I was 21 with my first. I hired a Homebirth midwife right away and began educating myself. My mom had all home births, my Grandma had 9 out of her 13 at home. Homebirth was just something we do, it wasn't the political/media deal that it is today - so I was not looking to make any statement about birth when I first started on my parenting path.
But...being young and inexperienced I quickly got wrapped up into home birth wars and the circus that it was becoming. I would say that I became judgmental and somewhat prideful after my first birth went so smoothly.
My first birth happened a few days after the 'due' date. I was walking and kept feeling my belly getting rock hard at about 10pm. Husband and I played some board games and watched a movie. Contractions were getting very uncomfortable, forcing me to stay up through the night and bounce on my birth ball or take hot showers. By 1pm my water had broke and there was meconium in it, I also had bloody show. Contractions were to the point I could not talk comfortably through them and I felt a lot of pressure and some pain. There were tears and outbursts. I was tired, and overwhelmed feeling. I tried napping, and did manage to get a 30 minute one in - somehow...
Midwives showed up and left between 2 and 3pm.
They came back around 6pm. I had a cervical lip that hurt like HELL to get pushed back. I remember I was DONE during transition. I cried and beat my pillow wanting to go to the hosp for pain relief. LOL I was the whiniest laboring woman ever. But, I won't mince words - It hurt!
Baby was born after a half hour of pushing at 9 pounds 6 ounces 19" at 7 pm. No tears, all was well. So a 21 hour labor, with about 18 of it being active labor (to the point all I could focus on was labor) I would say.
So after feeling very strong and accomplishing that feat - I began being a young judgmental mommy. I would look at a woman who wanted an epidural from the start like "wuss". After having 1 kid I totally knew all things parenting, dontchaknow. LOL
I could pinpoint who was screwing up their kid out of a crowd. LOL Yeah, in my head I was insufferable - really.
Keep this in mind as you read my second birth and don't feel too bad for me....warning: not a butterfly & pixie dust birth story
My second birth didn't want to start. It was 10 days after the magical 'due' date and I was exhausted. My body was so tired, I hadn't had a full nights rest since baby #1 had been born. Labor started with a back ache. A dull, horrid back ache. I woke up with it. I rested in the shower with the hot water on my back. Nothing was helping. I went through my day, very uncomfortable.
By that night at 6pm I was having contractions that were painful, but I had been in so much pain since that morning with my back that I didn't assume I was in labor.
By 11 pm I sat on my birthball, with the breast pump working its magic (trying to augment labor- I did not want it to stall out). I was in pain, and I was just damn tired of being pregnant. I couldn't sleep with these contractions I was having and I wanted this show on the road.
I stayed up most of the night contracting by myself listening to drum music, swaying on my birth ball, in the shower, going through my birth positions for a baby I suspected was still posterior (due to the back ache)..I think I laid down in the bed with my husband and babe around 4 am. Even though I was very uncomfortable and in labor, I slept for two hours and as I had the day before - awoke with a back ache.
Around 6:30 am I was climbing the walls with discomfort. It felt like someone was cutting on my back with out numbing me first. Discomfort may be the 6 years later -glossed over word. It was painful. It hurt as bad as the worst pain I felt in birth #1 but I still had hours to go and unbeknownst to me - a lot more pain to go through.
The midwife assistant came to try and help me get the baby turned. I was for sure the babe was posterior and all the positions I had tried had done squat. We did the arnica and hands on knees and...nothing.
Babe was going to come out posterior despite my constant monitoring of fetal positioning and all that 'preventative education' through the pregnancy.
Hours passed of pain. Around 11 am I wanted my midwife who had a total attitude to break my water, but she didn't (she was very 'hands off' but also acted pissed to be there). It didn't matter anyways, I was in so much pain that even if she was there for me I don't think it would have helped any.
I can only describe transition with babe #2 as "If I had a gun I gladly would have ended it myself" that is not hyperbole, that is absolutely serious...I screamed like a women on movies scream once. It was...words can't describe. I felt like I was literally being torn apart. Literally.
I would not wish that pain on my worst enemy.
Around noon I started feeling pushy. I hated pushing with my first. It was one of the most painful parts. Thankfully, it was quick for me so I knew to just get to work and do IT.
