I thought I'd share my story. I had a pretty uncomplicated pregnancy with my DD. I had done a lot of reading to prepare myself for birth and for the baby once she got here, and I felt pretty confident. I also felt ok with having an epi if it hurt too much, etc. I had pretty mainstream ideas, all told.
At 35 weeks my BP was elevated. The OB sent me home without really saying much about it. At my 36 week, my BP was the same, and they admitted me to the hospital. There followed 36 hours of pitocin. He wanted to give me cytotec (sp?) as well, but having heard about it causing uterine ruptures, I refused it. Well, I know most people talk about the hell of a pitocin induced labor, so I was ready for pain, but there was nothing! Hardly any contractions that could be picked up by the monitor, and I felt nothing at all. I wanted to feel it, because I so wanted the induction to work. The worst was the Magnesium Sulfate that they had me on to prevent seizures...it made me vomit until I was dry heaving and I had to have a catheter. Meanwhile, I was swelling up like a balloon.
The doctor came in that evening and saw my failure to progress. I was starving (even with the puking) and so uncomfortable on my left side I wanted to scream. (Apparently there was a cushion or something missing on the bed. I had no idea. I thought this bar was SUPPOSED to be digging into my hip all that time.) He said we should shut down the mag sulfate and the pitocin and try again the next day. No way! I refused this and went home. The nurses were beside themselves trying to make me stay. One actually cried, saying she was afraid something terrible would happen if I left. I didn't really get it, I guess because they had sent me home after my 35 week appt lke nothing was wrong, but suddenly now it was a life or death situation? I had the distinct impression the Dr. just didn't want to deal with this all on a weekend. I still think that was the case and that he was going to keep me hanging around puking on that poison until Monday, so even though I appreciated the nurses' concern, I wasn't having it. We stayed at home that weekend, with me laying on my side the whole time in my much more comfortable bed.
I went back on Monday. I'd had time to go online and read about pre-e, enough to scare the crap out of me. To try to shorten this long, long tale, they gave me a c-section. I was in no way prepared for the sheer panic I felt during the surgery. The drape seemed so close to my face, all I could feel was claustrophobia. I couldn't see anything but the anesthesiologist (who was so nice to me, btw, just like everyone was at that hospital) and the BP monitor. Every time it took my pressure, it went higher and higher. The last time I looked at it, I only saw the top number: 240. The anesthesiologist saw me looking at it and stood to block my view saying "Seeing that cannot do anything but make things worse for you." He was right, because I was scared to death I was going to have a stroke right there and never get to meet my baby. I didn't realize I'd be able to feel the doctor cutting me...no pain, but so much pulling that it felt like it should hurt. I just felt so out of control. Then the panic when it did start to hurt, and a lot, when they stitched me up. I just have never been so scared in all my life. My sweet DD was taken away before I even got to see her, but at the time, all I could think about was that it hurt to be stitched up, and that it really probably shouldn't.
I had to stay on the Mag Sulfate for the rest of the night, and couldn't start to bf until 24 hours after surgery. It took 5 days for my milk to come in, and the nurses had me under a lot of pressure to supplement (DD was 5 lbs and perfectly fine, but I was worried about her being so small). I was so tired and sick and confused that I let them. I wasn't able to breastfeed her normally for a long, long time. I think I also had PPD, but I never got help for it. On the plus side, my OB is an excellent surgeon. My recovery was so fast, I couldn't believe it.
Now she is 18 months old. We want to ttc soon again, and am so afraid of a repeat of this experience. My BP has been high off and on since I had DD. I don't really know what my chances are to carry a baby to term if I'm already having BP issues to start with. I am afraid no one will let me VBAC. I'm afraid that even knowing what to expect, I will panic again in the OR if I have to have a cs with #2. I really just don't know what to do.
Also on the positive, though, it was this scary, high intervention experience that made me question my whole mainstream mindset. I started reading here, and other places, and I changed my mind about a lot of things, and for the better. At least something good came of it.