Friday, September 23, 2011

Birth Story Part 2 (Typed with both hands)

Now, where was I? Oh yeah, deciding if I should stay home and try for the
natural home birth I wanted, or head to the hospital and likely receive and
epidural. So I'm betting that from my previous posts pushing home birth you
think I decided to stay, but guess what....your wrong. Before the midwives
finished saying"I think we should head to the hospital" I was already getting
my crocks on and heading for the door. I wasn't even wearing a shirt but off
I went to the elevator. Of course my good hubby was there to make sure I put
all me clothes on, he even asked if I was sure this is what I wanted, to which
I replied "Caterpillar, Caterpillar, Caterpillar!" our code word.

I was the first one at the elevator waiting for everyone else to pack up and figure 
out how to get to the hospital. In the end my doula drove while I had contractions 
in the front seat and my husband rubbed my shoulders from the back seat. At this 
point all I wanted was the epidural, each contraction made my body push, and each
contraction everyone would say "don't push" and I was forced to pant instead. When 
we arrived at the hospital the nursing staff joined the "don't push" chorus and I
started to feel completely alone. In fact I started to feel like everyone was out to
get me, I may have even accused them of "trying to kill me"....a bit dramatic!

I wanted to be checked before requesting the epidural just in case I miraculously
dilated 3 cm while in the car. The OB was called in to check my progress but
unfortunately my pushing did start to swell the cervix and I was now 6cm. That
was it for me, I wanted the epidural and I wanted it "NOW!". It took nearly 1
hour for the anesthetist to arrive and wile I waited I yelled continually at the
staff to go find him. Things I may have said:

"Where the *#@! is he? Why arn't you getting him?"

"I need this to be over, someone go find him"

and again "Your all trying to kill me!!!"

As soon as I decided on the epidural I threw all my breathing and coping
techniques out the window......not a good Idea. That last hour was honestly
the worst and lowest point of this whole event, I can look back and laugh
now but it really was not a shinning moment for me! 

Once the anesthetist arrived and worked his magic all was well and I 
immediately felt relief........and guilt. I felt as if I gave up on my baby and left her 
to labour alone, I had worked so hard to have her and when things got hard I 
tapped out, but I NEEDED the break. I also knew the epidural was going to slow 
labour down and pitocin was eventually going to be introduced, I really did not
want the baby exposed to pitocin. 

After about 45min. you could see on the monitor that the contractions (that had 
once been 2 min a part lasting 1.5min for hours) had completely stopped. My doula 
and I used a breast pump to try and increase oxytocin (which I am sure got a few 
laughs from the nurses) and it worked a little bit. We got the contractions back 
up to 5 min apart but it wasn't enough, pitocin would have to be used.

We spent the rest of the day resting, eating and chatting. Staff was in and out
to check on me but really we were left alone most of the time. My nurse was amazing 
and encouraging as well as the OB who was confident his baby would rotate and make
her way out eventually. This was refreshing to hear because in my experience swollen 
cervix = cesarean. I really can't say enough about the hospital stay, I was really very 
lucky that day.

At around 4 or 5pm I was checked again and was ecstatic to hear that I was 10cm 
dilated, they recommended I have more rest and get ready to push soon. The epidural 
had been given at around 9am, and I avoided pressing the nice red button (the one 
that boosts the medication) so by this time I was feeling the contractions again. 
Actually for much of the day I knew when contractions were coming so was able to
continue my breathing and visualizations.

By 6pm I was feeling that urge to push again but this time I was able to work with it. 
There was still some intensity but it was a relief to finally push. When the midwife 
checked me the baby's head was "right there" and had turned back to the proper 
position. I turned to my side to push while hubby held my hand watched the birth. 
I could hear everyone encouraging me as I pushed until I heard the midwife say 
"Here is the head". I felt very much in control at this point so I waited for the next 
contraction and pushed with all I had.

Then, suddenly there was a little tiny face staring up at me, I know there was
lots of commotion going on around but all I could see was this little baby on my 
chest. Hubby announced that we had a little girl and before long the 3 of us were
able to enjoy our first few moments together. Sotiria (Sadie) Lorraine was born 
Friday Aug 12th at 6:30pm to a packed room of doctors, midwives, nurses, doulas 
and the waiting arms of her loving parents.

I wish I could say that this was the way it was supposed to be and it was perfect but 
the truth is I wish I had been stronger for her. All I wanted was to start her life off in 
a calm and gentle way and I feel like I let her down. Of course when I am thinking 
logically I know I did the best I could and that I am proud of the decisions I made. 
In the end our birth story is "ours" and I had an amazing day filled with love,
amazing support and happiness, and that is the way it's supposed to be.


  1. I remember after Seve was born, our awesome nurse said to me quietly, "Now, I know this probably didn't go the way you wanted, so don't feel bad if it wasn't what you planned." And I remember thinking, and saying, "What? Are you serious? That was awesome!" And it was, but of course with the passage of time little doubts crept in, like feeling bad for agreeing to the Kiwi and the monitor, which left tiny scabs on his otherwise perfect little head.

    All that to say ... I think it's unavoidable. I think even the most "perfect" birth has room for improvement, if we focus on it too much. And I would never tell any mother that her anxieties are misplaced, but I will say there are so many more, cuter, sweeter-smelling, neck-nuzzling things to focus on, as you know. :-)

    Finally, I think that from a strictly professional standpoint, your experience and your choices will only serve to make you a more compassionate and supportive presence at births, which is a beautiful upside when you think about it.

    -- J

  2. Oh it sounds perfect! You have nothing to feel bad about in the least!

    I got all teary-eyed reading the line, "before long the 3 of us were
    able to enjoy our first few moments together."

    That says it all!

  3. I completely agree with Jeni! You did the best you could and that's all that matters.

  4.'s your story to own! And what a great one. You did pretty awesome I'd say.

  5. what a great story. Own it, it's yours and yours alone. Either way you have Sadie, your both healthy and happy, isn't that what matters most? See you Sunday!

  6. You gave birth to your beautiful daughter, no such thing as letting her down. And here is no such thing as an ungraceful birth. You were amazing, and even more so that you passed on your fantasy birth in order to do the safest thing for your little girl. THAT is the greatest thing ever. Congratulations to all of you -- Sadie is lucky to have such an awesome mama!

  7. Thanks for sharing your story! I love it - your story is exactly your own.