HB with hospital transfer and c-section - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 11-11-2010, 09:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I finally posted Punkin's birth story on my blog, along with our breastfeeding initiation struggles due to hospital interference.



http://adventuresofsuperm.blogspot.com/2010/11/birth-day.html



enjoy!

In case it's a pain to do that, I copied it over:

M started her journey to the other side of the womb around 6 p.m. on March 15th. My cousin K, on spring break, had come down for the afternoon. We stopped at Starbucks (tall peppermint hot chocolate- yum!), wandered around Kroger, and hung out at the house watching Fight Club and eating pizza. As soon as K left, I regretted the pizza. I had gas pains. Every five minutes. For about 30 seconds. Uh-oh.


I was 41 weeks, 4 days pregnant, so this was no surprise. I had spent the past few weeks reading birth stories and hanging out in the birth tub. I knew how early labor for a first-time mom should be. It would progress slowly, be easy. I was going to watch a movie and hang out in the tub.

Just to be sure these were real contractions, I got in the tub and had my husband, B, time contractions with my iPhone app (yes, they have an app for that!) for about 30 minutes. It was about 9:30, and I suggested we call our midwife to give her a heads up. I knew we wouldn't need her 'til morning, but maybe she should try to get to sleep early.

Our midwife (I'll call her L) suggested I try to get some rest, so I got a little nest assembled on the couch. I went to lay down, and my water broke. It was only 9:45. B called L again to report, and I got in the birth tub. Contractions were still about 5 minutes apart, so I couldn't rest. I suggested we watch something funny on t.v. to distract me. We got about 20 minutes into Tosh.0 before I had B turn it off. This was getting hard! Already?

By 11, I had to vocalize through contractions, and they were about 2 minutes in length. B called L and had her come over. Time is a bit fuzzy through all this. I know I was 2 centimeters at midnight and the next few hours were pure hell. I screamed through every contraction. It was very painful, and the hypnobabies practice didn't do a thing except help me breathe.

Between midnight and 4 a.m., I labored in the tub, leaning on a bar stool, and on my hands and knees. It was intense and painful. I know some women experience labor as 'pressure' or 'hard work.' I felt sharp pain, like knives stabbing me from inside, on the underside of my belly. Contractions were very close together for a while, and I remember wishing for a break.

At one point, I remember leaning on the edge of the tub and thinking that I'd rather die than continue with the pain. Later, B said my pupils were very dilated, and he knew I was on another planet. It reminded him of this scene from Family Guy:









That's also about the time L swooped in with rescue remedy and offered to check me again. I was 9 centimeters! Just a small lip on the cervix to go, and I could start to push!

That news, combined with slowing contractions, made the next stage of labor more tolerable. I had been in transition when I was in that dark place, but given how quicly I had progressed, I knew we'd have a baby by 7 or 8 a.m.! Throughout labor, B stood by me, holding my hands and offering encouragement.

L had another client in labor and saw that my contractions were coming further apart (I was falling asleep between them now). She decided to have a back-up midwife come over, and she headed to her other client's house.

By 5 or 6 a.m., the other midwife gave me permission to start pushing with contractions. She and the birth assistant had to coach me on how to push and how to relax. I was fighting the contractions instead of pushing through the pain. I thought pushing would be a relief, but it hurt more!

Note: I spent months talking about 'pressure waves' and 'hypnotic anesthesia.' I read all of the lovely birth stories from Ina May Gaskin. For me, it hurt like hell! Intense, mind-numbing, loss-of-control pain. If I had been in a hospital and strapped to a bed, I'd have been screaming for an epidural at midnight (2 centimeters).

Once I figured out how to push, we tried in every position. In the tub, on the birth stool, on the toilet, on hands and knees, on my back (with the midwife's hands inside me, trying to turn the baby's head). M's head was turned to the side. While we made progress during a contraction, as soon as it passed, she slipped right back up with her head turned to the side.

