Thursday, August 27, 2009

It's Finally Time

I type this from my hospital bed. Slowly... because one hand is dealing with the damned IV.

Yeah, I had to suck it up and deal with it after all that I've done to avoid it, but unfortunately it was completely unavoidable in this case. So here's the scoop for all of you who've been checking in, either here, facebook, e-mail, or what not. And may I say right off from the start, thank you for doing that, for thinking of us, for your prayers and well wishes. Please don't stop now; we're not quite done but we are, finally, well on our way.

When we got to the hospital Wednesday morning, we were admitted pretty much immediately after they finished filling out details on my chart. They didn't even bother to check me any further before taking me in because they already knew that my membranes had ruptured the previous night and so that means that I needed to be admitted to make sure everything was still good and there was no infection, etc. (All keeping in mind of course that I'm GBS positive so that's a primary motivator in my case.)

So I got admitted, and found a gown that wasn't going to cut off circulation (!) and got settled in for the long haul. While overnight I'd been contracting every 6 to 9 minutes, albeit very lightly, the contractions virtually stopped when I was in my room. Very disappointing. Petit was continuing to be active and all, but no contractions, no real progress meant that no one was happy with how it was going.

And thus the cascade began.

First up, an OB I didn't know and hadn't ever had the opportunity to speak to. He comes in my room, shakes my hand, introduces himself and says, "All right then. Let's get you hooked up to some oxytocin to get this going!" virtually rubbing his hands together gleefully. Um... how about no? Not yet? How about even bothering to check my monitor or determine if my cervix had dilated any further since last night? ANYTHING? Needless to say, neither hubby nor I was impressed and by the time he left our room, he was none too thrilled with us. But that isn't the first time I'd pissed off a doctor. C'est la vie. Next thing I know, I was asked to sign a "refusal of treatment" form for the IV to augment labour and to administer IV penicillin for the GBS. I promptly signed it. Ass...

Next up, a visit from a social worker. "Odd" I thought to myself, and then I learned that she was there at the doctor's request. She started asking about my needle phobia and why I would refuse treatment, things like that. And she too went the route of trying to convince me that I could possibly be doing some irreversable damage to the baby. Not cool. I informed her that I understood the ramifications of my choices and I knew the alternatives. I also explained to her that I had a great network of people (both real life and here online) that are wonderful!

Third in line was the anaesthesiologist. She came up to let me know the risks and issues of not following the doctor's recommendations and going right for the oxytocin and the epidural. Cause didn't you know, "There won't be a crash c-section, there'll be an awake intubation, which will be really difficult given that it takes about 45 minutes to get someone up here. And add to that the fact that you are overweight. It might not even be possible to intubate you. As well, in our line of work, moms are the priority. If baby dies, baby dies. But we have to make that call when no epidural line or spinal is in place. You need to know that and be aware of what your decision means." Nice way to scare a person on the verge of tears and who's gone through what I have to get to this point huh? Again, not cool in my books.

Fuck me. By that point I was on the verge of spitting nickels and I was angry with every single person who dared cross the threshhold of my room! Honest to Christ! I doubted not just myself, and my own knowledge and research, but also my decision to even come to this freakin hospital. What a nightmare! I was in tears. And of course, still no damn contractions to help get things moving on their own anyway.

Fourth in their arsenal over the course of the day was the NICU nurse from the other freakin' building. She comes in and starts talking about how she can't tell us what to do, but here's the situation if your baby gets GBS or another infection and what treatment is or isn't available and how ready. Cause you know, they've all seen some sick babies and this particular infection is serious, dontcha know?! Not only that, but this woman alludes to the fact that because I was putting them in such an impossible position, there was talk of their contacting The Children's Aid Society to have someone from there come in to talk with me about the issues. SERIOUSLY?? WTF?? Brazen as brass... I couldn't believe it.

When she left the room, I broke down. For the first time.

Anyway, the day progressed but my labour definitely did not. And that made me second guess myself all the more and then wonder yet again, what was wrong with my body. I guess it just doesn't get it huh?

Eventually, late on Wednesday evening (around 6 p.m.) I decided that enough was enough... I needed to know that something could and would happen. I was starting to fear for Petit and the loss of amniotic fluid although the heartrate was fine and he/she was still kicking and all that. But we were coming up on 20 hours with no progress at all. I cried as I told hubby I was going to give in to the IV and the oxytocin. He held me as I wept and when the doctor came in to check on me again, we told him.

