I’m Ashley… I have a beautiful bouncy 7 month old ball of joy! This is the story of his birth!
Backtrack to my delivery day…
I realized I was in labor at 7:00 AM on 2/6. I had been expecting to experience the worst pain I’ve ever felt but instead I was quite comfortable. I got up and showered and felt lightheaded so I had my husband call the doctor. He let her know that I thought I was having contracting but I wasn’t sure. We were off and on the phone with them until about 4:00 PM when they told me to head that way (we were about an hour from where I delivered).
Upon arriving we were told that I was 4cm dilated and that we could head to the hospital. Upon arriving at the hospital, my nurse informed me that my OB wanted to start me on pitocin. I didn’t feel this was justified and neither did my nurse, so we didn’t. I knew that pitocin wasn’t good and in retrospect I would have pushed not to have any at all. I received antibiotics for strep b and I progressed to 6 cm. I still wasn’t in a ton of pain but I opted for an epidural because I wanted to avoid getting to a point of hurting so bad that I couldn’t sit still. I was terrified of getting it but the anesthesiologist was amazing and my nurse was so supportive. My husband stood behind my nurse cheering me on, giving me thumbs up, and I was a champ afterward.
Around this time my doctor popped in and started pitocin. She kept saying how I needed to progress more. I continued to dilate until 8 cm and then I “stopped” according to my OB. She said that if I didn’t progress to a 10 within the hour that a c-section was possible. I felt like I was being rushed. Even my mom was in labor for 36 hours with me, where was my 36? The pitocin also started to take it’s toll on my baby’s heart rate and my oxygen levels. She yet again brought up the c-section. So they turned the pitocin down and his heart rate evened out. I also remember my OB coming in a pressing the button to give me more pain killer via my epidural. Didn’t ask, just did it. I knew before that moment that I did not want anymore so that by the time I was ready to push, the pain was more present to help.
I finally dilated to 10 cm. I began pushing and I felt like I was doing a great job but my little man didn’t want to come out. I pushed for 15 minutes before she suggested a c-section again. I was frustrated by this and insisted I keep pushing. My husband was such a champ during this, he was so encouraging, he wiped my head, fixed my oxygen, and smiled at me the whole time. He had my back and we pushed for another hour. I have to be real with y’all… at one point my OB had her hand WAY too far up inside of me. This is something no one told me about and it was the most painful part of my labor. It was AWFUL. So after the additional hour she gave me the option to continue or have a c-section. Let me just say that after pushing and being told repeatedly that a c-section was the best option it was hard to decline, I felt like I had no other choice. I did have a choice though, it just didn’t seem like it. I wish I had advocated for a different position or something, anything.
I remember crying to my mom and my husband earlier when she had told me a c-section was likely that I didn’t want one. I kept repeating that. It was terrifying to me.
But… we made the decision to have the operation.
After I agreed and signed on the dotted line, I lost my sh*t. I couldn’t stop crying. I was so scared. I had a wonderful staff surrounding me though and that really helped. I was wheeled back and my husband had to stay outside while they prepped, causing me to cry more. Once he came back to me I was able to control the tears and he talked me through it. My husband is a pretty funny guy, he knows how to make me laugh, even in the middle of an operating room. One of the first things he told me was that he smelled Fritos… Gross. It cracked me up though, which is one of the reasons I married him.
Finally the moment came and she warned me that he may not cry because c-section babies don’t get the gunk pushed out of them like in a vaginal delivery. He knew I needed it though and he cried for his mama. Instant tears, that’s my baby, he is here! My husband got all the photos of him being pulled out. I’m so thankful for them. The look on my husband’s face was priceless, he was so in love. I was so in love. It was amazing. He was 9 lbs 9 oz and 21.5 in long, born at 1:58 AM.
After I got to see my baby they took him to the nursery and my husband went with him while they closed me up. I was so scared, it’s really scary to think that something could go wrong and you’d know it was happening. Luckily nothing did. I was rejoined with my baby soon after. My husband wheeled him in with the biggest grin on his face. That’s a moment I will never forget. Meeting my child and watching my husband become a dad was the most incredible experience. I was so in love with both of them. It was amazing.
We stayed at the hospital as long as the insurance would allow because I was scared to go home after major surgery. The pain was unbearable and my after care was great but I also felt like some of the night nurses felt like it was their personal mission to ensure I didn’t leave addicted to pain killers. I repeatedly had to ask for them and maybe this is a thing that I don’t know about to ensure that women don’t, but I am a new mom, I’m exhausted and I do not want to wake up in pain so bad that I am in tears after picking up my child.
I was very happy to go home, but I spent four days there before ending up back in the hospital with an infection. My OB casually admitting to me at that point that staples do tend to have a higher infection rate than sutures. Not once telling me so when she told me that’s what she closed me with. It was incredibly frustrating. Needless to say, I will never go back to the OBGYN.
I only wish I had advocated better for myself and my child. My experience wasn’t incredibly terrible but for me it was extremely traumatic. It’s so important to be firm when you don’t think something is right for you and your child. I’m alive and my child is alive and for that I am incredibly thankful. The marks left on my heart from where my labor did not go as planned probably will probably never heal. I will always yearn for those moments I never got to have.