My last homebirth turned hospital transfer was FAR different than my other two unmedicated out of hospital births. The first two births were painful, yes, but manageable. Very manageable. The pain was bad, but there were always breaks. I got the huge endorphin rush after the births and I was very excited and looking forward to this 3rd and last birth.
Well, it did not go at ALL the way the other two went. Right from the getgo the contractions felt different and none of my coping measures that I'd used before were helping. They were sporadic. 20 minutes apart then 4 minutes apart, 30 seconds long, then 90 seconds long. But, I labored along and things were progressing fine. I had my midwife check me after about 5 hours of things starting and I was almost complete which sounded about right compared to my last birth. I started having pushing urges that I worked with. I felt really powerful pushing this time too, which was different because I'd had not pleasant second stages with the first two births, that was actually the most pain I was ever in and found it really agonizing. I had worked on visualizing a good second stage and I have fond memories of sitting on the toilet pushing and talking to my midwife between. we were trying to fill the birth tub but the fittings on our faucet got jacked up and we ended up abandoning the waterbirth idea because things appeared to be going so quickly.
Then my water broke. Again, just a beautiful moment because it was crystal clear and LOTS of it and I was a postdates pregnancy. It was one of my main sources of anxiety going overdue. Everyone thought the baby would be there within the hour. But then...my contractions started spacing out. They weren't strong or effective when I was having them. M/W checked and found I had a lip of cervix. So we decided to have me rest in an attempt to get the contractions back up and let the lip calm down. I did get a decent rest but then the contractions were just too painful. I tried a shower. Still...this is when I started feeling panicky. My m/w gave me some homeopathics that helped for a bit. I couldn't stop talking. My doula friend was there with me and she said she's never seen someone be so cerebral during labor. I was analyzing every bit of pain I was in and I was asking if anyone else was worried and asking why it hurt like this. I was asking what we could do differently, if something might HELP. I know now all of this was intuition speaking. I've never been like this in other births. I was always able to check out and surrender.
Anyway they checked me again and the lip was back, and the baby's head asynclitic and transverse. We tried a few more things including the tub but then a pain started that ran across the front of my belly and burning, and constantly, not just with contractions. It was horrible. I was in excruciating, agonizing pain, and having unproductive contractions. We decided to transfer to the hospital where I got an IV dose of fentanyl and pushed her out 15 minutes later. We had barely been at the hospital for an hour before she was born. My midwife caught her because no one else made it in time. All in all it wasn't that bad of a birth, I didn't tear, our hospitals here are pretty progressive and other than some postpartum baby issues with the ped, we were treated really well. Reading your stories, I know that had we not transferred my homebirth would have been horrific, because it would have been that much pain that much longer. But I'm still unbelievably sad that my birth didn't happen at home the way we'd wanted.
I had a point and it was that this much pain ISN'T normal for birth. I had two beautiful painful but doable births before this, and I'm grateful that I know I'm not just a sissy for transferring for pain relief. And all of you should know that too. There's nothing wrong with YOU or your bodies or your babies. Sometimes things happen like wonky positioning or whatever else and it causes birth to run out of the realm of normal, workable pain to the extreme. I'm glad I knew that from my previous births but it also has made it really hard to accept how different this birth was. It was scary and I have never felt fear during labor. It was traumatic to give birth on narcotics. I didn't have the endorphin rush I had after my other births. All I felt was relief that it was over. I was thrilled that my baby was safe and healthy, but not euphoric like with the others.
The other thing that bugs me is that I am a doula/educator too. My midwife brought up in the last weeks of my pregnancy as I got more and more overdue that my knowledge was probably not helping me surrender to labor. Hearing other people say that being a professional causes a rough labor hurts and feels like blame too. I have devoted a huge part of my life and soul to this work, and it sucks to think that it somehow screwed up my chances of having another normal birth, and I don't think it's true.
As for the rest...we are done having children and simultaneously I have a lot of grief about this being our last birth and totally and utterly relieved I never have to do that again because I think I would be potentially terrified.
ahhh...I could type more, but mainly I just want to offer love, hugs, and support to everyone dealing with this. I have honestly never delved into this forum or thought much about birth trauma besides the obvious and before this experience would have been firmly in the "homebirth is beautiful and natural and all that jazz" camp without thinking of all those women who have been traumatized somehow by the experience.