Birth Story: Luca's Arrival

Monday May 9th 2016

This story was originally posted by Mum on The Run and has been republished with permission. Like Mum on The Run on Facebook.

My Birth Story

My birth story with my son Luca is heartbreaking to me. When I tell people about it, they say “well, at least he was born healthy”.

I guess I should just nod my head and agree and accept that. Yes, he was born healthy, but the experience left me feeling mentally unhealthy and physically unhealthy.
For the longest time, I couldn’t even talk about it without it making me cry. 

I decided at 3-4cms that I would get an epidural. According to some, that makes me a woss or less of a mother, well I say, who gives a shit. Birth scared me. Something exiting my vajayjay terrified me. I have been through a lot, and it’s my prerogative. 
Apparently that didn’t sit well with the second nurse that I had in the shift change. She was a biatch to say the least. 
When it was time to push, I had no fucking idea what I was doing. It’s my first baby, how the hell would I know what to do? “Uh, if you didn’t have an epidural you wouldn’t be having issues, we will have to use forceps” said biatch nurse*. I didn’t know much about birth, but I knew forceps were bad (thanks to good ol’ parenting class), so that was my motivation to push. I was determined to show this nurse that I could do this, despite having an epidural – stupid right? 
Throughout this whole process, I was polite and apologising. Why? I have been brought up to be overly “political” I suppose. (Stupid right???)
Out comes the head… (I promise it won’t get anymore graphic than this). The biatch nurse, who’s telling me to push harder, starts shouting “stop pushing!! Wait wait!”… Grabs some scissors and cuts me. 
She didn’t ask, she just did it.
I still remember the sound.
You know why she didn’t ask? Because I wasn’t a person to her. I wasn’t a woman about to welcome her first child. I was a birth vessel, and my vajayjay was there to eject a child and she didn’t care how it got out. 
I did exactly as she instructed me to, like a submissive puppy. She told me to push harder but then told me I was pushing too hard and told me to stop. It was explained that I pushed too hard and therefore I was going to tear. Now I’ve done some research and I’ve learnt they have to ask you. I’ve also learnt that it’s much better to tear than to be cut. I’ve also learnt biatch nurse didn’t know what she was doing. 
Enters in biatch doctor* who had been walking around all day in scrubs. She and biatch nurse argued about who would stitch me up. (Don’t worry about me guys, I’ll wait while you decide).
 I should mention that my epidural was patchy, so therefore I felt enough to feel the pinch (more of a Chinese burn) of being stitched up. They gave me some gas for that (and we know that doesn’t do shit). Anyway, Biatch doctor wins. She takes 1.5 hours to stitch me up and is shaking. SHE WAS SHAKING. I, like a polite little puppy asked her if she was nervous? And if she was okay? Even though I could feel every stab of the needle and thread into my body. She didn’t care about me either. She barely acknowledged me. 
Through all this, I was being milked by another random nurse. I started to cry, it was all too much for me. Biatch nurse thought it was a good idea to call me a sook to her student nurse. (Thanks)
What do you get when you combine two biatches assisting post birth? You get a skin tag, painful scar tissue, reoccurring infections and 7 months of hard recovery. Thanks again. 
Two days in recovery and my baby wouldn’t latch; so another nurse thought it would be a good idea to tell me that I was starving my baby, despite all my efforts. Despite the fact that I politely agreed to being milked by more random nurses and despite still being overly polite. I cried and sent a text to my husband “come get me, I can’t handle this anymore”. I should have never been polite. 
When I wrote my first entry, a lot of women messaged me to tell me of their experiences with post natal depression, and more than half mentioned their horrific birth experiences. I truly believe that bad experiences in labour and post birth will give you post traumatic stress. (As Pettifluer would say on Real Housewives of Melbourne, who begs to differ??)
I can’t justify why some people go to work angry and treat you like a piece of shit like B1 and B2 (I shortened biatches to make them into bananas in pyjamas because that’s pretty fitting, they were bananas in pj looking attire). We all have bad days, but in some instances, like, I dunno, in a hospital perhaps, you should leave your bad day at home and be supportive to a vulnerable woman? Maybe?
I write this and I feel sad and sick to my stomach. But in the end, I’m alive and my baby is healthy, but the physical and mental scarring is still there. 
My advice to you would be this; don’t stand for this shit. If you’re a mum to be, write a birth plan, and write it as long and as amazing as you want. If you’re going to have more than one, write one for the second, the third and so forth. It’s your right. You also have the right, after a bad experience to go in and have a debrief and ask questions. It’s your right. Remember that. It’s also okay to feel sad about your birth. If things don’t go okay it can be the experience that makes or shapes the first few months of your baby’s life. It’s your right to seek help. 

I did have a happy ending though. (I was able to have sex again, eventually, and got knocked up. I swear it was only one time too, my husbands a straight shooter (he made me write that) ?

