If you would’ve told me two years ago that I would consider a home birth I would’ve laughed in your face! I am NOT that kind of mom! I was too traumatized by my profession, and by hearing birth horror stories on a regular basis.
Let me share my first birth experience.
I was induced at 41 weeks. Like most women, I was told to schedule an induction at 41 weeks because the there is concern of the placenta getting “too old.” I was warned by others to not get induced, but I trusted my doctor and was ready for pregnancy to be over! I consented without hesitation.
We checked in at 7am.
I was induced at 10am.
My water broke at 10pm.
I had intense back labor from 10am-5am. 7 hours.
I wanted to get up a do all the techniques I learned in birthing class but I was told that I had to stay in bed to monitor me and the baby. I didn’t realize that was part of the package when you get induced. The monitor on my baby kept slipping so I was told I had to lay on my back… with back labor… absolute torture.
At 11:30pm, the anesthesiologist reminded me of how busy he gets, and how nearly all women get the epidural. If I wasn’t 100% convinced I didn’t want it, I should just get it over with. So… being unsure… and being bound to my bed in pain… I consented knowing the risks to sticking a needle in your spine.
It should get easy now, right? Nope.
It didn’t work. No seriously. It didn’t work.
I felt EVERYTHING. I felt the catheter. I felt every contraction. The anesthesiologist came back (who was actually a resident I later found out) and told me he could “try” again but there was a risk, and no guarantee it would work. Well heck, if it wasn't going to work, what is the point? So I opted out of a second attempt.
I screamed through the night. I mean, SCREAMED through the night. I was totally that crazy woman in labor and I didn’t care. At one point the nurse ran in mocking me saying “You screamed like the baby was coming out!”
Hungry. Shaking. Hot. Cold. Convulsing. Exhausted… for 7 hours.
Then it was time to push. I pushed for 2 hours. TWO HOURS.
My best friend held one leg. My husband held the other. I kept telling my husband, “I can’t do it anymore. I’m so tired.” But then, after 21 hours in labor, my baby girl was finally coming out.
And as she is coming out the nurse says, “stop pushing, I need to get the doctor.”
STOP PUSHING????? Was she joking? At that point, it was involuntary. You cannot STOP pushing.
It was shift change so an army of people busted into my room, hugging each other, laughing, joking, saying good morning, and taking their time as I was SCREAMING. There was NO respect for the woman pushing a baby out.
Then the moment of pure elation... All the pain subsided as my beautiful baby was placed in my arms. Per my birth plan, I had immediate skin to skin. We had delayed cord clamping, and my husband was able to cut the cord. As I am enjoying beautiful moments with my daughter….
Someone (doctor, nurse, who knows… there was an army of people down there) starts punching my stomach, over and over and over. Okay, they weren’t punching me, but it felt like it. No warning. No respect for the miracle that just occurred. I yelled “OUCH! YOU’RE HURTING ME!” They said, AGAIN, that I shouldn’t be feeling anything and that they were getting the placenta out. Well cool, I wasn't screaming for no reason! I felt everything. Crying again in pain, they proceeded. And then whoever else was down there stitched me up.
At this point though, I was overjoyed. I overcame the worst pain of my life. But she was here! The beautiful baby I had dreamed of was here.
I thank God every day for my beautiful baby girl. I’m thankful for her health and mine. I do wonder how differently my birth could have been… In my next blogs I’ll be sharing our postpartum experience, nursing, why we are considering home birth for this upcoming birth, and even comparing my care between medical offices and our midwife… stay tuned!
Comment below with your birth story!