I'm terrified . I haven't given birth yet, but I don't know where else to put this.
I have a one and a half year old daughter, her name is Alaura. I am also seven months (or twenty eight weeks if you prefer) pregnant with my second child.
When I gave birth to Alaura it started with my water breaking at 9:21 in the morning. I wasn't really sure what it was and I thought I had peed myself without knowing I had to pee. My husband left me with my mom after I told him not to worry about it and that I was sure I had peed myself even though I was super confused. I put on a heavy pad and sat down at my computer hoping it didn't really happen again. Almost fifteen minutes later, my mom was showering and I got up and crossed my living room. After getting halfway to my bedroom door there was a big gush and suddenly I was standing in a puddle. My (five at the time) stepdaughter asked me what was wrong because I had suddenly stopped moving. I told her to go play and called for my mom. She came out (not knowing anything about water breaking because hers never had) and asked what I needed. I moved and showed her the puddle and told her that I was pretty sure it was my water. (I had asked my friend Kelly on the computer). She asked if I wanted to call my husband, and then without fail my phone was suddenly ringing. It was my husband calling. His grandmother had told him to go home because he wasn't sure if my water had broke or not (he works with his grandparents in their company). He came home and we went to the hospital. (My dad was on an airplane at this moment on his way to come join us so he didn't miss the birth of his grandchild so he didn't know my water had broken).
When we got there, they did a test and confirmed within seconds of doing the test that it was most definitely my water. My contractions were not what they wanted them to be so we took a small walk around the hospital to see if that would go anywhere. After that they decided they still weren't regular enough so they started me up on pictocin (I think that is how it is spelled). After a while (right when my mother-in-law arrived) the contractions got really intense and terrible (sorry too much info). It felt like I had to poop really really bad. I was four centimeters dilated and in tears trying not to scream in front of my stepdaughter (didn't want to scare her away from childbirth). My mother-in-law took my daughter out of the room while I got up and was told I could go to the bathroom if I didn't feel like pushing. I felt like I had to push something out, but I knew instinctively that it wasn't time even without being checked again. The pain was so intense I broke down from what I had wanted and got the epidural (please do not judge me, for you cannot judge any more harshly than I do myself). The epidural didn't ever take away the feeling that I need to poop though. It was still severely uncomfortable but very manageable. My dad got there an hour or so later and we joked about things. I was periodically checked and then they put me on oxygen (lets not forget the horror of putting in the IV hook ups six times they tried before they finally brought in the anesthesiologist). They made sure I wasn't lying on one side the whole time (which probably saved me a bit of pain in the end). Finally I was ten centimeters and it was time to push. I got to feel her crowning (It was amazing). I tore on the inside (she came out with her fist next to her head and I had to stop pushing in the middle of that because her cord was wrapped around her neck) and had to get a lot of stitches (my husband revels in telling me that blood shot out when they fixed the cord). I deliver the placenta really quickly before getting my stitches. They gave me my daughter right after she was born and the cord was cut.
Then they took her (while I was being stitched by the doctor). I'm pretty sure they took her out of the room then but I can't say I know because I'm a little fuzzy on the details there. I know I grew impatient for them to bring my baby back so that I could hold her and breastfeed her. She had trouble latching (the nurses didn't really explain that well and she was already crying when they brought her to me). They told me that if she is crying her mouth will be open wide enough to latch (didn't tell me anything about feeding cues or any of that). The lactation consultant told me that eventually she will get angry enough to breastfeed. I felt like such a failure because I couldn't do it right. I got in one partial feeding and then they took her away to do more tests on her. They came back and said that her blood sugar was too low and said that I had to supplement. So they taught my husband how to finger-feed her (after telling me I wouldn't be able to either pump enough or use a nipple shield). I kept trying to breastfeed when I got home from the hospital a few days later and I also pumped, but I wasn't making enough. At her first visit to the pediatrician, her doctor told me that it was never to late to try again. (The first person to actually support me or help in any way. My mom knew how I felt). She recommended a nipple shield and I did a lot of research but my confidence had been shattered so I never got to exclusively breastfeed her (I did co-sleep and do skin-to-skin).
My question is how can I take more control of that situation? Can I refuse the pictocin? Can I demand they bring me my baby as soon as the stitches are done? Can I ask them to do all tests in my room? Can I ignore them when they tell me I need to supplement? Will bringing a nipple shield and using that to help latch if my baby doesn't do so good on his own work? They didn't tell me any tricks to help with latching. Can I ask that my baby not be taken from the room at all? Please someone give me advice. I'm going to try to go natural but my husband (don't criticize him, he doesn't want to see me in so much pain without being able to do something about it. He has a good reason for it but that is another long story) doesn't really support that too much and my mom (who has gone natural) won't be able to be there for family reasons (another long long story). My mother-in-law , didn't go natural and then had a c-section so no hope there (not that I would ask). So I might end up with the epidural again, but I already told him I was going to go as long as I could and if I end up past the point of no return so be it. (I can't do it before I am in too much pain because I'm not really big on needles even when they aren't going into my spine and I wouldn't be able to hold still if they tried then). Please some advice?