 I wrote a 4 page birth plan with my psychiatrist for the impending birth of my daughter. They were told how they ruined my first experience. They were told how they invaded my space and treated me like a cow, they were told how I heard them call me a sook and they were told I didn’t like to be cut, and they were told not to do it again. WHO’S SUBMISSIVE NOW? 
They apologised profusely and I had the birth experience I should have had the first time. It made a difference to my bonding experience and I actually held my beautiful daughter and enjoyed her. I even got those love feelings people talk about. That’s how it should have been. (I should have gotten an epidural at 4 cms again, but that’s another story… Can someone say, exorcist??)

 I’d even go back and do it all again… But maybe not for another 10 years. 

The only puppy that’s allowed

*names changed to protect identity. Just kidding. I didn’t know their names, they were just biatches.

Posted in Birth Stories
Tanya 09 May 2016
Similar to my birth story, except mine ended up with me having a forceps rotation, 3rd degree tear (into my cervix), general anesthetic, 6 units of blood, a recto-vaginal fistula and an incompetent cervix (kinda in that order too). I took 12 months to heal physically, two major operations (and quite a few minor ones) and thanks to the months of ongoing pain I totally bombed at breastfeeding. Once I was over this I still had to get over the mental hurdles. Good news was that I defied the odds to have another 2 children (even with my now incompetent cervix). I only emerged from all this triumphant (and I might add managed to breastfeed my youngest for 14 months).....this was all thanks to some amazing health care providers and some awesome counselling.
Tess Claris 09 May 2016
Sadly this is not uncommon, lucky for me my first 2 were largely controlled by a very experienced mid-wife who saw me through both births. But then my daughters birth was going great until I was getting getting ready to push and they did a bloody shift change! First of all why would you do that right at the most crucial part? So I had no idea who this new mid-wife who was a young woman who was very clinical and didn't seem to have any experience. By the end I was swearing at her and wanted to rip her f@#king head off. So she ruined the final part of my daughters birth. Do they not teach these people treat their patients, you know like actual people! I would've liked a bit more introduction before she was looking the business end helping with one of the most intimate experiences of my life thanks very much. Not to mention ripping out my placenta causing me to haemorrhage. I think I will complain now haha!
Flor 09 May 2016
I'm sorry you went thru all that, i had a similar story as well with my first child. I didnt know what to expect so i went with it all, i was scared. I got my epidural as well at 3cm, i hurt like hell!! When it was time to push, i kept pushing but my baby's head was too big and also cut me without asking me. I didn't felt that but I sure as hell did felt when they were stitching me up! My boyfriend saw the Dr just cut me like it was nothing and without asking him or me. She just went ahead and did it, she didn't even took her time to try (like the Dr that helped me deliver my 2nd baby), I could go on and on about this story but I guess we all had a bad experience somehow about the 1st birth, but all we can do is not think so much about it, we can't do anything about it anymore. Now we can just focus on our kids.
Stephanie 09 May 2016
Feel ya sister. After a relatively calm (not sure if you can call labor that) controlled maybe? first delivery - proudly with an epidural - my second labor and delivery was NOT what I expected. The choices of mine (as a mother and patient) were taken away. All I heard dr/nurse/people say after was "well you did it" well I didn't have a choice! Waited 6 months til I thought the emotions/hormones subsided to write a formal complaint to NSW Health. No reply :/ don't know what I expected. Maybe not anything.
Thank you for sharing.
Katherine 10 May 2016
Just had to comment, because stories like this really affect me. Sorry, long comment ahead!

My first birth was pretty rough - enough complications that any kind of birth plans I had were immediately out of the picture. Other than coming home with a healthy baby, NOTHING went to plan and ended with a particularly severe emergency c section (a good surgeon, just a terrible emergency) There was a lot of emotional recovery and trauma to work through and it took me months to do so, but that was almost entirely because we nearly lost our baby. I am eternally grateful that all the doctors and nurses we met -and there were many!- treated us with respect and empathy. They took time to answer questions and explain in a situation that felt out of control since it was dictated by health concerns.

And the more birth accounts I read, and when I reflect on my next two births, the more I'm convinced the delivery circumstances matter significantly less than the relationships and interactions with doctors and nurses. If they do treat us as people who matter, if they care for us mentally and emotionally as well as physically, if they give us dignity and respect, then even difficult physical situations are easier to cope with, during and after. Without it, even a straight forward 'easy' birth can be damaging. I'm so thankful for all the staff who gave me that respect, even when they couldn't give me choices and I'm so saddened (and angry really) when I hear about people like you being denied that respect. Healthy babies are so very precious, but so are the mums and dads bringing them into the world. I'm so sorry you were mistreated. Thank you for telling your story. Let's hope these sorts of conversations promote change where it's needed. Hugs for you, mama.

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