Updated: Oct 15, 2019
How I imaged my labor & delivery experience vs the reality of labor.
I knew my #birthstory very well. My mom and dad went for a check-up when she was about 8 months pregnant. Her blood pressure was very high and the doctor decided it was best to keep her for observation. My father later came to the hospital and towards the end of the night, he decides to go home to change clothes and get a little sleep because there was no place for him I'm the hospital. My mother got so sad as my father was leaving the hospital. She didn't want to be alone and I wasn't due for another month. I responded to her emotions and kicked hard enough to break her water. Four and a half hours later, with the help of a midwife, I was born.
Knowing this story so well, I expected to have a similar experience. I even took having a "natural childbirth" to the next level. I was planning a #homebirth with the aid of a midwife. So no doctors, no hospital, and most importantly, NO DRUGS!!
I was 41 weeks in 6 days when my water finally broke. That was less than 20 hours before I would have to be transferred into a doctor's care and be induced with Pitocin.
Although my water broke, I still wasn't having any contractions. My midwife had left some castor oil during her last home visit, so she directed me to drink 4 oz. My midwife and her assistant had warned me earlier that castor oil is typically a last result because it can be so uncomfortable. The castor oil kicked in pretty quickly and within 2 hours my contractions started.
DO EVERY YOU CAN TO GET THE BABY IN THE BEST BIRTHING POSITION. YOU DO NOT WANT TO EXPERIENCE "BACK LABOR."
Unlike the average 10-20 minute gap most women experience, the contractions came on fast and hard. My #contractions were 3/4 mins from the BEGINNING! I thought with the timing of my contractions I might have a quick labor like my mother. I was sadly MISTAKEN and I had #backlabor!!!!! If you're expecting, DO EVERYTHING YOU CAN TO GET THE BABY IN THE BEST #BIRTHINGPOSITION. YOU DO NOT WANT TO EXPERIENCE "BACK LABOR". The regular contractions are tough, but at least you have some relief in between. Back labor was a consistent pain, so for 15 hours, I had no relief. I really started to rethink this #naturalchildbirth thing. I definitely wanted to quit and call for an ambulance to be transported to the nearby hospital to take advantage of pain killers, but I was in active labor at that point so I wouldn’t have gotten the drugs.
Although I was fully dilated to 10cm, there was a portion of my cervix that was blocked. As a result, the baby was having a difficult time making her way down the birth canal. At this point, nothing we anticipated went as planned. I was so tired that I had given up on the initial plan of having a water birth. I was tired of the pain, tired of being in labor, and READY to have this baby.
My baby wasn't responding, for almost 5 minutes after she was delivered.
After only 3 pushes, at 3:47, my beautiful daughter finally arrived. She took a small breath after the delivery but didn’t cry out as they expected. The midwives then noticed that my baby had become unresponsive. The midwives were amazing and reacted immediately! My baby was unresponsive for nearly 5 minutes after she was delivered. At delivery, she aspirated and filled her lungs with fluid. Interestingly, I later became aware that this is relatively common after learning of 5 families who had the same experience at childbirth. The midwives began addressing her airway as my partner began doing chest compressions. THEY WERE DOING CPR ON MY BABY!!! At one point, one of the midwives put her mouth over the baby’s airway and began sucking out the fluid! 911 was contacted by the midwife and the FIRE DEPARTMENT was there in less than 6 mins. Fortunately, as the firefighters arrived, she began breathing on her own and she was transferred to the hospital.
My one saving grace was that I did not deliver my placenta right away, so the baby was receiving oxygen through the umbilical cord.
In addition to all this madness, I FAINTED AFTER I DELIVERED. Because I was sitting in the squat position so long after delivery, I fainted when I stood up. Thankfully the firefighters were already at my house. They called for an additional ambulance to transport me and my baby to the hospital. Gratefully we both were only in the hospital a few days.
In retrospect, I really should have been scared when my baby was unresponsive. We were really close to losing her, but my spirit ensured me that everything was going to be ok. As I watched my midwives and partner (who is a firefighter himself) giving my baby CPR, my heart knew she would be ok. Throughout the pregnancy my midwives had become a part of our family so it wasn’t just healthcare professionals caring for my baby, they were family and I knew they loved her like I did.