excited to sleep anyway.
I didn't want to go to the hospital until my contractions were stronger, though, so I got up and sat on the couch to watch tv. The gushing didn't stop though, and I didn't want to leak amniotic fluid all over my house so we packed a bag and excited went to the hospital.
When I got there, I told them my water broke. The nurse called back and said they had a possible water break (um...not possible, it WAS a water break). That totally annoyed me.
Then, I went back into the labor and delivery room and put on a gown. I was still leaking everywhere and the nurse yelled at me to get into the bed. (Um...I didn't know where I was supposed to go). That annoyed me too.
Then, the doctor (my dr was on vacation and I ended up with his partner) freaked out because I waited about 2 hours before getting to the hospital after my water broke. He would not let me out of the bed. I had to go to the bathroom really bad though. They insisted I use a bed pan. Ewww. I had to go number 2. It was very embarrassing. And then the nurse felt the need to comment by saying, "that's a lot of poop" (sorry TMI) but I couldn't believe she said that. I was already embarrassed. The best part, though, was that about 5 minutes after I used the bed pan, the dr said it was okay for me to walk around.
So about an hour went by and I wasn't dilated more than 2 cm. The dr wanted me started on pitocin. I told the nurse I did not want to because I knew it often led to C sections and created very painful contractions. She told me that since I had never had contractions before I wouldn't know the difference and I could stop it at any time. Plus, I didn't want to make the dr mad after I just got there. (Now I wish I said, "who gives a *&^% if the dr gets mad, this is my labor") but I said okay we could try it.
Well I was doing ok with my breathing but they just kept turning that stuff up. Finally, I couldn't breathe anymore. My contractions were one on top of another and they wanted to turn it up even higher. If I had a few seconds in between to breathe I would have been able to deal but I just couldn't manage. I got an epidural. I was so freaked out about them touching my spine, that I had to have a narcotic to calm me enough for the epidural. My med free birth went right out the window!
Fast forward a couple of hours, a bunch of nurses rushed into the room and started doing things. They told me to lay back. DH and I asked them what was wrong. They said they would tell us when they were done. Turns out, the baby's heart rate dropped and they were frantically trying to fix it. They ended up giving me oxygen and turned down the pitocin for a little bit.
Well, after they made me lay back, they couldn't get my bed back into the upright position. It kept falling so that my feet were higher than my head. A bunch of nurses kept trying to fix it but they couldn't. They ended up leaving it so that my husband was holding it up for about half an hour because they were off delivering twins in another room. Finally, DH said this is ridiculous, and found someone to come in.
They still couldn't figure it out and had to get maintenance up. He said he couldn't adjust it while I was sitting in it. Finally, DH suggested they just get me another bed. So, unable to move my legs (why do they have to numb you up so bad? I asked the dr to turn it down 3 times) they had to lift me onto this bed with my gown flapping open with a bunch of nurses, DH and the maintenance guy in the room.
Wel several more hours went by and the baby's heart rate dropped again. They turned off the pitocin. I still was not dilating. The dr said it was time for a c-section. I said no. I cried and cried and fought the dr for several more hours. The nurses implied I could wait it out but they couldn't come right out and tell me. I finally consented. I never dilated more than 5 cm.
So then the new anesthesiology walks in (shift change) and says, "so you finally decided to get this baby out safely?" I just glared at him. How dare he say that to me. I felt like he was implying I put my baby at risk but in reality, these idiots were the ones putting him at risk.
He walked out of the room and I turned to DH just as the nurse was walking in and said, "that guy is a f%c#ing @$$h&l%. The nurse (who was surprised because up until then, I was very polite) said, "oh you mean dr whatever his name was, yeah, that's the general consensus around here."
DH went out in the hallway to talk to my OB and say that the anesthesiologist should not talk to his wife that way. That is when the OB threatened to have DH removed from the hospital.
Fast forward to my c-section. I started to feel very sick. They strapped my hands down so I could not move. I had to vomit so I turned my head to the side and threw up all over my shoulder. I could barely turn my head or breathe because of all the medicine. I sincerely thought I was going to asphyxiate and die right then. Finally, DH looked over at me and grabbed a bed pan.
After the surgery I went to my room and was able to breastfed just fine. Baby latched like a pro but I was super tired and needed to sleep. The whole ordeal only lasted 12 hours. The dr was so panicked about my water being broken and the baby's heart rate dropping that he rushed me to have a c-section. One of the nurses later told me that when given pitocin that early, it was not unusually for a bab's heart rate to drop. The baby is just not ready for such strong contractions (funny how she did not tell me that before!). My poor baby was born with a misshapen head even though I never got to pushing.
Everything was okay after that, that is, until this b&t*h came on duty. I could not walk very well or get up easily after my surgery and DH had gone home to shower and let the dog out. So I called the nurse when it was time to feed the baby and asked her to get him for me. She did and then left the room. When I was done, I asked her to put the baby back for me. She came in all annoyed and said, "You have to start doing things yourself. What are you going to do when you go home and don't have nurses to help?" It was less than 24 hours after MAJOR ABDOMINAL SURGERY. I couldn't believe it. I left the hospital as soon as humanly possible. These people were terrible.
When I went for my follow up appointment, my actual OB was back from vacation and so nice. He said he had heard about how upset I was about the c-section. He talked to me about how I might feel some post-traumatic stress and that it was ok. It was okay to be sad or mad or confused. Some how, having him validate my feelings made me feel so much better. He even told me that he didn't know what the anesthesiologist said to me but whatever it was, he new it was wildly inappropriate and rude. He said the guy is a jerk and needs to retire. That made me feel better too.
The whole experience was a nightmare for me. The only good thing was my beautiful baby boy.
I'm so sorry you had to go through all that trauma! Your situation was similar to mine and I won't be going back to the hospital or OB practice. I'd like to do a home birth next time, but if we can't manage that, I will be switching to a birthing center. I try not to talk about my birth with DH anymore cause it makes him feel bad that he didn't do more to remind me of stuff I didn't want like the pitocin. I am glad that we both had healthy babies, but I hope we have different experiences next time!
I am glad our babies are healthy too And we were both able to breastfeed. DH shouldn't blame himself though. It was the first time for both of you and you never know what to expect. I feel so much more informed now, don't you?
Oh my goodness, I am so sorry you had such an awful experience. I would be writing a letter complaining about the anesthesiologist and the on-call OB that you had. I'm glad that your regular OB validated your feelings.
Oh, wow. Thank you for sharing this, I know it was hard for you to relive those memories. Your story is exactly why I chose a birthing center with midwives. It's just horrible the stories I hear regarding hospital births now!! I'm so ticked off that they pushed you into pitocin so early! Just cause you dilate slower doesn't mean anything is wrong Why don't hospitals give our bodies a chance to do what they were built to do??! I labored for 30 hours, my water had been broken since the very beginning of labor and I dilated very very very slowly. But my baby was in perfect shape, apgar 10. **** hospitals.
If a homebirth or center works out for you I can't wait to see how you feel about the differences between each experience!