I had a revelation last night regarding my c-section. It started because I was bored and stupidly decided to watch "I didn't know I was pregnant...". I know, I know. Terrible idea. Anyway, it made me think "what if I DID have preeclampsia?", so I dug out my medical records and tried to decipher them. My BP was higher on admission than I remember it being (150s/100) and while I can't find any notation of protein in my urine, it does state "severe preeclampsia" several places in the records. That morning at the birth center I tested my own urine and there was no protein. Which is why I've always doubted the diagnoses. However, I did have fairly severe pitting edema and I had a headache (which could have been from not sleeping , being stressed and not eating or drinking well). I always blamed the BP on the crazy morning I had that day dealing with my bank account being hacked and my friend finding out she was pregnant and then freaking out because my midwife basically abandoned me and shipped me off to the one place I was terrified of.
If I really had preeclampsia, it means two things in my mind; One, that I did the right thing by going to the hospital for treatment, maybe ultimately the c-section WAS the right choice. Second, my body DID fail me. I've spent almost two years now being angry at the medical establishment, the nurses, the OB, the midwife because it was easier than being angry at myself. Perhaps though, I need to own up to some of the blame. Of course, the way I was treated was still deplorable...but maybe the actual treatments were necessary. Maybe I didn't really have a choice on the epidural because I did "need" it. Maybe I did have to be strapped down by the mag/sulfate. How different would things have been with a doula? Would the same outcome have happened? Would I have still wound up with a baby in distress and ultimately a c-section? Perhaps. Though, I probably would have been more confident about the outcome and not been treated so poorly.
I always thought I was really in labor when I arrived at the hospital. I had progressed two cm from the time I was checked in the late morning to the time I arrived in triage in the early afternoon. The contractions I was having were different from the prodromal labor I had been experiencing and I just 'knew' something was different. But, what if I could have walked around like that for a few more days? Did I really let them induce me? Did the magnesium or the stress from being transferred cause Vala to pass the meconium? Was it my high BP that caused it?
My records state that I had a 10% placental abruption. What caused that? Did it happen during the surgery? Before? After? Was that why she passed meconium? Was that the reason she was distressed?
Something else the records state is that Vala's cord was "around her shoulder", though the OB told me after the surgery that "he thought the cord was somehow pinched between her shoulder and my pelvis"...what am I to believe? What if her cord really WAS wrapped around her shoulder? Would there have been any chance for a vaginal delivery if the other challenges weren't present?
I still doubt her APGARs. 1 at one minute, 3 at three minutes, 4 at ten minutes and 5 at fifteen minutes. She was immediately screaming, kicking and pink so I just can't see how she could have had an APGAR of 1...
...But I digress...I suppose knowing any of this for sure won't change a thing, or does it?
I see two options; I can be angry at the establishment for railroading me and causing all my suffering, I can be the victim OR I can take responsibility for doing what I thought was best at the time and that my body failed me and there's no way my daughter could have been born vaginally. I really hate that second option, but the more I learn, the more it seems true to me.
All I can do is to do everything in my power to prevent these things from occurring again with this pregnancy. As soon as my "morning" sickness allows I will be following a brewer like diet high in protein and I've already started taking vitamin D and calcium/magnesium. I'm also going to ask my midwife about dandelion leaf and any other things I can start doing now to ensure a healthier pregnancy and birth.
I do feel 100% safer in the care of my current midwife and doula. I KNOW they won't just drop my care at a slight issue and even if I do need to transfer, they'll be at my side the whole way. The biggest issue I see in hindsight from the last time was that I felt a lack of trust in my birth team but I didn't follow my gut. Always follow your gut!