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Cesarean Birth Support Thread November & December 2005 - Page 7

post #121 of 150
I just had an interesting phone conversation with my hospital's intake person about spinals and epidurals. I've always had epis before. She said that what many of the anesthesiologists there are doing now is giving a spinal through an epidural line. They like them because "they think they set up better." Plus, the added benefit of more meds if needed through the epi line.

Also, I talked to my dr about the stiches vs staples thing. This is what she said. She always prefers to use stitches if its possible. However, sometimes there's a lot of fluid in the tissue, etc, so that makes staples more desireable. That way if something needs drained, its easier to just pull out a staple or two, rather than a line of stitching. But she assured me she'd use stitches unless the condition of my tissue indicated that staples would be better. She also said something about she'd cut away my old c-section scar, and just make a new one. Never heard of that, but I guess I've got plenty of extra skin.
post #122 of 150
For the last two posters,
1st- I had a spinal headache after my first spinal and they did a blood patch to fix it and it worked right away. The second c-section they did another spinal and all was just fine. I think it just depends on the anestisiologist (i can't spell lol!) The second was far better at his job then the first!

2nd- I had the same dr do my first two c-sections and after the first she used tape. No staples, no stitches!! She would have used tape on the second as well but I started becoming very uncomfortable on the table nearing the end of the c-section so as an issue of getting done as quickly as possible she just used staples. She says she always prefers to use the tape unless she needs to hurry the job up some!! She also did remove my old c-section scar as well. I hadn't even thought to ask this dr if she would!! I just assumed they all did since my other dr automatically did it!! Guess that is going on the list of questions for this next appointment!!!
post #123 of 150
Hi Mamas,

I thought I would share my story. I like that I can do it here with women who understand.

I had a planned home waterbirth. My family thought I was nuts and I think they thought I was naive about the pain of labor. Wel, labor was hell. My birth canal is aimed toward my back and so DS' head was pressing on the side of my birth canal instead of my cervix. My MW had to oress really far back in me to get around the head to even check my cervix. It hurt so bad and I cried every time. She wanted to pull the cervix down over his head during contractions, because she really believed that if she could get the head on the cervix DS would be born right afterwards, but the pain was too much to bear. After 20 hours, I was exhausted and crying and couldn't do it. I asked to be taken to the hospital for an epidural.

The plan was to dull the pain so I could get some rest and then try to get the cervix over DS' head. Well, as soon as I got the epidural, my blood pressure went up and DS' heart rate plummeted. Then the worst thing happened - I had a hard time breathing. I guess this is fairly typical since no one would tell me what was happening. It was so scary and painful and I finally screamed "Please, somebody help me, I can't breathe!!" and no one responded. The doctor simply said I needed a c-section. He said the baby was under distress and at the rate I was progressing (only 2 cm at this point) he couldn't guarantee my baby would be born OK.

I asked my midwife what she thought and I think that irritated the doctor. She said she thought it was necessary. I now know that it is not uncommon for the baby's heart rate to plummet, and for the mother's blood pressure to go up, and it is easy to stabilize. If I had my wits about me, I would have asked for an hour or so for my midwife to try and get that cervix over DS' head. But, I didn't. I consented. I really just wanted to sleep. In fact, I remember throwing up green fluid, and then I vaguely remember the surgery, and then nothing until I woke up several hours later. DH said DS was born covered head to toe in meconium.

My DH never left DS' side. He irritated some nurses by watching everything that happened and refusing the vitamin k, the hep B vax, and the eye ointment. I love how the paperwork he signed said "I understand that by refusing the above medical procedure I am putting my child at risk..." If we really thought there was a risk, we wouldn't have refused them.

When I first saw DS, he didn't feel like mine. He looked alien to me and smelled strange. Then I undressed him and held him against my skin and sang to him. He's been the love of my life ever since. I am conflicted about the c-section. Was it necessary? Was I weak for wanting an epidural? Was it necessary for the doctor to be rude to me, my DH, and my MW? Why didn't anyone care that I could scarcely breathe? But here we are, my son and I, him nursing while I type, and we are both OK. We sleep side by side, DS with his arm on my breast, and I am lulled by the sound of his breathing, and his sleep giggles.

