Monday, July 03, 2006

Natural Birth turned Emergency Caesarean

I always wanted a natural birth. Who doesn't? I planned not to have any pain killers so that nothing will interfere with my plan to breastfeed baby immediately after birth. But of course those were my "plans" and sometimes things don't quite turned out as planned.

I remember having some spotting close to my due date. Not sure if that was the "bloody show", I asked my sister to take me to my doctor as my husband was at work. I didn't have any contractions and my water bag did not break. However, when my doctor checked me, she took out her wet gloved finger and told me that it had. (I thought that she must have broken my water bag during her examination).

And so I was checked into the labour room at about 5pm and given an enema. Still there were no contractions. Later on when my husband came, I could still talk and joke with him.

Eventually I was induced to speed things up. I remember the nurses kept on coming in my room to ask me if I wanted to have an epidural for my pain. "No" was my reply each time. We felt like they were trying to sell us something the way they kept coming back to ask again and again even after I said "No".

To cut a long story short, I got to 9 cm dilated when my doc came and told my husband with me within earshot, "You have to make a decision now, to go for emergency caesarean or you might lose either the mother or the baby. Its taking too long" Well, I didn't feel like it was taking too long and I felt like I could still go on and we were so close. Just another 1 cm to go! Still what sort of a choice do we have with a remark like that and so off we went to the operation room. It was past midnite by then.

I remember screaming very loudly in pain all the way as they wheeled me out of the labour room, down the corridor and into the elevator. It must have been quite a scene. (And I'm normally a soft spoken person.)

Someone asked what sort of anaesthetic to give me and another one hollered "General of course. Its too late for epidural. Can't you see she's in so much pain? That doctor...... " (they grumbled something about my doctor). They administered the needle and I was out cold.

When I came to, I was lying in a empty clinical room with several empty beds hearing my own deep breathing. I had to lie there cold and alone for about an hour thinking about my baby eager to see her for the first time.

Later my doctor told me "Your case would have been perfect if you had used epidural but you refused and your dilation was arrested because you were in too much pain and stress." I was not very happy about that and said "Then why didn't you have your nurses explain that to me when they came to ask me whether I wanted to have an epidural?" Sigh!

I read that some women feel less of a woman when they deliver via caesarean instead of naturally? Why on earth would they feel that? For me, it does not really matter how baby is delivered. The only thing that matters is that we have a healthy thriving baby.

I can't help but have the nagging feeling that my labour could have proceeded differently (Thoughts of "maybe my doc could have waited for more labour signs, maybe they should not have induced the contractions, maybe we could have continued trying, it was just 1 more cm etc haunts me at times). Oh well, like I said, at the end of the day, a healthy baby is more important and I cannot undo the process so there is no point pointing fingers at or blaming anyone.

My firstborn was delivered at about 2am, about 9 hours after I entered the labour room. I had to pay for the hourly use of the natural labour room plus caesarean operation charges plus after midnight charge for using the operating room after midnight. My baby was not coming into this world cheap.

Here is an excerpt from an article about caesarean birth taken from Epigee Women's Health. I think thats what happened in my case.

"The majority of cesarean sections are performed because of some difficulty arising during the labor and delivery process. You may be pushing with all your might, but baby still refuses to make her way down the birth canal. In cases like these, a c-section is often in order. During childbirth, your doctor will monitor you and your baby’s progress. If your cervix stops dilating (arrest of dilation) or if your baby is being stubborn about descending into the birth canal, your doctor may feel a c-section is necessary. It is hard on both you and the baby if labor is taking too long. To avoid extra complications, your doctor might suggest taking the baby out abdominally. In fact, 1/3 of all c-sections are performed because of slow labor. Also, if your baby’s heart beat suddenly becomes irregular a c-section could prevent her from becoming too stressed. "

Coming next: Vaginal Birth After Caesarean (or rather an "almost" attempt for one)
Related Post:

Elective Caesarean Under Epidural Anaesthesia

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  1. Hi MG. My firstborn came after more than 24 hours in labour. I had the show one night after baby was overdue for about 9 days, was admitted abt 5am the next day when contractions came and delivered the following day at 8am.

