Monday, February 10, 2014

Witnessing a modern medical birth

I've never been in that position before. Not in real life. 

Until my daughter Kela gave birth to her firstborn baby a week ago. 

I was traumatized. 

I was hoping that she would refuse induction. But, and doctors use this to their advantage, she was in misery. The last month of pregnancy is the most miserable time in a person's life. (That's my opinion)

So, she was told to bring her suitcase to her 40 week doctor appointment. And they would send her over to the hospital after checking her to see if she'd need Cytotech (a medicine inserted vaginally that softens the cervix) or just Pitocen (the synthetic version of the hormone oxytocin, which causes uterine contractions). 

Well, they determined...... The hospital was too full. She had to go home and come back Sunday evening (Super Bowl eve) for the Cytotech. 

I was upset they sent her home after telling her they'd induce her that day, but greatly relieved and hoped that she'd go into labor on her own before Sunday evening. 

So. That didn't happen. :(

Sunday eve saw her and I headed to the OB floor in the hospital. She insisted that Kyle stay at his dad and mom's and watch the Super Bowl before coming to the hospital. :) (he kept texting me for updates. Prolly every five to ten minutes. Haha)

They went over all kinds of paper work with her and gave her an iv. 

Then inserted the Cytotech around 8:30. And again at midnight and 4am. She had labor pains but not many. She slept some. I did not sleep at all. Kyle slept a bit. 

At 8am they started the pitocen. She was dilated only at one still (she had been at one for a week) and was effaced at about 60%. (That's what the Cytotech was supposed to do) 

So. As they were starting the pitocen they basically told her that she'd be having a baby that day, no matter what. I piped up and said "Unless she's like me. I didn't have her til the next day."

The lady said "Oh no. If she's not progressing enough, he will give her a csection. He won't come back in at midnight. She will have the baby long before that."

That was my first clue that we were basically in for a bad experience. :(

So. She was dilating fabulously, in my humble opinion, with the pitocen. She was even handling the contractions pretty well, being the monster pains they are from Pitocen. She had dilated to three in two hours. And after another hour was at 4. She had been doing great with moaning and groaning and breathing through her contractions. They were beginning to get harder for her. She was yelling some, but still in control of herself. 

All this time, I thought she was doing so awesome! And she absolutely refused to hear about an epidural. Kyle really wanted her to get it (and his mom, Cindy) but she even said at one point "if you say that word one more time you can just leave"  she did however consent to staydol, which kind of made her woozy. But it helped a bit. 

Well, it was at that point the nurse came in with another medicine to put in her iv. 

The nurse started to put it in and I asked her "what is that?" And she actually hem hawed a little bit before Cindy came over and asked again. She said it was inderal. Cindy asked her what it was for. She actually truly hem hawed some more, before finally, hesitantly, stated "it will make her dilate faster." Then she promptly put it in the iv and almost ran out the door. 

I was appalled. First, Kela was already dilating pretty fast. And second she was already getting overwhelmed by the hugely painful excruciating contractions, which because of the Pit, were right on top of each other with no breaks. 

After she received that medicine, it all went to pieces. 

For one thing, her blood pressure dropped from 145/70 to 80/40. In about ten minutes. She began screaming bloody murder (as the saying goes) and she basically lost control of herself. 

Worse? She starting choking. As in not breathing!! Scared me to death!!!

Even worse?? She began FAINTING between contractions. Not because of. Between. They had lowered the pitocen and her contractions were coming anywhere from five to seven minutes apart. 

I had not left her side. 

I know exactly what happened. 

It was not because she was in labor. 

It was a reaction to that medicine. 

You couldn't tell the nurses that tho. They shrugged me off. 

She would faint. I would catch her and keep her from falling off the bed. And at one point I know I even smacked her face and shook her because she was waking up with a jerk from the contractions, but that time she didn't. SCARED ME TO DEATH. 

When she would wake up, she could not breathe. She hyperventilated. She also felt like she was going to puke. (Another side effect of that medicine I found later.)

Ok. After that happened a few times I freaked out. I took her face in my hands and I told her "Kela. The dr has given you an evil medicine. You have no choice but to get that epidural." She said ok as long as she didn't have to know anything about it. 

So, we dealt with another hour and half of the fainting and choking and screaming, "I want to die. Please let me die." And similar things. Before they were able to get the anesthesiologist there to give the epidural. 

When he did come, he started administering the shot and Kela had a contraction and asked him to wait just one minute. I was trying to reassure her and told her "I don't think they're able to give it during a contraction, Kela." - from my vantage point of four feet away, where they'd shoved me out of their way. And the dr said "Are you in charge?" This angered Kyle. It didn't bother me. I just had to bite my tongue tho. I almost said "No, but the person who should be in charge has been incapacitated by this hospital." But I didn't. 

