My Traumatic Birth Story; When Birth doesn’t go as Planned

I felt angry and full of rage one day and knew something was wrong, I stormed out of my house and I went to the Dollarama and bought a pregnancy test. I just felt strange and couldn’t pinpoint it. So I went to a restaurant washroom and peed on the tester and waited. Omg with-in seconds that cheap test was positive. That couldn’t be correct. It was from the dollar store, was it broken? So I anxiously bought another. (Thankfully for this moment prego people pee a lot). The cheap test didn’t like the second showed a dark second line.

We were having a baby! I was in shock but excited too!

Morning sickness haunted me all the way through my second pregnancy. It was more like all day sickness. From 5 weeks pregnant until the end. Along with food aversions, scent sensitivity, feeling faint, dizzy, achy everywhere. I was the most miserable pregnant woman around. I definitely wasn’t glowing.

It had been 13 years since I had my first and I recalled being uncomfortable and queasy but I didn’t remember it being this bad. I couldn’t even wash my hair, wear scented deodorant or walk past a food court. I used to carry a clementine in my hands because it was one of the only scents I could handle and food I could eat at the beginning. It was September they were in season and I ate them by the box.

We decided to go with a midwife for prenatal care and birth. The pregnancy went relatively smooth but because of my Fibromyalgia near the end, I could barely stand. I was in so much pain all over. Together we decided I would get an induction on my due date. She would transfer my care to joint-care with the obstetrician.

I was induced with my first and it wasn’t pleasant but her birth had no complications. Having a midwife meant if the baby was healthy I could go home shortly after the baby was born and not have a long hospital stay.

I had everything planned in my mind. I had a clear vision of my birth plan. From laboring in the birthing tub to breastfeeding right after birth. I even practiced my reactions and the look on my face when we found out what sex of the baby. We choose to wait for a surprise. There aren’t many good surprises in life and I needed some motivation to get through the pregnancy.

We get checked in at Labor and delivery and we waited. The baby was monitored we were ready waiting for the next steps and a birthing suite. (funny they call it a suite, it certainly not what I think of as a suite hearing that word)

My not yet husband is laying in the bed he was soo tired. The OB arrived and came in quietly. She rubbed his belly and as he opened his eyes she said: “are we ready to have this baby”. (He playfully blamed me for his pregnancy cravings and weight gain)

The Pitocin was started around 12 pm. They used a balloon to open my cervix and popped my water. It was the scariest looking long red stick. It didn’t hurt but I jumped back out of fear. Contractions started coming frequently right away, as typical with inductions. I am a wuss and requested the epidural. I was terrified of the procedure. They told me “breathe through the pain and don’t move so the needle doesn’t go in the wrong place and paralyze you.”

The needle went in and I felt a woosh of warmth rush through my body and then nothing. I felt nothing! My not yet husband took that chance to leave the room for a bit. I was assigned a nurse and she didn’t leave my side. A few times the baby’s heart rate dropped. She reached inside and worked her magic and it would return to normal.

Shortly after, all of a sudden the pain returned. The epidural stopped working. It just quit. My contractions were coming rapidly but I was only at 6 cm dilated. I requested the epidural once again. The anesthesiologist returned and once again I bent over in half and breathed calmly, yet he missed… then one more try and…. Nada… it didn’t work. The epidural didn’t work.

I tried the hot tub in hopes of finding some relief and I hated it, it made me claustrophobic and want to barf! Then I bounced on the birthing ball and I just couldn’t cope with the pain. It was so intense.

I was losing it. I really didn’t think I was going to live. It was so traumatic. I was nauseous and screaming and probably the worst patient they ever had. My nurse just held my hand and kept saying… “You can do this.” My not yet husband was there at my side but I don’t remember what he was saying to me. It is all a blur. The OB checked in and said “c-section or vaginal birth” and “I said vaginal” and she left. Big mistake…

The baby’s heart rate dropped 3 or 4 times after that. I was still at 6 cm with no change. I finally got to the point where I was screaming for a c-section. I was hysterical.

The doctor came in and suggested a c-section but there was no anesthesiologist. The one on staff was in surgery. They called the on-call. It was approx 1 am. I can’t recall if they gave me laughing gas but I cannot take Demerol or other pain meds, so I was just screaming incoherently.

The nurse saw the anesthesiologist. Walking calmly into the hospital from the window. I could hear her muttering “hurry up already”. It is almost 3 am by this point. I hear her voice yelling at him to speed up and say “can’t you hear this mom in uncontrollable pain, come on let’s go”

They wheeled me for surgery and right before they put me to sleep I asked for an internal as the last hope of some change but I was stuck at 6. Out I went. I woke up groggy to my Not yet husband and midwife holding my baby on my breast to feed. She was born at 3 am.

I remember asking “what did we have” multiple times, in and out of consciousness. He tells me I kept asking repetitively. He said, “we have a Zahavah”. I was shocked I was convinced I was having a boy. What a great surprise. She was perfect. 8 Pounds and 4 ounces. She had no hair and a perfect round head. The doctor believed she was positioned in such a way that she was unable to get into the birth canal.

I vaguely recall my not yet husband saying that he was proud of me and my strength. That this birth experience was the most scared and helpless he had ever felt.

The recovery was horrific. That day they had me on Morphine for the pain, which I am intolerant to. It wasn’t spoken about prior as I never would have considered I would need pain medications or have a c-section.  I was so drugged and so itchy and nauseous. Once I understood what I was on I demanded they stopped it. They gave me Advil and Tylenol thereafter.

I was disappointed in my experience but happy she was here and that it was over. I had a mild reaction to the staples used and to the surgical tape holding the gauze dressing around my incision. I became red and itchy. The adhesive from the tape gave me a bubbly rash. Once it was removed the rash thankfully faded away.

Recovery was brutal. We didn’t have any help at home so often it was me and the baby alone.  I overdid it and pulled my stitches. It took around a month for the pain to really subside. The incision site was almost healed on the outside but remained sensitive to touch. It was straight. The OB did a great job!

If I learned anything through my experience it is that birth doesn’t always go as planned, make a backup plan and keep an open mind. Most births go smoothly but sometimes they just don’t. It was a traumatic experience for me. As time passes we somehow forget the amount of discomfort and pain we endured just enough to do it again… 11 months later, in the grocery store washroom, I took another pregnancy test, It was positive!

If you are a mom or dad and would like to share your birth or child’s birth story please send me an email at rochelle@busymindedmomma.com.

 

 

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2 Comments

  1. I am sorry you had such a scary birth story. It is scary to have unknown things happen when you are so vulnerable. I had no backup plan for the birth of my children. I am quite thankful the plan went smoothly.

    1. Colleen, glad to hear yours went smoothly. I never would have thought to have a back up birth plan. I guess it’s something some may want to consider just in case. Thanks for your comment

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