I got pregnant with my daughter when I was 18. I knew a little bit about pregnancy from being the oldest of eight kids, but I really didn’t know as much as I should have. To me, having a baby was something people did everyday. It wasn’t something to worry about, let alone be anxious about.
I had a relatively easy pregnancy with my daughter aside from lots of morning sickness. I had Group B Strep, and had some borderline diabetic issues and dehydration a couple times, but for the most part, life was simple.
I went to 41 weeks, and it was at that point I asked my doctor about induction. I was “informed” about the risks associated with it, but I really don’t feel that I was made to understand the realness of those risks. I really regret the decision to induce.
Absolutely nothing happened, which isn’t surprising considering I was 0cm dilated and 0% effaced. I didn’t know that a bishop score should be done before an induction…
Needless to say, a cesarean was inevitable. I was terrified and the experience traumatized me. I suffered from severe post partum depression and had issues caring for and bonding with my baby.
I genuinely believe, had I been better informed, and better educated, and not rushed because I was “overdue” that I would not have had a cesarean.
I went into my second pregnancy more prepared than I had my first. I really wanted to do a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) but my faith in myself and my body waivered often. Still, I tried.
I had very little issues with my son’s pregnancy. I didn’t get sick at all, just felt nauseous in the beginning, and had the occasional headache. I had group B strep again, but out of the two pregnancies, this was the easier of the two.
I ended up travelling to Anchorage 4 days before my due date because my obstetrician was going on vacation, and I couldn’t trust the two or three other obstetricians at my hospital to let me try for a VBAC.
I was transferred to a doctor in Anchorage, and just hung around in a hotel until I was nine days overdue. I was persuaded into doing a “light induction” even though I knew that I shouldn’t use any induction drugs since I had a priod cesarean. I ended up having my waters broke for me too.
I remember I was frustrated and angry because I wanted to get up and move around but the nurses wouldn’t let me and kept telling me I needed to lay down because of the monitors. After 12 hours of hard labor, I ended up with “Fetal distress” again and was given a cesarean.
Unfortunately, I did not know until after the delivery that moving around during labor can decrease “fetal distress” and that electronic fetal monitoring has not been shown to improve outcomes in labor or reduce mortality rates.
So, I was forced to lay in bed, when I could have been moving around, for the sake of monitors that did nothing but let us know that the baby’s heart is beating, and yes, I’m contracting.
But I could have told them that.