Becky's hospital birth story

 When I was 25 weeks pregnant with my first son, we discovered that my cervix was very soft and weak.  It was about 85% effaced, and I was put on strict bed rest.  I was scared to death that I was going to lose my baby, and as a result I never read a word about labor and delivery.  Psychologically, I thought that reading about labor could somehow make it start.  I avoided the subject completely and just concentrated on holding onto my precious baby.

My waters started leaking at 34 weeks, and my doctor sent me to the hospital, ordering pitocin to get the whole process rolling.  When I was settled into bed, I told my admitting nurse about my situation and told her I didn't really know what to expect.  She asked me, "Why didn't you read a book?"  That was all she had to offer.  So my husband and I began our wait to see what was going to happen.  When I later asked the same nurse what to look for as I progressed, she told me just to wait until the pain got "really, really bad."

It only took a couple of hours for the pain to get really, really bad.  My
baby was posterior and I was lying flat on my back with Pitocin-induced labor.  I had horrendous back labor, but since the nurses never really checked in with me to see how I was doing, I was never offered any assistance or advice for how to deal with the pain.  (Fortunately, the anesthesiologist never made an appearance, or I may have taken any kind of pain relief I could get.)  The nurses would frequently bustle in to check my monitors, but they rarely even gave me a glance.  My husband and I felt afraid and helpless as the pain of my labor grew increasingly worse.

Finally, I reached the stage where I knew that I HAD to push.  My husband ran out to tell someone, but no one believed that it was time yet.  Several nurses strolled in calmly, telling me that I probably had a while to wait--until someone gave me a vaginal exam and felt the baby coming down.  Then everyone scrambled to get things ready, as they told me to breathe through the horrible pushing contractions.  The doctor was stuck in traffic, and they didn't want me to deliver before he got there.  However, my baby had other ideas in mind and was coming anyway.  As I was pushing, one resident was pushing down on my perineum--something that made me scream with pain each time she did it.  When my husband finally asked her why she was hurting me so badly, she turned to him and told him to sit down and shut up.  (That is the honest-to-goodness truth!)

A few minutes after that I gave birth to a healthy five pound boy.  They let me see him for a minute and then he was whisked away to the special care nursery, as he was 5 1/2 weeks early.  My husband went with him, to make sure that he was safe, and after a nurse cleaned me up, I sat in the dimly lit delivery room by myself for over an hour until my husband finally came to see me.  I didn't get to see my little boy for almost three hours.  The nursery was on another wing, and it took that long for anyone to come and take me to him. 

There are even more details that made this one of the worst experiences of
our lives, but we look back now and are thankful for what we learned.  We are now planning the birth of our third child and greatly look forward to
delivering at home.

Becky Ferguson


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