Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Finley's Birth Story

Some of you may be wondering why I am having a scheduled c-section with my second baby. Here is a somewhat descriptive account of what led me to my decision:
When I got pregnant with Finley I was determined to have a natural child birth. I became an expert on hypnobirthing, had created my perfect playlist of reggae, island music and had found a picture as my focal point. There would be no drugs, no medical interventions – just pure heavenly bliss.
I remember in our pre-natal class, we were giving placement cards where we laid out our perfect birth plan. I already had a birth plan in writing so this was easy for me. Once we had what we wanted to happen, she told us to turn over a few cards. When I did this it had medical intervention and drugs and quite possibly csection but I can’t really re-call. She said what we want to happen and what actually happens are 2 different things and that we should expect anything to happen. I was like whatever, this is what I want and this is what I am gonna get. People who know me won’t be surprised by me thinking that way. That’s just how I am.
Fast forward about 3 weeks or so later. I had been on maternity leave for about 2 weeks. I was incredibly sick and wanted to die. This is no exaggeration. I had the worst cold that I have ever had in my life and could take nothing for it. Well I was able to vicks rub and take a anti suppressant cough syrup. Greg warned me about taking it but of course I ignored him because Dr. Kyle said I could. It didn’t help. At all. In fact, it probably made things worse.
On October 27th, I was watching tv with Greg and stood up to go get ready for bed when I was overcome with the most incredible pain in my ribs. It was awful and no matter what position I was in, it was piercing pain. I called Health Link and they insisted I go to the hospital because it may be the baby. So off to the hospital we went. When we got there, Dr Hoey (spelled wrong) checked me out and got a second opionion from Dr. Chow who both said that this pain is pretty much going to be there until you deliver which could be anywhere in the next 3 weeks. I would not and could not tolerate this pain for that long. So they suggested induction. I was in so much pain that I didn’t even think of my birth plan so I agreed. Greg then told me that less than 5% of women induced actually get to have a vaginal child birth. So early on the 28th of October, I was induced.
From what I had heard previously and have heard since, being induced is way worse then going into labor naturally. Instead of your contractions slowly coming on (in most cases), induced ones start immediately. And they are so painful. So very very painful. The worst part is that I was “lucky” enough to have contractions in both the front and back of my body. Not fun. I was hooked to iv’s, heart monitors because the baby’s heart beat was low and they wanted to monitor me. It sucked because I wasn’t allowed to move and was confined to my bed unless I wanted to go to the bathroom, in which case I had to get Greg to unhook me from all my machines.
As the day went on, so did the pain. It was the most excruciating pain of my entire life. One of the nurses came in and asked if I wanted anything. I caved and got morphine. It is without a doubt the most amazing drug in the world. She gave me a larger dose then i was supposed to get and I was out cold instantly. I remember once waking up for them to check me and I was so out of it, it was kinda crazy. I still had not progressed – the baby had not dropped, I was not dilated, cervix was not opened and my water had not broke. So not good. I suffered for more hours and they were going to give me more drugs but thought they would check me again because they could maybe give me something stronger. Again it was like 9pm and I had been in pain for 13 hours and still no change. So more morphine was given – although not as much as last time. They also cut down the amount of gravol they gave me which turned out to be a big mistake. The morphine didn’t work and made me so sick. Greg was sleeping beside me and didn’t wake up when I tried calling his name. He was sound asleep and I didn’t have the energy to do more then whisper. So I attempted to take off my hook ups to the machine so i could go to the bathroom. I knew I was going to throw up. Unfortunately I didn’t make it and I ended up throwing up all over the floor. Let me tell you it was the most disgusting vomit I have ever seen in my life. This woke Greg up who went and got the nurse. She was not impressed with me and didn’t hide it. I was happy that she wasn’t going to be my nurse for much longer.
Dr. Kennedy who was on call for the clinic I was being looked it during my pregnancy was still holding up hope that everything would work out. I was surely dying and wasn’t sure how much longer I was going to be able to endure this pain. Finally, another doctor from the clinic took over the rotation and took one look at me and said lets get this baby out of her now. So 26 hours, 52 minutes of non progressive, induced labor, Finley was born via c-section. I have very little recollection of this event. I remember feeling them move around inside of me while getting her out and putting me back together, I remember having laughing gas put on me while they actually pulled the baby out, I remember not caring very much when Greg brought her to me and said that it was indeed a girl. Greg left shortly after to go whatever it is you do with a newborn baby. I have no idea how long I was in there for or in the recovery room before being moved to my post-natal room. I don’t think I held Finley until much later in the afternoon because I was so out of it. I remember going to the bathroom around 4pm and that was the first time in 3 days that I had actually walked anywhere.
