I had gotten started writting my story out but had a power outage and lost it. I can't help wondering if I was meant to start over...
On April 24th 2009 my daughter was born via emergency c-section. Of all the things said about the birth of my daughter two stick out the most. 1. Her apgar score is a 9.9. (She's healthy as a horse) 2. "The water still in the tub, the birth plan shreded because it had to be..."
I had great plans for a natural childbirth. I found a midwife. I found a hospital that while not known as a great "hospital" was well known for having a wonderful maternity ward. And it was lovely. They are very supportive of natural childbirth. They have tubs for laboring in (nice big ones with jets...) The rooms are lovely and they have all sorts of means to help with natural childbirth. Birthballs, squatbars, encourage walking the ward that is designed in one big circle, rocking chairs and have the infants all rooming in... I figured it wouldn't matter that they don't have a NICU nor do they handle anything high risk. I wasn't high risk. The ultrasounds showed her perfect, healthy and even in the right position (even though I questioned the tech because I thought she looked slightly turned).
I hired a doula and wrote out my birth plan. I packed my bag with swim trunks for my husband, my own birth ball, candies, and music varrying from soft to drum music. I even packed my own nightgowns. I envisioned this birth where I would walk in labor with my husband holding him through the contractions. Where I would rest in the tub letting the water help ease the pain. Where I would push my daughter out free from an IV or epidural. Where I would have her placed on my chest bloody and messy to breastfeed her. Where she'd be cleaned up and my husband would cut the umbilical cord. Where coon after I would have a chance to shower and be moved to a recovery room where I could begin to heal and get to know my child... Where my placenta would be kept and taken home... None of this happened.
As the day drew closer I was told that I was 70% effaced and 2 cm dialiated. And that she was in a +1 position. I was told that the +1 position was a great thing. In hindsight I think it should have been monitored more closely...
I had weeks of promordial (not sure I spelled that right) labor. That ended when true labor began Tuesday night around 10pm. The contractions were strange from the beginning but this is my first and only child and I had no idea what to do about these strange contractions. They were about an hour apart, but they lasted anywhere from 4 - 8 minutes containing multiple peaks. The nurse at the hospital used the term couplet contractions. I have searched for that term online and have yet to find anything on them. These contractions stayed the same an hour apart for over a day.
By Wed. My labor was getting closer but still far from going to the hospital. By wed night I was up to 30 min apart... By Thursday morning (exhausted from almost no sleep for two days) I was up to 15 minutes apart and feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. I labored the whole day and late that night I finally decided the contractions were too close and too strong to stay home but I was suddenly overwhelmed with the feeling that I didn't want to go to the hospital. That I wasn't safe there. In hindsight I think I knew something was wrong. I just didn't know how to fix it and I still don't know what I could have done different that for sure would have worked.
I got to the hospital and was told my contractions were about 8 minute apart (they'd seemed closer at home... they said it is normal to slow down again at the hospital). I was told I was 100% effaced and 3-4cm dialiated. Not nearly as close as I'd hoped for. But she was still in the +1 position and it appeared to be the problem. Her head was blocked my cervix from dropping/tilting (I still don't completely understand this part). They nearly forced me to lay on the bed on my side trying to get her to move so my cervix could move. It was excruciating. I cried and cried. I'd been doing so well at home but these people wouldn't let me do what helped they wanted me to lay on my side, they wanted me to rest. I begged for the tub and they finally a few hours in let me try it. It didn't help. The pressure had become immense. I couldn't relax in the hospital. I'd lost my stride I had at home. I couldn't get the mental state back and I cried that I wanted to die. At first I asked for something to ease the anxiety and the panic attacks, but by the time they decided on something to ease the anxiety I'd decided to do the epidural. Just one small faliure.
The IV in place, the epidural in place. Stuck to the bed. Stuck with the monitors. But atleast there came sleep.
By morning the midwife said I was 6 cm dialiated and wanted to break my water to speed things along. I agreed.
A couple hours later dialiated to 9cm and holding still. She suggested I push if I felt the desire because it might help. I did. But she felt the contractions were just too far apart. She wanted to try pitocin... (I wish I never had)
She gave me just the smallest does of pitocin and the contractions kicked up just a little. But my daughter's heartrate jumped over 205. The pitocin was turned off. They checked my temperature and it was 101.5... They gave me oxygen. I tried to resist the urge to push. Trying to get her heartrate down...
The midwife came in saying she'd called the Dr. and the Dr felt we need to do a c-section. I cried, I begged... I gave in because my little girl could die...
She was born perfectly healthy. My husband left with her to the nursery and I was sewen up.
My placent was shipped off to the lab. (Damn them for ruining it with formaldhyde)
I spent a hellish four days in the hospital where my inlaws made things worse because they were mad about not being contacted about the labor when it began (we called after she was born as had been our original plan). The nurses were awful. My pain meds never came reguarly. They messed me up with breastfeeding by insisting on giving her bottles because I "wasn't producing enough milk for her". I didn't get any good help with latching in the hospital and quit breastfeeding because both breasts were bleeding... I left with swollen feet and legs, my pain still uncontrolled just desperate to go home and get away from this horrible hospital.
Almost three weeks later and my body still feels broken. My daughter is perfect in every way.
I'm still trying to breastfeed but I want to quit. I have been healing a huge bruise across my stomach, and I've had pain up under my ribs which I didn't think was related to the c-section but after a night in the ER have come to the conclussion it must me.
My breast hurt, my stomach hurts, my back hurts still from where the epidural was placed... I am grieving the loss on my natural birth and considering after being told that I have "flat nipples" that perhaps this body just was never meant to have a child. I can treasure her but perhaps it is only because of modern medicine and science that I will get to keep her. Perhaps a medical birth was the only one she could ever have had. Perhaps her or I or both would be dead otherwise. Perhaps with out formula she would starve. Perhaps I should just be thankful but right now I'm just sad, frustrated, and deseperate for something to go right.
I was told by the doula that I'd start feeling better in two weeks. I'm almost to three weeks. How long did it take the rest of you to heal? And if you were also an emergency c-section did you feel the same loss? I mean I almost don't feel like she's mine. I hardly showed in my pregnancy (she was 8lbs but even the Dr doing the c-section figured she'd be small because of the size of my belly), and I fell asleep and woke up with this child given to me by my husband. And if you felt the same how long before the pain of the failed plan faded?
And yet I'm still upset over it all.