my story and my babe's
Thanks for this thread. I've really been wanting to recount my story for someone who might care, and respond in some way. I don't know what I want really in response - recognition maybe. I don't know.
I knew from the moment I conceived dd that I was not a mainstream mama. Dh and I already lived outside of the consumer culture that most of our family and friends lived in. I just didn't know that their was an alternative to birthing my dd. I didn't even know enough to research alternatives. Ignorance is not bliss. In eastern Kentucky, where I'm from, midwives practice alongside OBs and you don't have to see an OB unless their are severe problems. My sister had 2 natural beautiful births with a midwife in the hospital where I was present and her coach for the last one. Dh and I moved to the city after college and the situation was quite a bit different here. There is literally one midwife with a license to practice and I couldn't even find her. Kentucky has a law that midwives must practice alongside OBs to be licensed and no OBs in this city will practice with them. Anyway, I ended up going with an all woman 6 OB practice. I was disappointed.
Dh and I practiced for a Bradley birth after looking for different birthing methods. The docs began to say that dd was big (upwards of 10 pounds) very early. I had 6 total ultrasounds. Out of the 6 docs I didn't get along with only 1. I knew she would be the one to deliver dd - intuition.
At 37 weeks one of the docs said if I wanted any chance to deliver vaginally then I must be induced right away or face c-section. I agreed because it was so important for me to avoid c-section. When I got to the hospital the doctor came in after a very long time. It was none other than the only one I didn't like. She began to explain that dd could have cerebral palsy, die, have brain damage, etc... if I didn't have a c-section. I was scared then, and so was dh. None of our family knew enough to tell me to go ahead and try. I agreed to the c-section.
Disappointed and scared, I waited for my turn. I soon found out the doc had performed 4 c-sections before mine, and I'd have to wait my turn. When they brought me into the room they refused to let dh come in until after the epidural - the worst part. They joked with each other (10 people), and were listening to the radio. They wondered whether or not they should give me the epidural through my tattoo. I became very frightened and needed dh. I had never had a surgery before. They had to sedate me twice because my heartrate went too high.
Finally, dh was allowed in. I waited and could feel them pulling and tugging on my insides. When I felt the release, and I knew my baby was disconnected from me, all I heard was a doc say "It's head is the size of a bowling ball". I sent dh up to get her. I wanted her with me. I wanted their insensitive paws off her. I heard her cry. Dh told me she was beautiful. Finally, I held her. Dh told her it was okay, and she stopped crying. My heart warmed to the fact that she knew his voice, and felt safe. I felt so sorry for her, and so happy to hold her at the same time. She weighed in a 8.13 and was 20 inches. Not upwards of 10 pounds.
In recovery, they told me to tell them when my pain reached a 5 out of 10. I have a high pain tolerance, so I reached a 5 probably later than most, and I didn't receive my meds quick enough. The pain hit me like a ton of bricks. I felt out of control. Not only that, but they went ahead and moved me to my room, and the nurse ran off with my IV pole while it was still attached to my arm.
DD had trouble the first night. She choked on her fluids, and nurses had to rush in the room to suction her a few times. I refused to let her go to the nursery. She roomed-in the entire time. This was a blessing. I loved watching her rest, and holding her close to me. I quit taking any pain meds after the second dosage because dd was having stomach troubles and I didn't want any of the meds to pass to her. I was in pain, but I dealt. I was in the hospital for 5 days because they were afraid I had a pulmonary embolism. I had tightness of chest from being in the hospital.
At home, I was in major pain. I couldn't do much of anything. When I tried anyway, my incision tore open and began oozing pus. It took me 3 months to heal. I still have pain in my scar, and my outer scar is rather long compared to those I've seen.
I bonded with dd immediately, but I feel we were both cheated out of her proper birth. I don't feel complete for some reason. I feel like no one cares, and they think I should just chalk it up as a whatever. I feel like I was a victim of malpractice in that she just fit me into her schedule. I ache for our birth. DD is my pride and joy, and she is beautiful and healthy, and for that I'm thankful. I wonder how it would be different if I could have delivered her naturally.
I am planning a VBAC for my next dc. I want to have one around October 2007. I have educated myself and I have found a few midwives working "underground" to help with homebirths. I found MDC when dd was 5 months. I feel like I can't TTC again if I have to have another c-section, but I want dd to have one sibling.
I don't want it to sound like our experience was all horrible. In fact, I'm feeling guilty for even posting this. But, I need to talk it all out. Her birth was a beautiful, God blessed event. I am so thankful to have a healthy baby for so many are not as fortunate. I love her with all my heart. I created a storybook for her about her birth. The great parts only.
I think I need to cry.