A Baby Story: Josephine
I am so excited to be sharing another Baby Story with all of you today! Just like every baby is unique, so is every delivery….every labor…every pregnancy…Reading about and learning from what other mothers have gone through can help moms to be make decisions and anticipate what’s to come. Experienced mothers can read and enjoy, relating to some of the experience other moms have gone through. Today, Josephine, one of my favorite readers is sharing her story with you. I am so thankful to her for opening up and sharing her experience with you. If you missed my Baby Story, you can check it out HERE.
My husband and I would still consider ourselves newlyweds when our first child was born just 3 months after our 1st Wedding Anniversary. I was 25 years old, a recent college grad (with my Masters’) BUT not yet employed. Finances were tough and living 4 states away from ALL of our family was quite hard on us both emotionally.
Which type of birth did you choose and why? (vaginal, c-section, natural, water, home birth, etc.) We tried to do some research in regards to our choice and hoping to make the most educated decision. We had planned (and were hoping) to do a medication free vaginal birth – I was nervous about any drugs passing through to my child.
Did you have a midwife or an ob/gyn? Did you use a doula or another support person? Why did you make the choice you did? Would you make it again?
We chose to use an Ob/Gyn practice, mainly because there were a few women and at the time I thought that I wanted a woman to help me through labor/delivery. (I now have a single practice, male Ob/gyn!)
Our baby story:
My actual due date was on a Thursday, and after 9 months of preparing the day came and went with no signs/symptoms of anything starting anytime soon. I had an appointment with my Dr on Friday and was hooked up for a stress test and no contractions were noted, after an ultrasound to check fluid levels (which were fine) we began the induction talk! The Dr. wanted us to return to the hospital on a Sunday to begin the induction that night with a baby on Monday and I stubbornly refused and agreed to come in on Monday night for a Tuesday baby –I always felt (and still do) that a baby is much easier when I am carrying them inside, and having a Tuesday baby would mean that it would share the special day with my father! Well the baby had other plans! On Sunday I spent the day laboring at home, but due to it being my first I had no idea and simply thought that I was uncomfortable until late afternoon/early evening when we decided to head to an evening Church service. We arrived at Mass and I knew that I had made a mistake and should not be there but decided to try to labor through Mass – about halfway through (actually during the collection, which STILL humors my husband) we left Mass and headed home to call the Dr. I was handling the contractions in stride but they were coming much closer together and once the Dr heard how close we were told to rush to the hospital. I do not remember that drive to the hospital, I spent the entire drive throwing up – we walked into the front doors of the hospital and I was beyond miserable & even more fatigued from getting sick. I was quickly brought in and checked out, and pumped full of fluids due to dehydration (I spent the day chugging water and napping so this confused me at the time!) I was admitted and given the room right across the hall from the OR and they made sure to mention that multiple times (but never told me they thought that they were doing a c-section, just told me ‘just in case’) The nurses did their typical intake full of a million questions and my husband and I walked back and forth in the room to the bathroom (they had me connected to the monitors so no walking the halls or anything else for me!) I still can’t remember how long we were in that room but it wasn’t more than 2 hours…. I remember it like it was yesterday. I worked my way through a contraction; my husband got a puzzled look on his face (he could see the monitors and watched contractions) and the staff rushed into my room. The Dr. politely rubbed my feet, checked me, broke my water and informed me that it was time for a baby and he was going to go change his clothes. The nurses rushed me out of the room, demanded that I take off my wedding rings in the hallway as they were wheeling me into the OR and told me that they ‘act now and explain later’. I remember feeling very scared and crying asking for my husband as the cold OR awaited me, I remember hitting panic inside as I heard the page ‘NICU team STAT’, I remember and felt the catheter being placed, the change in medications in my IV and the anesthesiologist trying so hard to be nice but rushing to give me medication, and the last thing that I remember is hearing my Dr tell the nurses that there was no time – if they wanted to save this baby they had to go in now. The next thing that I remember is hearing this voice say, “It’s a boy”, to which I rather confusingly asked, “Who had a boy”? My husband tried hard to comfort me and tell me that we now had a son but due to my drug induced state I was more of a comedy show for him than anything else. Once I started to come out of the fog a bit I asked him the list of questions; who did he look like, how big was he, did he have any hair, etc. Sadly my husband