Hospital Birth Story

2 Hospital Births -- one not as bad as the other

My first son was 10 days "overdue" when he decided to make his appearance.  While his birth story isn't as saddening for me, as his brother's, it wasn't the greatest birth.  After 16 hours in labour (most of it in the hospital strapped down with a fetal monitor in bed), an amniotomy and episiotomy, he was born.  They put him in an Ohio bed immediately because of meconium stain and an APGAR of 1 and I was allowed to hold him an hour later.  However, after that hour, he roomed in with me for the rest of our hospital stay, and when I got tired the first night, the nurse suggested we put up one of the bed rails, and so I slept with my newborn the first night, and from then on....

My second son was also 10 days "overdue" when my doctor sent me for an ultrasound.  I had "grown" 5 cm in one week (I think it was just a difference in measurements caused by 2 different doctors examining me in the previous 2 weeks) and my regular doctor was worried.  The ultrasound tech's exact words, "I don't see enough fluid.  Why didn't he just induce you?  I'll have no doubt you'll be induced." 

The next day, I went into the dr.'s office for the ultrasound results and was informed that I'd be flown out to the nearest hospital with better equipment (in our case, Winnipeg) as soon as the plane could come get me.  "Just for testing, as a precaution," I was told.  "If there's no problem, you can come back," the doctor said.  

Well, when I finally arrived at the hospital in Winnipeg at 2AM, the referring physician was waiting for me, examined me and decided that I should be induced in the morning.  The second he left the room, his understudy said that he didn't feel comfortable with me leaving the hospital (I was to stay with family for the remainder of the night), and informed me that he wished to start the pitocin as soon as possible.  

After 4 grueling hours of trying to insert an IV (I told them I had horrid veins, and they wouldn't believe me 'til they saw for themselves), they finally established one and I hadn't slept in 23 hours.  I was already getting delirious.  They started the pitocin and told me to walk.  Until the shift change.  My nurse... I should've told her to leave the second she came in my room.  She told me to lie down on the bed so that she could put the monitor on and EVERYTHING from that point on was a losing fight for me.  I wanted to sit on the birthing ball.  "No... can't keep the fetal monitor on when you're on there, and the baby sounds like he's not tolerating labour that well."  I DEMANDED to be allowed to have a shower.  

After the degrading process of having to allow her to strip off my clothes (to get around the IV), I was able to have a 15 minute shower before they told me to get out.  I was only allowed to get out of bed to go to the bathroom one more time... where I contemplated staying until my wee one was born.  But people kept pounding at the door saying, "Are you okay?" "Are you coming out soon?"  I finally caved and went back to bed.  Then I asked for an epidural. 

Understand:  In my whole 16 hour labour the first time, the pain was NEVER as intense as with pitocin.  I was literally pulling my hair out with pain.  The next hour, or so, after the epidural was put in, was a blur.  I was hallucinating (talking to my other son, who wasn't there), among other things.  Then, I felt this immediate INTENSE urge to push.  I was at 10cm.  They rushed me from the labour room to the delivery room.  I started pushing, they started counting.  I told them to shut up.  The resident (who delivered my son) told me he was going to perform an episiotomy.  I screamed, "NO WAY!!!" So, he sat and waited.  

No perineal massage... he was lost.  I pushed my baby out on my own, in my own time.  THEN, they took my perfectly healthy baby (with a normal APGAR of 7) away from me and stuck him in an Ohio bed where he lay screaming while the one nurse in attendance did paperwork, and the resident sutured my slight tear (3 stitches).

I finally saw my son 1/2 and hour later, in the recovery room.  I nursed him for about 20 minutes (with nurses coming in every couple of minutes to ask if he was done), before I gave him away so that they could do their precious tests, and weights, etc. on him.  If I'd have known that they'd take him for the "routine" 4 hours, I would have never let them have him.  They wheeled me into my hospital room where I had to wait, and wait, and wait before I could see him again.  "Hospital policy", they said.  When they brought him to me, I finally fell asleep.  I had been awake for over 33 hours.

My nightmare hospital stay wouldn't end for another 2 days.  "Hospital policy" being quoted to me at every turn, but I'd had enough.  A nurse woke me up at 2AM to inform me that "hospital policy" dictated that I was not to sleep with my baby.  I said, "Why?" and she left me alone. That became my mantra.  That, and "Never again!"

I had a birth plan both times.  My second birth plan was so well researched, and I'd spent hours writing it.  It covered everything...
no induction, no IV, no drugs, etc, etc, etc.  Scare tactics and tiredness reduced me to a shell of my normal self.  Next time, NO HOSPITAL!!!

~Saara Harvie
Flin Flon, Manitoba, Canada
 

 

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