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Monday, 26 July 2010

The Birth Story

[warning: a very l-o-n-g post ahead]

So.. It's taken me quite some time, but here's how it went:

17:00 (Mon, 14.6) - I take those two spoons of castor oil. And oh my! I knew it would be disgusting, but didn't expect it to be that horrible.
Only after talking to my doula at about 21:00, telling her how it didn't at all affect me, did I have some diahrea (sorry if TMI). But only two stops at the toilet, nothing really too serious.

10:19 (Tuesday, 15.6) - Finally after completing a very long interview with the reception nurse, I am admitted to the hospital. We (my mother and I. And yes, it was my mother in the end who came with me, and she was [and still is!] so amazing!!) decide on having the induction. It really wasn't an easy decision, but after reading your comments and talking to sister, and as the oil didn't really work, it was decided it was the best thing to do.

14:00 - I am given half a pill to swallow, and told to come back later to be monitered and to see how to proceed. Me and mum wait outside. In hindsight I probably was having construction but wasn't really aware of them. Anyway at 17:30 when I come back to the moniter, we see that I'm having one about every 5,6 minutes. At this stage, I think there were bearable, getting more and more difficult but managable. As we understood that I'll be taking another pill, we decide to wait with it till the morning, so mother goes home for the night. I was hoping that if I can manage overcoming first contructions and falling asleep, that I'll be able to have some sleep (and mind you, it might have been quite an idle day with a lot of waiting for this and that and nothing much done, but it was a very long and tiring day!).

22:30 - mum leaves and I am left alone. The contruction now are really beginning to be difficult. Sleeping is impossible!

23:00 -(well actually a bit before..) In the middle of a painful contruction, I feel some wet in my knickers, and think - yay, that's the mucous plug, but can't see blood in the toilet. I think it's just discharge so don't do much about it. Happens again with next contruction and I realize it must be my water that's breaking! I go to the nurse to infprm and to ask what to do. Well tough lucj for me that at eleven there is a shift change! The conversation was - me: I think my water just broke; nurse: o.k, do you have a pad; me: no; nurse: so go put a pad and we'll be with you soon. URG! And might I add that I was in agony and pain! Luckly there were some pads left in "my" locker" I suppose by previous "tenant", but still.. Anyway the water kept "breaking" with these really terrible contructions. Probably being alone there didn't help, and I just couldn't anymore, so I called my mum (and asked her to call my doula). About half an hour later she arrives. In the mean time the doctor checks the opening. And oh god! Lying on the back in the mid of a construction, that was so so painful. And the water that kept breaking. An opening of four and slight mecunioum in the water. And if I didn't say it before.... these cotrucions were very very painful (and I am quite pain tolerent, could take pain without much compaining), and I was already in the dispair stage, the stage of oh my what have I done, a stage that usually appears at an opening of 8,9 and at least you do know then you are near the end. But at 4?? I just didn't know how I'll take it anymore. Anyway, as it's an opening of 4, they send me to the delivery room.

00:15 - just after I get to the delivery room my doula arrives. Pains are getting worse and worse and are now totally unberable. She tries to help me, massages me (couldn't bear that! not something I knew beforehand..). She then helps me in the shower, which was somewhat helpful, but still the pains... All this time I was saying no to epidural (to the dr, to me, etc). I was determined that I can still do it, but it was really getting worse and worse. In the shower I reallise that I can't anymore, so I say yes..

I say yes thinking that right there and then I'll get relief. HA! They start an infusion and now I wait. And wait. And wait. I am really going crazy (saying how next birth will be a c-secion. To which the doula said that at least I'm thinking of a next birth..). Seems I have to wait for the infusion, and it is dropping so so slowly, I'm thinking how I'll never get that epidural!

2:40 - Finally they decide it's time, but kick out mother and doula. I am quite upset about that, I really would like some one with me. But! Amazing woman number one! there are these volunter women in the hospital who act like doula's and one of them comes to be with me (they are allowed in..). The dr himself was nice and explained everything, but he spoke softly and with an accent I had difficulty understanding, not to mention I was with my back to him (and I don't hear too well), so I really had a hard time figuring out what he was saying, so I kept asking this woman, who was kindly holding my hands and positioning me correctly what he was doing. The funny thing was that I was whispereing, mainly because I was too weak to talk, so she whispered back.. Iwas amazed at how quick and well the epidural worked! Suddenly I was o.k. But unfortuanatly they do not have walking epidural, so it meant I was confinded to lying on back or side with the monitre (oh, did I not mention before how painful the moniter was.. that piece of material strapped to me.. couldn't bear the doula touching me or the monitor, at least now it was o.k). At some time the dr informs me that I have an opening of 8/9, maybe around four or five am, and we were trying to guess when will it happen..

