My Labour Story (What I Should Have Done Differently)
My labour story is an interesting one. Whenever I’m chanced to share it with people, here are the kind of responses I get:
“Oh my God! What did you do to them?!”
“I hope you sued their arse for all they’re worth!”
“I can’t believe that happened!
However, I’m just lucky to be here and to have my daughter with me, and needless to say, I won’t be using that hospital ever again.
I have two labour stories, seeing as I have two kids, however, I’ll only be sharing the first here as it came with so much drama, so, here goes:
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My Labour Story
My pregnancy was a somewhat difficult one (think hyperemesis). I was sick all through and the excessive vomiting only let up around 34 weeks.
The next few weeks were bliss for me as I was free from constant nausea, vomiting, and also had a new burst of energy. However, this joy was short-lived as I fell into labour a few weeks later.
I turned 38 weeks on the 21st of October, 2021 and that was also the day my daughter chose to make her grand entrance into the world.
Before this day, I’d been having some mild contractions, but seeing as they were irregular, I knew to ignore them.
On the twenty-first though, I knew this was the real deal, but while my contractions which started around 3 pm were regular, they weren’t strong enough yet. They felt more like intense discomfort at this time than contractions.
I could sleep, even with the discomfort and this I chose to do.
The contractions were slightly stronger but still bearable. My husband and I decided to go in to the husband at this time and we met the attending doctor.
I was examined (and yea, vaginal examinations (VEs) are quite uncomfortable to the point of being painful).
The first VE revealed I wasn’t up to 2CM dilated and the doctor proceeded to send us over for a scan.
This is where it starts to get interesting…
The doc insisted we perform the scan at the hospital’s diagnostic center, which was several miles away from the hospital.
First off, it was strange the hospital didn’t have a diagnostic center. What was stranger still, was the fact the doctor insisted the scan be done at that designated center as a scan result from anywhere else would be rejected.
Anyway, since I wasn’t too far gone in my contraction and dilation, hubby and I got a cab and started on the journey which would take a few hours.
Scan done, we returned to the hospital, but at this time, my contractions were much stronger and I was beginning to really feel each contraction when they git.
The second VE was done and the doctor announced I was only 5 -6 CM gone and I must have screamed in shock and pain. I couldn’t believe I was in that much pain but only 6 cm gone.
This was 5 pm and I already had a few of my close family around at this time.
I felt angry and frustrated, seeing as I wasn’t progressing as fast as I thought I would, and yeah, I took it out on my hubby when he tried consoling me.
The doctor also shared my sentiments and decided speeding up the labour process would be the best course of action, so I was given Pitocin intravenously.
A few minutes after the drip was fixed and I finally understood why my friends referred to that medication as ” hot drip”.
It felt like I had liquid fire flowing through my veins!
My contractions intensified and I forget every breathing and calming exercises I’d learned during my antenatal classes as I screamed my head off.
When I couldn’t take the pain anymore, I yanked the needle off, wanting some relief from the back-to-back contractions however, the attending nurse gave me a stern talking to as she quickly fixed it back.
At this point, I begged her not to, but she assured me taking the drip was for my own good and she was right.
The third VE revealed I was 9 cm after about an hour and I was wheeled closer to the delivery room.
In this room, I saw a few other women who were at different stages of labour, but I couldn’t be bothered by their pain as mine consumed me.
I witnessed a lady get wheeled into the delivery room and brought out in less than 30 minutes and deep within I felt the smallest inkling of relief knowing the intense pain would soon be over.
The Final Show-Down
Finally, in the delivery room, I had a doctor, a nurse, and a nursing assistant in attendance.
The nurse showed me how and when to push.
Gosh, I didn’t know pushing was that hard or that I would need to push on the wave of every contraction when all I wanted was to rest from the pain.
30 Minutes Later…
The nurse announced I wasn’t pushing right, then showed me again how she wanted me to.
I was to stare at my naval and lift myself halfway from the gurney as I pushed with each contraction.
