Similar to many but different to most: My Birth Story – Part 3

…Continued from Part 2…

4 September 2011

Just after midnight: There was one moment when I was on the table getting prepped for theater and one of the Drs rocked up and started questioning the other one on whether or not this should be the course of action and if every possible thing had been done. I guess hospitals are very wary about delivering babies under a GA (general anesthetic). There is a lot of risk as the GA can affect the baby and it can come out not breathing. Thankfully this didn’t happen with Monkey. He came out crying apparently.

At that moment, when I thought this whole thing might not come off because of another silly Dr who doesn’t have a clue what is going on, I almost burst into tears. I honestly thought they might send me back up to deliver naturally. But then the Dr said “No, this one has had enough. It’s time to take her in.”  I could have kissed that Dr.

12:41am Our little monkey is born.

He was SO worth it.

He was SO worth it.

Later in recovery: I remember being woken by the nurses in recovery. “Rachael, Rachael. It’s time to wake up.” The very first thing I say is “How’s my baby?”.

I’m told he is just fine and that Daddy and the midwife will bring him down to see me right away.

I still remember the very first moment I saw him. No, it wasn’t the first moment he arrived on earth. Yes a number of other people got to hold him before I did. But it was still our first moment and I will always treasure that. Yes, it would have been nice if I could have seen him from his first moment on earth. I’m not disputing that. But things were how they were and I don’t regret his birth for a single second. I feel no guilt. We did what we could do with the information that we had and a number of complicating factors and that’s what I mean when I say my birth was different to most. We had some unique circumstances that you simply don’t come across every day that drove us to this rather unique conclusion.

What will I do next time? I’m not sure to be honest. For one, I’ll have an OB. I’ve done a bit of a wrap up below of the things that I think can be taken home from this whole experience. They could be helpful for anyone so if you have a baby on the way and are crazy enough to be reading this story then have a squiz. Best to arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible so when it comes to time for decisions you can make them.

I can say with certainty that it hasn’t put me off having another child. If anything I feel more prepared than ever before. I know what I’m in for and I know some of the things we are up against. And as my mum always says…it’s only temporary. That period of pain and difficulty in bringing a newborn child into this world is only temporary. And then the fun really begins.

The wrap up

What a saga hey? Well I’m going to attempt to wrap this up quickly as if you’ve made it this far then that’s a lot of reading.

I think there are a number of lessons learned from my experience. Here are just a few of them:

  • I wish I’d had my mum or a doula there. My partner was there and was great but I think women are better advocators when it comes to birthing. She could have found out more about why the morphine couldn’t be administered, probably would have gotten me being more active and things like that.
  • I’m not sure how I feel about the whole thing with the epidural. I know my birthing experience went downhill from there, big time. But at the same time it was useful information to know. It would have been worse if I was being wheeled in for a Caesar only to find that the epidural didn’t work on the table. I shudder to think of what might have taken place.
  • A good midwife makes all the difference.
  • I should have asked more questions about the water breaking palava although again, with the low water levels I’m not sure I would have made a different decision anyway.
  • Continuity of care is important. This is possibly my biggest take home message. Check if your hospital will have a midwife on with you for extended shifts or how much involvement your OB has. Someone needs to be following you most of the way through so they have some sympathy for you if you’ve been at it for 24 hours or more. For my birth I’d deliberately chosen the public hospital system as I had my previous back injury. I figured that it would be the best place to cater to my needs and any possible complications. This isn’t how it worked out. You get a new midwife every 8 hours and Drs are on a similar rotation. Everyone is just reading off notes and so no-one is actually looking at you and feeling that this is too much.   It wasn’t until that Dr came on for her second night shift and saw me still there that someone actually felt some alarm in relation to the duration of the whole thing. You want to deliver somewhere that at least has staff on with you for an extended period of time if not the whole process (sometimes the whole process would be unreasonable).

I think I am really really lucky that I am not scarred from this whole experience. I tend to be quite a pragmatic person and I can see that it is what it is and that’s all. It’s one moment in my life with my son. Sometimes I have a slight pang that I didn’t see him the moment he was born but I don’t carry it around with me. I did have trouble bonding with him and some would say that is due to the full on birth. I have another post to write about that but in short, I don’t know that it played such a massive factor. I think, for us, it was simply a matter of personality and getting to know you. I love him always. I’ve loved him from the moment he was an idea in my mind and that never changed – even when bonding was challenging.

Next time I will have an OB and we will have an agreement on how long things can go on for before they intervene and we go down the GA route again.  I’m not having things go on and on and on like they did last time. Looking after a newborn after that ordeal was hard. And my milk didn’t come in for about 4 days. Poor kid was starving. But again, that’s another story. I also think that I will have a doula next time. I really think that a great doula can add something wonderful to the birthing experience and can be your ongoing person and staunch advocator. I bet the hospital staff hate having them there bossing them around! Oh well.

For those that stuck with me in this three part series – thank you. I hope you’ve enjoyed my story. Feel free to share yours in the comments below.

~MFS~

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46 thoughts on “Similar to many but different to most: My Birth Story – Part 3

  1. Pingback: Similar to many but different to most: My Birth Story – Part 2 | mummy flying solo

  2. What an amazing story! I think it really sucks that you went through such an ordeal, but you have such a positive outlook on it, it’s inspiring! At the hospital I delivered the kids in the nurses are on a 12 hour rotation and the Dr’s are on a 24 hour rotation. But when the nurses switch off, they discuss you and then both come into your room and discuss the care you have been getting etc. Same with the one experience I have with the Dr’s switching off. I think it is great that you are looking at it as an experience to learn from and it’s not turning you off from the idea of having more babies!