But he didn't stop there. Apparently he'd had a fight with Kela's dr in the hallway right before he came in the room and he was informing the nurses that he would not risk his life (we were getting ten inches of snow as Tyson was being birthed!) to come back at midnight when all these women having elective inductions would need an epidural. He was incensed that there'd been so many women scheduled that women who were going into labor naturally were having to wait for rooms. He went on and on. I actually felt justified in my former preaching about the evils of inductions for no medical reasons. (I had at least three and could maybe even make a case for the fourth one being medically unnecessary!!)

Anyhow. Back to poor Kela. She had already dilated to five by the time she received the epidural, which was about 1:30. 

After receiving the epidural, she slept. And she was still having trouble breathing. I asked them to actually put the oxygen mask on her with oxygen coming out of it. (They had pretended to give her oxygen earlier by placing an empty mask on her face, when she was having trouble breathing and was choking. Apparently because they thought it might help the poor girl who couldn't - "Breathe through her contractions" and was hyperventilating -to *think* she was getting oxygen. ???? At least that's what the nurse told me.)

So. They allowed her to sleep about an hour and a half and checked her at 3:00. She was fully dilated. So they said we will wait for the dr. The baby had been at station 3 (basically right there ready to crown) for most of the day. So the nurse said they wouldn't have her try to push til the dr was there. We waited at least an hour (I kept saying a couple, but looking back I guess it wasn't anymore that an hour and a half at the most) before the dr came in. 

But she was sleeping and had no urges to push thanks to the epidural. 

So when the doctor got there he had two nurses grab her legs (one pushed me out of the way to grab a leg. I guess you have to be qualified to hold a leg) and Kyle put his arm under her head and he had her give a push. Baby was coming right out!

(In spite of her head being lower than her butt. I was in shock that they were basically making her push a baby out UP HILL.)

So he had her stop pushing and wait while he cut her (episiotomy) because she was going to tear. And then he had her push a couple more times and Tyson's head was born. He had his cord wrapped around his neck once but Dr unwrapped it and had Kela give another push and baby was out completely and suctioned and handed off to the nurses. He pinked right up :) they put an oxygen mask on him, which worried me. I asked if he was ok because they were giving him oxygen, and they said yes that was just what they did. 

Kela, meantime, was delivering the placenta (the dr just pulled it out on the next contraction cuz she had no urge to push anything, she was completely numb still) and he proceeded to stitch her up. 

My attention was divided by her and the baby under the warming lights. :)

She was ok. He was ok. I was so relieved that they were. 

They allowed her to nurse him shortly after they cleaned up the room.

There was visiting and much joy. :)

Kela had trouble nursing at the beginning because her breasts had stretched so much in such a short time that basically her nipples were flat. So she ended up using a handy little invention called a nipple shield. :)  The nursing was good after she got the hang of that and has been great ever since. So that's a relief. 

But guess what? 

While she was still in the hospital (she'd been moved around to two more rooms, for a total of three rooms, and moved hurriedly because they needed the rooms for those crazy ladies who GASP went into labor on their own!! How dare they!!) she had kept telling the nurses that her bottom side where her stitches was had been hurting A LOT. Over and over she told them. 

Well, she had a large piece of gauze come out of her. She didn't know to tell anyone because I wasn't there when it happened and being new to all this, she just thought it was normal!!! So, she never mentioned it to the nurses. 

So she got home from the hospital and she had another piece come out. Smaller than the first, but still - the size of a golf ball. I took a pic of it beside of a quarter if you want to see!! Ugh. 

So she called to let the dr know, and his nurse said to come in the next morning. So she did, and the dr blamed the nurses and never said he was sorry. But he dug around in there to see if he'd left anything else! Didn't find anything. 

After the soreness left from the exam, that evening, she went from begging for meds to taking nothing for pain. She said she thought it was just rubbing her raw!

Poor kid. 

Anyhow. That was a long post. I'm sorry for that. I didn't cry this time relating it. I guess I've come to terms with it now. But it took me a while. I broke down when I came home and read up on that medicine. (Inderal)

They should not have given it to her. 

I don't understand why they can't let women labor naturally. :(

I'm hoping Kela will find another dr or go with the midwife (whether at hospital or home, I don't care!!) next baby.


  1. I'm so glad that Kela and Tyler are healthy! I'm sorry that Kela has such a rough time though. Maybe she will be like me and be so traumatized by the overly assisted birth, that she will go for natural next time. It's funny how people talk about labor pains as being so painful, but some of those meds make it down right torture. The pain God intended for us isn't that severe! I had wondered when you were talking about her being sent home on FB, why you were allowing her to be induced. LOL! And then I remembered she's a married adult and you can't force her to do anything. Sigh. That must have been hard.