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In a nutshell, I had the picture perfect pregnancy. I LOVED being pregnant and can't wait to do it again. My due date came and went with no sign of impending labor and no dilation or effacement. I had a NST and a fluid level u/s - both of which I passed with flying colors. But my hospital had a policy that women could not be delivered by a midwife if they went past 41 w 4 days gestation. I was told that if I did not consent to an induction - even though there was nothing wrong with my baby - I would be transferred to OB care and my insurance would likely opt not to cover the hospital stay bc I would be considered AMA. So against my better judgement - even though I cried the whole way to the hospital, I let them induce me. On the max pitocin dosage allowed by the hospital, I had dilated 2 cm in 12 hours. They decided to give me another couple of hours and then turn off the pit and try the induction again the next day if I still had not progressed. We found out later that was a big mistake. After too long at the max dose, my uterus was hyperstimulated. I started contracting very hard for a very long time. My water broke, which ended any discussion of turning the pit off. After that the contractions became longer and closer together - and ultimately developed a pattern of 3, 2 minute long contractions in a row, followed by a 30 second break. I was screaming by the 4th or 5th minute of continuous contracting each time and started vomiting from the pain. My DH asked them to get the midwife bc he was afraid something was wrong. When she came in I was shaking uncontrollably, moaning like a wounded animal, and vomiting. They didn't believe the contraction pattern on the monitor could possibly be correct and decided to put in an internal monitor. The readouts, combined with my physical state led my midwife to believe I was in transition - which didn't make sense bc I was still only 3 cm dilated. She said that she had seen women enter transition at 5cm, and perhaps I was going to go from 3 to complete very quickly. So I labored like that for 90 minutes - in the most intense pain of my life. They kept telling me "this is the shortest phase of labor. It will be over very soon." But it wasn't and it wasn't. After 90 min I could tell everyone was worried. My CNM checked me again and was very concerned to discover I was still at 3. She and my DH disappeared and had a powwow. When they came back they told me that even though a pain med free birth was important to me, they wanted me to consent to an epidural. My CNM wanted to reduce the pit and try to space the contractions out, which she said was going to effectively make me dilate even slower than I already was. I was probably looking at 48 hours or more on the lower level of pitocin - according to her - to dilate completely. She said there was no way I would last that long in the sort of pain I was in. If I wanted to continue trying for a vaginal birth, I should take the epidural and get some rest. I cried the whole time I signed the consent form and the whole time the epi was placed. Then I was forced to lie flat on my back in the bed while it took effect - which took an hour! The contractions were just as intense, just as painful - only I couldn't be in the tub or rock or bounce on my ball or even get someone to push on my back (I had the WORST back labor). It was absolute torture, and I was begging them almost the entire hour to let me up, but I literally couldn't move during the contractions to sit up on my own and no one would help me. They just kept patting me and squeezing my hand and telling me it was OK. When the epidural finally took effect, I was so exhausted that I couldn't open my eyes or speak. I wasn't asleep - but I felt like I was dying I was so incredibly weak. My family all came in to the room to say goodbye bc they were going home to wait it out - since we were told it could take days. My DH went home to walk our dogs bc none of my a-hole relatives would do it for him bc they were "too tired." While he was gone, my contractions continued to intensify, despite turning the pit down. The back up OB would not authorize them to turn it off bc my membranes were ruptured and they didn't want labor to stop. They tried administering some drug to counteract the pit and weaken it's effects, but it didn't work. After about an hour of people coming in and out of the room and me barely coherent enough to understand what was going on, alarms started going off in my room and people came rushing in. My bp had plummeted and the babies hr had dropped. The little ba-boom ba-boom sound that had been my constant source of comfort for 30+ hours by then slowed until I was holding my breath between thuds praying it would start back up again. They turned the audible portion of the monitor off and had me get on my left side while they paged the OR and got my DH on the phone. I was sobbing by then bc I knew they were going to operate and they gave me 10 min with no improvement before they said there was no choice. My CNM explained to me and my DH (on speakerphone as he was hurtling towards the hospital at breakneck speed) that she was afraid my uterus was in danger of rupturing. The contractions were too strong for my body or the baby to endure any longer and bc their attempts to stop them weren't working, they needed to perform a c-section. By then they finally turned the pitocin off so that we could at least wait for my DH to get back (we only lived 15 min from the hospital). I was wheeled off to surgery and he went to gown up. They started before he got in the OR and he walked in and saw the surgery in progress.
