Liam's Birth Day By Beth Print
Birth Stories - C-Section Birth Stories
Monday, 09 February 2009 11:18
At the age of 32 I chose to become a single mother. Due to a lifelong hormone problem, the first 12 weeks of pregnancy were very high risk. I was on progesterone and my doc sent me for blood tests twice a week. When I finally hit week 12 I thought I could relax, transfer to a regular ob instead of a specialist, and finish out what had become a normal pregnancy.

Well, as I found out, I due to my health coverage I had a grand choice of 1 (one!) ob. It was that or a first year resident. Looking back, the resident couldn't have been any worse than my ob.

At the second visit he told me "big fat women like you have big fat babies" and put me on a restricted diet. Then, at 6 months he freaked out because I'd only gained 5 pounds. This was a pretty good indication as to what kind of doctor he was.

At 8 months he was worried about 1 high blood pressure reading (I think it was due to having been nearly standing on my head trying to wrestle my shoe on seconds prior to the measurement.) He started sending me for twice a week nonstress tests. At one of these a nurse told me that I'd be having a c-section. When I asked what she meant, she said that all of my doctor's patients who were over 30, under 5'5", of overweight had c-sections.

At my next appointment I grilled him about this. He denied it, saying I had no more chance than anyone of having a section. Then he said that if I hadn't delivered by 38 weeks, he wanted to induce me. Not because I'd had any problems, but because it was August and he wanted to make sure none started. It wasn't until the day I went in to be induced that I realized he had 10 other women there that day for the same amazing reason. I'm SURE it had NOTHING to do with the fact that we were all due on a major holiday weekend!!!

Anyway, I went in at 7:30 on August 16. At 8 they started an IV. My birth plan immediately went in the trash. I was forced to stay in bed on my left side, although my resting blood pressure was somewhere around 128/70. The nurse was very clumsy, and I ended up bleeding all over the floor. Her excuse was that she only worked at that hospital 2 days a month (a story I heard from every person who came in my room that day.) Then the ob nurse came in and they started the pitocin- and then said to me, "Oh, I remember you. You're the one I said would have a c-section. We'll see". I felt like saying I'd changed my mind, but still was thinking the doctor knew best.

I'd been at a 1, 50% effaced two days earlier. The contractions started at about 3 minutes apart, fairly mild.

Within an hour, they were much stronger. The doctor came in and broke my water to try to move things along. For the next three hours the contractions were about 90 seconds apart and increasing in strength. At one point two nurses were arguing about how much to increase wanted to follow the doctors directions and the other one wanted to just get it over with. At no point did any hospital personnel ever address me in any way. I was obviously just a file to them. Luckily my friend Leslie, who has a mother who is a nurse, was there to keep me informed.

By 1 I was only at a 4, and the baby still hadn't engaged. I was really getting tired of not getting any rest between contractions. They were all right on my cervix, too, not the nice rolling ones I'd expected. Finally at about 2 I had a shot of Stadol. I hadn't wanted it, but was getting to the point where I couldn't stay on top of the contractions anymore.

By 4:30 the contractions were nonstop. One would just start to fade when the next one would start building. The baby still hadn't engaged (!), but at least I was fully effaced. An hour later I was finally at a 5, and asked for an epidural. (My doc told me not to bother to ask earlier than that because he wouldn't order one.) For the next 90 minutes I dealt with overriding contractions. They checked me and I was still at a 6!!! By the end of that time I couldn't fight the contractions anymore. I kept having the urge to push even though I wasn't even in transition yet. I tried breathing, but lying there on my side, the pain was so intense I couldn't keep up with the contractions.

At 6:30 they finally gave me the epidural. Just sitting up made things so much better. I felt great for about 5 minutes, then I could hear the baby's heartbeat slowing down. I crashed...later to find out from my friend that my own heart had slowed to 30 beats per minute! It was like something out of ER- I could hear them yelling at me to breathe, and they kept telling me "Okay, now we're giving you this medicine, now that one.." About 7 I was finally fully awake again.

At that point my doctor told me they were going to do a c-section because the baby wouldn't survive another round of induction. I started crying because I felt I'd been doomed to this fate...if I'd just chosen another doctor my birth experience could have been less nightmarish. I was at 6.5.

I had to wait well over an hour before being moved to the operating room. I later found out the reason. My doctor had induced 10 women that day. 7 of us had c-sections. I was #6.

Liam was finally delivered at 9:05 that night...with the help of the anesthesiologist pushing from above because he still wasn't ready to come out!!! He was 6 lbs. 2 oz. Hardly the fat monster the doctor had predicted. Oh, and to top it all off, later a nurse scolded me for crying when the doctor told me about the c-section. She said I'd hurt his feelings. I didn't even know how to reply to that!

My son is now a beautiful and very intelligent 4 year old. If anything, the moral to my story is this: If at any point in your pregnancy you feel that there is something about your ob that makes you feel he/she can't be trusted, do whatever you have to do to change doctors. I don't care if you are 2 weeks, 20 weeks, or 32 weeks along, change if you think you need to!!!