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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, so it's a little long
but I really needed to write it out work through my feelings about my c-section. Then I really needed to share


Ruby Lucille's Birth Story 10.3.04 to 10.6.04

Sunday afternoon on October 3rd, I was sitting on the couch watching Sex and The City when I felt a little trickle of wetness. When I went to the bathroom to check it out, it looked a little brownish, possibly even greenish. We called the midwives, thinking it could possibly be meconium and maybe I had a leak in my amniotic sac. We spoke with Wendy and after discussion thought we should go into the birth center for an appointment and do a non-stress test that evening. The baby was not stressed at all, in fact seemed completely fine. But after lots of phone calls and discussion, Wendy told us that I would have to get checked out because if I didn't go into labor soon, I would have to be induced because my water had broken. She apologized that I was not going to get the birth that we had hoped for, but that they would do their best to help me get through things well.

So, we went to UWMC and I got a pelvic exam, which hurt like all get out. They did an ultrasound to make sure I had adequate amniotic fluid, of which there was plenty. They also did a test on the fluid from my pelvic exam and found that it was no amniotic fluid. Turns out I was just particularly wet that afternoon. And the color was probably from my uterus sloughing a little bit because I had been pregnant for so darn long. So, after all that, we went home, to wonder when labor was finally finally finally going to start.

Monday morning we had a relaxing day and decided to go to Ikea to use our gift card from Sherwood. I started having little contractions every once in a while, and by the time the afternoon rolled around, I felt it would be a good idea to start writing down when the contractions were coming and for how long. I distinctly remember writing them down on a little pad of paper while eating a late lunch in the Ikea cafeteria. I even remember I had my back to kitchen section, and was facing into the cafeteria. I think I had meatballs.

We finished our trip to Ikea, getting all sorts of great supplies to organize our home and get ready for the impending arrival of Baby Eister-Hargrave. By the evening, the contractions were becoming more regular and stronger. They were probably 15 to 20 minutes apart. I tried to sleep, but really, was so excited and frankly, uncomfortable, that I really got very little rest. Around 6am, I decided I was ready to call the midwives, but waited until 7am to try and have some restraint. It seemed like the contractions were around 7 to 10min apart by then. We talked with Wendy, she said everything sounded like it was on the right track and that Suzy could come by around 10am. So, I labored some more and waited for the contractions to get stronger and closer together.

Suzy came by around 10.30-11am and did a pelvic exam and I think I remember her saying I was dilated to maybe 3 or so. She said we should try to go for a walk and get the contractions going stronger and help labor progress and also try to eat something to get some energy. She also said to wait until the contractions were at least a minute long and 2 to 3 minutes apart to come to the birth center. So, I tried to eat a kashi go lean soy vanilla shake, but promptly threw it up. I did a lot of rocking back and forth on the ball instead and tried to drink a little water and juice. I thought the idea of a walk sounded crazy. However, I was really tired, so decided to try a nap instead. We called Dad and Nancy to see if they could come over soon to help. Nancy couldn't come right away, but Dad was ready to hop in the car immediately.

Wally and I lay down for a nap, and I did manage to get a little shut eye, but it wasn't the most restful sleep. After about 20min to ½ hr, maybe even 45min my contractions started getting much stronger. I had to get up and rock on the ball and do a lot of moaning. My dad arrived and helped massage my back and got me set up with some ice chips instead of juice. Wally called Suzy and let her know how the progress was, and we decided we should meet at the birth center around 2pm.

Wally gathered all our stuff up to bring to the birth center; the ball, the bag of clothing, the visual imagery, the music, the aromatherapy, the juice/recharge, etc and loaded it into the car. I can say it was one of the most uncomfortable car rides ever. I did not buckle in, Wally sat in the back with me, and my dad drove.

We arrived pretty quickly, and went straight into the back room at the birthing center. Wally was wearing the Feminist Chicks Dig Me shirt, which elicited some good comments from those working at the birth center. I immediately sat down on the ball at the end of the bed in the birthing room and commenced my moaning that was helping me through the contractions. I think they were about 1 to 3 minutes apart by that point. It was definitely uncomfortable, but manageable. Lori was there, and I think she started up the water for the birthing tub. I was looking forward to that.

I think it was about this time that rocking on the ball started to feel too compressed to me. Being on hands and knees didn't seem comfortable and actually never really did the few times I did try that position and I didn't want anything to eat, it just made me nauseas. I tried to drink juice, but nothing would settle, so ice chips were my sustenance. I think I remember slow dancing with Wally and maybe leaning into the end of the bed. I don't think too much time passed before I got naked and slipped into the hot water of the birthing tub. That was such sweet relief. I still had pretty strong contractions, but they felt so much softer instead of sharp. It gave me a chance to remember to relax into the pain instead of tightening with the pain. Suzy reminded me that I should try and keep myself open instead of clenching. Trying to open myself up and relax into the pain was the most challenging thing about labor at this point.

