Friday, April 10, 2009

Delivery Drama

On the Wednesday past my due date, B and I went to my regular OB appointment. It had been suggested by my OB that I be induced soon because the baby was looking big and Dr. didn't want it to get any bigger. Dr. was heading out of town that weekend, so we were planning on being induced the Tuesday after he returned, if I didn't go into labor on my own before then.
I had been walking tons and taking everything suggested to me. I had spicy food, we had sex, etc. The baby was not going anywhere. I even went to the chiropractor for a special massage (totally awesome, I highly recommend the inducement massage - not adjustment involved), and had some acupuncture. Also, I let my OB strip my membranes, which hurt like hell but did not induce me.
So we are in the room with the Dr. and he takes an ultrasound, after stripping my membranes for a second time - OUCH! He takes a deep breath and looks at me with a look that I don't like. He proceeds to tell us that the baby is so large that he can't measure it with his ultrasound machine and at this point he feels that the only responsible thing he can do at this point is to strongly advise me to have a C section.
Crap! This was what I had been hoping to avoid all along. This is why I'd switched doctors in the 32nd week. I now had the most natural delivery friendly doctor in all of LA, supposedly, and he was telling me to have a C section. I felt ill. He told us that he would be scared to deliver this baby vaginally because of the risk to the baby - getting stuck - and to me - serious tears.
B was convinced immediately that the C section was the way to go, but I was torn. I had heard tales of many women giving birth to large babies vaginally and wasn't I supposed to push back when doctors suggested medical intervention? But I also thought what he said made a lot of sense. I didn't want to risk hurting my baby or being hurt myself if I didn't have to.
The Dr. suggested we go home and talk about it and call him back. He said he could schedule us for that night or for the next day - because he was going out of town. He said we could have his partner do it, but I didn't want his partner. I was scared enough and I wanted him.
I went home and called everyone that I knew who had had a C section. I kept hearing about woman who had decided to go into labor naturally after being told they should have a C section and then ended up with a C section after many hours of labor and how awful that was. I also talked to a friend who had a large baby and did not have a C section. Her baby had broken his clavicle and required physical therapy.
B made the call to the Dr. and the Dr. said he'd already scheduled us for 9 am the next morning.
Then I made the call that I dreaded the most - to my doula. I knew she was going to try and convince me to attempt a natural delivery and at that point I'd already decided to go with the C section. I knew the natural delivery people wanted me to be a warrior woman and give it my best shot, but my doctor, a huge supporter of the natural delivery people, had told me that he was scared to deliver my baby. I wasn't brave enough to try natural delivery at that point.
Once my doula understood that I was settled on the C section, she was actually really helpful. She said that she would be there with me if I wanted and told me everything that would happen. I asked her to be there, since I was kind of freaked out.
Then B and I went out to dinner. It was kind of a relief to know that we would have the baby tomorrow. I was able to go home and clean up the apartment and pack our bags and send out emails to let people know what was happening.
The next morning we arrived at the hospital very early, as advised, and I got hooked up to an IV and B, my doula and I hung out in a small room for a few hours. Then the anesthesiologist arrived and primed me. Soon I was walked down the hall to the surgery room. I was given my spinal and my legs immediately began to go numb. I was laid out on the table and a sheet was put up right in front of my face. I could feel them positioning my legs and they inserted the catheter. I think they covered me up, because then B and the doula came in and sat by my head. The dr's arrived and soon it was underway. B and my doula comforted me and my doula put her hands on pressure points and it really made me feel calm and able to focus on not focusing on the extremely weird sensations of the C section. You can feel everything that is happening, you just don't feel pain.
Next thing I knew, my dr's partner was exclaiming how huge the baby was and thank goodness I'd had a C section. She held the baby up and I saw that it was a boy. I didn't really have that big of a reaction because I was feeling very odd. I wanted to be sewn up, cleaned up and then I would be able to focus on the baby. B went with the baby and my doula stayed with me, keeping me centered. They announced the baby's weight, 10 lbs, 15 oz. Holy crap! How did that happen? His head was 39.5 cm in diameter. After she heard that, my doula leaned forward and said, "You made a very smart decision." I felt so relieved when she said that. The natural delivery people like to tell you about the doctors who warn their patients that their babies are huge and push for a C section, only to discover that the baby was only 7 lbs or something. I had really worried that this scenario would be true for me as well and I would have felt as though I'd let myself down.
I started to feel kind of sick during the sewing me back up part, but I was able to hold off any nausea or shaking because of the support of my doula. Soon I was sewn up and being wheeled off to another room with the baby in my arms.

Holy Cow - Where did those two months go?

On February 19th, I had a beautiful baby boy who we named Ace (not really, but that's what I'm going with here). Since then I have been totally wrapped up in the whole Mommy thing. It has been hard, tiring, interesting and wonderful. Details to follow.