My pregnancy was a very stressful time. I was very newly married and I was not any where close to being ready to be a mom. We were broke. My little brother had just committed suicide, and the commander of the Air Force base we lived on told us we couldn't have a home birth on base so we had to find somewhere else to do it. We moved off base into our first house on my due date.
Because my midwife was a state licensed midwife, she had a lot of bureaucratic hoops that needed jumping through. I had to get the base commanders permission to home birth on base (which he didn't give as I stated. Had we not had to ask him, he would have never known) I had to visit the regular Dr. twice, (at least under normal circumstances). And the first doctor we saw pretty much threw us out of the hospital because we told her weren't comfortable with me getting an ultrasound while my baby was but 7 weeks old simply for routine purposes. (I wanted to avoid as much ultrasound exposure as possible because there is some question about it's safety, so I had the midwife use a feta-scope instead of her Doppler every time to hear the heart.) So anyway, I had take the gestational diabetes test at the doctor's which I failed at first and had to come back to do the three hour. I was very angry about that because I hated subjecting my baby to that much glucose and having them take so much blood.
I had to get written of by them as a "low risk" pregnancy otherwise my midwife would not legally attend my birth. (of course, she would have anyway, under the table. just more expensive without insurance covering her.) It had actually been quite a struggle to get a doctor to write me off as a low risk pregnancy in the first place, the doctor we saw said my baby was looking too big, and she didn't feel comfortable saying I could birth it at home, so we had to drive a couple hours away to a different doctor that midwife recommended and he had no problems signing his name. So in the end we had seen a total of 3 different doctors, when we never even had wanted to see ONE in the first place.
I also had to see my midwife every month at least, and let me tell you I was VERY sick of having my urine and weight scrutinized all the time! I also had to attend her childbirth classes on top of it all. I wanted to do the Hypnobabies program, so I bought it, but I was so exhausted from all the other stuff she had me doing that I really didn't have the motivation to practice much at all.
I went overdue 2 weeks and 2 days I believe it was, so for many days before the birth, I had been taking black and blue cohash tincture AND homeopathic pearls every couple hours. After my midwife's "three day induction plan", I did not have my baby. Over time I had choked down 2 bottles of castor oil and a bottle of castoria. Eventually I was 2 weeks, 1 day over due. Every day I was overdue (including my birth day and our first wedding anniversary) was utter hell on earth. I had gained 42 lbs, and looked and felt horrible. Each day felt like an eternity and I felt so much pressure to just have the baby already because so many people were waiting and I was so worried the midwife wasn't going to be able to legally attend my birth. I was wrestling with the idea of doing it unattended, because I told myself I would rather birth my baby alone than ever step foot in a hospital. Birthing at the hospital was out of the question for me. Those days before the labor were very emotional for me. I remember sobbing a lot and just asking God WHY this had to be happening to me. I feared for the life of the next person to say "Didja have the baby yet?" As if I would keep it a secret! Luckily, after a while, they just stopped asking. We lived a thousand miles away from our friends and family, and I was stuck in a new house with no furniture, phone or internet hooked up yet, and to top things off my midwife was openly worried about the large size my baby was turning out to be.. I was scared out of my mind, but still optimistic about my abilities as a woman to get this baby out of me without drugs or even a midwife if I had to. No one besides my husband supported the idea of me having a home birth. I was eager to share just how great home birth could be.
Eventually my midwife resorted to some codename "Mexican herbs" which she told me tended to make contractions "a bit stronger than normal" but would no doubt induce labor. They did start my labor the next day, as I was on a bumpy car ride. The contractions came out of nowhere. My husband was talking to me in the car and I was in too much pain to respond. for long periods of time I would just be sitting there taking the pain, unable to do anything but lay there grasping at the seat in the car. We had been heading home from visiting the midwife's . My midwife had told us to spend the whole day walking, so that's what we were going to do. When I got home, I knew I would not be spending the day walking. I got on the toilet, and did NOT want to get off. But I forced myself off because I knew I was having the baby and needed to get myself over to the midwifes place, where we had decided to have the baby since we just moved and weren't unpacked in our own home yet.
