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Entries in Infection (5)

Tuesday
May012012

Cesarean Scar: Anonymous

I had to go to the doctor today because it is getting infected on the right side... which you can see in the last two pics.  They want me to take antibiotics for it.  Hopefully that is all that is needed and they don't have to open it back up to see what is wrong with the stitching underneath.  I told them in the days following the surgery that there was something wrong with the right side and that the stretching and pulling I was feeling "just wasn't right" and they just keep telling me " oh no.. that's normal", but apparently it wasn't (and it hurt really bad).  I have been showering daily, lightly putting antibacterial soap over the wound and patting dry with a clean towel and keeping covered. I kept the tape on it after the staples were taken out for 5 days just like instructed.  The infection is from the previous layers inside not from the outside. Also they nurse left a staple in my stomach and I had to go back 2 days after going home to get it removed.  I had a 102 fever the day I can home as well... not sure if it was a result from the surgery or not. I have little to no sensation on the right side of my stomach. It is very similar of a feeling as when you go to the dentist and get a shot of novacain, you can't feel your cheek and when you touch it it feels like rubber or plastic.  I called a few days ago to let the nurse know, and was told that is normal and since that is dead tissue now that it is very likely that it will remain numb and never have feeling there again because of nerve damage.

  

I included an passage from the book "Birthing From Within" which is an accurate description in ways of how I feel.  It's sort of sad because I don't even remember when was the first time I even fed my baby... however I believe it was over 2 hours after his birth.  It makes me cry to think about how everything ended up.... yes he's healthy and happy which is good.  But I have really been having problems with the labor and delivery and the care and all of it.  It was and still is hard.  Regarding the surgery itself, I felt quite isolated in a room full of people... It was like I wasn't even there to them... or human really.  Very surreal.  
Excerpt from "Birthing From Within" by Pam England & Rob Horowitz
 
            A WOMAN DOES NOT GIVE BIRTH IN A VOID

When people asked me why I had a Cesarean, I didn't know how to answer. I now realize how unmanageably complex that question is, and that I'll never know the answer.  Yet at the time, I thought understanding what had happened would help me regain control. My zealous search spanned years before pushing my consciousness to a paradoxical place of understanding while not-knowing.
 
Here's what I've come to believe: In the moment a Cesarean birth (or any event) happens, no one can know all the forces which converged to create that event.
 
   Labor and birth unfold within a
    complex, and infinite web,
    Spun by the mother,
     And by everyone who has ever taught her
     about mothering, birth, sexuality, pain,
     control and surrender.
     All the people at her birth
     helped spin the web with threads from
     their histories, beliefs, experiences, fears....
     and recent birth experiences that they have witnessed,
     which empowered
     or terrified them.
 
  
Tuesday
May012012

Cesarean Scar: wolf

my scar says, "yes, i am here, now get over it and move on, you're expecting again.  this time we will do it right."  i don't want to take a picture of it.  i had a doc who after 22 hours of labor, 15 hours of labor in the hospital, decided, "i'd like to have dinner with my family, so let's wrap this up".  He had even declared me 10 cm and had me pushing, only to turn me away from that path.  He gave up, and so did my family support system due to fear and exhaustion, and therefore so did i.  baby and i were just fine.  when he was ripped from me, all i wanted was to hold him.  but they wouldn't let me.  when they put him near me, he stopped screaming.  they wheeled me out.  i looked and felt like death.  i still feel let down by my body, my ability to concentrate and relax, my doctor, my support system in my family and the list goes on.  when my son was just past 2 weeks old, i had to go back into the hospital for 5 days to be on 3 types of IV anti-biotics.  i had raging fevers and an infant.  i sat alone there, mad, scared and confused, everyday as my family had to all go back to work.  they never really figured out why i had extreme fevers and an elevated white blood cell count, hence the 3 types of antibiotics.  it was a living hell.  i hate IV's now.  i am pregnant again and will NOT go down that road.  I will fight tooth and nail not to return to the hospital, or to the operating table.  i will only invite those who know how strong and powerful i am into my birthing room.   i know i could have had a healthy son either way, i just needed the support to remind me that i could do it.  THIS TIME I SHALL.

