Sunday, July 10, 2011

Delievery do over

With all the upcoming births of family members and friends, it got me thinking about my delivery with Isla. Looking back, I feel totally jipped on my delivery experience, and I'm pretty sure that set me up for some newborn failures.
During my Intro. to Childbirth Class at the hospital, my instructor was this amazing lady (and Doula) and she was very persistent on creating a birth plan, and sticking to it as much as possible. So that's what I did. I sat down and created this huge document of what I wanted and did not want during my labor and delivery. I gave a copy to my OB a 5 days before giving birth, and I presented a copy to my nurse when I arrived at the hospital. From there, I'm sure it went straight in the garbage, because I didn't get a single thing that I requested. At the time, in the moment, I could give a flying fuck what music was being played, or who was in the room with me. As far as I was concerned, I was the only person there for the majority of the time, (not true...). When I checked in to the hospital, I specifically asked for a jacuzzi suite because I wanted to labor in the tub. I planned on a natural childbirth and I felt that was a good starting spot. The admission lady informed me that all the tub suites were occupied and they would move me just as soon as one opened up. "Surprisingly", after 24 hours of labor, I was still in the same room, no tub.
The biggest challenge for me was the fact that the nurses could not get a reading on the external fetal monitor. Therefore, after multiple attempts, they had to insert an internal fetal monitor (aka: SUCK FEST). If I had any chance of getting a jacuzzi tub before, it was out the door now. Also, I was unable to walk around or use the big ball to roll around on because every time I tried to do anything, the monitor would fall out and some nurse would rush back in to shove her whole arm up my vagina.
So there I was, stuck in least favorite place to be...and eventually the pain took over and I asked for drugs. Stadol is what was administered, even though in my birth plan, I stated that I did not want any matter what, even if I asked for them. I felt like even though I asked for the drugs, the staff was all too willing to give it out. This is the time that I wish I had hired my Childbirth Instructor/Doula to be my Advocate. I know she wouldn't have let me give in that easily. She also would have stood up for me with the internal monitors.
After 2 doses of Stadol, and 13 hours of labor, with no progression, I asked for an epidural. Within a half an hour, I was completely numb from the waste down and suddenly alarms are going off and within seconds, a half the floors nurses come rushing in. Apparently the epidural caused the baby's heart rate to drop down to 34 bpm and they started prepping me for an emergency C-Section. Part of me had no idea what was going on. The other part was scared shitless and wanted nothing more than for them to get my baby out! In less than 60 seconds, they had me rolled every which way and baby's heart rate jumped back up to a normal pace. It was the scariest minute of my life. The staff reassured me that everything was okay, and encouraged me to relax and get some sleep. I still had a long road ahead of me.
Almost 8 hours later, I was ready to start pushing. No body ever told me that I should concentrate on working my arm muscles for delivery. For some reason, I figured my thigh muscles were the ones that would do all the work. FYI, if you're planning on a vaginal some arm exercises at the gym. They pull out these handle bars from the side of the bed, and you bare down all your weight to push, via these handles and your arm muscles. After an hour of this, my arms were mush! I literally could not hold my daughter with out support from a pillow or a nurse.
On a side note, Isla had some complications coming through the birth canal...basically her shoulders were too wide, and she got a little stuck. Therefore, when she came out, they whisked her away to check her out, make sure she was okay, etc. I also sustained 3rd degree perineal tear, with an episiotomy!!! If you don't know what that is, please Google it. It's nasty. My mom likes to tell the story of how disgusting it was, and how many stitches were used to sew me up.
Eventually, I got to hold my daughter and it was amazing and I forgot about all the horribly painful things that I had to go through in order to get to that point. I also forgot about my lack of a birth plan...that is, until now.

In class, last semester, we watched Ricki Lake's The Business of Being Born and it was actually pretty amazing. I then realized, how much I had missed out on and how pissed I was because of it. The one thing I remember that I specifically asked for, was for Isla to be put on my bare chest immediately after she came out, provided she didn't need any special medical attention (which she did). I also stated, that if she did need medical attention, I wanted her on my chest as soon as possible after that. Did that happen? No! Once they evaluated her, they brought her over to me, and by this time all my family is in the room and every one wanted to hold her. I was so exhausted, I just said fine...whatever. Then she went under the warmer for what seemed like hours, and by that time, my epidural had worn off, and I had a whole list of tasks that I needed to accomplish. Mainly, to go to the bathroom. After all that, I suppose I just forgot about chest time, and then I was moved to a different that NOW had a jacuzzi tub!

With my next baby, I will definitely do things different. I will hire a Doula. Because even though my mother is a great person, and I loved the fact that she was by my side the whole time...I need someone else, who will be my advocate and tell the persistent nursing staff what I do and do not want.
I love my OB, and if I am still in Omaha (which God help me, I will not be) she would definitely deliver my future babies.
Even though I do not agree with hospital politics and the "business" of delivering a baby, hospital style, I would deliver in a hospital again. More likely, I would rather deliver in a Birthing Center, affiliated or attached to a hospital. AND I WILL HAVE THAT DAMN JACUZZI TUB!!!!!
I will insist on not having internal monitors. I will allow myself to be mobile and move around while in labor. I think that is the most important thing in surviving the pain. Our bodies are meant to move with the pain, not lay in bed, surrounding it.
I will not get an epidural. In the end, they had to turn mine off because I could not feel the contractions to push, so basically I did it for nothing.
I will insist that my child be put upon my chest immediately following delivery (pending everything checks out okay, health wise).
I will try my hardest (and harder than I did with Isla) to nurse. Nursing was something that was very important to me and I felt like even with all the support and help I received, I just could not do it. No one ever tells you ahead of time, how hard it is. I mean, I had creams, and nipple shields, and cones to keep nipples erect and from retreating back into my breast. It was horrible! I literally felt like Isla was repulsed by my breast. Neither one of us got any joy out of nursing. Pumping was just as bad...I felt like a dairy cow. Then my milk decided that it was done coming in and just stopped. I took supplements, drank herbal teas, tons of water, and pumped non-stop. Nothing made me produce any more than a couple drops here and there. Finally, after a month, I gave up. The first time Isla was hungry and got a bottle ASAP, I could tell that she was super stoked, and I was too (at first). Then I suddenly felt like I failed at the one thing my boobs were meant to do, nourish my baby. That set me into a whole downward spiral and I am pretty sure I cried non-stop for a while. Every time I looked at Isla, I cried because I felt like a failure. Not only did her dad fail her, but now I was too. Eventually, I got some drugs (aka: happy pills) and they made me feel better...then I started to feel nothing. So I stopped taking them, and am pretty okay without them.

I want nothing more, than to be the best mom I can be...and sometimes, I don't feel like I am at all. This is all new to me. I've never been in this role before. I'm sure the next one will be easier, maybe...??? Maybe Isla is my easy kid, and the ones to follow will be hell on wheels. Who knows...All I know is that I'm living vicariously through my current pregnant family members and friends. I can't wait to hear how everything works for them, and wish them nothing but the best as they get ready to pop!

1 comment:

  1. I am so, so angry for you right now. I cannot even express how angry I get when I hear how hospital staff will treat a mother like her desires really don't matter at all, it's more important to make their job easier!

    I'm sorry Steph, I do hope you get to do it again someday your way. But you did not fail Isla. You did the best with the situation at the time and your experience. I too think doulas really are the answer for hospital births.