I recently watched the video Business of Being Born, I had watched this wonderful documentary on America's birthing system over and over again during pregnancy: it was my muse in many aspects. I am hoping on passing this video to my sister, who is currently pregnant with her first child. Watching this over again after so long I expected to be extremely overtaken with baby lust again, especially with Hayden growing up, and while it does make me just a little nudge on the idea of having a 2nd child, I am still holding steady on waiting.
I love, love, LOVE mid wives, natural labor without drugs, positive birth experiences (I even find myself reading on natural birth stories). I did and didn't go natural though with my birth with Hayden, I never thought too much about it and was happy until recently when I decided that I may never have another child.
What I never got...
I never to be one of those pregnant women who were in Target or sitting on the couch eating bon bons and suddenly their water broke. Now I am not naive and know that it surely doesn't happen just as that but you get the picture.
I never got to be one of those women who had a midwife
I never got my water birth
What My Labor was like...
In the Business of being Born it is told that hospitals have a snow ball effect of you get one intervention such as an epidural, which slows labor than come pitocin to speed up the labor they slowed, next comes a c - section to save the labor that epidural caused to stop and the pitocin caused to distress the baby leads to many interventions. But I must say my experience with doctors and birthing in a hospital was different. First let me say that I originally planned a birth center water birth. Fresno, ca has no birth centers though, which lead to me considering a home birth. I finally caved on a home birth just to be stopped by the fact that Fresno has little to no mid-wives. Then the following week that I was supposed to meet with my mid wife to see if we mesh, I went into preterm labor and at every ultrasound I was greeted with the fact that my fibroid keep growing when usually they stop growing in pregnancy. So I decided to birth in a hospital with some very natural birth friendly doctors. I quickly fell in love with my OB/GYNs Dr. Thomas and Dr. Dhiami. I still love, love, love those guys.
But by the end of pregnancy, I wanted my baby I didn't care about waiting just holding my baby. I tried to read on natural labor to put me on track again, I just wanted my Hayden. So I went to my regular appointment at 40 weeks and scheduled my induction. Unlike what the movie Business of Being Born says, they told me that normal pregnancies should go into labor naturally and that inductions sometimes don't work and end in c-sections. But my knowledge of being was extensive and knew too that by me being 40 weeks and if I was already soft the chances of it working was greater so I got checked and was disappointed to know that I was soft already but Hayden's head was turned facing sideways still and that my cervix was long. I begged and pleaded for a induction also because my husband at his job goes out of town daily and if I went into labor when he was in Stockton or Bakersfield there was a chance that he would miss the birth of his son. And finally it was scheduled for the week after my due date.
The morning that I went to be induced I was already in labor, 3 centimeters, and I never knew it. I didn't even lose my mucous plug. I had started having braxton hicks in my second trimesters and was very familiar with them, I had had them the night before my induction and knew they to becoming regular but they stopped after about 3 hours so I chalked it up to braxton hicks and went to bed. I didn't feel anything out of the normal or anything.
I was put on pitocin but I knew that that was part of the induction process, and when I found out that I was in labor I asked them to not put me on just let me go. And they did. They were extremely surprised when they started monitoring my contractions that I wasn't experiencing too much discomfort and they were coming so regularly. At 4 centimeters I was put on pitocin following some irregular contractions for more than an hour and things picked up again once I have reached 5. My pitocin was lessened and I started finally feeling the contractions growing stronger. But they never bothered me, I took my time, did my breathing and mediation that I had practiced in pregnancy from hypno birthing to deal with contractions. I was never bothered. At 6 centimeters I was told that the window for an epidural was closing and that if I wanted one to ask for one with the knowledge of the anesthesiologist sometimes could take up to an hour to get to me. I quickly ordered one with the idea that I could sit and read before my baby boy came. Yup, natural birth out the window that fast. And that is when things starting to get interesting...
I got the epi, I did the entire 9-10, I relaxed, remained still, curved my shoulders, hung my head, while I didn't feel the needle go in I felt the medicine going through my body. I remember thinking is this supposed to feel like this? Then I saw my knee involuntarily jerk and I thought "was that supposed to happen? Am I going to be hurt?" Immediately I started itching, I'm talking full blown spiders felt as if they were crawling under my skin. So they gave me benedryl, which did nothing, so they gave me a second dose, which only made me sleepy. Then I started feeling contractions that were long and strong and I knew I was transitioning. I quickly asked my best friend what did the epidural feel like for her. she said she know when she was having contractions but it was numb, she felt nothing and couldn't move her legs. I then told her the epidural didn't work. Which quickly got into around the room she is still in pain, why? I was asked if I wanted to up the dosage but told them no I would deal with labor, mainly because I did not want to inch again.
I will tell you why and how I know it didn't work for those of you who think that yeah it numbed it just a little. Nope! I still felt the contractions coming, having me pause dialogue to concentrate. I could still move my legs, I did so quite frequently because of the discomfort from the itching. At 7 centimeters I asked to be checked because I felt the urge to push, but was only at 7. Those contractions took lots of contraction and quiet. I looked at the clock frequently, hoping that I was progressing, because the urge was getting stronger and stronger. For those of you who don't know, an epi is supposed to numb from the waist down, meaning you can't get up at all because you have no feeling of your legs which is why they catheter you. I still needed to get up to pee and did so twice during later once after the epi. An hour later I was 10 centimeters and pushing was my forte. I quickly started pushing because the urge was so strong. Most first time moms push for two hours, I birthed Hayden in 30 minutes. I went so fast they actually were not ready and had to run and get the doctor, telling me wait. I, of course, frankly told them I'm having this baby with or without the doctor.
Hayden didn't cry when he was born and put on my chest. We had instant skin to skin contact, but he was taken away when I couldn't stop bleeding.
My reason for writing this is that my doctors never pushed me into anything, it was all me and my personal decisions. The only thing that was done to that I didn't want was an episiatomy.
But I do have some questions such as was my birth natural...I went through labor, felt every contraction, remember every bit of it, the epi didn't work I pushed out my own baby...is that natural? I had medications but none worked my induction was even stopped because I didn't need it. I don't know really, but I think about and wish that I could be one of those women who was sitting on the couch eating bon bons when their water broke. And when I think of that I wish too that I could have had my water birth, my home birth. MMM...Just thinking...
To all who wonder I highly recommend Business of being Born to all, it is available at netflix and is a must watch for all. I loved it! And I by no means want people to think that I believe all labors will be like mine, and I think that overall Business of being Born is true because I was pregnant with 4 other women out of the 5 of us only 2 including me had our children without a c-section. I know that c-sections are on the raise and that is really dangerous to think about. But I also know of some women who are going for VBACs after their c-section including my best friend and Greyson's mom, Morgan.