I found out I was pregnant with my first the day before my eighteenth birthday. I was just starting my senior year in high school and I had been living with my boyfriend. I had gone into the doctor for some test results and found out I was pregnant. I came home and told my mom who was thrilled! I really didn’t have any of the normal morning sickness and stuff during pregnancy. But at twenty-two weeks while sitting in class I started having pain in my stomach. I kinda ignored it at first. Then the fire drill went off and as I got up from my desk I couldn’t move. They called the nurse and took me down to the clinic. The nurse insisted that I was about to give birth in her clinic and instead of waiting for my dad to get there they called an ambulance.
In the hospital they determined I was in labor and they gave my medication to stop the labor. For the rest of my pregnancy I was on strict bed rest and was in the hospital once a week trying to stop labor. My due date was December twenty-seventh, but in November my doctor decided to take me off the meds and let me have the baby. She felt that the baby would be better off being born then than keeping me on the drugs. So I didn’t take my next dose and waited for the labor to begin. I waited and waited and waited … THEN on December twenty-fourth at 6 a.m. I woke up with a contraction. I was living with my mom at the time due to the bed rest and my husband having to travel for work. I came down stairs and told her I was in labor.
Her reaction, “not today! We have too much to do to get ready for Christmas.” SO not believing me she left to go across town to get my grandmother and left me with my fifteen year old sister alone. At about 4 p.m. I knew I needed to get to the hospital. After arriving they gave me potocin. I had no other drugs. I wanted a drug free delivery. I really slept through most of labor. I awoke and told my mom I had to push. The nurse said I wasn’t ready because she had just checked me and I was seven centimeters. I begged her to check and she found that not only was I ten centimeters, the baby was crowning. The doctor barely had time to put on his gown and she popped out. I was so overjoyed at seeing her feet pop up from over the “curtain” draped over my legs and the sound of her first cry. All I could do was cry and say over and over again “Oh my God!” The nurse whisked her over to the warmer and started cleaning her up. Other than seeing her feet and hearing her cry was the first and only glimpse I had of my daughter for the first thirty minutes of her life. The nurse finally wrapped her up and placed her into my arms stating that I only had five minutes before she had to take her to the nursery. I was heart broken but I never spoke up.
After the nurse took her to the nursery it was another four hours before I got to hold her again. So at midnight I was finally getting to bond with my daughter and nurse her for the first time. This continued the whole time I was in the hospital. They would take her away to the nursery for hrs at a time. After I was home I decided that I did not like my birthing experience and the coldness of the hospital. I did my research for the next year and realized I had certain rights as a patient. So I decided that next time would be different.
A year and a half after my daughter was born I found out I was pregnant again. This time I looked into a home birth. I felt that after having such a successful labor that I could do it at home and be able to have the bonding experience wanted. I met a great midwife who shared my opinions on birthing. She kept a close eye on me due to the pre-term labor I had in my first pregnancy. We had a back up doctor just in case anything went wrong. I had a very uneventful pregnancy. Then at thirty-four weeks, as I was getting dressed for bed I felt a trickle down my leg. I went to my daughter’s room where my husband was putting her to bed. I told him that I think my water broke. He asked how did I know and at the moment another trickle of water went down my leg. I called the midwife who called the doctor and we mad the decision to go ahead and have the home birth. I was only two minutes from the hospital if needed.
After twenty hours of not one single contraction, I went to see the doctor in his office. After a quick exam he said it was up to us if we wanted to go back home or go into the hospital to induce. The doctor left the room so my husband and I could talk, when I noticed some bleeding. I went to the bathroom and found that I was bleeding like I was having a heavy period. I stuck my head out to tell the nurse who said a little bit of bleeding after an exam was normal. When I told her that this was more than that she got the doctor. He came in and said that I had no choice I needed to go to the hospital because I was hemorrhaging. We went over to the hospital and they started me on meds to induce labor. The doctor stayed in my room or just out side at the nurse’s station the whole time. I was in a lot of pain but it was not from the contractions even though the pain got worse during the contractions. The pain went across the lower part of my abdomen. I had told my family that I did not want drugs because I wanted the baby to be able to fight when he was born if needed. So even though I at one point asked for drugs my family knew I didn’t want it.
