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Cesarean Section Support Only Thread June 2005 - Page 6

post #101 of 339
I have been a little "lost" since the birth, but just now, my dh has left to pick up my mom from the airport and I feel ready- I think- to tell at least, the short of the story.

Because of her position (kind-a transverse/footling with the cord wrapped two- in the end, three times around,) we decided to have a cesarian. It was not an easy choice and at the same time, it was no choice at all- she could not, otherwise, have been born. I was lucky to at least have time to prepare myself for a birth that was not my original ideal.

The birth was scheduled for nine am on monday, june 6 and it started well- even like magic. I was at the hospital by seven for the sugery to start at nine. I did not sleep at all the night before and was very uncomfortable on the ride to the hospital. I was having a lot of what turned out to be---real contractions! I even lost my mucus plug on the table of the waiting room. I had been so focused on preparing for the sugery and baby, that I had not even noticed that what I thought had been bx contractions b/c of nervousnes and not drinking from the night before had grown so strong and close together. This still makes me really happy- to know that she was born on her birthday.

So, from seven until one in in the afternoon, I sat with my contractions growing in discomfort and getting closer together while one emergency c-cection after another went into the operating room ahead of me.
At one o'clock, I was taken to the recovery/prep room with still no real clue for a start time till suddenly, my doctor popped in and said that he was assembling the crew- that we would start in just a few min. The doctor and the rest in the room were all really great- they took a lot of time to assure my comfort and to talk in nice tones. It was a strange sensation to have no sensation- like nothing to compare. I could feel some pulling in my abdomen, and hear the tools and beeps all around, but I was totally disconnected. Hilger and I talked about chicken soup and other funny things just to keep the mood light and in between, my midwife would tell me what was happening. They did not lower the screen for the birth like I had asked them to do, but I could hear her cry and almost immediatly bagan a shake all over my body and tears that were a million miles from the chicken soup and medical smell. She was born at 2-12 and weighed 6lbs 6oz- 19 inches long. Soon, Hilger was able to hold her and then to bring her to my face where I could, for a few min., akwardly touch her. It was a thrill and then it was gone as Hilger went with her to the nusery.

I have never been so alone in my life. Nearly two hours later, Hilger was finally able to bring her to me and she nursed like a natural. The staff was cruel beyon belief and would not let me keep her with me for long- it was another five hours before I was taken to a room and could see her again. And that--begins a whole other story of complaints. The nursing care at this hospital was a nightmare- the extent of which I am still realizing. Like I said though- that is for another two pages.

Home-home-home is wonderful. I am lost between disbelief and a comfort that I have never experienced before. Both are bliss. Let me go back to them now. mcs
post #102 of 339
Thread Starter 
MCS I am so sorry you were treated so poorly by the staff and that they held your baby hostage and you were not allowed to visit with you. You should definitely write a letter about this.
More and more hospitals are working with cesarean section moms, and allowing them to have their babies with them immediately after birth and for rooming in.

I am glad you are home! Hoping you have a speedy recovery.

Kim
post #103 of 339
MCS I am so sorry you had such a poor experience with your post op care!! We are here for you when you are ready to vent. Rest, heal and ejoy your baby



Chantal
post #104 of 339
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcs
I have never been so alone in my life. Nearly two hours later, Hilger was finally able to bring her to me and she nursed like a natural. The staff was cruel beyon belief and would not let me keep her with me for long- it was another five hours before I was taken to a room and could see her again. And that--begins a whole other story of complaints. The nursing care at this hospital was a nightmare- the extent of which I am still realizing.
I'm so sorry you had such a bad experience at the hospital. I haven't been very happy with the post-op care I've received in the past, either.

But, I'm so glad you're home and happy with your beautiful new baby girl!! This is really such an incredible time.
post #105 of 339

Holding a baby hostage - seems inexcusable!

MCS, I'm so sorry your experience was bad with pp staff. I can't understand why anyone would ever think it a good idea to keep mom and baby separated ... in the absence of dire medical need, of course.