    • Thanks Lynn. Yeah I think a 12 hour rotation is much more feasible than an 8 hour one. I did have some crossover and discussion but it didn’t seem to help unfortunately. I’ll be ever thankful to that Dr on her 2nd night shift!!! Thanks for taking the time to read through the whole story. It’s such a long one but I wanted to share. It was a good opp for me to record it all too before I forgot it altogether. 🙂

  3. What an amazing journey that was…..and one that brought back memories for me…although without the time extension that you had, thank goodness! And there you are talking about stepping up for another go at it……wow, we women sure are crazy/incredible/resilient human beings!

  4. Oh I don’t like this one bit. I’m sorry. So, so very sorry. I know our country has a very broken maternity care system and it sounds like your care greatly failed you. 😦

  5. Anyway, I am very glad you are both healthy and happy now. It’s so relieving to know that you were able to heal without any emotional scars. I know those all too well and it’s hard to overcome. Great posts overall. And you are right, continuity of care is absolutely essential!

    • Thanks so much for reading all the way through! And yes, at the end of the day we just all need to focus on being happy and healthy. It’s the most important thing. Things could have been so much worse so I’m just grateful that they weren’t. 🙂

  6. Wow – what an amazing story. Your little monkey was even more reluctant to emerge than mine!! I recognise so much of this – the stress and disappointment of waters going but no contractions, the hours and HOURS of pain with minimal dilation… and the terrible time afterwards when you need to look after a newborn round the clock when you have just been through something that requires a week of bedrest!! Well done on being so brave and so practical about the whole birth – the fact that you know you had the best outcome despite everything that happened is brilliant. I sometimes wonder what it must be like to be one of those women that has a four hour labour and then comes home that evening with a baby – when it comes to starting motherhood the gruelling physical trauma that mums like us go through must put us in a totally different place! Thanks for sharing – I love a good birth story!!

  7. Grueling! I’m so happy to hear it ended well for you and the precious Baby Boy. I had a lot of angst about the delivery of my twins by emergency c-section but have begun to let it go. In the end, I have terrific little miracle babies. The fact it didn’t go according to my plan pretty much pales in comparison of that fact. Best wishes to you!

  8. Wow, I had a similar birth experience but not quite as, uhhh, complicated. I’m feeling a little better about my failed attempt at natural childbirth. And, your boy is soooo cute!!!!

  9. I stuck through it! I enjoyed it! Thank you for sharing your experiences and what you feel you learned from them! What a challenge!! But such joy at the end to have your little monkey!

    La-

  10. My goodness. You can definitely bring that one up as a guilt trip when Monkey is old enough to understand! All of the lessons we learn, I can’t get over how constant they are in life. I really hope things go smoother next time xxx Thank you for sharing

    • haha yeah I bet he will hate it. I can picture him covering his ears and saying “No more, I don’t want to hear anymore about your birth story” LOL And yes, life is indeed full of lessons. Just when we get comfortable, another seems to pop right on up. xx

  11. If I had had this birth, I wouldn’t be doing it again! You are one strong woman. I don’t understand it when people who lack empathy work in positions of care. Sorry you had such an awful birth. Lucky the final result is so completely worth it.

  12. One word. EPIC!!!!
    My goodness, what an ordeal. I agree with one of your readers that you have such a positive spirit and outlook for “next time”. And I hope you get to have a very positive birthing experience then 🙂

  13. Thank you for sharing your birth story. Once I started, I couldn’t stop reading it. I’m so sorry that things did not go as planned and that it took so many difficult and unexpected turns. It sounds very similar to my sister’s experience with her first though she never planned a natural birth. In the end, she had a C-section and the epidural never worked and she felt much of it until the quickly put her out. Scary stuff. Like you, it did not deter her from having another. That beautiful gift at the end numbs all of those regrets and fears. I teared up at the point in your story where your lil Monkey was born. He is beautiful and you are a rockstar!

    • Awwwww thanks Kerry. That must have been awful for your sister. Feeling it on the table – yikes! I’m so pleased she was able to get over such a traumatic event and have another. These sorts of events are extremely rare overall so the likelihood of reoccurence is pretty small but of course dependant on the individual. I try to bear that in mind.

  14. I love your positive outlook on the whole thing and how you have a plan for what you’d like to do next time. 🙂 Will link the first part in my c-section posts!

  15. Wow, what a birth story! I’m happy that you are able to have a positive outlook on it though and not be discouraged to not want a second child. I think that we all go into our first (and maybe subsequent) pregnancy thinking we know how we want things to go, but come out knowing what we’d keep and change the next time ’round.

    • Thanks lovely 🙂 The body truly is a remarkable thing. I’ve actually bern shown that twice in my life and it’s still going strong! Thanks for reading my long winded story. 🙂 x

  16. Sounds like such an intense experience! I so agree with you on the continuity of care. My last birth we had a home birth midwife so of course enjoyed a wonderfully supportive, personable, highly attentive team throughout. And I had built a relationship with the midwife through the pregnancy, so trusted her. It was amazing, and I was lucky to have a natural birth. This time, we are leaning towards hospital birth due to finances (insurance doesn’t cover home birth), but it’s the same as there. You can work with an OB, but there is a rotating nursing staff, and whoever is on call is the one who delivers your baby when the time comes, which just seems wrong to me, because you are so vulnerable in that moment and want to have at least a little control, and some medical staff are so impersonal and cold! After reading this, I am thinking we definitely at least need to have a doula if we go hospital birth. Thanks for sharing!

    • Yeah I think having somewhere there who can truly advocate for you (and knows what they are talking about) is so important. Thanks for reading my story. It’s nice to see you back around the traps. 🙂

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