I went to the OB triage when I was 25 wks along because I was having contractions every 10 minutes and was afraid I could possibly be going into pre-term labor. After being monitored and given an IV they put me in a room. My nurse who was very kind by the way, was leaving as it was the end of her shift and the new Nurse came in and was introduced. Soon after she told me that they wanted to do a FFN test to see if I had a high chance of going into preterm labor. I agreed, as any patient would. The nurse held a long q-tip in her gloved hand and I figured it would just be a quick swab as she didn’t seem to make much of it. As I relaxed she began to shove the swab up into my cervix without any warning. It hurt more than any pap smear I had ever experienced. As most women could understand having something hard and dry shoved up there can be extremely painful. I immediately began to cry and tense up due to the pain and shock. The nurse continued and told me to relax. She said that if I didn’t relax that she would have to get the metal device to help get the swab through (which would have been a much better choice to begin with). I tried really hard to relax as I breathed through the pain. The nurse was completely unsympathetic and afterwards remarked, “You better get used to these because you’ll be getting a lot of them,” in a rude sneer. Fortunately I never had to have a FFN again as it came back negative and even better I could say goodbye to that horrid nurse. That was my first experience in a hospital. When I started getting consistant contractions again the next day, I was too afraid to even think of going back there, so I didn’t.
To be honest, there were many experiences during my stay at the hospital that were not what I had expected.
#1- After being admitted to the hospital for being in early labor I am not allowed to eat or drink anything. They don’t know whether I will for sure have the girls today but I can’t eat even though I haven’t eaten all day and I am a 38 wks along with twins. Really?
#2- Sleep is a joke in a hospital. 2 heart rate monitors for the girls and 1 for contractions were strapped to my stomach and hurt like heck. Because the girls kept moving the nurses kept coming in to readjust the monitors so I hardly got any sleep that night.
#3- I didn’t expect that there would be rock and roll music played while my children were being born. While it didn’t hugely bother me it at first, it made me feel more like a vehicle being worked on in a body shop then a woman having her babies in a hospital. Did they ask me if it was ok to play the radio right next to us during the c-section? No.
#4- Unlike the baby shows portray, when you have a c-section the Dr. doesn’t get all excited when they lift the baby out and proclaim “Oh it’s a ____” and hold it high so you can take the first peek. No, they pull them out and they go straight into a nurses arm and then into several others before you are ever able to hold them.
#5- I didn’t expect my anesthesiologist during my c-section to be such a jerk. When I was feeling like I was going to throw up during the surgery I tried to lift my oxygen mask and he angrily snapped it back on my face. Nice.
#6- I had never experienced an epidural/spinal, I didn’t realize how loopy and out of it I would be for the girls birth. When I first saw them, I didn’t feel overwhelmed with joy and emotion, I felt overwhelmed with hardcore drugs.
#7-When in recovery I was finally able to nurse one of my daughters. The nurse who was there or whoever she was told some medical student that she should stand there and observe me nursing. She did this without asking my permission. As a first time mom and as my first time nursing, I did not want some stranger staring at me, I wanted privacy.
#8- Also while in recovery I began to feel like I was going to “blow chunks” which is a common side effect of the spinal. When I began saying ” I’m going to throw up, I’m going to throw up” over and over again, I was ignored. After several minutes someone finally gave me a container to throw up in. It was like I was invisible.
#9- Brooke was taken to the NICU before I even had a chance to hold her. Once our room was ready they told me to stop nursing Brenna (who had only been nursing for a few minutes at the time and was in no way full) and so I had to take her off. She of course cried and I felt horrible and yet I didn’t understand why I couldn’t continue nursing her while being pushed to my room. It still doesn’t make sense to this day.