Contractions felt like really strong menstrual cramps, and for me, menstrual cramps are really just overblown diarrhea cramps, and that's what I was experiencing. My midwife left me in her examining room while she and another midwife went and did their own thing in the other room. She had brought in an extra midwife to help, and one of her apprentices was also present. Weeks earlier I had expressed that I wanted privacy during the labor as much as possible, so I think they were trying to honor that by keeping their distance.
I would go from sitting on the toilet to laying in bed with my husband. When I tried listening to hypnobabies during the labor, it did not help. I was in too much pain to even listen to what she was saying and the compulsion to go sit on the toilet made me rip off my headphones and run. I remember disliking the fact that I was not in my own home for this. I felt very alone and unsupported, however the contractions were not giving me a long enough break to communicate anything besides a couple breathless words. I was totally at the mercy of my husband and my midwife.
The contractions were so much more painful than I was expecting, I could not believe it. I just wanted to get into the bathtub, and it was not long before my midwife thought I was ready to get in. Things were moving along very fast. The water felt SO good. But there was one problem.. we were using her over-sized bathtub as a birth pool, and unfortunately, it was not very deep at all. maybe one foot deep. I kept asking them to make the water warmer and they would run back and forth with pots of hot water. I wanted it deeper, but they could not make it deeper. I had to stay on my back if I wanted to stay submerged at all. The midwife was not expecting this problem because she was so used to using her birthing pool at her clients houses. I had a mantra going where I would repeat the same thing over and over really fast, the same medium pitched tone, and breathe with each one.. so it was like "AH!*quick breath* "AH!*quick breath* over and over. sometimes it changed to ow instead of ah. sometimes I managed to say "this hurts so bad" It was horrible, over whelming, and nothing anyone could do could help me. They told me to breathe slower and deeper and I did not want to,even though I knew better. My quick breathing felt good to me.
I was being way more loud and vocal than I had ever wanted or planned on being... I was squeezing my husband and I remember hearing him whine about how hard I was squeezing him, and thinking about how could he whine when Im going through this living hell? How could he? There were times when I got relief by trying to break his fingers off, or trying to pull his skin off of him, or something like that, I just remember it was nice to focus on breaking something, instead of my pain. I didn't want to hurt him necessarily, I just wanted to hurt something. I wasn't mad at him for "doing this to me" like you hear said so much on TV. I didn't want to be one of THOSE women so I still managed to say "please" and "thank you" when applicable. For the most part I couldn't manage to speak and had to push him around to where I wanted him to hold me or not hold me. He wanted to hold my hand and I didn't want my hand held, I wanted to pull down on something, put force on something, but I did not want to be comforted by him. It felt like everything was all wrong. I was sobbing because of the pain and the helplessness I felt.
The midwifes were in the other room or just sitting there watching me. I guess I was making too much noise for them to say anything, but I really felt abandoned by them. I even managed to tell her I needed emotional support.. I remember thinking "there's gotta be some reason she's here, she's gotta have some purpose, so I'll see if she knows the right words to say.. and she didn't. she really didn't help. she stayed calm, but everyone was far too quiet. She suggested hands and knees and although I tried it shortly, it brought me completely out of the water. she suggested I float on my belly, but the water was too shallow to float and I only ended up squishing my belly on the bottom and that was not going to work. She eventually said that everything was normal, except the amount of pain I was going through. To me that only meant one thing: I was being extremely wimpy and pathetic. that if any other woman were doing this, things would be fine. that I was making an embarrassment out of myself.
I had dilated to 9 centimeters in 4 hours.
I guess a tiny part of some "lip" was keeping his head stuck. She broke my water for me to see if that would help. They wanted me to squat, and push, and It was too painful for me to do either. I remember telling my midwife I couldn't do this, it hurt too much, I asked to go to the hospital, not seriously at first, at first I was joking, but after things got to that point, I was serious. She didn't fight me, she said I could if I wanted to. Apparently if I had just been able to push harder or squat longer, I could have gotten that baby out. but the PAIN was so terrible, so mind blowing, I needed something to take it away.