    All 4 babies were born via natural birth, but I tell you, during the agony of labour, the thought that I should have opted for C-section continually plaqued me.

    You're right of course, no matter how the baby was born, the important thing is that baby is born healthy.

  2. Lydia,
    Yes, I've heard of many people who go into labour for many hours and was surprised when my doc won't let me continue trying but she's the doc, not me.....

  3. For my 1st born, I was mentally prepped for natural birth, hardly read on C-sect and NEVER thought I would have C-sect. Well...I ended with emergency C-Sect, not something that I had a choice. Just had to say my thanks for a healthy baby boy. End of story.

  4. immomsdaughter,
    I read up a little on it, just in case, but nothing quite prepares us for the actuality just like nothing prepares us for breastfeeding.

  5. Actually I am a unique one, I preferred c-sect but I just couldn't talk my doc into it. Sigh. Tried natural but failed coz all the induce drug didn't work, I was only 1 cm dilated after 12 hours.

    Wow you are really tough, enduring the pain throughout. Actually it depends on situation labor can go over a long period, provided the water bag didn’t burst, baby heart rate normal and the womb is capable of supporting the baby. Maybe yours doesn’t look promising. Anyway, I am glad you and the baby is healthy.

  6. Tough? Stupid maybe. In the end I had to endure and recover from both natural and caesarean birth!

  7. Firstly I have to say that I really respect your perseverance and determination in all the hardship and pain you faced during your first labour as well as throughout your breastfeedig journeys. And thank for the support and advice U had given me in MMB.

    I also went thru a c-section recently, due to my baby was having a sudden heartbeat drop during CT scan. She was having distress, with her umblical cord decompressed(her oxygen supply was affected), my water was reducing, and my placenta condition was deteorating (I was informed of that after the birth).

    For my baby sake, I immediately opted for c-sec(I had never considered it before that).

    It didn't make me feel less of a woman, coz I know that I had made the right choice for my baby, and she is growing up healthily now. Of course I'm hoping for natural birth for next pregnancy since I want more than 2 kids.

    And the sign I had was my weight didn't increase during that last 4 weeks of my pregnancy.

  8. Dolphine,
    My gynae says they will allow up to 3 c-sections for an individual if VBAC is not possible. Just thought you might like to know that.

  9. MG, I heard that from my gynae too. Thanks.

    And my heart just dropped when my gynae added that if my second pregnancy ends up with c-sec again, then my third one will have to be c-sec too.

    Anyway, at this stage, I need to take good care of my bb as well as myself. :)

  10. Dear MG, I almost had my baby (4 months ago) thru c-section but ended up by natural birth. Induced labor at 1am, and fully dilated at 10am. But baby wasn't decending fast enough. OB gave three hours, if baby didn't come out by 1pm, then we would go into the OP room. Had epidural and pushing as hard as I could in the last 1 hr (4th degree tear). Baby was coming out but still not ALL OUT. Baby's heart beat was up and down, sign of lacking O2.

    Luckily, OB was having another patient at 1pm and he didn't come in 15 mins later my baby was ready to be pushed out. The extra 15 minutes were the phase that the baby decended and be ready for pushing. So I would have ended up in c-sec if OB came in at 1pm. Doctor always recommend what is best for the baby. As long as the baby is healthy, c-sec also OK, though of course with c-sec, childbirth may be limited.

  11. Dolphine,
    I do still hope for No. 3 so no more choices left for me accept the operating theatre. :(

    Wow, your baby's timing was precise wasn't it? It must have been very tiring for you to push for an hour plus at the same time feel the stress of worrying about baby. Anyway glad everything is ok and you didn't have to do a c-section afterall. :)


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