My birth completely decimated me spiritually and emotionally. Prior to my birth, I was an endurance athlete, I had complete confidence in my body. I had been to many of those perfect births that I so envy now and I had confidence in my ability to birth my baby naturally, and if necessary, by using non-medical interventions. I had planned on going on to become a midwife and I had practiced as a birth doula, so I had my birth team ready to support me. My midwives, doula and husband were aware of my birth "plan" and I looked forward to enjoying the same birth support I had given to so many women myself.
I started laboring on a Friday night, I was way too uncomfortable to sleep and rocked in a rocking chair without sleeping. I knew I needed a nap and was able to sleep between contactions for a few hours on Saturday. All Sturday night I rocked and rocked, not sleeping at all. Same story on Sunday. By Monday morning at 4am, contractions were really picking up, I couldn't breathe at all and they were one on top of the other, I told my DH to call the doula. She told me I was too "cheery" to need support but would begrudgingly come over if I insisted. Around 6am I told him to tell her to get here now. When she arrived, she promptly fell asleep on our couch. Contractions spaced out to every 10 minutes.
I had an accupuncture augmentation and went home bellowing from the strength of the contractions. I labored until around 5pm, when my water broke with a loud smack. My doula insisted we head immediately to the hospital. I couldn't walk and was ready to have the baby. The nurse began firing off admission questions, even though she already had my records from the midwife. She got up in my face when I refused to sign consent for an epidural. She handed it to my husband to sign. My doula went to fill up the birthing tub as the nurse did a cervical check. 3cm! I just wanted to go home, but was too exhausted to move. My doula stashed me in the shower. I told her it was time for drugs and she said "You're being too quiet for drugs" and left to chat with my DH.
The nurse couldn't get FHT and screwed a probe into my baby's scalp. I didn't even fight or care, I realized, too late, that I was now chained to the bed. My doula took a break and about 10 minutes later I started screaming for her to massage my back, but she was gone. I was writhing from the electrical jolts running up my back and rattling my teeth while a truck ran over my uterus. She came back reeking of smoke and I told her I had requested an epidural and she nodded. That was the extent of her "support"
My midwives were away at a conference and the OB was fine, tried to accomodate my requests, but kept tempting me with a c-section. If I'd had any energy I would have insisted on one, I had labored for so long, I was convinced that if it took 3 days to get to 3 cm, I would be there another week before I could push. She threatened me one last time and somehow my girl was born at 4pm on Tuesday.
I still don't feel like I was a part of that birth. I feel betrayed by my body and my doula. I don't feel like I can become a midwife, as I can never say I truly understand what someone going through natural childbirth is experiencing. I suppose I have done some healing, as I can actually write this without having a complete breakdown, as I have for the past 3 years. I have felt like I was moving past it and then I hear about another one of those wonderful births and the comment about "I couldn't have done it without my doula" and I am back to sobbing for hours on end.
How do I get past this?