Not the Birth Experience I Expected but Beautiful All the Same

…from a reader

There were two things I was sure of when I got pregnant. I was going to breastfeed my son and have a natural birth. Unfortunately, only one of these came to fruition, and it was not the way my son came into this world.

I was student teaching when I was pregnant and my boyfriend was working two jobs, so I didn’t exactly prepare for childbirth. I wanted to take the classes, but between time constraints and the fact that they cost around a hundred dollars, we never went through with it.

My boyfriend and I were avid readers of pregnancy and childbirth books, and the decision to go natural was easy; it was the best for my baby. Fortunately, I was able to realize that I couldn’t be stubborn with this.

As my due date approached, I discussed this with my doctor and we decided to go forward with my birth plan, but also be flexible. I went into the hospital early Monday morning, four days before my due date, with intense pain. I was timing my contractions and I felt I should go in. As soon as they hooked me up to the monitors the contractions stopped.

I saw my doctor that day and because of my pain we decided that if I didn’t go in before 7am on Tuesday that he would meet me there and induce me. After about 48 hours of pain, I thought this sounded like a deal.

As it turned out from 1 am until 4 am I timed the contractions and tried to face the pain at home. I figured there would be less temptation to get any drugs if I couldn’t get them. So eventually I was barely able to move during the contractions, so I decided to go to the hospital. I was in labor and contracting, but not dilating.

They hooked me up to Pitocin to speed up the process. In retrospect, this was a bad idea. At the time, I was just ready to have the baby. My pain got so severe that my blood pressure was skyrocketing every time I had a contraction.

Around 7 am I decided to take the epidural. Until my doctor came in and broke my water, I was feeling good. Then the pain returned. I started to feel like I should push, but was never told to. When I asked, the nurse said that I could push “a little”. I wasn’t sure what that meant. So I started to kind of push, but not intensely, to see what would happen.

Soon my doctor came back with news I didn’t want to hear, but was ready to hear: I was going to have a C-Section.

Knowing my son hadn’t dropped, and that a C-Section was a possibility, I figured that fifteen hours of pain, after starting to time at home, I was ready to finally have this baby. I was pumped with drugs that I welcomed with a smile on my face at this point. The pain was unbearable at this point.

One of my favorite memories of my operation was my boyfriend saying, “We, I see your uterus”. Talk about an intimate bonding experience.

My son was born a healthy 8 lbs 9 oz. He hadn’t dropped because the cord was around his neck and as he was being taking out of me, decided to poop. It was a good thing the doctor made the call to go with a C-Section.

The best pictures of me were on the operating table. I assume because of my lack of understanding that I had been cut open thanks to the drugs, and having my beautiful boy in front of my eyes. I was able to breastfeed almost immediately, which is something I found out afterwards can be a problem for women who had a C-Section.

The worst part was the day after, getting out of my bed in order to eat. The pain from surgery was horrible, and a reason why I want to try a VBAC the next time around. I would like to try again for the natural birth. I would also like to check out a birthing center, especially now that I know what to expect, but would have to look into the VBAC allowances.

I really have no regrets. The ends justify the means. The doctor and I did what we had to and it resulted in the birth of a wonderful little boy.

Posted in Birth Stories.