Finley stayed in the nursery overnight since I was too exhausted to deal with a crying baby. I got up at 4am and went for a walk. The nurse let me feed, burp and change Finley. I went back to bed and around 6am they unhooked me from my iv, the catheter and my oxygen mask. I was “free” at last. About an hour later, I tried to get up to go to the bathroom and I started coughing. The nurse came in and checked my oxygen level and it had dropped to 67. Normally, I believe you are supposed to be over a 100. They put on a full oxygen mask but nothing was happening. They called a Code Blue and before I knew it, I had all kinds of doctors, specialists, interns and technicians in my room. I had no idea what was happening because honestly I didn’t feel that bad. I had various blood tests done, an ekg, xrays – it was crazy. They were worried that I had a blood clot in my lungs which was causing the distress and would not be out of the norm considering they hadn’t let me move much in nearly 4 days.
I vaguely remember being rushed out of the room and being sent downstairs to have a cat scan done. It was really weird and scary because when you have a cat scan you have to lay completely flat and still and I was unable to breathe when lying flat. After the cat scan, I was sent to the ICU where I stayed for 4 days with double pneumonia. I woke up in the ICU and saw Greg and had no idea where I was or what had happened. I had all kinds of tubes down my throat and stuck in my arms. I thought my aunt and uncle were there but apparently this was before they got there. I had a coughing attack and tried to rip the tubes out of my throat. After this happened, they had my hands tied to my bed. It really couldn’t get much worse.
Finley remained in the nursery while I was in the ICU. Greg would bring her down for me to see her but I was so out of it, I really had little interest in her. She went home on the 31st and I remained in the hospital. I had all kinds of doctors, interns, respiratory therapists, physical therapists, nurses – everything. It was my own personal Grey’s Anatomy. It sucked big time. I honestly believed I was going to die, that I even wanted to die.
Eventually I convinced a nurse that I wouldn’t pull my tubes out when I coughed and figured out how to best manipulate the tubes to my advantage. It was here that I realized that I wasn’t going to die and that I needed to change my attitude or I would be stuck in the dungeon forever. Although, at one point, I was certain I was doomed for death. One of my nurses gave me some potassium right in my IV and of course I hadn’t ate in days so it went into a empty stomach. I couldn’t talk so when the new nurse started I had to rub my tummy to tell her I was nauseaus. She went to get some gravol and while she was gone, I threw up with tubes down my throat and a oxygen mask on. I thought I was going to die courtesy of my vomit. Thankfully I pushed my button thingy and the nurses came back and cleaned me up.
My feet and legs were swollen to about 4 times their normal size because of all of the drugs I was on and the fact I had barely walked in about a week. I had a physiotherapist who I absolutely loved. He was so great. He worked with me while in the ICU and once I got onto the post-op ward. The only shoes/slippers I could fit were my rider ones and he laughed and told me i was brave because even though he hadn’t lived here long, he knew this was wrong. It was weird learning how to walk again. I can’t imagine what others with way worse leg and/or spinal injuries must go through.
Eventually I got the tubes out of my mouth. I was so excited. I must admit though that the tube that came out of my mouth was perhaps the grossest, most disgusting thing I have ever seen. I didn’t have much of a voice but at least I could talk. My mom and sister had brought me a photo frame with a picture of Finley in it and a very sweet card. I remember crying after they left because I felt guilty that I didn’t feel the way the card thought I should. It was also at this time that the post natal nurses started pressuring me to pump my breast milk. Because of all the drugs in my body, I would have to “pump and dump” until my milk tested negative for any outside drugs and such. I declined. I thought I had been through enough and my body didn’t need to do this as well. They came back again the next day and my husband said that we decided because of everything I had been through that we would just formula feed. 
Finally I get moved to the post op ward where I stayed for 3 days. I was so excited because I had a window and a tv. Finally a little bit of normalcy. The day I left the hospital (10 days later!!) , I had to be seen by a hospital counseller and then by the resident psychiatrist. Apparently because I refused to breastfeed or pump my milk, they thought I was depressed. The psychiatrist thought I was fine and told me that Finley would not suffer because of this and not to worry a bit.
So this my friends is why I am having a scheduled c-section. Our bodies work in mysterious ways and unfortunately I can’t risk my body not co-operating and having to endure the same induction process again. Not a single doctor could tell me if my pnemonia was caused by the cold I had previously or the fact that I was immobile for days or because I had a csection. Pneumonia is a possible side effect of all of the above. And I really can’t do that again.

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