I am new here and hope it's okay to share my story here in this format. I've been avoiding a lot of natural parenting talks and this board as well because I am still so angry, sad, and upset about my experience.
My pregnancy was difficult but not abnormal, but I was under a lot of stress during that time and very overworked. Less than two weeks before my due date my workplace basically threatened me about taking time off before I physically go into labor. They were horrific, and I am still angry at myself for giving in and going to work every day despite the physical toll it took on me. I should have told them where to shove it and I don't know why I didn't. Like I said, I was under a lot of stress and pressure and no one told me to just do what is right for me, my body, my baby, and I didn't. Whether it affected or caused what happened later is difficult to tell, but I feel I may have not had a CS otherwise. I have terrible memories of my pregnancy and birth, and don't know what will happen when I become pregnant again - which I hope to be. The crazy thing is that that workplace is supposed to be all cozy and child-centered. I was a teacher at a private school.
My water broke at 2 am. I was in the kitchen and liquid was just gushing out. No contractions. We went to the hospital at 7 am. I was under the care of a hospital based midwifery group and had taken a massively natural childbirth class with DH and my mom. Eventually I had an IV put in because I was GBS+ and they wanted to pump me full of antibiotics, but no pitocin. They wanted it in within 6hours, but we waited almost 20 hours and then they started it. In between I ran all around the hospital and made the people waiting for the elevator feel very lazy. I was a huge lady with a huge belly and needles stuck in her sprinting up the stairs.
After 12 hours my contractions were 2 minutes apart. I was 3 cm dilated. The pitocin was constantly being increased and I was almost in one never ending contraction. I hadn't slept at all in a couple of days, and hadn't slept properly for weeks. The nights before this I got maybe 5 hours of sleep between stress, discomfort, waking up, and having to get up to be at work before 8 am. Anyway, we started talking about epidural, and I got some. This was super tough to share with my childbirth class afterwards Honestly, that at least is one thing I don't mind or regret. It was absolutely the right decision. I was exhausted and went to sleep right after and when I woke up I was dilated and has the strength and energy to push. The pitocin had been increased to the max. I had been in the hospital for days. It seemed like despite the tough start everything was now going well. Within what felt like a short time my baby was +2 into 'the birth canal' aka my vagina. Yay!
And there at that +2 she stayed for over 3 hours, maybe 4. I pushed and was very uncomfortable. I wanted her out! My contractions were all over the place. I was still with the midwives and they helped me and were amazing. I was given a bar, a bar and a sheet tied to it. I pushed and pushed. She was stuck. I pushed more. After over 4 hours of pushing I was introduced to an OB, who offered to first try to suction my baby out :) With nothing against vacuum delivery but a sudden strong sense that that wasn't the right solution, I refused. That ended up being a bit of a miracle, and also the correct choice. Maybe it was because they said that I would still have to do 90% of the work, and I hate it when people say that something is more than 100% when it can't be, but I have it more than was in any way possible. I even kicked everyone out of the room for a while to push alone.
It was pretty intense to be prepped for surgery with the urge to push. At first they were joking that I may give birth on the way to surgery because I couldn't stop pushing with the contractions. When they took me off the pitocin all the pain stopped and all the urge to push. The big surprise was how many people were there and how unlike House the OR is. They cut me and I was supposed to see her. She was stuck. Another OB stuck his/her hands into my vagina and was pushing her from that direction, while someone else was pulling her from my stomach.
My stomach was numb and I just felt tugging, but my vagina was not numb and it was incredibly uncomfortable. I was giving birth backwards. It took them a long time to get her out, and immediately they handed her to the ped team waiting nearby. She wasn't breathing and I believe she didn't have a heartbeat either. She did have the cord wrapped around her neck and head over and over again, but I only learned that later.
The amazing part of this story is that a vacuum delivery was ("probably") not going to work. She was really stuck. It's also tough to know what would have happened with the cord with a vacuum. I don't want to think about that. I got a beautiful baby girl who was an absolute terror as an infant. She cried and cried and never slept.
The tough part is that I wonder if my water breaking and not having contractions was a result of influenced by all the physical and emotional stress I was under. I wanted a natural childbirth and I want a large family and I did not want a CS. But I had one.
My milk didn't come in for two weeks after. The only reason it did is that the hospital had lactation consultants available around the clock and they taught me how to nurse. Every time my baby cried for food they came and showed me how to do it. And they made sure she kept stimulating my nipple - and given formula - even as nothing was happening with my own body. I was about to give up, a midwife telling me that sometimes milk doesn't come, when the milk finally showed up.
This was almost a year and a half ago and I still cry when I think about it all. Maybe writing and sharing it will help a little.