I do believe I ended up with a c-section because of my decision to get an epidural. As I said in my first birth story post, I don’t regret the epidural. I can’t. The pain was unbearable. So in that sense, I guess I should be ok with the ending c-section. But I also strongly feel that I was talked into it. I was worn down. And… after sitting in the hospital for 24 hours, I was exhausted.
For some women, an epidural helps labor progress because it takes away pain/tension and allows contractions to do their job. For probably the majority of women, an epidural slows labor down, and that’s where I fall. This led to breaking my water… then pitocin… then c-section. Why did I agree to pitocin? I’d rather have that work than end up in a c-section. Sadly, for me, it didn’t work.
A few months ago I was reading a story about how hospital nurses were starting to come forward and talk about how doctors were administering pitocin in high doses to purposely cause distress in the baby (“pit to distress”). Yes, I wonder about my OB… she had no idea who I was, we had no connection, she had no emotion. Plus, she upped my pitocin to a level of 24 when the max is supposed to be 20. Luckily, our baby never went into distress. His heart rate did rise from around 140 to around 160, but they never said anything about it.
What do I wish? I wish I had denied the c-section, at least at that time. I wish we had waited to see if I could get to 10cm and if I could have pushed this baby out. Too big to fit? Please, have you seen him?! 7 lb, 9 oz. I don’t think your body makes a baby it can’t fit.
But… no woulda, shoulda, coulda games. Right? It is very hard when people tell me that I got a healthy and happy baby and that’s all that matters. Of course it matters. And of course I’m deeply in love with Ryan. But it’s not the ONLY thing that matters… it doesn’t change the fact that I missed out on giving birth… one of the most incredible, natural, amazing experiences of life. I missed it. And when they were prepping me for the c-section and I asked the nurse what my chances were of ever having a vaginal birth, she said I most likely never would.
I know that’s not true. But I’m pretty terrified of it. Just a few weeks ago I overheard the receptionist at my clinic say a woman had just died when her uterus ruptured during a VBAC (vaginal birth after c-section) and that my clinic doesn’t even take VBAC patients (no loss there, I hate my clinic).
Yes, I’ve heard of ICAN and I’ve visited their site. They have no chapters where I live… I need to look into it more, just haven’t had time.
Yes, I’m disappointed in myself. And my advice for others??? If you’re completely serious about having an all natural birth, I’d look at a birthing center (or homebirth).
But, if you’re planning on getting an epidural and going to the hospital… I’d recommend a doula. I feel like if we had one there, she would have been able to remember for me what we originally wanted. She would have been able to stand ground for us when we were exhausted and confused. Who knows, I could have denied the c-section and still ended up needing one later. But at least I would have tried. I was at 8cm.. so close.. and I didn’t try.
Also.. just know what to expect. Know how things work these days and that it’s very possible you end up in a c-section or end up trying to be talked into one. Know what pitocin is and what it does. Know what you want and write it down to have it by your side–in the heat of the moment, I basically forgot what I wanted or why. Have an open mind.
I researched so much.. I knew exactly what I wanted and didn’t want… and this is how it turned out. Anything can happen. I wish I had known that.
Some of you mentioned you had questions for me… I’d love for you to ask. Anything, really. It will help me to help you. If you’d prefer to ask privately, email me erdickey(at)gmail(dot)com
Thanks again for all the wonderful support, it’s greatly appreciated and extremely helpful.