They are doing a birth stories series, and I thought that I would do the same. Mainly for ONE reason....
For anyone having a baby, contemplating having a baby....I have a unique perspective. I have had 3 completely different labor and delivery experiences. I would like to share the different stories, and the pro's and con's to each birth.
I will say that I had a difficult pregnancy with Reagan. It started with severe hyperemisis (morning sickness that included vomiting several times a day). I ended up on home health care for 8 weeks. I then lost Reagan's twin. The vomiting lasted the entire pregnancy, though after week 16-17 it let up a bit.
By the time I was 9 days late, I begged for an induction. If you are interested in the WHOLE ugly story...view her whole birth story HERE.
In short, I went into labor on my own that night. I went to the hospital where I ended up on pitocin anyway. My labor from first cramp to delivery lasted about 7 hours.
They attempted to place an epidural when I was about 6 cm dilated. I did NOT plan on having any intervention at all, but the pitocin was giving me one long contraction that never subsided. I felt as if I was not getting any breaks between contractions, and my nerve was shot. After an excruciating 20 minutes, the anesthesiologist finally administered the medication. He admitted to having a very hard time placing the catheter in my spine, and sure enough.....
....it did not work.
All the pain of curling up into a ball for nothing. Less than 20 minutes later, Reagan was born. They told me that more than likely...I was past the point of the epidural helping me. I was laboring way too fast, due to the pitocin that I did not need.
Reagan was born in a very bad position, and I required a large episiotomy. The situation was dire, and they had no time for anesthesia of the perineum. ACK!
She was born in front of what seemed like the entire hospital. The NICU was there, many L&D nurses, my midwife, a doctor....it was crazy. She ended up being OK, but was pretty beaten up.
So, what did I learn from this birth....and what can you learn from me?
- #1. TRUST your instincts. If you feel like something is not right...DEMAND to be heard. This is YOUR birth. When they gave me pitocin, I should have said something. I was already 4cm dilated and laboring nicely. The pit did nothing but harm me and Reagan. Her decent was too fast and severe.
- #2. Epidurals are not always the answer. Labor hurts, and it's *supposed* to hurt. Epidurals seem like a no-brainier to some people, but remember that they DON'T ALWAYS WORK! They are also known to slow labor, and hinder in the pushing stage. If you are set on getting one, then by all means....do it! BUT at the same time....make sure you get all the facts. Be educated on epidurals before you have one. That medicine effects both you AND your baby.
- #3. If you don't need an episiotmy DO NOT HAVE ONE! I will explain this further in my next birth story, but I will assure you that tears heal faster than an episiotomy ever will.
The foremost thing you can take from THIS birth story is that YOU ARE IN CONTROL! DO NOT be bullied by medical professionals because you assume that they know what they are doing. They ARE very educated on the process of birth, but NOT every birth is the same, and not every birth is textbook. NEVER be afraid to ask questions, and demand answers. I was young, scared, and intimidated. Don't follow my example. :)