Incidentally, no one told me anything about how to take care of my scar, even after I asked. They told me to leave it alone, but I put aloe on it every day. At my two week follow-up, the nurse said my incision looked fantastic. I told her about the aloe, and she said she should start recommending that. At two weeks, I was walking up and down the stairs and doing gentle yoga. My sister said she was jealous because after her C-Sec she could barely make it out of bed at 2 weeks. The flesh above the incision is completely numb. Sometimes the incision has a dull ache, and I can't lift heavy objects or I'll regret it the next day.

Thank you for letting me share my story.
post #124 of 150
Wow! That is quite a story. I don't think you were weak at all for going in for the c-section. In long labors and emergency situations c-sections are sometimes just the right thing for everyone to remain healthy!!
post #125 of 150
Originally Posted by alisaterry
I now know that it is not uncommon for the baby's heart rate to plummet, and for the mother's blood pressure to go up, and it is easy to stabilize. If I had my wits about me, I would have asked for an hour or so for my midwife to try and get that cervix over DS' head. But, I didn't. I consented.
My details are different, but I have the "I now know" and "if only"s as well. The thing is, when you're that tired and stressed and don't have time to go do a pile of research before making a decision, you realy have to trust the people around you. Both your doctor and midwife recomended the c-section so it was totally reasonable for you to consent.
post #126 of 150
i love so much that I can get encouragement at MDC. For the most part, the attitude in my family and social circle is "I told you so."
post #127 of 150
alisaterry ~ Hindsight seems so 20-20. I had a midwife and still wound up with a c-s. After 29 hours of labor, I was exhausted, nauseous, shaking uncontrollably, etc. Unfortunately, I was also hooked up to pitocin and an epidural. I think it's very natural to have what-ifs? I question myself all the time. But like the pp said, when you are in that much pain and you have gone through that much already, you really need to trust the people around you. Hours into labor is no time to be making a decision.

I really loathe that "I told you so" attitude that so many people have surrounding the medicalization of birth. Ignore it (as much as you can)! Hang in there and take care of yourself!
post #128 of 150
Originally Posted by rachelsmama
My details are different, but I have the "I now know" and "if only"s as well. The thing is, when you're that tired and stressed and don't have time to go do a pile of research before making a decision, you realy have to trust the people around you. Both your doctor and midwife recomended the c-section so it was totally reasonable for you to consent.
: And even tho "I know now," if I have a repeat of my last labor this time around (80 hours, malpositioned baby and pre-e), I will probably agree to a c/s again if it's recommended. There are no sure things in "laborland," that is the one thing we can be sure of!

alisaterry, I hope you are able to find a better facility to birth your next baby at! There is no excuse for some of the things that happened to you and your family. Best of luck "processing" all of it.
post #129 of 150
I think next time I will just make sure I don't get the same doctor. I've heard nothing but wonderful things about Utah Valley Regional Medical Center, but after talking to some of the nurses, I found out mine is especially abrasive, and a bit anti-doula, anti-natural birth.

The rest of my stay was fine - the food was great, the lactation consultant was useful, and when DS ended up under bililights, they gave me a pump so I could get colostrum for them to supplement with instead of formula, and keep up my supply. They also brought him to me every three hours to nurse. But the night-time staff was just awful. I don't know why it would have been so hard for someone to say "I know it hurts to breathe, but you will be alright" or "I'm sorry your birth didn't turn out the way you planned" or "this is why you threw up green fluid." I still don't know the answer to that one.

That is why I am so glad I had midwife care. What doctor will spend an hour with you at each visit? What doctor will hug your DH when he bursts into tears because the birth has suddeny become scary? What doctor will come to your home after you get home from the hospital and spend two hours with you, talking through the experience with you, giving you sage advice about caring for your newborn and adjusting to new motherhood? She told me my job was to sit on the couch for two months and nurse and cuddle my baby. That was the best advice I ever received!