#10- On our way to my room we decided to go to the NICU so I could have a chance to see Brooke and hold her for the first time. She was covered in wires, and laid out in an isolette. It was so hard to see her that way. Even today it makes my heart hurt when I think about it too much. I finally got to hold her. I remember at that point that my Mom asked me to smile while she took a picture. The sad thing was that I couldn’t, I physically couldn’t. I was so drugged, I felt like crap and my daughter was in the NICU, how could I possibly smile?
#11- Due to the lack of sleep and food and the large amount of drugs in my system I am in no shape to care for my girls. When trying to hold Brooke in the NICU and feed her a bottle (as they reccomended), I began to fall asleep. This devastated me to no end.
#12- Most people talk about c-sections as if it’s almost like going in to get your hair done. Total routine procedure, everyone does it, no biggie right? Do they mention the side effects? No not really. They usually don’t mention the pain of trying to stand and walk for the first time, the spinal headaches that can occur, the inability to urinate afterwards which results in yet another catheter. These are just a few of the many challenges that comes with this major surgery.
Wow, I sound like a Negative Nelly. So what can I conclude with?
Am I grateful for a Doctor who could preform a successful c-section?
Yes, because in my circumstances it was what was safest for my babies.
Am I grateful that my daughters were born healthy in a hospital with a NICU?
Yes, although I can’t helpt but attribute Brooke’s breathing issues and trip to the NICU to the c-section.
Am I grateful for anything else that happened in the hospital?
Other than a few angel nurses, great lactation consultants and a wonderful Pediatrician, no. Just thinking about having another child in a hospital scares me.
Thank you so much for writing this! We don’t have kids, but I get so irritated when everyone sugar coats it. I like hearing straight talk, and working for pediatricians, I hear a lot of sad stories.
Just a few days ago one of the doctors I work with mentioned she wanted to have her babies natural after she had to have a c section. I don’t think you are alone.
Thank you so much for posting this. I know how inconsiderate nurses/doctors can be. Unfortunately, you are at the mercy of their care.
Svancara Family says
What an amazing job you have done so far with this blog. I can tell it means a lot to you and how much hard work you have put into it! I’m so sorry you had such a horrible experience delivering your girls. Who was your ob and what hospital did you deliver at? This blog is such a great idea and I know you will help inform lots of woman, you just informed me on tons of info:)
yes, I circulated my sugar coated birth story too, until I joined ICAN and they encouraged me to take a cold look at reality… how could I begin to heal if I didn’t really want to acknowledge that something terrible had happened?
Thank you for sharing yourself with the world!
I’m glad you shared your story. The more I read of your blogs the more I think we really need to get together sometime and talk. I had Jameson vaginally and Alex c-section and I’m totally against having another c-section. I’d love to know what you’ve learned. You guys should come over some day. We can let the kids play and we can chat. Thnx for doing this. I didn’t even know ICAN exsited. I’m excited to find out more about it.
Steve and Steph says
I can pay tribute to all 3 of my internal stitches to a nurse who ripped that metal thing out of me and made me bleed…Next time I will speak my mind, instead I just cried and lied and said I was nervous when she asked me what was wrong. I never saw that nurse again, but man, I should have spoken up! Later after Cooper was born she couldn’t figure out where and why I needed those internal stitches…It was when I got home that I realized I can thank that lovely nurse for those awful awful stitches. I thought of her every time I went to the bathroom and how I’d love to slap her in the face!
Hey… I believe you had your girls at Banner Desert right? My sister Holly had good experiences with the 3 deliveries she had there… but when she had Landon, she had a horrific experience. They didn't give her the epideral on time so it was too late to do it and she had to give birth w/o drugs which she never did beforen with her other 3 and had no idea what to expect. The nurses said they paged her OB but they never did and the hospitalist had to deliver… it was just horrible. My other sister and mom were outside the room listening to her scream… the nurses are lucky I wasn't there… I'm so sorry for your experience and all the other women who have to go through that at that hospital! Nurses like that give nurses like me a bad name… I'm so happy your girls are healthy and SOOOOO beautiful!!