Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Birth Story

Tuesday afternoon, I had a check-up at the ob-gyn's office. There was supposed to be an internal exam to see if I dilated any more than 3cm. What happened that day was nothing I could have ever imagined. The doctor inserted her hand inside me and proceeded to cause me all kinds of pain and I thought to myself that it shouldn't hurt this much to find out what the dilation is. Then the doctor pulls her hand out and said, "Your water broke. I wonder how that happened." It suddenly dawned on me what the doctor was doing inside my cervix-- she was trying to break my water and succeeded. To say I was upset is an understatement. I asked how far I was dilated and she said 4cm. We now had to go to the hospital.

I wanted to have a natural birth, which includes my water breaking naturally and no inducement or pictocin or any other aids. I had planned to tell the doctor that afternoon, after finding out if I had dilated any more that I didn't want to be induced at the end of the week if I still had not gone into labor. I had wanted to let my body and my baby tell me when it was ready. But the doctor did not give me that choice. The doctor never asked me if I wanted her to break my water.

On the short 5 minute drive to the hospital from the doctor's office, I was crying and angry. I wasn't even having contractions and because my water was now broke, I knew that the labor was going to be painful and intense and I questioned my ability to handle the pain without an epidural. Thank God that my Aunt and Uncle were at home with the kids, but dammit, I didn't want it to happen this way!

We were escorted to the maternity floor and they were waiting for us, and when the nurse asked how I was feeling, I burst into tears and told her the doctor broke my water without asking me first. She sympathized with me, but she also had a job to do, which was to help me have a baby. The doctor sent over orders for me to be put on an IV drip and pictocin. I declined both. I said I would walk the halls instead, to encourage labor.

Hubby and I were worried about the kids. My Aunt and Uncle are both deaf and they cannot answer the phone if we call. Living in the mountains means their pagers do not work either. We had to let them know that we weren't coming back and instead were staying at the hospital. So Hubby left to drive the 30 minutes home, explain what was going on, leave instructions for dinner and bedtime and then come back to me. I told the nurse I was going to sit quietly on the bed and be still, so nothing happens until he gets back. He came back about an hour and a half later and then the doctor showed up, mad that I refused the pictocin. She told me that I needed to be on it so I could get labor started and that the longer my water was broke the more chances there are for baby to get an infection. Well, I wouldn't be in this situation if she didn't break my water!

I agreed to the IV, knowing I needed to be hydrated and not knowing how long the labor would take. We walked the halls, returning to the room every half hour to be checked. By 9 I was still at 4 cm. Contractions were starting, but they were weak and far apart. In my head, I was trying to look at the bright side of things, telling myself that at the end of all this, I would have a baby in my arms, but it was hard to ignore the fact that I was at the hospital because of the doctor and not because of it happening naturally.

Around 11pm, we were still walking the halls, but now I had to stop every so often to breathe through contractions. They were getting more painful and lasting longer and happening more frequently. When I couldn't take walking any more, we headed back to the room. I asked the nurse to check me and finally there was change! I was now at 6cm. I lose track of time at this point, but it was after 11:30, because I remember seeing Jay Leno on the TV. Contractions were getting intense and all I could think of was how much less painful this would be if my water wasn't broken. I was on my side, gripping the bed rails through each contraction, trying to stay calm and breathe through them, when I felt the need to push. I told Hubby to get the nurse and she checked me and in less than 5 minutes I went from 6 to 8cm. She left to call the doctor.

When the nurse came back, she had another nurse with her and they started to get things ready. I had to push. Oh! Did I have to push! I was still on my side when she opened my legs and checked me and I was fully dilated and ready to go. I felt the baby's head coming down and she told me that she wasn't going to stop me and if I had to push, go ahead. I went ahead and pushed. I think I pushed 4 or 5 times and felt the head coming out, then when I opened my eyes, I saw the doctor rush into the room. I closed my eyes and pushed again and the baby came out, along with a gush of liquid and I felt so much better. When I opened my eyes again, the doctor had grabbed my baby and was working on the umbilical cord.

It all happened so fast, they didn't even have time to take off the bottom of the bed, or hold my feet up, turn on the light or anything. The nurse pretty much delivered the baby, but the doctor got the glory. While cleaning me up, the doctor pulled over the tray with the needle and scalpel and other instruments and started to get ready to sew me up. I told her no. I didn't want her to touch me, afraid that she'd botch up the sewing, and cause me problems later on. She looked at me like I was crazy-- "You don't want me to sew you up? You're bleeding. No, it's not a bad rip. You won't feel anything, I'll numb you up. You don't want me to sew it up? O-kayyy." And she pushed away the tray, took off her gloves and said, "I'll see you in the morning." and walked out of the room.

After they cleaned up the baby, they put him in my arms and everything that happened earlier, melted away. The nurse told me that it was the first time I smiled all night, after they put him in my arms. There was no falling in love, it was instant love. To see my son, to hold him in my arms, to kiss him and be thankful that he came out alright and that my husband was by my side. Everything was alright.