When it was time to push, again the nurse didn’t believe me but the doctor was right there. There where no stirrups, no drapes. The doctor simply sat at the end of the bed and waited. I actually got to see my son being born. He came out screaming! As we got a better look of him lying between my legs on the bed, we noticed his umbilical cord was wrapped in a knot around his ankle. The neonate team took him over to the warmer to check him out. Again I was kept from seeing or holding my baby. After cleaning him up the neonate doctor noticed that he was in mild distress. Every time he breathed his whole chest sucked in. He was going to have to go to the NICU for further evaluation. I got to hold him for about five minutes before they took him away. The next time I saw him was in the NICU with wires all over. The doctor said that he was having trouble opening the sacs in his lungs to take a breath. They were going to treat him with a drug called surfactant to help him. The next morning, as I was being discharged, the doctor came in to tell me that they were going to have to put in a tube to help him breath.
After going home and taking a quick shower I went right back up there to see him. As I walked into the NICU, I saw my helpless baby with tubes and wires all over. I could see that he was trying to cry but nothing came out. It hit me so hard that I nearly collapsed. They took me over to a chair and called someone in to tale to me. A few hrs later his kidneys started to fail. The doctor said there was a chance that he may not make it. I went home and cried my eyes out and called people to start praying. My aunt and uncle even had their church hold an emergency pray meeting for him. I, myself prayed, “God, please don’t take my baby away from me.” I went back up to the hospital to the great news that his kidneys had started working again. His body stopped swelling and they were talking about taking out the tube. I went to the hospital every three hours, which was the hours of visiting for the NICU. At one visit a nurse had the nerve to tell me not to touch or talk to him because after I left he would get really upset. The nerve of her to tell me I can’t interact with my baby because it would make her job harder. What do you expect?! He wants his mother!
At five days old he had the tube out and they were talking about letting him eat by mouth. I had been pumping since he was born and was bringing the milk up to the NICU. They wanted to feed him with a bottle because they felt it would be easier on him. I argued that if they did that he wouldn’t try to nurse on me later. Oh I put up a big fight! I was not going to let this be taken away from me. They got the administrator on the phone and we came to the agreement that if they didn’t see that he was thriving they would supplement him with bottles of my milk. I was content with that. I finally got to hold him with all his IV and he took right to my breast. The nurse who had told me not to touch him said there was no way that I would be able to make every feeding. I told her that if I had to sleep in the waiting room between feedings, I would. It would be no different than if I were at home with him feeding him every three hrs. The next day at the 3 p.m. feeding the doctor asked me how I felt about taking him home that day. I told her “Don’t play with me” She stated that they had seen a dramatic change in him since I started nursing. She said that I could come back at 7 p.m. and they would release him. I was so excited and I was scared to tell anybody because I didn’t want to jinx it. I told my sister who was the one who would be driving the baby home and me from the hospital. As I picked up my baby, the “nazi” nurse had the nerve to tell me that I shouldn’t be allowed to take him home so early. I smiled and signed the discharge papers. The nurse was the one who walked him down to the car. She carried him down the whole time he screamed. When she handed him to me and I put him in the car seat he immediately stopped crying. Amazing, huh!?
As you noticed I did not mention my husband. Long story short he was hardly ever around and two yrs after my son was born we divorced. I started working for and ambulance transfer service and ran into I guy that I went to EMT school with and we started dating.