We had a little run-in with a nurse who took advantage of a low period for me (I had just told her I was feeling bad and a bit ill) to bully us about our decision to wait till day 7 for the entire PKU. We had told her we'd waive it in the hospital because it was all set up with both my HB midwife and our pediatrician to wait till our boy had some breastmilk in his system. This was what we did with our first baby. Our ped was also totally behind this decision. There was some unpleasantness and afterwards it seemed (amazingly) pretty clear that she was witholding my pain meds a little later each time. (She knew how sore I was feeling, especially since I was up and trying to walk around as much as possible.) I'm pretty certain her intentions were good (and like to think the witholding of medication was unconscious), though. I can't imagine what those of the staff treating you were.
post #106 of 339
Thread Starter 
One thing I don't like about having a cesarean is the crapshoot in the aftercare you may get. My first one I had a really shitty experience, bad nurses, and one was so mean to me and she screwed my meds up. With my second baby, I was very lucky that the first night my sister was with me and I had the epidural with the PCAP. The nurses rarely came in because heck, I had my own private nurse. I had not expected my sister to do this again, but she has offered to stay with my again the first night and first morning after my csection when they pull everything out. I was lucky last time in that my daytime nurse and the nursing assistant were on the ball. They brought me my meds on time, and were constantly checking on me. However the last night I had a nurse who I think was overworked -- she seemed aggravated when I buzzed her several times for my pain meds. Then she brought me the wrong thing, and then had to take it back. I did sleep some that night and had them take my baby to the nursery for a few hours (I loved the baby nurse we had both nights) I had the same nurses during the day that I had previously the last morning I was there.

For those who are planning or may anticipate another csection I am going to suggest talking to your doctor about your aftercare and ask that if they are not on call, to discuss it with the doctor that is. My last appointment is Wednessday and I plan to discuss the food and pain medication with my OB. If I want too, I would like to be able to eat that night regular food, and while I am in the hospital, I don't want to be prescribed Tylenol 3. I think its pretty useless and I prefer demerol orally, however I would like the option of taking Extra Strength Tylenol if I want too. The last time they had to call my doctor to see if I could take it because they were ordered to give me T3. I actually told the nuse "I have some in my bag, either I just take it or you can give it too me."

Also, if you don't like a nurse or aide, you can ask to speak to the nursing manager on duty and have them changed. Should it be a personality conflict or a problem with care, say so. We did this for my Grandfather when he was in the hospital -- sometimes to save the nurses from his prejudices and foul mouth. Another thing, request a nursing student -- they often will cater to you and they are only assigned one patient. A nursing student was my saving grace with my first csection and she advocated for me several times.
post #107 of 339
hmmm..I wonder if it's a difference between the US and Canada. I don't think talking to my doctor about the nursing care, food, etc. would do any good at all. I talked to him about the liquid diet, and he told me that recent studies suggest that the whole "wait until the patient is passing gas" thing has been found to be pretty much irrelevant. I told him I really disliked trying to bounce back from surgery on a diet of milk, jello, and thin porridge...so he told me to lie. :LOL

This doesn't sound like he really has a whole lot to say about the diet provided to me in the hospital. And, I don't think he has any involvement with who the nursing staff are or how they behave.

If it weren't that I simply can't cope at home that quickly (especially this time with a toddler), I'd walk out the day after surgery. The care I've had after surgery has been awful. The nursing staff mostly treat me like I'm a lazy layabout, and that doesn't make things any easier to cope with. DH was with me all night every night last time, but he can't do that this time, because he has to stay with dd. Besides, he's just started a new job, and can't reasonably take a whole bunch of time off. I may just completely ignore my nurses and not even talk to them...maybe they'll go away...
post #108 of 339
: It really is a shame.. that one's care after a c/s can so impact how you feel about the whole situation and how little control you can exert over it..

With my first, I had adequate care afterwards... It was a large hospital.. one of the "best" in our area.. and they are always busy.. we call it the baby factory now. The nurses were very overworked and we got no support during labor.. we should have hired a doula... and afterwards it was the same.. They would come in when they could, but that was it. I had to recover in triage.. couldn't see my baby for hours and then getting nursing going was horrible.. My baby ended up becoming dehydrated, developing a fever (likely due to the 3 doses of epidural I had received during labor) and ended up in the NICU.. Begin a whole host of problems from that.. some of which we are still dealing with today :

With my second section, I switched practices to deliver at a small birthing center.. while not freestanding.. it was more birth center like than the hospital.. and we got much better pre and post care there. I don't know if it was because of the hospital.. or I just go lucky.. I have heard of some nurses who are not nice, but most people who go there really speak well of their experience. My post care was much different.. and that really impacted my feelings about my section.. which was not planned.