It was either find some relief, or I would find a way to kill myself. So I did the unthinkable. I gave up. I agreed to going to the hospital and they threw some clothes on me and I somehow made it out to the car. It felt like it took them forever to get stuff together and actually start driving to the hospital. then the drive there took forever. all the while I knew this baby was just waiting on me to push, to be born., I could feel his head in position, and I could not stop yelling when contractions came. when I finally got to the hospital, there was no one there to get me, the hospital was dark and empty, and we were left to get on an elevator, I was forced to hobble down hallways, making a scene, as we looked for where to go. I was so embarrassed and there was nothing I could do about it. when they finally got me into a room and threw a gown on me, I was just asking how long it was going to take before they could give something, anything at all.. I remember trying to be nice and polite and I remember being shocked at how cold and angry the nurses seemed to be, as if I was just a bother to them, a failure and a freak for trying homebirth in the first place, and for coming to them in the middle of the night when they didn't even know who I was or have any of my information. I remember the burly nurse coldly saying "we have a HUNDRED things to do before we can even BEGIN to help you."
But then again, there was a reason I wanted to avoid hospitals in the first place.
Time seemed to stand still as I sat and took each contraction that came while they were asking questions and we were waiting for the people to drive to the hospital from their homes like the anesthesiologist and such. The contractions were a hell that I could not escape from. I was trapped and it was all I had to keep my mind from going insane. The nurse said she did not believe in her heart that I would be able to deliver the baby. I told her if I could just get the pain relief I would be able to push it out.
I felt ashamed, weak, embarrassed, like a failure, a bother, and a freak. but all I could do was scream. Nothing they did to me, any of the iv, the numbing shots , the epidural, hurt compared to what I was feeling, I was willing to go through ANYTHING just to get some relief. Even a c- section. It was no longer about keeping my baby drug-free, it was about me getting out of a situation I felt trapped in. They had given me a calming drug to help calm me down so the contractions might be easier to take, which just made it hard to keep my eyes open. But I would have taken heroine if they had offered it to me. When it was finally time for the epidural, I had to somehow move to the edge of the bed, and curl over my baby, while the nurse held my head down, and I had to go against everything I had to stick my back out so she could feel my spine and figure out where she wanted to damage me with the needle. Even after she gave me my first dose I still had to suffer through like five contractions before it started to kick in. and it mostly just kicked in in my legs. they left us alone for a while and my midwife kept an eye on me, kept checking me to see if I was making any progress, and then told me she thought they were most likely going to c-section me, and so I was asking her questions about that and trying to prepare myself for that reality.
For a while before they gave me the pitocin I was able to just sit there and push when my midwife and husband told me I was having a contraction, and so I would tense up my stomach muscles and just try pushing. Things are blurry at this point but at some point I believe they gave me pitocin to stimulate contractions and they put my legs in stirrups and every time a contraction came I was coached to push with all my might while pulling back on my thighs and putting my chin to my chest. I was surprised to find out the epidural did not take my pain away. It was STILL unbearable. I remember asking if there was any more they could do. I was so disappointed I wasn't getting a break.. I kept saying "I thought this was supposed to take my pain away" and they said it couldn't take all the pain away. The doctor eventually came and reassured us there was plenty of room to birth the baby and that he was not going to do an episiotomy or c-section me. I continued to push when they told me to even though it was the worst pain in my life and it was never ending. I kept thinking "the head must be ready to come out" but it never was.
Only after an eternity did they get serious and have everyone come in the room and really coached me and told me I doing great that I was able to get the head out. I remember feeling the ring of fire, when the head crowns, and it was terrible. I remember just pushing with all of my might because I had the motivation of knowing I was getting somewhere at last. I remember the body just flying out easily in maybe the same push or at least the push after, and I remember just saying "oh my god I can't believe I did it", as I saw them cut the cord and hand the baby off to a bunch of people to quickly suction him, weigh him, and clean him off. I remember the placenta came out without any effort, and being so relieved that it didn't hurt at all. I remember looking over at my baby and he looked at me, and I felt so sorry that he was over there with them being coldly treated, it broke my heart that I could not be holding him and protecting him from them. but I was just so relieved to actually be done with the labor, that it was okay enough that we were both alive.
