In a Little While: Benedict's Birth - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 9 Old 09-25-2009, 06:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It's been 4 1/2 months since Benedict's birth. I'm tired all the time. I'm happy most of the time. Sometimes I dwell on how it all happened. I'm sure some of this has to do with being so tired, but maybe it's time to write what happened. Maybe it will help me find peace of mind and confidence for next time should God will there be a next time.
I don't remember all the details clearly, but I think I had a few baby contractions or maybe just strong Braxton Hicks contractions starting on Saturday, May 2nd. I also had some bloody show. I ignored this as best I could and went about my day, sleeping pretty well that night. The next morning, I started having more noticeable contractions. It was my due date, but nothing was regular so my husband and I tried not to get too excited. We went to Mass, ate, and walked a lot. We bought a meal at the cafe across the street and joked to the barista about hoping to have a baby soon. I called the doula to let her know what was going on and she encouraged me to rest as much as possible. That night the contractions were stronger, but still far apart and not regular. Daniel slept and I slept between contractions. After a while of this, I needed Daniel's support and I woke him. Since I had been letting the contractions wake me, I wasn't prepared for them, and it got to be too scary.
Throughout early Monday we puttered and timed contractions and tried to keep ourselves occupied. We told our families we thought we were in labor. I called the doctor and canceled my prenatal visit for that evening. They encouraged me to come to the hospital, but I knew we were not ready for that. I called the doula and told her what was going on. She encouraged me to rest and take a bath. I didn’t want to do that because I didn't want to slow things down and my tub wasn't clean enough to take a bath. Sometime on Sunday or Monday (I can't remember when) Daniel and I stimulated my nipples and the contractions kicked up for a while. But they were still irregular in length and frequency. I tried to sleep between them again on Monday night, but they were starting to hurt too badly. Daniel dragged the armchair into our bedroom and for a while I slept sitting in it as best I could. They didn't hurt as badly when I was sitting. Then for a while we slept in the living room; me on the couch and Daniel on the floor while old Felix the Cat cartoons played on the TV. Sometime in the wee hours we called the doula again and this time she came over.
Tuesday morning I was still contracting irregularly although they were quite strong. The doula still counseled rest since we didn't know how long this would take. She said it was normal that we were having a long early labor and not to worry. She had me spend some time on my hands and knees with my head down and my butt in the air. Daniel slept some. She had me sleep on the couch as best I could with heat packs. She rubbed my shoulders. Daniel supported me during contractions. The only way that I wanted to take them was standing, hanging onto someone, and rocking while I hummed. I was getting discouraged and impatient. I wanted to get this over with. Daniel and I tried some more nipple stimulation, but this produced such immediately painful contractions that I wouldn't let him continue for very long. Finally, around 5pm, we decided to go to the hospital, though I could tell the doula didn't think it was a good idea. She told me to eat, but I felt so sick that I didn't. I wish that I had.
When we got to triage around 6pm on Tuesday night, I was 7cm dilated. We were very excited and the nurse pushed me to 8cm. They started penicillin since I was Strep B positive. We got a room and my Mom was there along with Daniel and the doula. My Dad waited in another room. Some time passed and things got pretty intense. I felt a bit self-conscious with my mother and the doula. I tried some different positions, but the only ones that felt okay were the birth ball and standing. Eventually I got in the shower, which helped a lot. We did some more stimulation. After a while I felt a little like pushing and said so. The resident came in and checked me, breaking my water bag in the process. She said it was an accident. I don't know. She said I was the same as when we'd gotten there. I felt crushed and didn't know what to do. She left and I cursed, very angry that she'd broken my water bag. The contractions got very painful then, lasting for 90 seconds to 2 minutes with not much time in between. This went on for at least two hours, maybe longer. Eventually the doctor came in and checked me. I was still the same. She was worried about uterine pressure and inserted something to monitor that. It was gross and everyone started looking at the screen instead of me. She said that we needed to use something to stimulate labor because my contractions were not strong enough to dilate me. She said we could only do that if my uterus relaxed enough between contractions. She left. After some time of monitoring and a lot of pain she came back and we started talking about what to do. Daniel wanted to try more nipple stimulation. We had been to the Bradley classes. We wanted a natural birth. I had been in labor unmediated for almost 60 hours. I'd been in what seemed like transition for 4 to 6 hours. I wanted to die. I wanted to make a deal with anyone, even the devil to make the pain stop. As soon as I thought that, I recanted and felt terrible about thinking it. I didn't think I could take any more artificial stimulation, be it nipple or drugs. The doctor preferred drugs because they were more easily controlled. My mother asked me "didn't I think I had tried hard enough?" or something to that effect. I asked for an epidural and pitocin.