They got me into a nice warm shower to bring out my veins, and I wrapped my hands in warm compresses as hubby and I watched Slumdog Millionaire to take my mind off things until the anaesthesiologist came up to do his job. I gotta say, between him, hubby and my ever-so-freakin-amazing nurse Elaine (a true Godsend this woman, from Jamaica and she had all the faith in the world in me), the IV went in pretty smoothly. Oxytocin was started around 6 p.m. on Wednesday night at the lowest dose.

And true to form, that did nothing either. *sigh*

All night the oxytocin did its thing and the nurses continued to check me and to bump up the levels every 30 mins or so. Only by about 3 a.m. did I start to actually FEEL anything. And I began to breathe through the contractions. Hubby didn't even hear me as I dealt with them and by 4 a.m. on Thursday, they were strong, strong, strong. But I was still only 1-2 cm dilated!! DAMMIT!

That frustrated me to no end. Combined with an overnight nurse who had the personality of a wet dishrag and made me upset and angry, I began to cry. I threw tissues. I sat up so abruptly that the monitors lost the baby's heartbeat and said nurse barged in wondering what the heck was going on with me. I told her I was pissed and upset and I was ready to just rip everything off and head the hell outta dodge. Only hubby calmed me down. Thank God for him. He truly is my rock you know.

I finally settled down again after a fashion and tried to rest. Or maybe I just tried to relax a little. I mean, that was going on 30 hours already and I'd just had enough, you know?

By 5 a.m., knowing the strength of the contractions and my level of discomfort, I agreed to nubain (an IM narcotic) which really took the edge off the pain for about 3-4 hours. But that came with a ton of drowsiness and some nausea (remedied by gravol in my IV) and I dozed a bit and breathed a bit. All was good til the nubain wore off and by 9:30 a.m. I was in pain again. A second injection of nubain and I hoped it would do what the first one did. No dice. The contractions had picked up so much that I couldn't even breathe through them anymore. I was doing every possible trick in the book but nothing could distract me. Talk about intense! Mother of baby Jesus... I couldn't even speak.

Hubby had stepped out to run home, as he had now and then to shower, change, touch base with my family, etc. and when he got back, I told him (God knows how in heaven he was able to comprehend me through the panting, tears, and shaking) I had pretty much agreed to the epidural to relieve the pain and maybe, just maybe, get my cervix to dilate and cooperate. Again, we pulled Elaine into the room to tell her. She agreed to talk to the doctor and get the anesthesiologist again... different guy this time. But just as competent.

All this time, I had managed to get out of bed and get back and forth to the washroom and this would be my last shot at that; once the epi went in, I'd be stuck. But enough was enough. So I agreed. That was noon today.

The epi went in on the third try; it was really tough between severe contractions, and my anaesthesiologist preferred to do them with the patient lying down. Anyway, that done, I started to feel the numbness pretty much immediately but the pressure was still there. That's the goal anyway, so I can actually feel pressure to help push Petit out when the time comes.

So okay, at noon today, I was still 3 cms and about 35% effaced. By 2 p.m., They checked me again. Blow me down folks... 9 cms (just a bit of anterior lip) and 95% effaced. Elaine could feel the baby's head and little bits of hair! Petit is now at a +1 station!! WOOT! All that in just two hours. I guess I needed to relax huh?

It is almost 3 p.m. here. I'm due for another check, and likely, very likely, I'll get to start pushing. With some luck, Petit will be here within a few short hours. You'll get the scoop right after family and immediate friends. I guarantee it. Either hubby or I will post. It might be short, but there you go.

I'm excited and so eager to meet this little one. Just like Vee and Max have welcomed little Leo Alexandre into their lives, so too might I get to introduce to you Petit, and his or her name.

Sending love to you all. And thank you for your wishes. I have been needing them. Every single one.


Anonymous said...

OMG, are you at Montfort or the General? How horrible! Shame on the staff you upset you! What a horrible thing to have to go through on the best "day" of your life. Hang in will all be better soon.


Patti said...

You know, our prenatal teacher (who was also a doula) warned us about stuff like this and I felt I was prepared to deal with it. BUT...I know it's also very easy to feel overwhelmed and have self-doubt on this most important of days.

However, as I'm sure you know, it's not the journey that matters. This is the one time in your life that the "destination" is the most important thing.

As cliche as this sounds - what matters is that you and Petit come out of this healthy.

You are an incredibly strong and wonderful woman. I cannot wait to welcome Petit into the world.

Aurelia said...

Oh honey, I'm so sorry this all happened like this, and after you had discussed it with your OB and everything...

Well, cheer up, because once this is over if you feel like laying complaints about this kind of behaviour, I know some people. Both at your hospital and elsewhere.

Meantime, push, and let us know when everything happens. *Smooch*

OHN said...

