Thursday, March 8, 2012

Reflections of my c-section

I can't believe it has already been a month since I've had Grant. How time has flown! Little Grant is growing so quickly, I definitely can tell he is fattening up, which he needs to because he's so skinny. But anyways lately I've been thinking a lot about my birthing experience. I know before and during my labor, people told me after I had Grant that I would forget about all of the trouble I went through to have him. Which is somewhat true. Now that I have Grant, most of the crap I went through my pregnancy and birthing experience is pretty much bridge under the water. But I can't help to feel sad that I didn't have the same experience as most women get to have when giving birth. And I feel sad that most likely when I have my second child that I'm going to have the same kind of experience that I had with Grant.

When I was pregnant with Grant the thought of a c-section never really crossed my mind. I'm not sure why I thought a c-section wouldn't happen to me. But anytime I would read about c-sections in the pregnancy books, I just would quickly skim over it and tell myself, the baby is not breech so I won't need a c-section. I didn't really mentally prepare myself as to what would happen if I did actually need a c-section. So my advice to all expected mothers, be prepare for anything to happen during labor, don't always expect that things will go perfectly to your birthing plan, or go the way you want. Be open to the idea that a c-section is always possible.

It is sad how often cesarean sections are done anymore these days. It seems like a lot of doctors are quick to use cesareans as a means to deliver a baby, instead of letting nature takes its course. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the cesarean rate is 32.9 percent. This rate has increased by 20 percent just in the last 20 years. Lucky me I got to be part of this 32.9 percent. I've mentioned this before in my previous blog entries, but if you haven't seen the documentary "The Business of Being Born" you really need to watch it. It was a really eye opener of how too many medical interventions are use anymore when women give birth. Why is it that with technology getting better, that cesareans are being performed more often? If women were able to give birth just fine 20 years ago without an cesarean, why the sudden increase? It is sad that cesareans happen so often anymore, and it blows my mind when people elect to have an cesarean. Why in the hell would you what to voluntarily have a c-section? I wouldn't wish it on anyone. Unfortunately for my case, I really had no choice in the matter. Nor can I blame my doctor for quickly jumping to means to do a c-section. He waited as long as he could for my induce labor to take its course, but unfortunately having a baby naturally was just not in the cards for me. Because of my high blood pressure, and the stress it was causing the baby, waiting any longer for me to dilate and have the baby naturally was dangerous for me and for the baby. So I really can't blame the doctors and say they were quick to use unnecessary medical interventions on me. All I can do is blame is my genetics, for being predisposed to preeclamsia. Even when was having high blood pressure, for some reason the thought of having a c-section didn't even cross my mind. I knew the possibility of induction was there, but I guess foolishly thought I would be able to have my baby vaginally. Maybe I thought this because the doctor told me that he would let me labor last for 3-4 days if necessary to avoid a c-section. But that was if there were no complications. I didn't realize how serious my high blood pressure was until towards the end of my two day labor ( in which I only dilated 3 cm) the nurse came in and told me I had to move on my left side, because being on my right side was causing my blood pressure to go up and the baby's heart rate to go down. I was so uncomfortable, I was experiencing painful contractions, and I couldn't get out of bed or even lay on my back or right side. I was pretty pathetic at that point, and was actually relieved when the doctor told me I needed a c-section. Which looking back I don't even know why I was relieved, probably because I was so miserable. I was hooked up to all these ivs and I was barely progressing in my labor. I think at that point I just wanted the baby out of me. I was already at the hospital for four days. It just saddens me that I had to go through over two days of labor to not even be able to deliver the baby vaginally. Like I did all that for nothing.

