January 16, 2012

Guest Post Series ~ My Birth Story by, Kerry of Bellflower Books

My son at 6 ~ Well worth the trouble:)

Since a Bellflower Book makes an incredibly meaningful gift for weddings, anniversaries and new babies, we have started a special new guest post series to pay tribute to these events!  I have decided to kick this series off with a post of my own.

I was debating between telling the sweet and predictable story about my perfect little wedding day, or the somewhat crazy and dysfunctional story about the birth of my first child.  I decided that dysfunction is usually a lot more interesting:)

When I had my son I was in my 20's and living in Chicago.  I was one of the first in my group of friends to get pregnant and I will admit to being absolutely clueless.  Lucky for me I had an extremely healthy pregnancy, so when I went into deliver I figured that everything would run smoothly.

Unfortunately the doctor I was seeing (who was recommended to me by another clueless friend) only delivered in two hospitals that were both located in horrible neighborhoods and a little shady.  I picked what I figured was the lessor of 2 evils.  After growing up in a small town in Ohio, I figured a hospital was a hospital and that I would receive great care no matter where I went.  Plus, I loved my doctor.  I loved my doctor because every time I went in for a routine visit he would let me "see my baby" by giving me an ultrasound even though I was having an extremely normal and healthy pregnancy.  At the time I had no idea that this type of treatment was pretty abnormal and that through all of these un-needed ultrasounds my excellent insurance was helping to support their struggling practice.

My son who is a very active child was also a very active fetus.  Two weeks before his due date I felt his activity sharply decrease.  I immediately went to my doctor, found out I was dilated, stopped at Dairy Queen for a chicken sandwich and chocolate ice cream cone, then went to the hospital.  Things weren't progressing like my doctor hoped, so he started me on pitocin.  I got an epidural and was pretty optimistic about how I thought things would progress.  My younger sister showed up with a nice spread of appetizers for her, my husband and my parents who were driving in from Toledo.  I was on the phone with my friends naively making plans to have them for dinner and celebrate two days later.

Then everything went downhill pretty quickly.  The pitocin worked, my contractions started coming quick, but they hurt really bad.  The epidural hadn't clicked in quite like it was supposed to.  Then before I knew it and before my parents had arrived I had to start to push.  Each time I pushed the baby's heart plummeted.  I pushed three times before I was whisked away emergency style for a c-section.  I knew something was wrong but it was all happening so fast that I wasn't quite sure what was going on.  My parents arrived just in time to see me prepped for surgery and headed into the operating room.

This is where the complications with the anesthetic caused some problems.  Since the epidural was not working properly, I was not numb where I should have been and there was not time to sedate me further so I pretty much felt my c-section.  I can distinctly remember making my first choice and sacrifice as a mother when I knew my baby was in trouble and that the only way to help him was to forfeit any additional anesthetic attempts and to go in after him.  I can remember screaming and crying but I don't remember the pain.  I think that my husband will be traumatized forever.  I had to tell him to stop telling his version of the story from the other side of the curtain.  It was not pretty.

And because this was my first birth I didn't realize that it was odd to painfully feel every stitch as they sewed me back up, and even odder that I did not see my baby until a good half hour later.

The good news is that we are all okay.  After the surgery the resident anesthesiologist was considerate enough to apologize to me for his mistakes and hook me up to a nice morphine drip which caused me to see mushrooms and faeries on the wall opposite my bed.  My son developed jaundice and had to spend most of his time in the NICU, which was probably for the best since I was pretty out of it for a while.  He actually looked pretty fine to us and we didn't know if the NICU was absolutely necessary, but then again we had great insurance which I think may have influenced people to take "extra precautions".

The hospital I gave birth in has since closed and the last I heard it has been slated for demolition.

Over six years later I don't think my stomach muscles will ever be the same, but things are good.  I used all of this as a giant learning experience for when I had my second child.  I changed doctors and went to one of the best women's hospitals in the nation where I had a planned C-Section that went so smoothly I didn't even realize it was happening. I was actually shocked when it was over so quickly without so much as a shriek or a tear.  I had a flat screen TV, gourmet room service and frankly a wonderful time in recovery.  It was like a vacation.  See... the first birth story is much more exciting:)

***If you would like to join our guest post series and share your wedding or birth story, please contact me at kerry (at) Bellflowerbooks (dot) com

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