When I was pregnant with Josiah I had everything planned out when it came to his birth.
Between 38 and 40 weeks I’d start having contractions or my water would break and I would do what all women do and go to the hospital. Of course if I was just having contractions I’d wait until I absolutely had to go, but if my water broke I’d go right away.
We’d go to the hospital and I’d have the normal pains of labor, but I’d be doing it naturally. I did NOT want any meds at all. As a matter of fact I had nightmares that I’d wake up and Josiah was born and I’d missed the whole thing. I’ve got a pretty high pain tolerance so I wasn’t worried about it.
Josiah would be born X amount of hours later and of course I’d immediately start the bonding process and work on getting Josiah to nurse properly.
You’ve seen “A baby story” on TLC right? That’s how it goes, right? Eh, not always.
Here’s how it really went:
It was June 18, I was swollen and miserable. My sister-and-law and brother-in-law came in from Fayetteville that evening. Jimmi and I went home and he climbed into bed at about 10:45 p.m. He was working 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. so he’d been up all day and had to be up early the next morning. I played on Farmtown (yes…Farmtown) for a few because I was having issues going to sleep. I climbed into bed at 11:05 p.m. and when I rolled over to go to sleep, Josiah kicked/punched me really hard and it felt like I’d peed myself a little, but I knew I hadn’t. I got up and walked to the bathroom and my water 100% broke as I sat down on the toilet — no doubt about it.
I called my people and we headed to the hospital. Undoubtedly my water had broke, but I wasn’t having contractions. To make matters worse, my doctor was OUT OF TOWN. Some other doctor was going to be calling the shots. I was dilated to one and 80 percent effaced. A few hours later, I hadn’t progressed. The doctor put me on pitocin in order to get things going. Once the pitocin got started I started having contractions and they were getting painful (duh, I’m in labor). They kept asking me if I wanted to go ahead and get an epidural and I told them I didn’t want anything. I eventually let them give me staydol because I started having contractions on top of contractions. At 10:30 a.m. on the 19th the doctor was “predicting” that I’d have to have a c-section because I wasn’t progressing.
They actually had to lower the pitocin at one point because the contractions were coming so rapidly that they were being counterproductive.
Finally at 1:30 p.m. the doctor explained to me that I wasn’t progressing like I was supposed to and since my water had already broke they were on a time constraint so he was going to go ahead and do a c-section. At this point I’ve been awake for more than 24 hours, I have eaten in over 12 hours and I’ve been in excruciating (yet somewhat tolerable) pain because of the pitocin. I reluctantly agreed despite the huge amount of disappointment I was feeling. I did NOT want a c-section.
During the surgery I ended up hyperventilating because my spinal block numbed a little bit to high and I couldn’t feel myself breathing so I ended up being sick because I started panicking. They got Josiah out and of course, despite the fact that it didn’t go as planned, hearing that first cry was one of the best moments of my life.
I didn’t get that initial bonding moments I wanted because I had to recover for a little bit from the surgery. And Josiah didn’t catch on to breastfeeding immediately, but after a few days he finally got it.
When I went to my postpartum appointment with my doctor, he was mad about how my delivery had gone and he felt my c-section was completely unnecessary. I agree.
As a matter of fact, Jimmi heard the nurses at the hospital talking about the doctor having a tee-time to get to and that’s why everything was rushed.
Here are a few facts about what happened:
- You are not supposed to get an epidural until you are dilated to 4. Why? This can slow down and stop the progress of your labor. Why then was the doctor pushing for me to get one when I wasn’t progressing at all?
- Hospital policy (the majority of hospitals) is that once your water breaks you are confined to your bed. Why? They say that you can risk infection, but how much more at risk are you laying in the bed compared to walking around the room? Or doing squats or something to try and progress your labor. Laying in a bed isn’t going to help progress your labor.
- Turning up the pitocin for so long actually hindered my body from doing what it was supposed to. My body couldn’t naturally contract because the pitocin was up too high because the doctor was impatient. Josiah’s head was bruised when he came out and they told me that his head was actually stuck in the birth canal because the contractions were so fierce that they were jamming his head further into the birth canal before it was ready.
- When your water breaks, you have 24 hours to labor on your own before they typically intervene unless there’s a problem. That means I could have labored for almost 10 more hours before intervention was necessary.
It all boiled down to the fact that the doctor was impatient and after being in so much pain for so long I didn’t fight back. People have a tendency to just believe that what the doctor is telling you is 100 percent factual and shouldn’t be fought. I could have challenged him and put it off. I couldn’t though, I was tired and I couldn’t think straight. The idea of this happening never crossed my mind. Because of the impatient doctor (btw, he no longer practices in the area because apparently I’m not the first complaining patient) I am having to prepare for another c-section.
I spent a long time after my delivery regretting my decisions. I regretted the fact that I didn’t just it out at home for a while because I wasn’t having contractions. I regret the fact that I allowed myself to follow the doctor’s suggestions.
I felt like my body had betrayed me because as a woman my body didn’t do the one thing it was made to do (of course when I started having my miscarriages that feeling got worse). I hated telling people that I’d had a c-section. I still hate telling people. Why? Because I know deep down that I should NOT have. There was no reason for it and I still feel responsible for it. You know what though, I can’t change it and I’ve moved on. In the end, although the surgery is a much more painful route, Josiah got here and he got here healthy. Despite my dread of another major surgery, Samuel will get here and he will get here healthy.