While my water broke on its own our child had second thoughts on entering the world and after being sent home to “relax” I was induced 18 hours later.
With my charming and controlling personality and my partner wanting to make sure he had as many resources available to him we decided to hire a doula. With her we made a birth preference not a plan, since she made it very clear that birth like life usually does not go as planned. The idea was to have a natural birth and to labour as long as possible at home, clearly our preference was starting out perfectly…
I should also explain at this point that when I told my friends and family of my preference the majority were surprised, since I am the person that will take pain medication on the anticipation of pain – why suffer when you don’t have to.
Both the doctor and nurse were very sweet in telling me that they understood I wanted a natural birth, but being induced meant labour would be a bit more intense and that if I needed pain relief I should not be upset by this decision. Well clearly they had never met a mother like me before, I am stubborn and determined and no one tells me what to do, including oxytocin… wrong.
By hour 10 and having turned into a crazed woman who was contemplating taking a scalpel and performing my own section I had run out of options, after starting out with a hot water bottle, going to the TENS machine, jumping into the shower, and enjoying brief relief in the form of laughing gas, I gave in. Fentanyl was suggested to get me over the hump and within 15 minutes the pain should subside… nothing, another dose and 30 minutes had gone by, still nothing. At this point through the few seconds of clarity I had it was decided that if I was not past 7 cm I would get the epidural, and is it turned out I was only at 4 cm, I felt defeated.
The anesthesiologist came in and dared to tell me not to move and to breathe through the pain… the anesthesiologist was a man. Like previously, I was promised relief by 15 minutes and while both I and my partner watched the seconds tick by yet again there was no change.
An hour and half later after receiving double the normal concentration of an epidural, as it turns out I metabolize pain medicine very efficiently – thanks again to my German heritage, I had dilated past 10cm and the baby was ready to come out. The pushing part was fantastic, thanks in part to the epidural but also a special shoutout to the medicine ball that became my best friend throughout the day and the risk my doula took on her life by encouraging me to stand throughout contractions, I only had to push for 13 minutes.
Not only is my partner the loveliest man alive he also does not get grossed out easily, so there was no staying at the head for his part in the labour. He was right up in there, looking at all the action including a sidebar conversation with the doctor about my placenta.
Cillian our healthy baby was born one day past his due date weighing 7.9 pounds and 19.5 inches long and he is adorable, not only to his shallow mother and lovely father but also to non-DNA related people.
Things that I learned from my own birth:
- While it did take me a couple of months to get past the fact that I did not have a natural birth, in the end we got the result we wanted – a healthy baby.
- For us having a doula was amazing and while I know they can be expensive I wouldn’t do it any other way; however I understand different financial situations might not allow for this to to be an option.
- Have a fantastic playlist. Being able to play music and have a good laugh with the medical staff throughout the day when certain songs played, made the whole experience so much more pleasant – also people liked coming into our room, when I wasn’t crazy.
- There are a lot of negative stories about labour, mine was a great experience, crazy lady and all, which is why I want to share the positive in hopes that it will put someone a bit more at ease going into this experience.
Now the fun begins…