Having to get a c-section done I believe was the best choice my doctor made. I don't second guess his judgement, because I know it had to be done, my baby's health was in jeopardy. One thing I am a little mad about was that the doctor never informed me the possible side effects of what magnesium sulfate could have on my baby. Magnesium sulfate is used for women who have preelecampisa. It is given to help prevent seizures and strokes. The problem with magnesium sulfate is it is also used for women who go into preterm labor, it slows down labor. So it was working against my labor progression. Which is why I only progressed 3 cm. Reading about magnesium sulfate is the benifits out-weighs all the risks. But there are risks. Which the doctor or nurses never told me. I really wish they would have informed me that my baby could have problems as a result of me being on magesium sulfate. Looking at Web Me right now here is one of the side effects: Affects the fetus's central nervous system. If this medicine has been given to the mother in large doses and the baby is born before the drug has had time to clear the mother's body, the baby may have temporary problems with breathing right after birth. These problems are quickly reversed with medicine. When Grant was born his cry was extremly weak. I was really worried, and even asked the nurses if that was normal for him to be crying like that. And downplayed it and told me everything was fine. They showed Grant to us for 10 seconds and wisked him away. They never told me what was wrong, I just assumed that it was normal for them to take the baby away, because they needed to clean him up. Maybe they left me in the dark because I was all opened up on the operating table, and they didn't want to induce panic. But I really wish I was more informed about what was happening. After I went back in the room, I was sad to find out that Grant's breathing was faster than his heart-rate, and he had to have oxygen and a feeding tube. Luckily his breathing got back to normal, but as a result he had to spend the night in the special care unit. My mom was also there when this all happened, she wasn't in the operating room, but she was in the waiting room. And she even told me how upset she was at the way it was handled by the nurses. And how stupid they were acting about it. At the time I didn't understand why my mom was upset, and thought the nurses didn't do anything wrong. But looking back, I'm with my mom on this upset. They should have told me maganusim sulfate can have bad side-effects on the baby. And they shouldn't have acted so stupid about the situation. I wasn't in the outside of the operating room, but my mom said they weren't very helpful and saying much to Matt and her, when they took the baby away. And I had no idea this was going on until after the fact. I was under the assumption that everything was ok with my baby. Luckily everything was ok. But because of all this drama is missed out on a lot of things that most moms get to experience when the baby is born.

Because I had a c-section, I didn't get to instantly hold the baby. And because Grant had to stay the night in the special care unit, I actually didn't get to see him until the next morning! So it was over 12 hours until I got to see Grant. It makes me sad when I see pictures of my friends or other people who've had babies recently. There are pictures of them holding the baby as soon as they gave birth. I didn't get any pictures like. So much was going on, that we even barely took pictures. Most moms get to feed their babies within an hour after they are born. I didn't get to feed Grant until the next day. They ended up giving him formula, just to make sure he got some food right away. I didn't even get to see Grant until 8 hours after I gave birth. My mom, and everyone else got to see him before I did. I had to wait until my legs were not numb anymore before going to see Grant. It just makes me really sad that I didn't get to enjoy those first moments like most mothers get to experience after giving birth. I guess I got to eventually experience those things, but it seemed like an eternity. I only got a few hours of sleep that night, because I was so sad that I couldn't be with my baby. I didn't get to see those first moments, like the nurse cleaning Grant off and giving him a bath.

I must say I'm envious of both of my sister in laws who've both have had two pregnancies with no complications and giving birth vaginally (with no drugs) or complications. Which reminds me of my friend who recently gave birth, and she was telling me the nurses told her that she was made to give birth. Unfortunately I feel like I wasn't made to give birth, it seems like I had so many problems just for one pregnancy. Don't get me wrong, it was worth it all in the end. But it saddens me that I had such a rough experience. I guess what upsets me is I know when I have my second child, I'll probably have just as rough of a time. Pre-eclampisa is more likely to happen with the second child. When I do get pregnant again, I will try everything in my power to eat healthy and reduce my chances of getting high blood pressure. But I'm worried that genetics will have other plans. Also the hospital I gave birth at, will not do VBACs (vaginal birth after c-section) because they are high risk. So if I wanted to give birth vaginally, I would have to go to another hospital. I would love to be able to do a VBAC, to avoid a c-section but if I get preeclampisa again, I would probably be too high risk to be able to do a VBAC. So I have a feeling a c-section would be 85% possible with my second pregnancy. It is funny because I always wanted 4-5 kids. But when I met Matt, he wanted only 2-3 kids. Which is ironic now because I feel like my body is only made to have two kids. :(

It's sad my birthing experience didn't go the way I wanted it to. Though I've learned things never go as planned. But hopefully when I'm pregnant with my second child, things will go better because I know what to expect. Even though things were crazy, I got a wonderful baby boy out of it. Grant is so handsome, and amazing, that all the crap I went through was worth it!

Me right after my c-section

1 comment:

  1. I cried when my doctor told me that I needed a c-section. It was seriously the worst moment of my life. I wouldn't wish it on anybody.