Friday, March 2, 2012

Our Birth Story

I would love to say that our birth story is a great one.  I would love to say that it was calm, and peaceful and wonderful and all those things.

But I can't.

Well, the birth itself was great.  I was calm, and it was quick and easy.  But the before and the after are a totally different story.

It has taken me a while, but I do believe that I am ready to share my experience here now.

Jesse was 'due' on February 7...or 9...or 10...depending on the day and who you asked.  He is baby number 4 for me, and babies number 1 and 2 were both about 5 days late, so I was ready for this little guy to be 'late' as in, right on time for him.  But my doctor had other plans. 

He was concerned that I was going beyond my due date.  He and I both thought that the baby would be large because my first was 7+, the second 8+ and the third 9+ pounds, so we both assumed that this guy would be pushing 10 pounds.  But I was not worried.  All of my deliveries were relatively easy, and I figured that God knew what He was doing, so I should just let Him be and let Him make the plans surrounding this birth as well.  But my doctor didn't agree.  I had to bargain with him so that he would not induce me on Sunday (Jesse was 'due' on Thursday), so I had to go in to the hospital Sunday evening for a non-stress test on the baby.  Everything turned out well.  I had plenty of amniotic fluid, the baby was completely reactive and there was no need to worry.

But worry, my doctor did.

So, I had an appointment with him on Tuesday, and he sent me in for another non-stress test, which Jesse again passed with flying colors. 

But I was already 3cm dilated, and so it was agreed that rather than forcing me into a chemical induction, the doctor would agree to let me go the rest of the day and 'induce' me by breaking my water at 5PM on Tuesday.  Knowing that I didn't really have much choice, I agreed.

So I went and have lunch with a friend of mine who also happens to be a osteopath, and then I went with her to her office and she treated me.  I felt like a million bucks! 

But as the day wore on, I began to feel trepidation.  I felt like my body would go into labor when it was ready and that if I wasn't in labor, it's because I wasn't ready to be yet.  So I began to feel stressed and tense by the time I picked Jimmy up from work. 

We came home and ate dinner with the kids and then got a ride to the hospital.  But when we got to the hospital, there were no beds to admit us, so we ended up waiting around.  We were told that we would be sent to another area where there were beds, so we sent our ride home and waiting around.  Then the nurses switched shifts and we were left alone again, just waiting.  There was another girl there, too, with her first baby, and she was due to be induced at 34 weeks, so we were both just waiting.  There were a lot of people in the wing, so there was really no place to sit and relax, so I just kept walking around the unit and drinking water and using the bathroom.  All the while, I was contracting, but mostly just like I had been contracting for the last few weeks...pretty strong and regular as long as I was on my feet, but as soon as I sat down, they would stop. 

As time ticked on, there were still no beds open. 

Finally, at 10PM, after we had been at the hospital for 5 hours, a bed opened up, and they called my doctor to come in.  I told my doctor that I didn't really feel comfortable with the situation.  By this time, I was exhausted and very hungry since I hadn't eaten since 4:30 that afternoon.  But he said that it was fine and that this is what we had to do. 

I should have been more forceful, but I also just kept thinking that if we left and came back, we would have another 5 hour wait to go through, so against my better judgement, I agreed to go forward with the procedure. 

My doctor wanted to hook me up to an IV, and I didn't want that at all because that would mean that I was tethered to the bed, so he agreed that as long as I stayed on the monitors consistently, then I could forgo the IV. 

With that, he broke my waters and off we went.  By now, it was 12 midnight.

I started pacing the length that the monitors let me, and only disconnecting myself to go to the bathroom.  The contractions got harder and closer together and I felt that I was near the end and that I would have to push soon, so I called the nurse and told her this.

She checked me and said that I was only 6 cm, and that she didn't know where the doctor was.  I asked her to find him and to call him if he had gone home.  She was non-committal about that and didn't do it but rather told me that I had time and left the room.

I didn't have time.

It was only about another 15-20 minutes before I told Jimmy...go out in the hall and tell them I am going to push this baby out. 

So he ran into the hall and yells 'Somebody help me!'

And all the nurses came running, and someone finally found my doctor, who was sleeping.  I had to hold in the pushes until he and the nurses were ready to catch my baby.  They didn't even have time to take the bed apart, and out came the little guy in 2 big pushes. 