Daniel insisted on being with me when they started the epidural. I'm afraid of needles, I used to pass out when having blood drawn. Without him there I don't know what I would have done. When it kicked in I was very grateful and I slept for a while. Somewhere in there the doula left and another came. We clicked with the second doula better anyway. Sometime on Wednesday morning the doctor checked me and said I was fully dilated. She went away to prepare for me to push. I could still feel the contractions some, so I would know when to push, and was excited and very hungry. I asked the doula what we could do to facilitate my pushing. Although the baby had been very low when we had arrived the night before, now he was floating high. We tried rolling me onto my side. Eventually everyone arrived and I started to push. I felt totally confident. I am an opera singer and I know how to use those muscles. I was flat on my back with the doula holding one leg and Daniel holding the other and everyone yelling at me how to push. Periodically my Mom (a nurse) would put the oxygen mask on my face. Later she said it was because she was listening to the baby's heartbeat decelerating every time I pushed. The doctor left a few times. During one of those times the nurse humored me by helping me get onto my hands and knees to push. I was only allowed to do one contraction that way before she made me turn back over. The doctor came in and said the baby hadn't liked that. When I asked to be in a more upright position, she said that didn't help with delivering a baby anyway.
After 2 hours and 50 minutes of pushing, the doctor suddenly said that "this trial of pushing is almost over." I was stunned. Trail? I had thought we were doing this for real. Daniel started crying. I pushed for 10 more minutes and prayed to God and Mary and the saints for help. Finally at 3pm on Wednesday the doctor said we had to have a c-section. She said that my contractions weren't strong enough, there was meconium staining, and the baby's heart rate kept slowing down during the pushing. I asked how she would sew me up and about VBACs. She said a VBAC would be a possibility.
She left to prepare and I told Daniel I needed to see a priest. I didn't want to take the risk of surgery and dying unshriven and I figured that if we didn't have time for it, then they wouldn't let us wait for a priest anyway. My Mom told me I was being selfish and needed to think about the baby. I told her that I could die and that was that. She left. Luckily a priest was on duty at the hospital and he was very kind. He heard my confession and reassured me of the doctor's abilities. Then he said that being a mother was about sacrifice. He said that I was being asked to sacrifice my body, but I was going to be okay. He said he would come see me and the baby later and would see me smile. He gave me much comfort and tried to give me communion, but the nurses said it was too dangerous.
I was wheeled into surgery and felt like I was on ER. Daniel sat with me and we prayed the rosary to distract us from what was going on. When Benedict was born he was whisked to the other side of the room to be suctioned. I heard him cry and Daniel went to him. While he was gone I babbled to the anesthesiologist to keep my mind of what they were doing to me. Daniel came back and said we had a baby boy and that he was beautiful. Eventually a nurse brought him over to us and I saw him. His eyes were open and he responded when I spoke to him. He was beautiful. The doctors finished with me. Benedict was finally born at 4:04pm on Wednesday, May 6th. My doctor had delivered him, but then she left and another sewed me up.
I don't know what happened. I suppose everything went a little wrong and so we ended up in surgery. I'm angry with the doula who was little to no help and later said that I'd had an unusually long early labor when the whole time she had been saying it was normal. I'm angry at the resident for breaking my water bag. I'm angry at the doctor for not helping me by turning down the epidural during pushing or letting me be upright. I'm angry at the last nurse who was condescending. I'm angry at Daniel for not being more proactive. I'm angry at myself for taking the epidural and not being more proactive. I'm glad my son is okay. I love him beyond words. I believe that the forces of anti-life worked very hard to keep him from being born. I'm not sure what else to think.
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#2 of 9 Old 09-25-2009, 08:28 PM
 
