The week before I had my daughter I had a dream that I had the baby but didn’t remember what labor was like and I kept saying it over and over to my husband. Sadly, this dream turned out to be true.
I researched the whole time I was pregnant on vaccines and natural health. I knew that I would not be vaccinating, I wanted skin-to skin contact with my baby immediately and that I would breast feed. My birth plan was to have her natural but I wasn’t completely against drugs if I absolutely decided I needed them when the time came.
I was certain that I would have her early because well I don’t think a single person has had a baby full term in my family! Well 3 days past my due date I was at the hospital for a mandatory NST (non stress test). It was 3 p.m. Soooo boring, for those of you who haven’t had one you sit in a chair by yourself hooked up to a monitor for an hour. At the end of my test a scruffy looking guy said to me in his monotone voice, ” Your baby’s heart is failing this test”. Wow dude you really know how to put things nicely, I was not concerned at all though because I knew my baby was fine, I hadn’t had any problems and she was moving like normal. Apparently the concern was that she wasn’t responding to the contractions that I was having (I had been having 2 min apart contractions for probably a month at that point) I mentioned that I wasn’t concerned because I had been having those same contractions for a while and it made sense to me that the baby was used to them. (I was apparently dumb for thinking that, so he called my Dr.) He came back and said that my Dr. was on call so he talked to my second choice Dr., they decided they should admit me just to be safe and give me a pill to soften my cervix and maybe by that night I would have my baby. I didn’t eat before the test so I asked if I could eat first and go get my bags since we didn’t bring it to the hospital, they told me I couldn’t eat (so apparently I was suposed to go 7 plus hours without eating and deliver a baby- wish I would have noticed this red flag then!) Since they reassured me I had plenty of time I sent my husband, Dave, home to get the camera and my bag (at the time we lived about 25 miles from the hospital).
Once admitted they checked me (dilated to 2) ,hooked me to an IV ,and told me that I needed to poop…so the nice nurse took me to the bathroom and stood outside the door. Obviously that wasn’t gonna work for me… when I said I hadn’t eaten so not likely that it was gonna happen she told me I could have a small sip of apple juice- thanks. Then it was back to the bed to wait. Not 5 minutes later a different nurse walked in and said,” Hi, I’m here to break your water”. I told her she was in the wrong room because I was supposed to have a pill to just soften my cervix, her response?…”Your too far along for that.” Umm…. I guess I missed something because in 5 minutes nothing changed. I called Dave (who hadn’t even made it home yet) and told him he needed to come back because they wanted to break my water. So there I was mad at the staff and alone as they broke my water, which sucked. After that the nurse showed me the line on the graph that was for my contractions , she asked me to rate my pain, I said none, she didn’t like my answer I guess because she then asked me to rate it 1-10 and then questioned me as if maybe I didn’t understand what she was asking me. After a little bit of back and forth she then told me the baby’s heart was going up but would not tell me the rate heart. I wasn’t surprised if it went up since they just broke my water and were pissing me off so I am sure my heart rate would go up too! When I mentioned maybe it was because they were freaking me out (keep in mind Im still by myself trying to battle a different nurse every few minutes) they came at me with an oxygen mask- this was the last thing I wanted, I absolutely hate those things!!!! I was then told that they needed to internally monitor the baby, which I was completely against, but of course that doesn’t matter…. so after they get a reading I am told the baby’s heart rate was higher then expected and had to take me for a c-section right then. (still no one would tell me the actual heart rate). I was really mad now -I DID NOT want to have a c-section and my husband was not even back yet. I fought as much as I could about them waiting for him to get there. I had him on the phone and as he was parking they were trying to wheel me out of my room. They told me they would have someone get him ready to come into the operating room. My Dr. was all of a sudden there. As they were starting, after asking multiple times about my husband coming in, the one male nurse next to me asked about getting him. Dave finally got to come in and see my insides on my outside…oh it is just so beautiful. I remember looking at Dave thinking this is exactly what I didn’t want to happen. He kept asking me if I was okay, I just kept saying yeah ,wishing that the blue tarp they put up across your body was sound proof so I could say how pissed off I was and tell Dave about the bs in the room! They held up a mirror so I could see them pull our our daughter out of my bloody sliced body at 5:54p.m. (remember I said I got to the hospital at 3 and after the test they told me that MAYBE I would have the baby by that night but less than 3 hrs later here she was). Our daughter was 8lbs 3 oz and 21 inches long, she scored a 9 on the apgar, she was absolutely perfect and I was glad I heard a nurse instantly yell ” no shots!” ( she WAS listening to me when I was reading her all the vaccine labels I brought with me ). When they started to put me back together my Dr. congratulated me and said she had to get back to the other c-section that she started just before mine. Ohhh… now I get it….. thats why she wasn’t available on the phone and gosh how lucky for her that I needed a C-section at the exact time she had 25 min open.
Dave and I were told that when we saw our daughter we would know for sure on the name (we were deciding between 2) but that didn’t happen, When he asked me what I thought, I said “she looks like my grandpa” 🙂 I took off the little hat they put on her so I could see all of her black hair! I didn’t count her fingers and toes- I never thought about that – I just stared at her and she looked right back at us, she was totally aware and content. After I was all put back together they took me to the recovery room where I was able to continue holding her, have visitors, shake like crazy (from the drugs) , start breast feeding, and after I could wiggle my toes go to my room. We kept her with us the whole time, they gave her a bath in our room, Dave changed every diaper, I feed her every time and that night when she slept all night I stayed awake ALL night and just looked at her. Yes, I loved her more than I could ever imagine but I hated feeling like I didn’t bring her into this world, it was like someone just handed me a baby and said, “here ya go”.
I know that there are times that c-sections are necessary but every woman should be given the chance to at least be in labor, to let their body do what it is supposed to do and to let that baby come into the world when it is ready. The hormones that happen at birth bonding you to your child are so important and you do not have them when you deliver by c-section, also the Th1 that is so important for immunity is not activated like it would be when the baby is born vaginally. I also can say that Dave felt really alienated too, he wasn’t a part of it and couldn’t help me. I am very grateful that I breastfeed her because through that I was able to bond with her.
I was under my Dr’s care for years before that, I always thought she was wonderful. At one of my last appointments I asked her if I would be able to delivery naturally since I am smaller and they knew the baby was over 8 lbs. she reassured me that I would be fine. I really felt she would always do what was best for me, but it wasn’t until it happened that I realized in many cases, it isn’t about the mother and baby, it is about convenience.
It was very hard for me to get over and I feel like that is the biggest reason of why I waited longer than originally planned to have another child, I knew I didn’t want to do that again, I didn’t think I could emotional handle it. After I learned about other options I knew that I could have a baby and I could have it the way nature intended. This is why I decided I wanted to work with a midwife . (my next entry will talk more about that!) This is the motivation of my blog to educate other woman and make people aware. Plus, I know it helped me tons when I was able to talk about it with other women so hopefully I can offer the same.