Friday, August 14, 2009

Conner's labor story

Written via cellphone. Horrible structure to follow.

A momentary diversion from the world of Renal disease.

I have never written this story out and want to for posterity. Plus a few friends asked to hear it.

******Warning, if you are squeamish or dislike TMI. STOP now. Graphic child birth story to follow*******

We found out in April of 1997 that I was pregnant. We had been married one year and one month, do the math. It was a happy,exciting time in our lives only marred by the fact Marty's dad passed away two months prior. I had prolific morning sickness losing 13 pounds total.

By October of 1997 we knew that we were having a son named Conner. They had originally told me he would be born around December 10th but then moved it up to December 17th instead. One Saturday morning I was visiting with my mom and preparing to go to a wedding party. Conner started moving so much you could see it through my shirt. It freaked my mom out and nothing does that.

The next morning, I was doing laundry and found blood in the pants from the day before. I immediately called the doctor who scheduled me for a ultrasound the next day. I went in and everything checked out fine. I now believe that was my bloody show and a huge warning of things to come.

I happily went about working and attending two showers with a third scheduled for November 15th with the Brown family. My aunt Maggie joked about her family shower that she ended up bringing Alex to. She was also pregnant due in February with a boy.

On Monday November 10th I started seeing a clear gelatin like substance in my underwear. I called my mom, aunt,grandma and doctor. Everyone came to a consensus that it might be my mucous plug and not to worry. As the week progressed it be became more and more but I didn't worry.

I went to work on November 12th until 10pm. My last day was scheduled for Saturday the 15th. I remember not feeling well and wanting to go home. Instead my manager let another girl go so she could go hang out in the park(aka Disneyland).

This took place during the time California Adventure was being built. They would take us out to our cars via 6 seater golf carts. Dorie Morbeck and I got the seats at the very back facing backwards. The parking guy was driving crazy and sweet Dorie yells out "be careful, you might send her into labor." I drive home and collapse into bed.

At this point in my pregancy the prolific morning sickness turned into prolific reflux. I had a 24 Tums a day habit and once even drooled stomach acid in my sleep. The night of November 13th was particularly bad. I felt sick to my stomach and was visiting the toilet often. We shared our bed with a 80 yellow lab and a 20 pound Terrier. I got back into bed and thought one of the dogs jumped or laid down. I know now that was Conner dropping.

By five a.m. I have cramps and finally (21yrs old+first pregnancy = dumb) I figure out " I am in labor" and 35.6 weeks pregnant. I stay calm, call the doctor who tells me to go to the hospital.

We drive up Beach boulevard to Whittier in what is the worst car ride of my life. By this time I am in pain and hurting. We got to Whittier hospital and sign in. The rude nurse says " I don't think today is the day. You are still smiling."

The hook me up to fetal monitoring and find out I am contracting. They checked me and I was one cm. dilated. After a battery of tests they decide I am in labor early, I have a bladder infection and they are going to stop my labor.

So they gave me a shot of Tributlyn and it did nothing. So they gave me a second shot. Mind you, the make your heart race and give you the urge to crawl out of your skin. Guess what??? The second shot does nothing. So they decide I need Magnesium Sulfate to stop my labor. I can just tell you this is a nasty drug and makes you feel horrible. By shift change the contractions are gone(so I think) and all that is left is this lingering pain in my left hip. Plus I am still slimy and gross feeling. The new nurse comes in and asks how I am? 

So I answer her "Well the contractions are gone. But this bladder infection is causing me pain in my left hip and I feel gross and slimy." She looks at me rather incredlous and states " you are still contracting. Has anyone checked to see if your water has broke?" to which I reply"no". She grabs the lithmus paper which immediately turns bright blue. Not only am I still contracting, but that pesky slimy feeling since Monday? Oh it was just MY WATER LEAKING!!!!

So this means the Terb, the Mag and the bladder infection were a huge waste of time and bad diagnosis. I am having my baby, ready or not. This is the point in the story where I ask, knowing Conner does this surprise you? It sure does make a whole lot of sense now.

So they turn off the Mag and start giving me Pitocin. They slowed my labor to where it became ineffective. So the two drugs spend the next 15 hrs working against each other. I only had a couple of Fentanyl shots to take the edge off. I was determined to not get a epidural. By noon on November 14th my mom and Marty begged and pleaded with me and I caved after 30 hrs. I was tired,tense and need to relax. By three pm my dad came to visit. I was in paina and wanted him to rub my leg. I really wanted to push by they told me "no" at which point Marty claims I tried to bite his finger and my mom was annoying me. So my poor bewildered Dad had to step in very unwillingly. It worked and kept me calm until four pm. My dad left the room and stood outside and they finally let me push. At 16:30 with the channel 4 news as my focal point Conner made is grand entrance into the world.

He didn't cry, he was silent. I now believe he was holding his breath. Something he did everytime he cried well up to the age of five. I also believe he was affected by the many drugs that crossed the placenta. He just kept making this clicking noise. So they weighed him quickly 6lbs 12 oz.s and 4 weeks to the day early. They let Marty and I hold him quickly. Then the rushed him to the NICU for observation.

I tore pretty badly and it took them 30 minutes to fix me. Then they asked if I wanted to eat. I said "yes" and bring me a Coke. I was so hungry and scarfed it down. Everyone including Marty left to check on Conner. In one finally bout of morning sickness, I threw up choking badly but able to call out for help. That was the second time I nearly choked on my own vomit during the preganancy. Oh Conner,is all I have to say about that.

After 4 hrs they brought him to me. His little hands swollen and blue. Signs of distress from the long, horrible labor. In fact his first picture sits on my dresser and you can see his little purple hands in it. 36 and a half hour labor took it's toll on him too. We went home the next day and on Sunday he attended the Brown family shower with us.

I grieved the end of my pregnancy. I didn't get my four weeks before off. I had nested in the week before but my Dad and his wife had to go prepare the nursery. I grieved my labor process and what had gone wrong. I didn't find healing in that until Elizabeth was born under the care of a phenomenal midwife.

I eventually went to work in the field as a doula. I took many childbirth education classes and educated myself. I have attended hundreds of births. I have helped empower many moms during their labors.

I know now, my medical care was grossly mismanaged. I should have never received interventions. They should have checked by lithmus test immediatley. They should have let me labor. At 35 weeks babies are often fine and tend to have few complications. Who knows my dates could have been wrong. They really caused Conner and I both unessecary suffering. I often wonder if some of this played a hand in his learning disability. Could the drugs or lack of oxygen affected his brain. I will never know. Thank for reading and indulging me. I will save Elizabeth's for NaBloPoMo.