My First Birth Experience
“Being a Mother
is learning about strengths
you didn’t know you had,
and dealing with fears
you didn’t know existed.”
“We must be willing
to let go
of the life we,
so as to have
the life that is waiting
I have been wanting to share the birth of my first born for a long time. Here is my experience in its entirety. It is a long story. I am going to share all of my birth experiences, so keep an eye out for them!
I am so excited, to share my words and I am here to tell other Mamma’s there are so many options out there, don’t just give in to fear, live with information and knowledge. Know that you do have a choice and you mostly have a voice when it comes to our babies and mostly our bodies. Here it goes!
The Idea of Baby Bliss
Our first pregnancy was so exciting I was so happy when I took that first positive pregnancy test, and the second line was really there. I was ecstatic, I was twenty six and Rex was twenty seven. We were young but not too young, I was healthy. Rex was scared yet excited to become a father. We had no idea what we were about to get ourselves into. My birth experiences up until this point consisted of watching my Mother give birth to my little sister when I was thirteen, quite the traumatic experience for me.
When I was twenty four I was so lucky to experience the first birth between me and my sisters. My nephew, Kelton was born at thirty five weeks and his lungs were not fully developed. From the first moment to the first month of his new life was spent in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit). My emotions and feelings of birth were all over the place. Both of these birth experiences were pretty traumatizing, as excited as I was to be pregnant I was so terrified. I watched my sister’s first experience of being a Mother and nothing went as planned.
As the societal norm we planned hospital birth, because that is just what you do. Right? Well at the time that is what I thought was the right thing to do. We opted for midwives, the clinic we choose was big, a little bigger than I would have liked. At the time of my life it was all I knew and it was comfortable so I just went along with it. The clinic I went to had four rotating Midwifes, who would pass you around from appointment to appoint. When it came time to going into labor it just depend on who was on call. Two of midwives I loved and one was ok and the fourth was much younger and inexperienced. Needless to say she was not my favorite, and I felt very uncomfortable around her. I knew I wanted to have midwives opposed to doctors so I could have a more “natural” birth experience.
I had the perfect birth plan. My husband and I took the birthing classes, I was mostly clueless and information less. The plan was written it was going to be natural, I was going to do what my body was meant for. I had mentally prepared myself for my labor my entire pregnancy, I listened to my pregnancy affirmations. I practiced my breathing. I was connected with my baby. It was a girl, the moment we found out she was a girl this extreme wave of happiness overcame me. I already had her name picked out she was going to be Violet June Bond. I had many dreams of holding her and nursing her, I could hardly wait the ten and a half months for her to come out.
And so my due date had come and passed as many, many first time Mammas experience. Well those arduous days kept passing and slight signs of labor were in my future. The days turned into a week a week turned into a week and six days. Every one of those day’s I would recieve calls and texts did you have your baby, are you in labor? Shouldn’t you just get induced aren’t you sick of being pregnant? I finally turned off my phone and was not going out in public anymore, if there was someone I really wanted to talk to I would call them myself.
I was trusting my body to do what it was supposed to do. Finally at my forty one week and six day check up. My husband Rex, sister Jenny and my Doula, Elisa all at my side. And in walked my least favorite Midwife, her lack of confidence showed when she wouldn’t even look into my eyes when she was telling me how dangerous it was to continuing on being pregnant past fourty two weeks. The entire time she seemed unsure about what she was saying her voice was shaky. My husband took what she said very serious, he had no clue of the process of pregnancy or childbirth, he hung onto every word this confiden lacking, young woman’s words. I was a raging ball of emotions and hormones at this point. Hey I was ten and a half months pregnant, can you blame me? Rex inturned freaked out which freaked me out. I was forty one weeks and six days pregnant. My sister Jenny and Dula Elisa tried telling me I was fine and I did not have to be pressured into anything I didn’t want to do. With that we left the appointment and the midwife strongly urged us to call the hospital and scheduled an induction. I left feeling confused, shaken up, I had no idea what to do. Part of me just wanted to be done being pregnant, I wanted hold my baby. Thoughts raced and raced in my mind.
The Difference Between a Doula And A Midwife?
Just a bit of information if you are not familiar with the term a dula. A Doula is a birthing coach, a woman who assists women during and after childbirth. She is someone who is there as support for the laboring mother, she keeps the laboring mother’s mind focused, positive, calm and peaceful. She was an essential part of my birthing experience. I am so blessed to have an amazing woman in my life who just so happens to be a Doula and buy the way she has the most soothing voice and knows exactly what I need to feel and hear while I am in labor. A Doula is essential to accomplish an actual real life “natural” childbirth. If you have the right Doula she makes all of the difference in the world during the most intense birthing moments to the to calming waves and pauses between contractions. The same goes for your care provider if you have a trusted Doctor or Midwife these people can make or break your birthing experience.
