Buttercup Baby

At the last minute, 38+ weeks, I found out that the baby was breech. The
midwives and I tried every possible method for turning a baby that we could come up with. I did handstands in pools, acupuncture, version attempts, you name it. But the date was getting closer and we were also trying to find a doctor or midwife with enough experience and willingness to deliver a breech baby vaginally.

Finally, on the 9th of July I met a doctor who I at least felt wasn't jerking me around, as in not using scare tactics to persuade me or anything. He said that the next day, the 10th of July, my due date, we would attempt another version and if it didn't work, it was c-section time, because the baby seemed to be approaching 8 pounds, which is some magic number in the world of delivering or not delivering breech babies.

That very night at midnight I woke up with period-cramp-like contractions every 3 or 4 minutes. I called the midwives, they said to call back. Half an hour later I knew it was labor, and the contractions were getting closer together. My midwife said she was on her way. By the time she got there, the contractions were sometimes doubling up. She took one look at me and said "Get her in the car!" I looked back wistfully at my already blown up fishy pool in the room. All I wanted to do was go sit in some nice soothing water.

We got to the hospital at 3 am (me giving directions between transition contractions!) As we squealed into the parking lot, I felt like something was coming out my bottom. I put my hand down there and beneath my stretch pants a huge bubble formed, and then suddenly it popped! I said from the back seat "something just exploded!" The midwife said, "That's your water!" T

he doctor I had met the day before was to meet me there at the hospital where they should all be ready for me. My midwife says to me right before we get out of the car: "Now we're going to walk through the lobby and we don't want to get stuck in the ER because they're waiting for you upstairs. So lets just calmly walk through the lobby so we don't get stuck filling out papers or something." I said okay.

The moment we stepped through the ER doors into the lobby a huge
contraction came on and I could feel the baby starting into the birth canal. I yelled, unable to control myself really, "he's coming out right now!" I can still see the look on the receptionist/nurses face as I stood before her, propped up by two other ladies, leaking amniotic fluid like a sieve. I yelled that they were waiting for me upstairs and the midwives said, "she needs a wheelchair".

We did not get stuck and proceeded to a hospital room, where they confirmed that I was definitely completely dilated. I was very much out of it because I was trying NOT to push the baby out when every fiber of my body screamed "push this baby out NOW!" I didn't know what to
do. To push or not to push? Quite often I just said to hell with it and
announced to everyone "I'm pushing!" The midwives said push if I wanted to, but the nurses said, "no don't push!"  But the act of NOT pushing was,
easily, the most painful thing I've ever experienced in my entire life.

That baby was coming and did not want to stop. I heard a couple nurses admit that they weren't even OB nurses, they were just filling in, and one of them looked scared as hell. She gave me a shot of tribunal to stop the
contractions, or so she said, because the contractions went on as they had before, but I suspect that they had lost their power to keep the baby from moving out. I remember vaguely that a man came in to do another "check" but what he was really doing was pushing the baby's butt back up the birth canal, back into the womb! It hurt BAD and I begged, "make him stop!" When he took his hand out, it was covered with meconium.

Then they wheeled me into the surgery room. The midwives couldn't come in with me right away because they had to dress in hospital garb, so I was in the operating theatre alone for a little while and it was very strange. No one would talk to me! The baby's heart monitor stopped, and I just wanted to know why, was the baby okay? I must have asked a million times but no one would reply. I thought maybe the hospital staff couldn't hear me, and perhaps I should yell.

Then I saw my midwife's face between a cap and face cover, and she
could explain to me what was going on. The anesthesiologist came in and
rolled me on my side, and began inserting needles into my back, coincidentally right in the middle of a long contraction. He was upset with me because I wouldn't "hold still" but I was holding as still as I possibly could. It felt still to me! I just wanted to know what he was doing because he kept hitting odd nerves that would send bolts of electricity through my body (my left foot still gives me an electric zap when I stand up), but he would not answer. I almost felt like a wild animal being hit with a tranquilizer and not knowing what the heck was happening to me!

Soon warm numbness crept up my legs and stomach and finally the contractions stopped. My arms were shaking wildly. They strapped both of them down so I was like Jesus Christ on the cross. The blood pressure cuff seemed like it had been squeezing my arm for a century, and wouldn't my arm fall off soon? I asked the midwife about the blood pressure cuff and she noted to the other doctors that my arm was very red and swollen, that the automatic cuff seemed to be defecting. They quickly asked her to leave since she was so distracting, and now I had one midwife left.

After this the room began to spin and I could feel some tugging and pulling on my stomach. At approximately 3:43 the midwife said "oh he looks just like you!" and then they brought him before my face and I cried with happiness, even though he didn't look anything like me. Now I was very excited. I couldn't see what was happening, but the midwife says that then they pulled my whole entire uterus out and put it on top of my stomach so they could reach inside and pull the placenta out. Then
they stitched me all up, stapled the outside, and took me to the recovery room for one hour.

I wanted to see the baby some more but no babies were allowed in recovery, so a midwife held the baby and fended off any strange
procedures. Once out of recovery, they handed me my beautiful baby boy, all wrapped up, with his feet still up around his ears in the frank breech position!

I stayed in the hospital for 4 days, during which they kept me doped up with the best drugs. I knew when I finally stood up to make my first trip to the bathroom that an all natural vaginal delivery is by far less painful, despite all the nice hospital drugs they give you after a c-section. I also came to the conclusion that the staff of a hospital is like a strange tribe with all these odd new customs that can be hard to get used to. Some things that may seem even barbaric to us are perfectly normal to them, and vice versa.

The strangest thing for me to understand was why they kept bugging me every hour all night long, all day long, when I obviously needed some rest! I named my boy Seamus Roland, he came out at 7-lbs. 13 oz, 19 inches long. He's just perfect in every way. While I had seriously hoped to avoid the c-section, I was grateful that my baby came out completely perfect, and also that I got to actually go into labor before they took him out. I'm still at home resting, breastfeeding is going well, and the baby is a little angel.

Maybe next time with the fishy pool thing.


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