Saturday, February 9, 2013

My 1st Birth Story

Warning!!! THIS IS NOT FOR THE SQUEAMISH! Read on at your OWN RISK!

 Four and a half years ago, I gave birth to a wonderful, beautiful baby boy. His entry into the world however, was anything but beautiful and wonderful.

       After 2 weeks of regular contractions, but not dilating, and a few visits to Labor & Delivery only to be sent home, I was done. I wanted the little guy out. Monday July 14th was my last OB appointment. At that visit, I asked for induction.....You see, one year prior to this, my nephew died at the hands of an imcompetent doctor who failed to do a emergency c-section in time to save him. I was determined I WAS NOT having my baby on Asa's first angel birthday. No way in heck was that happening. So I asked to be induced on my doctor's on call day so that I could avoid any chance of that happening....We knew I was carrying a big baby and blood pressures hadn't been good for weeks, so my doctor was alright with inducing at 39 weeks, 4 days given the family history and my current pregnant isses.

        Wednesday July 16th was the big day. I was admitted to the hospital at 12:01am to start IV antibiotics, and barely slept all night due to the lady next door birthing what I can only assume was a hippopotamus from the way it sounded! Anyhow, I was induced at 6am that day and within an hour of being induced was having strong regular contractions. I was dilated to 1.5cm and the dr broke my water around 8am. After that, the contractions got even stronger. I had IV pain meds around 9, they made me sleepy and sort of took away some pain, but they didn't last long. I tried the birthing ball, the rocking chair, everything, but nothing helped. I wanted to walk the halls but since I was on pitocin, I was told no. My nurse (also my coworker at the time) talked me into getting my epidural in hopes that it would make things progress finally. I asked for the epidural around 11:30, and finally at 1:30 I got it. It was the greatest thing in the world! I don't know why anyone would do it without one.

       By 2pm I was 2cm (some progress?!) and I was effacing more (cervix thinning out). I started feeling more pressure and pain down low and they checked me again at 4:00 and I was 3cm.  I laid back and tried to relax. At 5:30 I was throwing up and feeling pressure down low again. They checked me and I was 5cm, 95% effaced, -1 station. Chris went to go eat supper as we were expecting it to be a few more hours yet. I was discouraged and wanted a C-Section but my doctor simply said "You promised me a good induction and I promised you a natural delivery. I'm keeping you to that!". By 6:15 I was throwing up again. They checked me and I was 6-7cm. WOW! I was moving fast now. So then I felt more pressure and pain, she checked me and I was 8cm at 7pm. I called Chris and told him to get back there NOW! Luckily he was pulling in the parking lot at that time. I was horribly uncomfortable and feeling a lot of pressure and the contractions were hurting really bad again. So they checked me and I was 9cm with an anterior lip, it was about 7:30 now. I had to lay on my side trying not to push....THAT'S NOT EASY!!!! It was so uncomfortable. My epidural was empty, so anesthesia had to come give me another loading dose. That started working around 8, which is good because it was time to push then!

       I pushed and pushed but Mr. Carson was too big and it just wasn't working. I was so frustrated and just wanted him out! The dr came back in around 8:45. I was pushing so hard but felt like I wasn't getting anywhere. Apparently, I was getting there though, they had me feel his head and it was great! It gave me encouragement that I was almost there and I was able to do it. I pushed a three or four more times really hard and Carson was born. His head was out but his shoulders got stuck (shoulder dystocia).  You could see the panic on my OB's face, and everyone else in the room had the same look at that point. My OB had to take both of her hands in there to pull him out.  He had bruises on his arms from where she was pulling trying to get him out.  At 9:13pm, Carson entered this world. All 8lbs 10oz, and 22 inches of him! He came out very blue and not wanting to breathe.  I kept asking what was wrong and the nurse just kept not answering me. I was an OB nurse....I KNEW something was wrong. The nurse picked up the ambu bag to start life saving measures and he FINALLY took a breath. He started getting better color and crying after they put him on the warmer and kept rubbing him and giving him oxygen. The doctor even kept asking the nurse if he was alright. Something I never will forget. My husband had a look of complete fear on his face. My mom kept saying "he's okay Becky, he's okay."

       Once he started crying and was pink, I realized that yes, he was ok, but I wasn't okay. The OB ordered my nurse to give me a shot of pain medicine on top of my epidural and asked for extra sutures to be brought in. I knew something was wrong. You see, there are different degrees of tearing when  you have a child. My OB had given me a 2nd Degree episiotomy but then when Carson's big shoulders got stuck, things quickly got worse. I ended up with a 4th degree tear.  For those of you who don't know what this is, it means I tore my perineum from my vagina clear through my rectum. I had internal and external stitches. It took just shy of an hour for them to stitch me up. I felt it despite all the drugs. On top of this, I was losing quite a bit of blood.

      I didn't hold my son first. I didn't even hold him for an hour. When I finally got to hold him, I was so out of it from the pain meds that I couldn't focus. Our first feeding found me falling asleep with him at my breast! Our family finally met him around 10:30 that evening, and they only were allowed to stay for 30 minutes because I was so bad.

In the subseqent hoursI had to have three shots of Methergine (a drug to stop the bleeding) and had to take methergine pills as well for 24 hours after delivery. I couldn't sit or lay down without horrible pain.

We left the hospital Friday afternoon, July 18th, with a jaundiced little boy.  We had to go back for labwork Saturday morning and it wasn't great, so we had to go back again on Sunday. Sunday Carson was very very jaundiced so we knew the labs wouldn't be good. His bilirubin was too high so he had to be admitted to the hospital. It was so hard to have him there. My mom and Chris made me come home and mom stayed with him Sunday night so that I would get some sleep since I hadn't slept much before that. They put him under triple lights to bring down the bilirubin level, and it worked great! By 10am Monday it was low enough we were discharged.

But we weren't home long. On Monday, July 28th, I was admitted to the hospital for a uterine infection from my traumatic delivery and subsequent repair. Once again I was away from my baby. I was in horrible pain, I was still bleeding quite a bit, and they wanted to give me a blood transfusion?! By Wednesday, the antibiotics had worked enough that I was discharged home.

The months that followed were plagued by incontinence and shame. I had to wear pads and carry extra clothes with me every where I went. If had a touch of a stomach bug, I couldn't work because I wasn't able to hold my stool until I made it to the bathroom. In June of 2009, when Carson was 11 months old, I had a very extensive surgery to repair my perineal floor. (It's called an anal sphincteroplasty with perineal floor repair if you want to google it...I will spare the bad details here).   I spent 4 days in a hospital over an hour from home. I couldn't sit, laugh, or walk without pain. However, in the months that followed that surgery, things did get better with the incontinence.  They aren't perfect yet, and I need a second surgery to try and achieve even better results, but for now it's on hold because it hasn't been studied in pregnancy. 

So there you have birth horror story.  There was no Hallmark moment where he was put on my chest for me to hold. Daddy wasn't able to cut the cord.  I wasn't the first to hold him. It was anything but perfect, but the end result of a healthy, wonderful little boy was well worth it!


  1. I love the bravery it took for you to post this! What a horrible experience. I was crying! It was a difficult read, but I'm glad you shared it.

    1. Thanks for encouraging me to share it! I hope people read this and see that not everyone can birth babies naturally and it's ok when things don't go like we plan in our minds. My body is not made for childbirth the traditional way, and I'm ok with that! :)

  2. Geeze, what a mess! Thanks for sharing! I am glad I didn't have to have multiple surgeries like that. Great job mama! C-S will be a breeze compared to that :-)



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