Wow, this will be an interesting thread. I can't wait to hear all the stories.
I was in a military facility in Germany. We had recently moved there, so no friends, no family, newlywed, having my first kid. Can you say freaked out? I was five days overdue when I went to my check-up. Sitting in his office after the exam, he tells us that he wants to schedule an induction, be there at 0500 the next day. I didn't hear anything else after that. I know that we sat in the office for a while, and I know that hubby and he spoke, but it all sounded like how the teachers talk on the Charlie Brown cartoons. As soon as we got out of his office, I broke down in tears. I'm not ready for this, what were we thinking (dh tells me "we weren't, that's why we're in this position"..... could've done some serious bodily damage to him if I wasn't already so distraught). I cried that whole day and the rest of the night (silly me, I know).
The next morning we're at the hospital, I look like someone just died, I was soooo scared. They get me gowned, monitored, IV hooked up, and start the pit. Dh is scared of hospitals (childhood fear never resolved), so he's sitting in a corner, reading a book, doesn't talk to me. So I settle back, exhausted, trying to get some sleep, then the pain hits me again and again and again. Oh my, they told me that it was gonna hurt, but I didn't expect that. This goes on all day, then the doc decides that we will stop for the night, start again in the morning (the pit was started around 0530, here it was almost 1900). Dh left so that he could go home and sleep (again, the hospital fear... which I understand now, but then, it hurt like the dickens that he didn't stay), I got to eat, and be w/o pain for about an hour or so. Around 2200, nurse comes in and tells me that the doc wants to try the gel (forget the name of it, but I'm sure the OB nurses know what I'm talking about). Sooo, the rest of the night was torture. The nurses told me later they could set their watches to me. I was literally up every 15 min having to either urinate or throw-up.
0530 the next morning, I'm crying, begging dh to come to the hospital early. He gets there a little after 0600, the doc comes around shortly after and tells me that they want to start the pit again because even w/ the round of pit the day before and w/ the gel, I haven't dilated. Shortly before 0700, the pit is started, and I'm in agony yet again. I asked about pain medicine, told I didn't have any ordered, but did I want an epidural (I know a little better now, but at the time, had no kind of medical/nursing background whatsoever), and I said yes. So the nurse calls and the doc shows up to do the epidural.
A little back story here about this doc. When I had to start my weekly appts, this was the first doc that I had to see. With the military, you don't get a regular doc. I was terrified about having a vaginal birth, and was asking him about having a c-section. He basically told me that any decisions that had to be made would be made by him, and for me not to worry about it. And, this guy was huuge, the biggest hands I have ever seen, and was not gentle in the least during the exam. So you can imagine my thrill at seeing him walking through that door to start my epidural. They get me sitting on the side of the bed, holding on to hubby (poor thing, from throwing up all night, even rinsing my mouth out, my breath was pretty bad, and I'm practically breathing in his face, he was turning all shades of green). This doc tried for almost 45 min to start the epidural, couldn't get it. Says that I don't need one anyway. They're gonna go ahead and break my water.
It wasn't quite 0900 when the break my water. I see dh sitting in the chair at the foot of the bed and he just goes all shades of green again, but doesn't say anything. I don't really remember much about what happened next. I do remember them turning me in different positions, trying to get my leg in a position that it was never meant to, then I started freaking out (I don't remember why, I just remember the feeling of overwhelming panic). They put an oxygen mask on me, said my O2 was low, bp was low, and the baby's hr was low. By this point, there's several docs and nurses in the room, talking. I don't remember any of what is said, until this female doc told me that when they broke my water, there was alot of blood, and w/ the drop in the other vitals, they needed to do an emergency c-section.
My dd was born at 1050 July 1, 1999, one week after her due date, and she was perfect. I did get a copy of our medical records some time later, but they were poor copies, and cannot see most of what is written. I get upset at times regarding the delay from when the arom was performed and when they got me into surgery (record states that it was started at 1048). Almost 2 hours of knowing that I was bleeding profusely, no exams done. Oh, and it was placental abruption.
The nursing care that I received post-partum, was mediocre at best. There was no nursery, complete rooming-in, and we were the only patients on the floor the entire time I was there (from Tues for induction until Sat when d/c). I wouldn't see a nurse for hours at a time, there was even one day that I didn't see one until almost 2200. No one came for the baby, except the doc in the morning when he did his rounds. On the night before I was to be d/c, this nurse came in and was absolutely wonderful. She talked to me, answered my 1001 questions, gave me info and names of resources, did confirm that I was breasfeeding correctly (no one showed me how, just got lucky that kiddo was a natural). Then she even washed my hair and brushed it, gave me a foot massage, a hot towel for my face, and showed me how to care for my incision. For the life of me, I cannot remember her name. I hope that she reads this and knows that to an inexperienced new mom, scared out of her mind, having the worst experience in a time when it should have been the best, she was absolutely wonderful and words cannot adequately express how grateful I am to her. When I decided to enter nursing school and even now that I've been a nurse for a few years, she is the standard that I try and reach.
Wow, I didn't realize that this was so long. I apologize for that you guys.