I was in such emotional and physical wreckage that all I remember was pushing and feeling nothing but like I was going to black out. Finally my water bag broke after about 5 minutes of pushing. A couple more pushes and she was out after 15 minutes of pushing my 9 pound 7 ounce 22" long posterior baby with a nuchal hand was born.
I want to say that I held her and it all melted away and I was overcome with oxytocin and love hormones and feeling empowered and all that stuff.
But, that would be a lie and would serve no one.
I faked a smile because the camera was turned on me and I knew that if I didn't smile it would look like I didn't love my child. Honestly, I was just glad it was over. I would have gladly handed the baby to my husband so I could retreat to a place of safety and comfort, but I didn't. I held the baby, faked a smile, and tried to understand where *I* went wrong. Me with all my so called birth education compared to the average Joe and my prior birth experience...
2 years later I still could not sit on a chair without a lot of padding. My tailbone to this day still gets sore.
This is honestly a birth that I can say would have been better for me if I had went to the hospital for an epidural. However, my short time as judgmental mommy was OVER. From then on out I began studying even more, and realized that birth is so much more than just pushing a baby out. I won't go on a soap box, but my experience (combined with a much harder experience which is not my story to tell) taught me that a beautiful birth can come in many different forms and support truly makes the difference before, during, and after.
After my second birth, I was terrified. So terrified of this third babe making its way out of my body. Yes, I could have a birth like my first - but I could also have a birth like my second. I was so scared, so I took some birth classes loosely styled off of "Birthing From Within" (I figured this would do best for a traumatic experience) and they didn't really help much because I found myself getting irate with a few of the women in the class. First time mom to be's who were already all judgmental about how every one gave birth, parented, blahblahblah. Like myself after number 1 but even worse, and they hadn't given birth yet!
I was there trying to work through my trauma and fear without scaring the others (though I will admit the bad part of me wanted to just because of how arrogant and pompous one lady in particular was) and really, I didn't find the class all that helpful.
I wanted an unassisted birth but my husband said "NO". He said if an emergency happened, he wanted help and since it was our baby and our birth, he should have a say so. I agreed, I wanted him to be comfortable also because our first birth had been such a bonding experience for both of us.
In my third trimester I hired some midwives at a birthing center who would attend me at home. I told them I wanted them hands off, in fact - I didn't even really want them there in my space. I knew state law said they had to be in the room while I was pushing but beside that - away from me unless I called for them.
They agreed, and were supportive.
13 days after my due date I was crying and contracting while on the phone with my mom "Take me to the *beeeeeeep* hospital and let them cut this kid out" LOL
I was measuring 54cm and dialated to 3 with NOTHING. I was huge, I was in pain, it felt like a bowling ball was resting right there making sitting, standing, and just breathing as uncomfortable as possible.
I had been contracting on and off for *DAYS* and labor would just keep stalling out. I asked the midwife to please strip my membranes and they did. I didn't feel a thing.
2 days later (15 days past my due date) I drive to the birth center to see if there is anything they could do to get labor going. The mw said that I was already in early labor. I was like "Yeah right lady" because there was nothing different about these contractions than the ones I had been feeling for a week straight now.
I drove the 40 miles home with my husband, contracting uncomfortable and out of my mind with hormones. We went to the groc. store and got some watermelon and chips. I leaned against the conveyor belt and breathed through a contraction.
At home I sat and crocheted over and over the same two colors and then frogged them. My mom came up and her and husband started watching a Law and Order marathon while the babies slept. I laid down behind the couch and slept. I guess while I was sleeping I was groaning/moaning through contractions...I awoke at 5:30 am to them still watching the show. I needed to pee. I stood up and *POP* out down my leg came my waters.
I went to the shower and stood there.
Labor was fast but bearable. Yes, it was uncomfortable and painful at parts - but my husband was right there supporting me. My sister and Mom hung out helping with the kids and anything my husband needed.
Around 10 am the midwives showed up and I was already pushing :) Baby crowned with her elbow splayed across her face. Assistant midwife was afraid it was a shoulder dislocate, but nope. She was just fine.
They were there a total of 8 minutes before the baby was born at 10:08 am
Baby was 10 pounds 4 ounces and 22 1/2" long with a 15 head. She was soooo FAT and squishy and cute.
Baby number 4's story is to come in May, if I am so blessed.