I had a very similar labor course to yours...Friday morning to Monday night. That beautiful baby is 19 now.

I am eagerly waiting for an update and announcement :) !!

Pam said...

I can't believe how ignorant the staff has been towards you. Has your own OB been in to see you?

Hopefully by the time you see this Petit will have arrived. We've not yet heard from hubby with whom V has been keeping in touch all day.

Hang in there. You're almost there.

ultimatejourney said...

I'm sorry your experience has been so difficult. I can NOT wait for the next update!!!

The Unproductive One said...

Your Drs need a lesson in bedside manner and they also need to realise that not everyone who comes in to deliver a child comes in with NO knowledge about whats going to happen or how they want things to happen (or would like it to).

I can't believe you're in labour and blogging LOL you rock woman!!

Can't wait to read the news of the safe delivery of your first child new MUM!


Anonymous said...

Praying for you!!!
Hope the birth goes well and all the stress melts away as soon as you lay eyes on your precious baby.
from Australia

Anonymous said...

dont let those nazis get you down. theyre actually regular ppl not gods. and they hate it when a patient advocates for themselves.Sending prayers and blessings your way. God speed!

Anonymous said...

I am sorry things haven't gone as you had hoped.

I hope Petit has arrived by now!

Neeroc said...

Oh I'm so freaking excited! I cannot wait for your next update!! squee!

Okay enough of that. Sorry you had to deal with the shitty docs.

Andrea said...

I am so sorry that this has had to happen to you.

It is so important for all women to advocate for themselves during labor and birth. All too often the patriarchal aspect of birth comes into play and mothers are left feeling like they did something wrong.

I am a Labor and Delivery RN and I have also given birth to my baby at my place of work. I was fortunate to have an amazing experience even though I was considered 'high risk' and had lots of interventions. I think that I had an amazing experience because I set out my expectations and wishes before things go too hairy. I also had my husband who advocated for me even when he was unsure of how it might come across.

All too often the legal aspect of birthing babies comes into play and takes over the womens unique personal experience. It is a hard thing because there is no easy answer and we do need those policies and procedures. So, all the mean and rude things that people say is them covering their future asses. Unfortunately they don't know how to deliver the legal stuff in a kind well meaning manner. Oh bedside manner where have you gone?!

I hope you have a wonderful post partum period and snuggle that new little baby of yours.

Anonymous said...

Man, ruptured membranes, no progression of labor, GBS+ and you opt to wait and not induce? That was gutsy! I understand why everyone was wigged out. As a pediatrician, I'd be so worried about the potential sepsis and need for antibiotics, cultures and other assorted crap I've had to perform on sick newborns.

I think this scenario really illustrates how experience and perspective really colors what we are looking for. Many women, I understand, are looking for a specific type of not medicalized birth experience. And I get that. But as someone who has (unfortunately) worked in a NICU and been in L&D waiting to resuscitate the baby, were I ever to have successfully stayed pregnant until delivery, I would have completely been about just let the kid come out of me healthy, whatever way that happens.

Please don't think that I'm saying one perspective is better than the other. Yet you can imagine how the hospital personnel were thinking about all the crap that can and does go wrong while you were looking to have the birth experience you envisioned. The key when two agendas are so disparate is for the provider to address and acknowledge the patient's agenda working toward some position of compromise rather than just drawing a line in the sand and ending up with both of you retreating to your corners and thinking negatively about the other.

I'm sorry that this birth process started on such a sour note, but I'm sure that when the little one arrives, it will all be very sweet indeed.

AmandaMqn said...

The staff sounds like a bunch of stupid idiots, so sorry they were such dummies.

Hopefully Petit has made his/her entrance by now! Can't wait to see the update!

Lollipop Goldstein said...

I am so excited for you two and look forward to hearing the next update about Petit.

B. said...

How in the world you're able to post to your blog right now is beyond me, but I'm very grateful. I've been checking every couple of hours since Wednesday morning, and it's good to hear that things are, at last, progressing. Good luck, Gil!! You're very nearly there!

Aurelia said...


Just clarify on behalf of Gil who is likely busy with her new baby---she was supposed to have oral antibiotics instead of IV, on the recommendation of her OB, who I am sure understands the risks.

The reason Gil didn't want an IV or epidural isn't about birth preferences, but because she has a very bad response to needles. Each needle site causes massive unexplained bruising, some 3-4 inches wide, and severe pain. She has very difficult veins.

Her OB knew this and the OB on call ignored the medical facts.

If the staff had read her file, they would have known it. But they didn't. Kind of a problem.

Annie @ PhD in Parenting said...

((hug)) I'm so sorry you had such a horrible experience. I hope you are enjoying time with your little one now.