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My Cesarean Story

I got these demons in my head.  Giving me nightmares. 
Filling my heart with dread and remorse.
I got these demons because of things I didn't understand,
things I was mis-informed about, things I was lied to about.
I got these demons, which have an impact on not just my life,
but on the lives of everyone who loves me.
I got these demons keeping me up late at night,
waking me up way too early in the morning,
while the one who put them there is sound asleep,
safe in the knowledge that what he did to me was for my own good.
My water unexpectedly broke at 37 weeks .  I was having no contractions or any other signs of labor (though I had been having lots of false labor the prior two months).
Called my doc, he wasn't on call, so paged his fill-in.
Doc called me back like an hour later, after I had paged him three more times.  Said to get to hospital ASAP.  I was haing contractions about 6 minutes apart in the car, but they stopped when we got to the hospital.  Lots more water comes out...only dilated 2cm or so.  Lose mucous around the time doc finally shows up what seemed like ages later, but not blood-tinged, just clear and goopy.
(Here I must add that have an intense distrust and even hatred of doctors and hospitals, and having to deal with a doc I had never met before really made me quite uneasy.)

Had I don't know how many more internal exams and two ultrasounds.  Put in bed flat on my back, hooked up to monitors.   (Gee, wonder why labor didn't progress)  Couldn't even unplug the stupid monitor to go pee without nurses rushing in to check on me!  Baby was moving and had great heartrate all night long.  We were both just fine, except for the fact I was in a hospital and my water had broken.  Some 12 hours later, doc starts talking about risk of infection since my water had already broken, yadda yadda yadda, says he wants to try to "ripen my cervix" and gives me what he simply told me was "an ulcer medicine like reglan."  (I later read in my records that it was at this point that he artificially ruptured my membranes.  Yeah, but wasn't the risk of infection only because of all the vaginal exams I'd had?  Turns out it was Cytotec he gave me, and I was never told about any of the risks of taking it or that it is not approved for inducing labor.)  Even lets me eat a big breakfast, because by that point I was starving to death, and he thinks it will be about 8 more hours before baby is born.

Okay, baby's heartrate starts decelerating (which is a known side effect from the Cytotec doc had given me).  First couple times were scary, but it went right back up.  They decide to do internal monitors, since my contractions weren't showing up on the external monitor.  The internal monitors hurt like HELL, I was only dilated 3cm (records state 2cm) at that point, and they didn't show anything the external ones weren't showing.  My contractions were upside down on the graph, so they removed the internal monitors (OUCH) and re-inserted them into my cervix which was only dilated to two or three centimeters (DOUBLE OUCH) - it made no difference in the readings, by the way.  (hmmm...maybe I should have requested a different monitor?  That one had been on continuously for like 14 hours.)  At this point, I gave in and let them catheterize me.  No more trips to the bathroom to escape the dreaded bed and monitors.  Then, baby's heartrate starts dropping, and keeps dropping no matter what I do or what the nurses do.  One gets on the intercom and yells "any available doctor to labor room four, STAT!"  We had some six nurses and two doctors in there rushing around, not telling us what was going on.  All I knew was they turned the volume on the monitor way up so everyone could hear it, and those beeps kept getting farther and farther apart.  DD's heartrate went from 160 down to 10 beats per minute.  Doc said he suspected prolapsed cord and that we need emergency c-section or my baby will die, or at the very least have very low apgar scores and need to be in NICU, where I wouldn't be allowed to stay with her. 
Fifteen minutes later, I'm being rolled into OR, given a shot of morphine directly into my spine, and cut open.  J was born with PERFECT apgar scores!  As I am leaving the OR, I hear doc say to nurse, "you know, contrary to popular belief, I do *sometimes* have vaginal births."  I was paralyzed from my armpits down and kept in recovery for three hours before being moved into a room.  It was at least one more hour after that before I ever got to see or hold my baby girl.

The entire four days I stayed at the hospital, nurses kept bullying me trying to get me to leave her in the nursery, telling me not to let her sleep in my bed with me, pushing me into a feeding schedule, etc etc etc  Not to mention barging in no less often than every two hours, day and night.
Ok, nearly three years after the fact I get a copy of my records.  In them I read nothing about what I was told about a fear of prolapsed cord.  I read that somehow I had given my informed consent to a number of procedures and medications of which I was neither informed nor to which I gave my consent.  I recall now that the day I was discharged, nurse Ratchet comes in with a stack of papers to sign, many of them "informed consent forms" three days after the fact!  I was reading out loud, and mentioned that I had never been informed about spinal anasthesia, that they told me a little about epidural, but not spinal.  Well, evil nurse tells me to just sign it anyway, that they are the same.  She tells me that if I want to go home, and if I want baby to go home with me that I'll sign those papers, and even tells me to leave the date blank... at that point I had no fight left in me, so I did what she said.

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