It really is such a shame that you can plan for your section and think that things will go as you wish.. and have some nurses or "policy" take advantage of you when you cannot advocate for yourself...




Chantal
post #109 of 339
Quote:
Originally Posted by chantald
It really is such a shame that you can plan for your section and think that things will go as you wish.. and have some nurses or "policy" take advantage of you when you cannot advocate for yourself...
Yeah - I'm definitely worried about the post-surgery care aspect of things. I'm not so worried about pressure during the VBA2C attempt, though. DH will be there, and I don't think he's going to let anybody push me into anything I don't want...no matter how fogged from labour I am.
post #110 of 339
mcs--Congrats on the birth of your baby: I am sure she is all that you dreamed she would be And I am glad that nursing is going well for you.

Sorry to hear about the way you were treated after her birth
We are hear to listen when you feel ready to talk about it
post #111 of 339
mcs & Mightymoo ... Congrats on the birth of your babies!

For whomever had the awful nurses experience ... I am so sorry. I faced similar issues with my c/s. I never held ds on his birthday. I got a brief glimpse in the OR, and then I didn't see him again for 4+ hours. And that was only after dh marched to the nursery and brought him to me. I was begging for my baby and no one would listen.

I had one night nursery nurse (no rooming in) who I adored. She was wonderful to me and to my ds. The nurses who took care of me were ok, except for this one nurse who was pure evil. And of course, she was the one to wake me at 4am, 30 hours after ds's birth, to tell me they put him under the bili lights for his jaundice. This is after she scolded me for cuddling him in my arms and sleeping together a few hours prior. She was mean mean mean. If she could see us now.
post #112 of 339
Quote:
Originally Posted by leahdbc
I would highly recommend having an additional support person in the OR for you and to assist in recovery for you and your husband plus baby so that all of you could have optimal time together but everyones needs get met.
If you can swing it with your hospital, this is a great idea. I originally had my doula booked because we were attempting a hospital VBAC, but in the end had a planned c/s (as I've mentioned before), but my doula came and was my second support person in the OR besides my husband. She was great about helping keeps us calm and relaxed beforehand, during the surgery she took tons of pictures, kept me informed of what was going on and company when DH was over keeping the baby company at the warmer. It was really really great and I am thinking that if I have another c/s I will hire a doula to be there, something I never would have considered before.

Additionally, when we got back to our room, she was there to help us get started breastfeeding - since we had our own support we didn't need to worry about whether the nurses were busy or supportive. About an hour after the surgery I had an episode where I passed out for about 2 minutes - My husband was holding the baby afterwards since I needed to lay down, it was nice to have my doula there to keep me company and hold my hand, etc. So I was really glad we had additional support even though traditionally you might not think it useful or necessary for a c/s.

Quote:
Originally Posted by storm_bride
I'm still thinking TOL, but I'm definitely going to think it through a lot more before I talk to the OB on Monday.
Just thought I'd mention that I thought TOL is supposed to have a lot of benefits preparing baby to be born even if the end result is still a c/s.


Quote:
For whomever had the awful nurses experience ...
After reading these experiences, I'm really glad we had such great care. Some were better than others, but I never had a nurse that was bad. The last nurse before we checked out did try to bully me a bit on the PKU, but I just told her frankly the test given in the hospital is inaccurate because they don't have enough food in their systems and she's trying to tell me that the later its caught the more brain damage will be done - oh really? So then why aren't they running the test in the hospital lab for immediate results? Can't be so urgent if its smeared on a card and sent into the state for processing... Too bad I didn't think about that until after we left! And there was the fact that she didn't have anyone walk us out to the car, so my DH had to carry the baby and I had to push the car with my stuff - 48 hours after having surgery!
post #113 of 339
Quote:
Originally Posted by mightymoo
Just thought I'd mention that I thought TOL is supposed to have a lot of benefits preparing baby to be born even if the end result is still a c/s.that
I'm tentatively planning to go into labour even if I already know I'm going to have a c-section. My hesitation about this has to do with my caregiver's schedules. I'm due July 9th (or 14th, depending which measure is used). My OB is away from the 20th of June until July 4th, and then my family physician is away from the July 3rd. If I don't go into labour before the 4th, my OB and I can schedule a section and my family doctor will attend. If I go into labour spontaneously after that, my OB might be there, and my family doctor almost certainly won't be. If I have to have a section, I really want my OB to do it...I actually trust him near me with a scalpel...
post #114 of 339
I have an odd question for you ladies:

