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#1 of 3 Old 02-19-2010, 01:33 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm still trying to figure out my son's birth, hoping this is the right forum to spell it all out...I need to post it somewhere, to get it out...

My daughter was born in July2007 and that alone was a very traumatic birth. I was induced at 41 weeks when I was having some meconium. It ended up being 13 hours of exhaustion and just horror for me. I did not have an epidural and just hated the whole experience. Afterwards I had heard that Pitocin can make contractions more intense. I gave birth naturally but just had the worst time. I was exhausted and had the baby at midnight.

I became pregnant just 13 months later. I didn't actually find out about the pregnancy until I was about 17 weeks along...I wasn't aware of being pregnant again because I still wasn't menstruating regularly due to breastfeeding. Not as much time to prepare...I did not want to give birth again...

I decided I did not want to go through that horrible hospital birth again. I started seeing a homebirthing midwife, the only one around...I read lots of books on natural and homebirths, watched videos, etc..The day I went into labor, it was around 1 am and I called the midwife who was worried that I would give birth so fast this time that she wouldn't have time to get there, and I hoped so actually. After that 'long' labor the first time I was hoping it would be quick. She arrived, I labored all day went in the shower several times, took walks...I think around 7 pm for the first time I was checked and I believe I was just about fully dilated. She broke my water when she checked me, I am not sure if it was accidental or what...but I was told to push. I wasn't fully dilated but she said it was enough to push and help bring him down but also I didn't have the urge to push. Since I was laboring since 1 am, I was starting to get tired. I said I wanted to go to the hospital. I was told that I didn't need to go to the hospital. I felt something wasn't right and that I could not do this. I was told that the hospital couldn't do anything for me that I couldn't do at home and I need to push this baby out. I went in the bathroom with my husband, and I begged and cried and pleaded...pain was just getting worse and worse..he basically said the same thing...he thought it was just me going through transition making me talk like that. I grabbed my phone and ran outside and called my mother sobbing and screaming through contractions. Midwife came outside and told me that she 'didn't like drama.' I was talked into going back in the house to try pushing some more as I was then fully dilated. I tried squatting. Midwife wanted me in the bed and I kept saying no, I didn't want that. I was started to feel a little violated. Every time I pushed she would shove her hand inside me. It made it so much worse and felt horrible...I asked her to please remove to hand. She let out a big aggravated breath...Finally around 10 pm she said we might as well go to the hospital because she "couldn't make me do anything I didn't want to do" with an aggravated look on her face. I didn't care...I paced outside while midwife and assistant cleaned up my house and midwife made me ride in the back seat of my car with her. I screamed all the way to the hospital...I thought I was going to die. I almost broke my car window.

At the hospital I screamed and begged for medications. I received Stadol which didn't do anything. I received an epidural which also didn't do anything for me. I cried, screamed, grabbed onto nurses....the nurses would keep checking under my blanket thinking a baby must be coming out by now, but no, none was. The pain had just steadily gotten worse and worse and I had been fully dilated for hours and hours. In all I believe I was fully dilated for 8 hours with no baby coming out. Midwife who had come to the hospital noted that my contractions were sporadic and back to 6 minutes apart and I needed some Pit. I knew that because the pain relief hadn't worked there was no way I would have survived Pit. So, seeing as though I couldn't get the baby out, an Ob was called in to do a C-section which I welcomed at the time. Midwife recited the risks to me and baby. Finally at almost 4 am, 27 hours after labor started, son was born. The anesthesiologist was talking to me the whole time they performed the surgery and was very reassuring and said things like, "Oh my word you should see the size of his head, no wonder you couldn't get him out on your own! That is a big baby!" These words made me feel like less of a failure that I felt like in front of midwife and husband. He weighed 10 pounds. After seeing him, I fell asleep. This crazy birth story does have a happy ending as I nursed him almost right away right in the recovery room, the hospital was really nice and let me co-sleep (different hospital than the first birth), I healed nicely and totally am in love with baby. I don't feel like I regret the C-section nor was I traumatized by it at all...but it was more the labor that traumatized me...And the fact that my first labor was very hard and scary and that this birth was supposed to make up for all of that. Never did I think it could get worse.