I think if I ever have a high risk pregnancy, I will pay a midwife just to meet with me every month anyway. Modern obstetrics are just so void of compassion and feeling. A c-section can still be a spiritual and meaningful birth if the attendants treat it that way - the emergence of a baby is sacred no matter how they enter the world. A woman who must put her life in danger and have her body cut into should be given some respect.

I was given a review card at the end of my stay and you can bet I was pretty clear about the doctor. I haven't even gone into everything he said and did - it would take too long and it just makes me angry. But I told the hospital all about it. I don't know if it will make a difference or not, but I said it, and it made me feel better.

Sorry about the
post #130 of 150
alisaterry ~ What you wrote above is just awesome!!! I will NEVER go back to strictly ob care. Having been through a c-section with midwives at my side, I absolutely can't imagine what it would have been like had I just been using doctors. Each day the doctors hurried in, asked how I was, scribbed something on my chart and walked out. My midwives would come in, sit down and talk for a while. No hurry whatsoever. I felt so much better having them to address my questions and concerns with. Even at my 6 week pp check up when my dd was going through fits of colic, the midwife took my concerns to heart and gave me lots of advice and told me I was doing a great job.

I do plan to vbac my next birth but the difference is that I will have a birth plan for a c-section in order to make it a more beautiful birth experiece rather than the factory-approach it was last time! No matter what I will have a midwife there again.
post #131 of 150
Yep, if I don't VBA2C my next one (which would have to be a HB, which my current mw doesn't do) I think I will use my midwife up until the end. She was wonderful from beginning to end and even came to see me in the hospital, and was awesome during the 6 week checkup. I think that although she did not want to totally cross her back up OB she stood up for me to hold out to 43 weeks, and that pretty much rocked.

As far as a new scar...they told me they were giving me a "tummy tuck" because it was a repeat c and now I can finally see what they mean, 11 weeks later. :
post #132 of 150
That's a smart idea - making a contingency birthplan for a c-section. I wish I had bothered to study epidurals and internal monitoring and c-sections so at least I could have been more aware of what was happening to me. I was so determined to have a natural birth that I didn't educate myself at all on the hopefully unnecessary alternatives. I think a contingency birth plan is wise.
post #133 of 150
Wer actually had a section in our birth plan about cesareans...when we went for the hospital tour (we were the only couple that night so it was very friendly and the nurse was a little more chatty than I think she normally would be) one of the labor nurses told us she always recommends that people add a "just in case" c/s section to their birth plans. She said she has attended mamas whose unplanned c/s could have gone much more smoothly and happily if they'd already thought about their options and what they would like within the boundaries of a c/s experience.

Even though we thought it would never be used, we decided ahead of time that I'd have a spinal, that we'd like the surgical staff to be quiet and not talking about random stuff, that DH would go with DD to the nursery while I was being sewn up, that DD's first bath would be next to my bed in the recovery room, that I would BF in recovery, and that I wanted DD brought right to me rather than "shown off" to family and friends before I had a chance to hold her. Because we had already thought about this, when I wound up with an emergency c/s the staff already knew the sort of experience I needed. The surgical staff was wonderful and supportive, the student nurse who had been attending me during labor was there to hold my hand and tell me how amazing I was while DH and DD went to the nursery, there was an LC waiting with my doula in recovery and they both stayed until DD joined us and was nursing well, and DH helped the nurse give DD her first bath there next to the bed in the recovery room.

I had a lot of difficulty processing my c/s and am still working through the disappointment and feelings of guilt/inadaquecy but it does help to know that I was still able to have some say in what happened and how it happened.
post #134 of 150

I was wondering if there was a January thread that I missed? I am scheduled for a c-section this Thursday if my baby doesn't turn vertex (head down) by then. I'm kind of scared and looking forward to sharing with the other mommas here.

post #135 of 150
I don't know about a January thread. Is your baby breech right now? My only suggestion is to make sure that the moment your baby emerges from your body, your birthing partner never leaves their side so that your baby does not come into the world and have no one to bond with for several hours. Ask that they not give your baby formula or sugar water, if it is your preference to breast feed. And remember that a baby being born into the world is sacred and holy no matter how he or she arrives, so a c-section does not have to be any less special, any less beautiful, or any less amazing than a regular birth.

