Lesalia217: Derrick's C-Section Birth Story
Friday, May 28, 2010 11:42 AM
"I could have killed the ambulance drivers! Here I am, a pregnant woman
screaming bloody murder, arching my back through frequent contractions,
and they drove below the speed limit!"
Derrick Anthony was born on 4-26-10 at 10:16 am. My labor started Saturday morning at one in the morning, when I was woken up by contractions. I still wasn’t sure whether this was a "real" contraction or not. I had been waiting for labor to happen and I was hoping it would be sooner rather than later since I had high blood pressure. My plan was to deliver med-free with a midwife at a free-standing birth center using hypno-birthing -- but, if my blood pressure got any higher, I knew I would need a hospital birth. The contractions were every 15 minutes throughout the night and I was able to sleep in between them.
On Saturday morning, I called my midwife to tell her about my contractions -- I wanted her to have ample warning that we would be ready to have a baby sometime this weekend! My husband and I then decided to take advantage of a company function at the local museum as a way to pass the time of early labor and help walk the baby out. My contractions increased to maybe eight minutes apart and I was able to hide them from the other museum patrons. We went out for some lunch, trying to eat a big, potentially "final" meal before labor.
Waiting it out
Around dinnertime, my contractions were still about seven minutes apart, but now they were becoming more intense. I checked in with the midwife because it was becoming more difficult to deal with the force of the contractions. I started to consider coming into the birth center, even though it was still a little too early for that. I had to sway my hips through the contractions and needed my husband’s help to hold my hips for comfort. My midwife wanted to see if we could wait a little before coming in, so she suggested that I get into a warm bath to see if that helped with my discomfort. We filled the bath tub with warm water and I got in. But unfortunately, the bath did not relax me and didn’t help with the intensity of my contractions; instead, they became worse. My contractions were now 4 to 5 minutes apart, and I needed my husband to help me sway my hips for relief since I could no longer make the swaying motion on my own.
At the birth center
Finally, we loaded the car for the birth center and agreed to meet the midwife there at 10 pm. My contractions had slowed to about 7 to 10 minutes apart, so I didn’t have many of them in the car. Once we got to the birth center, I was checked to see how much I was dilated. I was only at 3 cm, but, due to the intensity, they were convinced that I would progress quickly. We settled into our birthing room and continued to labor. My husband was great. He had everything set up -- my pillows, music, etc. -- and when it was necessary, he would jump back and help me sway through contractions. The midwife suggested that we try to get some rest in between contractions since we were due to be up all night, so my husband and I cuddled on our bed, continuing to bear through the contractions.
After about an hour, I couldn't handle lying down any longer since I couldn't get the needed swaying relief. I wanted to labor standing up using a swing for support, but the midwives were uncomfortable with that because of my blood pressure. Instead, we decided that I would get into the tub. Well, just like before, the water was no relief. It made the contractions more intense, restricted my motion of hip relief, and shortened my breaks between contractions. I tried multiple positions in the tub with no luck. It was between 1 and 2 am at this point, and during one of my position changes, my water broke. It was an interesting pop and gush feeling. My contractions did not change, but continued with their weird cluster pattern. I would have one strong contraction, followed by 2 to 3 "aftershocks" that would come with only 20 to 30 seconds of rest. Then I would have a larger gap of rest for about three minutes before the next large contraction came. Shortly after my water broke, during one of the strong contractions, I pushed without meaning to because I just couldn't control it. I didn't feel the need during the "aftershock" contractions, just during the large one. My midwife checked me, and told me that I was only 7 cm dilated and needed to try not to push.
Can’t stop pushing!
Unfortunately, I couldn't do anything to stop the feeling or the pushing. They got me out of the tub and we decided to labor on the bed. I was absolutely shocked by the intensity of the contractions, and I felt the need to push with each one. I needed pressure applied to my back and hips to make it easier. At this point, I couldn't stop myself from screaming with each contraction. I did what I needed to do, but I wasn't expecting labor to be this intense. Only after labor did I find out that the baby was posterior, and his head would not engage. He never made it past 0-station. He was pounding on my tailbone and couldn't get around because his head wasn't properly rotated. So my body was just pushing him against bone over and over again. He has the head abrasion to prove it.
My midwives and my husband coached me through each of the contractions and held me as I pushed since they couldn't do anything to stop me. I progressed rapidly from 7 cm to 10 cm, but I had a cervical lip. It was swelling and there was nothing that could be done except to stop pushing! I tried with all my might to stop, but it felt impossible. My midwives tried to use fingers to push the lip around the baby’s head to allow him to pass.
This continued from 2 am through 8 am. I rotated through multiple positions on the bed, back to the tub, onto the birthing stool, with no relief and no progress. To my surprise, I had thought that being in the water would be the best position for me, but it turned out to be the worst. I actually preferred being on either the birthing stool or on my back in the bed.
Off to the hospital
At 8 am, I threw in the towel. After six hours of pushing with no progress, I was done. The midwives called for a hospital transport and off we went by 8:30 am. I could have killed the ambulance drivers! Here I am, a pregnant woman screaming bloody murder, arching my back through frequent contractions, and they drove below the speed limit! We arrived at 9 am at the hospital, and I was wheeled up into Labor & Delivery. As I went by the nurses’ station, I yelled "give me an epidural!" and they ran off to find the anesthesiologist. Then I had a contraction in the hallway and everyone ran faster.
Changing the plans
They wanted to check to see if I had dilated and I had a very unpleasant internal check-up. Considering my midwives had been trying to push my cervical lip for hours, this internal was unbearable. The intern said that I was 10 cm dilated with no lip, so I could push the baby out vaginally. So he had me push through a contraction. That’s when the senior OB came in, gave me another internal, and told me that the intern had been wrong – I still had my cervical lip and I should get ready for another 2 to 3 hours of pushing! My spirit was broken. I couldn't even imagine continuing to push. My husband and I looked at each other – both of us with tears in our eyes – and we tried to explain that I had been pushing for six hours already. I was just about to ask if I could have a C-section since I could not even fathom continuing to push, when another contraction came on. During this one, the baby’s heart rate dropped. The senior OB herself said that she wanted to do a C-section because she didn't like the heart rate drop. If I could have, I would have hugged her. They started to prep me immediately. My IV was inserted mid-contraction, and they broke the news to me that my husband would not be allowed in the room. I was going to be completely under, and it was against policy. That also broke both our hearts, but I needed the baby out.
So I didn't get see my baby born, and my husband didn’t get to cut the cord. I didn't get to feel his head emerging, and I didn’t get to hold my baby right after he came out. At first, I was disappointed that I didn’t have the all-natural birth that I had planned, but, at the end of the day, I have no regrets. I am healthy and my baby boy Derrick is healthy too.
We stayed in the hospital for three days. I have had a very fast recovery, considering everything we went through. Derrick is a beautiful baby, and his hobbies include belching, pooping, and peeing on my husband!
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