I want to know, and I realize that this question may not even be answerable...would I eventually have been able to push my son out on my own? Would something bad have happened if I hadn't had the C-section? See, I want the answer to be that yes, the C-section was neccessary, so I feel like less of a failure. I tried and tried to get this boy out...and my first child was 7 pounds, and my second there was a 3 pound jump...I am pretty smallboned but also gained way too much weight.

Until the midwife heard about the size of the baby (she had him estimated much smaller) she had felt like I really wasn't trying my hardest in labor...then afterwards she, who obviously is very pro-natural childbirth, apologized for what she had said while I was in labor and said that if I had another child, and it was estimated that it could be as big as my son, that I should just go ahead with another section. The OB who did my section said that I could definitely go for a VBAC if I had another and we could try to monitor the size of baby to decide if that's the way we wanted to go if it turned out to be big again. I was told by, I can't remember who, someone in the hospital maybe, that my son's head was not at all misshapen, which meant he never was able to even enter the birth canal. I don't know how true this is, but again, I did hope it was true because I felt it would validate my homebirth fail and my C-section. Sometimes I wonder if my health issues, not major but still significant played a part....

Can anyone relate to this? Has anything similar happened to anyone else?

Mom to a girl 7.17.07 and a boy 5.30.09 Wife to husband 8.12.81 (ha) New baby boy 3.09.11 stillheart.gif
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#2 of 3 Old 02-19-2010, 07:36 AM
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I'm sorry you had such a tough time.

In general i think they would consider 8hours fully dilated with no descent and no moulding to be true CPD - head too big to pass through. Moulding occurs inside the pelvis, so when there is none it means the baby's head was not passing into the pelvic inlet at all, or that the pelvis was so roomy no moulding needed to occur (more common with babies born very fast after dilation and to multip's and grand multip's).

You don't mention your son's position. I have a friend who had a very similar labour to yours (she was fully dilated and pushing without much urge for 9 hours) who had a brow presenting baby. She has since had a lovely HBAC, with a larger but much better positioned baby. Sometimes with a big baby the position of the head can be SO relevant to the possibilities for descent. Even being slightly asyclintic (head tilted a bit on one side) can prevent a larger babe getting into the pelvis. Did you have pain more on one side than the other, did your son have marks on his head or face from hours against bone during labour?

Head size can be a factor, but so long as the head can get into the pelvis it often isn't - people will say "oh he had a 38cm head" of a cs baby with an unmoulded head, not realising that if the head HAD been moulded within the pelvis during a vaginal birth it could be as much as 2 or 3cm smaller. My DD's head was 35cm immediately after birth and 37.5cm 3 days later when her head was round again - she certainly hadn't grown that much in 3 days!

With a biggish baby small positional things can be more important. Sometimes babies are just not able to get out easily. You might have been able to get your son out vaginally, but 8 hours of pushing is by any standards an incredibly valiant attempt - i know a mother who pushed a brow baby out, 6 hours of pushing and it was her SIXTH and SMALLEST baby, she kept going because there was some progress, millimeters, but progress nonetheless, during her pushes.

So who knows, perhaps after another hour or 5 your boy might have been able to descend, but could you eat? Could you drink? Could you have gone on for an indefinite amount of time and THEN pushed him out once he was able to fit? I think you did the best you could and i'm sorry your MW doubted you, i have been there and it is soul destroying. On the other hand when i was reading your description you DID describe my transition (and it was just transition for me) to the letter. But still, while confusion over what was wrong was perhaps likely given you seemed to be in normal transition, there is no real excuse for treating you so poorly, and she really should have realised that there was something not right by the time you were transferring - i was instructed NOT to push during my agonising (because i wasn't "allowed" to push) second stage and DD was down and out within 90mins anyway. Lack of maternal effort cannot hold birth up for 8 hours after full dilation!
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#3 of 3 Old 02-19-2010, 04:53 PM
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SO MANY TIMES I've wondered the same thing. I think the truth is we'll never really know if it could have been different. I wonder if I was weak, if somehow going to the hospital too early is what landed my baby in the NICU for weeks... But really, who knows. I am disappointed still (DD is 12 mos. now) but don't blame myself anymore. Maybe we'll have more children, and if so, we'll try to give them a better birth experience. But that's the most we can do. I think you're probably a very strong mama and I think you know deep down that you did your best, which is what matters. to you.

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