Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Since I’ve discovered the blogging world, I have loved reading mother’s birth stories. I love that each woman’s story is so unique and at the end of every story, I’m crying. I love that by writing my own birth story, it’ll forever be on the inter-web, joining all other mothers out there who labored through the pain, the mental and physical exhaustion and came out the other side with a beautiful additional to the world.
Even before I was pregnant, I watched The Business of Being Born on Netflix. I watched, just as many of women did, in horror and disbelief that I had never realized before what a big money production the healthcare system has made of pregnancy and childbirth. I vowed to do it all different. To have drug free birth and rely on the power within myself to give life to my child.
Fast forward to February 2011. My husband and I, newly married in January, decided that it was the time to try to get pregnant. March 4th rolls around and yes, we’re pregnant! I MUST have gotten pregnant within the first 5 times we tried.
My pregnancy was great, little to no complications. Suffered with morning/all day sickness for about two weeks, but other than just being tired and uncomfortable, I was a happy gal. I had decided that I wanted to have Tallon in a hospital because I realized that I would never forgive myself if anything happened to him during labor and after. But I was dead set on no drugs. I had mentioned it several times during my many doctor visits that drug free was my plan. Each time being met with “Well, all we ask is that you keep an open mind”. Something that really urped (yes, urped, it’s not a word, but I made it one) was that my own OBGYN was not going to assist during my labor. In fact, she didn’t even work at the hospital. I would be assigned whatever doctor was on call whenever I went into labor. This made me feel uncomfortable from the start.
My original due date was October 30th, 2011. It was then pushed farther to November 7th, 2011. By November 11th, not only was I miserable, but my OBGYN set a date for induction, on November 15th, 2011. Honestly, I was so happy to have an end date, but I also knew that a stopwatch was ticking in my ear clicking away at the seconds away from having a normal childbirth. Jeff was happy with induction on the 15th, just as long as it wasn’t the 13th being that it’s an unlucky number.
I worked up until November 4th, so I had approximately one week at home to just relax and prepare for Tallon’s arrival. By Saturday, the 12th I was bored out of my mind. I decided to take a hot shower since I had read that may help induce labor. The rest of the night I rested and went to sleep watching Platinum Weddings on Lifetime.
I woke up on and off that night feeling slight cramping in my lower back, but by that time, I was constantly uncomfortable so I didn’t think anything of it. I was already used to wake up multiple times a night due to having to pee or change sleeping positions. By morning, around 6:30 am, I woke up yet again to pee. But as I got up, I noticed that my underwear was soaked. Have I really pee’d my pants? I thought. Once I took a look at my chones, I knew that this wasn’t urine, my water had definitely broke. I woke Jeff up and told him that my water broke and to get ready, we need to go to the hospital. I felt no pain as I dressed myself, however after changing my underwear four times before I could leave the bedroom from so much water, I got smart and just wrapped a towel around me and got in the car.
We got SO lucky that it was not only Sunday, but 7 in the morning on Sunday so NO TRAFFIC to the hospital which was about 25 miles away AND I still wasn’t feeling any contractions. We called my mom and Jeff’s mom to let them know we were on our way to the hospital and we’d meet them there. I can’t quite remember Jeff and my conversation on that ride to the hospital, however I imagine it going something to the effect of:
Whoa, we’re having this baby.
Babe, don’t drive so crazy, I’m fine, we’re almost there.
I was admitted around 7:30 AM and hooked up to an IV for fluids immediately. My nurse anticipated that since I was already dilated to 2 CM that we should have a baby by dinner time or maybe lunch if we were lucky. The nurse then advised me to let her know when I wanted the epidural so she could let the anesthesiologist know. I told her that I was planning a drug free delivery to which she replied you’ll change your mind in a little while. Well, as the hours went by, the pain intensified and the more uncomfortable I became, I decided to get pain medication intravenously, hoping that that’s all I would need since I was progressing quickly. By noon, I was dilated to approximately 4 centimeters and in enormous pain. I asked for the epidural and was quickly pain free and comfortable. I knew at that point it was just waiting game. My new nurse, who I enjoyed so much, came in often to check on me, but noticed that Tallon was not coming down the birth canal. She had me change positions several time, but since my legs were numb, there wasn’t much moving going on. She sensed how upset I was that my original birth plan had gone awry, and knew I at least wanted a vaginal birth and reassured me often that I was going to be able to, bless her heart. As the hours passed, my cervix dilated slowly, and consistently. By 8 o’clock, I was dilated to 9 however Tallon was not down enough in the birth canal to start pushing. I hadn’t seen a doctor in hours because the maternity ward was now busy with mothers that had came in after me and were delivering. How discouraging.
By 9:45 I had finally seen a doctor. A petite young woman introduced herself, checked my cervix and immediately said that I needed a c-section, that Tallon was just too big to fit through. My worst nightmare- the words that I had re-played in my head for the last 10 months: C-Section. As she spoke, my eyes filled with tears. I looked up at my mother, Jeff and my mother-in-law as they stood next to my bed waiting for them to burst into tears just as I was but their faces showed no emotion. They reassured me that everything would be fine and that my mom and mother-in-law would be outside the operating room waiting for us when we were done. Looking back now, I understand why they were emotionless, they wanted to be strong for me, for Tallon and for Jeff.
The next hour was blur, with spots of clarity in between. I remember being wheeled into the operating room while Jeff was getting dressed in scrubs. I remember being scared to receive the spinal block (I had the epidural too long for it to fully numb for surgery). I remember my nurse holding me and humming in my ear as they administered the spinal block. I was then laid down naked on the table while they prepared the surgery. I remember seeing at least 8 people in the room and feeling so uncomfortable to be lying naked in front of everyone. When they finally allowed Jeff inside the room, I was shaking so severely that Jeff got worried and they assured him that it was due to the medication. I don’t fully remember the moment that they pulled Tallon out, but I do remember his cry. His beautiful cry that had been silenced for the last 10 months was finally being released. 9 pounds, 16 ounces and 21 inches long.
The three days after the c-section were terribly uncomfortable: antibiotics for an infection since my water had been broke since early Sunday morning, pain meds for the incision, catheters and bed pads to soak up fluids. Gross. Tallon on the other hand was a perfect angel. Multiple nurses commented that Tallon was one of the calmest babies they had ever seen. Overall, my birth experience was far from ideal; everything that I said I didn’t want to happen ending up happening. The only exception: bringing Tallon into the world as a healthy, beautiful baby boy.