A traumatic birth story of feeling alone and disregarded

Alexus, a new mother from the US, shared her birth story with me. Unfortunately although both her and her baby are well physically, Alexus did not have the birth experience that she wanted or expected.

I was scheduled for an induction on Friday March 20th, 2020 as I am a T2 Diabetic. My pregnancy was not as complicated as it could’ve been. I arrived at 8:30 AM that Friday and was only allowed one support person due to COVID. I did not have my tribe of motherly support with me so I was afraid because I did not know what to do nor what to expect.

Around 11:00-11:30 AM, I started antibiotics as I had Group B strep, and pitocin (US version of syntocinon – a synthetic hormone to make the uterus contract) to start my labour, as well as having my waters broken. My doctor came in to check the progress of my labour and I ha dilated to 4CM. She indicated to me that my baby had pooped (meconium)as my water was light green. I began to worry but she assured me that it wasn’t too concerning.

My labour experience took a turn for the absolute worse at this point. I asked for pain intervention and was started on lidocaine which did not help so I asked for an epidural. I laboured for hours in excruciating pain. No one came to check on me. I had no idea what to do. I was left alone in a room and felt completely disregarded. No one made an effort to help me feel comfortable or even guide me on what to do next. I laid in a bed sobbing, screaming, and pleading for help.

It wasn’t until around 7-7:30 PM that I finally received my epidural. The first one failed and the guy who assisted the main anesthesiologist was extremely rude to me. The main anesthesiologist had to step in and he was much more gentle. I was able to rest for about a hour and 30 minutes before it was time to push. Because I was allowed to labour for so long, I was exhausted and could not push my daughter out. Her heart rate began to drop and I was in/out of consciousness. Thankfully, my doctor did not want to perform a C-section so she intervened by vacuum delivery with the little bit of strength that I did have. My daughter was born at 9:27PM on March 20th, 2020 via assisted vacuum delivery. I was not allowed to hold her immediately as she had to be taken away and checked out due to her pooping in utero. As a result of my baby being born via vacuum, she had a bruise on her head and developed jaundice.

She’s a healthy 9 month old now! While I was fine physically (no tearing!), I felt discarded of like many black women. I could have used more support from the nurses but instead I was left to figure something out that I had never experienced. 

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