He was beautiful and and mine and on my chest with his warm wet self and I loved him at very first sight.  I had no stitches, very little pain and the little guy was only 7 pounds, 12.8 ounces!  That was the smallest baby I have ever had!

After they put a diaper on the little guy and weighed him, I nursed him for about 45 minutes.  The doctor gave me a shot in my leg to help my uterus contract and to help stop the blood flow.  It worked, and I was good to go in an hour.

But when I got upstairs, that is when things started to fall apart.

I was completely wiped out.  And I was starving, but there was no food to be had.  It was about 1AM and I was told that I could eat breakfast at 9AM.  That means that I was expected to go from 4:30 one afternoon until 9AM the next morning, with no food, and walk miles around the wing and deliver and nurse a baby in between.  I felt weak.  The nurse offered me water and a cookie. 

After she left, Jimmy fell asleep and I started to doze off, but then I began to lose a lot of blood.  I didn't really realize what was happening, but then I started to feel even more light headed and woozy.  I felt like I was going to pass out.  I remembered that the nurse had told me that if I needed her, I could call her to help me go to the bathroom, so I figured the fastest way to get someone to respond would be to push the button and say I needed to go to the bathroom. 

Well, that was my first mistake. 

The nurse came in and tried to help me get up, but I told her, no, I don't really need to go to the bathroom, I was just loosing a lot of blood. 

So then a whole bunch of nurses rushed in and started to poke and prod at me.  I kept blacking out.  The put in an IV and started some kid of drip.  Then they asked if I had to go to the bathroom, and I kept telling them that no, I didn't.  That I had just said that because I needed someone to come quickly.  One of the nurses said that I needed a catheter.  I said I didn't.  She said that I just THOUGHT that I didn't, but that really I did. 

I tried to tell them that I knew that I didn't because I had been hydrating and using the bathroom all night and my bladder was empty, but they didn't listen and they put one in anyway. 

Guess what.  My bladder was empty.

But they kept it in anyway.

I kept trying to find out what kind of drugs they were giving me, but no one answered and then they started injecting drugs into the bag of my IV, so I have no idea what they were giving me.

There were about 5 nurses who were basically just manhandling me and doing what they wanted. 

There was no doctor in sight.

Next, they gave me some kind of suppository, which I can assure you was very uncomfortable.  I was so angry, but so helpless!  I was so weak and so out of it from the blood loss, hunger, fatigue and drugs, that I could do nothing.

It wasn't until 5 and a half hours later that I realized that I didn't have my baby with me!  I was so out of it that I didn't realize that he wasn't there!

I asked where he was and who was feeding him and what they were feeding him and they said that since I hadn't signed off to give him formula, he was in the nursery and hadn't eaten anything!

Now, this was coming from the same nurses who come in every 2 hours no matter how deeply you or your baby is asleep and waked you up to tell you that you need to feed your baby or he will die of starvation.  They will undress your newborn and make him cold so that he cries so that you can basically force feed him.

But they let us go for 5.5 hours...well, more like 6 by the time they found him and brought him to me.

Needless to say, they did not come in every 2 hours to make me feed him.

I was so angry.

I was so humiliated.

It was a horrible way to celebrate the beginning of a life.

When the rest of the family came in, I couldn't stay awake and after just a little while, I had to ask them to leave because I didn't want them to see me like that and because I couldn't deal with the noise and confusion in my state.

So, that is why there are very few happy hospital pictures, and those I can't even remember being taken.

That is why there aren't many brand new baby pictures.

Because that part of the birth experience was taken away from me and from us.  We didn't have a happy welcoming of our newest little one.

The only thing that I can say is that little Jesse was fine.  His birth itself was a beautiful thing.

Jesse Aaron February 15

A new big brother!

Is that a face of pride and love?  Or a face of 'Oh no!  Not again!

Our mantra around the house now is 'Careful, Gabriel.  Gentle!'

Yay!  Another brother to play with!

And that is what I will try to hold in my memory, especially now that we are all home, where we should be.


  1. I am so sorry that happened to you. How incredibly disrespectful of you and your new baby.
    You brought the best part of that experience home with you, Jesse, and he's all yours.

  2. Every body is fine there at home now, and that is the most important thing, right?
    And the other one is that it remains less that five months before we meet him!