couldn’t answer any, he was left in my room and watched them rush a baby down the hallway and was only told that it was a boy. He watched from the windows of the nursery as the baby was washed & weighed. I was wheeled to my room once the paper shuffle was complete (and those nurses sure did need some driving lessons because it was quite a scary trip down a few hallways!) I was offered food and drinks, blankets and entertainment but my baby was something that I had to beg to see! It was so hard for me to even understand at that point, the bonding at birth didn’t happen. It was over 2 hours after he was born before I saw him and demanded that they place him in my arms. I had planned to nurse but at this moment was forced to nurse my baby with 2 nurses basically in my chest and doing it for me. Somewhere inside of me I finally snapped and demanded that they leave but that my baby was staying with me! My husband had originally planned to go home at night while I was at the hospital due to us living so close – after our situation, leaving was not really an option for him, he was just as scared as I was about our baby. Our sweet, content, cuddly, 8lb 4oz baby boy seemed perfect to us! The nurses came in at shift change to take him back to the nursery and away he went until I called and begged that he be returned only to learn that he had been shipped to the NICU for rapid breathing. That was my breaking point; I had spent almost 8 hours with him and not noticed a thing. The nurses helped me up, removed all of my ‘attachments’ and helped me into the shower. I refused to sit and wait for someone to take me and told them that I wanted directions, but they were scared that due to just having surgery that I wasn’t safe, so I agreed to push a wheelchair. I met my husband at the NICU doors and signed my life away to get inside – and there was my chubby, sweating baby boy content as can be in that warm NICU bed! He spent 24 hours in there and I stayed by his side the whole time (much to the dismay of MY nurses!) He was finally sent back to the regular nursery but due to the antibiotics that he was on he had to stay an extra day for his medicine and to be monitored. Thankfully my Dr agreed to keep me also and we were not separated. We found out (on my discharge papers) that an emergency c-section was performed due to fetal distress (heart rate bottomed out), meconium (he pooped) and dehydration.
What could you not have lived without at the hospital?
The only thing that I needed by my side was my husband!
What do you wish you would have known about labor and delivery beforehand?
I wish that my Dr would have talked to me about the possibilities of a c-section, what would happen to me/baby and information about recovery.
What do you wish people had NOT told you?
I wish that I had not heard about the very easy (for them) medication free, vaginal births. I think that (for me) the expectations were high and I felt like a failure for having a c-section (although my mother did have 4 c-sections, so it was not something that I didn’t think about and ask about often, it was just not talked about by my Dr.’s!)
What was recovery like for you?
Once I left the hospital I was ready to conquer the world! I had quickly learned how to get up from low surfaces and how to get out of bed, I had a willing partner to help in the middle of the night and was prepared for the guests that would be arriving at our house to see the new baby
Describe the day you took your baby home from the hospital.
The gender of our baby was a surprise for us so we did not have an outfit, my husband was able to do the honors of heading to the store and choosing the first outfit and returned to the hospital with an outfit and the car seat. I remember changing our son, loading him into the car seat and being wheeled out to the car. My paranoid husband drove the long way home with the least amount of traffic and drove rather slowly (which now humors me!) We just stared at our son once we were home and spent the remainder of the day snuggling and fighting over our new baby!
What things were most helpful to you after you were home from the hospital?
Meals! The food that others brought over gave us more time to spend with our new baby. My husband was also amazing getting up with EVERY feeding to do all of the diapering!
*My experiences are not normal! I know this and do not mean to scare anyone and hesitate to share my story with others. When I returned for my follow-up appointments my Dr informed me that we would be doing a VBAC with the next baby – I was scared that the same thing was going to happen again (although I still do not really know what happened!) It took almost 3 years for me to finally feel ready to have another baby (and start to overcome my fears)– we had moved and a new Dr. was found. I walked into his office scared out of my mind and he spent the ENTIRE 9 months re-assuring me that it would be nothing like my last delivery! Thankfully he was right! I had our first daughter a year and a half ago with a repeat c-section and a quick recovery. The experience was nothing like with my son and the fear of having more children (the labor part) quickly vanished and 2 months ago we welcomed another little girl into our lives!
Thanks again to Josephine for sharing her story! If you would like to share YOUR Baby Story, please contact me!