A Doula often gets confused with a Midwife, she is not the same. A Midwife is a person who is most commonly found to be a woman but can be a man, she or he is trained to serve and assist women pre, post and during childbirth. A Midwife is a person who serves as an attendant, but is not a physician.
I say “she” for me, because I see birth as an experience that women can share deeply with each other there is this amazing bond that we can connect in a whole new light, it is emotional it is soulful it is beautiful. Men or women who have not experienced this amazing experience just connect with a different mindset and approach. This can also be an amazing thing for the newcomer to the birthing experience. Whether it be birth or another life experience if a person experiences anything in life, we can relate at an entirely different level than if you haven’t. Our husband’s or a partner’s can connect in their own way, I believe there to be this sacred bond that birthing mothers share. It is an indescribable feeling and one of the most powerful and memorable experiences I have had the joy in enduring in my life .
Being a woman who has attended five births, two hospital births and three home births. I find myself to be well seasoned to the birthing experience and the major differences and benefits between hospital and home births.
My Doomed Induction
With the fear of my least favorite midwives words correlated with my husbands fears. The night of my forty one week and six day check up. I let my fear’s defeat me, I called and scheduled my dreadful induction for eight PM that same evening. I was packed and ready to go. I was going to have my baby girl, I was going to get to hold her and kiss her for the first time. With no signs of labor we were off to the hospital.
I was induced with Cervidil, a gel healthcare professionals use to induce labor. This is applied directly onto the cervix. My Midwife administered my first dose one hour into my check in. What midwife would you suppose was on call? Oh my least favorite, non eye contact making, slightly shaky midwife that’s who. With a bad taste in my mouth to start with. She applied another dose into the night, this Cervidil was going to help “naturally” induce labor. The main risks associated with Cervidil, (as with most medications used for labor induction) is the medication can cause too many contractions, which can affect baby’s heart rate over time. After I was maxed out on the allowed Cervidil dosage, the new midwife and nurses began mass quantities of Pitocin.(Pitocin is a hormone commonly used to induce or continue labor pains or even control the bleeding after labor is known as pitocin. Occasionally it is also used to trigger the milk secretion for breast feeding. It may also be used for other health conditions based on the advice made by a midwife or doctor).
This tedious induction started approximately eight hours after this medication was administered to my cervix four times. My labor pains were intensifying minute by minute hour by hour and finally I could not take it. My natural childbirth stolen away from me. I was in the hands of medication at this point. Or I stole my birth from myself from my own lack of knowledge and decision making skills.
With my birth plan of having my “natural” childbirth down the drain. I labored in the bath tub surrounded by my amazing birth team. My amazing sisters and Doula there to support, love, and ever so rubbing hands all over my body. I cursed like a sailor, I moaned loud, I roared like a lion. When I am in labor my voice is the only thing I am in control of so I use it and I use it powerfully.
Rex scared he confined himself to the corner of the room, most of my labor terrified of not knowing what was happening or what was yet to come. It was all pretty big blur at this point. Atlas I could not take it and I gave into the dreaded Epidural that I had promised I would never get or subject my baby to. At this point, my pain was so high and I was now twelve hours in and no big sign of progression. My mind was asking if there was any way I could keep on going into this dark and painful abyss? My body surrendered, I gave up.
My birth when from intense feelings of life and labor, probably the most intense experience of my life. It is called labor for a reason people, it is hard work! I was then morphed into numbness, quivering, jaw uncontrollably chattering, nausea, vomiting, dry heaving. It went from, full of life to drained of life in a matter of an hour.
Just Another Name On The Labor And Delivery Floor
Of course now I was in the hands of the “Midwife” and ever so rotating nurses who didn’t know my first name. Scanning my wrist band not looking at me asking my name and date of birth every five minutes. Like I gave a shit what my name was, I couldn’t control my nervous system and was vomiting through my entire body. Yet I was still asked what my name was.
Hours later I was almost there, I even remember them saying it was almost time to push I was dialated to a nine. Those words gave me a small bit of hope. My sixth nurse at the time, prepared the set up for the newborn about to greet this world. Another cervix check and soon another, she kept trying to flip my sunny side up baby in the right direction.
Sunny side up or posterior refers to the fetus being face up, this can cause the baby’s back to extend straight or arched along the mother’s spine. Having the baby’s back extended often pushes up on the baby’s chin. Where proper or “text book” positioning is the complete opposite, face down. The science is the sunny side up or posterior back of baby’s skull rubs on the back of your pelvis causing bone on bone friction. Whereas if the baby were in the proper or “text book’” position her face would easily slide through the front opening of the Mother’s pelvis. None of us are a “text book” we are real people and should be treated like a people, not like a dusty book sitting on a shelf.
And then the ever so dreadful words were said for one of the first of several times, “failure to Progress”. My mind was defeated once again. What does your mind go to when someone tells you, you are a ”failure to progress?” As you can imagine, defeat, stomped down, you can’t get up. I still envisioned myself pushing Violet out of my body, I could see her, she was right there. I was so close.
