The story of Zoey’s “birth” goes back to last summer. I was thinking about a 4th baby–I had discovered with the help of a fantastic massage therapist that surgery that I had when I was 3 days old created such tremendous scar tissue that my fully pg uterus could not be in a correct position for a baby to exit–it was torqued to the left side, making my babies unable to exit the way that they should (while she was feeling around, she wondered aloud at the cardinal movements that the babies would have had to make in order to exit–NOT possible). We worked on the scar tissue, breaking it down little by little. Yes, it hurt like hell, but so well worth it. The idea that my body had something so wrong with it kept me silent, even when I wanted to cry for mercy–I needed those little son-of-a-guns GONE, sooner the better. We worked on them for several months, and then, SURPRISE–my period was late (but I was still nursing Benjamin, who was 19 months old at that point, and I hadn’t had a 4 week cycle, ever–so we didn’t think that we were baby dancing when we celebrated me getting a job after staying home with the kids for two years–so I started my new job pg–nice, huh? :D) I had found out right after my 97 year-old grandmother’s funeral, it took me a week to tell dh, and then hurricane Ike hit. I was playing phone tag with my former mw, to see if she would come on board for this baby. Ike delayed our meeting for a few weeks, but we finally met up at a Starbucks. She let me go on about the scar tissue and belly dancing and how this time it would be different, and then she told me I was too much of a risk now, after 3 cs. I have not forgiven her for that–getting me out in public and then trashing me like that, making me drive home while I was in such a state–I couldn’t stop crying…she had given me names of f’in OBs–me, the chapter leader of our local ICAN–like she was going to tell me about anyone who I had not already heard of…and NONE do VBAmCs.
I started calling, making some appointments, the first with an ob she recommended. He promised me a fabulous scheduled cs with dh cutting the cord and nursing on the table. I cried after I walked out of his office…then I went to see a mw. She had had a ur at her bc a few years ago, and the state is on her case and in her files, so she told me that she would love to help me, but, no, but she did recommend someone to me. I called C, and made an appointment to see her. I felt like I was putting on a presentation on why I was an excellent candidate for VBAC and why she should take me on. She said she would and I gave her a small check. Then, that week, I got a call from a doula about the chapter. We ended up talking for forever, and she mentioned that she was a mw as well as a doula, and she had just moved down here to be with her dad when he was sick, and then decided to stay. After we hung up, I kept thinking about her. I felt that we really clicked. After a week, I called her back and asked her if we could meet to discuss her being my mw. We did, and we still clicked, and I hired her. I felt so happy, so relieved. She told me that she worked with the Amish in PA, and I felt so confident in her ability to support me for this little miracle I was growing…we had phone calls at least every week as we set up our first appointment (this was around the holidays). She sent me to the lab a couple of times for some blood work, just normal stuff, and made some recommendations about my iron, etc, based on that. She told me that I should also be receiving copies of my results (I NEVER did. In fact, it still has not posted to my insurance…hmm…). She had an apprentice who came with her to my house for the first appointment that we had in Dec…she then fired the apprentice….we met the end of Jan for my 28 week appointment…she was upset that my doula (the fabulous massage therapist) had not responded right away to my email about if she could attend…the appointment went well, and I ordered my birth kit, and made an appointment for another two weeks, and then an u/s…the day of the next appoint, she texts me that her brother died and she had to go…we text back and forth for a week or so until she returned…then we are supposed to meet at the u/s place…we get a text while on our way up there that she is with a doula client, and will get there as soon as she can…we wait for over an hour with the three kids, until we cannot wait any more, and we go in for the u/s…while there, we get a text that her client had to go in for emergency cs….she will call me…so we talk later–she lost her cell while at the hospital, and gave me her niece’s number…we make a date for Sat for our next appointment (at 32 weeks–I had not seen her since 28)–she will call on Sat with a time…no call on Sat…nothing on Sunday, I try calling her niece and leave voicemail…Monday morning I find out that one of our local women has had an abruption and a ur and has lost her baby…I try calling my mw….nothing…I call my doula and get some support…then for the next three weeks I try calling the mw, and nothing…I call her old home #–she moved out three weeks ago…cell not