I remember telling them to take pictures. I remember not wanting to be in the pictures. I remember the midwife saying I should try to look happy. and I remember trying to fake a smile for the camera. My face was swollen from all the pushing and I was exhausted. .I remember saying that "I would not wish that pain on the worst person in the world, not even Hitler." I felt like I had been robbed of all the goodness in my life.. because everything I had hoped and worked for and spent so many hours worrying about and crying about.. had been in vain because I ended up in the hospital with more pain than I could have ever imagined and I went against all my previous beliefs about having an un-medicated birth.
Aedan Bret was born at 4:18 on a monday morning, June 8th 2009. after 12 hours of labor. His middle name is in honor of my brother Bret, whom I mentioned earlier that passed away. Aedan was 9 lbs, 11 ounces and 21 and half inches long. I suffered a third degree tear. I was surprised at how it was still incredibly painful afterward, I suppose from the pitocin stimulating more contractions. I could not even enjoy holding my baby, I had to continue my mantra of pain for a while. My husband told me he was surprised at how bloody birth was, and was so proud of me for doing what I did, telling me he could never do it.
Everyone told me I did a good job but I felt like a failure for making such a scene and transferring simply because I couldn't take the pain. I blamed myself for the failure, because I knew I hadn't eaten nearly healthy enough during the pregnancy and probably gave myself gestational diabetes causing the large baby. I was so disappointed because I had really wanted to post a positive birth story. So many people were waiting to see how my "crazy homebirth idea" worked out, and I was left with nothing positive to tell them about the experience. Instead of sharing a happy story, helping to spread the good word about homebirthing, It was all I could do not to start sobbing every time I thought about my birthing experience. Afterward, I felt very unsupported. After the baby was out, it was like everyone just expected me to be okay. Everyone forgot about the trauma I suffered, except me. I have a new respect for any women that push out babies now. I can not believe how little attention and respect people pay to mothers who have just given birth. As if it's nothing. Just because it happens every day does not mean it isn't the worst thing possible to experience. At least, that's how it was for me. 3 months later, my body is a wreck, I'm never going to be normal where I tore ever again, and I still have pain in my spine from the epidural.
However, I am thankful everyone survived. I know I should stop whining because there are less lucky individuals out there than me. I was left with a beautiful son, who is now my world and I love him more than I could have ever thought possible. But as for forgetting the pain as soon as I held him in my arms? Definitely not. I'm traumatized and scared to ever get pregnant again. I have no idea what I would do.. there doesn't seem to be any good alternatives.
Thank you for taking the time to read this, It was difficult for me to write but I think it will help me in the long run to talk about it. Please be gentle in your comments.
for those that read this, do you think I would have an easier time the next time around? Does birth get easier? Is it because I had a large baby, and if so am I likely to have just as large of a baby next time? Is it because the "mexican herbs" made the contractions so intense and close together that I couldn't take it? or am I just as hopelessly pathetic as I feel?
here's a montage.. it skips the labor since no one was taking pictures for that..
But even failures can be natural too, natural biths ending in tragedy.
I couldn't read and not post.
Please don't think of yourself as a failure. You.are.NOT!
Birth can often be difficult and extremely painful . . . and
I think sometimes more so with your first, because it is a whole
Each time is different, even with the same mama, and yes -
some find that subsequent births are "easier" - even if it's just
that the fear or the pain is more "manageable" 'cause you have more of an idea what to expect.
Many, many congratulations to you.
Your son is absolutely beautiful.
Wishing you peace and comfort as you heal.
Em, married to J, Mama to K-17, H-14, S-8, her twin m/c @ 9 wks, my beautiful J.T. born still @ 38 wks due to an UCA 6-14-07 & Will born 5-7-08 - & Teddy 6-16-11 !!
My second baby is due in 9 weeks, so I can't speak from personal experience as to whether repeat births are easier...although that does seem to be the conventional wisdom. My mom still chokes up when she talks about her first birth experience because it was so difficult. However, she went on to birth 3 more children naturally, the last one (a 10-pounder) at home. A rough first birth does not mean that all your births will follow suit.
