My Birth Experience – Go With the Flow

…from a reader

I had a hospital birth, natural vaginal delivery for my son. I work in the medical field, so before I got pregnant and through most of my pregnancy, I assumed that a hospital birth with all the drugs available to mankind was the only way to go.

Then really late in my third trimester, I watched Ricki Lake’s documentary, “The Business of Being Born” – which made me question my assumptions about giving birth. Although I live in the SF Bay Area, I am not one of those crunchy granola women. I did do my best to avoid caffeine and artificial sweeteners during pregnancy, didn’t take any medications, and gave up my glass of wine with dinner.

If I had been so cautious about what went into my body during pregnancy, why would I suddenly give up all control when I was about to give birth? Although a home birth was not a consideration for me personally, I debated having a completely natural delivery, and didn’t make up my mind until after I got to the hospital, settled into the birthing suite, and talked to the anesthesiologist.

I was feeling pretty good about things, until about 5 hours into my contractions and the nurses had turned up the pitocin. I was no martyr; I wanted the epidural. Modern medicine is magical, and the rest of my labor was very comfortable.

About four hours later, my little guy was pushed into the world. I was a little surprised at how quickly I was kicked out of the birthing suite to be wheeled to a regular shared room. I was also shocked at how soon the hospital staff tried to separate me from my minutes-old baby; the only reason I got to keep holding him on the ride down was because he was nursing. And even after that, he was whisked away to the nursery for his “bath”; something odd happened that wasn’t really explained to me, and I didn’t get him back into my arms for nearly 4 hours.

Otherwise, it was a very happy experience. My doctors and nurses were all fabulous – kind, helpful, and patient. I would not change a thing.

Posted in Birth Stories.