Saturday, September 12, 2015

Birth of Colsen - RAW

     It has taken me a while to conjur up the guts to post the good, the bad, and the ugly version of my birth story. This is the raw, un-sugar-coated version. Please be advised that this contains a lot of very personal information and photos.

     After a traumatic birth with my first born child, Trace, in the hospital, I planned, what I had hoped would be, a healing home birth with my second child, Colsen. 

     Pregnancy, and even labor went well. 
     ...until I began to push. Colsen's heart rate began to drop.
     We had to act fast in order to save his life.
 I changed positions. I went from lifting up from a sitting position to push to a hands and knees position. 
     He still wasn't coming, so I had to get on the birthing stool. It was extremely scary. I knew the stool was "the ripper". I had ripped with my first which is where the majority of the trauma came from HIS birth. I pushed while my husband was lying on the nearby bed about to pass out due to the stress. Although he was crowning, the baby STILL wasn't coming.
     My midwife had to work her hands into me, perform Wood's corkscrew maneuver and pull the baby from me. He was quiet, blue, and expressionless.
     While we were preparing for resuscitation, he began to whimper and then cry. He was alive!! ...But not okay.
     During his newborn exam, my midwife realized his arm was paralyzed except he could still make a fist. Unfortunately, due to the double shoulder dystocia she had to release, his neck had been stretched too far which caused him to have a fractured collarbone and a nerve injury also known as a(n) (obstetric) BRACHIAL PLEXUS INJURY. 
     Our midwife did what was necessary to save Colsen's life and we cannot be more thankful that she was there for us.

     Many OBPIs are caused by OBGYNs negligence. I consider myself lucky in knowing that it was GOING TO HAPPEN no matter what or he wouldn't be alive. But it hurts.
     Two births. Neither of which I was in charge of. I was severely hurt both times, and the second time I hurt my son becuase I was unable to do it. I feel my body is incapable of giving birth. *Insert positive affirmations here.*
     Colsen's fractured collarbone (clavicle) healed within 3 weeks of birth, but he still could not move his arm. This is when we were 100% sure he had an OBPI. The doctor and our midwife said this would probably take a year or two to heal. I was in denial. I heard that wrong. That can't be possible. 2 years? Not me. Not my baby. That's far too long. When I finally came to terms with it, it hit hard. I developed the baby blues and post partum depression really bad. Thank goodness I had my placenta capsules. They helped tremendously! After a while the baby blues subsided, but I still suffer with post partum depression.

     Colsen's arm has improved so much since birth, but he has a long way to go. He just had surgery Friday, Sept. 4, 2015. He is still wearing a brace. He doesn't seem to let it get in the way of doing what he wants to do.
     I am excited to start physical therapy again and watch his body heal and improve and do things it never could before, but it still breaks my heart not knowing the future and knowing that he may never be able to spread his arms wide for a big hug. 
     I, on the other hand, as stated above, still suffer with post partum depression. I also have suffered with vaginismus. Vaginismus is vaginal contractions triggered by penetration. It makes penetration of anything excruciatingly painful. It is linked with anxiety, but it is hard to determine which came first. The anxiety or the vaginismus. For a while even I struggled using the bathroom and with sitting in certain positions (even after 10 weeks post partum). This is when I knew I had a problem. I've had to go to physical therapy for this issue. I've cried so many nights over missing my husband and his "loves." Birth has destroyed me emotionally and physically. My body is improving physically, but I will never be able to go back and re-do my first birth and not rip. I will never be able to undo the scar tissue. I will never be able to undo the trauma. I have sooo much scar tissue from my first birth. I didn't rip as bad the second time around when my midwife had her hands in my vagina as I did when the OBGYN  ripped my first baby out of me for no apparent reason. Thank you Dr. Flowers. ;) Please feel free to justify what happened.
     Thankfully though, I have managed to tolerate my husband's penis inside me a few times in the past couple of weeks. This is huge and I think it's worth celebrating. Yay!!!
     Due to having two gone-wrong births that have damaged me so much physically and emotionally, I cannot see myself EVER planning or having an ideal birth. My midwife assures me that this was just a rare and chaotic hiccup and that I AM CAPABLE of giving birth naturally, but I can't even imagine taking the risk again. I'm so scared and broken-hearted.

     What is on top of all of this is that my heart still longs for another little one, a girl. My family isn't complete and I don't know what to do about it. Could I ever even fathom conceiving again? Will I ever heal emotionally even if my family is complete? Will I be fine then? Will I forever long for the perfect birth? 

     I would like to clarify that the care I received from my midwife and all of my birth attendants couldn't have been better during Colsen's birth. I truly believe there is nothing we could've done differently for a better outcome. I love my midwife.
     I would also like to give a special shout out to my birth photographer, owner of Shutter Bloom Photography, who is responsible for all but the last three photos of this post, Brandi Hurley. These pictures are priceless and I'll never be able to pay her for what these are worth. She and I met through our midwife, +Joanna Davis . She was there for me during the birth while 8 months pregnant with her own. How amazing, strong is she? A lot? Yes. Even more. She climbed the giant hill in front of the house with SPD in a SNOW STORM for me. Yes, she's THAT incredible.

Please leave a comment if you have any questions.