Be gentle with yourself.
Missing Ashlyn 10/18/06 and Brennan 10/18/10
Here as mama to W (2/04), R (5/06), D (7/09), and J (12/9/12!), co-parenting with my DH
I WOH part-time, am a doula & childbirth educator, home/unschool, and hope we are nearing the center of chaos
Mama...you are amazing. What a strong and magical woman you are. Thank you for sharing your birth journey with us. Thank you for the intensity and honesty.
Being pregnant and giving birth are very magical times, but they are also very emotional and your beautiful boy picked you as his parents in spite of the very difficult times you were dealing with. Smart little guy! he must know something special about you guys!
I am sorry your labour was so brutally painful. You endured so much and you are NOT a failure. You are a strong woman, a beautiful and inspiring Mama. That newfound respect you mentioned for birthing Mamas....please extend some to yourself. You did such a brave thing. Recognising what you needed to do to get the very charming and beautiful Aeden Bret to arrive safely. I am sorry that the experience was traumatic and I wish you much love and warmth and healing energy.
It can be hard to have such strong beliefs about something that will enevitably lead to putting pressure on ourselves to live up to those very strong beliefs. Birth is a very different experience for each and every woman giving birth. Every subsequent birth for one woman can be very different from the priors. I have had one labor in particular that sounds very similar to yours (was not my first) and I think I suffered from PTS disorder becasue of it. I think it would've been better for me, for that birth, to have an epidural. Then I've had a few other births that were just wonderful experiences that were not as painful and not traumatic in the least. Right now your birth is super, SUPER fresh in your mind and body, but if you want more children you should have more children when the time comes and not worry about the birth. Have you read Birthing From Within? It is such a great birth...about making birth decisions that are right for YOU and not neccessarily following a prescribed, rigid philosophy...wether that involves pain medication or not. If you do have more children some day, I highly suggest you read it...or even in a few months to help you heal from this birth....this birth that you did a VERY good job at, by the way! Congratulations on your sweet new bundle of joy. Enjoy every moment and don't leave any room for beating yourself up about the birth.....you did awesome!
Heidi : Married for 15 years, expecting our 8th baby in July!
Can you try to reframe this whole story by looking only at the things you did 'right', that you are proud of, that show your strength? You picked homebirth, did lots of research, made the best plans you could for yourself based on the information you had and the situation you were presented with, waited for baby to come on his own, labored unmedicated for how many hours, ended up pushing him out without the benefits of an epidural (sounds like it didn't really take and you felt everything anyway). YOUR BODY WORKED - you grew and birthed a healthy, beautiful baby. You are not a failure. What if you rewrote this with you as the strong heroine, not the 'pathetic whiner?'
|do you think I would have an easier time the next time around? Does birth get easier? Is it because I had a large baby, and if so am I likely to have just as large of a baby next time? Is it because the "mexican herbs" made the contractions so intense and close together that I couldn't take it? or am I just as hopelessly pathetic as I feel?|
Have you debriefed with the midwife yet? That might give you more clarity and insight into how things went and why. You can ask her more about the herbs, the baby's size, position, your emotional state, the intensity of the labor, etc.
Most importantly, I wish you joy and healing. I have every confidence that you can grow and move forward from this. Please pay no attention to the public who may say things like "Just be thankful you have a healthy baby." That's insulting and trite and doesn't begin to honor the excruciating journey you traversed to meet your amazing son.
You rock, mama...you are strong and powerful. Look in the mirror and see how beautiful you are...you're a survivor.
Wishing you peace, comfort and dignity in the coming days. You deserve it.
SAHM to Abraham (9) Gillian (5) Adrienne (3) and baby boy coming in October!
Always missing our Gianna, lost during fullterm labor (8/23/04)
Sticking together through the good and the bad with dh of 10 yrs!
There is no such thing as bad weather. Only bad clothing.
give yourself some more time to digest everything that happened on your journey to motherhood. you will be surprised at how you may rewrite your birth story as time goes on.
good for you!!
