Robby's Birth Story
About November I started getting itchy. My new doctor told me I was just having winter skin and to use some anti itch lotion. Then my blood pressure started raising, and she kept testing me for preeclampsia, to which I kept testing negative, so she sent me to a dermatologist who immediately decided that I had a bacterial infection and gave me topical steroids. They didn't work, nor did the next prescription. Or the next.
Still getting tested for preeclampsia. Still negative. The itching became unbearable and I was also having serious muscle spasms and before long I couldn't sleep except every few days when I was too exhausted to stay awake. Any movement across my skin was agony. I swore I could feel the hairs growing—as I was shaving my legs and arms twice a day because even air disturbing the hairs was too much pain to bear.
Finally in February after some time in the hospital and full-on bed rest, and still no clue as to why my blood pressure was so high and I was hyperventilating constantly, I told my doctor that if she didn't do something immediately I was going to hurt myself and my baby would suffer as a result so she made some phone calls and found out about this condition called cholestasis. I tested positive and was told my baby was in danger and that I'd have to be induced four weeks early.
I was scheduled to deliver at one of the bigger urban hospitals, with NICU in case anything went wrong, as I was a high risk pregnancy and delivering early. I was due to go in on Sunday at 5. On Friday, she tells me "we think everything is going to be fine" and sent me up to a small hospital in the sticks (with no NICU) and I find out that my "doctor" was only an APRN and couldn't deliver me. Guess who would have the honor? Yep, the Doctor we fired! Great.
Labor was long and uncomfortable. Nothing like Spiritual Midwifery. :( My nurse wouldn't let me move around, she said I was in active labor and had to stay on my back in bed (which I find out later is one of the worst positions ever!). I was in pretty bad pain and because they couldn't get the internal monitor to stay in the contractions were only being monitored by the external one, which I couldn't leave alone because it was torture on my skin. She was complaining because I was naked and didn't want a blanket and kept telling me "your contractions are only in the high teens and low twenties, if you think this is bad now just wait til you start having REAL contractions" and finally, even though I didn't want it, I had the epidural.
My labor progressed fast after that, even though I was exhausted at that point after no sleep and not being able to eat, this is Monday night about eleven PM. Around 2AM I started feeling the pressure and my body was telling me it was time to push. My nurse told me "I just checked you not even twenty minutes ago and you were only 7cm there's no way you're ready" and finally after fifteen minutes or so of crying and begging she checked me again and lo-and-behold I was fully dilated and ready to go. She said "I'd save my energy if I were you, cause it's gonna take you hours to push this baby out" She left, I pushed, baby crowned. My husband turned the most interesting shade of green I have ever seen and I pushed again not knowing that the baby was crowning and out popped his head. My husband started yelling, "The head is out! The head is out! Oh my god, the head is out!" and the nurse rushes in and tells me to stop pushing while she gets the doctor and the equipment and everything. It's pretty much impossible to stop pushing at that stage cause your body does a lot of work on its own and so I gave one final push at 2:21 and there's Robby laying on the table, purple and unresponsive.
After getting cleaned up and stitched back together, my husband headed home and I tried to get some rest while the staff "ran some tests on the baby." After a few hours I was still unable to see him. After a few more hours a new person comes in and tell me "your baby can't breathe and has to be moved to another hospital more equipped to take care of him"
I asked if he was going to die and instead of rattling off some statistics and telling me that he was being taken to one of the best NICU's in New England, the woman says, "I don't have a crystal ball," and leaves me in tears to call my husband and try to explain to him what is going on. I was incoherent and he asked to talk to the Pedi. APRN and she told me, "I'll just talk to him when he gets here." So after two days of no sleep he speeds to the hospital not knowing what the hell is going on and gets there just as they were wheeling the baby out.
The doctor who "delivered" the baby sat down with my husband and was told everything that happened and filed multiple complaints on our behalf, and was more than helpful and informative and finally explained to me that the likelihood of Robby dying was slim to none and ordered me a bunch of food and painkillers.
At four weeks early the little monster was 20 1/4 inches long and weighed 6.3! They told me he'd have been a ten pounder!
He ended up in the NICU for 8 days and I spiraled into a bad postpartum depression. BAD! I didn't want to hold him or breastfeed him or even be around him for the first three months. Still, three years later, I am not even 100% better, but getting there.
I have found the silver lining to this ugly storm cloud...I've always know I'd be involved in the health care system some how, but it took having the worst experience ever to bring me around to the field of midwifery, and I will never let any family go through what my husband I did. (Once I go back to nursing school that is!)
The only other thing I know for certain is that Robby is going to be an only child. One is plenty enough for us thank you!
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