But I'm not really progressing. At some point they shove a catheter into me as I can't pee and as a full bladde blocks baby from processing down the cannel tube. Even with the epidural, that is a very not pleasant senstaion (and well... the aftermath is so much worse! but will come to that later).

7:00 - Shift change brings amazing woman number two, the midwife. She comes and nicely introduces herself [I do understand it was a very intense night with a higher than usuall women delivering, and the previous midwife was o.k, but still..). She explains how to help baby come down I should go - shhhhhhh.... while having a contruction (still felt them, but so much not as painful as before!).

8:15 - Opening of 9 but head is only in position -2. Not sure if they said something now about the machonium. Not looking good! Midwife sugests I help baby down by "standing" on six [which, btw, was how I had been imagining giving birth]. Since I can't get out of bed, I turn myself around [hardly, as my right leg is almost completly numb, my left leg much better], standing on my knees and leaning against the bed's headboard which was put upright. Oh, so much better! Now I really can't feel those contructions! Annoyingly the monitor keeps on "playing tricks" and the one that checks baby's heart rate keeps zeroing out. In addition problems with the IV drip (later I am told that it was not put in properly..).

Anyway, now I wiggle around trying to help baby bring her head down into position like she should (and like what I probably would have been doing haven't I been confined to the bed.

Just before 10:00 (I think) - I am happy to hear I am fully dilated. Head is now in position 0, and I feel we're making progress, but doctors think otherwise. I have mechonium in the water and apparently head has not progressed enough. Also taken into account is that my water broke almost twelve hours ago. They now tell me I have to have a suction, and I am - no way! I am not having anymore interference. So they "threaten" me that either a suction or a c-section, and I completly lose it. I mean, come off it! I am progressing. Give me a little more time.. Oh, and now I was just with sister #1 who came shortly before, as they kicked everyone out for this checkup and allowed only one person to stay. Don't remember what exactly she said, but the midwife, amazing woman number two talks to me and soothes me, telling me how I got so far and how I shouldn't ruin evrything just because my dream birth is falling apart, and how the end result, a healthy baby, is what's important. So I say yes to the suction, and they kick everyone out (in the meantime mother and doula came in to encourage me). I was - please let one person stay with me, I really can't go through this alone, but they were quite nasty and wouldn't let anyone. Now besides being totally upset that this is how things go, I was also very much scared. I so needed someone to hold my hand (besides amazing midwife who was more busy helping the doctors and so couldn't really be with me, in came another midwife, a young nice woman, and she did hold my hand and all, but she is a stranger, and a squeeze from a family member [doula] is so much more comforting..

So now the suction is in and I am to push when I'm having a contruction. Except I have no idea when that is, so I am told when to push. And my birth plan specifically stated I am to push only when I feel the need to push. I guess I missed out on all that, on respondening to my body, on listening to my body, on pushing because I need to and not because I was told. And about half an hour later..

10:27 - Baby is born! They put her on me before they clean her up (thank god for that!) and she looks so tiny to me! That little bundel is my daughter! Tears just come pouring down my cheeks.
Funny how the drs asked for the time, and my doula shouted the time from outside.. She later said they were listening so hard to hear what's happening..

Of course against my wishes the cord was cut right away (not that at that point I felt I had any say in the matter, or even remembered what I wanted..). At least they put her on me first thing before wiping her. Then they took her and wiped her (and checked her?) and put her back on me and I tried to breastfeed her, but besides not really knowing how, it was not a calm and relaxing atmosphere, more one of procedures that had to be done. After the placenta "came out" (hmmm... by pressing on my belly. At least it got a perfect score :-)) they stiched me and stiched and stiched and stiched. I think after the contactions it was the next worse part. Oh, and all the while I was sure the suction instrument (which to my imagination was like, size and all, a toilet plunger) was still inside me, and please can you take it out! Anyway stiches.. didn't want to know how many.
At long last that ended, and now my mother went with baby to the ward and I was moved into the recovery room. First let me say a word about amazing woman number three, my mother. Turns out (as I thought) they had no problems with my requests/demands regarding procedures with the baby (at least that they didn't take away from me!), though my mother was more than ready to fight for me/my baby.. More so (much more so), she stayed with my baby the whole time and wouldn't leave her alone, even thought she is not young (and she just spent the whole night with me, only a simple chair for her to relax on) and there wasn't anywhere for her to sit and she was told by the stuff that it's o.k, she can go. Oh no! not this child's grandmother. She was with her the whole time. And in this video (which makes me cry watching it, will come back to that soon..) you can see how the cradle is being rocked. My mother was there with my baby, rocking her. Melts my heart.

