Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Birth Plans

There is a very interesting discussion going on at Momversation about birth plans. When I was pregnant with Will, my take on a birth plan went a little like this, "Birth plan?? Seriously? Don't you just go in there and push with all your might until the little sucker pops out? Birth plan! Phpppt! I don't need no stinkin' birth plan." And you're not going to believe this, but I was dead wrong.

My labor was going rather slowly. After a few hours of being in labor, I was dilated to 2, had not asked for the epidural, and my water had not yet broken on it's own. My OB came in and broke my water and then the nurses suggested Pitocin. Dum, dum, dummmm! I should have flat out refused it. Every natural instinct inside me told me that I didn't want this evil, devil drug. I told the nurses so. They proceeded to make me feel extremely guilty about that decision. They said that after your water breaks, the baby has to be delivered within a reasonable period of time or it can become dangerous. They said things like, "We really need to get this process going," and "We give women Pitocin all day, every day. It's perfectly safe." Needless to say, I caved. I felt like I was an uninformed woman (I was right) who had no idea what was best for myself. I reasoned in my head that the nurses and doctors do this every day and of course, they have my best interest in mind. While this may be true, I should have never agreed to something that I was so fearful over and uncomfortable with in the first place.

After that Pitocin started pulsing through my veins, all hell broke loose. The contractions, which were once manageable, were amplified about 1000x to the point where I was, OH.MY.GOD.GET.THE.DRUGS!! I had an epidural, proposed to the anesthesiologist while Rob wasn't looking and settled in. Everything was going to be beautiful now, right? Well, not exactly. Both my body and Will's body hated Pitocin. My blood pressure kept dipping low, at some points dangerously low. At the lowest, it hit 80/30 and there were bells and sirens going off and nurses rushing in to flip me and my OB rushing my family out of the room. They managed to get my BP under control, but I was contracting so hard from the Pitocin, that Will's heart rate kept going into distress. Because of this, he wasn't moving down and I wasn't dilating like I should be. After many scary hours of Pitocin, watching Will's heart rate rise and fall on the monitor and dealing with my waning BP, I was still only dilated to 5. My OB said I couldn't go on and that I would need a c-section. I cried. I was scared. It had been such a long night with a roller coaster of emotions and it had come to this. I just wanted my baby to be healthy, so I sucked it up and put on a brave face for surgery.

The first time I saw his face

My c-section went well, but babies who are born by section often have a problem with fluid build up in their lungs. Since they don't travel through the birth canal like nature intended it, the fluid that is normally squeezed out during this passage, just sits in their lungs. This happened to Will. After my OB pulled him from my belly and gave me a look at him, he was whisked off to take care of this problem. I sat in my room for almost 3 hours waiting to see my baby. They wouldn't let me get up because of the c-section and the epidural, so I just laid in bed sobbing, begging for someone to "Bring me my son!" I was a ball of hormones. I was exhausted. I just wanted to see him. I wanted to hold him in my arms and forget that anything else existed.

I did, of course, get to see him and hold him and nurse him eventually, but I couldn't help but wonder how things may have played out differently if I just went with my gut and refused that Pitocin. Would I have been able to deliver vaginally as I had hoped? Would I have been able to hold my baby right after he was born? Would he have had those breathing issues? I can't answer these questions, and all that matters in the end is that he was a happy and healthy child. I will, however, have a birth plan should I ever get a second chance at this labor and delivery thing. Of course, I realize that things happen and don't always go according to plan, but I want to have some say so next time. As crazy as it may sound, since I helped put him in my body, I'd like to make some of the decisions about how he comes out.



Post a Comment