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Birth of DS2 - induction leading to emergency c-section
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Posted 13 July 2014 - 04:47 PM
The story of DS2 - our wonderful surprise.
Unlike his older brother, he was conceived naturally, and quite unexpectedly.
I had a reasonably normal pregnancy, although I had a CVS so knew without a doubt that we were having a boy, and I had very bad asthma at a couple of points.
DS2's due date, according to my phone, and according to the dating scan, came and went. I was really surprised, and starting to get a bit upset about everything.
With my own health, I really didn't want to be going overdue at all, and I just felt completely out of my depth. My previous pregnancy had been far more orthodox, and it was less than 18 months earlier. DS1 arrived on his due date after a spontaneous labour.
My obstetrician had booked me in to be induced on Monday 2 September. The hospital rang me on Sunday to let me know that she had been called away on family business, and wouldn't be able to go through with the induction. Instead, I should show up anyway, and another obstetrician, who I hadn't met, would do the induction.
This sent me into a bit of a tail spin. I felt comfortable with my doctor, I did NOT feel comfortable at the idea of a doctor I had not met inducing me straight away. First thing Monday morning, I rang his rooms, and arranged to meet with him instead.
Was very pleased to be able to go into his rooms, meet the man with all my clothes on, then have a discussion about plans. We agreed to have monitoring on that afternoon, Wednesday, and if there was still no action, to come in on Friday morning for induction.
Monitoring was just fine. There was still no activity. No sign of labour.
Thursday night, my parents arrived. Very early Friday morning, we left for the hospital. Bags were all packed. Everything organised.
We arrived at 7am, and were shown into a birthing suite. I got comfortable, the midwife hooked up a CTG, DS2 still sounded fine in there. The doctor arrived at about 8.30, examined me, said my cervix was high and closed. He inserted the first lot of gel.
Yuck! Very unpleasant. I arranged myself on the fit ball, DP sat with me and we waited. Nothing happened. I interspersed my ball sitting with wandering up and down the corridors between the birthing suite and the waiting area for theatres.
About midday, the doctor came back. At this stage, he just had a bit of a chat. Later that afternoon, he came back again, and inserted some more gel. There was still not a lot happening. I didn't feel anything like labour, and there was no real change in my cervix. We agreed to send me to bed with a sleeping tablet. DP would come back in the morning.
I went to sleep at about 8.30pm, very very early.
I woke at about 2 or 3 feeling some minor labour pains - cramping more than anything. Went back to sleep til about 6.30. At that stage, had another shower and got ready to go back to the birth suite.
Went back in. This was Saturday morning, the day of the federal election. I was either ten days overdue or a week overdue, depending on which date we wanted to use.
This morning, things got busier. First thing the doctor wanted to do was put a cannula in, for a drip. I had elected to be treated as GBS positive, so would need antibiotics, and it looked very much like I'd be need the drip to establish labour, so a cannula had to go in. The doctor tried to put it in my left hand (non-dominant hand). Something went horribly wrong, and my hand swelled up like a balloon. Hurt like buggery as well. He then put it in my right hand. Much, much later, I found out that he bent the cannula as it went in, making it quite ineffective. It also hurt, both to put it in and in situ, but I didn't have many options left at that stage.
Then, at about 9am, he examined me, said I was about 3-4cm. He broke my waters at this point, using the crochet hook on a long handle implement.
For three hours or so, I waited as it got a bit more uncomfortable. There was regularity to the contraction feelings, but no strength. I did a lot more fit ball sitting, and wandering up and down. Everything was a lot less comfortable as I kept feeling water and other guff from the gel trickling out from between my legs.
At lunch time, not much more had happened, so the drip began.
Throughout this time, I was hooked up to the CTG monitor for about 10 minutes each hour. DS2 was still fine in there, the contractions sometimes showed up on the monitor and sometimes they did not. The strength varied a lot.
By 4.00, the doctor was back. Now was make or break time. He examined me. The look on his face said everything. He told me that I was still at 4cm. Nothing had happened after all that time and effort.
The doctor said - 'Look, I can take you through for a caeser now, or I can come back tomorrow morning and do it then. There is no way that this baby is coming out on his own.'
These were not words that I wanted to hear. I had trusted my body to labour and to birth a baby. It had done so before. I felt like I was failing this baby before he even arrived. However, I trusted the doctor. Many local woman had told me that he is a strong supporter of vaginal birth, and I know he wasn't saying this lightly. Our discussion earlier in the week had centred on my desire to have a vaginal birth.
I was given medicine to stop contractions. I was given information and forms to sign about the surgery. It was all very surreal. I knew there was another woman in the birthing suite having a baby right then, and I desparately wished I was in her room, having a baby the 'right way'.
Everything was very casual and relaxed. At about 5.30 or so I was taken around to theatre. They got me to lie down on an inflatable thingy - I assume this is because I am a super fat person and they didn't want the staff to get hurt lifting me.
I met the anaesthetist. He looked at the dodgy cannula in my right hand, and the mess on my left hand (which was still swollen and bruised) and decided to put one on the inside of my elbow. He tried the left one - veins wouldn't play along - so ended up with one in my right arm.
Ever since I got pregnant with DS1 I'd hated the idea of an epidural - for some reason I thought it would be hard to do on me because of my fatness etcetera. I don't know if he was a magician or what, but my spinal block was quick and painless.
It was very strange being strapped down to the table, arms out perpendicular to my sides, unable to feel anything. I would probably have felt panicky about that if I wasn't trying to keep DP calm about the theatre environment.