I had been hanging out in the tub for a little bit, sipping water through a straw, chatting with people halfheartedly between contractions (or rather, trying to participate in the conversation around me) when we saw a huge movement in my belly. It was just an enormous flutter, and it looked like the baby was trying to push off the top of my uterus to come closer to the birth canal. It reminded me of the way a swimmer pushes of the edge of the pool to turn. It was incredible, and reminded me that the baby has to do quite a bit of work to come into the world too.

Things progressed along pretty well it seemed for some time. We had the music going. I got in the tub for a little while at a time and then got out and slow danced with Wally or hung out by the bed. It wasn't long before what people were saying around me no longer really registered as a conversation I could participate in. I had another puking session as I was getting ready to get out of the tub. Suzy and Lori did occasional checks to see how far I was dilated. Suzy and Lori also did frequent checks of the baby's heart rate, which always seemed right on target. After quite a few hours in labor, someone mentioned during one of these checks that the heartbeat sounded like a galloping horse. In my "Labor land" mind I imagined Paul Revere galloping around New England. So I said The British Are Coming, The British Are Coming thinking that was really funny, but of course, no one else quite followed my train of thought, being in the other world like I was.

Around 5.30 or 6pm, Suzy said I was at 8cm and that we were pretty close to the pushing phase, just needed to get the rest of the way dilated. She told Wally I was totally in "Labor land". After a bit, it didn't seem the dilating was progressing. Labor had really started to feel like it was very posterior. Suzy said she could push the cervix out of the way, so my body was able to get the dilation, but the baby's head was preventing it from happening, or something like that. Contractions were really starting to feel like my back was on fire and I was laying on my side to rest between contractions because Suzy was examining me during contractions and trying to see what was preventing progression. It seemed to her that the head was malpositioned, so she spent some time during contractions to try and manually reposition the head. That didn't seem to be working either.

We decided to try some walking and lunges on the steps to help get that baby into a better position and keep labor progressing. Wally and I spent what seemed like an eternity on the steps in the lobby of the birth center lunging with Lori there coaching me. I began to hate the steps and the lunging. I was starting to get really frustrated for the first time in labor. Prior to this it just seemed like hard work, hard work I could definitely do. Now it seemed like I had hit a brick wall, and I didn't feel like I could do it anymore.

After doing the lunges on the steps, we decided to move into the bathroom to try some pushing on the toilet. I tried pushing during every contraction for what seemed like another eternity. I felt like absolutely nothing was happening. Sitting on the toilet trying to concentrate on pushing just seemed useless to me. Suzy and Lori would ask if I felt the urge to push, and I never truly felt the urge, but thought I should, so I would say yes. I continued trying to push on the toilet until I decided I just couldn't do that anymore.

Eventually we moved to laboring on the bed. I think because I needed rest, I tried laboring while lying on my side. I was reaching the point of inconsolable pain. I had started losing my focus and just instead was feeling frustrated and out of it. I was thinking in my head, I need to move to the hospital, this isn't working, I don't care if I end up with a c-section, this is not happening the way it is supposed to. I verbalized that I can't do this anymore, and for a while everyone thought it was transition. I tried to do more laboring also on the birthing stool with lunges and tried to do some different positions on the bed. This is where I really started having a hard time. The contractions were so posterior that my lower back was just exploding. I was having a hard time managing the pain and wasn't feeling like I could do it anymore. I was just feeling like there was no progression only frustration at the lack of forward movement in the process. I was also feeling very tired at this point too. After more laboring on my side, I felt I was going to throw up again, and when I did, my water broke on the bed. There was light meconium in the water, indicating that there was some stress on the baby's part. This made sense, given the posterior and acynclitic positioning.

We finally decided that we would transfer to UWMC and I would get an epidural to see if that would help me relax a little bit so the situation would get a little looser and perhaps help with the malpositioned head. Waiting for things to get wrapped up at the birth center was really hard. I got a bag of fluids hooked up to me via iv to help hydrate me after puking 3 times in the duration of labor so far. And I was inconsolably whimpering about labor in the lobby of the birth center waiting for everyone to get set to take me the UWMC. I was on my knees on one of the couches, leaning my torso over the back and trying to breathe, but just had completely lost focus by that point.

When we got there after a short but tortuous car ride, we checked in and got settled into a delivery room. I remember feeling annoyed that we had to give them all my info again even though we had just been there on Sunday night and it was only Tuesday night. I think it must have been around 11pm by now. Once in the room of course they hooked me up to a myriad of things, I can't remember what all they were, but I felt like there was about 10 or 20 machines attached to me now. I was irritated to find out that it would take a least 20 minutes to get the anesthesiologist up to give me an epidural. Wally noted that I was so polite at home and the birth center, but by the time we were at the hospital, I was just through with niceties.

