Thursday, July 1, 2010

Panic Attacks Suck (or why I am scared to deliver baby number 2)

I am very scared to give birth to my next baby. There, I said it. How I got to this point is a long tale that involves the birth of Peanut. Let me explain.
When I went in for my delivery, I was induced at 41 weeks. I was given an epidural that worked great for several hours. I was progressing on a steady track and everything was going well. And then everything started to fall apart. First, my epidural wore off. The anesthesiologist came in and gave me a second round of epidural. This time it did not work, at least not on one whole half of my body. Then, after a few hours of being in Pitocin induced pain, I felt the need to push. The nurse checked me, said I was fully dilated, and that I could start pushing. So I did for about 30 minutes. Then my doctor came in and checked me again. Except she said to immediately stop pushing, that I was only at 5 cm dilated and that the nurse who checked me had made a mistake, and in fact I was not progressing the way they had wanted me to. She said I would have to wait another hour with not checks and see if I made any progress.
At this point, the epidural was not working at all. For those ladies who have been induced and felt the pain of those induced contractions, they are serious business. I was delirious and at one point my husband said I tried to get up and walk out of the room, even though my legs were numb and I was hooked up to machines. I don't know exactly where I was going, but apparently my brain had better ideas than to give birth that day.
When the doctor came back in after waiting, she said I was not progressing and that we were going to have to do a c-section. I broke down (as I am sure many mothers have done and will do in the future). I felt like a failure and on top of that I was terrified. And then I saw my strong and capable mother break down. That did it for me. I just lost it. I signed the consent forms in a haze and was wheeled to the OR, told that my husband would be in shortly.
When they got me on the operating table, they attempted to do spinal anesthesia where they inject the anesthetic directly into your spine so it takes effect quickly. This did not work. Again, like the epidural, it only worked on one half of my body. I was then told that the baby was in distress and they needed to put me under general anesthesia right away. So they gave me something to paralyze me. They thought I was out because my eyes were shut and I appeared to be out, but I was not. I could hear everything that was going on. The anesthesia was too weak. And then, because I was paralyzed, I couldn't breathe. When they attempted to intubate me to help me breathe, it didn't work. Then I heard panic in everyone's voices. The anesthesia team was yelling at my doctor not to cut yet. They were yelling to get the fiber optic scope. All the while, I was awake and not able to breathe on my own.
I thought for sure that I was going to die. That I would never see this baby that I had spent nine months carrying. That my husband would have to raise her on his own, all the while not knowing what had happened. Finally, I felt them intubate me, cut into my skin, and then I passed out.

I woke up screaming, "I was awake! I was awake!" No one took me seriously until I told them word for word what was said while they thought I was under. My poor husband. He was waiting for them to bring him in to the OR when the next thing he knew they were bringing my daughter in to him. He thought I was dead. Thankfully, everything did work out in the end, but needless to say my first delivery experience was not so much fun.

Which brings me to Panic Attacks. The other day I was looking for a copy of my anesthesia report that the doctor from my first delivery had given me to give to any other doctor I see. Since I am at a new doctor now and we are nearing delivery day I wanted to make sure they had it. So as I brought it out of my filing cabinet and looked at it, I had a massive panic attack. For those of you have never had a panic attack I will try to explain what one feels like.
First you are overcome with an overwhelming sense of doom. Then you feel like you are being pulled underwater and can't breathe. Then you get tunnel vision. Then, for me, I start hysterically and uncontrollably crying. They suck.
So here I was, on the floor of my study, hysterically crying and hyperventilating while my husband was yelling at me to breathe. All this was over a piece of paper. What am I going to do when I actually have to go in for the repeat c-section to deliver THIS baby!!!!

I voiced my concern to the midwife at my doctor's office today and she suggested I use a relaxation and visualization tape called Successful Surgery by Belleruth Napartek. I'm thinking of trying it and I need some opinions. I guess it can't hurt and at this point I am looking for anything that will reduce the chance that I will be a basket case on one of the most important and wonderful days of my life. Because right now, I am scared to deliver baby number 2. And I really don't want to be.

1 comment:

  1. Cute blog! Thanks for stopping by The Foodie Mommie, I am following you back!