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Well, this one is a bit late, but I've been pretty busy with a newborn and a 2 1/2 year old.

I was due November 30 but I ended up getting induced at 37 weeks on November 10 due to blood pressure (not pre-eclampsia though).

I had gone in for a non-stress test in the labor and delivery area at the hospital where I delivered my daughter and had a hemorrhage. As I was going in, I could feel my stress and anxiety building. So, when I got in, my blood pressure, which was already a bit elevated was up quite a bit higher. Then they hooked me up to the non-stress test and blood pressure cuff and left me for over a half hour. Each time the blood pressure cuff took my pressure, it got tighter and tighter to the point at which I started first losing feeling in my hand to being in great pain. All this time, I kept thinking someone would come in to help me - I couldn't find the call button anywhere. So, needless to say, my anxiety and stress only got worse and worse. Finally, I had to go to the bathroom so badly that I had to unhook myself. About 10 minutes after that a nurse came in and I explained why I had to do that and was asked why I didn't press the call button. I was also told that some people do find the cuff "uncomfortable." And, I was told the OB was coming to induce me.

I quickly called my husband and asked him to get there ASAP. I went alone because I didn't think this was going to be a big deal and because I could have my husband care for our 2 1/2 year old daughter. So, he had to quickly find someone to care for her.

When the OB got there, I asked if we could wait to discuss the options until my husband got there. She asked me if he was going to tell me to do something other than what she was telling me to do. I said I didn't know but it was his baby too. She told me that it was really inconvenient for her to have to wait. Since it wasn't an absolute immediate emergency, I don't see why should couldn't have made me comfortable by agreeing to discuss it with both my husband and myself.

So anyway, I then asked if we could discuss my concerns and she agreed. I had, had a bad hemorrhage when my daughter was induced and I didn't want another one. So, I had concerns about how the induction was going to happen. I spoke to the OB about my concerns and my preference to use as little pitocin as possible. She told me that pitocin can't cause a postpartum hemorrhage and I informed her that it lists postpartum hemorrhage in the package insert for the drug as a potential complication. She couldn't respond to that.

She was also going to use cytotec to ripen me but when I told her I wanted a drug approved by the FDA for that purpose and in the amounts approved as well, she said we'd have to use cervidil instead. I doubt she was even going to tell me that Cytotec was not FDA approved for labor induction.

After a long discussion, she begrudingly and reluctantly agreed to keep in mind my concerns about limiting the use of pitocin. And, she also agreed to allow it to be turned off to see if I would labor naturally after it all got going. But first she told me I was expressing my own medical theories without any legal training when I dared to ask her for the pitocin to be turned off during labor.

That night I was repeatedly offered a sleeping pill so I could sleep, but I turned it down. I had never had a sleeping pill before and the thought of taking one without knowing how my body responds kind of scared me. So, I was up pretty much the entire night - snoozed a bit here and there though, briefly. Even watched a labor and delivery show on the cable tv in my room - I was scared a nurse would come in and scold me for doing so, but it was the only interesting thing on.

And, btw, after calming down and relaxing, my pressure went back to an ok level.

The next morning, a different OB from the practice was on call. The ripener had gotten me started with my own contractions and the OB let me go for awhile to see how I would do on my own. I was so grateful for that. However, later in the day I was told that I had to have the pitocin because I was no progessing fast enough.

I begrudingly agreed because it was my understanding (and that of my two support persons) that they would only be using minimal pitocin to augment what I already had going for contractions, and that they would only increase it if it was absolutely necessary.

But then 15 minutes after the pitocin started, the nurse came in and pressed buttons. I immediately asked her what she was doing. She told me she was increasing the pitocin. I asked her how much and why. She said she was increasing it by 2 because the Dr. told her to increase it 2-4 every 15 minutes. At that point I lost it. That was potentially double the rate used when I had the first induction and a PPH. As nicely as I could, I told her that, that was not what I had agreed to.

The nurse gave me a hard time and told me I always had the right to refuse the drug and end up with a C-Section. I came close to losing it even further with that comment - I felt like I was being threatened with a C-section for asking questions and sticking up for my wishes. After some discussion, she said I could speak to the Dr. if I wanted to, and of course, I agreed to that. The nurse turned the pitocin off in the meantime.

The OB called into the room a few minutes later. My sister picked up the phone and told me it was the OB. I asked her if she could speak to the OB on my behalf. I was too afraid that I was going to break down and lose all my remaining strength. THe OB wanted to know why I didn't want to talk to her. My sister asked me that and I said was "too upset."

So, my sister spoke to the OB about my concerns. She knew them well from having discussed this with me in advance and being in the room (along with my hubby) when the pitocin discussion occurred before they turned it on.

It must have been 20 minutes of discussion on this. The OB kept giving my sister a hard time and wouldn't answer her questions about why such a high dose was being used when I had problems previously. As this went on and on (and thank God for the strength of my sister...), I laid there thinking "What am I going to do if I have to fire this OB. How does one get a new OB in the middle of a delivery?" This was all way too much stress for a women in labor with a blood pressure problem, thank you!

In the course of that conversation, it came out that the OB had planned to crank me all the way up to 28! (they had cranked me up to 30 for my first delivery). She also refused my request for an internal monitor of the contractions to make sure they were really picking up the strength of my contracts (something that I had a problem with the first time) saying it created a risk of infection.

Anyway, finally, the OB agreed to increasing the pitocin by 2 every half hour instead of every 15 minutes and that they would do frequent cervical checks to see how I was progressing that way and to stop increasing the pitocin if I was dialating well.

I agreed to that knowing that it was the best I was going to get and because it was a heck of a lot more reasonable than the original plan.

Later the OB came into apologize that she must not have explained her plan well enough to me in the beginning and that it resulted in a misunderstanding. She also started explaining more, as did the nurse (although by this time, there was a new nurse on - she was much, much nicer and more understanding).

But then later the OB did let me know that I was progressing slower than I would have if I was on the doses she had wanted and how inconvenient it was for her. Tough, tough! It was Friday night, but she was the on-call OB for the whole weekend and I had the right to progress more slowly and safely.

I ended up delivering this little guy at 11:01 pm. The pitocin was started around 1 or 2 pm. I had been dosed up to about 22 pitocin by that point, but it took quite awhile to get there. My husband commented at the end that we had used less than 1/2 the bag of pitocin when the last time he watched them put up 3 bags over the course of the whole day.

This delivery was much different from the first. I pushed the little guy out in 8 or 9 minutes (he was 7 pounds, 8 ounces), and my uterus contracted immediately. There was no hemorrhage and I felt great after the delivery.

I'm thankful that this time I had my sister with me and had pre-arranged for her to advocate for me if I were to have any issues that I was concerned about. Part of me thought I wouldn't need it. But, I'm convinced that if I didn't fight for myself regarding the pitocin that I might have had another hemorrhage.

Anyway, I know it was a long story. Thanks for listening.





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