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Birth Story

Baby Rosie’s Story…

Jessica and I wanted to do a home birth simply because it allowed us the freedom to birth Rosie how we saw fit, but after 36 hours of labor after her water broke, our midwives advised us to transfer to the hospital. There we decided to use a small amount of pitocin to help bring on active labor. After a few hours of more intense labor, my wife, with tears in her eyes, asked me about an epidural. While we had wanted to have our birth as intervention free as possible, I recognized my wife was at her breaking point. She was in so much pain, had little to no sleep for the past couple days, and entirely uncomfortable in a unfamiliar place. We chose to get her some relief and much needed rest, so we called in the anesthesiologist. Once it kicked in Jess began to fall asleep between contractions, and within a couple hours had dilated to about 8 cm. They had also turned the pitocin off, so she was having natural labor at this point.Unfortunately, we think baby turned to be sunny side up because Jess started experiencing some pretty bad back labor despite the epidural. Our awesome nurse switched up Jessica’s position and within the hour, Rosie seemed to turn back and the back pain subsided. Soon after the nurse checked Rosie’s progress and saw that she was about an inch away from meeting us!
Within a few minutes the OB was called in, and we knew it was game time. While we had wanted to do slow, easy pushes to ease baby Rosie into our world, the OB called for intense pushes. with all the strength left in her, Jess started pushing Rosie through. During this time, it is normal for the baby’s heart rate to drop for a second or two as they squeeze through the canal, but this got the OB worried and she called in the NICU unit and asked if she could do an episiotomy to get Rosie out faster. I gave her a resounding no, looked at Jess and let her know that it was time to get Rosie out. With strength that definitely came from above, my wife gave it everything she had and while my attention was focused on my wife’s face, Rosie’s head had came out. I turned my attention to her and witnessed what I have heard from so many of my patients: the OB pulling on Rosie’s neck to get her out. I immediately YELLED at the OB, which startled her and caused her to withdraw her hands. Rosie’s body soon followed , and she was given to my wife. We had told the OB we wanted delayed cord clamping (which usually means about 10-15 minutes) but the next thing I knew she was handing me the scissors and had already clamped it… We had about 5 minutes to take in everything when they asked if they could take her to weigh her. Although we didn’t want to at this very moment, we were to tired and overwhelmed to really argue. So Rosie came to us at 8lbs and 19.5 inches at 9:45pm on May 28, 2016.

From the moment Rosie took her first breathe of air, she was a very tense, crying baby. Some of you might be thinking that crying is normal right after delivery, to which I agree. This type of crying however, was not. She was stressed, and in my opinion injured by the process of our OB pulling her head. The top little joints involving her atlas and axis bone had been forced into an uncomfortable position. With this going on in my head from the moment she was bone, I couldn’t wait for everyone to leave so I could adjust my baby girl. Finally, after about an hour, we had the room to ourselves. I held my crying baby’s head in my hands and felt what was for sure an injury caused by the birth process-her atlas subluxated (misaligned) to the left. As gentle as could be, I helped Rosie regain proper motion of her neck and literally within second, Rosie stopped crying for the first time. The next few minutes were nothing short of magical as our little baby looked up at us with eyes wide open and gave us the cute little face pictured below.

Now this is where it gets interesting. Because Jessica’s water had been broken for a total of 45 hours, they were still concerned for the risk of infection for Rosie. Despite not having a fever or any other signs of infection, they wanted to take her to the nursery and do a blood test. We politely refused, saying that we will monitor her and that the nurses will continue to get her vitals throughout the night. This was the first time we had CPS threatened on us. Within hours of being new parents we were forced to choose between an investigation or an unwanted medical procedure. While they were ok with us refusing the other routine hospital medicines and interventions, they definitely hung tight to this one. While my wife was transferred to the postpartum room, I accompanied Rosie to the nursery where they poked her hand and got the blood they needed. Rosie was a champ. Finally, at around 3am, we had some time to sleep. Every couple of hours, however, we were awoken by a nurse to come get the vitals for the girls.
Sunday morning came, and we were told the pediatrician would be in sometime in the morning to let us know the results of the blood test and to tell us when we would be able to go home. When Jess tried to sit up and feed Rosie, she experienced the worse headache she had ever experienced in her life. We later learned it was called an epidural headache, where cerebrospinal fluid leaks as a result of the epidural puncture wound(s). Recounting the time with the anesthesiologist, I began to remember him not being very aware of Jessica’s body movements and it taking him longer than I had thought it should take. He was, as I remember, trying to put the needle in sometimes in the middle of contractions when Jess was unable to sit still. So for a week and a half, my wife was forced to lay flat on her back, or feel the wrath of the headache. I posted a pictued below of her back in which you can see she was poked at least 3 times…

