Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Sean's Birth Story

This post is beyond overdue. I finally made it to birth circle. Hearing all the birth stories and sharing Emily's inspired me to finally write about Sean's birth story.

Sean's story begins the day before he was born when I woke up to bloody show. I called my OB who sent me to labor and delivery to get checked out. Sure enough, it was just bloody show, nothing to be concerned about. They sent me home to wait for labor. That afternoon I had an appointment with my OB. I was still at 2 cm like I was that morning at the hospital. He then frustrated me by wanting to schedule an induction. I was still 6 days from my due date, the day he wanted to schedule it for. I told him no. I was a first time mom, before my due date and no signs of problems. I did not want to set myself up for a c-section. Not to mention that the bloody show that morning showed that something at least was starting to happen. I went home and planned to see him in a week, when I knew he'd bring it up again. Being that it was Halloween, the day I made sure Sean knew I didn't want him to come, that night was trick-or-treat time. My dad painted my big belly to look like a jack-o-lantern and I helped pass out candy. ...ok ok, I also did a little trick-or-treating to some neighbors we know. It was a great laugh but I was tired by the end of the night.

We went to bed that night without a clue what was about to happen! At midnight I woke up to a contraction. They started coming regularly and stronger. I couldn't do anything but pay attention to them. I knew it was time! I labored a little at home until they were about 5 minutes apart, then I called my OB and my mom. The OB said I didn't sound like I was in labor but I could go ahead and come get checked out. My parents followed us to the hospital (my mom and mother in-law were going to be in the room with me). At the hospital I remember having to stop in the parking lot to work through a contraction, then in the hall, then at the nurses' desk while they tried to have me fill out paperwork. They took me over to triage to make sure I really was in labor. Surprise surprise, I was and off to labor and delivery I went. I informed them that I did not want drugs and wanted a natural birth while they continued to hand me more and more paper work to fill out. Who's great idea was it to save all this paper work for labor!? I swear I preregistered! The first nurse I had was amazing! She was so encouraging and helpful with my goal of a natural birth. She would tell me I was doing great and suggest I change positions and keep moving. But, she had other patients and then there was the shift change. The next nurse wasn't really bad but was not as helpful and encouraging. The OB that came in was even less helpful. Without knowing me and for no reason, decided that I was not allowed out of bed. I really believe that was the beginning of the snowball. I could not deal with the contractions laying in bed. Eventually I was asking for the epidural that I was so dead set against. They told me that it would be awhile because the anesthesiologist was in a c-section. While I waited, they offered me IV drugs. I took them. I was able to sleep a little but everything was a blur. I was able to get the epidural earlier than they thought, while the IV drugs were still in my system. The rest of my labor was horrible. The epidural worked all but one side of my lower back. I was having back labor so that was not helpful! The epidural slowed my labor so they gave me pitocin. Sean's heart rate then began to drop with every contraction. I had an epidural, pitocin, and was laboring on my back so I'm not too surprised. It concerned the OB so he began talking about a c-section, the last thing I wanted! They gave me oxygen and I rolled onto my left side. If I stayed like that, Sean's heart rate was fine. Labor was rough like that but it kept Sean safe and kept me from a c-section. 

Finally, they said I was 10 cm and I could push. At 3:16pm Sean was born. All 6lbs 7oz, 18 1/2 in of him. I was in love with my tiny peanut!  Then the epidural wore off and I got the shakes something horrible! I couldn't hold him, much less nurse him. The room filled with family and Sean got passed around. Eventually it was time for Sean (and hubby) to go to the nursery and me to a recovery room. I remember them having Sean much longer than I thought they were going to. Finally hubby and a nurse return to me. It took longer because they had to do some more testing. Sean has testicular torsion and one of his testicles was swollen; it would not be able to be saved. They wanted our ok to send him to the children's hospital to be looked over again and for surgery. We agree and they brought my son to me. I only had a couple of hours to hold him before they transported him. I sat there with him in my arms drinking up his beautiful face, holding back the tears. The team from the children's hospital showed up and were very nice. They apologized for having to take him and left a couple of pictures for me. Handing him over was probably the hardest thing I've ever had to do. That night was rough but I will always be thankful that my parents went with him and did not leave until I was able to be with him. That made it a little easier. We talked to the doctors at the other hospital over the phone that night. Testicular torsion was confirmed and surgery was set for the next day. I didn't sleep well that night. I thought often of how I didn't even get to nurse him before he left. The next morning the OB took forever releasing me. All I wanted to do was get to my son and was about ready to just walk out. Finally, I was released and got to the hospital right as Sean was being taken to recovery. It was wonderful seeing him again and I anxiously waited until I could hold him again. 

Since he did well, he was taken to the adjoining hospital to stay in the level two nursery. Finally! He was in my arms again. The first nurse he had was amazing! Not a lactation consultant but she was a God send and got me and Sean off to a great nursing relationship. Thankfully we saw her a could times during Sean's stay. We had some horrible nurses too. Sean was a natural when it came to nursing. He'd latch on with ease and nurse 30 minutes or so. I thought it was perfect. The nurses thought differently. They said he was nursing too long so he must not be getting enough. And until he began peeing more, he couldn't go home. I'm stopping for a minute to say what bull that was!! At 1 and 2 days old, he should have been having 1 or 2 wet diapers a day and he was! Their solution was not to let him nurse the whole 30 minutes and top him off with formula or my milk. My milk was not in yet so I was not able to pump as much as they wanted. I wanted him home, so against my wishes, he got formula. From first thing in the morning until late at night, we were there with Sean, only taking breaks to eat or for the nurses to change shifts. You would think the nurses would have been happy about this. It didn't seem so. They eventually told me that I was holding Sean too much. The last full day Sean was there I remember being ticked off with the nurse about this. As we left for the night she placed a sign on Sean's bassinet saying not to hold him if not necessarily. That ticked me off even more. November 4th came. Sean was just 3 days old. The nurse we loved was there and the sign was gone. She knew how stupid it was. The best news, Sean was ready to come home. I couldn't have been happier! They sent us home with formula and instructions to top him off after eat feeding. Sean never got formula once we got home. He just nursed until his heart was content and did beautifully.

Sean's birth story is far from ideal. There are many things I wish I could change. I wish I had known our insurance would pay for midwives. I wish I had gotten a doula. If you're pregnant, get a doula!!! When it came to his testicular torsion, I wish they hadn't made us make a choice in such a fragile state. I was not able to think clearly and it was not a life/death situation. After research I have come to the conclusion his surgery could have waited. The twisted side was gone. There was no saving it. If the other had twisted, there would have been obvious signs and we would have 24 hours to get him into surgery. Taking him from me just hours after birth was not necessary. I don't think his surgery was not necessary but just it could have waited until we were released at least. Looking back on his birth is difficult at times. Just typing it all out brings tears to my eyes. But then I try to remind myself that it wasn't for nothing. I've learned a lot since then and have used that to make better choices for his sisters. If his birth had been even ok, I may not have sought out the midwifery center for Maddy and then eventually a homebirth for Emily. This is our story. It is what it is.

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing your story! I love reading other people's birth stories. Though it didn't turn out exactly as imagined, like you said, you were able to learn from it. I hate when hospitals have stupid policies and/or go with outdated advice! I am glad that you trusted your intution and knowledge enough not to be induced on your due date when there were no problems. I hear of too many first time moms who do choose the induction, thinking it is no big deal, then are forced to have a c-section.

    I just wrote out my son's birth story the other day if you want to check it out