This post has been a LONG time coming. I have been meaning to talk about hormones, food, and postpardum but first I feel led to share my birth story.
If you've been following me for a while then you would know how how much I adored being pregnant. I actually have never felt more balanced and whole in my entire life. Now this is just my experience, I know it is different for everyone.
Since I had such an amazingly smooth pregnancy I was expecting birth to be the same.
I had planned to give bith at a birthing center for an unmedicated water birth. Not that there is anything wrong with a hospital setting, it's just not what I wanted. I chose an unmedicated birth for many health reasons and benefits and since my pregnancy was low risk I was in the perfect position to do so.
Let's fast forward to week 40. My due date. The end of the 9th full month.
He is still in there, cozy and as healthy and as content as could be! I was told that first time babies can be late, an average 1.5 weeks. So we waited. At my birth center they allow you wait two weeks past due date as long as the baby and mama were healthy and, in this case, we were. These next two weeks felt like torture. My husband and I took every class, read everything we could and were so ready for labor. Every minute, every hour, I remember thinking this could be it! You could have caught us walking around our neighborhood all day trying to kick start labor naturally and NADA! I would even have contractions at night thinking, "tonight is going to be the night!" and every night I would fall asleep through the gentle contractions and wake to nothing but disappointment.
As we got closer and closer to the two week mark, we had to talk about my dreaded plan B: going into the hospital for an induction.
I hated this idea and would get so emotional at the thought of not giving birth in the tub that I have been envisioning my whole pregancy. I felt defeated by dwindling patience and feeling sorry for myself. The time slowly dripped by like a calm before a storm. We also moved into our new home that week so I did have some fun distractions of decorating and unpacking.
June 24th 2017: Two weeks past due date aka "THE INDUCTION"
It was one of the hardest things I had to do, but there I was: about to be induced at a hospital. I dreaded it. I clung to my faith in Jesus that He was with us and I went into it trusting him FULLY even though I was completely terrified.
We arrived at the hospital at around 10pm. I had been going to my birth center for my whole pregnancy and got comfortable with the midwives and the beautiful birthing suites but here I lay in an unfamiliar, dark hospital bed surrounded my midwives that I'd never met asking me my birth plan. My biggest challenge at that moment was getting a word out of my mouth without sobbing uncontrollably. My one saving grace was my incredible doulas. They gave me instant comfort and familiarity. They also knew my birth plan so I felt extremly comfortable in thier presence. We told the midwives that I wanted the most unmedicated induction possible which they said they would honor. In a hospital setting you have to kind of fight for things to be done naturally because it is out of the ordinary from what they are used to doing. We started the induction process with a small pill that helps ripen the cervix when inserted vaginally. That was alI that was needed to get things going! I labored for what felt like 25 hours but was only a few and I wasn't progressivly dialating so they used somethng called a folley bulb that is a balloon type thing that gets inserted and it falls out at 6 centimeters. That's when things got even more intense. I didnt have an epidural but I did use nitrous oxide that was truly my best friend during labor. IT HELPED SO MUCH!
I labored for hours and hours in every position possible until it was time to push! I'm thinking, "OK, here he comes," for about 4 hours STRAIGHT. They had a sign on the wall that read 'HAPPY BIRTHDAY WILDER' which made me burst into tears everytime I looked at it. It was a reminder of why I was doing this. The pain was too intense to explain...it was a pain that was way beyond anything I can handle. I kept thinking to myself (and screaming outloud) that I was dying...and I think I was in a way. A piece of me did die in that moment, in birth, in pushing out this 9lb baby, in feeling every contraction, in feeling him pass through my body ever so slowly.
After 4 plus hours of earth shattering pushing, out he came! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, WILDER!
June 25th at 9:25 pm.
It was a whirlwind of nurses and doctors and stitches and tears but he was here! My baby was born along with a mother, who was also born in that moment. A part of me died and a part of me came alive. It was the best moment of my life, hands down.
This is our story and I am proud of it.
I am the most grateful for my husband who was so strong and fiercely supportive and, also, my doulas. I literally could not have gotten through a single breath during labor without them.
No matter how we birth, home, in a hospital, medicated, c-section...it doesn't matter and no choice makes us less of a mother. We are all equally superheroes of whom I am forever in awe.
I will write a blog next time on postpardum life, as this is a topic that isn't talked about as much as it should and it deserves its own post.