Read Part One Here
At this point it is July 20th, 2013, and it is late in the evening. I’m lying in a hospital bed, in a room with two other pregnant women, my private space divided only by a curtain. I can hear every word, every beep, every foot step. I’m alone because my mom and Mike went to get everything I would need since we weren’t prepared for this at all. They applied the gel to try and get things started for me and I would be induced the next day if it didn’t work. I made sure that everyone who came into contact with me was very aware that this was NOT my birth plan, and that I wanted my daughter come into the world naturally.
The OB on staff that night, Dr. Roger Perron, thought it was time to inform me how ignorant I was, apparently. He tried to tell me that my decision to have my baby with no medicine was not rational, and that I knew nothing about science, and blah, blah, blah.. He thankfully had no further contact with us, as his shift ended first thing in the morning, but he wasn’t the worst, and I would deal with an even more horrible OB the next day…… (Ironically, he was barred from working at Guelph General Hospital only a few days later….)
I was admitted into a room late at night, possibly even early in the morning on the 21st. I was told that I was to be induced in the morning with the OB on staff, Dr. Nabil Namis. My previous experience with Dr. Namis was fantastic. He was kind and funny, and made us feel at ease on one of the days I was in to have my levels checked before all of this happened. Unfortunately that was not the Dr. Namis I met when I woke up the next day. Maybe because when we first met him he was almost finished his shift and happy to be going home. Maybe because when we met him the second time, his shift was just beginning. Who knows. But there is absolutely no excuse for the way I was treated and what he did to me.
The nurses started me on a Oxytocin drip, lowest level, in the morning. The gradually increased it to the next highest level every hour that passed. I felt no changes.
I warn you to read the following paragraph with caution. If you are sensitive to traumatic stories, you may wish to skip past the paragraph entirely.
In the early afternoon, Dr. Namis stormed impatiently into the room as if we were all interrupting a meal in his home. He snapped his gloves on and said “I need to check your cervix”. I meekly asked if my midwife couldn’t check how dilated I was, as I felt more comfortable with her since she had been with us throughout our entire birth. I was told NO, absolutely not, and scoffed at, then demanded to “spread my legs”. Dr. Namis forcefully began checking me with his hand, while I cried out in pain. He told me to “stop moving”. He then said to the nurses watching in horror “she won’t co-operate so I can’t perform the check”, which was untrue, he was just hurting me severely. He then announced that I could be discharged or sent to another hospital to deliver my baby, as he left the room.
We spoke with a head nurse and she went over our options. I was very upset (obviously) at what had just happened, and wanted Dr. Namis as far from me as possible for the remainder of my life, and especially my daughter’s life. We could go to another hospital, apologize to Dr. Namis (are you kidding me!?), or stop the induction and wait for the next OB’s shift to start the following day at 8am. We chose to stop the Oxytocin drip and wait for the next OB. The nurses on staff were instructed not to check on me or talk to me, but they did anyways. They would sneak into my room to see if I was okay or if I needed anything.
The following morning at 8am a wonderful OB by the name of Dr. Elizabeth Elliott started her shift at Guelph General. I was in my room, resting, and totally nervous to start the Oxytocin drip again and possibly need an epidural. At around 9:30am I started to feel cramps, like menstrual cramps, and I thought to myself “I wonder if this is contractions?”.
The next 2.5 hours are a major blur for me. They seriously all blend in together. My contractions became stronger, and at one point Dr. Elliott broke my water. I remember pain, and a lot of people in the room. I remember my midwife Sarah massaging my lower back. I remember my doula Amina massaging my upper back and me finding it very painful. I am pretty sure I freaked about it, too. You know how they stereotype women in labour as angry, snapping monsters? I think that was me. So much for the peaceful home water birth I planned!
At around 11:45am I remember saying I wanted to get into the shower with Mike to try and relieve some of the pain. This horrified Mike because he didn’t even want to be in the room, let alone the shower with his pregnant girlfriend. But my midwife Sarah told me that wasn’t going to be possible because Brynn was coming VERY SOON.
A few pushes and the “ring of fire” (that’s totally a real thing) later, my beautiful daughter Brynn Avery was born into this world into the midwifery student Emily’s arms. I wanted Mike to catch her but he was too nervous to. I don’t blame him! She came out like a rocket, and from first contraction to her emerging into the world was a total of 2.5 hours.
Brynn had some respiratory issues and had to be put on a ventilator with a tube in her mouth. She stayed in the NICU for 6 days. Her birth didn’t go exactly as I had planned, but today she is a beautiful, happy, healthy almost one-year-old!