At about 10:30 a.m., I declared I was done. We had pushed for so long. I was tired of the pain and getting scared. The backup called L who confirmed we had tried everything. L coordinated our transfer to the baby-friendly hospital. We left for the hospital at 11:30. It was a shock to see what a sunny and warm spring day it was. We had kept the blinds closed and lights dim in the house. I realized what a beautiful day it was to be born!

One of the funniest memories of that day is riding down to the hospital and getting stuck at traffic lights. I kept wondering what the people in the car next to us thought as I was screaming and hanging from the panic bar. I couldn't sit because M's head was so low.

L called ahead at the hospital and coordinated the transfer. We skipped triage and went straight to L & D. The nurses were very patient while it took 2 or 3 contractions for me to do what was asked. The OB took a quick look and decided a c-section was necessary. B, my sweet advocate, asked the questions I didn't have the presence of mind to ask: Is there an alternative? Could we try a bit longer? I heard her say something about concern the baby could be in distress. (To be clear, M never actually was in distress) I felt at that moment that I didn't have a choice. As soon as that word 'distress' popped up, I agreed to whatever was necessary. There was an emergency c-section ahead of me, and then we'd be next.

The anesthesiologist came in and gave me an epidural since they thought it would be some time before the surgery. It took effect immediately. I felt nothing. No pain, no pressure. Sweet, sweet relief. They got us in with another OB very quickly, so the epi ultimately wasn't necessary.

I was so tired during the surgery that I slept through most of it. It did occur to me at one point to give Barry instructions about what shots and procedures we would/would not allow. I put him in charge of making sure they didn't do anything we didn't approve. The anesthesiologist talked and joked with my husband. He was curious about the homebirth and asked a lot of questions about it. I was amazed by how cool all of the medical professionals were about the whole thing. They treated us with kindness and respect, despite choices they might not have made for themselves.

When they pulled the baby out, it took a few seconds to hear cries. Longest few seconds of my life. But there they were. I was certain we were having a boy, and when they said girl, B and I both started crying. M pooped all over the table where they were cleaning her (hee-hee). She was 9 lbs, 8 oz and 20 1/2 inches long. Born at 1:36 p.m. on March 16th. There was meconium in the womb, so they whisked her away for observation. I tried to get a good look at her, but I was vomiting and couldn't really see her.

When the OB stitched me up, she promised me a VBAC and confirmed she was stitching me up for the best possible outcome next time.

M and I were separated for 2 hours while we were each under observation. I still don't understand why we couldn't be observed together, but that's a different topic for another day. M was perfectly healthy, and although I did get an infection while in the hospital, I healed just fine.

Sometimes, I look back and feel like I failed because I gave up. Maybe if I had just tried a little longer or a little harder. Or maybe I'm just a big whimp. Then I remember: I recovered from the c-section by alternating Tylenol and Naproxen for three days. That's it. Over-the-counter medicine for three days, then absolutely nothing. Definitely not a whimp. And it took M 3 1/2 weeks to latch, but I never gave up. In baby time, that felt like an eternity. Definitely not a quitter, either. wink1.gif

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#2 of 13 Old 11-17-2010, 06:31 PM
 
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Way to go mama! I loved reading your story. Congratulations!


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#3 of 13 Old 11-22-2010, 10:05 AM
 
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Thank you for sharing your story mama.  Congradulations on the birth of your beautiful baby! 

 

My story is a lot like yours.  Sending you lots of hugs as you continue on your healing journey.

 


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#4 of 13 Old 11-23-2010, 05:54 PM
 
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 Thank you for sharing your story. Your story is a lot like my birth with my son. I am 38 weeks into my second pregnancy, waiting to see what this birthing experience has in store for, planning a hbac.


Maria, wife to DH, mama to DS 09/2007, #2 12/2010 and hoping for a
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#5 of 13 Old 11-25-2010, 06:58 PM
 
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Yep.  A lot like my story.  I was in labor for 21 hours and just never dilated beyond an inch - and the midwife had to manually stretch me to even get that.  But the hospital was wonderful and baby-friendly, like yours.  My OB also told me on the table that she was giving me the best possible section for a VBAC.  Midwife said she felt "bumps" on my cervix.  I had a normal pap smear when I got my IUD out last year... don't know what those mystery bumps are, but I would like to find out before bothering with a VBAC.  I no longer trust my cervix!

