Candice’s First Story

April 13, 2011

Before my dd was born, I was well armed with research about birthing and I know what kind of birth I wanted. My other mum (long other story) had 4 babies at home. I was considering a home birth, but my doula wouldn’t do them at home. that and I wanted to make sure everything went smoothly at the hospital first time around. Its probably good I did do that.
From the beginning of it something was wrong. I went into what felt like labour at the beginning of April. I was even in the tub and counting the contractions. They were pretty rythmic. I waited it out, it was about 4 hours of this, and they stopped after a while. they were actually painful. now I look at it like something was wrong and my body was trying to tell me that. This happened literally for about a month. It was so discouraging, even my doula thought it was a bit odd, though she never phrased it that way.
I was with a doula that had 30 years experience with delievering babies. She was a nurse/midwife first and she knew her way around birthing. she was fabulous.
finally on the night of May 3rd I went into labour and I knew this was it. I was in my 42nd week at that point. I didn’t want to be induced, in spite of the fact that my mother had come and gone because we had fully expected an appearance by baby, and so had my sister. of course the night my sister left I went into true labour.
I got to the hospital at about 7am and they said that I could go home if I really wanted to. but I knew this was it, so I stayed. I walked around the hospital trying to get my contractions stronger. and they did. at around 2pm my doula showed up. I was trying really hard to do my hypno birthing without her, but wasn’t too sucessful. So I was going from the tub, to squatting in my husbands arms, to a birthing ball. I was in excrutiating pain, in spite of all of my practise of hypnobirthing. I was also pushing, but not because I wanted to.
If I had had a baby before that which had gone the way it was suppose to, I would have known that something was wrong then. but I didn’t.
they finally offered me pain relief and honestly, until that moment I hadn’t even THOUGHT of doing it. but I took it. it was an epidural. I was so exhausted by this point, it was about 17 hours into it, and I was still only at a 6 and pushing involuntarily.
I didn’t even FEEL it go in. All I felt was the incredible relief that rushed over my body and I cried with it.
I got a bit of rest for a while and started joking around with the nurses and my other doula that had just arrived. now I had 2! a practicing to be a doula and an experienced one. they were both great.
finally at 10pm I reached 10cm, and I could push. now that I had rested I was up for it. I pushed and pushed and pushed. I pushed for 4 1/2 hours in many different positions. as much as I could with an epidural, I got on all fours. I tried my side, and something else too. at that point I still felt okay. the doula got me to take the end of a towel and pull while I pushed. my other doula held my head to my chest and my husband pushed my legs back. Finally the midwife got the doctor at this point and he came in and turned her. I pushed again. still nothing. at this point I was nearing exhaustion and was definitely waning in my resolve. The doctor came back, felt her inside of me and announced I would need a c-section. I was devastated. this was the LAST THING on earth I planned for and here it was 3am, and I was getting wheeled in. She was okay. not showing any signs of distress or anything. I was not okay at all.
The epidural man upped my dosage and about 2 minutes later when I was talking to my dad I threw up. I started sobbing and feeling horrible. They wheeled me in where thankfully my doula, the newer one came with me. She sat by my head and told me what they were doing. I was so exhausted I was shaking horribly and crying and throwing up more. they took a long time to me to get her out. her head was against her shoulder and was in a funny position. she was also 9lb and 7.5oz. no one had a clue that she was that large. she also had no vernex to speak of. My husband brought her over to me and said “no wonder you couldn’t get her out, she was 9’7” I was totally shocked.
they took forever sewing me up. it was like almost another 2 hours on the table. the doc told my husband that because of the position she was in they couldn’t do a normal cut for a c section, it was really low. my midwife was pushing from the other head to dislodge her head. I did get her down far enough that I could at least see a dime size spot on her head. They also cut into my bladder to make sure my kidneys were functioning. In retrospect I wonder if they nicked my bladder and they were covering their ass.  This might have also contributed to the hemmoraging a lot. She was acylintic and posterior, which is largely why she didn’t come out, and the midwives I was dealing with didn’t recognise this because the one that I dealt with at first was definitely a medwife in retrospect.
I have never felt so awful in my life. here I had this baby and I felt like I had been hit by a mac truck. I couldn’t hold her, couldn’t pick her up, nothing. they wheeled me back into the room where I was supposed to have had her, and I was suppose to recover there for a bit. I couldn’t have any water even though I was so thirsty. I could only have ice chips. They brought her back to me at around 530am, and I tried breastfeeding. thank God she was such a good BFer from the beginning. I was very determined to BF, but if it had been much more challenging than it was, I honestly don’t know if I would have had it in me to go through that.
A few hours later they wheeled me down to where I would stay. then they made me stand up where I almost fainted. a couple of days later I had to have a blood transfusion because my hermaticric levels were so low. I felt a lot better after that.
I did nothing to take care of her for about the first 3 weeks. I couldn’t. I fed her. that was it. I laid on the couch feeling like crap. I couldn’t even put on my own pants. nothing was functioning in my body as it should. in fact the first week home I had a cathader. that is when the “in sickness” part came in for DH. He really was fabulous. he almost didn’t complain at all!
When I was leaving the hospital, which was 6 days later, it was such a contrast to my friend who was in my class that had her baby like 5 days after mine. she was up sitting up talking to everyone like 5 hours later. it made me feel worse.

I started to feel somewhat human again about a month later. it look a long time though. I was successful with breastfeeding which I am very pleased about.
so that is my birth story. I am really not over the sheer disappointment of what happened. I can at least tell myself that I KNOW that I did EVERYTHING in my power to have the birth I wanted. and that baby would NOT have come out any other way. but I sometimes still feel like I have to justify myself to people that are like”ooooo really?” and I know there are a lot of unneccsary c sections. but I also know mine wasn’t and I probably wouldn’t be here, and she either, if it wasn’t for modern medicine. I just haven’t accepted that by any stretch.
Thanks for listening. I figure someone out there will understand my grief.

Candice

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