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Alas, not a UC (but darn close).

1872 Views 16 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  tabitha
My baby boy is finally here!

And he's beautiful and exhausting and fascinating and strange and new and I already can't imagine ever having lived in a time before him.

Labor/birth tale to come...peace and love to all the ladies fair.
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Welcome little man! Enjoy your rest and writing his birth journey

Can't wait to read it.
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oh, congrats!

enjoy your babymoon! looking forward to hearing more when you get a chance!
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CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!! Welcome baby!!!
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welcome to the world little man! happy babymooning!
Contractions began about 6:00 am Tuesday (4/11/06) morning. I had been deathly ill with a wicked cold for three days, which I now understand as part of my little Ryo's plan for coming into life...hard to scream when you're exhausted and full of mucous.

I knew, immediately, that I was in labor. Not that I acknowledged this, even to myself at the time, but the knowing was definitely there.

Told my husband I was in a bit of pain, but that he should still go to work for a few hours, as planned. Rode out the discomfort with public television, a heating pad, and rocking/position changes until the intensity came to a serious head around 12:00-ish. I had called my husband around 10 to let him know I thought he should come home, but being Mr. Non-Punctuality meant it took him two hours. By that time I was deliriously miserable, butt naked, hands and knees on the bedroom floor (much to the shock of my poor grandmother who found me in said state groaning unintelligibly) as that was the only way I could begin to manage.

So he walks in to find my head in my grandma's lap and my bare booty in the air, sounding like death on a stick (and feeling it). He asked me if I wanted to go to the hospital and I said no.

He helped me cope by running me a bath, bringing me the heating pad if I asked and trying to nap with me between contractions. He did great, and put no pressure on me whatsoever, though I knew he was pretty freaked out.

OH THE PAIN. I was so completely unprepared for the PAIN. It was beyond comprehension. Couldn't explain it for a trillion bucks. It''s...pure torture. Nothing helped beyond a certain point. NOTHING. I felt like the world was ending and it was ending on my watch and the desperation I felt as each wave intensified shocked me. For the rest of my life, any injuries or sicknesses I suffer will be utterly relative to birth. It's the ultimate, and in the end what broke me.

After nearly 10 hours, I wimped out. Transition (hindsight) did me in and I began to beg for an ambulance and pain medication. My grandmother reassured my husband I could endure a car ride, looked me straight in the eye and said "It's only going to get worse...get in the car and drive to the hospital. You can do it. You have to." I told her I was scared, and she said she understood, but that "The pain is going to get worse, so you need to prepare." Honesty has never been so brutal, or so true.

We packed my 'In Case of Hospital' bag in the truck and made the 20 minute drive. When the contractions hit I grabbed the door bar and rolled forward and rocked sideways. Longest 20 minutes that could've been longer being so close to rush hour.

At 4:00pm we arrived at the hospital. My husband parked and sprinted inside for a wheelchair. I fell into it and agonized over the notion I was about to be put in stranger's hands at my most vulnerable. Control was lost and in this absolute state of weakness I knew I was subject to anything. It hurt deeply.

From the moment I set foot in the exam room, everything became 'neccessary'. Two unbearable vaginal exams, two IVs (the first of which blew, due to my steadfast refusal to be supine) and artificially ruptured membranes. In this respect, my husband did as suspected and did not advocate on my behalf. I was left to object feebly with an openly hostile nurse who told me if I wanted a homebirth I should've hired a midwife to help me (as if UC were written across my forehead). "We have to give you an IV. It's hospital policy. We need to be able to give you medication in case the baby needs it. You have to have one. Of course, you CAN refuse any treatment you want, but we won't be able to give you pain medication without one (which they didn't end up giving me anyway...I refused an epidural and they refused to give me Demerol...small favors)" and on and on and and on.

I was asked pointless question after pointless question and snapped at if I didn't respond quickly or to their liking. "How much did you weigh before you got pregnant?" "Did you have a glucose test?" "When was your last period?" "Do you take drugs?" (kanji tattoo on my arm to thank for that one) "Why do you keep flipping onto your hands and knees? You're being difficult!" "Oh now you've done it, you've blown your IV, I worked really hard to get that in for you, we'll have to get ___ to do one in your other hand" (as blood is pouring out of my right hand like water) "If you'd had X test we wouldn't have to give you penicillin, but you didn't so we have to make sure the baby doesn't get an infection" "You must be on your back with your knees up to push so the doctor can catch your baby, get on your back!"

Naked as my first birthday, out of my mind with pain and fear, a husband who bailed on standing up for me, and it was ALL ABOUT THEM. I didn't have the presence to get angry at the time but the more I think about it the pissier I get. It was my body! My baby! My birth! Yet I was given no choices, no options, and no support. I was abandoned and scolded like an imbecile. I was told to be a good girl and push like this and breathe like that and do as the good doctor says or she'll be mad or won't like you or won't 'help' you.