Melissa, wife to Brian, mommy to my home born, breastfeeding, sling-riding, sleep sharing, cloth diapered, intact kiddos Adam 11/09 and Leah 8/12.
Every labor is different. Some are fast and easy, some are fast and hard, some are slow, you get the picture. You did GREAT! 9 cm in four hours? Wow! No wonder it was intense!
I also think you might have had fewer negative feelings about the birth if you had had a doula. It sounds to me like you were in a strange place, alone, felt unsupported, between those things, the size of the baby, the speed, and the herbs, I can imagine that would be too much! Birth IS normal, yes, but birth IS HARD! This is coming out all disjointed and not the way I planned it.
Anyway, I can give you hope with my own experience. My first was 9 lbs 2 oz, born in a hospital with pitocin. And it HURT. Not as bad as yours, but it was nothing like my second birth, a 10 lb 4 oz girl. The second one, the bigger one, hurt LESS. With the second one I was in a familiar place, I had done it before, my contractions weren't brought on by an outside force, I felt supported and safe, it was totally different. It still hurt, but it was nothing like the pain the first time.
Give yourself a break, you did an amazing job even while being in such a disadvantageous situation. Give yourself some time to heal, and work though your feelings.You are an amazing mother who did what she had to do to meet her child. That doesn't make you weak, it makes you STRONG, to go against your very strong feelings because your body told you that you needed to.
Congratulations on your baby! and good job!
From everything I've heard, first babes are especially hard.
To throw my $0.02 in, I think a lot of what made your experience hard was positioning (although lack of support didn't help.) Know that first time babies come on AVERAGE 41w1d? That's when there isn't induction involved. So you weren't nearly as late or post-dates as you thought.
My twins didn't want to come out either, and I also brought them on with herbs and castor oil. I think that's why my labor was so long and hard. Since the presenting babe didn't get to choose her time, she wasn't positioned right. She was "sunny-side up" and had a lot of work to do to make it out. I think something like that happened with your son.
Man, do I know we can't always wait for babes, for one reason or another. But if I'm lucky enough to have a second birth, I hope it comes on spontaneously. I've got a feeling things will go much better. For you too.
Til then, enjoy new motherhood. Cuddle that boy!
next time may i suggest reading and seriously doing the homework in Birthing from Within... try the Hypnobirthing again but remember it only helps if you practice it religiously... honor what you need to make it not bring up the first birth.
your son will never know how scary and intense and painful it was for you and hopefully with time you can tell him about it without letting him know how unbearable the labor was.
i think a LOT of women have post traumatic stress disorder from their birth experince whether it was natural epidural vaginal csection or whatever. it is OK to love your child yet still have sad and angry emotions about the birth. the two are not the same. and we need to honor that.
stepping off soapbox now...
ps don't worry about gestational diabetes etc there is nothing you can do to go back in time and change your diet..just consider yourself forewarned and forearmed so if you get pg again you can be very careful with what you eat.
first- you are NOT a failure- banish that thought now! Just tell it to go away. You may not have had the birth you wanted (I am not saying "at least you got a healthy babe, etc"...) i don't want you to think i am discounting your feelings. NOT AT ALL. I sensed a lot of anger from you, about the situation, and disappointment, etc. this is normal, and it is ok. But like others said, if you do not learn something from it, that is what becomes your failure. And I think you have ALREADY learned so much about your body and yourself so you have not failed. just for the record, my first birth didn't go as I planned either. (i will get to it in a bit). you are already eons ahead of me, and so many others- planning a home birth, and almost having one! I wanted a midwife with my first, but my husband wanted me to have an OB, because he was worried insurance wouldn't pay etc. (Several months after his birth I found out that midwives who birth in hospitals were covered, and I will get to that too.) So, you are worlds ahead...and should you ever decide you do want to have another beautiful baby, you will be prepared, and I do not think you will "give up". I was really sad for you when you wrote that you gave up. I know sort of how it feels, even though i didn't plan a home birth, i felt like i "gave up" when I had my first son and agreed to pitocin and then when the pain from back labor got so intense i decided to have IV drugs, and i wasn't listening to my husband telling me to walk around or change positions...i didn't have support because my OB was out of town. Then I 'had" to have an episiotomy they said. Then I agreed to AROM (BREAKING MY WATER) at 7 cm I think....everything turned out ok, but it didn't go how I wanted it to, and after the birth i vowed NEVER to have pitocin again if i could help it. They also had me holding my breath during pushes and it was aWFUL !So I searched of ways to deal with back labor and I found great midwives who did hospital births and water births. I got pregnant again when my first DS was 1- exactly. LOL So I KNEW when his labor came on I would be ready. I said- BRING IT. And I had a great drug free WATER BIRTH in the hospital! It was not pain free by any means- but getting in the water took my labor intensity from close to 10, down to a 4-5 or so- during transition! I got to the hospital about 1 hour before I had him. I was at 8 cm and I didn't think I was that far!