I went in to see my doctor for my regular year check up and was later informed that they had found some cancerous cells on my cervix. I went in and had a biopsy to determine how far it was. The doctor determined that I would only need the top layer of my cervix cut away. That was done with a laser in the doctor’s office but it was a very painful. After another test I had to have it done a second time a few months later. During this time I was on a birth control pill to regulate my periods so we could schedule my surgeries. It was during my next check up that I told my doctor that I had missed a period. Not thinking I was pregnant due to the pill, I figured it was because of the surgery. Plus my boyfriend and I had only done it once over the last three months. The doctor confirmed I was pregnant. The doctor was as shocked as I was. He said there was no way I could have gotten pregnant. After the shock wore off, (three months later) I started planning the birth. I even typed up my birth plan which I kept copies in my purse, my hospital bag, one at my mom’s and one to my sister.
I had been having trouble sleeping and problems with my blood pressure at the end of my pregnancy. I was stressed out at work too. One day I noticed more contractions than usual and I could feel my blood pressure going up. I called my doctor who had me go to the hospital to get checked out. I was only two centimeters and my blood pressure had gone down so the doctor decided that he was going to send me home. He came in to check me one more time before he discharged me and I was found to be four centimeters. He decided to keep me and start me on potocin. He figured that I would deliver in three hours since my previous two birth only lasted three hrs from the time they started the potocin. He handed over the “reigns” to his father who was on call that night. Well my labor ended up lasting longer than usual. Six hrs. The doctor was getting inpatient. I was so exhausted from not having sleep the night before. I was having trouble handling the pain. My mom was in the room and is a STRONG believer in non-medicated births. When she stepped out to see my dad in the waiting room, I pulled my sister aside and told her to get the nurse to get me something to take the edge off and quick before my mom got back. The nurse gave me stadol, which took the edge off.
When I got the urge to push, everyone told me not to because I still had a cm to go. I couldn’t help it. I pushed. Oh My God the pain. I felt that one centimeter that was left burn. I tried my best to not push after that and found myself twisting and turning in my bed. The doctor came in and told me I could push. There was still some discomfort but more relief. After my son was delivered, the nurse pulled my gown down exposing my chest and the doctor placed him on my chest. I was the first to hold my baby. I cried and kissed him all over. The nurse suctioned him out and positioned him to my breast. He latched on and went to town. I was in awe. Minutes after being born I was nursing my baby! The nurse actually read my birth plan! Meanwhile my over anxious doctor decided that he didn’t want to wait for the placenta to deliver and tried to pull it out on his own. When it torn he had to reach in and pull it out. At the time I had no idea what he was doing except that I was in horrible pain. I yelled at him to stop. The nurse took the baby to clean him up while the doctor finished up with me. She brought him back right away so I could finish nursing. They then took the baby to the nursery to weigh him and check him out and an hour later he was back in my arms. He had to stay in the hospital for forty-eight hours for observation because I had a slight fever during the birth. The WHOLE time he did not once leave my room. When they did the hearing test it was done in my room. The nurse would come in and see how we were doing and ask if he was eating and wetting okay. This is what counts! Being able to bond with my baby after birth.
So here I am with baby number four on the way just seventeen months later. I have to admit that I am scared. I am worried that I will have trouble handling the labor this time. I read an article about natural birth and I think I might want to have no medication at all. Nothing to induce and no drugs but I am still afraid. I am worried I will be in labor for like forty-eight hours and be tired when the pushing started. I know that I could never have an epidural. The thought of a needle in my spine, no way. My other concern is I am seventeen weeks pregnant and I have not yet seen a dr. I just started a new job and my insurance hasn’t kicked in and I make too much to qualify for state help. So I am worried that the only time I get to see a doctor is when I am in labor. I am also worried I won’t get the treatment or respect I should. And what if there is something wrong with my baby? I even thought about just having the baby at home. I have access to an ob kit from my job and my husband and brother-in-law are both medics. But the professional in me says that is crazy and unsafe with no medical care. I have been taking OTC prenatal and I am eating right (when I can due to the morning sickness which is non stop). I don’t know what will happen but I will leave it up to God for now.