The Oh So Common C-Section
The polar opposite of my planned “natural” childbirth was swept right under my feet. I didn’t stand a chance. A dreadful scrub nurse entered my room with her golden chef’s hat flopped to one side. She entered my labor room in her hat praising about her c-section and how everyone in hollywood was doing it. That nowadays scars were hidden beneath our bikini line. I was still in my mind set I was getting my baby out of my body, on my now ever so skewed terms. The chef’s hat or scrub hat this nurse was wearing didn’t even dawn on me at this point.
And then the words we said again, “failure to Progress,” over and over. This was roughly nine Pm the day after the start of my induction. My Midwife and on call Doctor ready to get home and go to bed was more like it. I was told my hips were too narrow and I probably wouldn’t be able to push a baby out vaginally and with this constant “failure to progress” at stake that a C-section was what needed to be done.
Dressed In Blue
Shaking , nauseous, physically and emotionally exhausted my spirit broken. My emotions let down into the saddest hysteria of bawling, crying, quivering, utter defeatment, I could not control myself at that point. I didn’t know how I was going to live with myself, I felt I was robbed of my beautiful birth of my first born.
I regained consciousness enough to be wheeled down the bright sterile hallway, bright light blurring my vision. I entered into a scary tiny room surrounded by strangers in full on blue suites covering their mouths and wearing goggles as if I had some fatal, airborne illness. I felt like I was in the movie E.T. Terrified still shaking and off and on dry heaving nothing left inside of my stomach to purge. I was met by my husband, Rex and my sister Jenny. Relieved to see their faces, they too were dressed in some strange white suites. There I was in this sterile, circus of a room. The bright lighting pierce through my already blurred vision and foggy mind.
The Doctor told me she was going to do a poke test to make sure I was numb enough to begin. I had a coughing fit overcome me and all I could envision was her stabbing my baby in the head with her scalpel, that’s how dark and far gone I was. I could feel nothing at this movement, it is so hard to describe I could feel my body being rustled about but numbness at the same time. I heard my daughter cry, I got sick again and vomited behind the blue curtain. I lost a ton of blood my husband and sister were shoved back by the anesthesiologist. The Doctor and Midwife were panicking shouting to give me more of this and that. I could not make out the words, I was lifeless, I felt nothing.
I could not enjoy what was supposed to be one of the most beautiful, blissful experiences women get to have. Something I had been dreaming about since I was a young girl. This was the birth of my first daughter and I felt as if I were dying.
My husband not sure to stay with me or go with the baby, he said “Juney,” he cried his emotions were in that moment he was meeting his daughter for the first time. I am so happy they got to share that moment together. My sister never left my side she wiped my vomited upon face she caressed my forehead. I can remember the love and sincerity in her touch on my skin. I heard my husband say something about meeting my baby.
Unforgivable and Unforgettable Words
And then I was about to say the most unforgettable words, these words would mold the next five years of my life, “take her away, take her away from me, get her away.” Were the first utterances to my baby girl. I said this with my eyes rolled back into my head and the stench of vomit on my face and the lingering feeling of death laying on top of my body. These words haunted me day after day.
We were reunited approximately one hour later. The nurse brought her to me with my oxygen on my nose she was so sweet and tiny. She was in a paper diaper with a pacifier in her mouth. I immediately tried to nurse her my body felt numb, but my brain took over and my maternal instincts flew in. And she did it she nursed! We had our first bonding moment, it was nothing like I had imagined but she was in my arms and I immediately fell in love with her. She was mine and I made her after all. I did imaging nursing her and that was real. I was a zombie of myself but I was holding my baby girl, I couldn’t believe she was finally here.
The next six weeks were an even bigger blurr, I emotionally and physically was in so much pain. I had the hardest time processing my daughter’s birth. I blamed myself, I blamed the midwife, I blamed the doctor for stealing away my perfect vision of her birth. I never held myself accountable, that I should have taken charge. I should not have let them take over and scare me into what my body was created to do.
The birth of Violet changed my mindset and forever changed me. I let it set a dark mood over the next five years of my life. I should not have been so torn down by it, but everything happens for a reason. I was so lost and drowned by this experience I let it run my life every day life, until I recently woke up and accepted my past as my past. And accepted that I am in charge of making my future. If I had not experience this birth I would not be here telling you about this and I would not be able to help give other parents wisdom and knowledge.
I want everyone to know that you can have a voice, you can and do have a choice. You can say no, do your research before you get scared into something. Understanding everything in birth or everyday life is the opposite to our worries and our doubts. We should never make rash decisions based on fear, worry or doubt. Our choices we make today are the choices that mold our future. If you have exhausted all of your resources and intervention is the only way to go, the only way to make sure you and your baby are safe then that is what interventions were created for. Not just because we are untrusting of our body or impatient. This is your body and your baby! Mostly your life after all take charge of it and know you have a voice, so speak up! Until next time friends!