fast forward to my 3rd- he was my largest baby, but i didn't know it. his labor started much like my 2nd. very sporadic contrax and then all of a sudden they were regular, my plug started coming out and I had to get on my hands and knees(like with my 2nd). I got to the hospital and it was almost deja vu- i was checked, and 8 cm again! I would have said I was a 5, maybe a 6 cm. I think they broke my water because he was still high, but my water was bulging and the MW was worried about cord prolapse. My second baby was the only one that I had the water break on its own. so i got in the tub and then labor was so much easier, even with the back labor. I always get it, it just is how it is. LOL I allso puked before i got in the tub- which was a good thing. So I sat on the toilet for a bit, because I thought I had to go- then I thought I was going to have the baby on the toilet. haha After what seemed like a long time, and having the mw push a cervical lip down (which hurts like a b^tch) during contractions, he was born- 8 lbs 15.6 oz....about 2 hours after I entered the hospital.
My fourth was also a water birth in the hospital and the labor was a bit different at the beginning- I woke up at 5:30 am with such bad indigestion I thought i was going to throw up. that was new. I started having back cramps that felt like menstrual cramps...and dh and I did some baby dancing, because I thought, well, if this is the real thing, it will help, right? So I did my Hypnobirthing thing for awhile. I also had to make breakfast for the family. It wasn't too bad at that point, just some minor contrax...or surges... later, around noon i decided to call the mw. i got a cal about 12:30 from the DR and he said to go to the hospital and they'd check me. I totally didn't feel ready at that point. i knew they were getting more intense but not horrible and i thought if i went then, they'd send me home! Well- at 1pm (only half an hour later) I went to pee and my plug was starting to come out. (that is when i decide to go to the hospital lol) My husband said- well we better get going! He actually remembered the Hypnobirth teacher say that is when you should definitely go...I forgot that part. I still felt like it was too early. We had my sister come to be with the kids, and i grabbed my stuff and we left. everything was much calmer with my fourth baby- and it was day time- a new thing for me since the boys were born either late in the evening (10:40pm) or early am (3 am and almost 6 am). So that was weird too. We finally left, got there at 3:30. the admissions had me sign some stuff and i had what felt like light contractions and i was really thinking they would tell me to walk at the park across the street or something. the nurse checked me (and she was so cool and a natural birth supporter!) and she said- you are at a stretchy 8. HMMMMM, again???? My mw was called, they filled the tub...the mw was surprised it was me. She had just gotten home from the zoo with her son and they were about to take a nap...she broke my water, since again, the bag was bulging but she was still high. I felt no pain in my tummy- all the contrax and "pain" were in my back, like the baby was trying to come out of my back. to keep it short, after I screamed I can't do it- then boom- I start pushing and moaning. i told myself to let her come out and my body just went OK. I pushed about 3 times, felt her head, her body, and I CAUGHT my first baby Girl (after 3 boys). I hadn't caught any of them so it was so neat- it happened so fast. She was born at 4:40 pm- about 1 hour after I got to the hospital- and it was about a 3 hour labor (not counting the prelabor.) My second birth was 4 hours, 3rd was 5 hours. my first was about 8-10 hours. I also did not tear with her, because I think I let her come out and panted or something during the rests but kept the pressure down there.
