I grew up in a very medical family. (for which I am grateful for!) My Mom actually teaches Labor & Delivery nursing at our local University. My step-dad is an RN and so far all 5 of us siblings to earn a college degree have become RN's. Medical procedures and anatomy and physiology were our most frequented dinner conversations.
I grew up with beliefs such as the following:
As your "due date" approaches, you can know the day your baby will be born by pulling out your calendar and
Circling the day your favorite OBGYN is scheduled
Circling the day your favorite nurse is scheduled
Circling the day your favorite anesthesiologist is scheduled
AND the day that overlaps is the day your baby will be born.
My Mom literally had her epidural as soon as she was admitted to the hospital (at 1 cm) with the last few of her babies.
This is just the way things were and all I had been exposed to at the time. There was no questioning or sorting of beliefs at this point. The start of my journey with natural birth reminds me of when I went to college. I thought all Moms had PhD's because that was how things were. Now I know that it was my upbringing, as it is for all of us, that had given me the beliefs.
|About 20 weeks...and graudation|
It's probably no surprise to read that when my guess date of my first little one approached, I schedule an elective induction for 39 weeks. There was no "reason" other than I wanted my favorite OBGYN to attend my birth.
|About 37 weeks|
At 38 weeks I was not dilated or effaced. My Dr. stripped my membranes. We scheduled an office visit at 39 weeks and a folly induction for that evening of the appointment followed by a pitocin induction the next morning.
The night before my appointment, I received a phone call around 9:30 pm from one of the other OBGYN's in the practice. He was upset that he had been "waiting for me for several hours" and asked where I was. Confused, I asked where I was suppose to be. We were in a nearby city and just getting on the road to head home. There had been a mis-communication between the Dr. office and the hospital when it was scheduled. I was told to go to the hospital Wednesday night AFTER my office appointment, then have the pitocin started Thursday night. Here it was Tuesday night and I was on schedule for Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. As I understood what was happening, I asked the Dr. if he still wanted me to come in (and told him I was not dilated last week) or if I should keep my appointment with the office tomorrow. Imaginably frustrated by this point, he told me that the schedule was full for the rest of the week and if I wanted an induction, I had better come in the morning. I told him I was almost back home and my bags were all packed and I could be to the hospital in about 15 minutes. He said, "don't bother" and hung up on me. Stunned, sick, stomach churning, I tried to get some sleep that night. I was very uncertain how the next day would go for me and my little one.
|I was actually returning home from THIS photo shoot when the Dr. called me. These pictures were taken about 24 hours before she was in my arms! Kinda fun!|
I went to the hospital early as instructed. My favorite OBGYN was on that morning and after I changed into the gown and got settled in the room, he came in. He brought a lot of excitement that "this is the day," but I literally saw the excitement turn into worry as he announced that my cervix was still completely closed and hard. He seemed to perk up a bit as he said, "I will go check the schedule to see if we can't get you in for a folly induction tonight." As he left the room, I restrained myself from repeating his partner's words of "don't bother."
He returned with a grim look on his face. "Well, the schedule is full SO we are going to break your water and start the pitocin now." He instructed the nurse to hold my baby's head down while he broke my water. At the time I didn't understand, but later, I pieced together that my baby was up so high her head was not at all engaged against the cervix. He was afraid of a prolapse cord, or the umbilical cord coming out ahead of her head, because she was up so high. Before leaving the room, he turned to my nurse and in a low voice said, "let her have her epidural whenever she asks for it. It's going to be a long day and she is going to need it."
The contractions began coming and after a short time, our excitement and anticipation turned to fear and overwhelm. We were planning on an epidural, but I knew the longer I could labor without it, the better my body would be able to progress. Fortunately, we had taken a childbirth course from the hospital. At the time I had rolled my eyes at the relaxation techniques because of planning for an epidural, but the counter-pressue saved my sanity through the 12 hours of back labor. Finally at the point, I could not endure the pain and still only at 3 cm, I received my epidural.
The epidural did help to relax me and I tried to get some rest. I heard my Mom & sister speaking in whispers back and forth. Assuming I was asleep, they talked about how I needed to get past 6 cm or I would end up needing a c-section. My pitocin had been upped to the max dose hours ago.
Scared, discouraged, defeated I wondered what I had done. My husband gave me a Priesthood blessing. Shortly after the blessing, my nurse checked me and I had progressed to 6 cm. WHAHOO! I was out of the c-section "zone."
About 20 min after she had checked me, I began to feel pressure. When I hit the button to release more epidural medication, it still didn't relieve it. A bit annoyed, the nurse came and checked me and to my great delight and her utter astonishment, I was 8 cm. About 20 minutes later, I told her I was feeling more pressure. Again, rolling her eyes, she checked me and I was completely dilated and ready to bring our baby into our arms.
I pushed for about an hour and after a total of about 17 hours on pitocin our beautiful baby girl came out screaming. Her arrival reminded me of a few years later when she came bounding into her nursery class around 2 years of age saying "I'm here!" That is definitely her personality!
To my great heart-ache, we discovered that our little one was actually closer to 37 weeks gestationally than the 39 weeks we had measured with ultrasound. She was strong and a fighter. She was very small 6 lbs, 10 oz and was jaundice to the point she needed a billirubin blankie. I remember feeling so sad that it felt like she was on a leash. I couldn't carry her around the house in those first few days home because she was hooked up to the blankie. She was also extremely colicky! It seemed that no matter what I ate or drank, even WATER and she would still be gassy and cry and cry. I would wake my husband up most nights around 2 am because I had literally been rocking her for hours downstairs and felt like a zombie or that I would go crazy. I can't tell for certain if these things are related; however, I noticed a difference in my babies that were closer to 40 weeks.
Despite the challenges getting started, we have loved being her parent!. She is such a vibrant soul and a wonderful little girl. We are glad she is ours!
I truly regret my choices! I have actually been able to go back and heal her birth using Thetahealing. It was an emotional and healing experience for both her and myself. After that session, I have seen her less angry towards others and more willing to compromise. I didn't understand until more recently how much pregnancy and birthing time effects our little ones! (That will have to be saved for a post in and of itself!) I forced her to come and she wasn't ready. That makes a little sense why she has been so fiery and, at times, completely obstinate! It must have been similar to how she felt in being forced to come when she still needed more time!
As we teach in Hypnobabies, you will have the birth you and your baby needs. Although not what I would choose for myself now knowing what I know, this was the birth I needed. I am grateful for the contrast and the personal experience...although I will not be repeating the lessons learned! :)