In the meantime I was in the "recovery" room. Don't really know why I was shoved into this room with no button to call a nurse, when I have just given birth and all I really wanted and needed was to be with my little girl. That crying at the video I mentioned.. well her lying there quietly, pushing (or trying to) her fingers into her mouth - clearly she wanted her mother, wanted the warmth and the familiarity of the body that carried her for 9 months, wanted to be breastfed. Surly the last thing she wanted was to be surrounded by all those screaming babies [hey.. notice how she is so quiet among all the crying and screaming!]. At the same time I wanted nothing more than to be with her.

O.K so I'm in the recovery room. Doula spent some time with me until she had to go (there really was no need for her to stay just to entertain me..).Not sure if then it was sister#1 who came (seems she tried going with baby too, but they wouldn't let her in the nursery so she stood outside looking until she was kicked outside the ward [wasn't visiting hours]), or the saniter who came, saw the IV [yeah, forgot to mention how I had a tempreture in the delivery room and how for the first time in 40 years I was given antibiotics.. Poor daughter also had to have antibiotics by IV because of me] and went asking about it [to tkae me up to the ward with it?]. Only I was somehow forgotten.

Finally! (I think at around 14:00) I was taken up to the ward. Not so sure if I need to pee or not, I went to the toilet and.... I just couldn't go. The nurse turned on the tap, but still as much as I tried I couldn't pee. While it did slowly slowly become easier to pee, I really had to push hard, like for a poo (and I do try not to push for a poo, as pushing isn't really good for you). Later, at home, when I "managed" to do a poo (which first few times were a "miss" into the pad I had. Quite embrassing even if no-one knew), I never knew if I was pushing foe a poo or for a pee. Sorry if too graphic.

Anyway, that was how little girl came into the world. I am now writing this while she's sleeping on my lap after finishing nursing [written before the "milking crises"..] Seems like she's been here forever :-). And yes, the end result is what counts. But it still saddens me that this was her entry into the world. Being thrown into sudden contractions (at least I knew they were coming) and then sucked out into full light, taken away from mother and all these tests and pokings she had to endure (and still has :-( ).
If I am lucky and do get to be pregnant again, I am most certainly not going the hospital route. Personally I really feel liked I missed out on the birth experience, didn't have at all any צירי לחץ, being treated as a medical patient and not as a person bringing a new life into the world and the atomosphere in general (like when I tried and breastfeed - she was put on me a few minutes, and of course I didn't really manage as besides being new at this I was after a stressful birth, but unstead of calmly letting me, she was taken away). I would like to have an amending experience. O.K, that's way into the future, if and if and if. And maybe I'm bitter because I do believe I shouldn't have had the induction and most certainly I believe the suction was not necessary. My perfect little girl came out with an apgar of 9 & 10. The distress she was "in" was probably due to her heart monitor keeping on disconnecting (another reason why not hospital. Those monitors are so annoyingly bad).


Paige said...

Thank you so much for sharing this. This is one of the most honest birth stories I've ever written. You are so blessed to have your little girl here no matter how she came to be.

Tiara said...

Very well written birth story. It's so good to hear an honest account of it all. I love that you were already talking about baby #2 while in labour with your girl!

Billy said...

oops.. wrote this in bits quite a while ago (took time to publish because of video). thought I did proof reading, but seems I forgot the last part.. I think I'll leave "cleaning up" to another day..

Dora said...

Oh, Billy! Your experience makes me so angry. I really don't understand why they kept insisting your mother and your doula leave. I wonder if they do that with husbands, too. The only time they asked my doula to leave the room was when they inserted the epidural, and for a very few minutes in the operating room as they got everything set up. Then she was by my side for the c-section, and took incredible pictures of Sunshine immediately after she was born.

But your daughter is here and healthy and SO beautiful!