Once I was strapped down and the curtain erected, they let DP in to sit next to my head. If he hadn't been there, I'd have asked to be allowed to watch the surgery. As it was, all I could do was smell the burning flesh, see the rummaging around and wait breathlessly for the baby to cry.
Seeing that little baby lifted up over the curtain, dangling one leg below him, was just such a big relief. They bundled him up and brought him over for DP to cuddle and give me a kiss, then took him back to the baby table to check him over properly. He was born at 6.20pm.
I have quite a dim memory of all the things that happened next. I know that DP took DS2 out into the recovery area, and held him all wrapped up while they sorted me out. I was stitched up quite quickly, then immediately the spinal was reversed and I was inflated and hoverboarded over to a recovery bed.
This bed, by the way, was totally awesome. It was brand new, and extremely comfy. I kept it for the whole of my hospital stay.
Anyway, I was sort of propped up. My reaction to the anaesthetic wearing off was dreadful. I was shaking and shivering, my teeth were chattering really hard. There was no way I would have been able to hold DS2 safely, so I just watched him with DP the whole time.
While in recovery, the anaesthetist told me that he had written up a number of different pain relief options, and he urged me to take them. He had to leave quite quickly afterwards.
By 8pm I was back in my room, and DS2 was being fed for the first time. He latched on immediately, and sucked happily and contentedly. I could hold him quite easily, but couldn't really move around much. The midwife helped to change his position and sides. As far as I could tell the spinal was completely worn off. Every time they touched me with the little ice block thingy, I could feel the sensation of cold. Things were starting to really hurt.
DP probably went home at about 10 or 11. All I remember is the pain getting worse and worse. I asked the staff continually for more medicine to stop the pain. This was really unusual for me, as I have a reasonably high pain threshold and don't normally complain. As far as I know, I didn't sleep that night, as I was too uncomfortable. I was groaning and crying, both of which are completely out of character. I think that DS2 was in the nursery for about 6 hours, but I didn't get a wink of sleep that whole time.
In the morning, my parents brought DS1 in to visit, and they all met DS2 for the first time. It was nice, but I don't remember a great deal as I was just so tired and sore at that point.
At about 4 that afternoon, a midwife came to let me know she would be removing the catheter and taking me to the shower. It was the worst experience of my life. I was completely hysterical and out of control. I don't know if it was the pain, lack of sleep or the humiliation of being unable to meet my own needs (I couldn't bend to wash myself properly etc) but I completely broke down. I told the midwife I couldn't go on, that I had to die. Somehow she calmed me down and talked me off the cliff.
Later, at about 6, my obstetrician came in. She had come straight from the airport. She apologised straight away for the pain I was having, and made sure that I was immediately given more pain relief. This included a shot of morphine that night so I could get some sleep.
The next morning things were a lot better. I was on top of the pain mostly, but I stopped wanting to eat. I kept getting these overladen trays from the kitchen, and finding myself unable to consume a thing. I was also reacting badly to various dressings that had been used - my arm was a mess for about two weeks in the end, and I had dermatitis all over my lower spine and buttocks. I had to get a midwife to apply calamine lotion every couple of hours to try and get some relief.
Eventually, after 5 nights I was allowed home. My parents stayed to look after DS1 while DP went back to work. I was pretty much completely incapacitated for the first couple of weeks, incredibly tired from the experience in a way that I wasn't after my first birth - even though after DS1 was born I was pumping and feeding three hourly, I didn't experience anything like the same exhaustion.
It took me the full six weeks to recover from surgery. It was uncomfortable even to sit as a passenger in a car, let alone drive myself. I had lumps and oozing from my scar, but all together it healed well.
It turned out in the end that DS2 was born at 9 pounds (4080g). In discussing the attempted labour with my obstetrician, she felt that his position and size meant he was too high above my cervix to put enough pressure on to dilate me properly. All the bouncing and walking I did over the two days did nothing to move him down any further. I still don't really know what went wrong, but would wish to avoid that outcome ever again.
Posted 13 July 2014 - 05:28 PM
I'm really sorry you didn't get the birth you wanted. Your boys are just lovely, I often see your sig and think they're very cute.
If you go back for #3 I hope you have a healing birth.
Posted 13 July 2014 - 06:00 PM
Thanks for sharing your story, your boys are so cute.
Posted 13 July 2014 - 06:09 PM
Congratulations, you have done so well to write this up after a traumatic experience.
Posted 13 July 2014 - 07:00 PM
Congratulations on the birth, and I'm sorry it didn't go well.
I also had a failed induction and emergency c/s, and although it was different to yours it was also extremely traumatic. There is a part that I describe as the worst thing that has happened in my life. It took a while, and a few chats with social workers, for me to come to terms with it.
If you aren't feeling better about it with time, please seek some professional help.
Posted 17 July 2014 - 11:38 AM
I almost felt like I was there with you.. I had an induction and emergency cs also...
But one thing, the inflatable mattress wasn't because of your size They used that with me too, and Im 5ft nothing, I think its because its easier to move any patient.
Your boys are beautiful and thank you for sharing your story!
Posted 17 July 2014 - 12:01 PM
We too had an induction and emergency CS. Thankfully we had a happy outcome with the delivery of our DS but I was truly traumatised by some post-op analgesia and allergy issues.
We ended up requesting a debriefing session with the nurse in charge and medical staff so that we were clear on the medical issues and the rapid escalation of events. Also, we wanted to note our horrible experience to the hospital in the hope that it could help them better manage similar situations and perhaps prevent someone else going through what we did.
My emotional recovery took time but I certainly felt better for voicing our experience. Being heard was really important.
I hope you're progressing well and congratulations on your beautiful children.
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