I was 34 weeks pregnant when a Dr called me and said that he wanted to put me on a heart monitor. I asked them why it took them 3 weeks to call me when I complained about this. He said that it sounded like hormones and like it would stop after the pregnancy. I said if that was the case I didn’t want to have the monitor on me. If they were not concerned to the point it took them 3 weeks to call me, why should I worry. Plus I would have to wear a monitor for the remaining time, I had only 2 weeks before my due date. What complete dorks, so no monitor, no worries.
A week went by and oh, I started having contractions. Happy day for me. I was so excited. One day I had them and they were a minute long and came every 5 minutes. I didn’t want to concern Tim so I didn’t call him. When he got home I was a bit annoyed with the contractions. He had me go to the hospital. The L&D nurses hooked me up and watched me. I had a great labor pattern but I was not able to be admitted.
So, I had contractions for a week. They would go up and down as far as how hard they were. My body was getting ready for birth. I was miserable, I wanted to have the baby. I was very annoyed with how I felt. I kept going in and I wasn’t at 3 cm so they wouldn’t admit me. Finally after a week and a half of having contractions I was 3 cm. I was tired, cranky, and ready for Jasmyn to come to me. I went in and had a great labor pattern and they gave me some pitocin. Since I had been through the inducing before I knew what was before me. It scared me, I knew after a week and a half of the contractions, if they sped them up to super sonic, super hard I wouldn’t be able to make decisions. I had a strange feeling that I needed to have my head screwed on tight. So I told them that if they were going to induce I wanted them to give me the epidural. Again, this is the worst pain imaginable. I wanted to cry thinking about it. I didn’t want it but I had a feeling that I really had to do this. The same routine, round my back into a ball, lean against Tim, and in comes the needle. I warned the nurse anesthetist I knew I would jump because the pain was too much for me. She told me in all the caring of a surgeon, I wouldn’t if I were you. I did jump, when I felt the needle prying my vertebra to go in-between. I felt and heard the pop and then felt the icy cold fluid run down my spine. I smelled the same sickly sweet smell of medicine. I knew in my heart I needed this, but I couldn’t help but be mad that I allowed myself to get the drugs again. It broke my heart b/c I knew I wouldn’t have the natural birth experience I had wanted.
It was about 0900 when I got the epidural and I decided that I should get some sleep while I could. I had that strange feeling something was off. I was awoke just after midnight that I had to wake up, lie on my side and have the oxygen. The baby was in serious distress. Every contraction I had her heart rate would drop. I had to try to get her to relax. I was told that I needed to have a monitor attached to her head. I can’t remember the name of it, but it has a small wire that is screwed into the top of her head. Brianna had to have the same thing when I was in labor with her. It showed that she was in fact in distress and the oxygen was helping a little but not a lot.
My Dr came in and did an exam. I wasn’t progressing, my dilation and effacement were not coming along and Jasmyn was face presenting. She had her face wedged in my canal looking out as if trying to see the world. They knew this because when he did a pelvic exam he felt her nostrils, lips, and cheeks. He should have only felt the small amount of hair on the top of her head.
By this time Tim was awake and wondering why I had more monitors, and tubes coming out of me, and why I was wearing oxygen. I explained the circumstances and I told him that I knew this was going to have to be a c-section. He agreed, he felt that a mothers intuition was enough for him. When my Dr got back from talking to the resident Dr the news was less than desirable.
The dr I had wanted to deliver c-section, the resident wanted me to deliver vaginal and to give more pictosin to speed up my contraction and hurry me through dilation. This really pissed me off and I said that if my baby was in such distress that her heart rate dropped with every contraction I was refusing to have more medicine to make them harder. I told them that I wanted the c-section. It took one hour of me telling the DR's that I was not going to put her in more distress by taking more medicine.
Picture at right is Carrie waiting for the resident and attending to agree.
I finally got my wish when Jasy started to really become distressed. My c-section I had demanded now became life and death. I had to take fluid before I could go to surgery. It was so fast I had cold liquids pushed and I was freezing. It happened so quickly that while Tim went out to smoke a cigarette and call our parents to let them know the hard situation I was he almost missed them cutting into me. Yeah, they started the c-section while he wasn't present. He came in just as I felt blood spilling on my legs. I know I wasn't supposed to have feeling, but I was so cold that the warmth was shocking. I have a 6 1/2 inch cut where they opened me up.
She had jaundice but that was being taken care of. It was scary, I couldn't react b/c the drugs in my body were so thick I couldn't understand what was going on. Today I have a 2 inch in diameter patch on my lower belly that is still numb. It is a constant reminder to me that I should never allow a dr to do or not do anything I don't agree with.
Contractions or contractures? The mother here describes weeks of contractions. Later, hopefully, tomorrow, I will post information from Peter Nathanielsz research about the pre-labor contractions that he calls contractures ... and what that is about.
I am very grateful and I thank Jasmyn and her parents for giving me permission to use their pictures ---- I honor Jasmyn and her birth and sharing is ALWAYS with my heartfelt intention to honor her and to create the social will to make hospital birth safe and humane.