Charlotte Claire Dass was born at 4:23am via ER c-section. She was stuck, and they had to use a version of surgical forceps to get her out (from which she has 2 small scars on her head). She came out blue and not crying and was taken immediately to the warmer where the NICU staff was waiting. There was no holding her up over the screen or letting us see her. After what seemed like an eternity, but was actually I'm sure very brief - she started crying. They finally wrapped her up and brought her to us. I was so weak that I couldn't lift my own arms to hold my baby dd that I had waited so long for. The anesthesiologist (who was the last person I wanted to see, but turned out to be one of the best caregivers I had) held the baby against my chest so my DH could lift my hands and help me stroke her face. Dr. Smith brought Claire up to my face so I could kiss her before my DH and the NICU staff took her away. Then in an act of mercy, he injected something into my epidural which made me black out completely. I woke up in the recovery room where I had to stay for observation for an hour before they would let me see Claire - even though she was fine. I found out months after my surgery that my oxytocin receptors had been flooded with pitocin (a documented potential side-effect) and my uterus would not contract after she was born, which caused me to hemorrhage on the OR table. My daughter was 2 hours old before I finally was allowed to see her and hold her.
Immediately following the birth, I had an adverse reaction to duramorph (sp?) - a pain medication administered during the c-section. My skin itched all over like I had been lying in a bed of fire ants, and I was too weak to scratch or even shift positions while nurses tried to bathe my skin in icy water - which is the only thing that made it stop. Well that and nubain - but the nubain only held the burning at bay for 15 min and I could only have it every 2 hours. I drifted in and out of consciousness that entire day. I prayed for the out, because the in was accompanied by the fire-ant burning. I'm told I nursed my dd, but I don't remember it.
The second day Claire developed jaundice. She fell asleep and would not wake up - even when they did her heel sticks to test her bilirubin. She was tube fed formula to try and flush the bilirubin and kept under a bili-blanket in our room. I was finally conscious and able to hold my precious baby, and she wouldn't wake up no matter what we did. It was terrifying.
And the ultimate irony was the pediatrician's assessment. She said that because Claire's birth weight was only 7 lbs 2 oz and she was jaundiced, it was her clinical opinion that Claire was delivered prematurely. Not like she was a preemie or anything, but just that she "wasn't done baking." Which of course I had told everyone prior to the induction - but no one would listen.
Claire also struggled with severe reflux for the first three months of her life because one of her gastric valves was not fully developed at birth. She was very slow to gain weight because of it, but we have been trying to make up for lost time ever since
My daughter is perfect, but her birth was not. If you or someone you love is struggling to cope with a traumatic childbirth experience, please visit http://www.solaceformothers.org/
Last edited by WhoaMomma!; June 6th, 2010 at 05:37 AM.
Oh sweetie! What an experience! And what a horrible feeling to know you know what's going on with your body and no one is listening. Have totally been in that boat. :/
Your sweetie is here now, and even if the thought of her birth makes you sad, you know in the long run that what matters is she's here - and so are you.
Things don't always go as planned, and learning something from it might help ease things. It sounds like you had some super pushy people whose main concern was what insurance would pay. Ugh, what a staff. Next time slap someone, maybe you'll feel better. (Totally joking!! Did you smile? )
Thank you, thank you so much for sharing your story here! I know it took a lot emotionally for you to say and share all of that. Now it's out - let it be done. I'm sure working through your feelings to put down here will help with the healing process, and do know that your story will help others who may end up in the same situation! You are not the first, nor will you be the last.
And I love your siggie pic with her laying on your chest! Gorgimus!
Much thanks to Alethia for my beautiful siggie and tags!!
Thanks for your story. More people need to be aware of how dangerous induction is. I've been voluntarily induced twice (before I knew better), the first almost resulted in c-section, the second resulted in a premature baby (same as you, not by number of weeks gestation, but develpmentally premature). He ended up spending almost a week in the NICU on a vent.
Traci, mom to Cole (8), Tyler (6), Abby (4) and Max (20 months), number 5 due 10/10/10!
Wow... Thank you for your story. It just seems like one fumble after another.... I had a c-section (water broke, baby was breech)... and was separated from my baby for 6hrs after birth... it was agonizing. The nurses felt so sorry for me they took a polaroid of him for me to see... I'm going to try for a VBAC this time, and hope to have a better birth experience.
Bri, wife to Kirk, & mother of Aidan Troy , Callen Rhys, and introducingJulia Pearl