We waited until about 1 when the pediatrician finally showed up in our room simply to tell us that the blood test was clear. He did a rudimentary “newborn exam” while explaining to us that we should stay 48 hours and do another blood test in the morning. I was baffled. Rosie had absolutely no sign of infection and I had made it very clear that we were not comfortable here and wanted to go home as early as possible. He said that the infection can appear in 48 hrs and so they want to guarantee that she doesn’t have an infection. I was quick to point out his “guarantee” to which he quickly recount and the back pedaling began. He basically said his decision wasn’t based on Rosie specifically, but on “insurance standards.” When I petitioned him to make a clinical decision based on my child he essentially declined and said see you tomorrow for another blood test. I told him we wanted to refuse the second blood test, and that the staff at the hospital were already monitoring vitals and were aware of the signs of an infection. This was the second time CPS was threatened. He said either you do another blood test and stay 48 hours, or refuse the blood test and stay an extra day or I have to call CPS. By the grace of God alone, I kept my cool and accepted to do another blood test at 6am the next morning.

The Conclusion

If you have read the past 2 installments of Rosie’s story, you know CPS has been threatened twice already, the pediatrician is keeping us based on insurance standards rather than Rosie’s health, and my wife is stuck in bed to due side effects of a poorly performed epidural procedure. At this point, Jess and I were considering leaving AMA (against medical advice-although it was hardly medical advice we were given) so I asked a nurse what we were allowed to do. She said Jessica could check herself out, but we would not be allowed to take the baby. so in other words, “our” baby was not “ours” at this point, but essentially property of the hospital. When I asked her what would happen if I walked out with Rosie, she said the police would be forced to respond… Talk about feeling helpless. After 9 months of holding her and 45 hours of labor delivering her, the hospital still had the final say.

Shortly after, a new OB that we have never met came in proceeded to scold us for wanting wanted to leave AMA and mentioned again how she would call CPS if we didn’t follow what they wanted. Earlier in the morning a tech came in to take Jessica’s blood. When I asked why they simply stated it was what the doctor wanted. When I asked why again she didn’t have an answer, so I politely refused. This new OB did not like that, but could still not provide a good reason other than “protocol” to take more blood from my wife, but under the threat of CPS, we reluctantly gave them what they wanted. Soon after, they came in with the results that all was clear…  (What makes this whole experience worse is we got a bill for $200 from this OB with the reason “expanded problem” on the bill).

The rest of that day went without any other incident, so I fell asleep for the second night in the hospital. The next morning they woke us up at 6 to do the next blood test and newborn screening. They did this one on her foot. They seriously milked her foot for blood for at least 5-10 minutes… I was not happy in there, but there was really nothing I could do. We finally got to go back to my wife in the room and not to long later the nurses came in said her hematocrit was low… which means that she was dehydrated. First of all, why worry new parents with this? She hadn’t fed in 2-3 hours, or course she is a bit dehydrated. Everyone is when they wake up! Next, when I looked at the results, she was 1.5% below the normal… absolutely absurd to worry new parents about that. The pediatrician came in a bit later and said everything looks like we will be able to leave early… This is the same guy that fought with me for 20 minutes the day before about the importance of staying 48 hours. We ended up leaving at noon- a full 10hrs before 48 hours was up. I felt relieved that I could take my bride and new baby home, but cheated out of $3000 (which is what it cost us per day to stay there). If his protocol was so important, why didn’t he stick with it? Or was he looking to make to hospital some extra cash from the extra tests and time stayed?

With that said, we got home and the first thing I did was adjust my wife. for a full 8 hrs, her headache was gone and she as able to sleep in her own bed, have real food, and be free of the constant battle we felt like we were in. What a relief. That pretty much concludes our birth story. Thank you so much for taking part in this healing experience with me. If you are more interested in a home or birth center birth, I can give you the names of some awesome midwives and doulas. Also, if you are a soon to be mom, please check out my friend and colleague’s birth classes that will better prepare you for whatever your birth experience turns out to be. Watch her intro video, and I guarantee it will change the way you see birth. I hope I see you in the office soon! Have a great day.

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