As my body continues to heal from Kellan's birth/delivery, I find myself continuing to process everything that happened over the course of the 2 days I was in labor with him. Often, I think "WHAT IN THE WORLD WAS THAT?!" perfectly sums it up. I am still trying to make heads or tails of it all.
It was definitely a traumatic birth, much more so than I ever thought I would experience. It surprised me, partially because anyone who knows about Aidan's birth would have thought that THAT was my traumatic birth. How do you experience anything worse than a premature delivery, platelet levels plummeting to life-threatening levels, transferring to the ICU and your baby having a benign puncture of his little lung?
Ok, when I write that, I realize that WAS a more traumatic birth in the sense that my life was much more at risk. It was a very scary time for my family. However, when I look back at the actual BIRTH, I somehow felt the most peaceful and at ease going into that delivery and through that C-section than the following two, which were not technically emergency C-sections. It's amazing how the people and atmosphere around a birth can have such a huge impact on a delivery, and on one's memories and feelings about the birth afterwards.
It might have been best to have written much of this out closer to the birth, but I was too tired and upset by what had happened to write about it. And now, after putting a few weeks between me and everything that happened, I feel like I've healed enough to not really want to go back to that place of hurt and anger and confusion. However, I DO want to write about the birth before I completely move on, so I'll write and see what comes out.
One of the things that is most upsetting when I look back on this birth, is the fact that they kicked Toby out of the OR pretty soon after the baby was born. And it wasn't so he could go be with the baby, because K was really having a hard time still and I THINK they were still stabilizing him. We're still not exactly sure why, but they never fully got my pain under control -- not during labor and even during the C-section I was in a lot of pain. I couldn't feel the surgery itself, but the extreme pelvic and rectal pressure and pain I'd experienced with contractions seemed to continue even after I was on the operating table and through the surgery. I feel like I was maybe even still having contractions after the surgery had started, if that is possible?
Things are foggy, but my pain level seemed to spike again after K was delivered. I remember kind of freaking out that the pain wasn't stopping, and not long after that someone said that Toby was going to go. Or maybe that he HAD to go. Toby says that the anesthesiologist who'd been with us during the labor and was helping in the OR came up to him and asked him if and why he wanted to go and Toby very emphatically told him he did NOT want to, but the head anesthesiologist was being an ass and made him leave. Toby is still ticked about the way that guy acted and treated him, and I am going to strongly encourage him to write a letter of complaint, because what happened was unacceptable.
It's particularly upsetting because I WAS in a lot of pain still and I really needed Toby with me. There wasn't anyone there holding my hand, and I felt out of my mind. A few weeks ago my Mom told me she saw Toby crying outside the OR. That about killed me. When I asked him about it, I broke down. How DARE they treat us like that?! I know the look that was probably on my face as we looked at each other when he left the OR. It was the same look that was on his face.
Distraught. Helpless. Desperate.
Another part of the birth that was so upsetting was how poorly K did afterwards. He'd had a few dips in his heart rate towards the end of my labor and when I was pushing, but he seemed to recover fine and the doctors felt that he was tolerating everything fine. As you know, one of the signs of distress they look for is meconium in the amniotic fluid. There was no meconium when they broke my bag of waters. However, when they did the C-section and got to the baby, he HAD had a major bowel movement and he had aspirated it. We think his head had blocked the meconium from coming out as he descended into my pelvis.
Because of all this, K didn't cry when he came out. I believe they were trying not to let him cry because of the meconium, but his Apgar was so low, I don't think he would have cried anyhow. His Apgar at birth was a 3, and only a 5 a few minutes later. That also devastated me when I found out (at the time of the delivery, I was so out of it I didn't realize exactly what was going on and although I briefly thought to ask why he wasn't crying, I got distracted by everything else that was going on.).
A score of 3 means the baby requires immediate resuscitation. I of course didn't get to see him, and Toby didn't take any pictures, but it means he wasn't moving or crying, his heart rate was difficult to find, he was blue-gray in color and he was barely breathing.
OH MY GOD.