working….then her website goes down…and I finally get an email from her addy that claims to be a friend of hers who found out that my mw had been attacked and was in the hospital and I, and anyone else who had hired her, would be getting a refund…I emailed the addy that she had supplied, and found her phone #. The woman claimed to not have written the email…hmm….that was in March…then, in April, I get another email, directly to me, not to the yahoo group like the previous letter had been…from someone else, who asked me to ignore the woman/previous email–she had been speaking out of turn, and I would get a refund…I emailed back, saying that I was thankful for her, cause otherwise I would have spent 6 weeks wondering wtf had been going on…and the refund was coming too late to help me, since at 38 weeks I could not find anyone willing to take me, esp since I was out the cash that we had paid the mw out of pocket…I got another email, this time from the mw herself, who said that her eyesight was messed up, but she was going to the doc the next day, and she would call me…if there was ANY way possible for her to come, she would. I never heard back from her…
In the meantime, I talked to my doula, who had trained at the Farm to be a mw but had done nothing to further her studies–she agreed to labor with me, check me, and when I was ready to push, we would go to the nearest hospital…not perfect, but acceptable. The mw who had tried to help me out agreed to do my gbs test (came back neg!) and I watched my bp at home and spot-checked my sugar, took my supplements and tried to relax….
My edd was Friday, April 24th. I left my office and expected to have a week to chill, get a pedicure, haircut, etc. That was not meant to be. Sunday the 26th things started happening, and my contraxs quickly went from not time-able to 6 min to 3 min apart and lasting at least one minute long. I sent an email to my “mw” since I did not have a working phone number…I remember being in the tub, and leaning waaay back because the baby was trying to get his/her head in a better position. Yelled at dh to call my doula. Soon after that I stopped feeling baby move around. When doula got here I had her get the Doppler to check the baby. We couldn’t find a heartbeat, just picked up some residual stuff in the 90s. I sat down and talked to the baby, pleading for a response. I finally got a weak push, but NOTHING like what I was used to. At that point I got up, told my doula that we were going, and grabbed a dress and threw it over my naked body. We picked up the camera and some clothes and, as it was 2 in the morning, I told my dh to go–look to see if anyone was coming at the red lights, but not to wait for them. I felt baby move a bit during the 15 min ride, so I was no longer totally freaked out, but still concerned. DH took me to the ER door, and I walked in just to have another contrax. I leaned over the desk while the person was asking if they could help me, and my water went swoosh all over my shoes. I started waving my “I have had three cs” flag, hoping to not waste time since I have known too many women who arrived at the hospital with a live baby only to leave to bury one cause the medpros screwed around. I got to the room around 2:30 with my doula, and then the questions started. There was one nurse who, in response to my moaning through contraxs, told me to “breathe like this–hee hee hooo.” I just stared at her. She asked me if I could do that. I told her that yeah, I COULD…my doula and I just looked at each other…the ob began harassing me about VBACing after 3 cs and how dangerous, yadda yadda yadda. I looked at her and told her that at this point I was not planning on birthing this baby vaginally, and for her to please get on with the cs. They got the baby on the strip, and when they walked away, my doula looked at it–she was NOT pleased. Baby did NOT look right. I soon heard the ob say something about antibiotics, and I told her that I was gbs neg, but they went ahead and gave them to me anyway (I didn’t notice–I was too busy looking at the six bruises on my arms where they tried to IV me and blew out at least three spots–took 2 weeks for the bruises to go away, and I still have one spot on my right wrist that is jacked from the anesthesiologist trying to get the iv in…) Finally we go for the ride, all while I am still having contraxs 3 min apart…then the inept anesthesiologist tried at least 8 times to give me an epidural or spinal–we would work with whichever he managed to place. I am told to relax and arch out my back (which seems to be a contradiction, but, anyway…) I remember looking at the nurse who was trying to help bend me over, and I told her that I just could not do this any more. So the decision to use ga was made. The fun thing about ga is that they totally prep you before they do anything–cath is placed, you are scrubbed, my pendulous abdomen held up with tape suspenders, the shaving, etc, all while you can feel every last wonderful sensation. Then they put me under–I remember praying for me to wake up when they were done, and for my baby to PLEASE be okay.
