I don’t know about the rest of you, but I like to be informed. Matter of fact – I need to be informed! There seems to be a lot of anxiety on my part when I don’t know what to expect.
So – surprise, surprise – I did a LOT of research before giving birth to my first baby. I asked all of my mommy friends what to expect. Some were more than happy to oblige, but others told me you share the stories after the baby is born.
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So then I went online. If you search for “birth story” on Pinterest, you’re going to get every story known to man! This, people, was the jackpot! I read stories about mom’s who had their first baby at a bathtub at home, moms who had a midwife and doula with them and the doctor, women who just had a traditional hospital delivery with a doctor, and many others.
These posts gave me answers and caused me to think about questions that had not yet entered my mind. I could then take these questions to my doctor and let her know my plans and intentions.
She knew I did not want an epidural. When she tried to persuade me differently, I was able to stand my ground. And it was the first thing I told each of the nurses when they came in as well. Andrew, my husband, also knew I was against getting one.
(For those of you who are curious, it’s not that I’m all about a “natural” birth. I’ve had lower back problems for over a decade and when they talked about the epidural process during the birthing class I had to leave the room because I nearly passed out.)
But I’m getting off topic…
You’d think with all of the questions I had asked and the knowledge I had gained, I would have had one of the easiest deliveries ever. However, if you’ve read my first child’s birth story, you know that is simply not true.
The delivery in and of itself wasn’t actually all that bad. Our little guys head was crooked and tilted, so it took longer to push him out than it should have. Plus developing blood clots when your child is barely six hours old is not on any new mom’s “to do” list – yet that is exactly what happened to me.
But that’s still not what I would change.
After getting rushed up to the ICU when the blood clots were confirmed, I was able to sleep for the night. The little man was brought up to nurse a few times, but nothing major happened.
Somehow, though, the next morning was a blur. I remember my OB coming in and talking to me. She gave me more details about the delivery, and told me things looked good. She also told me another doctor was coming in to make sure everything was ok because of the complications from the blood clots. Having had blood clots once prior to this, that didn’t entirely make sense – but I trusted my OB and went with it.
Then the infectious disease doctor came in. I was very confused. I had blood clots, NOT an infectious disease! They wanted to make sure that my blood clots were caused by my blood disorder and not something that had gone wrong during delivery or something else. I vaguely remember nodding consent to what he asked they do – urine sample and bloodwork – and he was on his way.
A short while later, they came in and took my blood. Not a huge deal.
Then they wanted a urine sample. Obviously after you’ve had a baby you’re not going to be able to give them a clean sample like they want, so they told me they needed to use a catheter. I didn’t give it much thought, until the pain started.
The one nurse told me that they needed to “shove past” that one part, so it was going to hurt a bit. “A bit” couldn’t have been farther from the truth. After nearly ten minutes of two nurses trying, they stopped. I was crying and begging them to quit. They told me they had to continue. The one finally felt bad for me, so they went to get an “expert”.
This nurse apparently used to work on OB. She knew I had just had a baby the day before. I’m not entirely sure what she said to the original two nurses, but I know she chewed their butts as soon as she entered the room.
She grabbed a smaller tube and had the catheter in place in less than a minute. It was uncomfortable, but totally bearable.
Andrew told me after the fact that I was crying harder and squeezing his hand tighter during that 15 minute ordeal than during the entire delivery the day before.
Now I wish I would have spoken up sooner.
I asked a LOT of questions throughout the pregnancy and delivery. Yet when it came time to let them do all these extra tests, I didn’t question a single thing. Why?
I wish I would have asked exactly why they needed extra blood and urine. I wish I would have asked what may happen if I had refused those tests.
You see – I bled from the catheter for two weeks. Every time I got down on the floor with my newborn, I could not stand up without it tearing open again. From talking to other moms who have had babies, this is NOT normal. A catheter should not be an invasive procedure on a healthy, young women. You should not bleed more from a catheter than from a normal, vaginal delivery.
There you have it – the one thing I would change after my first delivery. If we ever decide to have another, you’d better believe that I will be asking about every.single.test they want to run on me. I will want to know the risks, but there is a good chance that I will decline anything that is not absolutely medically necessary. I know my body better than anyone else, and I do not want that kind of unnecessary pain to EVER occur to anyone again.
Do you want to be as informed as possible for the delivery of your child? Whether this is your first baby or your fifth, this is a great Online Prenatal Course created by Hillary. She’s a OB nurse behind the blog Pulling Curls. Click here to check out the course!