- 5 years ago
- Wedding: July 2015
Well, it’s been like 5 months since the birth, but I finally got around to finishing the birth story. Here it is!
Our Klara was born on Nov.28 at 4:47am at the Hospital, weighing 6lb 1oz. We had planned on giving birth at the birth centre, but things worked out a little differently than anticipated. At 40 weeks and 3 days, I went for a check-up with our midwife who noticed that I was measuring a bit small compared to the previous week. She booked me in for an ultrasound the next day, Thursday Nov.27. At the ultrasound, we found out that my placenta was slowing down it’s delivery of nutrients, and the fetus was compensating by increasing blood flow to the brain which was slowing down growth in the rest of the body. Hence, she was measuring small for gestational age.
At that point, the radiologist urged us to go to the hospital as soon as possible in order to be induced. Since babe was measuring under the 10th percentile, I had to be transferred into the care of an OB, and my midwife, Nicole, could take on only a support role.
We arrived at the Rockyview in the early afternoon and were put in a triage room. DH’s sister Robin was there as a support person, and worked as an L&D nurse for many years. She knew some of the nurses and it was great having her there, as she sympathized with our desire for as natural a birth as possible. In the room, Nicole swept my membranes, hoping to get things started naturally. I was hooked up to a continuous fetal monitor which did not want to stay in place. I had some cramping over the next hour or two, and then an OB came to check me. I have to mention that this doctor was so incredibly rough, I burst into tears. I was expecting the same sensitive treatment as what I received from Nicole, and this was basically an assault. She also swept my membranes again without telling me she was doing so. Apparently this OB does not have a great reputation, as I was told later. On the bright side of what I considered a vicious internal check, I had progressed to 3cm, and almost completely effaced. Baby was in a very low station.
So they held off on the oxytocin for a while, but next time I got checked, I was still 3cm and contractions still hadn’t really started- I was still just getting cramping. So they started me on the Oxytocin around 9pm. By this time there was a new OB, who was very supportive of trying for as few interventions as possible (other than the induction, obviously). The Oxytocin kicked in and the real contractions started, though they were fairly intense, but manageable. I think I laboured like this for a few hours. The next time the OB came in, and checked me, I was still at 3cm. The baby was really low, and there was a big bulge of my waters between babe’s head and my cervix, which the doctor felt was probably preventing progress as the head was not engaging with my cervix at all. She suggested breaking the waters, and at that point we agreed since it seemed as though that was what was stalling my labour.
Shortly thereafter, a resident came in to rupture the bag of waters. It was incredibly painful and I couldn’t really hold still or even breathe through the discomfort as she was trying to hook the bag. They gave me either oxygen or nitrous- I can’t remember which, and that calmed me down. Once the membrane was ruptured, they saw that there was meconium present. Moreover, babe’s heart rate dipped for a minute or so, which made everyone nervous and wanting to prep me for C-section. But, the heart rate returned to normal, but they insisted that I get an internal monitor, as the best was not doing a good job of consistently measuring since it kept slipping around. So, another painful procedure done by the resident, and I was finally left once again to resume labouring.
*To Note: Although at first, we were given privacy and some ability to roam the room, I had been unable to use the shower for the entire time, since I had the belt monitor on. Darling Husband and his sister took turns applying counter-pressure and doing massage. We had the lights dimmed and classical and ambient music playing on a laptop. We did what we could to set a relaxing mood and atmosphere, but unfortunately the constant interruptions, neurotic watching of the heart-rate monitor and insensitive internal exams were hindering an adequately intimate state. *
By this time the contractions were insane and stacking one on top of another. I think I laboured like this for about an hour, maybe two and could barely handle it anymore. The whole time basically felt like one continuous contraction, and my ability to cope was diminishing. When I got checked again, 3cm. The whole time, I had been pretty much completely effected and baby was in a low station. It was pretty defeating. Then baby’s heart rate started dipping again and over the next little while, it would simply not stay consistent. The OB came and told me that the baby was not tolerating the intense labouring, and I would be prepped for an emergency C-section immediately. If I had to guess, I would say that between that last internal check, and the administering of the spinal anaesthetic (fentanyl), I probably did progress, probably even toward transition. I was shaking, and vomited, but at that point it was too late.