I can't physically cry after a c-section, because it causes so much abdominal pain. Do the rest of you find that, and do you think it might have been easier to cope with the emotional aftermath if you could have cried some of it out right away?

I was just reflecting on my two previous surgeries, and it somehow seemed like the most unfair thing about it was that I wanted so badly to cry and I couldn't let myself, because if I started I couldn't stop and it hurt so much.
post #115 of 339
Thank you everyone for sharing your stories... I've tried to read through the thread (i just found it) but I may have missed some things...

I've been getting some support on the VBAC area of this site but I'm desperate for some kind words about the possibility of a repeat C... So reading your posts has really helped.

briefly: I had a wonderful C-section w/my DD... yes you heard me right. My doc let me try and nurse on the table while she was sewing me up (I got too nauseated though) and she wrapped things up quickly so that I could finally nurse successfully at 30mins after delivery. It was scheduled due to breech and a noncancerous lymphatic tumor that might have burst during pushing.

Unfortunately that wonderful OB has moved away.
Her replacement is very controlling and I'm having trouble planning a VBAC. But I have what I'm calling my "39 week hump" ~ I'd like to try a VBAC prior to that time. I'm having so much trouble making my dh and doula and friends understand my thinking. Maybe you can help. Or at least understand.

The doc will schedule a C-Section for me at 39 weeks. The date or gestational time is not the issue for me - I know that many people VBAC beyond that time. The deal is this: if anything were to happen to the baby during a VBAC, and I had chosen to wait even past that date that the doc would do a C-section, I would not be able to live with myself. I'd always be saying "I could have had a c-section and a potentially healthy baby at 39 weeks and I decided to wait!"

Does that make sense? I don't think I could live with that decision. Anything up to 39 weeks, if I go into labor spontaneously, is okay with me. But I just can't get over this "39-week hump". If my doc had said she'd schedule for 40 weeks, it would be a "40-week hump" - I guess this is why people don't understand my fears.

Anyway, dh and doula and everyone are almost too supportive of VBAC. I love their support, but I'm feeling so much pressure to choose to wait. I realized today that I really don't want to do that. I'm so afraid to tell them. I don't want to disappoint them, but I realized today that I would be doing it only for them, and if anything happened I would be blaming my dh for pushing me into that decision. We have a wonderful relationship so I don't want to risk doing that. How do I tell these people that I need their support with both of my decisions? How can I even say that - it sounds so weird! I want a VBAC up to the date that my OB sets for C-section.

I guess it's harder for me because I did have the good fortune of having a wonderful C-section. I'm sitting on this fence, and I'm pretty comfortable with it except for the people pushing me (some almost militantly) in one direction. I know the risks of each... am I missing something? Should I be going for one or the other, period??? It's just not my style.

I'm so sorry to butt in for the first time with all this rambling. I hope to get to know you all better.

love,
alison
post #116 of 339
Quote:
Originally Posted by daekini
Does that make sense? I don't think I could live with that decision. Anything up to 39 weeks, if I go into labor spontaneously, is okay with me. But I just can't get over this "39-week hump". If my doc had said she'd schedule for 40 weeks, it would be a "40-week hump" - I guess this is why people don't understand my fears.
I understand completely. For me that date was 42 weeks. But I knew those last 3 weeks I could have a c/s at any time and it was very hard to get through. What did help was that while I kept thinking I couldn't wait any longer, the idea of scheduling something for TOMORROW always seemed much too soon. At 41 weeks we scheduled for 42 weeks and since I didn't go into labor before then, we had a repeat c/s at 42 weeks. I felt like knowing what I know about the dangers of c/s vs VBAC, I knew intellectually VBAC was safer and better for my future childbirth potential, I had to give it a good try. (BTW, since I went to 42.5 weeks with DD, I knew scheduling any sooner was not giving a VBAC a chance, for others, sooner might be more reasonable since they don't have a history of long gestation).