It was insane. These people acted as if my being in pain and afraid was a personal insult to them, a rude inconvenience. I was expected to endure this incredibly intense and terrifying thing silent as a lamb, compliant as a kitten, and all the while calmly able to hold a polite, business-like conversation about my own body in which I was expected to hand my well-being and safety and that of my child to perfect f*cking strangers without a wimper of protest. I don't understand why not wanting to be hurt and to feel safe and cared for and something of compassion is so damned unreasonable. I was hurting! I was scared! And everyone in that room aside from my husband was a woman. It was a coldness I have never felt and hope to never feel again.

He came out vaginally, a healthy and screaming 7 lbs 10 ounces. He came out FAST. The urge to push was crazy involuntary. He wouldn't latch for about 24 hours, but once he got the idea (with the assistance of two truly kick-ass LC's, both of whom were obvious and out hardcore lactivists) he nursed like a pro. And his daddy held back my hair and held my hand and helped me push that horrid artifical stirrup way and cried with joy at seeing his son's face. He did the best he knew how, and overall he did help. He's just overly respectful of authority, which I don't have the heart to resent him for. We're all ourselves.

It all would've been different if I'd just been strong enough to hang those last 2 hours. But I wasn't. I wasn't strong enough. I needed support. I needed someone stronger to help me. My will was broken. I paid for it. I regret it. Even though I made it through drug free and uncut (save the hour and a half vaginal stitching marathon I was subjected to. No perennial tears, but 50 stinkin' stitches. Despite my objection. As my new baby sat in the corner with his daddy. I just wanted to hold him...). Even though my son was not circumcised or vaccinated (though I think he was given a Vit K shot, I discovered a band-aid under his bootie at one point...) or fed anything other than his mother's milk (the best thing about that hospital was it's militant dedication to breastfeeding, rare and wonderful). Even though in the end I was glad for the advice from some of the nurses and the mental break of Ryo being in the nursery and all the loving family and friends that came to visit.

I wanted at the end of my one-time rollercoaster pregnancy ride to be able to say I did it all on my own. But I can't say that, and I can't go back. This was my one shot. I failed. My baby is beautiful and healthy and strong and has changed my life and brought me closer to my husband and family but it could've been even better if I'd just sucked it up. I was overconfident, and understaffed. I will always wish otherwise.

Still, my absolutely gorgeous little angel milky sweet face is here. And I know he got me sick to keep me tired so I wouldn't scream and make the pain worse (only screamed with hands in my vaginal canal and once with one of my very last pushes) and so I could be hazy enough mentally not to be too traumatized by the nurses (he knew I'd wuss out I guess, and he loves me anyway

Ryo Lee Barrantes, born 5:58pm. Making a real woman of me. A full-of-milk bone-tired spacey-brained mami. Where no mami ever was before.

These past 5 days have been at turns nightmares of psychotic fear and sleeplessness and frustration and hesitation and weirdness defying description and yet amazing. I am without ability to define who I am anymore. Total overhaul. I am new because he is new and he needs me like I've never been needed. Isn't that frightening when you understand that, really get it for the first time? This tiny helpless being depends on you to survive. What a TRIP.
What a responsibility. How can life not change? How can people look at themselves in the mirror, look into their child's face and see anything at all of what they saw of the world before?

I messed up but he makes up for all of it. He makes up for me. He is a part of me. Part of his Dad. His own part. He made me understand my dad as human, my grandma as human, my stepmother as human, my own mother and cousin and the family I'd hated my whole life as human, my worldview as tunnel vision. Things make sense that never would have.

Too much.

Thanks for listening. I'll still enjoy reading here the heroic tales of those who can and have done what I was not able to. UC remains central to my experience of birth in many ways, though it was not to be for me.

Thanks to all who offered advice and support and hugs. Sleep well (those who are able to at the moment

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Wow. Thanks for sharing.

I know this probably makes no sense in the context of UC, but I wish you'd had somebody there to give you some useful support - another women who had UCed, maybe.

I'm glad your babe is well and that you were smart and resilient enough to get some benefit out of the postpartum resources the hospital had to offer.
CJ -

I'm lurking here for the first time today. Couldn't go past this. Thanks so much for sharing it, and please please don't feel a failure or any less of a heroine than those who have the birth they desired. As you said so beautifully (you're a hell of a writer you know!) 'we are all ourselves' and all our birth experiences are our own, for reasons we can't begin to fathom, really...

thanks for your raw honesty and the humanity that just shines out of your post. I'm so sorry you weren't received in the hospital in a half-decent way. And so happy that your baby is well and you too. So many realisations...

stay well
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Oh hon I'm so sorry you had to go through all that hospital nonsense!!! I'd be so angry I could spit. I wish you'd had some good support there to tell you that this was totally normal and that you could do it
I just had my first UC last week and that birth was completely different than any of my other 8 births. It definitely took me to the edge, and almost right over. I'm holding off writing my birth story so that the good parts fully surface. I feel like I'm not doing justice to her birth by not accepting the positives because they're overshadowed by the negatives. Not to say I won't say it hurt like hades, but it hasn't all sunk in yet, KWIM?

*huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuugs* Congratulations, momma!
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I just wanted to say the prick on his heel might have been to draw some blood for testing for the rare diseases they test for right at birth.
THanks for the story. I just posted my "almost UC" story. I have to say though, that you are being a bit hard on yourself.! I'm willing to bet you'll have a different perspective on your birth experience in 6 months. If you do, I hope you share those musings as as well. I realize now that crazy hormones were coursing through my veins for at least the first 4 months after dd's birth. I was too sensitive at that time to think about whether or not I "did it" right and definitely defensive (looking back at a few posts I wrote soon after the birth).

Forgive yourself and be gentle toward yourself.

: yep, ITA with JessJoy...I think you are a great birther, and you *did not* fail! you produced a healthy big baby, and are bfing him, and you deserve a pat on the back. Sounds like you had him shortly after you got to the hospital, too! that is the way I help doula clients plan thier births, to walk in the door, and spit the baby out. I think you did great. I also don't think it is your only chance at childbirth...wait til next time, and I bet you have your UC then...
be prepared....
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I used to post here on the UC board and I still pop in to read every once in awhile. I also had a first birth that was a failed UC. My story is linked above.

Thank you for sharing your story, as I can especially relate to failed UC's.

I think there is something important to remember though that is worth mentioning: unassisted childbirth is not the point. It's not the be-all, end-all, of ways to give birth. I was seduced by the idea of that "intimacy" of having just you and your dh there. Now, it may be possible for some women to do it ALL ALONE, and it may be possible for some people to do it as a couple, but that doesn't mean it is RIGHT for everyone. Some women may have slower-moving, less intense labors that make it more conducive to UC. Or maybe some women are not taken off-guard by a hard, fast, intense labor and can handle it. I just wasn't one of those women.

I think the point in giving birth is doing what it takes to help you have a positive and peaceful birth, as much as possible. In my case, having a MW there to coach me through it and not put the undue burden on my husband to play all roles would have been smarter. Maybe I wouldn't have transferred.

The point is not to beat yourself up about it and not to think you "failed" by not having a UC. It takes a little time, but it will happen. And next time you will be able to take what you have learned and apply what you know you need in birth so that you can have a better experience.

I am 35 weeks and planning a homebirth again (at dh's suggestion, to my amazement!) but there will be a MW present this time. I wouldn't attempt a UC again, becuase it just wasn't what worked for me. It's not a bad thing to need support.

Good luck to you!
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I think the point in giving birth is doing what it takes to help you have a positive and peaceful birth, as much as possible.
Well said.

And Stacy, here's hoping you have a wonderful experience this time around.
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CJ, I just want to offer hugs too. I think I missed the full story before; don't know how I did that.
But I've just read it, and I'm so sorry you didn't have the support you needed. I wish you could have seen me in transition. Two hours of excruciating pain. Honestly, if I'd had somebody making it easy for me to go the hospital, I would have. I remember thinking about having those words cross my lips, "get the car ready, we are going to the hospital," even while realizing that they wouldn't be able to do anything for me there, I still wanted to say it... but literally could not vocalize it. It was luck on my part, because I'm certain my husband would have taken me. So please don't feel like you wussed out. I know it's a huge disappointment and it was hurtful to you, but in the face of something so extreme you shouldn't blame yourself. I really don't think anyone can say that in your shoes they would have been able to do any different.
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dont feel like you werent strong enough. no one is 'strong enough'- labor is beyond our strength, it is outside of this reality- i, too, experienced pain that i cant and never will be able to put into words. i believe being without the hospital is more a matter of the situation- sometimes we get through it before we realize it, or we have the right people saying the right things, or there is no choice. but for modern women, the socialized idea of the hospital is on our minds and weighs on our hearts even before labor begins. with my first, i begged for drugs- not because i 'wanted' them, but because they were There, in my mind, and i was unable to erase the idea of them. i did without them only because of my husband's support. with my second, a homebirth, i didnt beg for drugs- i begged for someone to 'hit me over the head with something'- not because i was too weak, but because the concept of making the pain go away existed in me and labor is so intense, it unearths those ideas and concepts easily.

i dont feel that a woman who births without these struggles is stronger or better- it is the moment, the birth, the life that has preceded the birth, everything tied up together, and there is no shame in what birth brings you.

i am so pleased for you that you have your little one. nothing better. and i hope for you that you have and will continue to preserve the magical moments of this memory and honor yourself.

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