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You did your best in very difficult circumstances. It seems that a lot of things went wrong and you were given bad advice at different points. I'm outraged on your behalf about your waters being broken without your permission - "accidental' -mmm!

The thing to remember is that you did your best and you'll be that bit better informed next time. Speak to people about what happened and know that this pain too shall pass.

Wishing you and your family all happiness and peace.
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#3 of 9 Old 09-28-2009, 02:35 PM
 
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Thank you for posting your story. Every birth is a learning experience.

Enjoy your baby boy! I love the name Benedict.

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#4 of 9 Old 09-28-2009, 03:35 PM
 
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Your feelings are normal and have been felt by others in your situation. Please check out the web sites for ICAN and SOLACE FOR MOTHERS, both can help you process the hurt and anger you feel from the difficult birth of your baby. Best to you and your family.
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#5 of 9 Old 09-28-2009, 08:21 PM
 
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blessings and love to you and your family. welcome Benedict!!

Lauren

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#6 of 9 Old 09-29-2009, 12:27 AM
 
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First of all, CONGRATULATIONS on your wonderful baby boy!!! We considered Benedict for a name for our son...it is a beautiful name!

And,

I am so sorry to hear about how traumatic this experience has been. But I have good news, it is my personal opinion that if we mothers give ourselves LOTS of time to heal and find peace from difficult birth stories, we will indeed find healing and peace.

I was also left after the birth of my first child feeling VERY raw/disappointed/heart-broken/etc., though I will admit that my story isn't as involved as yours.

But I still felt very unhappy with how things had happened. I was disappointed in myself, and mostly, with those who had been there to support me.

But I never mentioned a word to anyone, because my son and I were healthy, and I felt that, because I had a healthy baby, I didn't have the right to grieve for my birth not being what I had imagined and hoped.

But inside, I was torn up. I couldn't think back to the experience without many negative emotions.

Over time, however, I slowly started to be able to look back on the whole thing from different angles and viewpoints...not other people's viewpoints, just other facets of my own views. I started sort of just thinking about it without my own original emotions pushed into each section of the story...the fear, the pain, etc...I started to see the memories without those things.

I also poured over other birth stories here on MDC. This was hard at first, because I just compared what went right for other women with what went wrong for me. But soon, I was just reading about birth...birth after birth after birth. The good ones, the bad ones, the ugly ones. I guess I just vastly increased my knowledge of other women's experiences.

Eventually, I guess enough time passed, and I read enough stories about other women's journeys into motherhood, that I started to fall in love with my birth story. Not because it went right, which of course it didn't, but because it was MY story...the story of how I became the mother to my son.

And now, I treasure every minute of that birth story. It brought me to my son, who is one of the greatest gift's God has ever given me.

Who is to say, really, what could have/would have/should have happened? All you truly have is what did happen...and it is how your baby was brought to you...and in that, God is present.

I wish you and your sweet family all the best!!
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#7 of 9 Old 09-30-2009, 07:13 PM
 
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<<<<<Hugs>>>>>
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#8 of 9 Old 10-01-2009, 03:07 PM
 
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have you read through the Healing Birth Trauma thread? It may help to read/post there. There are A LOT of mamas with similar stories. I think it would help to know that you are not alone. Congrats on your baby!
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#9 of 9 Old 10-01-2009, 10:54 PM
 
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Congratulations on your baby boy! I love his name. I know how awful the sleep deprivation is. ((hugs))

I found that time and distance were the things that helped me process my delivery of DS. It took a year until I stopped saying he'd be an only child. It's not easy, but you will get to a place where you can have some peace about it. It definitely helps to talk about it.

Mama of 2 sweet boys, Miles (Jan 3/07) and Avery (Nov 28/09) My fast and furious HBAC
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