>Since I’m a pretty active follower of cloth diapering blogs, and I of course follow cloth diapering moms on twitter, I was having a conversation with one the other night.. she was up later than usual and asked if anyone was on, and I said of course.. it’s amazing how much you can squeeze into a short blurb! Anyway, she shared her daughter’s birth story with me, and it dawned on me I never posted mine online with either of the girls. She had expressed interest in reading my birth stories, so of course I’m now writing them out here; I’m going to start with Zoe’s since she was born first. The first reason is to share my stories of course, but the second reason is to kind of help me process both of their deliveries and kind of help me know what I want with Oscar’s birth. Thankfully I had the foresight to type and print up Zoe’s birth story and printed it out and put it in her scrapbook so I’m gonna refer back to this to type it up. It was over five years ago!
So, here it goes.
I had contractions start up a few days before Zoe was born, but it wasn’t until November 23rd that they were bad. I remember we had gone to run some errands at Linens ‘n’ Things, and Target. I don’t remember why we had gone to LnT, but we had gone to Target to pick up drinks for Thanksgiving dinner the next day. I remember walking around the stores and having contractions, but it wasn’t until we were checking out at Target that I told Jeff I needed to sit down, since the contractions were kind of getting strong. After we checked out, we drove over to Sonics to get some Route 44-sized Strawberry Limeaids.. let me tell you those things are so many levels of epic. Jeff started to get tired at around 9:30 so we went to bed, and something told me to lay a towel on the bed, so I did. I curled up on my left side and was reading Harry Potter and the order of the Pheonix, and then around 10, I felt a trickle. I thought it could have been my bladder leaking a bit, since I had just finished drinking a huge beverage in a short time.
So I got up to go to the bathroom, and as soon as I relaxed to pee, I felt this huge gush of fluid and then this loud wet plopping noise.. and I looked in the toilet and saw this huge white blob… apparently the gush of amniotic fluid dislodged my mucous plug in one piece. So I woke Jeff up and told him my water broke, and of course he had to ask “Are you sure?” and I was of course VERY sure. So we got dressed and toodled over to the hospital.
So after getting hooked up to monitors and whatnot, the nurse tried to test the fluids that were on the chuck pad I was resting on and then vaginally swabbing, but they all came back negative. The nurse called the doctor on call and he said for her to use her own judgement. I think she didn’t really believe that my water had broken, and in the middle of her spiel about first time moms not knowing what’s going on, I felt this trickle of fluid so I cut her off and said “I’m leaking fluid again.” so she uncovered me quickly and visually confirmed that I was in fact leaking amniotic fluid, and so they transfered me to a labor and delivery room. Of course, after I was getting transfered, that’s when I started leaking fluid like crazy and was leaving puddles everywhere.
At around one in the morning, my contractions were starting to get uncomfortable, and after being prodded into it, I decided to go for an epidural. I was able to get some sleep after that, but then because I was moving around so much while I was asleep it had slipped out a bit and had to be redone.. not sure what time it was when this happened. The scary part was not being able to move my legs. AT ALL. It sucked because when I shifted positions, I had to either have Jeff move my legs for me or I had to call in a nurse. I don’t know how people who are paralyzed deal with that on a daily basis, my hat seriously goes off to them.
Anyways, my inlaws showed up at the hospital at around 10 am, and they were fully expecting to be home not too long after that. It was fine and dandy for a while, until around.. I’m wanting to say 10:30 or so, the epidural machine died, and I spent the rest of my labor unmedicated. I’m assuming it had died sooner, but it took that a while for it to wear off. I also remember moaning and even screaming, and they were telling me to ‘calm down and stop screaming’ which of course didn’t work. And then they also gave me oxygen.. not sure why though. I had initially wrote, “Women who chose to have natural labor should have their heads examined; it was extremely painful!” (I’ll address this later of course) Oh, and I threw up at this time too. A lot. I’m not sure what caused it.. since I know they heavily dosed me with pitocin, so it could have been that, or it could have been the shock my body went through when I went from pain free to experiencing natural labor. Our bodies are made to deal with the gradual increase of pain, not going from 0 pain to 10 in a matter of seconds.
The doctor on call came in, and determined that while Zoe was head down, she wasn’t completely posterior facing, and manually turned her to face down properly. This was not fun I tell you that. So then, he came back a while later and said I could start pushing. Being a first time mom, I don’t think he expected me to progress so quickly beacuse he came in after 20 minutes to check on me, and was surprised at how fast I was progressing. 25 minutes later after that, Zoe finally came into the world at 12:19 pm.
I’m not gonna lie. The OVERALL labor was good, but the actual birth and delivery was bad and somewhat truamatic. I was kind of pushed to have an epidural, and of course it crapped out on me twice. I realize now too in hindsight the ignorance of my comment about women who chose to have natural birth. I think had I been mentally prepared to experience the pain, it would not have been so bad. In addition, I think the epidural wore off during transition, which according to my reading is the most painful part of labor. Oh, and the delivering doctor was HORRIBLE. He had terrible bedside manners.. he was short and rude with me, and then when they put Zoe on me to clean her off, he and the nurse chewed me out for wanting to help clean her off, and they both kept telling me to stop touching her, and I think at one point my hands were moved off of her. In addition, he YANKED my placenta out without any abdominal massage, and I’m pretty sure when I started crying too loudly, I heard him tell the nurse “get her to shut up.” Maybe he said quiet down, I don’t remember. And then, since it was traditional for the doctors in the OB group to give out baby shirts, I remember him throwing my shirt at me and then walking out. I still have the shirt, but for reasons unknown, I never put Zoe in it.
I’m grateful though that I had a lactation consultant come in right after Zoe was born, and we were able to establish breastfeeding pretty quickly. Zoe nursed like a champ and self weaned at 1 year old.
I guess what I can take away from my birthing experience with Zoe, is if you’re gonna have an epidural, at the very least request fresh batteries with the drip… my epidural crapped out the second time because the batteries had died and by the time they had figured it out, it was too late to start it up again. Oh, and if you have a bad delivery, don’t hesitate to bring it up. The doctor that delivered Zoe was NOT my OB, and I had the misfortune of getting him because he was on call. Thankfully now though he’s retired, so no more women will experience having him deliver their babies.
Do I have PSTD from my birth with Zoe? No. Parts of it bothers me and I wish I had been a bit more educated, but I know it could have been a lot worse. I took my experience with Zoe, and made sure certain points of my labor were better with Ruthie.. and it was. But more on her birth story later.