Thursday, January 5, 2012

Jessica's VBAC pt.1

This is part one of Jessica's journey to her VBAC baby.  Her oldest daughter's birth was a perfect storm of the cascade of interventions ultimately leading to an unhappy mama and a baby who didn't learn to latch until she was 3 months old.  But, Jessica follows the rule of "Know better.  Do Better." and was determined to be her own best advocate for her 2nd daughter's arrival earthside.

I wanted to write out my birth story since it has been such a healing process for me so I will begin with how I got to my VBAC journey. 

We found out I was pregnant October 2009 with my first daughter. We were so excited because we had been trying for a long time and had been married for 8 years so we waited a while for this moment. I really didn't educate myself on what can happen with first time births and went in blindly trusting my OB who also happened to have been my doctor since I was 13 years old, so why not trust him to deliver my first baby? Plus he delivered my sister 31 years ago and me 30 years ago.

My appointments went well and it was a very healthy pregnancy. I was due on July 14th, 2010 and around 36 weeks I became very uncomfortable with a lot of pelvic pain. This being my first pregnancy, I didn't realize this is normal and that I need to tough it out until my baby is ready. I went in to the doctor and he suggested we induce at 37 weeks 6 days; I was so excited. He also mentioned he would be on vacation the next week so it works out for the both of us. That comment will haunt me because I was too stupid to not realize what was happening. He was playing on the fact I did not educate myself to his advantage and did not tell me that since I was closed up tight, inducing would most likely end in a c-section. It also didn't help that I have three friends with 7 babies between them that were all induced at 38 weeks and none needed a c-section so I thought, what was the big deal? Let's get this pregnancy over with. 

I will make the end of my first story short and sweet at this point because I am sure you know where this is going. I arrived at the hospital on the night of the 6th to have the pill {I assume the pill is Cytotec because the other option is Cervidil and it is in gel form.  Read about the dangers of Cytotec here} put in to efface me overnight. By the morning no change so at 6am my OB comes in, starts Pitocin and breaks my water. Contractions were horrible. I put up with it until around noon and begged for a epidural. I still had not dilated at all and was closed tight. Around 5pm my OB casually comes in the room and says, 'well, it didn't work so we will be doing a c section.'  {5pm c-section -- think that ob was ready to go home for the day?} I cried as they rolled me to the OR. I was shaking from all the meds they had given me during the day and kept passing out during the section.

I don't remember her being born. 
I don't remember them showing her to me. 
I don't remember her first cry. 

They took her straight from the OR to the NICU because she was having breathing issues and had signs of an infection so I laid in the recovery room exhausted, my body torn apart and no baby to hold and breastfeed as a first time mom. Just wondering what went wrong. Two hours later they took me to my room where the ped from the NICU came in to tell me why she was in the NICU. 

At this point, it is 11pm and I still have not seen the child I grew inside me for 9 months. I finally lost it and demanded they bring me my child- she was full term and was not in a serious condition. They had been pumping her full of formula the entire time she was down there so they brought her to me, gave me 5 minutes and took her back. I didn't get her back in my room until the night before we were being discharged so I had to wheel myself down to the NICU and make them give her what I could pump in my room before they filled her with formula. She came home with horrible latch issues and a terrible case of thrush from all the antibiotics they gave her. It took three months before I could get her to latch so I pumped until then. {This mama got a 3-month-old to latch!  Amazing!} I also had a very hard time bonding until about 3 months because I felt like everything went wrong and it was mainly my fault for not educating myself and letting an OB that only cared about himself make the desicions for my body. 

Fast forward when my daughter was 8 months old, we found out we were expecting my second daughter and from the moment I saw that positive test I swore I would not put her through what I did with my first. 

I went to every meeting.
Read every book.
Joined tons of vbac groups.
And hired a doula

I switched doctors to a doctor in the same practice but who was much more natural-minded than my first and refuses to induce before 41 weeks unless it is a medical emergency. His wife also had a vbac with him with their second child so I know if he trusts his wife to go through with it, then he would be the best for my VBAC journey. All my appointments went well. C section was maybe brought up once in the full 10 months I was pregnant. He really was the complete opposite of my first doctor. He spent so much time answering my questions during visits and never once rushed me like my first OB. 

Stay tuned!  
Tomorrow will be the birth story of Jessica's sweet little VBAC baby girl!

And give this mama some comment love.  She is awesome.


Lindsay Tennant said...

awwww Jess!! I can't wait to read the second half! I never realised just how terrible A's birth was. :( I am SO glad that you brought O into the world the way your body wanted!! <3

Amanda said...

This sounds very harrowing!  I hope you include in the story how you got a 3 month old to latch.  Yay!