I feel so thankful for this forum. a place for me to tell my story with the sympathies of other who have experienced or understand my feelings.
My first labor started out at a hospital based alternative birthing center. I had all the dreams and high hopes of a natural birth. Totally naive yet well researched I went into a long 30 hour labor unprepared for the fact that I would never dilate past 6cm. Posterior acynclitic baby, transfer for epi, pitocin, decels. C-section. So many regrets, unanswered questions. Sorrow.
This time things would be different. I saw a set of fabulous homebirth midwives who had VBAC experience, and believed in me. It was a low key pregnancy and I just knew I had this in the bag. I would have my healing homebirth VBAC and all would be well in the world.
5 days ago......the night before my due date I felt the first couple ctx.
11:30- had a cleaning out on the toilet and ctx started pretty quick. My DH had just gone to bed and I was to follow but I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep. I tried for a little while but they just kept coming so went downstairs and tried to set some of my homebirth supplies up. I was on the floor on hands and knees panting through ctx that were coming every 2-3 minutes. This was happening quick. Where was the slow easy prelabor that I expected? I thought I would have so much time to get in the groove! After trying 3-4 times to take my birth pool from the spare room to the living room and having multiple ctx I called for my DH. We called the midwives and they said to get in the shower to see if I could slow them down and establish a more consistant pattern. After kneeling in the tub for several more frequent ctx, my DH called them again. They said- set up your pool and get in and see how that goes. I kneeled on the bed next to the pool while it filled. My vocalizing started to get intense and my DH was getting stressed. He called my Aunt T to come over and help us while he fiddled with the pool. By the time she came over I was in the pool and moaning heavily. We called the midwives and they showed up about an hour later. They checked me and I was at a very stretchy 5. How could this be? It had only been maybe 4 hours! I spent another couple hours in the pool and found my groove. I slept between ctx and mooed my way through them. I felt powerful. Soon I started grunting and upon another check I was nearly complete except for an anterior lip. They held back the lip while I tried a few pushes. My body wasn't ready yet but I tried a few pushes. It didn't feel good like a lot of women describe. at this point my DS1 woke up but I couldn't open my eyes to aknowledge him. I think he was scared by my noises. He left with my aunt and I got down to business. I spent the next half hour trying little pushes in the pool to bring him down. My midwife suggested starting to change venue and position to get things moving down. Everytime i changed positions my ctx were harder and more excrutiating. I sat on the toilet for a bit and really started to freak out I lost my mucous plug on the floor when I stood up. I hear the midwife mention transition. I spent the next several ctx leaning over my kitchen counter shrieking with the pain and the pressure. I made my way back down to the living room where they had prepared the birth stool and a mirror. My body was pushing now at this point and I was doing everything in my power to assist it. My bag of water broke and I could feel my baby in the birth canal. I had a renewed power and attention to the situation. Suddenly all this angony had a purpose. I pushed with all my might all the while with my midwives fingers inside me trying to work on this persistant lip. Something happened at this point. I started to feel the familiar ache of back labor. It was mostly consentrated on my right side above my hips. Panic set in. The mini breaks between ctx that I'd had before were gone replaced with the back cramp from hell. I had my Dh and midwives giving me counterpressure but it wasn't enough. We decided to get back on the bed and try hands and knees. The pushing reflex was powerful but the pain I was experiencing was making it hard for me to consentrate. I remember my powerful moans and moos turned to screams and HELP's. I called out to every person in the room by name, pleading for something. Not even sure myself what it was. We flipped over to my back, at this point my midwives verbalized that baby had turned posterior. My WORST fear. Still yet, I was more determined than ever to get this DONE and over with so the pain could be gone. It felt like I was splitting open but nothing was bringing this baby down. I heard the midwife mention transfer and c-section. My pusing intensified with my desperation but there was no amount of pushing that would get this baby through my pelvic arch. It just wasn't going to happen. I accepted my fate and everyone started running around packing bags, calling the hospital.....they managed to get a dress on me and we made the treck down 2 flights of stairs, into my car, and on to the hospital which was 40 minutes away. Labor/pushing intensified in the car. I leaned over the back of the seat wishing I could just die so that it would be over. I crossed my legs and shook with each unproductive ctx. We got into the hospital and I never opened my eyes once. The put me on a gurney and gave me a shot of terbutaline which never slowed my ctx. I was on hands and knees moaning through ctx as nurses poked me and asked me questions and made me sign paperwork. They gave me another shot of terbutaline. I was being rolled through the hall to the OR, moaning. They rolled me by my gathered family who had dropped everything and made their way to the hospital shortly after we did. (I didn't realise this till afterwards. it chokes me up) They placed my spinal which took effect instantly. Slowly inch by inch it coursed through my body releasing me back to reality. Suddenly I was human again. Able to think and talk without the blinding pain.
I've been here before. Strapped down to the table. Last time they put me under general for inadequate epidural. This time I would feel my baby being released from my body, hear his first cry, see him covered in vernix and fluids. Watch as they assess him next to me. It was a completely different experience this time around. I talked and joked with the nurses. I was a part of it even though it was not how I planned. He was born at 12:53 April 26th, on his due date. 8 lbs 21" long apgars of 9 and 9 and we nursed right away perfectly in recovery.
We are all totally in
with him. Especially his big brother.
I'm still trying to process my feelings about this whole experience. I have the classic "why me" questions. I have been consumed with birth and homebirth and babies for years and now it is all gone. The best way I can describe it is that The romance is dead
. My labor was HELL. I never want to experience it again. I was shocked and unprepared and unrealistic yet AGAIN and I can never do it again. I hate myself for this but if we decide to have any more children I will be scheduling a c-section. If you had told me any of this last week I would have scoffed at you. C-section changed me, homebirth changed me. I am forever changed but I am in a better palce this time than last time. I don't have the unanswered questions or the regret. I simply know that I tried, and my body is broken, but I am strangely ok with it. At least I am today.