All tips and advice would be appreciated, i'd also love it if anyone else has similar stories they would like to share with me I am so angry, at myself, at the midwife, at my husband. Sometimes I find I can't sleep just going over and over and I keep reading and learning and it just makes me so mad that I couldn't get things to go the way I wanted them. I'm so used to being in control and making things happen and I know in myself that I could have done better and its super frustrating.
I am quite sure that my birth story is nowhere near the worst out there and I am so so happy with the end result because I have a beautiful son, but that doesn't seem to stop me feeling this anger and almost inability to process the fact that things didn't go the way I wanted and there is nothing I can do about it.
I never wanted a hospital birth in the first place, I desperately wanted a natural homebirth (because thats where I feel most comfortable, I hate people, I hate the control being taken off me and I hate hospitals lol) but the thought of a homebirth made my husband too nervous and financially it wasn't a realistic dream. So we went with the hospital birth. I picked a little hospital that has a shared care program so we saw the doctor sometimes and the midwives sometimes leading up to the birth. They didn't do epidurals and if anything serious happened I would have to be transferred, but I liked the idea of a smaller hospital since I didn't want to be in any kind of hospital in the first place. We live 45 minutes from hospital (we are lucky enough to be 45 from the smaller one I picked and 45 from a major hospital in the opposite direction so I didn't pick one further away or anything). When my contractions started they were fairly strong and regular at 5 minutes apart within a matter of a couple of hours. We were told to call the hospital when labour started so my husband insisted on phoning at that point and they told us to come in and get checked. Because contractions were strong and regular and we lived so far from the hospital they wouldn't let us go home. Normally they would have let people go home for a couple of hrs but I wasn't allowed. That left me stuck somewhere I felt totally uncomfortable which made the next 20 hrs of labour slowly progressing completely awkward. Don't get me wrong most of the midwives were amazing and the students were even better, but 20ish hrs later the midwife from my nightmares came in and unfortunately that was the time when things decided to heat up. I should add that I didn't start getting contractions until 5pm and having had an argument with my husband the night before I had stayed up stewing rather then sleeping so before labour even started I had been up 36 hrs so by the time things were really ready to shift into gear i'd been awake for like 48hrs or something so I was really and truely exhausted.
There were great elements to the hospital, I was in love with the birthing ball and spent hrs on it in early labour and they did have a birth pool which I was allowed to spend time in but not allowed to stay in (you have to get out well before birth because for some reason you are not allowed to birth in the birth pool). I had wanted to do things completely naturally with no pain relief, but I was terrified and exhausted and nobody told me I could do it, everyone just said oh if you want pain relief here it is so I ended up using the gas and having morphine shots (couldn't hate myself more for doing that to my son).
I didn't want the syntocin? Is it that they give you to help the placenta be born faster? I made that clear at the start and was told it was hospital policy and they didnt' think I could get out of it but we could discuss it later. I didn't want monitors but got told I had to stay on the bed for 20 mins to be monitored first up (longest 20 mins of my life) and then they were good enough to say they could do it with the cordless doppler so after that no more wires - yay! I didn't want an internal examination at all, but after arguing for half an hr I got talked into that one too...several times over
Anyway, this old midwife that was really the whole reason for the nasty experience was there at the end. After a couple of hrs of her being there she talked me into another internal examination where she told me I was 9cm and my waters still hadn't broken. She told me that breaking them would speed things up...nothing else...nothing about all the negatives of breaking ones waters. It wasn't something I had researched and I assumed that there was no harm in it since I wasn't warned about anything and lets face it when you have been in labour for 24 hrs if someone says they can speed things up you are gunna say yes. So I let her break my waters and things did speed up. I spent some time on all fours rocking back and forth on the bed, which wasn't bad. Then I tried the birthing stool and I loved it, as far as I was concerned that was where I was giving birth. I had a mirror so I could see bub starting to crown then slipping back a bit, but I was in control, the most in control i'd felt the whole time. Then she says I have to move back to the bed. I say no, she says yes, after this next push we move. So I just keep pushing cos she won't move me when I'm pushing. I have no need to push, i'm not ready for it and its causing tearing cos i'm straining when things aren't ready, but its gotta be beter then being put back on that bed. But she decides that I need to be back on the bed regardless and gets my husband and the wonderful student midwife (I owe this student a lot, she was my one shining light during this experience) to physically pick me up and put me back on the bed. Then she holds my legs down in the styrups - i'm pretty sure if she could have gotten away with strapping me down she would have!
Anyway, things progress as these things must at this stage lol but I could not think of any position that I would have liked less then being stuck on my back - talk about painful! Next thing I know she is hovering over me with a scalpel!! I had made it abundantly clear to my husband that I did not want an episiotomy, no way no how, but he isn't saying anything. I do manage to ask her what on earth she is doing and she just goes oh it won't come out unless I cut and there we have a very unwanted episiotomy
My beautiful son is born shortly after. I have made it clear that I want delayed clamping of the cord but watch closely cos I don't trust this woman. She waits a minute or so then informs me its stopped pulsating and can she clamp it now? Whatever, it might not have been the delay I wanted but it was better then nothing and I didn't have the strength to fight anymore.