I finally got the epidural and was sooo relieved. I fell asleep with a cup of ice chips on my belly and they put some pitocin in my line to help labor progress. Needless to say, my labor had stalled a little bit between the desperation of leaving the birth center and finally getting settled at UWMC. Pitocin was not something I ever wanted to do, but it seemed like the right thing to do at the time. We all seemed to have relaxed into the new environment and most of us were dozing except Suzy and Lori, who were keeping a watchful eye on me. I was feeling quite a bit of pressure and the baby must have been descending quite a bit because things were finally relaxed a little bit in the birth canal. Around midnight the fetal heart rate monitors started to show some decelerations and would occasionally lose the heart rate altogether. The nurses there were trying to find the heart rate and were making me change positions and still couldn't find it. Suzy jumped in and tried to help find the heart rate, but to no avail.

All of a sudden our dark, cozy room turned into a bright scene from ER. The number of people from the hospital in the room changed from about 2 maybe 3 to about 12 in less than a minute. They immediately started trying to wheel me in my bed out of the room and I remember looking up at all the cords attached to me and seeing they were attached to all the machines still. I thought in my head, but could not verbalize, um, you still have me attached to a bunch of machines that go ping. One of the nurses caught it and off we went down the hallway.

Suzy followed closely behind asking who could come in and accompany me. They replied that no one could come in. Suzy of course was a mama bear and followed them right in arguing that someone should be allowed to accompany me. They stated that it was an emergency situation and no one could come in with me because no one was prepped for it. Suzy remained with me for as long as they would let her and gave me a big kiss on the forehead and rubbed my check and said that everything would be okay.

They proceeded with the prep and surgery the whole time this was happening with Suzy and the one thing I said was "Please put a curtain up in front of me so I don't have to see the surgery." They assured me that was routine. The same anesthesiologist who did my epidural came in and got my anesthetic take care of for me. He was there right next to my head the whole time talking me through the surgery, telling me what was happening as the surgeons performed the surgery. I didn't feel anything but a lot of pressure and tugging. It felt very strange.

Eventually I could tell they had the baby out and were working on her to the right and behind me by my head. I could hear someone say, "C'mon baby, you can do it." I think they were suctioning out her mouth because she had aspirated meconium. She also had the cord around her neck 4 or 5 times, so that had contributed to her malpositioning and inability to travel down the birth canal without distress. They did get everything going for the baby thankfully. They kept working on me to finish up with the placenta and sewing me up. At this point, I felt very nauseas and had to turn my head to the left and throw up again. The anesthesiologist was still walking me through everything the surgeons were doing and he held a pan next to my head so I could puke. Although I did have to tell him that I had puke all over my ear and neck.

After what seemed like forever they must have finished up and not long after I heard someone say that they brought the baby over for me to see. I looked to the left of my shoulder and there was a person standing there with my little baby wrapped up in a burrito bundle. They said, "It's a girl!" And by this point, Wally was in the room and I think they let Wally hold her. The person said, "What is her name?" I replied that I didn't know. I couldn't think straight at all. I looked at Wally and asked him what he thought. "Ava or Ruby?" Wally said no, not Ava. Baby went away to the NICU deemed Girl Eister-Hargrave.

Wally followed me back to the delivery room we were in while I was laboring now that my surgery was finished. Because of the distress and meconium Ruby was taken to the NICU and my dad did not want her to be alone, so he followed her down to the NICU and stayed with her the whole time. They had anticipated that she would remain there for at least 6 hours. My dad did stop in my room on the way to the NICU and I said "I'm sorry it's not a boy. I know you really wanted a grandson." To which my dad replied, "Oh honey, it's okay, you can name her Cesara." Which I totally didn't comprehend he was making a c-section joke. I couldn't figure out why he wanted Ruby to have an Italian name.

Now back in my room and everyone through the woods, Suzy and Lori left to go get some much needed sleep. I got the shakes from the anesthetic and the nurse covered me up with a blanket to help. I asked her to move my legs around for me because I was so numb from the anesthetic I had absolutely no feeling from about my breasts down to my toes. I just felt like my legs weren't even there at all. It was pretty disconcerting. That along with the shaking was kind of unnerving, but other than that I felt okay.

Within an hour they were bringing Ruby back into my room and I was so excited to see her because I thought it would be such a long time before they brought her back from the NICU. But luckily, she was a complete trooper and they gave her a clean bill of health right away. I think having my dad there with her probably helped. They immediately brought her over to me to hold and I was so excited to hold her, but so nervous because I was shaking and still hooked up to things and still numb. Wally or my dad helped me hold on to her and she was so beautiful. I was just amazed that this baby was mine and came from my body.