So- I just wanted to quickly share my experiences, because even though my first birth was not how i wanted it to be, i learned so much from it. I think you can too, and i think you already did- plus you had support for a homebirth from your dh. finding good midwives is good though. i think you do need support. And to tell yourself that you can do it.
I also second, third, fourth the suggestion to read the Birthing from Within book. I have it, and it was such a great book to read. It is empowering. Birth is empowering. You did it, even if you feel like something was not right. And your little guy is adorable. You still gave birth. Birth is totally intense, no matter how many times you go through it.
I came here to read birth stories because I am gearing up for #5 (unplanned but totally ok!) and I plan a water birth. I am still learning, and i learned something from each birth. it also helps to envision how you want it to be, but also have a realistic expectation that sometimes unforseen things happen. I don;t want a cesearean, but if there is no other choice, or if the baby is in medical distress or something, I would do it. Sometimes things happen that we cannot control. Most of the time, our bodies can birth babies because that is how we were made. I had a mantra during each surge- i envisioned my cervix opening like a flower, getting bigger and bigger. I also turn so inward during labor at the end i am hardly aware of things.
hopefully you can heal yourself, get over the feelings in time, and have a wonderful home birth.
Elizabeth wife to Matt , mom to Logan (2/21/01) , and little man Desmond (9/23/08)
Mourning the loss of her father: Robert Edward Dillon 5/31/52 - 01/03/2011
I just wanted to say, you are not a failure. Any woman who gives birth, no matter the way, is awesome! You brought another human into this world. You did it. Maybe it wasn't in the particular place you wanted to be..but you did it. That is totally wonderous!
Please don't beat yourself up, you have a wonderfully sweet and cute son who is looking up to you everyday with those blue eyes...very handsome!
E married to J, 7/08, DD 10/09, DS 5/12
I also felt like a total failure after my first baby's birth. I too dilated to 8 very quickly and then got STUCK in transition. I got to 8 cm in 4 hours, but babe wasn't born until 19 hours. I remember feeling horribly out of control and like the pain would never ever stop. I "chickened out" and got the anesthesia....and my little boy was born 20 minutes later. I went through the "if only I had known I only had 20 minutes to go" thing for almost a year after his birth. Now I know that I was just tired, and that a lot of the hospital procedures, including the attitudes of the nurses, interfered with my ability to relax.
I did TONS of mental self-coaching before my second birth. I did relaxation and mantras every night while I was going to sleep. I told myself that anything would be easier than my first labor. If it was even 1 hour shorter it would be easier. I told myself that my body was amazing and built to do this OVER AND OVER AND OVER again. And I found myself a great midwife who made me feel great about my ability and my baby's ability to birth naturally. When I finally went into labor at 5:30 AM, I was so positive I could do this the way I wanted! And my baby was born the way that worked best for us only 6 hours later.
One thing my midwife told me that helped a lot with the stress about when the baby will come is that every woman "cooks" a baby in about the same time. Both my babes were born a day before my due date. Now you know that you may have a wait, and you can accept that and try not to stress about it.
I also recommend some counseling if you feel like you can't get over the feelings of failure and guilt. They are very real and can seriously affect your relationship with your baby and your ability to mother confidently.
Hugs to you. You did it!
ETA: You mentioned that you will not feel healed until your next birth. I worked on healing a lot before my second, but I found that second birth to be totally life affirming and empowering to me. It totally wiped away all the trauma from the first birth, even though I had worked so hard to get over it already.
I couldn't read and not respond. I only have my own experiences to give but I also had a long and medicated first childbirth. It was a long recovery process as well ( Oh, it was reallly hard) and for a while after I had him, I too, would cringe when talking about my epidural and hospital birth. I had been talking about my birth plan for many months before I had him, and our friends and town were/are really "crunchy." I left a play group almost in tears a time or two.
And then.. I did get pregnant again and had a completely different birth the second time around. I did it the way I always hope to, and then came full circle and can now look back on both of my birthing experiences as magical, powerful and proud times.
Whatever way you birth a baby, is the right way. You have nothing to be ashamed of.
Mom to three boys 7/7/00 11/20/02 and 10/29/2011
Writing at: http://paisleymama.blogspot.com/ and other places!