So cord is cut and I get to hold my son. They don't encourage skin to skin or anything, my shirt stays on and he gets a blanket, but i'm not thinking at this stage so I do nothing to change that. Then they start pulling the cord to make the placenta be born faster. This is something I wish I had argued against, or my husband had, he knew I wanted it to happen naturally too - but I had my baby and if it kept that nasty midwife out of my face who cares right? Wrong Next thing you know I have a major bleed (which in all honesty I don't believe I would have had if they could have seen fit to leave me along and let the placenta be born naturally) and bub is taken off me and nurses and doctors are everywhere. I'm being given a series of shots I have no idea what they are but which included the dreaded syntocin I had specified I didn't want (although at that stage I see it was necessary, but I was still never asked - I was still talking and watching, not like I passed out or anything). I had to get a bit firm and tell them to give my son to my husband to warm up rather then just sticking him in a corner under lights - why was that my job, why wasn't a nurse or my husband thinking about what was best for my little man??
Eventually things are under control and I get stiched up. The nasty nurse keeps asking for a catheta but thankfully the doctor listens when I say I don't want one. I have a suppository pain killer nobody asked me about but hey, only my body!
Thankfully at this point the nasty nurse leaves and the wonderful student tells me we can try and give bub a boob. Yay what a special moment...only I have a badly placed needle in one arm from the bleed so i'm not allowed to move it, and I can't feel the other arm (I was leaning on it and because of the blood loss it stayed numb for hours and weak for weeks). That beautiful student was past her time to go home but she spent over an hr standing there holding little one for me so that he got his first breast milk - I will never be able to thank her enough for that, i'm fairly sure she is an angel!!
After that i'm given the option of taking a shower, but i'm too shakey to stand so I get a sponge bath and then we have to move cos i've made too much of a mess with all the blood. We move to a new room and since we are the only birth in the hospital at the time we have a room to ourselves and its the middle of the night so hubby comandeers the second bed in the room and promptly falls asleep. I stay awake making sure little man is ok cos I don't trust these people and don't want anything to happen to him while I sleep lol yep sounds paranoid even to me now but that was the thought process at the time. He does his first poo and a nice nurse changes it for me cos i'm still too weak to stand up and she doesn't want to wake hubby haha he really got lucky there :P then we are left alone till the next morning. We struggle all day with getting this breast feeding thing worked out. Nobody mentions skin to skin and I don't think of it (daft after everything I read, but hey I had been through birth so I guess we can be forgiven for a lapse of memory lol). Several nurses throughout the day try stuffing my boob in his mouth and getting us to express into syringes to give him a taste to help him get started. Hubby and I change his nappy as needed and mark it down on the chart like requested. We have a few visitors and nurses keep asking about my bleeding but we are generally left to our own devices. Doc comes and checks baby and we are given the all clear to go home if the bloods come back with high enough levels for me not to require a transfusion. Advised against leaving so early but told medically its safe if those all important bloods give us the all clear. So we wait all day and then finally late in the afternoon the bloods come back clear - YAY!! Unfortunately the nasty nurse comes back on shift too
She comes in and demands I change a nappy in front of her (ummm excuse me i've been up for days straight, doing nappies all day and i'm prefectly comfortable and capable, but at this point i'd like to sit down, hubby should do it -but nooo she insists I do it) Whatever, I change a nappy in front of her like i'm trying to pass a test. She scares hubby because I refused intravenous antibiotics in spite of being GBS positive and babies can die from that (we are talking tiny percentages here, I did my research, something like 1% of babies even get GBS from mothers who don't take the antibiotics and of that 1% only 1% get a serious case - not the exact numbers but you get the idea of the tiny figures we are talking about, and I had made an educated decision and knew the signs to look out for. On top of which we had just made the 24 hr mark after birth by this point so the main danger zone was over!) so hubby doesn't want to take us home (in spite of his agreeing that I could leave as soon as the docs gave the all clear prior to us going to hospital, it was one of the conditions of my having a hospital birth in the first place!) She then wants to watch us have a go at breastfeeding - like that was ever going to work with her in the room making us as uncomfortable as we can get - but we try. When it doesn't work she takes over, milking me like a cow (ouch) and using a spoon to tip milk down my little ones throat while he is screaming, and of course he coughs and splutters - no way i'm staying now!
She leaves the room and I tell hubby that I don't care what he thinks i'm done playing by other peoples rules and he has to tell them we are going home! Finally he agrees (although not without a great deal of arguing grrr) and we call the nurse back and tell her we wish to leave. We are happy to sign whatever forms we have to. She tells me i'm a negligent mother for doing so but can't actually stop us.
Finally we get to go home. Hubby doesn't understand exactly how sick losing all that blood makes you (the nurses estimated roughly 3 litres lost) so I have to suck it up and do the nappy changes etc, but i'm home so i'm happy
We go back the next day to get his heel prick done, get told he is losing too much weight and if he doesn't put on by the next check we will be readmitted. This scares me so I start expressing to bottles (many tears shed because I hate the bottles and he wants the boob, always looking for it first, but we juat can't make it work).
Four weeks later the MCHN who usually works in my area finally comes back after being away sick and I realise just how bad her stand in was. The new MCHN has us breastfeeding within the day and we don't have a single bottle in the house now Which is one thing I can feel positive about, but I still can't get over the anger at everyone and the disappointment in the way the birth went. I love my son and I love my husband dont' get me wrong. And hubby is doing well with nappy changes etc now and being very helpful and we have talked it all through but I just can't seem to move past it!
Does anyone have any tips? Did anyone have similar experiences? Thanks for reading the epic essay too! Hopefully just putting it all down might help