The labor and delivery nurse had some things she had to do with Ruby, I can't remember what. I think maybe some measuring and maybe a sponge bath. It is all so fuzzy, but I think then the nurse brought Ruby over to me to help get her latched on so she could nurse. That was interesting. It was a serious feat of magnitude to get my huge nipple into a tiny mouth that was bobbing open and close for split seconds at a time. It was clear she wanted to latch on, but it was difficult. We made it work for a little while and not long after that had the joy of being transported into a real room.

Wally and my dad headed home and I was left in my hospital room with my tiny baby Ruby. I wondered, wow, what the heck do I do now? She slept bundled up like a tiny burrito in her bassinet. By now, it was just after 7am and I knew everyone would be in to Sherwood so I called there to tell Marilyn and Marykay the good news.

The next few days at the hospital were a nice departure from reality. It was a dreamlike baby centric babymoon with delivered meals, groggy nights being woken up for blood pressure checks, lactation consultants helping me get a good latch, good nurses helping me pump to get Ruby to drink so she could pee, bad nurses insisting on formula or sugar water to get Ruby to pee (which I absolutely refused and was pretty angry about), walks around the circular hall to practice for real life walking, strange midnight snacks of peanut butter and crackers and hot chocolate, visits from family, flowers from loved ones, visits from cool pediatricians, awe from some of the labor and delivery nurses and pediatricians since Ruby was the famous baby with a 5 nuchal cord and aspirated meconium that only needed an hour in the NICU, and a complete awe that the world continued turning while we were in there.

And the rest is, as they say, history...
 

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Did those silly nurses end up respecting your wishes or did they give Ruby formula or sugar water?

How long did it take you to work through your feelings on the csection?

Do you feel okay about it now?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I stood my ground on the the sugar water/formula and just kept nursing. I told the nurse that it was ridiculous to get worked up about her not peeing in less than 8 hours since the birth. Then the next nurse came on shift, she helped me set up a pump and we pumped some colostrum and fed it to Ruby by syringe into the mouth and then I nursed on one side and the same nurse hand expressed into a cup and we cup fed her that milk. We spent about 1/2 an hour doing that and Ruby peed about 1/2 an hour after that. Just needed another nurse is all


And for the most part, the hospital was very respectful of my wishes, no vaccinations, etc.

I'm still working through my feelings with my c-section. I have some regrets just because it will be harder to have a vaginal birth this time b/c of all the obstacles. But I know it was necessary given the circumstances and have been going to ICAN mtgs and have talked on the phone with my midwife to get a professional viewpoint about it too. She was very supportive. I do feel pretty good about it, and felt pretty good about it initially. The physical recovery was hard, I don't want to have to do that again for sure.
 

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You were so strong to work through such a hard labor. It sounds like it was a truly necessary section. 5 wraps! Wow! I hope that you are able to continue getting your feelings worked out. Thank you so much for sharing your story. It is inspiring that you hung in there that long and I'm so glad everything worked out in the end.
 

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Hi there - thanks for sharing your story. I live in your area (near UWMC/Fremont in WA) and am trying to find a midwife and birthing center relatively nearby. Would you recommend the one you used (or perhaps would someone reading this have any recommendations in the greater Seattle area)?
Thanks a million....I am trying for my first and would very much like to avoid a traditional hospital birth.

Dia
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Dia View Post
Hi there - thanks for sharing your story. I live in your area (near UWMC/Fremont in WA) and am trying to find a midwife and birthing center relatively nearby. Would you recommend the one you used (or perhaps would someone reading this have any recommendations in the greater Seattle area)?
Thanks a million....I am trying for my first and would very much like to avoid a traditional hospital birth.

Dia
I know of another birth center in Seattle, but it isn't that near you. it's in the Madison Valley/Capitol Hill area. I don't have any personal experience with them either, but I thought I'd at least mention it.
Oh, and an off topic P.S. Have you ever been to Paseo?
Could you go eat a piece of their corn for me? I REALLY miss it!
:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by Dia View Post
Hi there - thanks for sharing your story. I live in your area (near UWMC/Fremont in WA) and am trying to find a midwife and birthing center relatively nearby. Would you recommend the one you used (or perhaps would someone reading this have any recommendations in the greater Seattle area)?
Thanks a million....I am trying for my first and would very much like to avoid a traditional hospital birth.

Dia
Hi Dia,
We went to the Community Birth and Family Center, which is actually a wonderful resource for all sorts of things. I highly recommend the First Weeks parenting group that meets there for new parents.

Our midwives were Suzy Myers and Marge Mansfield of Seattle Home Maternity Service. They also caught my sisters.

I absolutely recommend the above resources and have to say I don't know that much about UWMC, so cant really say about that facility. We did have a good experience there, but cant name any names b/c I just dont remember any of them.


Good luck with your search.
 
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