I'm home alone for the first time in weeks - let's finish this chapter shall we? Then we can get on with the finished objects and the fun antics of my current life. Like the cottage.
I'd like to preface this part with a fun fact about me. I have never been in a hospital as a patient in my life. I've advocated for patients, and I know how important it is for patients to have strong/diplomatic advocates but I have never been a patient....and apparently I'm very bad at it.
When last we met I was in Labour. It was hard it was fast - the resident offered me an epidural or to rupture my membranes within minutes of the second dose of progestoglandin and I not so nicely declined. Things started to happen that in retrospect should have warned me that I may have been in trouble. An IV got inserted, I must have consented but I can't remember why I would have it was so cumbersome and distracting. The fetal monitor really made me angry because it dug into my belly every contraction - I negotiated with the midwife that if I went to the bathroom she would remove it and the IV.
The fact I "negotiated" didn't register until....5 minutes ago actually.
The IV didn't get removed and I remember it being in my way. I started to throw up in the bathroom. I was exhausted and called for the epidural, I was at 5 cm, my water broke. Right as they were inserting the epidural I asked if it was 'un-doable' and my midwife said no. At that point all of my instincts told me to stop it and I didn't.
Fenner reacted immediately to the first dose, her heart rate stopped recovering so well from the contractions. To this day that child has been very clear about what she digs and what she doesn't dig. I wonder how many emergency C-Sections are done - not because "The baby's head was too big" but because of a poor reaction to a narcotic that is used IN OVER 90% OF MT. SINAI DELIVERIES. There are stats for other hospitals but I don't want to get ramped up right now.
Jason had to wait in the hallway while they prepped me. I made them put music on because the O.R was the worst place I'd ever been. Johnny Cash was what she was pulled out to. No signs of meconium, stress or being fucking post-dates. At this point, I heard my instincts - we had been had.
Jason called her sex before anyone else did and when they finally gave her to Jason he did not let her go. He done good. They tried to put her in a bassinet away from me but he wouldn't let them. She was on my numb breast 15 minutes later, latched like an angel and never left my side until we checked out.
The point that I knew there was a distinct over familiarity with the effects of epidurals was when I said to my midwife that that fucking epidural was the worst thing I've ever done and she patted my hand and said "There, there, I'm sure that your placenta just deteriorated - I just forgot to ask to see it to be sure."
The placating went poorly. If my placenta had deteriorated why was there amniotic fluid everywhere? My cup was overflowing while they were flipping me back and forth trying to get Fenner back in the game - scaring the shit out of me.
Folks keep asking me why I'm so upset - wasn't she worth it? Fenner is amazing, every day she teaches me something about myself and the wider world. I'm not upset with my super-fantastique daughter but with my inability to have protected us against the unnecessary.
At no point did she or I have any signs of medical distress or she fetal distress. Not a single sign. It is this knowledge that keeps me awake at night. That I knew we were all healthy, that I understood the risks and still consented.
My trauma over her birth is not a rejection or a criticism of her but my own inability to check out of the impending train wreck. I am seeking help to process this experience from a therapist who specializes in medical post traumatic stress disorder. I think I'm not alone if there are specialists for this sort of trauma.
In other news, c-sections are shit to recover from. Shit. And I'm done. Stay tuned for less angst and 100% more knitting and fun.