Monday, September 7, 2009

"Labor Day" Meme

I saw this meme over at The Diaper Diaries and thought I'd participate, since I did have quite a labor with my daughter Jillian.

I don't know that I've ever really shared all the details of my horrifying labor experience on the blog, so here goes.

Jillian was due on January 2, 2001. I went overdue, and we scheduled induction for January 15th. The evening before, I was instructed to go to the hospital to have a suppository placed to help my cervix begin to dilate. They were to keep me in the hospital that evening and pitocin would be administered the next morning. Unfortunately, it was a busy night at the hospital. I was turned away once and had to return. There was "no room at the inn", so they inserted the suppository, monitored me for an hour, and sent me home. We got home sometime after midnight and my water broke around 3:30am.

We arrived at the hospital around 5:30am to sit in the waiting room for over an hour before a room could be cleaned out to admit me. Now, you moms that have gone through a water breaking incident know that after your water breaks, it doesn't just stop. Enough said? Fluids. Yuck. In the waiting room for over an hour. This put me in a great mood.

I was having mild, irregular contractions and was checked by the nurse on duty. I was at 0.5cm. Apparently shifts changed around 7am and I got a new evil nurse. She too checked me when she came on and I was still around 0.5cm. She spoke with my doctor by phone and he instructed her to start the pitocin drip. Here's where it gets really exciting. Some time after that (my concept of the time gets pretty fuzzy, you'll understand why soon enough) my mild contractions quickly became very strong. I kept feeling like I had to pee but nothing would come out (later I learned that this feeling, in the childbirth world, is called "pressure"). I even asked to be catheterized because I thought maybe something was being squeezed so I couldn't get the pee out. Catheter pee...catheter out. Was I checked again at this point? Nope. I was instructed by the nurse in breathing techniques, as mine apparently was wrong. Later I learned that the nurse even told my mother-in-law that "I wasn't handling pain well and I'd need her and my husband's help with my breathing".

Finally, I reached a point laboring when I thought I just couldn't handle it anymore. Since I had recently been checked (maybe an hour and a half or two hours before), it was too soon for an epidural I was informed. I received an analgesic shot to my thigh, which made the pain bearable for maybe three more contractions. I only had relief when standing up (tricky with the external monitors on) and holding onto my husband for support, and pushing. At this point, all I wanted was to see a doctor. Any doctor. For heavens sake, it was a hospital, there had to be a doctor who could see me, right? My husband went out and declared something to the effect of he wasn't going back in there without a doctor; that my contraction monitor was showing the contractions going up but not coming down.

In comes a "house" doctor with her nurse. They put me in bed and the doctor checks my progress. I knew something was wrong from the look on her face. She instructed her nurse to stop the pitocin and my knees were placed in my hands. I was told to push. What?!? I was exhausted! I was completely stressed out because I was told I wasn't breathing right. I was freaked out because I thought I was going to be in THAT level of pain for HOURS. I got in a couple pushes and my doctor arrived. Guess the "bad" nurse thought it was time to call him. My baby went from crowning to crashing. And off I was wheeled for an emergency c-section.

Jillian was delivered at 10:46am weighing around 6lbs, 7.5ozs. I was unconscious under general anesthesia. She was in great distress and not breathing. She was given and adrenaline shot to her heart (I am SO glad I wasn't awake to see this), stabilized, and whisked off to NICU. I awoke some time later in recovery (again, times are pretty fuzzy for me here) to my doctor and the head of nursing speaking with me. I was able to hold Jillian from my hospital bed that they wheeled up to NICU before taking me to my room. I was able to try nursing her the following afternoon. Luckily, she latched on like a champ and after all that we had no problems nursing. She spent a total of almost two days in NICU before I could have her in my room with me.

After talking to one of my doctors the following day, the head of nursing came and spoke with us again. I never asked if the "bad" nurse was fired. I dislike wishing ill on people, but I hope she was severely reprimanded. She was supposed to be the expert here, not me. But she completely did not listen to me and figured that since it was my first pregnancy, I didn't know what I was talking about. She made me doubt what I was feeling, how I was doing, and most of all, she made me doubt me.

I know that next time it won't be as bad. I won't let it. I'd like to try a VBAC if I'm able. But only if I go into labor on my own. I will never be induced again.
All in all, I'm thankful that we both ended up being perfectly healthy and fine. But the experience was one I'm not likely to ever forget. And not in a warm and fuzzy way.


emk said...

It is so bizarre to think about that I was one of the people taking up a room-- although I, too, wasn't allowed to come in on the 14th eve as I was supposed to, and had to stay in the triage room in the wee hours of the morning after coming in due to the onset of contractions. I can't believe you were going through all that drama while I was lying in my bed, doped up on an epidural, being asked trivia questions by Fake Auntie Chisty!

But it all worked out, didn't it?! Thank goodness!

Jen Sellers said...

Wow, January 2001??!! I didn't know Jillian was that old! It's always interesting to hear other labor stories. I, too, was induced with Molly since she was already 9 days late. They started pit at 10 am, took me off at 8 pm b/c it wasn't doing anything, had cervidil overnight which did something b/c I was 6 cm by the next am and she was born at 4:04 pm. I didn't think the induction would take 2 days!! I hope I don't make it to that point this time, but we shall see.

Lindsey said...

OMG! I know I've heard the story before, but somehow it just seems worse written down like that. I am happy to report that I was not taking up one of those rooms (like that rude emk)since I was moved to the maternal-child wing around the time your water was breaking. After a story like that, its such a blessing that mother and baby are both great!

Tracey said...

That is certainly a birth story to remember! I always enjoy hearing and sharing labor stories - sorry yours wasn't all good. With my youngest daughter I was induced as well since I was a week overdue. I ended up having a C-section when I couldn't push her out, mostly due to the fact that she was 9lbs 1oz. She came out happy but hungry!!

thediaperdiaries said...

That totally stinks!! It is awful to have a bad first experience because it makes other ones so much more nerve racking. Here's hoping that nurse is long gone!!