Monday, December 13, 2010

Birth Story

Wednesday, September 22nd - My due date, and at all my weekly check-ups before then I hadn't made much progress. Heck, Kimber hadn't even dropped yet as you can obviously see in the picture below. I had a week of vacation so I scheduled my last day at work to be my due date and either she came, or I'd use vacation days, but I knew that there was no way I could focus at work after my due date!

That night we relaxed and I decided that I needed some Fritz. On our way there I kept getting a crampy feeling but I didn't want to say anything to Pat because I really didn't think I could possibly go into labor ON my due date. So, we got our ice cream and went home to go to bed.

Thursday, September 23rd (My grandma's birthday) - I woke up at 4 am to go to the bathroom and when I returned to bed I could not for the life of me fall asleep. I was uncomfortable and it felt like I had to go to the bathroom still, so I went back in and waited. Nothing happened... I still didn't want to wake Pat up because I wasn't 100% sure what was going on, and of course if I woke him up, it would be nothing. 

Around 5:45 am I lost my plug and had bloody show, which at first freaked me out a little and I had to keep telling myself it was normal. At 6 am I decided to take a shower and get ready because I just knew today was going to be the day! Pat's alarm for work went off at 6:30 am and I walked into the bedroom and told him that he was definitely not going to work today and explained what had been going on.

Pat got up and showered and then packed the car. I was supposed to go to the doctor that day so I wanted to call the office and see if he still wanted to see me or if I should just go to the hospital. I figured I should time my contractions in case they asked me how far apart they were, so from 7 am to 8 am I timed them (while eating breakfast I might add). I still had it in my head that they would be irregular or inconsistent and that this was false labor but to my surprise they were coming every 4 minutes and lasting from 40 to 90 seconds! I called the doctor at 8 am but they weren't open yet! That 30 minutes I had to wait for them to open was AWFUL, but I was determined not to call the exchange. So I called my mom instead and talked to her to pass the time, plus I needed to update her on the situation anyways :-)

Finally at 8:31 am I was on the phone with my doctors office. I told them what was going on and asked if I needed to come in or if I should go to the hospital and he told them it was up to me. I decided that I wanted to go see my OB first so we headed to his office. We got there around 9:15 am and he checked me and told us that I was 100% effaced and 3 cm dilated and that he would call ahead to the hospital to let them know I was coming! At this point it was getting harder to function through contractions but I could still walk and talk pretty easily. He told me that I would get up to a room, have my water broke and get an epidural so that we could really get things moving along and I was sooo excited at the thought in meeting my daughter in a few short hours, little did I know it would take quite a long time...

We headed to the hospital. I called my grandma and told her I would be giving her a great granddaughter for her birthday... she got a kick out of that! We checked in and walked up to the room by 10 am. I got my IV (after 3 freakin tries), they called for my epidural and they called the house doctor to break my water, in hopes to speed up my labor. The house doctor got there before I got my epidural and I started to get a little nervous that breaking my water would hurt, I mean have you seen that hook? How could it not hurt? He decided he wanted to wait until I got my epidural... whew! So they pushed a bag of fluid through me and got the nurse anesthetist to put my epidural in. She gave me the numbing shot but when she started to insert the catheter I had a shooting pain so she had to pull it out and start all over in another spot. Finally it was in and I was getting some relief! The doctor came back and broke my water and it had meconium in it so we were told that after she was born we couldn't immediately hold her like I had wanted. She needed to be looked at before she took her first breath to make sure she wouldn't inhale any poo into her lungs. 

I must admit that some things are still a blur but I know that I was on potcin for at least part of the time to try to speed everything up. Since I had been up for so long the nurses kept trying to get me to take a nap but I was just too excited. By 5 pm they pretty much told me I was to take a nap... now... and I was tired, more tired than I thought. I tried to go to sleep but my back was really bothering me, so they gave me a shot of some sort of pain medicine that knocked me out, pretty much immediately. 

I woke up about a hour later and was fully dilated! I told my nurse that my back was really starting to bother me so she tried to check me to see if the baby was face up or face down, and of course little miss was face up and I was experiencing back labor. At this point it wasn't unbearable so I was able to sit and labor down until about 7 pm but then got strong urges to push, so I started. Unknown to me at the time, my epidural pump was basically saying that it had shut off and had no more medicine it in, and my nurse had called the nurse anesthetist to come look at it. I was feeling my contractions at this point. I know people say that you confuse pressure with pain but not so much the case with me... it was straight up pain. Now my back labor was really intense and I couldn't understand why I was in so much pain, but I'd never gone through it before so I just figured it was normal. My OB got there around 9 pm and things really start to get fuzzy at this point.

I remember pushing and pushing and pushing but nothing was really happening. I was screaming in pain and crying but it never crossed my mind that something was wrong. I still had no idea that anything was going on with my epidural. I was pushing twice through every contraction, and could feel everything. My nurse kept telling me that I would get relief when I pushed and she was right, but it did nothing for the back labor which was overwhelming at this point. I cannot even begin to describe how horrible it was.

