Birth Story: Why She Wishes She Could Forget Every Moment

Birth Story By: Sarah Ganong

I’m finally ready to share my birth story. I am very emotionally and physically traumatized by this and that’s why it took me so long to share. I don’t want to frighten those who haven’t given birth. Please know this is not common or typical of birth.

My entire life I’ve wanted to experience an all natural water birth, with my 1st she was frank breech the whole time so I had to have a csection. With this little guy I planned on a vbac water birth and he was head down position from day one! I was so pumped and prepared to experience my vbac!

After a membrane sweep on Thursday July 30th I lost my mucus plug on Friday night. On Saturday the 1st I began having contractions 7-5 min apart all day. I went to hospital at 4:30pm as the contractions were worse. I was only 2cm and cervix was thinned. No water break yet. I was told to walk and wait. By midnight I was exhausted so they gave my 10mg of morphine to rest/sleep through the contractions….that didn’t work. 10 more mg of morphine, still no rest through intense contractions 5 min apart. So they gave me ambien as well. Nothing worked to help me rest. Continued into Sunday with the same results. Sunday afternoon we started pitocin and broke my waters which made my contractions 100x worse I tried very hard to keep positive but by this point I had been in labor for 2 days without rest. Ended up getting epidural Sunday night. The epidural helped with pain but when checked was only 3 cm after all that but his head was far down in my pelvis! Then the epi stopped working and I was in so much pain. That’s when one of the midwives noticed my uterus wasn’t softening between contractions as it should I was just in constant tight contraction mode. This was putting stress on my previous csection scar and causing it to open (it was already thinning throughout pregnancy) They said if I continue I would most likely have a uterus rupture, so I pretty much had no choice but to do a 2nd csection.

Monday at 10:30 I had my 2nd csection. The csection went well at first Lachlan arrived crying beautifully and I got to hold him skin to skin right away. But my husband and I noticed they didn’t drop the blue draping as they said they would to see the csection. My husband was taken out with Lachan and I heard the doctor say “this will be a while” I was scared no one told me what was happening, I kept having to ask for more pain med because I could feel everything. Eventually I was knocked out and had a breathing tube put in apparently (I don’t recall this part). All of a sudden I was having crazy crazy vivid dreams, I felt I was in heaven. It was the scariest but most serine feeling.

Then I come to again and I’m back in the OR. I was acting all crazy saying stuff like “did I just die?” “Is this real life?” “Am I really talking?” It was INSANE!! Come to find out the doctor cut my bladder in half when opening my uterus (they claim the previous doc who did my 1st csection laid the bladder across my uterine scar and the two fused together), not just a little cut but they said “a significant cut and we had to piece back your bladder ” So I stayed in the hospital 4 days and we went home Friday Aug 7th. I’ve had a catheter attached to me since then 24/7. And have been on pain killers, uti meds and antibiotics since then. I haven’t bonded with my baby as I should’ve, my 3 year old needs her mama and I’m tied down with this friggin bag. Breastfeeding is so hard this time around. My baby is getting all these meds through my milk so when he’s not sleeping he’s screaming. I’m just so stressed, torn down and defeated by this entire ordeal. I have PTSD because of this experience, I have nightmares and flash backs because I truly thought I had died. I’m having an X-ray to check my bladder recovery this week. I’m praying it’s healed with no leaks or else it’s another surgery and month of the catheter. I’m emotionally and physically spent. All I wanted was to be strong, experience giving birth and be there for my kids. Instead I’ve endured all this bullshit and feel so unable to care for my beautiful children. I miss them. I miss being in the mama role, I miss bringing my daughter to school. I miss intimacy with my hubby…..I’m just a mess. I WANT MY LIFE BACK!! I’m trying to get through this but each day it just gets harder not easier. I feel awful wanting to forget every single detail of my baby’s birth. I’ve also been told not to have any more children as it’s a risk to my life because of a uterus that is most likely going to rupture from stress on the csection scar! So thanks doctors for taking so much from me including the ability to mother another precious soul. I’m trying very hard to get past this experience and not dwell on what happened.

  A month later, still healing from the traumatic c-section.

The first few weeks with my son were very hard, I was so emotional because I couldn’t feel a bond growing between us and all I had was anger and resentment (not towards him but the entire ordeal) We are now at almost 4 weeks and I can finally feel the love and bond growing between us. I still need to get some counseling to work through the PTSD and to release my negative feelings about the birth, but my son and I are alive and recovering together.

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Sarah has been brave sharing her story and I know the whole due date group is wishing her the best. Our society needs to not accept the way we currently treat birthing women and the “policies” that place interventions on births at such a staggering rate. We know the facts are simple, more interventions equals higher chances of complications. Women are just about forced into so many interventions and it is such a wide issues that there is now a job to help us stand up for ourselves and evidence based births, the ones doing that job are called doulas. I have no idea if one might have helped Sarah but could it have hurt?

Check Back For More Birth Stories From the August 2015 Due Date Group, A picture of modern birth.

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