 

You were so brave and you did your best, mama, just like I did.  I read everything I could and the midwife said I was one of the most informed moms she's ever worked with.  I did everything right, and darnit if there was any justice in this world, I would have had that peaceful water birth I envisioned and trusted in.  I WORKED for it.  I EARNED it.  I CONTROLLED for everything I could think of.  But birth doesn't work that way.  We knew that, deep down inside.

 

In the end, I'm just relieved its all over, I don't have to worry about the unknown anymore.  It's done, and baby and I are safe and healthy.  While that may not be the ONLY important thing (yes our birth experiences DO matter) it is the MOST important thing...

 

Oh it could so be worse.   This really helped me  http://mamalooma.wordpress.com/2010/10/27/see-birth/ 

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#6 of 13 Old 12-05-2010, 08:21 AM
 
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You are such a strong mama! Congratulations on your sweet baby!


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#7 of 13 Old 12-21-2010, 11:28 PM
 
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Good job, Mama! You are STRONG!

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#8 of 13 Old 01-02-2011, 08:25 PM
 
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congrats momma!


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#9 of 13 Old 06-17-2011, 03:59 PM
 
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Why are people constantly amazed in their transfer stories that health care providers were nce to them and respected their choices? This is the code of ethics we follow in health care. Everyone must be treated with respected regardless of who they are. It may not happen all the time and there are  bad apples, but this is modern US  health care standard.

 

How hospital staff treats people has changed since 1950-60-70 and  Gaskin's book. Hospitals go out of their way to accommodate cultural practices, diets, families and religious believes. Joint Comission dictates it to the hospitala.

 

If you had bad or good experience in the hospital, take 5 minutes and write an email to the administration. This is how hospitals change.

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#10 of 13 Old 06-18-2011, 04:57 PM
 
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Wow what an intense birth it sounds like you were a trooper and did you very best.  Congratulations on a beautiful healthy baby

 

Alenushka - People are surprised because they still hear stories like mine where I was treated rudly and then left in the birth mess all alone until I started taking out the IV line so I could go use the bathroom and a angry nurse came in to chastise me and then I had to walk the halls and demand they bring my baby and sign out AMA amid dire threats. There is no way in heck I am going to write/email my grievances to people who threatened CPS. I agree some hospitals change but alot of people still hold HB in a negative view and that includes hospital workers.


Mom to 6 with #7 on the way Sept 2014
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#11 of 13 Old 06-18-2011, 05:33 PM
 
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Rudness and disrespect is not the norm in healthcare. Of course, people are more vocal when things are bad because good is norm. We excepts it as we should.

 

I urge anyone who has ever been treated rudely to complain in writing all the way to the hospital CEO. They can;t retaliate against you with CPS.  I do not know what the nurse told you about it but that is not true.   Also, you would not be writing a complaint to the RN but to people above her.

 

Also, do not forget yealp.com. Great way to warn other people anonymously!

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#12 of 13 Old 06-19-2011, 01:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alenushka View Post

Why are people constantly amazed in their transfer stories that health care providers were nce to them and respected their choices? This is the code of ethics we follow in health care. Everyone must be treated with respected regardless of who they are. It may not happen all the time and there are  bad apples, but this is modern US  health care standard.

 

How hospital staff treats people has changed since 1950-60-70 and  Gaskin's book. Hospitals go out of their way to accommodate cultural practices, diets, families and religious believes. Joint Comission dictates it to the hospitala.

 

If you had bad or good experience in the hospital, take 5 minutes and write an email to the administration. This is how hospitals change.



It's unfortunate that women are surprised by kind and respectful treatment. I truly believe most doctors and nurses go into medicine to help people. If you're curious, I can share why I was surprised by the treatment I received.