But I had a very hard time with that decision and I had chosen very very VBAC supportive providers (CNM and doula) and I knew that it was *my* decision, and no one elses - when we scheduled my midwife basically said 'we'll do what you want' in terms of waiting or doing it, etc. A few days before the c/s I had my husband (I was far too upset) call my midwife and basically ask her point blank if she thought it was a good idea. Knowing she was so supportive of VBACs and doesn't give in to 'big baby fears' it made all the difference in the world to have her tell us that at that point knowing we had a BIG baby (DS turned out to be 11lbs) our chances of a VBAC at this point were really slim and she thought the c/s was probably the best choice. It took a great weight off my shoulders and allowed me to start preparing mentally for the birth we were going to have.

I can totally be on board with the feeling that I would never forgive myself if something went wrong. But I know things can go wrong with a c/s too. It's very hard to realize that you can't know which direction will come out okay and which might potentially have a problem, but no matter what you do that other choice will always be there with a big 'what if' in your mind. The best you can do is weigh the choices available, taking into account how YOU feel and what you want (not anyone else) and go with what you feel is the best choice. For all this talk, I know that no matter what if the outcome had been bad I never would be able to get over having made the wrong decision. No one can know all ends much to my chagrin.
post #117 of 339
Hi Allison
Welcome to the group

Everyone has to make a decision about what to do that makes sense to them and feels right to them. The decision that you make might be very different from the one I would make.. we are two different people.. with different thoughts, goals, fears and concerns. I hope that you are able to make a decision that you feel comfortable with

I dont' go into labor at 39 weeks.. I always go post dates.. 40 1/2 weeks.. almost 41. I was never concerned about the baby. I made sure I kept my appoinments, did my kick counts, paid attention to the baby's movement and how I felt.. I was "tuned in" and I knew that all was well. For me, and this is just what was right for me, I knew that a trial of labor was important.. needed..Studies support that labor improves outcomes, even when a c section is the result. Even if I were to schedule a c section for the next baby.. I would want labor to begin on its own. That is what I feel is right for me and my baby...

But studies aside, you need to make a choice that is right for you...You are right.. bad things happen.. they happen more than we would like to admit... mothers and babies don't make it sometimes.. I think that this is a hard thing to accept.. with all our medical knowledge.. that everyone can't be saved...

Many hugs as you make this decision..

Chantal
post #118 of 339
Quote:
Originally Posted by chantald
: It really is a shame.. that one's care after a c/s can so impact how you feel about the whole situation and how little control you can exert over it.
absolutely! it's like when they say that a labor nurse can make or break a labor ... the recovery care has SO much impact on the whole birth experience.

i think i might have something like PTSD, i'm realizing now at 8 months PP. i'm having recurring nightmares about some things, i'm having a lot of adhesion pain and i find myself getting angry very quickly when that pain occurs, and i keep trying to make normal medical appointments for myself and i just can't do it! i'm terrified of ever seeing a doctor i've been calling around to find a therapist who is taking new patients *and* takes Medicare, those are hard to find!

it's odd how the feelings about my birth keep changing with time. after 30 hours of labor, where i was so blissed out and happy in Laborland, the transition to "omg now this is serious" seems scarier to me as time passes ... the whole labor, we had the room dark except for one small light, and it was so warm and peaceful and quiet, then suddenly everybody was rushing away from me and into scrubs, suddenly i was rolled into bright lights, cold air and loud metallic and electronic sounds *shudder* i had to have a spinal rather than an epidural because i have a problem with injected anesthetics - they spread out like a "donut" and don't take where they're supposed to. we just couldn't risk that with a cesarean! i don't know if the anesthesiologist made a mistake, or if i was just too sensitive to the drugs used, but i went numb all the way up to my neck, only my left shoulder had feeling.

