I’m not a natural mama

So for all the talk in my previous post about natural childbirth, let me just tell you that it is all new information to me.  I had no desire to go natural for Evelyne’s birth, and other than having a c-section, it was probably one of the most medicated births I could’ve had.

With Evelyne I was induced a week early.  It was the picture of a convenience birth, she was due on December 23rd, and I didn’t want her born too close to Christmas.  I was already dilated about 2 cm. when I checked-in the hospital where they hooked me up to an IV and started antibiotics for my Group Strep-B and gave me Cervadil overnight to hopefully start contractions. That did nothing, and they started Pitocin at 5 a.m.  I couldn’t sleep all night long, so around 4 a.m. at the insistent offer of the nurses, I took an Ambien.  I woke-up around 8 having contractions.  I wanted to wait as long as possible for my epidural since I had heard that it slowed-down labor.  The nurses offered me another painkiller, so I got some Stadol.  (which did nothing to help the pain)  My contractions were getting worse, there was hardly any break between them, so I got my epidural around 11.  It was wonderful, I couldn’t feel anything!  Meanwhile, they had to put me on oxygen because Evelyne’s heart rate was doing weird things, I guess she was having what they call decels.  Later that afternoon the nurses ran in my room and stopped the Pitocin because Ev’s heartrate wasn’t good.  There was talk of a C-section.

Awhile later, after my body didn’t continue contractions on its own, they hooked me back-up to the Pitocin to see if she could handle a little more.  (After I told the doctor that I really really really didn’t want a c-section)  Thankfully, she was ok and I was fully dilated after awhile.  I pushed for an hour and a half.  I couldn’t feel my contractions, I had no urge to push, but they just watched the monitor and told me when to push.  Ev was stuck behind my pelvic bone and an epesiotomy later, came-out sunny-side up with a big conehead and a fever.  She was really groggy, and they told me the reason her heartrate wasn’t responding well to my contractions was probably because she was so drugged-up from my Ambien and Stadol.  Not to mention that I was completely out of it because I was so drugged-up, too!  Between pushes I kept almost falling asleep, the room was spinning, and I was so exhausted I thought I would die.  I kept begging for something to drink (it had been almost 24 hours), but they wouldn’t let me have anything but about 5 ice chips.  I wonder why no one told me that taking so much medication could have an effect on the baby and on my energy, I certainly didn’t know.  When Ev came-out she got put on my chest for about 5 seconds and then taken to be cleaned-up.  I didn’t get to see her for about 10-15 minutes and the whole time I was so nervous and worried that she would be ok since she wasn’t crying.  Thankfully, she was fine, and I had a fabulous postpartum experience at the hospital with some wonderful nurses who took great care of me.

Overall, I’m incredibly thankful that Ev was born healthy and full-term, but I kinda feel like I barely squeaked-by in terms of everything going relatively well for a spontaneous induction that involved lots of unnecessary drugs and almost resulted in a c-section.  There were several times when things really could’ve gone the other way, and I’m thankful that my doctor was very supportive and did everything she could to avoid a cesarean.  However, after watching TBOBB, I kinda see my experience a little differently and wonder what to do about the birth of this child I’m pregnant with and how I’d like things to go.

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5 responses to “I’m not a natural mama

  1. It’s so interesting to hear other people’s birth stories! I think the hard thing about a hospital birth is that doctors and nurses are authority figures to us. They suggest something, like pitocin or stadol or an internal fetal monitor, and naturally we rely on what they tell us because they are medical professionals. We feel a certain pressure to follow their lead. To have a birth that is free of unnecessary interventions, you have to have the confidence to make choices for yourself that may go against typical hospital protocol. I know that’s hard for me, but maybe the more informed we are, the easier it is? Hmm, much to think about!

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  2. I recommend researching the Bradley Method. I think it’s great. Nevertheless, twice I’ve planned on having “natural” childbirth, and twice I’ve chickened out. I must say in my defense that I didn’t have “typical” labor either time. The first time, I had no break in my contractions for hours before I got the epidural, and I was not prepared for how badly it would hurt. The epidural was amazing and medically encouraged because they were trying to slow things down. I ended up having a c-section anyway. The second time around, I was better prepared for the pain (used the Bradley method), and I didn’t want another c-section. I, however, had terrible back labor. I didn’t feel like walking around. I just about collapsed with the pain when I did get up. Concentrating to get through each contraction took so much energy! Dr. Cole told me that she’d give me pitocin if I got an epidural and it slowed me down (you normally don’t get pitocin during VBAC). After about 6 or 7 hours of labor (it’s all a little fuzzy), I was 6-7 cm, and I got the epidual. It only worked on one side, but it gave me some relief. I was thankful to have some energy to push for the hour and 45 minutes it took to get out my 9 pounder who was face up and stuck behind my pelvic bone.

    I don’t know what I’ll do next time around. I’ll probably try the natural route again then at some time chicken out and opt for the pain relief. I think the prideful part of me would like to be able to boast that I did it all naturally at least once. 🙂

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  3. Obviously I’m into commenting today, Em – sorry about that.

    I just wanted to agree with Laura’s recommendation and say that when I was pregnant with MCM I read a book called Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way, and it was WONDERFUL. I too intended to use the Bradley method with MCM, but due to a number of factors didn’t make it all the way without an epidural. Next time I hope to take Bradley classes and be better prepared. You should look into it, Em!

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  4. Emily, here I am delurking all of a sudden. Can’t keep quiet. Anyway, awesome that you’re looking at a natural birth! I recommend Bradley, and (I have to do this) I would also recommend a doula, one who has lots of experience with natural births. (Not that you can’t do it on your own, but if you think you or your husband might need suggestions during labor, a doula can help with that — a clear, calm presence in the middle of a stressful situation.) You might also read _Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth_, by Ina May Gaskin, and _The Birth Partner_, by Penny Simkin.

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  5. I think if anyone does anything twice, they always try to do the second one better or at least different.

    -h

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