Good luck and you are in my prayers for a baby turning before then!
post #136 of 150
Good luck and I hope that baby turns!

I agree with the previous poster, make sure your partner can stay with the baby. See what your hospital policies are. With my c-section I was back in a delivery/recovery room bonding with my baby (and attempting to bf- not easy when you have no feeling below your arms) within an hour of her birth. Some places will let you hold the baby in the OR.

Good luck.
post #137 of 150
Good luck mama!

Definately let the labor and delivery nurses know what sort of experience you're looking for...they realize this sort of surgical delivery isn't your "first choice" and are often really open to helping you "customize" the experience as much as possible. These nurses are sometimes overworked, but in general they really want you to have a good experience and they can help find ways around hospital protocol if that is necessary. Don't be afraid to ask for what you want and need to be at peace with your delivery.

I agree that having your partner go with your little one is a great idea (it's what we did)...it can be a bit lonely in the OR without your partner, but having them with the brand new babe is really important. Also, you might want to request that as much as possible only your partner and you hold the baby during those first few hours. It was important to me to be able to bond with dd before showing her off to family and friends, and the nursing staff was great....they told my mom that everything had gone well, but they let me introduce the baby from my recovery room bed after dd, dh, and I had had a chance to nurse and get to know each other.

I hope your baby turns, but no matter what I hope your delivery is filled with joy and peace and speedy healing...congratulations on your soon to be here little one!
post #138 of 150

learning more...

I recently switched to a midwife at a different hospital with a much lower c/s rate than the hospital I had DS at. Hoping for that VBAC, but mentally prepared (I think) for a c/s if things drag out.

What has been interesting for me is that as part of transferring my records from the hospital/OB, the midwife reviewed everything with me. I THOUGHT my OB did that - NOT. I had read on MDC to always request your records, but I didn't do that as I trusted my OB and believed she had shared everything with me.

I had an 80 hour labor, took pitocin and epi at about 55 or so hours, pushed for 3 hours, turns out baby was brow presentation - hard way to get out. (Even in the Ina May book I read recently she discusses how difficult that presentation is, and has had a couple of her patients end up in c/s because of it.) But from what I knew, the only serious complication I had was developing pre-e the last day, which made them "shut me down" and prep for the c/s. Turns out I also had HELLP syndrome with very low platelets, got 6 units of platelets before the c/s, and had chorioamnionitis (sp?) with a rising fever. I had no idea. Why did my OB not tell me these things? It is bothersome b/c she preferred me to schedule a repeat c/s, but did not share all the facts. I am still going to try for the VBAC, and my new providers will be watching for any signs of a repeat of all of this. But honestly had I known how sick I really was last time, I might have agreed to schedule the repeat c/s rather than risk going through all that again.

On the plus side, the MW and her backup OB were both impressed with the conservative and appropriate care I got at the previous hospital, saying they could have pushed me into a c/s much earlier given my lack of progress the first 3 days. And now I firmly believe my first c/s was necessary, no more nagging doubts about that.

I'm 37 weeks tomorrow, we'll see what the next few weeks bring...
post #139 of 150
Thankyou Kirsten and wombatclay for the advice. DH is definitely going to have our baby in his sight at all times.

Greenmansions, I'm glad you found out some things that confirmed that you really needed your c-section, for peace of mind. That really helps me when I have the reasons for a decision.

post #140 of 150

I'm just getting ready to enter my third trimester (27 weeks today!), and BellyBean is breech. She may still turn at this point, and I'm still keeping my fingers crossed for my "accidental" UC. If she doesn't turn in a few weeks, though, I may have to schedule a c-section. I'm thinking lots of vertex thoughts at her... It's all that I can really do.
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