 

1. I was the support-person for a close friend. I attended all of the birthing classes and held her hand through the labor. (This was before we had kids.) I found that she was constantly told she 'couldn't handle' the pain. I was reprimanded for giving her too many ice chips when getting her cervix checked made her vomit. She was exhausted and in pain, even with the epidural, and the nurses rolled their eyes at her. Her OB (who was also mine) came in at 5 pm to demand a c-section. Her baby was not in distress, she just wasn't dilating fast enough (she had been in the hospital 17 hours). No consideration was given to her desires. She was shown very little respect.

 

2. In my early twenties, I was injured by a male OB. I am petite and have always had a hard time relaxing in the stirrups, but this guy used a metal speculum with no lubrication. When I cried out in pain, he complained that I was 'small.' Having been injured by the first speculum, the smaller one hurt, too. He looked at me and said "what do you want me to do? This one is for children." It doesn't sound bad to the casual observer, but I left that office physically and mentally hurt. I felt violated, and I bled lightly for the rest of the day. I have only ever been able to relax in the comfort of my midwife's office (in her home) and in my own home.

 

3. We live in a conservative state. I am consistently told by people here that women are not capable of making their own reproductive choices. This message comes from politicians, neighbors, talk-radio, and yes, some in the medical community. Being told that I am neither intelligent enough nor moral enough to make my own choices does make me skeptical that anyone is looking out for my choices or desires (and ultimately, my best interests).

 

4. I didn't 'desire' a home birth. I just didn't have many options for a natural birth. The only birth center in the city was in a bad neighborhood, and the OBs I interviewed were not supportive of natural birth. I got eye rolls when I asked questions like 'What's your mortality and c-section rate?"

 

5. When I was interested in home birth, I accidentally came across the most hate-filled, vitriolic website designed entirely to bash home birth, midwives, women who choose home birth, etc. It was written by an OB. If this was the perspective of most doctors, I certainly did not expect one ounce of respect when I transferred.

 

 

As a follow-up to my birth story (my daughter is now 15 months), I will say that when I ordered my records from the hospital, they never bothered listing why I was sectioned. Next to 'reason,' it was blank. So, they may have been 'nice' to me, but they certainly didn't afford me the respect I deserved, which was to be a fully informed participant in the process.


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#13 of 13 Old 06-19-2011, 09:02 PM
 
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OP, that is an incredible story.  I deeply admire your courage and strength in spite of all the unexpected complications.  Thanks for sharing. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alenushka View Post

Why are people constantly amazed in their transfer stories that health care providers were nce to them and respected their choices? This is the code of ethics we follow in health care. Everyone must be treated with respected regardless of who they are. It may not happen all the time and there are  bad apples, but this is modern US  health care standard.

 

How hospital staff treats people has changed since 1950-60-70 and  Gaskin's book. Hospitals go out of their way to accommodate cultural practices, diets, families and religious believes. Joint Comission dictates it to the hospitala.

 

If you had bad or good experience in the hospital, take 5 minutes and write an email to the administration. This is how hospitals change.



It may be the standard, but that does not mean it happens even most of the time.  Particularly in areas where there are limited access to care, such as where I gave birth to my son, there seem to be no consequences to unprofessionalism.  I will be SHOCKED if my desires for a natural birth are even given the appearance of respect, let alone being truly respected and followed in the hospital I'm using now, thanks to the first hospital I delivered in where:  upon the nurse asking me if I had signed my epidural consent, I replied that I didn't want one, and she literally laughed in my face and said "We'll see, honey."  That was the beginning of a chain of rudeness that continued almost to the end of my time there.  I have since read on this forum that that hospital is still well known for rudeness and disrespect, and even dangerous outcomes as a result of "policy."  Sure, in places where your customers can just go somewhere else, there's incentive to enforce professionalism and offer choices.  In areas or situations where that's not the case, my experience has been that providers (in five different states and covering many specialties, not just OB/GYN) just don't seem to care about treating you like an intelligent human being who deserves respect.  It would be nice if it were truly the "US healthcare standard" but in my experience, that's not the reality.

 

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