I wrote this today. It's my impression of hundreds of birth stories I have read. This is my idea of a typical birth and postpartum period in the U.S. I thought you ladies would appreciate it.
I have a great OB. He’s just wonderful. If not for him, my baby would’ve died. When I went to see him for my 38-week appointment, he said the baby was getting to big and I’d never be able to have him naturally if we waited too long, so we should induce soon. I was already a couple of centimeters dilated, so he stripped my membranes and told me to go to the hospital the next day to be induced.
I showed up the next morning at 5am. The nurses gave me an IV and told me I couldn’t eat anything. Good thing I had a big breakfast!
After monitoring the baby for a while, they hooked up the Pitocin. My back hurt a lot and I wanted to move around, but the nurses said I shouldn’t, because it would move the monitor belts. I got a shot of Demorol at about 8am and napped a bit. At 10, my doctor came in to check on me. He said that I wasn’t contracting enough and I was only at 4 centimeters and they would have to turn up the Pitocin. They turned it up a bunch and it hurt so much that I got an epidural. The epidural was just wonderful! I couldn’t feel anything!
At around 3pm, the doctor broke my water so I would go faster and turned up the Pitocin all the way. It didn’t really work, because I was only at 6cm at 5 that night. I was really hungry, but the nurses said it was dangerous to eat in case I had a C-section, so I could only have ice chips. I took a nap until my doctor came in at 8pm. He checked me and said I was still at 6cm. He said it was dangerous for my water to be broken for too long and the Pitocin wasn’t working anymore, so he turned it off and put a tablet of this new induction drug called Cytotec up by my cervix. He said he uses it all the time when Pitocin doesn’t work because it’s much faster and it always works. I was glad to hear that – I was starting to get pretty tired.
I was very grateful for the anesthesiologist at that point. The monitor said the contractions were really strong and I couldn’t feel a thing because he kept my epidural topped off.
The Cytotec really worked. By 10, I was at 9cm. I was starting to get excited about seeing my baby soon. All of a sudden, the monitor started beeping. The nurses came rushing in and said the baby’s heart rate was dropping and we’d probably have to have a C-section. The doctor came in and said the baby would die if we didn’t do a C-section right away. So I signed the papers and half an hour later, my husband was holding little Ethan, all bundled up. He ended up weighing 7lbs 10oz.
Ethan went off to the NICU to be checked out and I went to recovery. The doctor came and checked on me in the recovery room. He said we had a problem called cephalopelvic disproportion, where Ethan’s head was just too big to fit through my pelvis, and that it’s a very common problem now because people are healthier and they grow bigger babies than they used to. He said all my babies would have to be C-sections no later than 38 weeks, because if I go into labor, my uterus could rupture and both my baby and I would die. I don’t really mind all that much – at least things won’t be all stretched out “down there” and I can pick the baby’s birthday.
After a few hours, the nurses took me to my room and I got to try nursing Ethan. They warned me that my milk wouldn’t be in yet, so I could nurse him to get the hang of it, but I’d have to feed him formula until it came in, so he didn’t starve. After I nursed him, Bob got to give his son his first bottle. Then they took him back to the nursery so I could rest. It was almost two in the morning by then, so I was tired!
When Ethan was three days old, it was time to go home. The nurses gave us a bunch of free formula because breastfeeding didn’t seem to be working. It hurt when he latched on and he just gulped down the formula afterwards. About an hour before we left, the doctor circumcised him. He was only gone about 15 minutes, and he was sleeping when he came back. The nurses said he slept right through it and didn’t feel a thing.
At 1pm, we were discharged from the hospital and went home!
UPDATE: Ethan is almost 20 weeks old now. He weaned himself at 8 weeks old – he just liked the bottle better. We had to start putting rice cereal in his bottle a couple of weeks ago. He’s so big that the formula just wasn’t enough for him!
We had to take him to the doctor last month to have his circumcision fixed. There wasn’t enough skin taken off and he didn’t even look circumcised. Plus, it kept sticking to the head and his pediatrician said if we didn’t pull it back every time we changed him, it would grow over the head and he wouldn’t be able to pee. He cried when we did it, so we took him in to have it fixed. Bob and I were in the waiting room while they fixed him and we could hear him crying. The nurse said he was just mad because they held him down. I’m glad we took him in. His penis looks much more normal now.
He’ll be four months old in a couple of days, so we’ll be able to start real food – yay! He’s a great sleeper because we used the ideas in this book called Babywise to get him to sleep through the night. He loves his bouncy seat and Baby Einstein. He’s so cute, sitting there, totally engrossed in the TV!
Mandy, )O( Proud mommy of Taylor (1/6/05) and Abigail (4/21/11) Loving wife of my gamer boy Michael. Blog link in my profile!