Friday, December 4, 2009

"The Special Case"

Isaac James Meyer Born Nov 3, 2009 VBACFor those who don't know, my first child was born c-section. I went into labor at 2 am on May 2nd 2007, my due date. I excitedly went into the hospital where I was told that I was 1-2 centimeters. After an hour of walking around I dialated to a 3 and was then formally admitted into the hospital. I requested that my water be broken to which the doctor told me "If your water is broken then you can not leave the hospital. If you are not progressing fast enough we will give you pitocin because you don't want to be here all day." Now it is important to note that this doctor was not my original doctor. To what the doctor said I responded "Can we just wait and hour to see if I progress." He agreed. The nurse standing by said "I don't know why he said that, you are progressing just fine." I had also told the doctor that I was not interested in getting an epidural to which he said, after about 5 times of telling me that I should get one because we need to start pitocin "What do you have against an epidural?"So around 2pm I had dialated to a 8 but then because my cervix was getting irritated I shrank to a 7. Lucas's heart rate kept dropping so they would make me get off the birthing ball (which are amazing) and lay in bed. For those who have labored with no drugs know that is all a mental game. If you have mental control laboring is not that bad. Anyways, I was in so much pain because of being made to sit down and lay down and I had about 50 people checking me and I wasn't given the time to regroup. Anyways, after much deliberation the doctor concluded that I needed a c-section. So they wheeled me down the operating room and Lucas was born at 3pm. I was able to see him for about 3 seconds and they scooped him up and brought him upstairs where just about everyone got to hold him before me. I went on to having a rocky recovery. The doctor came up later and told us that the reason I needed a c-section was because Lucas was head down but facing the wrong way and because of his size, 9lbs, 10 oz.
Ever since this experience I have felt cheated and much disappointment. I felt that this doctor was more interested in getting me through the labor process as fast as possible because he did not want to be at the hospital. I was nobody to him. I felt that he robbed me of the whole birthing experience. I felt that the first moments of Lucas's birth were meant to be spent with me and I missed out. Instead, I layed on an operating table while everyone else got to see him, touch him, and hold him. So when I found out in February 2009 that I was pregnant with my 2nd child I know that trying a VBAC was important to me. So I knew that I needed to find a doctor who was willing to help me meet that demand. Sean's mom had a c-section with Sean but with the next two births had a VBAC. The doctor that delivered them is still practicing at the same clinic I went to with Lucas. So I decided that he would be my doctor. I let Doctor Sabal know from the beginning that a VBAC was my desire. He said he was not against VBAC's but the size of my child are a concern for him so we will see as I get closer to my due date. During the first week of October I went into the clinic to get an ultra sound which was going to tell us the size of Isaac. A month before my due date Isaac was measuring at 7 lbs, 11 oz. Babies put on about 1/2 a pound per week. After finding out that I would probably be having another 10 lb child, Doctor Sabal told me that the only way of having Isaac VBAC is if I go into labor by myself before November. Because of the c-section he was reluctant to induce me just so I could do a VBAC. So, defeated, I scheduled a c-section for the 11th of November with the secret hope that I would go into labor.
October 31st came and went and there was no baby. I had finally came to the acceptance that I was probably going to have to have a c-section. But on November 2nd at around 2pm I began to get regular light contractions. Not wanting to jump the gun I sent Sean off to work telling him that if I was indeed in labor I would call him and have him come home. So the day progressed and the contractions did not go away. At around 7pm I called Sean and told him that I thought I was in labor and that he should come home. I called my mother-in-law to come and pick up Lucas. At around 8pm I called the oncall doctor who told me to wait until my contractions were more painful. About 2 hours later I called her and told her that I was in more pain and thought that I should go in. So Sean and I packed up and went to the hospital. There I was about 2 centimeters. After an hour of laboring in the bed I was unchanged. They gave me a few options on included walking around for a half an hour. After walking around I dialated another centimeter so they hooked me back up to the monitors and told me I was admitted. They however, refused to break my water because of my "special case" that I wanted a VBAC. So we were left to labor in the room. It was such a strange experience going from not being left alone with Lucas to not seeing a nurse for 2 hours. We finaly buzzed the nurse's station and asked if anyone forgot about us. They said that I want to do this naturally so that is what they were going to let me do. It was such a nice experience to be left alone though. It was just Sean and I and we turned down the lights, listened to Yanni, and thought of dialating thoughts. However, at 5 am I was checked and was told I was only 4 centimeters (I was not allowed to get up an walk because they need to monitor Isaac's heart rate based on Lucas's issues). Exhausted, I decided on an epidural. I knew that I could get through labor, but the whole pushing a baby out was going to be hard on no sleep in 24 hours. Sean also looked extremely beat so I got the epidural. It was nice at first, the pain went away and I was able to sleep 2 hours but it got annoying to have tinglely legs for so long. After the epidural they broke my water and I slept. When I woke up I was really warm, the nurse thought that it was because our room was super warm so she turned the heat down but I still continued to have a temperature. At around 930 am I began feeling like I was going to vomit, I was shaking and I did not feel good. But because of the epidural I had no desire to push. The nurse check me and I was at 10 centimeters! So they began to tell me to push a little at every contraction to get Isaac to come further down. The doctor came in and was pretty confident that I was going to be able to do this on my own (he was the doctor that I saw for Lucas's appointments who actually told me that I was not going to be able to have Lucas's vaginally if he was 8lbs or over). Now he was telling me that he was pretty confident that I was going to be able to have Isaac no problem. The only problem with Isaac was, you guessed it, he was head down but facing to wrong way, he was sunny side up. Just like his older brother. So the doctore opted to use a vacuum to help bring Isaac down. However, at the last minute the doctor tried to turn Isaac's head and Isaac popped right into position. (The doctor did use the vacuum for about 5 minutes Sean told me afterwards). After an hour a pushing Isaac was born VBAC at 8 lbs 12.7 oz. I was called "the special case" at the hospital because VBAC's are getting to be very, very rare. That day Dr Sabal was in the hospital for a c-section and actually came in and congratuated me on the success. I would have to say that c-sections are so much easier in the labor sense because you don't labor! But in the recovery sense, vaginal births are so much more amazing. I was able to see Isaac, hold him and be in the room with him while they cleaned him up. I did however, get and infection in my amniotic fluid so Isaac had to spend 48 hours in the NICU but I felt more bonded to Isaac then Lucas. That is not the case now, I love both my sons but there is something to be said about going through so much pain and the feelings you have in the end when you hold that child. I hope that everyone gets to experience that. I hope that women understand that what they want in the labor process is important. This is something that we have been doing for centuries and c-sections have only been around for about 20 years (meaning, they are pushing for them more and more). From now on, I will definitely opt for vaginal births over c-sections.

1 comment:

Sheri E. said...

That is a great story. I'm glad that you were able to do VBAC with Isaac. I can't believe with Lucas that the doctor was giving you a hard time about not wanting an epidural! I'm proud of you for trying to do it without drugs. I think more people should at least try, instead of coming in with it in their mind that they are going to get one. Anyway, thanks for sharing that story.