I was induced at 37 weeks with MiniMe. My OB had told me that if I had started dialating she would 'strip my membranes'. I didn't ask what that was, because I thought she knew what she was doing & if it was risky, she wouldn't be doing it. I had been in the office for a routine non-stress test when she did it. Biggie was sitting right next to me. When she pulled her arm back out of my body, with my blood dripping off her gloved hand, Biggie gave me a look that I'll never forget. The look said, "Just say the word & she'll be out cold". I couldn't speak, I felt so violated. I was reeling, thinking I couldn't trust this lady, & I didn't know what to do. The next thing I remember was Biggie telling her that I was out of breath all the time. She asked me what my pulmonologist had said at my last appointment with him, & I told her my blood oxygen was 96%. She practically leaped from the room, coming back to tell me to go immediately to the hospital. She was afraid the baby wasn't getting enough oxygen & I was going to be induced.
I remember in the car, a moment where Biggie & I questioned what we were doing. We didn't get why we were doing what we were, but we were doing it anyway. I ended up with 3 12-hour doses of cervadil, a suppository that is used to soften the cervix. I laid on my left side for the majority of 21 hours because I was terrified that our baby wasn't getting enough oxygen. I writhed in pain for most of this time, to which nurses responded with little empathy, only believing that I was legitimately in pain when they held the sides of my body when I was given an epidural.
After the epidural, which only worked on one side of my body, the next doctor on call broke my water & started me on pictocin. In my records, it says that I was given the option to stop everything, sleep, & start the pictocin in the morning. I don't remember this, but when I think about it, this seems crazy. There is no way I could have slept before the epidural. My lower back felt like someone had beat it repeatedly with baseball bats & the contractions were mind-numbing. Once the pictocin was started, I went from being dialated at 3 to 6 within an hour. I was excited; I was making progress. I remember the doctor wanted to put an internal monitor in. I didn't know why. She explained that I had been in labor for a long time & they were worried that the baby wouldn't be able to handle much more. She didn't explain that this meant they were screwing a wire into her scalp. Handy little welcome to the world, eh?
Suddenly, people were looking at the paper coming out of the monitor with concern. Shaking heads, making marks, leaving to get other people to come in & do the same. The doctor told me that that MiniMe's heart was a little too high & not coming down. She said if it didn't start coming down, we would need to consider a cesarean. It seemed like as soon as she left the room she was racing back in. Apparently MiniMe's heart rate did go back down, but so far down they were panicked. The pictocin was turned off completely. I was told that I would be getting a cesarean immediately, that it wasn't a choice, that MiniMe was dying. When they rushed me into the operating room I thought that once they got me settled they would let Biggie come in. They roughly shaved my lower belly with a cheap single blade disposable, nicking me several times. They tried to get some sort of medicine in my iv, but it wasn't working. On a good day my blood pressure is low, but after laying in a bed for a whole day, it was at a crawl. They had my arms strapped down like Christ on the cross while they poked me with needles & panic at the same time. It hurt. I cried. I asked for Biggie. They told me that there wasn't time & they were going to have to "put me out". They said if they couldn't get this one last iv to flow they would have to put in a central line. They didn't say this to me, but to each other, as if I were already "put out". A central line, in my jugular vein. So, not only would I have a scar on my belly, but on my neck, too. I pumped my fists & let myself weep. My heart rate went up & the iv flowed. I was unconscious.
MiniMe was born two days before my birthday. On my birthday I was still in the hospital, but to celebrate Biggie agreed to watch Funny Girl with me on the laptop. We ended up fighting because MiniMe was having trouble nursing & he was afraid she was starving. After he left to go home, because I asked him to, I ended up dripping little drops of clostrum into her mouth with a medicine cup, weeping because I was terrified that I wasn't doing the right thing.
While the first week that we were home was one of my favorite times in our marriage, Biggie only had one week off & after he went back to work things were not okay. I did not have post-pardom depression; I was very closely bonded to MiniMe before she even came out of me. I couldn't take my painkillers because I was alone most of the time, was afraid I would fall asleep & not wake up when she needed me. My incision became infected & Biggie had to clean it out with peroxide for me twice a day. I drove 45 minutes each way to see a lactation consultant twice a week. MiniMe couldn't go for more than 4 hours without eating for the first 3 months of her life, & this was only to be once a day. The rest of the time she had to eat every 2 hours. So for the first 3 months of her life I never got more than 4 hours of sleep at a time.
I went back to work, full time, when MiniMe was just 9 weeks old. My marriage suffered terribly. We bought a new house to be closer to our work & MiniMe's school. I think if had been thinking more clearly at the time I would have just stayed in our old house & quit working. It didn't occur to me.
It took me nearly two years to figure out that my reaction to MiniMe's birth was not normal. I sought therapy & was told I had indicators of post traumatic stress disorder. Throughout the therapy I had nightmares that were largely flashbacks. I realized that I was terrified of having another child because I didn't want to go through what I had again. My therapist recommended a new movie tht had just comeout on video, "The Business of Being Born". I watched it with Biggie & that was one of the handful of times I have seen him cry. He was furious. It was exactly what had been done to me.
So I've been investigating what our options are for the last two years. & this is what we've come to. I'm excited, not scared. I just wish we could decide on a fricken name.