I did this and we kept at this for another 30 minutes.
At this point, I was beginning to feel the faintest wave of tiredness.
The doctor had left at this time!
The nurse sat right in front of me, looked me straight in the eyes, and told me to work with her.
She told me she’d delivered her babies herself and that every woman could.
This pep talk gave me a sort of renewed strength as I was already getting discouraged from it all, thinking something was wrong.
Another 30 minutes later and we still hadn’t made any progress.
The nurse, who was the only one left at this time, also “gave up” and left.
I was all alone!
I screamed for someone as each of the contractions, which were insanely strong as so close together at this time, hit me.
But no one showed up!
Finally realizing I was in this alone, I came down from the gurney and decided to try delivering my child myself.
I’d been a member of a pregnancy group a few months and decided to put a few of the things I’d left to practice.
I squatted, and with my right hand spread out under me so my baby wouldn’t hit her head when she finally came out, gave the push of my life.
So I pushed again, and again, but my baby remained where she was.
It finally dawned on me after a while, that theory is a lot different from practical and I didn’t have the expertise to birth this child myself.
In resignation, I climbed back onto the gurney and resumed screaming for help from anyone.
Surprisingly, as though in answer to my prayers my mom was let in. She looked distraught and worsened when she saw the state I was in.
I don’t know how she knew, but she proceeded to feed me with glucose, seeing how weak I’d gotten.
To this day, we both agreed that glucose powder was probably what kept me alive. It revived my energy levels, while she revived my spirit.
I asked her to just let me go as I was in too much pain than I could bear. At this time, I’d been pushing for over three hours and wanted the whole ordeal over with.
My mom, as though sensing I’d given up, rushed out of the room. Soon, I heard screams and voices raised, but it felt like all that was happening in another space.
My mom soon returned with the nurse and the first thing she uttered was:
“The baby isn’t out yet? That’s weird.”
Deep within, my reaction to this statement was utter anger. I wanted to lunge at her and rip her eyes out, then feed it to her.
I couldn’t believe this hospital, that’d had such a glowing and reputation, had left a first-time mom with zero experience to try to deliver her child herself and expected success.
However, physically I could do nothing but stare at her as she resumed her seat in front of me.
My mom, seeing I was too weak and fagged out to continue pushing, requested for an emergency cesarean and got my husband to consent to it.
However, it took another hour and a half before I was finally wheeled into surgery and my baby brought out.
When Isabella was brought out, she uttered just a faint cry as she was also too weak to do anything else.
She’d stayed in the birth canal for six hours and had just gone through an ordeal herself.
In the end, we discovered Isabella had a nuchal cord (umbilical cord wrapped around her neck), which likely explained why I was unsuccessful in trying to push her out myself.
It also opened my eyes to the fact the attending nurse at my delivery was quite inefficient as a nuchal cord is quite common and easily managed.
Isabella wasn’t breathing properly and was promptly whisked away to be attended to.
As a result of the ordeal, Isabella developed a few complications and had to be kept in the hospital for almost a week.
In the end, we both left and I couldn’t be more glad to leave that place, never to use it again.
So…I never sued the hospital for their gross unprofessionalism. Here are three things this hospital did that were obviously wrong:
- I was left on my own for over two hours. Something could have gone terribly wrong or I could have died doing things wrong.
- A nuchal is quite common and the doctor should have had the experience to manage the situation better.
- I had to push for almost six hours when an emergency cesarean should have been suggested earlier.
The doctor placed not just my life, but that of my baby’s at risk.
Suing them would have been the best action to take to get them to sit up and protect other mothers from such negligence.
However, here’s something I discovered when contemplating this course of action:
This hospital had been sued twice in the past five years!
A branch of theirs got hit with a lawsuit and the money was deducted from the salaries of the attending staff over one year.
Granted, this changed their work attitude for the better, but only for a couple of months, and things returned to their abysmal state not too long after.
Tags: My labour story, labour and childbirth, my labour story(what I should have done differently), my labour story