Shayna's Birth Story

Third pregnancy, due June 5, 2000

I really wanted a VBAC for this one.  I knew my last birth could have been very different.  We couldn't afford a midwife, didn't even know of any in the area, but I didn't really look either.  Guess I wasn't quite ready to rock that boat.  I did however find a doula that had had several home births and was very knowledgeable.  She said to help ensure a VBAC that she would come over whenever I wanted her to in labor and we could stay at my house for as long as possible before going to the hospital.  I was thrilled!  I also changed OB's, mostly because I changed insurance.

The pregnancy was unremarkable, although I had an "irritable uterus".  I started having random contractions at 3 months along.  That was fun, nothing ever in a consistent pattern to get worried about, just there.  Towards the end of the pregnancy the baby starting flipping.  Every week she was in a different position.  lol  I'm glad she was having fun!  At 36 weeks she was vertex, at 37 she was breech, at 38 she was vertex again, at 39 she was breech again.

At my 39 week appt with my OB, when she discovered that the baby was breech again, my OB informed me that she would not VBAC a breech baby.  She would not even allow me a trial of labor.  She said it was up to me, but played on my end of pregnancy discomfort and impatience to meet my new baby.  :-(  Even though Shayna wasn't due until the 5th, the OB scheduled the c-section for the 1st.  I knew it was going to be too early, but I didn't think I could ask her to change it.  (I know so much more now!)

Naturally, since I am a slow cooker, there was not even a hint of labor before they started the c-section.  We arrived at the hospital at 6am.  Had barely slept and was starving.  Everyone and their brother that worked at the hospital came to see me to make sure that I was ready.  Got the IV, got the catheter, etc., etc.  Then it was time to go into the surgery room.  I got the epidural.  Whoever it was that figured out how to do those and thought it would be fine for pregnant women can't have been a woman or if it was, not one that had ever had children.  To get an epidural you have to bend over so that your vertebra spread out.  Do they have any idea how hard that is when you are 39/40 weeks pregnant??  The anesthesiologist kept telling me to bend over farther, I told him I couldn't bend over any farther, there was a baby in the way!!  What a moron.  He finally got it in and they got me all situated on the table.  I was so much more aware of everything this time, not being exhausted from laboring, etc.  Laying on that table is like laying on a cross, they strap your legs down and have your arms straight out and strapped down.  :-(  Then they put up the blue curtain in front of my face, finally brought my husband in.  He and the anesthesiologist were sitting by my head.

The OB began the surgery, as she was cutting me open and cauterizing my belly, the resident, who was watching, must have made a face.  My OB said, "Yeah, I know, it smells like barbeque, doesn't it?"  I smelled the air and yeah, it did smell a little like barbeque, but that was my body she was talking about!  :-(  I realized that I could see what she was doing in the rim of the light directly over their "working area."  Better than staring at the ceiling.  Shortly after that, I started to feel like I was going to vomit.  I always get a little panicky when I feel like that.  I said something to the anesthesiologist.  He said that he'd give me some medication to make me feel better.  Instantly, I did.  When she cut open my uterus and let the amniotic fluid gush out I saw a little hand pop out.  My first thought was, "Hi baby." my next thought was, "that's not right."  Shortly after that, my OB asked one of the nurses to call the attending doc to come assist her.  He didn't come.  She asked the nurse to call him again, she sounded slightly panicked.  He still didn't come.  I think she asked the nurse to call him a third time and the nurse told her that he was delivering another baby and couldn't come.  I could feel a lot of pressure, pushing and pulling.  Then, I watched her as she made a vertical incision in my uterus.  I knew that meant that any thoughts of future VBACs were gone.  Finally, she got my baby out.  Shayna Marleen was removed from my body at 8:10am on June 1st, 2000, she weighed 7 lbs., 12 ozs. and was 21 inches long.

After they were done with the baby, I got the cursory kiss on the forehead and my husband followed them to the nursery to be with the baby.  As my OB was closing me up I started feeling like I was going to vomit again.  I asked the anesthesiologist to give me a little more of that medicine so that I wouldn't puke.  He said no, that they were almost done and I'd be fine.  I was laying there completely alone, in the middle of a room full of people, I started to think about what would happen if I puked while I was strapped to their crucifix.  I didn't feel like I could turn my head far enough so that I wouldn't inhale my own vomit.  My mind started racing, what if I did inhale my own vomit, no one here is paying any attention to my well-being, I could inhale it, choke and die and none of them would notice.  My OB must have noticed that I was breathing faster, she asked if I was ok.  I can't remember what I said, but she said that she was almost done and I think she did hurry to finish.

They had me out of bed about 6-8 hours after my surgery.  I was actually glad, I didn't want to sit in my bed for days like I did last time.  However, I got an infection in my incision in the exact same place I did last time within 24 hours of surgery.  My OB came to see me either the same day or the next and explained that she had to do an inverted T incision because Shayna slid sideways when they cut me open and she got stuck.  The OB tried to get her one way or the other but couldn't get her until she made the vertical incision.  I do know that she did try, Shayna and I both had the bruises to prove it.  My ribs were internally bruised and Shayna's arm and ribs were bruised.  The OB also told me that if she were to attend me through another pregnancy that she would insist on a repeat c-section at 38 weeks.  That scared me, 38 weeks is too early for my babies, 39 weeks and 3 days was too early for Shayna.  It was obvious to me that she was not done cooking yet.  Several hours after she was born, she vomited this horrible black stuff, the nurse said it was just blood that she'd swallowed during the c-section.  She did that one more time several hours later.  For several weeks after she had what I can only describe as ragged breathing.  The doctors didn't think anything of it, I'm glad now because I would have hated them messing with her even more.  I think we went home 4 days after the surgery this time.

The leaking from the infection in my incision was horrible this time.  It was so bad that I went back to my OB's office at 7 days post op.  The nurse had to take all the staples out of that end of my incision and show me how to pack it with sterile gauze until it healed.  It was disgusting and smelled of raw hamburger that had been left out too long.  :-(  My external incision took longer to heal this time because of all the drainage.

Shayna did not have the same separatation anxiety that Morgan had, but I don't think her c-section was as traumatic for her.  I didn't loose consciousness, which I think was key to that part.  However, Shayna has had other issues that I think stem from her c-section.