Monday, December 30, 2013

Day 30 of mat leave: Baby has arrived

To make a quick summary....... I was scheduled for an induction on the 17th (bumped from the 16th), they started me on Cervidil because I was only 1 cm dilated when I got there. I had intense contractions 15 minutes in and then baby had a weird spike in heart beat which scared the resident administering my medication so at 1.5 to 2 cm, he booted me out of the antenatal ward and on to the birthing center to be put on Oxytocin to induce contractions.

There I went 11 hours on Oxytocin without epidural only to get to  a measly 4 cm dilation, even after my water broke, at which point, it had been 24 hours since I'd slept and my fatigue was getting unbearable. I have to admit, had the pain continued and I'd been well rested, ie. not had to come in for the Cervidil at 5 am, I may have gone through with a drug free natural birth, it turns out I might actually have a high tolerance for pain. But the fact of the matter was, I was suffering from lack of sleep and there was no end in sight for a birth as I had to get to 10 cm dilation.

Anyway. I was put on the epidural, got some amazing sleep, there was a turnover of 3 residences checking up my cervix every few hours and finally, on the third turnover, the last resident suspected that my baby wasn't head down after all. Ha ha ha. Jokes on me. They sent for an ultrasound machine and lo and behold, my child is breech and after almost 20 hours of labor, I'm sent in for a c-section because the previous residences couldn't seem to tell that baby was not head down after all. I don't know if a last minute turn from baby was to blame or my obstetrician for failing to see that baby had breeched at my prenatal checks but either way, I was hauled in for a c-section, something that I was completely unprepared for.

It was a petrifying experience because I'm not a fan of surgery, needles or medication. Call me a hippy, tree hugger, whatever, I really hate having these types of interventions and this whole birthing thing left me feeling vulnerable and in a way, violated. The 'mandatory' IVs, the cervix checks every 2 hours with a resident barking at you to relax so that they can get 2 fingers up your vagina, the mandatory heart monitor that you have to have attached the whole time allowing you superbly limited motion and making going to the bathroom a tiring hassle and then finally, the needle in my back for the epidural followed by the mandatory catheter because I won't be able to feel when I have to pee.

And then the C-section. My poor mother and husband, they were both equally as petrified as I. I know the surgery is pretty much routine now and the doctors at the hospital seem to be so proud of the fact that 25% of their patients end up having C-sections so that I can feel "confident" in their experience. In my case, I know that birthing a breech child is dangerous for the child, so in this case, I know a C-section would be the best course of action. But I don't think a hospital should take so much pride in having a quarter of their births turn into C-sections. It makes you wonder if they are all really that necessary.

They stripped me, shoved more epidural into me and to ensure that I didn't have an unbalanced lack of feeling in my body, the way I did with the labor epidural, I think they semi overdosed me on the drug such that I felt like I couldn't swallow anymore. They did their thing with me conscious, I didn't feel much until they had to apply pressure from the top of my body down to the incision to force baby to move down. That was terrifyingly uncomfortable. I even want to say painful but maybe it was really the terror that I found to be painful.

So I spent the whole ordeal holding my husband's hand on one side and demanding that the nurse hold my hand on the other side so that I had direct access to someone and a backup someone should something feel amiss. Then I prayed to God for everything to be well, for baby and I to come out alive, healthy and strong. C-sections may be routine but it's still major ab surgery !

I do believe that God has a big picture in mind and everything works out as they should. In the end, I gave birth to the cutest little love bug ever!!! as every mother is bound to say and think of their child. Additionally, the doctor removed a dermoid cyst the size of a mandarin in one of my ovaries. Apparently, it's the type of cyst that I was born with and that grows ever so slowly. Should it burst or get super large, then I'd have complications. So maybe there was a cosmic point to all of this after all. Cool fact, it had hair and teeth inside. OK, cool but ew.

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