*This could be a trigger for anyone recovering from a traumatic birth experience
I am not looking forward to writing this, although my second birth gave me an amazing, healthy little boy, it did not go as planned.
When Isaiah’s due date drew near, I asked my sister-in-law, Valerie, to print off our birth plan, the same exact birth plan I made for Elliot’s birth. Being the doll she is, she printed it for me. I felt confident in my ability to deliver Isaiah naturally with one of the wonderful midwives I saw, just like I did with Elliot. I thought my birth plan, again, would be followed perfectly and sweet little Isaiah would be born into a peaceful environment and be directly placed on my chest, where he would stay for the first couple hours of life. Boy was I wrong, unfortunately lots of health issues and surgeries led to a midwife not being on call two days in 2018, one day being the day I delivered Isaiah.
The morning of December 27th, five days after my due date, I woke not feeling well. I was crampy and tired. My sweet Elliot had as much energy as normal. When my other sister-in-law, Katie, woke up (she and her brother live with us) I asked her to watch Elliot while I took a bath. She did and it was a life saver. So, I soaked in the tub, which always helps me when I am not feeling well. After I got out of the tub, I was so tired. So, I asked her if it was okay if napped for a little while, she said, “sure”. I woke up feeling as yucky as I had before napping. But I headed out to the living room to resume my motherly duties, I always feel guilty putting my responsibilities with my children on someone else. By this time, it was mid to late morning. The cramping got worse, so I timed the mild contractions to see if there was a pattern, there was they were about seven minutes apart lasting thirty seconds or so. I decided to call my husband Ben, luckily, he was finishing up early at work anyways, and would be home soon.
When Ben was on his way home I asked him to stop at our local Amish restaurant to get me soup. I knew if this was labor, I would need some nutrients and energy. When Ben got home, Elliot was playing with Katie again while I laid in bed. The contractions had gotten stronger. Ben checked on me, then brought me soup. I ate as much of the bowl as I could, but I really had no interest in eating. After checking on me, he packed Elliot up and took him to my parents, where he would stay until we returned from the hospital.
When Ben returned, I was soaking in the tub. I asked him to call the midwives’ office and let them know we would probably be heading there in a little while. Ben put the phone on speaker so I could talk to the nurse, she ever so sweetly told me there was no midwife on call. My heart sank, this was my worst fear.
When I found out I was pregnant with my first child I spent hours researching and interviewing doctors and midwives until I found a place where I felt I would be listened to and respected, where my dreams of a natural, unmedicated birth would come true. I interviewed all four midwives and felt so very comfortable having my babies with them. Then to find out that none of them were on call was so frustrating. The sweet nurse I talked with on the phone assured me the lady doctor on call was lovely and everything would be okay. After a few minutes of praying everything would go okay, I felt peaceful about the situation.
Soon after the phone call with the nurse we decided to head to the hospital, it was an hour drive and my first birth went really fast. We arrived at the hospital around 3pm. After going through registration, they took us to our room. The nurse came in and I handed her my birth plan, the same birth plan I used with Elliot’s birth. She told me she wasn’t sure the doctor would like but she would check with him. Him? I thought the doctor on call was a lovely lady. Well, he was not lovely nor was he a lady. This doctor came in and told me my birth plan would not work and I would probably need a C-section anyway. Where he got this idea I didn’t know, this was the first time I had met him. Met is an exaggeration, he never introduced himself.
After the nurse put the IV port in my arm, which I asked her not to do, I asked to get in the tub. She said she would ask the doctor, soon she returned and apologetically told me the doctor wanted me in bed with the monitor on. This was the opposite of what I wanted. After about 7 hours, (I had only spent about an hour in the tub because the doctor wanted me in bed) I asked the nurse to check my cervix because I felt like I was transitioning. She said I was wrong, and I was only 6 centimeters dilated. I was so disappointed, I should have known better than to have check me, it’s not an accurate assessment of timeframe.
She left the room and my water aggressively broke. All at once my body started pushing. Ben went to get a nurse, by the time he returned Isaiah’s head was born. The doctor rushed in and said to the nurse, “I thought she was only 6cm”. The nurse and the doctor caught Isaiah as he was born. The doctor just left him lay on the bed, he was not crying. Instinctively, I reached down and started rubbing my baby. He was born with cord around his neck, so he needed some encouragement. The doctor grabbed the clamps to clamp the cord, which my birth plan specifically requested he not do. My husband and I both asked him not to clamp and cut the cord, he did anyways. I was so upset and then he instructed the nurse to take him. She took him over to the table in the room. I told Ben to go with him. Soon I heard him crying, I asked them to bring him back, but they didn’t right away. While this was all happening, I was bleeding a little more than normal.
Although I was bleeding more than I suspected to be normal I felt fine. The doctor gave me a shot of Pitocin to help slow the bleeding, thankfully it worked. After what seemed like forever the nurse finally brought me my baby. At some point the doctor had left. I didn’t care to see him ever again. He was so rough with me and rude. He didn’t listen to anything I said. It seemed like his goal was to prove to me my birth plan wouldn’t work.
All the craziness was worth it though, God had blessed me with the most precious baby boy. After Isaiah was returned to me, he nursed for a long time. It was wonderful to bond with him. He nursed really well. After Isaiah was born the nursing shift changed and the nurses who came in were so nice, much nicer than any nurse we had had all day. The one nurse told me that they all called the doctor lots of nicknames such as: Doctor scissor hands, the cutter, ect. She told me I was lucky to have had a vaginal birth with him, his C-section rate was 50%, well above the national average.
Despite things not going how I wanted, I am very grateful to have been blessed with a healthy baby. Although I love my midwife, I think our next baby will be born at home with a homebirth midwife. I want to avoid ever experiencing anything like that again. Although I am so very blessed with my healthy baby, and I know this is all part of Gods plan (for what I don’t know) I am very sad about this birth. I feel as though a very special experience was stolen from me. I will probably go on to have more babies, but I will never get to experience Isaiah’s birth again. I will never get the special experience with him I had hoped for. His labor was full of fear, stress and sadness.
The next day my midwife came in and apologized. She also said how lucky I was to avoid a C-section with this doctor. She also said the hospital was considering terminating his contract because he got so many bad reviews and he was negatively affecting the hospitals C-section statics. I hope God either touches his heart, makes him feel compassion and respect for the women he takes care of, or he finds a place in the work force that better suits him. I hope another woman is never treated, by him, the way he treated me. I am still sad about the experience, but time is helping it not be a main focus of mine. I am also praying that I will feel at peace with how everything went. I am trying to focus on how blessed I am to have avoided a C-section and have a healthy baby. Trying to focus on the bright side.
Sorry for the long blog- so much to explain. Thank you for reading!