Tuesday
May012012

Cesarean Scar: Elizabeth

My first c-section was an emergency at 25 weeks.  My baby died.  The day I had my staples removed, I ruptured the incision and had to pack it with gauze everyday for two weeks, and it healed funny.  My ex and I would joke that it was my little pocket.  It was the only physical proof I had that I had a child.  I loved my scar.  I loved the story that it told; I had given birth to a beautiful little girl, who fought for her life as hard as she could, and nothing could take my pride for her away from me.  It made me sad to look at, but not for one second have I ever regretted it.  No one can take that from me.  Even though it's not there anymore, my scar, with it's pocket and all, filled me with pride and said everything that I could not, good and bad both.
But my second c-section...that's a different story.  I was high risk throughout my pregnancy, and my OB flat out said, "no OB in town will do a VBAC".  I didn't argue because the only thing I wanted was a healthy, live baby.  That's all I needed out of the pregnancy and delivery. 
That's all I was holding onto.  So when my water broke, I jumped in the car with my bag and showed up at the hospital.  4 hours after my water broke, and through the beginning of contractions, my son was born in the bright, cold OR and held high for me to see him.  I cried, and wanted nothing more than to hold my son, yet I couldn't.  I had to wait until recovery, after he went to the NICU for observation.  My doctor stitched me up so I wouldn't rupture this incision too.  My pocket was gone forever.  And recovery was so much worse the second time around; one of my lungs collapsed, I was in so much pain I couldn't get out of bed, and I'd lost so much blood during the surgery that they nearly had to transfuse blood.  My scar says that I didn't have the support of my doctor, who I had relied on to deliver my son alive.  It says that I did not try hard enough to have the "right" delivery.  It says that it will always be there, and will never be altered again - it is my strength for future VBACs.

 

Monday
Apr302012

Cesarean Scar: Mandy Renfro

 

My c-section scar hurts. It itches, sweats in the hot summer months, and is numb. It even feels this weird, uncomfortable, pressure feeling when anything, even my husband’s loving caresses touch it.  The weird feelings aren’t limited to the scar itself, but the area below as well.

My stomach has this flap- pooch thing that will never go away.  It is a horrifying lump that rears its ugliness when I wear stretchy pants, some skirts, and a swimsuit. I fear I will always have to wear a girdle of sorts to smooth everything out.  I don’t like my husband to look at my body, I can’t even shave there completely.

My scar says a lot of things to me when I look at it.  It reminds me that my doctors didn’t even give me an option of a VBAC the second time.  It reminds me that I didn’t get to see my oldest son until he was 2 hours old, and that I didn’t get to see my second one until I threw a fit; I didn’t get to see him until he was hours old, I only got to see him those 15 minutes.  It reminds me how I wasn’t allowed out of bed for 24 hours.  My youngest son was in the NICU, and I didn’t get to hold my baby and kiss him until 28 hours after his birth.  And even then, I was in so much pain. It HURT me, both times, to cuddle my sons, to be their momma.  I kissed their foreheads through tears of pain.

Both times, my incision became infected and would not close.  Thus, putting me through weeks more of pain, doctor’s visits, and medications.  The scar says to me, when I look at it … “you wouldn’t have me if you tried harder the first time, you didn’t fight hard enough for your second birth.”  It reminds me that I never got to FEEL my sons come into this world. I did not witness them physically entering the world.  I didn’t get to see their naked, new bodies.  I met both of my sons when they were wrapped in blankets with knit caps on.

When I touch it, it says “that feels weird”. But also, some different feeling comes over me. Connection. This … thing on my body, thick and bumpy, itchy and numb… will always be with me.  The way the most beautiful people came into my life, was through it.  When they’re grown and gone with families of their own, I will still have my scar.  The sense of touch triggers such an emotional response from me.

I can lose the extra pounds from pregnancy and I don’t have many stretch marks, but my body will always, ALWAYS have a reminder of my pregnancies with my boys.

It isn’t the prettiest, most comfortable thing, but it is important, a part of my history, a part of me, a part of them, a part of us.

Monday
Apr302012

Cesarean Scar: Sarah V.

 

The first picture (above) was 2 weeks postpartum. Both ends of my incision became infected and opened up. I was back in the hospital for 3 days on IV antibiotics.

 The other 2 pictures I took today, 7 months postpartum (to the day). I have a small 'bump' above my scar that hasn't gone away.
 
I would say my scar says "look at me, I want you to remember what you had to go thru during labor and surgery so you don't forget how hard of work you did to get your baby girl out into the world!"
 
My scar says "I feel funny when you touch me. I'm not numb anymore but I'll remind you from time to time that it still isn't comfortable for me when you wear jeans."
 
My c-section was unplanned and I had labored for 19 hrs after my water broke on its own, then pushed for 1 1/2 hrs. After the help from a vacuum she still wasn't coming and her heartrate started to drop with contractions so we had to do a c-section. My pelvis was too narrow for her to fit thru.