I'm scared to write this, as if saying it on here some how makes it more concrete than it already is, but I need to talk about it with people who get it. I need to complain, shed tears, and ask questions about what to do next.....
My daughter is six weeks old, and her birth was a failed vbac. This was my second homebirth transfer. I believe I was punished by the hospital for my attempt and transfer to there. I am a child birth educator and a doula. Why does this keep happening to me.
My first son was born after 43 weeks by csection. I guess it just made my midwifes too nervous and we didn't know I would start developing pre-e, so we were doing nothing to stop it. So, second time I know much more and when my liver starts acting up early on it's diet changes for me. The diet gets ride of all my symptoms, and on I go. I round the corner of 42 weeks and I start getting nervous that I'll never go into labor again. The day before 43 I get some acupuncture and like magic that night I'm in labor. I was completely convinced that this meant success and was overjoyed to be experiencing labor pain.
The labor goes well and I labor 12 hours, but then my labor started dying out. We take a labor break, all the while I'm still having contractions just not long strong close ones, for a while. When they do work back up, my midwife comes back and we labor 12 more. Then I start to get exhausted (about 29 hours in with no sleep.) I drink some wine and take a three hour nap, to wake up and find out my labor has slowed considerably again. After 31 hours (the last 12 spent at 8cm,) my labor slowing twice, and now my babies heart rate taking a little dip to 110, my midwife is insistent I transfer to our vbac banned hospital in town. I drag myself in sobbing uncontrollably. Here's where it starts to get bad.
I spend 5 hours waiting for them to section me all the while fighting the nursing staff. The charge nurse insists on telling me over and over, or having my nurse tell me over and over that Vit K is required by law. I sign a wavier anyway. She bursts into my room during a contraction and starts to tell me that the on call ped recommends I get it. I tell her I understand but still refuse. She stomps off saying she will go get the ped to talk to me. I tell her that is fine.
Later I request to have two people in the room during my surgery. I peek out of the door while my nurse is asking her, and hear her telling my nurse in a raised and angry voice that she will not allow this for any reason, and goes on and on about why.
When they pull my baby girl out of me they discover mec.... just my freaking LUCK! So they suction her repeatedly in the O.R. Then they take her to the nursery where they decide that she aspirated it based on mec in her mouth and higher than normal breaths per minute (in the 60-80 range.) They put her on 100 percent oxygen, start antibiotics, and bully my DH into the Vit K.
Of course I am unable to see her for hours except for the minute or so she spent in my Dh's arms next to my head in the O.R. While in recovery I'm told she has pneumonia and will possibly have to be air lifted to a NICU. I ask for them to at least slow down as the wheel my bed past where she is in the nursery on the way to my room, and even though I'm told they will stop for a minute there, they don't. I'm taken to my room where my requests to get up and see her are ignored and put off for 5 hours. Finally I'm taken to her and allowed to hold her for the first time.
I'm not allowed to breast feed her due to possible aspiration of my milk, at first they say this will only last for 24 hours, it ends up lasting 3 days. When I do get to see her I'm asked to go back to my room after only holding her for a short time so they can do my vitals. I agree. Then I go back to hold her, just to be told two short hours later they need me to rest. I'm not sure why I agree, but I do. I sleep all night away from my baby, I cry myself to sleep naturally. The next morning even though she isn't worse they insist her x-rays are worse and have her air lifted. I can't go with her because I'm a liability after just having surgery.
When I arrive at the hospital where she is transferred two hours away, I ask to see the doc right away. I tell him I must breastfeed her, he says I cannot. I tell him I'm going to have to talk to hospital administration about his refusal. Then things get really bad for us. He notes that me doing that would be going "over his head" and that he will simply "go over my head by calling CPS" and some kind of crap about hospital security dragging me out. I back down. He then tells me he doesn't want me holding her as he knows I just intend to nurse her behind his almighty back. Totally defeated I try to pump, get nothing, and then get asked by a nurse to please come hold my daughter.
By this time I'm in shock. I feel nothing. I hold her but can't ever look at her sweet little face. I'm numb and dead inside and just sit there quietly with tears rolling down my face. My husband puts me in a wheel chair and rolls me out of the hospital and to a hotel room. At the hotel I beg my mother to take me home to my 2 year old and my husband sobs across the room unable to stand what I'm saying. I cry all night and maybe sleep for an hour. The next day or so at the hospital go similarly. Finally they let me nurse her after no change in her x-rays or anything else after three days. They say her overall health looks great and just stop taking the x-rays.
Her doctor says even though she is off of everything and she's "recovered" that he is keeping her there for 7 full days of antibiotics. After several days of staying at a hotel and then at a Ronald McDonald room connected to the hospital and nursing her per doctors orders every three hours I start swelling uncontrollably. I visit the E.R. and have another major break down. I beg the nurse manager to plead on my behalf to my doctor to move my daughter some where I can room in with her. The next day she is moved to the peds floor. He insists that she stay on monitors here which the nurses tell me is absurd because if a child needs monitors they can't be on this floor at all. The next two days are almost blissful since I get to room in except for having to see her rude doctor everyday, the monitor machine beeping all night one night on account of a broken cable, and a really rude nurses aid I have to tell not to come back to my room. So, finally I'm allowed to take her home after 8 full days on the antibiotics at this hospital, one full day at the one before. Her doc decides who I will be seeing as a doctor when I arrive home and makes the appointment for me before I leave the hospital. Oh by the way she never had an infection all the cultures came back negative every day from the first day.
When I do arrive home I her medical records from the first hospital note "nothing abnormal" from her x-rays. No mec, no pneumonia.
My midwife suspects Transient Tacipnea and I agree.
Sorry it's so long, it's really hard to condense, and that isn't even close to everything. I'm now suffering, I think I have PTSD. I'm not sure what to do. I guess I need to find help but I'm scared. I don't trust the medical community. I'll be talking to my midwife about my depression/anxiety on Wednesday, but honestly I'm embarrassed. I just want to be a normal happy mother. I want to take excellent care of my two beautiful children. I want to enjoy my life.
This sounds so strange but what I want most of all is to take back her birth. I feel like it's been stolen from me. I hate that I'm in this state, most of what happened was completely unnecessary. It sucks that I failed at vbac, but most of all it sucks that I missed out on a peaceful beginning.
I think I should file complaints at both hospitals. Do you ladies think I have a leg to stand on, or that they will even do anything about it?