My plans for this birth were to have an unassisted home birth. I have a history of precipitous labor so it seemed like planning for not making it to the hospital was the best idea…unless I felt differently when I went in to labor.
I’ll begin with Wednesday. I had slept about 3 hours. Up every 5 minutes to pee. Then Lizzy (2.5 yrs) woke up. No sleep. I was going to blow off my DR appt, but that little voice said go and get your iron levels checked. So I dragged myself, my 2.5 yo and my 5 yr old to my appointment.
Now, fast forward to some scenarios…
If I had not gone to my appointment, I would have been home all day. At 6 p.m. I would have taken my kids to activity night at the church by myself, just having a few contractions. By 7 p.m. I would have needed to push…and stuck at the church, someone would have called 911.
If I had not gone to church and stayed home, after realizing I needed to push and the baby NOT coming out like the others, I would have likely freaked out and transferred to the hospital.
I had not made any mental preparations that this baby would do anything EXCEPT fly out like all the others.
Anyway, I had my iron levels checked and they were lower than at the end of my last pregnancy when I hemorrhaged, I started running through scenarios in my mind … the last being if I was supposed to go to the hospital that I would be in labor at the appointment…And that’s exactly what happened.
I posted on facebook about a change in plans knowing that I did not have enough time to get my iron levels up to a point where I felt comfortable. I also felt peaceful that for whatever reason, this was supposed to be happening. I went to the store to finish up some shopping and called DH to meet me at the hospital because I had the two little girls with me and called a friend to come pick them up.
At the hospital, I was 4 cm. I got a nurse who looked at my birth plan and stated she didn’t want to lose her license and gave me to a different nurse That nurse left me alone and I napped for about 2 hours. I had three contractions in that time and told the nurse I was fine with a vag exam. I had dilated to 6 cm.
I sat at 6 cm until around 5 p.m. when I started having contractions 3 minutes apart. My dr offered to break my water; I said I didn’t care at this point…since I was actually having contractions now. My dr left to go find the on-call dr and bring him up to speed. I think he was telling him to let me do what I wanted. *evil grin*
Around 6, the on-call dr finally showed up and tried to break my water. Didn’t work. nothing happened. he left tho and said that it was a race between me and the first time mom down the hall as he thought I’d probably deliver in the next hour or so.
The contractions did start to hurt a bit. If I had been home, I still wouldn’t have been convinced it was labor, which is why I would have taken the kids to the church.
I sat around for a bit and wanted to get up and move. Nurse cranky pants came in to listen to the baby and I told her I was in transition and needed to get up and move. She said if I did that the cord would prolapse. Whatever. I got up anyway and got in the shower. I stayed there for a bit, until I felt like I needed to push with the contractions.
Told DH to let the nurses know, though I told him I was terribly tempted not to tell them at all.
I got on the bed on all fours and pushed. I felt her move down then back up again. This went on for quite some time with me trying different positions, none of which were working.
I was extremely vocal during pushing, something very uncharacteristic of me. DH called it the amazon warrior battle cry!
Finally, the idea hit me to put the back of the bed straight up and i would lean over the back of the bed and squat when I pushed. It was a bit better, but her head would just NOT come down.
I kept praying and praying to know what to do. I had been pushing for a lot longer than I have ever pushed before.
The dr said he had never delivered a baby backwards before so it would be a learning experience for him. Maybe this is why I needed to be there…to teach the staff something new?
So baby is still not coming down and now I had to pee. I asked for a bedpan. And, still hanging over the back of the bed, squatted over the bedpan to pee. That did the trick to move her down! So I pushed and pushed over a bed pan in a deep squat. I don’t think I could have done this position at home, even on the toilet. I was in a deep sumo wrestler position, roaring as I pushed.
I felt her head get past my pelvic bone finally and still, it took forever to get her out. We were starting to wonder about her size because of how long it was taking. And then she finally emerged forehead first…a position which can result in c-section. Because of the position I was pushing in, there was no way for the dr to tell until it was “too late” of her malpresentation. It was also impossible for the dr to grab her and “help her” by rotating. The dr had no choice but to let me do my birthing business without his help.
She was 7 lbs 6 oz and 19 inches.
I feel like no matter what choice I made, i was probably going to end up at the hospital. the Lord had need of me to be there. And, I’m ok with that.
We also opted, because of the bruising on Millie’s head, to get the vit K about 12 hours after she was born. She started healing much more quickly after the injection.
Meanwhile, I met some amazing nurses and gave them some stories to tell. I hope that maybe if another mother coming in is having trouble pushing and wants a natural birth, that the bed up position might be offered. I don’t know if they will ever use the bedpan squat, but it will be there in the back of their minds.
Anyway, I seriously injured myself in the pushing phase. separated my pelvis. Ouch.
A week later, I developed Bell’s Palsy. It took me three weeks to recover.
This definitely wasn’t what I wanted for my last birth experience, but I learned so much more about faith and following and trusting in God, which is ultimately what it’s all about.
The Birth Partner: A Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Doulas, and All Other Labor Companions
Childbirth without Fear: The Principles and Practice of Natural Childbirth
Birth is inspiring, amazing, and empowering. This website shares a collection of real natural birth experiences from you, the readers. Births the way nature intended. No pitocin. No epidural. Just the beauty (and intensity!) of the human body at work. Whether you've had one natural birth, five natural births, or are considering natural birth in the future, our hope is you will find courage and joy in these stories. Enjoy.
Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
Husband-Coached Childbirth: The Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth