Friday, March 4, 2011

Don't say no one ever told you.

For the time first ever, I am going to write out my birthing experience of monkey. I'm doing this for a variety of reasons. (1) I want my story out there for subsequent posts I would like to do on the use of midwifery in women's health. Before I can do that, I need to have my experience out there to refer to. In follow up posts I will discuss why I choose a midwife over "traditional" medicine etc. (2) So none of you can claim to be going into the decision to push a child out your nether regions uninformed.

It taken me 4+ years to discuss what happened when monkey decided to pop out of my nether regions.  I don't really know why since I don't remember being traumatized by it.  Was it hell? OH HELL YES!!! It it was long painful and excruciating. To the point that when I think of giving birth, I reflexively cross my legs. Know I haven't thought about what its going to be like for the inmate.  However, I also remember knowing I would do it again, without question, minutes after that little boy was in my arms.  Apparently, according to my midwife, the notes from my last birth said it was traumatic. 

How did the labor start? Without me knowing. I was over a week late and at the midwife getting checked out and making sure everything was OK. They also massage the cervix to try and prep you.  When I arrived, she measure my belly and was immediately concerned that there was a change from the 3 days prior (when you're late you have to go in frequently).  Each midwifery practice has about 3-4 midwifes that all see you as the individual who delivers your baby depends on who is on call at the time, so the midwife I was seeing, called the one I had seen 3 days earlier to make sure she wasn't mis-reading the chart etc. She double, triple checked to make sure I was safe.  Since there was a change in my tummy size, possibly indicating a loss of amionitic fluid (not good) she sent me off to the hospital. She would've driven me there herself, but I did not want to leave my vehicle there and I really really needed to stop off for some Wendy's.

MW met me at the hospital and I was taken in to get an ultrasound done to ensure baby was OK and then I was set up on a fetal monitor for over an hour.  Everything seemed OK and from the monitoring it looked like I was in labor - not that I could feel it.

I was at the hospital pretty late, so hubby and awesome BIL picked up some greek food and we chilled out. I started to get pretty uncomfortable and thought maybe I had over eaten ( I LOVE souvalki).   At some point during the night I felt this incredible urge to take a shit, but nothing came out. This happened a couple time before I remembered that the feeling of having to do a number 2 is a sign of labor.

I had begun early labor at ~ 11pm on a friday.  All night, every hour or so I would get contractions.  All morning, I would get contractions 10 minutes apart for about 2 hours, then nothing and then they would start up again. These were HELL contractions, doubling over in pain, radiating from the small of back all around.  My MW kept in touch with me all day via phone advising me to conserve my energy, to eat and drink well.

At 6 pm on saturday they contractions started 5-6 min apart and got into the bathtub to try and get some relief. The midwife arrived at my house with 30 minutes. Turned off the bathroom lights, lit some candles for a more soothing atmosphere and had my husband keep a pot of water on the stove hot.  Her and Mr.SM took turns pouring water down my back, keeping the water warm, making sure I didn't slip under the water as I dozed off.  I was probably in the tub for 4+ hours. The only reason I got out, was that it was uncomfortable. If it had been bigger, I would've stayed in.  Oh and I puked about 3 times in that period.

I needed to sleep so I went to my king size bed and slept as much as I could. Mr.SM and MW dozed as much as they could in between the contractions and counter pressure. I was progressing very very slowing. At 3 am the pain was getting to much and I wanted to go to the hospital. The MW tried convincing me to go back into my tub - I should've listened to her.

I didn't want that. I was in pain and I wanted to drugs so she took me to the hospital where I was pre-registered. I immediately went into the shower, which only had a hard cold tile floor to sit on. I wished I was back at home.  I was having major back labor. Monkey's head was on my tail bone and it was excruciating.  I was progressing very slowly.  There was no anesthetist available till 7 am so I could not get an epidural till then.  By this time, there were two MW's there and it was up to me & Mr. SM to decide if we wanted to wait or if I wanted to try fentanyl with NO.  I chose the fentanyl.

At 1 pm Sunday (yes I started on friday) I was exhausted, the contractions were slowing, my water had still not broken and I was only 9 cm dilated.  I was frustrated because my body was giving out. This wasn't supposed to happen to me. I was the one who hiked up crazy mountains 5 month prego. I was running till I was 8 months. I was fit. I was strong. WTF!!! Frustrated and dejected I told MR.SM to just cut the child out of me.  At some point the MW wanted me to try and push even though I had no urge. I think she wanted to try and get some movement happening.

Thankfully he knew better. He talked me off the ledge.  The MW really really wanted to me to try letting her give picotin to try and get my labor going especially since the OB/GyN who she called in for a consult would not try forcep or vacuum unless I progressed more.

Since Mr.SM knew that I really really didn't want a C-section and since monkey was not in trouble - I was just exhausted, he OK'd the administration of picotin and waiting to recall the OB.  It was going to take 30 minutes to get the OR ready anyway so they figured they might as well get me going again.

The picoten worked. I felt the urge to push, something I was feeling before. Unfortunately I had already been signed over to the OB who ended up giving me an epidural. Why I'm not sure as it "didn't take" according the anesthesiologist and would only take "the edge" off.  Because I had progressed significantly (thanks to the picotin) the OB didn't do the surgery and used a vacuum to help monkey out.  For some reason I still ended up with third degree tears  perineal tear - perineal skin, muscles and anal sphincter are torn). I've been told by some dr that OB's should be able to prevent such severe but I don't know. 

The midwife apologized after as she felt she gave poor advice in getting me to push when my body wasn't ready and in not getting me an epidural. I was very happy with the care I was given. My only regret is getting the epidural. It didn't take and resulted in me being kept from by baby for >1 hr in recovery.  After monkey was born, all I got was a bundled up look for less than 2 minutes before he was whisked away with Mr.SM and I was put in recovery. 

The first people Mr.SM saw with monkey were his father and mine. They cried and held each other. My MIL got to cuddle with my child before I did. This pisses me off.

Now that I'm done writing this, I'm glad I did. It will help me remember what I want and why. I've been told this birth should be easier....I guess we'll find that out sometime this summer :)



Alyssa said...

Wow! What a birth story! Thanks so much for sharing, and I look forward to the next posts too!

Anonymous said...


Thank you for writing this. I am taking notes.


GMP said...

In my experience, it really is easier the second time around. And faster!