Monday, August 4, 2008

Attempt at a birth story

This is something I have been meaning to write for a long time. I started awhile ago but it got so long and confusing I gave up. Then, when Joseph turned a year I decided it was time. So, 15 months after the actual events, I am putting it on here. As most of you know I am still emotional about the way things worked out with Joseph’s birth. All in all, accepting that things became so “unnatural” and feeling that I did not do my part has been the hardest part for me. But, I of course have to accept how things happened and be happy with the amazing little guy I got out of it all!

My water broke at 11:30 PM Friday 5/4/07 (11 days after my due date) just as I turned of my bedside lamp to go to sleep. When I woke Brad up he was so tired from roofing all day that he kept denying the very obvious fact. I called the doctor and they told us to head right to the hospital. We made our way and arrived at about 2 AM. It felt to me like lots of waiting around and confusion. My contractions only very slowly built up. I made very little progress dilating and that was the hardest thing for me. Well, I mean lack of progress plus pain. It became really painful in the early morning 5/5 when they gave me 2 doses of Prostaglandin to help my labor along. Throwing up and nausea began. Pain building and building . . . Time passing . . . Pain . . . (basically it was like a horrible Charlie-horse in my back. I kept thinking, “if only they could just get rid of my spine I would be fine.") Then they said I needed Pitocin because I was not making enough progress. It was sooo discouraging to be in such pain for so long but not have anything happening! I was really scared of the Pitocin and tried to put it off for as long as I could. They finally gave it to me around 4 or 5 PM Sat. By then I was obsessing about whether to get the pain medicine (epidural). When I was checked at about 6 PM and had only progress 2 cm (you have to go ten) in 15 hours (and the Dr. said she guessed I had at least 8 more hours to go—which turned out to be right on) and the same night shift people as I had seen the previous evening returned and they said this was my last chance, I gave up!! I got the epidural and that was completely freaky. My blood pressure kept getting too low and they began giving me injections for that (I already had IV antibiotics to fight infection and saline because they said I was dehydrated from throwing up, plus Pitocin, and epidural). We tried to rest. My epidural broke at one point. When it was fixed I had it put on a lower dose so I could still feel what was going on. At about 11:30 PM I felt like pushing. The Dr. checked and said I was ready to push, however they then realized I also had a fever. For some reason we wait around another hour. My fever is worse. The Dr. comes back and tells me that “my situation is serious.” She says she is going to “let” me push a couple times. I push through three contractions and each time the baby’s (Joseph!) heart rate plummets. To me it sounds like it stops and then slowly comes back. We stare at the tracer. The Dr. and nurse scurry to the side of the room and chat quickly. The Dr. comes back and tells me I need a c-section. I am actually relieved because I thought she was going to tell me that my baby was not going to make it (Brad still says that he thinks the nurse and Dr. acted unprofessionally because they seemed so freaked out). I ask once something like “are you sure this is necessary” and she says, in her opinion, it is. We fill out the paper work, Brad puts on scrubs, we wait for the room to be empty (someone else having a c section) and stare at Joseph’s heart rate monitor. I am certainly in shock. I don’t say an unnecessary word because I want the baby out as quickly as possible. They give me more drugs and 15 minutes after the decision is made we are in the operating room. The super friendly anesthesiologist chats as they cut Joseph out. They tell me at some point that he will have to go to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. They take him out (1:23 AM 5/6/07), unwrap the umbilical cord from around his neck, Brad gets a look at my insides he didn’t want, and they clean Joseph up. When they take him out he is sideways and still very high up. (Later they also found out the my placenta was infected because of such a long labor--26 hours--and say that it was very necessary to have the c-section.) Joseph screams quickly and everyone is saying right away how big and healthy he is. I am not surprise that he weights 9 lbs 3 ozs and is 22 1/2 inches long. Brad always says that he was batting the suction cup away. Brad holds Joseph by my head for a few minutes (as they stitch me back together) and then they take Joseph away. .. The worst part was not being able to see him!!!! I almost had to fight to get them to finally bring me to the NICU 8 hours later when I finally was able to get out of bed (WORST PAIN OF ALL). But he did look so amazingly healthy. And he was! And still is! Despite how complainy this sounds, I really am mostly just thankful that I got my Joseph out of it all. But it did suck.


M said...

I am so happy you've written everything down! I know how stressful it was for you to talk about this, and this is such a huge step!! So proud!! We're all glad Joseph is here, and you did a TON of work! Imagine having to stay vigilant and sharp enough to make so many tough decisions! I think that Joseph will appreciate hearing all this in a few years.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for telling that story, Ruth, and, Michelle,thanks for those perceptive comments, too.


JG said...

Ruth that is such an incredible post and I'm so glad you put that up! I cried while reading it...your writing is so raw and your experience was so powerful (in a negative and positive sense) in so many ways. I know that before Sophia I had no idea how painful and scary and graceless birth is! I don't think I could have been as brave as you if I had experienced the same labor. Actually, I know I wouldn't have been as brave! And it's amazing how long your labor was. I hope what I'm saying doesn't seem insincere or is tainted by how easy my birth was (haha, like birth is ever easy). It's not your fault that your birth was hard, and it's not my fault that mine was easy. I definitely am moved by your story, and by your strength. I can't wait to see you and share this amazing, horrible, wonderful, scary, grotesque, beautiful thing that is motherhood! :)

Amy Serekede said...

Love the closing comment lol. I think that sums up my experiences with labor also! I still can't believe your labor lasted so long than ended with a c-section - that does SUCK! You surely did your part!