Faith

08 September 2013

Steven's birth

This is something that it's taken me awhile to write up.  Mostly because I don't remember a lot of it.

From my memory:  I was 38 week 3 days and my husband was down, for Thanksgiving and Jade's birthday and we were hoping I'd go into labor soon. I'd had James at 39 weeks 4 days but Jade at 38 weeks 2 days and I was having pretty regular contractions.  We went out to the beach for the kids and Michael to walk along it.  I stayed in the car because my 9 month pregnant self was not at all interested in walking along the sand trying to keep balance, but I did roll the window down so I could breathe in the sea air.  However, the red tide was at our shores during that time and it irritated my esophagus.  I started coughing up blood because of it, and being pregnant that was pretty scary.  We went into Cape Canaveral Hospital's ER to get me checked out.  They said I could have a PE and they wanted to do testing, but given the risks to my child, I chose to wait and see.  The next day I was still coughing up blood and went back to the ER and chose to do the least dangerous test.  Dye with contrast CT scan.  They started me on heparin also and went to do the scan.  They had put the wrong size catheter in my arm though and ended up blowing my vein, and then my doctor told me that he didn't know what to do with my blown up arm (it was almost 3 times the size it was supposed to be from the dye) because the web page wouldn't load.  I, 9 months pregnant was going to beat the crap out of that doctor, and might have if my husband hadn't held me back.  We all then decided induction was our best option but I had to wait 12 hours until the heparin wore off.  I was sent up to ICU because L&D wouldn't take me with a possible PE.  I was treated badly there, and I felt incredibly out of control.  My midwife dropped me and told me I'd meet the OB when I could be induced.  I'd never met the OB before and I knew at that point that my wants to have a natural intervention free birth were over.

I'm still incredibly proud of making it through the labor with no pain meds.  I even threatened the nurse when she came in that I'd kick her if she tried.  I was tired and cranky.

I don't remember a lot of the birth so I will copy and paste my doula's account. We called her when we knew when we'd be inducing.

Birth Story of Steven Strickland
Crystal called me to tell me that her labor would be induced that afternoon after having spent the night before in the ER with suspected health issues. Pitocin would be started that afternoon so I agreed to make my way to the hospital within a couple of hours. When I arrived Michael was supporting Crystal with each contraction. The pitocin was indeed working because labor was well in the active stage when I arrived. Crystal was very uncomfortable, but working through each contraction beautifully. I know that having Michael at the birth was a great relief to Crystal. Michael was doing so well supporting her through each contraction. I sat at the foot of the bed making quiet suggestions as needed. I was just in awe at how well things were moving forward. Crystal was feeling quite a bit of low back pain and Michael was massaging her lower back and I was helping with focus and breathing. Crystal began to feel pushy within an hour of my arrival. At this time I believe there was a shift change or possibly a new nurse came in to cover for a dinner break. I'm not sure exactly, but the new nurse was rather overbearing and her way of handling did not help with maintaining a calm environment in the birthing room. Within minutes Crystal was setup for delivery. Dr. Raup arrived just before Crystal began pushing. Steven was making his entrance quickly. Crystal was lying on her back with her legs up as she pushed. Steven's head delivered rather quickly, but upon delivery of his head it was apparent that their was a tight nuchal cord. The doctor attempted to pull the cord over Steven's head so his shoulders could be delivered. The cord was too tight. Dr. Raup reached for the scissors and cut the umbilical cord on the perineum. Next, Dr Raup had Crystal push, but Steven's shoulder were not moving. The room became very tense and supra pubic pressure was applied and Crystal's legs were pulled all the way back to make room in the pelvis for Steven's shoulders. It was an extremely tense time as I knew that Steven was not receiving oxygen through his cord because it had already been cut. I knew that this was an emergency! I was standing on Crystal's right side pushing her leg as far back as I could and praying that Steven's shoulder would slip past the pubic bone so he could be born. Within seconds it did and Steven was born. I believe Steven went right to the warmer. Upon completion of the delivery of the placenta Dr. Raup had a conversation with Crystal about the need for a rectal repair due to damage done during her last delivery. Crystal received narcotic pain meds to enable Dr. Raup to make a full repair that would enable Crystal to have improvement with rectal tone. I found this repair extremely interesting and saw that the need had indeed been there and thought it was prudent for Dr. Raup to offer such repair at that time. I don't remember much about Steven once he was born other than his need to be moved to the nursery. I know this upset Crystal but I believe due to the shoulder dystocia Steven needed to be monitored more closely following delivery. When I left Crystal she was resting.

After the induction things seemed to go pretty well, although I found out later that they gave my son formula at birth, in case of shock.  I told them I had plenty of colostrum so they should have let me nurse him and they told me there was no way I would have, so I made them grab me a pump and I pumped almost 2 oz of colostrum out and said, "See!"  The nurse was pretty impressed and apologized.

Then the next day the doctor said that his bili was pretty high and he wanted to put Steven under the lights, and I did give permission for that, but no one had mentioned that they would be giving him an ounce of formula each time.  I never gave permission for that, and when I tried to argue with the nurses I was dismissed and my baby was kept from me because I insisted on nursing and they wouldn't bring him back until he'd taken the ounce of formula.  I tried to leave AMA and I was told our insurance wouldn't cover the birth if we did.  We tried calling Tricare to find out and they were surprisingly unhelpful and accused us of harming our child.

I about had a fit when my son came back at one point and would not latch correctly, after having been born with an absolutely PERFECT latch.  I tracked down the lactation consultant and threatened to cause a huge scene if they didn't let me go home RIGHT NOW.  She found the doctor, Steven's charts and I finally got to go home.  After a few days we finally got his latch back on track, but that experience is what solidified in my mind that I would NEVER trust another hospital with the birth of my children, ever again.

Also, after the birth we found out that I did not have a PE, so the entire induction was pointless and I was scared out of my mind for my life and my child's for no reason.  It also left me with pretty debilitating panic attacks any time I have pain in my chest, arms or legs.