Around 10 pm (THREE hours after my pump shut off and she was called) the nurse anesthetist came in. She tried to get me numb but nothing was working, and after pushing for nearly three hours without pain meds I was exhausted and ready to give up. I'm pretty sure my OB and nurse anesthetist had differing opinions on my numbness, she thought I was numb and he didn't so he pinched me and I felt it so the nurse kept giving me meds. I started getting nervous, thinking this would never end so I uttered the words I never thought I'd say: Can I just have a c-section? Thank goodness my OB knew how much I did NOT want that to happen so he pushed me to try the forceps. I was terrified that if he tried that and wasn't successful that (in my mind) was just one more thing I failed at, because so far I had failed at giving birth. I didn't know if I was strong enough for that and lo and behold my mom comes in and reminds me of how badly I didn't want a c-section. I agreed to forceps only if they got me numb. Again, have you SEEN those things? I shudder to think but I digress... my OB checked me and I felt everything. At that point I said no way to the forceps and had no choice but to go for the c-section.

As if that wasn't hard enough for me to admit I was then informed that they were going to have to knock me out to do it. No big deal until I realized that meant that Pat could not be in the room with me, plus I had to hear all the risks of the surgery/anesthesia and I was freaking out a little. I thought there was a chance I wouldn't wake up from all of it and that scared me. 

Friday, September 24th (my great aunt's birthday) - As they wheeled me into the OR (sometime around midnight) I told Pat to take care of Kimber for me and I'm pretty sure I saw a tear in his eye which crushed me. 

Before they put me under I guess they were trying to see if I was numb or not so the anesthesiologist kept pinching me, and I kept telling him I could feel it but apparently he didn't believe me and kept asking me if I felt the pinch or felt pain... Well feeling a pinch is painful! (I even had bruises on my arm the next morning!) The next thing I remember is the nurse putting pressure on my throat, I felt like I was suffocating and at that moment I thought I wouldn't wake up from this. As comical as that is now, at the time I really thought the lady was killing me but I think it has something to do with not wanting anything to come back up the airway? I'm not really sure...

Kimber Isabella was born at 12:29 am weighing in at 7 lbs 10 oz and 20.5 inches long.

My mom, Pat holding Kimber, Pat's dad & mom

I remember waking up in the recovery room, and I remember seeing my doctor for a little while but I don't remember much after that. I don't remember seeing Kimber for the first time, or what I thought when I looked into her eyes and while it kills me to never know those feelings or to have those memories I am glad that she is here, safe and sound. 

That morning a group of three people decided it would be a good time to come talk to me about the epidural mishap after I only had 5 hours of sleep and still didn't know what exactly happened in the first place. They pretty much swept it under the rug and made me feel like I really wasn't in the amount of pain that I said I was in. The real kicker was when they told me that an epidural doesn't help with back labor, as if that fixed the problem! The morning we were discharged the head of the maternity ward came in to talk to us about what happened and we expressed our disappointment in the fact that it took 3 hours to get someone to come look at the epidural pump when it said it was shutting off. She assured us that she would get to the bottom of it and let us know what had happened, and I was glad because I wanted answers. Not knowing what happened or what went wrong is one of the reasons it's still kind of hard to talk about. However, to this day we still haven't heard anything.

I also talked with my doctor who informed me that even if he would of tried the forceps she wouldn't of come out, so that was a big relief to me. He said that she was wedged in so tight that it made a suction sound when he pulled her out lol It just assured me that I made the right call and made me feel like a little less of a failure at this whole giving birth thing!

Overall I think I am still angry. Angry that no one told me what was going on, angry that it took so long for someone to try to fix the problem, angry that the hospital obviously doesn't give two shits about our experience. What angers me the most is wondering if things would of went differently had she fixed my pump before it shut off. Maybe then I wouldn't of been put under, maybe then Pat could of been there for the birth of his daughter, maybe then I would of been awake to see my baby girl take her first breath. I just wish so badly things would of went differently. I know I should be thankful that she is here and healthy, and believe me, I am, but I am also disappointed in my birth experience. I looked forward to this day for 9 months, even longer actually, and to have it go so horribly horribly wrong is just.... upsetting. Plus, then there's the infection... which will be coming in another post...


  1. It's so frustrating to know you had such a disappointing experience. I can understand your anger and I think in your place I'd just want answers too. Would the epidural have made a difference in when you had the C-section? With her being wedged in your canal that means you probably would've needed a c-section no matter what right? That sucks. It's so ironic that people who want natural birth sometimes can't and so many people just choose c-section right off when they'd probably be able to have natural birth. I hope you get to have a better experience with baby #2 when the time comes! =-)

  2. Yea I would of ended up having the c-section regardless of the epidural. She was just stubborn and wouldn't come out as planned :)


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