The first feeding, minutes after the birth

All night long, every 2 to 3 hours, nurses would come in to check me and the baby-- temperature, blood pressure, check the belly to be sure the uterus is contracting back down to size. They kept asking me if I wanted any medicine for the pain, or stool softeners to help me poop. I needed to pee twice in front of them before they would take out the IV. How I wished I was at home, sleeping in peace. How funny it was to see on their faces, their surprise when I said I was fine; no, I was not in any pain; no, I do not need stool softener, I already pooped-- go see in the toilet; look, I peed twice, please take out the IV now. While all the nurses were nice and friendly, I just wanted to go home, to be with my family, to have the big sisters see their new baby brother.

Me and my babies after arriving home Thursday afternoon!

Now that baby and I are home, it has been wonderful. I'm happy and content and the girls are absolutely loving their baby brother. Hubby and I are on cloud nine and couldn't be more happier of our children. Thank you to every one that left a comment, congratulating us on our new arrival.

The proud big sisters and their new baby brother!


deafs said...

Thanks for sharing our experience. I have no child. So I am not very clear about the experience when have a new life, babe. I also met a friend on a deaf community site , a yong Mom, her babe just two months old. She also told me about her experience. Someone said, the time of birth of a babe is mostpainful but happy time for mother!

K.L. said...

I'm so sorry you and your doctor were on such different pages. But at least you were able to have the baby without the pitocin (which is nasty) and medication. I would have gotten the stitches, but you will heal. I'm so glad your baby is doing well, and that you are now all home and happy. If you have more, get a doctor more willing to work with you. But you and your body are very in touch with your needs, and you know best.

Enjoy your baby!

Lantana said...

I have heard that a placenta can"get old" when you are far overdue, perhaps that is why the doctor wanted to induce you?

No matter now, Mom and Babe are safe at home with their adoring family.

"Alls well that ends well.

Your "five timer" friend, Lantana

IndianaJones said...

I'm so proud of you! Even when faced with a Dr. going against your wishes (without knowing it of course but it is just as frustrating when you're in the moment!) you were still able to have the all natural birth you so desired. Your little man is so beautiful and so are you! What an exciting birth story. You are a ROCK STAR!

Wendy said...

I am so impressed! Even though they tried every trick at their disposal, you still had as perfect a birth experience as anyone can have in a hospital. YOU took control of your body, of your birth, and did it your way! Bravo!

I love your story, and I hope you tell it to everyone who will hear you or who will listen and know that YOU delivered that baby, in spite of the doctors.

I wish would feature stories like yours on those programs like "A Baby Story", and the like, but then, if more women could empower themselves like you did, OBs would be out of a job (which might not be such a bad thing :).

Karen Putz said...

A big, beautiful congrats to you and your family. I could feel your anger and I understood it completely.

Enjoy your new little one-- you do look blissful in the pictures!

barefoot gardener said...

Wow, I am in awe of you...truly.

I totally agree with Wendy that is so cool you were able to keep control (as much as possible) of the situation and not let the medical staff run over you.

Barbara said...

What a shame that the Dr took over that way. But goodness you took charge and had that baby your way in the end. Good for you. Don't those big sisters look happy - so do you. Congratulations once more!

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

I don't blame you for being angry at your dr. Both of my children's births were not as I wished them to be. But in the end they were healthy babies and that is the most important thing. Congratulations on your beautiful little man. I bet he will be much cherished and spoiled by his sisters.

jenny said...

Deafhoney-- It is a very happy time and the pain is a welcome kind of pain. For me anyway. I have experienced 4 different ways of having a baby and the homebirth was the best experience of all.

K.l.-- I didn't get the stitches because it is not always necessary to get them. When I had the homebirth, I ripped a little and healed fine without being sewn up. I knew I would heal again this time and didn't want to bother having to go back to the doctor to have the stitches removed. I didn't trust the doctor either, and wanted her out!

Lantana-- Unfortunately, nowadays, many doctors induce birth because of the convenience. They don't want to wait and wait for natural birth anymore and prefer to hurry things along.

Summer-- I almost gave in to the pain, but things happened so fast at the end there, that it ended up I didn't need to get anything. Thankfully, our boy is ok and I'm ok and we are all home.

Wendy-- I was determined not to let that doctor bully me around! It helped that I had a supportive nurse who understood how I felt and told me that I didn't have to do certain things if I didn't want to. If it wasn't for her and my husband, things might have been different, but they empowered me and backed me up. I plan to go back to the hospital soon and thank her again for helping me do things my way and for delivering the baby.

Karen-- Thank you! We are enjoying our time at home!

Barefoot-- I couldn't have done it without the support of my husband. He helps me and encourages me and I don't know what I'd do without him!

Barbara-- Thank you! The labor might not have started out the way I wanted it to, but I was determined to let the rest of it happen naturally!

Coffee-- Of the 4 births, the homebirth was the best, and this one comes 2nd, despite the rough beginning. I'm glad I was able to do it without the epidural and come home shortly after.

Jennifer said...

congratulations! how very sweet for you guys. i wish you all many blessings! enjoy your new one!


ps i entered you in my giveaway!