The next thing I knew, I was being woken up in recovery. The nurses told me that I had a little girl (we hadn’t found out) and I cried–I wanted to see her so badly. They wheeled me back to the room where we had been, and they got me settled. My doula was there, waiting for me. Maybe 10 min had passed, and my dh came in with the baby. They had gotten him in the OR as soon as she was out and he had been with her the entire time. Zoey Ann Hero Baehr weighed in at 8lbs, 10.5oz and 19 in long at 40w, 3d gestation (my personal biggest–the last one was 8lbs 10oz at 41w 1d), apgars of 8 and 9. DH tells me that the baby had gone from oblique to transverse, and that the ob had had to do an inverted t incision on my uterus, and that she accidentally cut the baby on her back (I checked her out–thankfully it looked more like a scratch than a cut). He also tells me that the ob went with him to the nursery, telling him about the dangers of vbacing and how I should never have been “allowed” to go into labor, etc….
Zoey, on the other hand, was perfect, and my breast was the first thing other than suction in her mouth. Even 1 1/2 hrs after birth, she came in alert and staring at me while she latched on. I sent dh home to take the other three kids to daycare/school so that his sister could go to work (and her vehicle could not transport all three of my kids) and for dh to get some rest–he had been up all night. My wonderful doula stayed with me until about 9 o’clock that morning (Zoey was pulled out of me at 4:46 and I got to my room around 6:15 or so) then she went home to get some sleep and I was left alone with my baby while I was on a morphine drip (woohoo–the nurses thought I was weird to never use the bolus (is that what it is called? to give yourself an extra boost of painmeds?) Oh, they had taped me up pretty well, and I remembered that with #1 I had horrible tape burns on my sides, so we got the nurse in there asap to take off the dressing for me. A different ob in the practice came in to tell me what had gone on (I never saw the obitch again while I was in the hospital) and quoted me some weird stat about my new risk for rupture–she said I had gone from 2% to 20%. Since I knew that her first stat was wrong, I figured that her 2nd one was, too. Later that week a different ob in the practice told me that I had gone from 1% to about 10%, so I figured I had finally gotten the correct answer about my new status.
I got them to release us on Wed around noon, with the promise to call the office to get my staples out on Friday. When I got home I called, and since they hadn’t seen me for prenatal care, they had to ask each ob if they would be willing to remove the staples that one of their colleagues had placed! Finally on Friday afternoon someone other than the stupid ob said they would, but I had to get there NOW. Thankfully they are just down the street from me, so we went. I did establish that I had heard of him and I knew his daughter (a senior at the HS where I worked, and our school nurse had talked about him/had worked with him when she worked l & d–I wanted him to know that I was not just some so-and-so who walked in off the street!). Our nurse was right, and he was VERY gentle while removing my 25! staples.)
That was the last day I needed pain meds–once those bad boys were out, I felt so much better (I had had glue and steri strips for #3 and really liked those)(well, as much as you can “like” those kinds of things!) I have not heard from the mw at all. In fact, she de-friended me on facebook. I called the state to see about filing a complaint, and found out that she is NOT a CPM with the state of Tx! I am gathering info to send to them so that they can find her and send her a cease and desist letter, claiming to be something that she is not…I go from being so very very pissed off that I got screwed over by my mw to being depressed, wondering why I just couldn’t push out this one baby, just this once…and now my dh is going in for a little snip snip, cause I am scared to ever find myself accidentally pg. The risks are now too high for me to ever feel comfortable laboring again–there are NO stats for an inverted T incision after 3 lower uterine cuts…and I cannot bear the thought of scheduling a cs, so no more babies…and that makes me sad, that I am now scared of my body and the power of growing a new life…