Wednesday, April 19, 2017
That Time I Got An Epidural After Labor: Part Two of Flynns Birth Story
I had been in the birth pool for about an hour in the grips of hard labor. I survived transition and pushing began.
At first, I did not have the urge to push. There was a few minute or so lull after that loud grunt growl thing that came out, with no contractions. And to be honest, it scared me that labor had stalled. I had forgotten that there can be a few minute break between transition and pushing.
I remember hearing my midwife asking that if I felt like it, to push in the next contraction. And so I did.
And I kept on pushing several more times in the pool. On my knees and while squatting.
And the entire time I remember thinking, this was never going to end. It can't be getting close. I am going to be doing this for eternity... :D
Justin says I had been in the tub for as long as the midwife felt it was safe for me to be in at one time. And I was told I needed to get out. But I do not remember getting out of the pool.
I do remember the urges to push after being out, and having to drop into a squat several times between where the pool was, and our bedroom where everything was set up for me to deliver.
I got to the bedroom and once again had to drop to a squat. But as much as I wanted to give birth in a squatting position, I did not have the strength, and I had to lay and push in a semi reclined position on the bed.
I have heard some say they enjoyed the pushing stage the best, as it is more active. I can't say that I enjoyed it more. It's not that I hated being in labor in either stage. As a matter of fact, even in all the pain I can remember just praising GOD for the opportunity to give birth. I just remember how each time I pushed that I was sure I was going to pop a blood vessel in my head and die right then and there. (Justin relayed he feared the same thing for me...)
I pushed for a few more times, and the midwife said she could see the baby, and asked if I wanted to see him via mirror. Initially I said no as I just wanted to focus. But then they got the mirror out and I was able to see his little face all squished.
The midwife said he was right there and to hold off on the pushing so things could stretch. I was then given the green light and with one last effort, he slid from my body.
I will never forget that feeling of when I realized it was all over. There was so much relief. In an instant the pain was gone and my sweet babe was placed on my belly at 8:59 pm.
While my baby was being cleaned up by the assistant on the bed beside me, the midwife began to check me over. She looked and said their appeared to be some tearing. And upon looking closer, she told me I needed to be transferred to the hospital right away, as the tearing I had could not be repaired by her.
The few weeks before giving birth, the LORD had been working in my heart. And now I know it was for this moment. The LORD had been showing me I need to trust HIM and not worry about my birth, as I had been doing so badly. I had come to the point of complete trust and peace in allowing HIM to write my story. And even though going to the hospital was the last thing on this earth I wanted, I felt peaceful at that moment in going.
So instead of cleaning up and snuggling in my cozy house, I was immediately loaded into our Jeep to go to a hospital. Instead of cuddling and bonding with my baby and hubby, I held my baby's hand while he was in his car seat, with me in the front, and my hubby driving.
We arrived at the hospital, and I was wheel chaired inside up to the labor and delivery floor. I do not remember if I held Flynn while being wheeled up. The midwife was with me as Justin was parking the vehicle. I do remember getting into the room and the swarm of people that were in there. It seems that initially they were more concerned about Flynn than me. And even asked if I wanted him admitted. To which I answered NO. ;)
I was placed in bed, Flynn was handed to Justin once he came up, and the swarm began to examine me. And at this moment I was in MAJOR pain ( I did not feel that much before, just discomfort), as the post birth adrenaline was wearing off.
While being examined, and basically having some major wounds ripped back open, a doctor came in while I was already screaming from pain and introduced himself so calmly. To which I immediately yelled back "I DO NOT CARE WHO YOU ARE!". I regretted yelling that right after. I was just hurting SO bad at the moment...
Then came the heartbreaking news. I was told that I had not only third degree tearing, but the birth canal also had 2 tears going up the side walls, exposing my insides. I was going to have to have an operation to repair me asap.
I was devastated to say the least. I was going to have to be taken away from my baby, and wheeled into an operating room, be given an epidural after going through days of labor, and maybe 10 hours of sleep in three days. Trust me, this was only the beginning of MANY days of crying.
One way the LORD blessed me in this situation was allowing the operating room to be occupied for a time. That allowed me to be given time for some skin to skin, and to begin nursing my baby. It also gave time for my mom to come to the hospital to help Justin, as he would be the one taking care of Flynn, and he was almost as exhausted as I was after not leaving my side during my entire labor.
The operation started around 1 or 2 on Tuesday morning, and lasted a little over 2 hours. I basically had to have an entire reconstruction down there...
I was made to stay in the hospital for all of Tuesday and Tuesday night, into midday Wednesday. It was a terrible stay in the hospital. I was not treated with much respect. And we think it was because of the fact I had a homebirth, and they acted as if that is what caused me to be in this situation.
I was rarely checked on, and when I asked if could have someone help me clean up a little (I was in a pretty gross state at that point...), I was told yes, only to ask again in a few hours and to be told I was forgotten about.
And when a nurse or doctor did come in, they would reiterate how much pain I must be in. But not give me the pain meds when the time came.
And to top it off, a nurse assistant came in at one point and said she heard the baby crying, and went on to share in an irritated manner how she did not like to hear a baby crying...
None of this helped me a bit. And I am pretty sure it was what helped to contribute to my major Postpartum Depression.
I began to mourn not having that time at home to bond right after the birth of my baby. That time that makes homebirth so special. I also began to mourn the fact that I could not take care of Flynn beyond nursing him, as I could walk no further than the bathroom for that first week.
And I also began to feel guilt. That it was my fault that the tearing happened. I thought I should have been able to prevent this.
Maybe I should not have tried to start labor. Maybe we called the midwife too early, and we were rushed and made rash decisions. Maybe I should have tried to give birth in the squat position. Maybe I should not have pushed when I did...
There were so many moments of hysterical crying that first week. And even times where my body would feel as if it was shutting down and I was going to pass out.
On the Saturday following Flynn's birth, the midwife assistant came to check in on us, and I relayed my feelings.
I was reassured, that after such a traumatic experience, and with my hormones out of whack, what I was feeling was to be expected. She suggested that Justin get to work immediately on drying my placenta, and getting it encapsulated.
And after taking the placenta pills on that Sunday afternoon, and a lot of prayer, I started to feel a bit normal again. (I am all for taking those placenta, aka "happy pills" now...)
And for a few minutes I was even able to get up and about the house, and even take a few pics as a new family.
It has been a long, humbling recovery. I was forced to let a lot of my pride go, and let others in my family step in to share in the work load. I was not able to get up much for two weeks. And so my mom was at my house every day, changing Flynn, washing laundry, and cleaning my house while Justin went to work. And when Justin got home, he stepped in to help for the evenings.
I can now praise the LORD that the past two or three weeks have been my best, with no pain, fairly level emotions, and me even getting back to exercising a little.
But I still feel guilt at times. And writing this out, and relieving those moments have not been easy. But slowly and surely, GOD is healing my heart, and reminding me of all the little and big blessings (hello, my baby was born healthy as can be, and has been a champion nurser from the get go), and all of HIS goodness and mercy that was shown during my not so ideal birth story.
No my birth story is not how I would have written it. But I know GOD wrote it out, and despite the pain, it is a good one.
And in case you are wondering, no this does not scare me from wanting another baby. In fact, I still want ten... :D
Was you birth story how you would have written it? What did GOD teach you during that time? How did HIS goodness shine through?
Have a wonderfully blessed day everyone! Thanks for stopping by!