This is the continuation of my very wordy birth story. It could have easily ended with part one, but this next part, however small the details might seem to others, made me emotional enough that it will forever be a part of the story in my mind.
Everything was okay up until this point. They held the baby up and I see they are getting ready to cut his cord. “No, what are you doing? I don’t want his cord clamped yet, I want to wait.” The doctor’s response, “It’s already clamped. It’s fine, I waited long enough.” Seeing that it was clamped immediately after birth, I didn’t think it was fine – it wasn’t what I wanted and thought best for my child. (See this Ted Talk for some information as to why I think delayed cord clamping is important.)
(This is not where I planned on having my child. I knew what choices we were planning on making and what I wanted for our hospital experience and selected a hospital where I’d be supported in those decisions. The decisions we each make for our labors and deliveries will be different – and that’s okay.)
All that to say, I started getting a little emotional at this point. There were tears. “Then I want Shaun to cut it.” The hospital staff was probably wondering what the matter was with the lady who should be happy her healthy child was just born but hurriedly got Shaun to cut the cord. They took our baby over to the little newborn bed the Labor and Delivery nurse brought down with her to triage and once again I started to get nervous. “What are you going to do to him?” She told me the list of standard procedures she was going to do. “No, no I don’t want him to have any of those”. She looks at me and says, “Well, you have to have this one because it is required by Oklahoma.” I’m very glad I had the birthing experience I wanted with my daughter so I knew that wasn’t true. “No, I don’t have to. I know I don’t, because I didn’t get it done with my daughter either.” The nurse just told me fine, but that the pediatrician would probably talk to me and that I’d have to sign some paperwork. The ER doctor stood next to the side of the triage bed and said,
“You’re crazy. You know, it’s parents like you I don’t like. You make decisions like these and I’m the one that has to deal with the consequences. They get sick and they come to the ER and I’m the one that has to treat them.”
It slightly (okay, very) irked me that someone would judge me as a parent and the decisions I make without knowing me – the research, time, thought that were put into these things. I care about my children. I have an almost 2 1/2 year old that is still rear-facing. Why? Because I researched and think it’s the safest.
I look at Shaun and whisper “I just want to go home.”
I still haven’t held my son yet, neither has Shaun. They were concerned because his body temperature was slightly low, 97 degrees, and wanted to get it up first. I didn’t fight for something different because I didn’t really know for sure, this didn’t come up in any of my research. Later, at my 6 week appointment with my CNM at the larger hospital I planned to deliver at, I discussed with her and she agreed that skin-to-skin would have warmed him up right away. At their hospital they don’t worry unless the temperature is under 97. Next time I’ll be sure to push for getting to hold the baby immediately if at all possible.
We aren’t quite done yet. The ER Doctor says he needs to deliver the placenta. It’s been minutes since our son has been born. This is something else I don’t want. I want the placenta to detach on its own unless there is a medical reason for the doctor to pull it out. I let him know that I wasn’t okay with that plan and that I want to wait (once again I threw in there I did it that way with my daughter). By now, this doctor was pretty frustrated with me. (The feeling was mutual though.) He told me,
“Lady, you are holding up the entire Emergency Room. I can’t sit here and wait for you.”
I couldn’t leave the ER until the placenta delivered because it has to be done by a doctor and the on call OB said he didn’t want to come just to do the placenta. The nurses came to the brilliant solution of moving me triage to a normal ER room.
While in the ER room our daughter got to come in and be there as we held her less than an hour old brother for the first time and she gave him a sweet kiss. Things were feeling a little better now.
Except for I later wished that I would have refused to have that IV put in. Something else I didn’t read about in my research – Pitocin given routinely after birth.
Begin Side Rant:I do not like routine procedures. Not every one wants the routine. I believe a patient should be consulted before drugs, immunizations, antibiotics, etc are administered. A patient deserves to be informed. Some might not care and others will. I pay large sums of money for this care and I feel I deserve to know what’s going on and what’s being put in my and my child’s body. Give a patient the opportunity to decline or accept. End Side Rant.
The placenta detached and was delivered and we went up to a regular room. The ER nurse told me I made her month and that she now wanted to be a labor and delivery nurse. Ours was the first baby she helped catch.
The remainder of the stay went smoothly – no more pressure to get procedures done, the nurses and doctors were all fine, and we ate your stereotypical yucky hospital food.
After a long day and half we were able to go home on Wednesday – we made it in time to eat leftover mac and cheese for lunch. Home never felt better and we even walked to the park that afternoon.
As compared to child number one this birth was way easier, way less painful, faster (and number one was fast too), and recovery a breeze (not tearing makes a world of difference there) but the experience and emotional end of it was not near as pleasant.
Did your hospital or birthing team support you in giving you the birth you wanted?