Wednesday, February 25, 2009

You Asked For It: Part III: The Aftermath

You're probably thinking, "Phew, it's over. And, oh my stars, we so shouldn't have asked for this tale!", but it's not over. There is more. If your eyes are glazing over, feel free to stop reading. There's a reason I haven't blogged about this before. Believe it or not, this is the short version.
Okay, back to the birth story, or the after birth story: After seeing Levi for a matter of seconds, he was whisked away from me. He wasn't in distress. It was just hospital protocol. They stitched me up, counted all of the tools of the trade, and stashed me away in a "recovery" nook.
I begged to see him. I woke up frequently from my drug-induced sleep and sent my mom to ask for him. I was worried about him. Surely he needed me. He'd been a part of me for 9 months. How could he be okay without me? Wasn't he hungry? I needed to hold him, to feed him....5 hours later, after much begging and stressing a nurse finally strolled him in to see me.
Me: "Can I nurse him?" Nurse: "What? You want to nurse him?" Me thinking: Of course, I want to nurse him. I've only written my intent to breastfeed on every piece of paper that's been handed to me, even the ones that probably didn't require it. Despite my blood beginning to boil, I politely said, "Yes." The nurse actually looked annoyed, but she helped me none the less. Levi was a natural, and I thought I'd landed in heaven--even a better one than the epidural induced one. I could have stared and stared and stared at that little munchkin.
Then...she took him away...AGAIN. Y'all, if my momma hadn't been there to help me through, I would have seriously lost my mind and my temper. In the hours after Levi was born, I only saw him for a few minutes. That was way worse than anything labor and a c-section could have dished out. There is nothing that makes sense about separating a mother from her newborn.
The night labor and delivery nurse totally botched my delivery. I didn't even list all of the ways she messed up. But, that I'm over. I don't want to hug the lady, but I'm not angry anymore. But, being separated from Levi during those long hours, that still makes my heart hurt and my blood boil.
When they FINALLY put me in a real room and brought my baby to me, I didn't want him out of my sight. The nurses practically begged me to let them take him for a little while, so I could get some rest. I wouldn't have it. They insisted on taking him in the mornings, so the pediatrician could check him out. I called every 15 minutes to ask them to bring him back. They probably thought I was crazy. I didn't care. I just wanted my baby.
When the doctor asked if I'd like to stay an extra day, I refused. I wanted to go home where there were no nurseries and no nurses and no doctors to bother us.
Despite all the craziness, it was worth it. I would do it all over again, a hundred more times, just to get Levi. However, if I'm ever blessed with the opportunity to actually do it again, I want a midwife, no hospital, and no dingbat nurses (please excuse my uncharitable feelings).
I selected my OB with great care and still think the world of her. She is kind, compassionate, and wicked smart. But, she wasn't there when I needed her. I was at the mercy of a nurse, who I wouldn't have wanted around if she was the last nurse alive, and I didn't see a doctor until the situation had become an emergency. So instead of picking out an OB they should let you pick out your nurse.
Well, that wraps up Levi's birth story. Unless you want me to tell you about the wicked awful pain of getting over a c-section and getting a three month long breast infection to boot. We could do a You Asked For It: Part IV....just kidding! I'll spare y'all! I just have to say it's a good thing babies are so dang skippy cute:
P.S. Excuse the lengthiness as well as the many grammar and spelling errors. I probably should have proofread this, but if you think your eyes are glazing over, you should see mine. :)


  1. OH, now my blood is truly boiling. I can't believe they wouldn't let you see him! I am just so sorry. I am a very forgiving person (and obviously make mistakes all the time because, hey, I'm human) but situations like this drive me crazy because the nurse may or may not even recognize that she did anything wrong. One of the most special precious hugely important days in your entire life, and they wouldn't let you see your boy? How many other moms aren't allowed to see their babies or initiate nursing right away if the nurses don't even realize it's NOT GOOD PRACTICE? Sheesh. Thank you so much for sharing this. Oh, and your grammar and such are all fine! More than fine. I love your writing style. My posts are the ones that always sound crazy because I write them in the middle of the night when I am delirious!

  2. Wow, that is horrible. I actually had similar bad luck with nurses when my first baby was born. Thank goodness the nurses left me alone with the second and third born children.

  3. Wow ... what a great idea. I would love to be able to pick my nurse! I was fortunate to have two good ones for this one I am nervous!

    My first had to go in the NICU for a WEEK! The first 20 hours they wouldn't let me go see her, then let me hold her little hand in the incubator! I was so wretchedly miserable. So I get your heart ache!

    He is so cute though ... babies are so worth it!

  4. Wow, thank you for sharing your birthing story. I am always curious to hear what other women's experiences were like. I had very different birthing experiences with both of my boys. I really feel like one's experience can be positive or negative depending on the environment you're in and who is in the room with you. Either way, when you hold your baby for the first time all of those feelings are replaced with overwhelming happiness and joy. That makes me upset to hear that you so fervently had to keep asking to nurse and hold your baby. It is so important to connect during those first moments. Obviously they felt it was important for you to rest, but they should have encouraged you to nurse and spend as much time with him as you wanted.

  5. Thanks for the birth story! What a lucky boy Levi is to have you for a mama!

  6. Oh my goodness, well I have read all three parts now and ((HUGS)) to you. The sad thing is that I think your birth experience was quite TYPICAL of what many women in the U.S. experience!!! I hope things change someday. And I have to say that after a natural birth in a hospital and two homebirths, being in a hospital makes labor more painful.

    BUT. You would do it all again for that sweet boy of yours. Little ones are worth it.

    Thanks for sharing!

  7. wow, that is extremely intense. I have heard way too many birthing stories that scare me from having a hospital birth. You are a trooper!!


  8. Grrr ... I had a horrible 4th child experience. The nurses were horrible. I feel for you.

    My doctor, who apparently hadn't raised his voice in 17 years yelled at the nursing staff. YAY Me!

    Levi is perfect though :)

  9. I've read your birth story posts. I'm sorry the birth didn't go the way you imagined. I can't believe the nurses were so weird about letting you see your baby. I think you're right, though -- you see your OB (maybe) only for a little while. It's the nurses in delivery who are there longer with you and can make a difference in how you feel and often how things go.

    That photo of Levi is so sweet! He looks so content.

  10. I have finally found quite time to read your stories and I have tears in my eyes Madeline. Thank you for being so brave to share your story. I have had two emergency C-sections now despite all attempts for a natural and then a's frustrating, painful and heartbreaking in so many ways but I have found maybe like you that time can help heal eventually, maybe but never forget....I could go on and on and on and onnnnn.... love to you and your precious Levi.

  11. One of the first things I made sure when I picked my OB for my second birth is researching what hospital he/she delivered at and if baby roomed in with mother.

    My first birth I disliked that they took baby away to get checked and the nurses during labor.

    So sorry you had such a terrible experience. I know you will have a beautiful experience with baby #2.

    I just know it.

    I feel inspired to write my own birth story. Soon.

  12. That wasn't too long or in any way boring (horrifying, to say the least). Just jumped over here from Marvelous Kiddo and am about to read the story you shared on her blog. I am so sorry to hear that you or ANYONE went through this. It reminds me too much of what a close friend of mine went through. We had an awful hospital experience too. (I shared my traumatic birth story on Marvelous Kiddos a few weeks ago.) Don't you think these stories should be streamed directly into the hospital doors and blared on large screens for all nurses, doctors, and patients to witness? I do, anyway.

  13. Rach, Thanks so much for commenting. I'm glad you found your way over. :) And, yes, I think that's a wonderful idea!! Too bad it's not likely to happen.


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