i feel so upset when i read about other c-births, or see them on tv ... the mamas are able to be coherent and even touch their babies. the spinal made me feel really fuzzy-headed, and the total numbness made me feel like i wasn't breathing, so i was a mess. i couldn't touch Willow because the spinal also paralyzed me (it took 6 hours to wear off!). i do remember her looking at me with wide open eyes, and me saying "hi baby!" and kissing her head. i remember how good she smelled, all salty and warm and earthy then the shakes started and also i started throwing up, all they could do was keep suctioning my mouth and throat. i was either passing out a lot, or my memory is blocking it out, because i don't remember much except my doula rubbing my shoulder and telling me to breathe "in ... out" over and over. when i hear about women being able to chat with the nurses and stuff like that, i realize how "not normal" my cesarean was! ugh.

my husband had been awake and in action for about 48 hours, so he passed out in our room. i couldn't move for 5 more hours, so my doula stayed and kept latching Willow on for me. it's all a blur, i think the pain meds they put in the IV messed with my head. then i was alone, the room was dark, Willow was in the nursery with my permission, i told them to bring her back when she woke up. so i had 2 hours of trying to move and slowly gaining feeling and movement. except for my legs, i wasn't able to move them for about 7 hours total. i didn't know this wasn't normal!! the nurses acted like it was normal.

i felt like i needed to pee and it felt wrong, i tried to wake my husband but he was totally passed out. finally someone answered the call bell, and they said the line was kinked and that they'd fixed it. i felt the same way an hour later, the nurses had changed shifts by then, the new nurse was horrified ... the line was totally backed up and my bladder was distended, the other nurse had laid the line beneath my leg instead of over it. i am still having problems with needing to pee too much, and painful bladder. i take cranberry tablets every day still.

after i got feeling back, we roomed in and it was great my main problem was getting my meds on time ... they'd bring them 2, sometimes 3 hours late. i was on percocet for pain ... not the surgery, but the arthritis and fibromyalgia! 30 hours on my feet labor-dancing, OUCH! i was also on a med for sleep, that was safe to nurse with, they'd bring it around 1 am but it didn't work for some reason. i'd feel a little sleepy and start to drift off around 6am but then the "parade of random medical people" would start. BLEAH! the second night, my husband made a big "DO NOT DISTURB BEFORE 8 A.M." sign for my door, which everybody ignored.

the food was great. when i left early (a little less than 3 days) i regretted leaving the food! :LOL i didn't eat anything but a little fruit juice or some pudding at home for 4 weeks after, i didn't have any help to make food for myself. i was whacked out without my regular meds for 3 weeks, but that's another story. i know that if i had been able to function without the meds and continue breastfeeding, i wouldn't be so depressed or anxious right now. i keep going off the meds and re-lactating once a month, it doesn't work but it feels good to try.

whew, too long of a post! i'm sorry. i just feel weirded out about my post-op experience. it's been 8 months and only know am i realizing the enormity of some of the things that went wrong. and feeling the long-term effects! especially the adhesion pain.
post #119 of 339
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride
I have an odd question for you ladies:

I can't physically cry after a c-section, because it causes so much abdominal pain. Do the rest of you find that, and do you think it might have been easier to cope with the emotional aftermath if you could have cried some of it out right away?

I was just reflecting on my two previous surgeries, and it somehow seemed like the most unfair thing about it was that I wanted so badly to cry and I couldn't let myself, because if I started I couldn't stop and it hurt so much.
I cried during my last csection when they pulled Jack out. Remember though I had the epidural and didn't have any pain.

Kim
post #120 of 339
Thread Starter 
Alison,

I do understand what you are saying. I would have enourmous guilt and felt like I had made the wrong decision if something happened to an already healthy baby. This is ME though. I am not one that believes the notion "well the baby may have died anyway during the csection". The thing is while a vaginal delivery is safer, when things go wrong with them, they often go really wrong. (say rupture for instance) I have a uterine anomaly, and for the first time I have a vertex baby. Technically I could labor or have a VBAC in that sense (vertex baby, even facing the right way) However my rupture rate ranges from 3% to 20% depending on what you read about uterine anomalies with an already cut uterus. My OB doesn't know what the risks are *for me*, and at this point we aren't sure what my uterus may do next. At least with a csection *I* know my risks, and while something can go wrong things are less likely to be catastrophic. Of course this is my personal view, but I thought I would share it since you brought this up.

Kim
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