I was taken to the OR, where the spinal was administered in mid-contraction. It was one of the most difficult things ever to stay still. A minute or less later, the pain of the stacked contractions finally relented as I was placed in a laying position on the operating table.
No one tells you how horribly bizarre a C-section feels. It’s not that you don’t feel anything. You actually feel everything- other than the sharpness of the pain. It was impossible not to visualize the incision when I could feel the pressure of the scalpel. Then I could feel them pulling my skin and muscles back. And then there was the tugging, which I’m assuming was them pulling the baby out of the depths of my pelvis. It was a vigorous yanking, like someone shaking you as hard as they can, and it was seriously putting me over the edge. I just looked at Darling Husband, who, all things considered, was looking fairly collected, and was like “Oh my god, oh my god.” The anaesthesiologist noticed me on the verge of panic and asked if I wanted an additional pain killer (morphine), which I accepted.
Just then, the OB told me I was going to felt a weight as though someone was standing on my chest. Then, I did indeed feel such a sensation, so intense, and then a big gush, one final yank, and the powerful, loud cry of our baby as she was lifted out of me. At that instant, I became completely at peace with the entire experience. We had done everything we could in our attempt for a natural birth, and instead encountered all the interventions we hoped to avoid, but the most important thing- the delivery of a beautiful and healthy baby- had been achieved. I was elated. Also, the morphine had kicked in.
Darling Husband was over at the station where they do the APGAR score (9,9), and they quickly checked her over and gave our daughter to Paul immediately. He brought her over to me and held her up so I could see. What a gorgeous tiny thing!
Our OB piped up from behind the curtain, “So, what are you going to name her?” Darling Husband and I looked at each other and both said, “I think she looks like a Klara,” which was one of the three possible names we had chosen.
Our midwife, Nicole, and her student, Avery, had arrived to take over on the post-natal duties. They insisted that Darling Husband take off his scrubs and do skin to skin with Klara. Then he brought her over to me and touched her cheek to mine. Once our OB removed my placenta and started stitching me back up, Nicole made sure that Klara be put on my chest. I got some skin to skin with her for a few minutes, but was really unable to hold her properly so she resumed skin to skin with Paul.
Once I was stitched up and wheeled into the recovery room, Nicole placed Klara on my chest once more and guided her to latch onto my breast, which she did immediately. She fed for a minute but I was too out of it and drugged to hold her in place. I was shaking uncontrollably and then vomited. So Darling Husband held Klara while the midwives hand expressed my colostrum into a syringe, and then fed it to Klara. Eventually, I was wheeled into my postpartum room and was able to snuggle with my baby.
Because Klara was small, her weight and blood sugar levels had to be monitored for 48 hours. We had to supplement with donated breast milk until my own milk came in, in addition to breastfeeding the colostrum. We got the milk from the Mother’s Milk Bank, which is an amazing organization, and I would implore any of you moms, if you have extra breast milk, to consider donating it, as they are always in need of donors.
Klara passed all her tests with flying colours, and we were able to leave after 48 hours. It was such a relief to be home. Klara and I had a couple of rough days with breastfeeding. This was mostly due to the abdominal incision and difficulty propping myself up into a good position. We got the hang of it pretty quickly though. We had an excellent lactation consultant at the Rockyview who helped us so much. And our midwives provided excellent care throughout the whole experience and beyond.
We were hoping to get my placenta encapsulated, but it was recommended that I send it to pathology, so that’s what I did. A few weeks later the results came back, and showed that my placenta was smaller than average, but no reason was found for this.
Overall, it wasn’t as disappointing of an experience as the description would suggest. Before the labour, we truly did try and prepare ourselves for the possibility of a birth full of interventions, which I believe helped me to integrate and accept this less than ideal birth experience, which of course, by virtue of its resulting in a healthy baby and mom, wasn’t really so bad, on the spectrum of things that can go wrong. Which isn’t to say that I didn’t have moments of sadness, or grief, over the birth which I had visualized and idealized in my mind. I totally did, but ultimately, my gratitude at the outcome, has come to completely overshadow that sadness.
Now, Klara is just over 5 months old, and weighing in at around 14lb. She laughs, plays with her toys, rolls from back to tummy, and has cut two front bottom teeth! She is an amazing baby, and a joy in our lives and we are looking forward to the rest of the adventures that await us!
- This topic was modified 4 years, 6 months ago by sara.anna.