When I found out I was pregnant I did allllll the things. I read lots of books and did lots of research. I decided what kind of birth that I wanted. I didn`t write it down or anything but I knew what I wanted and I let my husband know too. I also tried to get him to read all kinds of books but I don`t think he ever did. I was determined to have a natural childbirth with out any interventions. Here is what actually happened.
During my pregnancy with Briar I developed pre-eclampsia. The day I found out the midwife called and told me to go straight to the hospital. I was admitted but luckily I was doing okay enough to cook her for a little longer. My blood pressure was on the rise so I spent a lot of time collecting my urine, getting blood drawn, at the doctor, and at the hospital getting ultrasounds to see if Briar was big and strong enough to come out.
On April 10th, when I was right about 35 weeks, we closed on our first house and were able to move in!
We spent the whole day moving in to the house with the help of my in-laws. At this point I was really feeling pretty sick and spent most of the day lying down. The very next day my husband went back to work and I went in for a doctor appointment.
The combination of my increasing symptoms and my super high blood pressure caused a lot of concern at my appointment and my doctor decided it was not safe to wait any longer. I had a ultrasound that day and it looked like her lungs were strong enough so that was a factor too. I called my husband to tell him we were having a baby! One of his awesome co-workers came in so that he could meet me at home and take me to the hospital. I also called my mom (who lives 528 miles away) and she got on the road so she could try to be with us for Briar`s birth.
We checked into the hospital around 6pm and my midwife (who I didn`t get to use because of the complications) came by to administer Cervadil. I started having some contractions but they were pretty low key and I was able to sleep through the night.
At 7am a nurse came in to wake us and let us know that the doctor wanted to get things started. I was started on an IV with Pitocin and magnesium sulfate. The magnesium sulfate was to keep me from having seizures but it made me feel super crummy so I was not a fan. The doctor broke my water just a few minutes later. Having your water broken is the grossest feeling! It really does gush everywhere and it was so messy! I walked to the bathroom afterwards with one of those absorbent blue pads between my legs because it just kept flowing!
After having my water broken it was just hang time for a few hours. My mom and my brother made it down, my in-laws were there, and of course Mike. I was having lots of contractions but they were not terribly painful. I swear the doctor or nurse must have noticed that I wasn`t nearly uncomfortable enough because I swear they turned up the pit and then all of a sudden the started coming really fast and hard with no breaks in between. I couldn`t tell you what time it was.
I was feeling funny so I moved to the bathroom. I was going to the bathroom - or letting more amniotic fluid drip out- who knows which it actually was - when I started feeling really nauseous. I got sick a few times and I distinctly remember snapping at Mike when he tried to take away my trashcan and give me one of those little blue puke bags. I was so uncomfortable at this point that I was desperate for some kind of relief so I asked to get into the shower.
I was hooked up to all the monitors because of the drugs and the pre-eclampsia and it was making me feel so claustrophobic. The warm water provided some relief initially but not for long. There was no breaks in between contractions and they were so strong. At this point I decided that I wanted to ditch any bit of the birth plan that was still intact and get the drugs! I told the nurse that I wanted and epidural but my doctor had left the building. WHAT? That was the worst bit of news I have ever heard. It seemed like it took him hours.
Before they gave the epidural the nurse wanted to see how dilated I was. I refused. I do not think I could have tolerated it. The epidural went off without a hitch and within a few minutes I wasn`t feeling anything anymore. My FIL came in for a quick visit and then the room became a flurry of activity because apparently it was time to push - that`s what they said, I could not feel a thing. I remember being told to push and I kept asking my mom to look and see if she had red hair. Just a moment later she was out and a team of doctors took her to the warmer (she was EARLY so I did not get to hold her). Mike was staying by my side but I told him to go be with Briar.
After a while once Briar was doing better I finally got to hold her and she was the most beautiful thing. I was having terrible tremors from the medication I was on and I was so terrified to hold her because I didn`t want to hurt her or drop her. I had the tremors for hours and hours after the delivery. She was so perfect!
I am so thankful that I have healthy baby girl but I would be lying if I didn`t say how disappointed and upset I was about her delivery. Nothing was remotely natural or according to plan. I did not get to hold her right away. I received an episiotomy (which I didn`t know about till my one week appointment - not evening knowing that it happened left me feeling so violated), I wasn`t allowed to use any of the coping techniques that I had planned, I ended up with an epidural, the list goes on and on. What bothered me most is that I felt so disconnected from the whole thing. I did not experience birthing her - I could have been a bystander in the room - that`s how strong the epidural was. For months (lets be real - it was until I had my second baby) I held it against my husband because I somehow felt like he was responsible that things went so far from the natural childbirth I had imagine. Don`t get me wrong - I am thankful we have medicine and that I was being monitored for eclampsia - but I just know that it could have been a little more natural. My doctor knew that is what I wanted. I did not have a good team to help me with that goal.
When I got pregnant with Boone one of the first conversations I had with the midwife was how I ABSOLUTELY DID NOT want another labor like Briar`s. Out of curiosity she looked up my file to find out exactly what went down. As it turns out Briar had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck, which is why I got the surprise episiotomy. There were some other notes that kind of made sense and gave me some closure about her delivery. Today I don`t look at it with as much disgust as I used to, but I am still frustrated and embarrassed that I failed to advocate for myself.