Thursday, April 16, 2009

A med-free birth kinda sucks

Let's start with the med-free birth. It kinda sucked. Actually, sucked may not be the right word, perhaps it would be better to say that it hurt like hell.

I am a planner, a planner and a worrier. I like to know what is going to happen and when so waiting to go into labor is a nerve wracking proposition. With SB my water broke at 37 weeks, 5 days and was completely unexpected so I hadn't really spent a lot of time thinking about when I'd go into labor. The day I went into labor my doctor had actually told me that I'd make it to my due date and beyond. We showed him. In addition to coming early, SB had a little trouble getting out. His shoulder got stuck during delivery which can be a very serious problem but we were lucky and he suffered no damage. But, having had trouble with a shoulder dystocia (doesn't that just sound super medical?) once put my doctor on alert and he definitely didn't want to have that happen again. The end result was his suggestion that I be induced at 38 weeks. At my 37 week appointment I was 3cm dilated and we went ahead and scheduled the induction for Tuesday, February 24th at 11:00am. All was right with the world as we had a plan and that made me happy. I just kept telling the baby that she needed to wait it out until the 24th. Perhaps I should have been more specific.



I worked Monday the 23rd and everyone stopped by with well wishes and kept asking me how I was feeling about the induction/labor and delivery. I just kept repeating how I wanted a birth similar to that of SB, perhaps not as long and obviously without a shoulder getting stuck or trip to the NICU, but basically painless would suit me just fine. That night whenever I would stand up and walk I felt a lot of pressure but that was nothing too unusual. I went to bed around 10:00pm and woke up around 1:00am having contractions. The week before I had some braxton hick contractions for about an hour and these felt the same way. I could feel them and they were a little uncomfortable but they didn't hurt. After a little bit I started timing them and then tried all the tricks for getting them to stop liking walking, drinking water and lying on my side. When none of that worked and the contractions were still coming every three minutes I called the nurse line. The nurse actually laughed at me when I told her that the contractions didn't hurt. She seemed to think that meant that I wasn't really in labor but she said she would page the doctor anyway. As I waited for a call back I called my parents and asked them if they could come over and watch SB. I waited to call my husband because I wanted to be certain it was the real thing. The nurse phoned back with a million more questions and then repeated that she'd page the doctor. Since they weren't subsiding I called my husband who didn't answer but walked in the door a few minutes later. Because I was up in the middle of the night he knew something was up. I gave him the low down and then suddenly felt very sick. Now, throwing up is nothing new to me as with both pregnancies I had morning sickness the entire nine months, but this was different. Not different in the experience but different in that after being sick the next contraction hit me like a ton of bricks. They went from being merely uncomfortable to hurting so much I could barely stand and breathe.

This is where things got really fun. Hearing me scream from the bathroom my husband took my bag out to the car and I asked him to find out where my parents were. With each contraction I could feel the baby's head and an uncontrollable need to push and I just knew that I was mere minutes away from having the baby. How could things change so quickly? To my horror, my husband reported that my parents hadn't even left there house yet. Even in the dead of night with no traffic they are at least 15 minutes away and I knew that if we waited I would end up having the baby in our living room, and I really love my living room rug so that was just not an option. I told my husband to go find a neighbor, any neighbor to come sit at our house until my parents arrived. The lady across the street had her lights on and we know she works second shift and stays up very late so we tried her. When she didn't answer the door (after all, who answers the door at 2:30am?) we started to panic. Luckily, she peeked out her window, saw us and came to our rescue. Just as we were leaving the nurse phoned back to say that the doctor wasn't answering her page and told me to wait at home until she could reach her. Yea, right. I told her that we were going to the hospital. The husband sped to the hospital, not stopping for any lights, and parking across three handicap spaces. Thankfully there was a wheelchair right at the entrance so I sat while he ran me to labor and delivery.

The nurse had called to let them know I was coming but didn't tell them how close to having the baby I was. My first question to the first person we saw was to ask what kind of pain medication they could give me. I knew it was a stupid question since I knew what the answer was but I didn't want to hear that it was too late for any pain meds so I asked anyway. A nurse said I'd have to be examined first and we were put in a room and I was given a gown to change into. Since I was having trouble standing as the contractions were not even two minutes apart now the nurse helped me to change and was kneeling down to take off my socks when it happened - my water broke and it was a HUGE gush and she got soaked. I apologized and repeated my question regarding the pain meds because the water breaking made the impossible happen - the contractions got even more painful. With each one I couldn't help but push and when they got me on the bed and checked the baby was just about to be born. I remember the nurse screaming for a doctor and I remember being told no way to my many requests for pain meds and then everything seemed to happen as though I was watching it happen instead of actually experiencing it. It was like a scene from a movie, them running my gurney down the hall to a delivery room, me yelling from the pain and my husband just trying to keep up.

The doctor arrived right in time and little Quinn was born perhaps a minute later. The total time from our arrival at the hospital to her birth was a mere seven minutes. The husband sent out pictures using his cell phone to everyone and my parents received them as they pulled up in front of our house.

Even after the birth I was still in a lot of pain. A nurse tried to make me feel better by saying how I could now brag about having had a med-free birth but that's not really my style. I've always been bothered my mothers who feel the need to brag about their natural childbirth or how long they breast fed, etc. Perhaps that is because subconsciously I feel guilty for having had an epi with Shannon and wanting one very badly with Quinn, or because I stopped breast feeding Shannon after not even three months and decided to not even try with Quinn. Or, more likely, I just don't see why anyone would want to experience that kind of pain if they didn't have to and why some women are made to feel guilty if they chose not to breast feed. After all, motherhood is hard enough without each mom making judgments about another mothers choices.

1 comment:

hopefaithlove said...

WOW I have been hoping my labor goes fast this time, not sure about meds yet. I was in labor (induced) with DD for over 20 hours and my epi did not work, by the time they believed me they said it was too late to fix it, so I had med free without choice. I was thinking of doing med free again since I was walking 15 mintues after I had her had a shower and felt great... Guess we will see what happens...

I realize we are not incontrol... I am a planner and worrier too!