PICTURE PERFECT PREGNANCY
I had a picture perfect pregnancy. It was absolutely blissful! I ate right; exercised almost daily, attended Bradley Method classes, went to prenatal yoga, meditated, practiced relaxation, prayed and created a birth plan dripping in beauty down to the essential oils I wanted diffused, the music I wanted playing and how we were going to announce to the world the gender of our sweet babe. I knew from research that a hospital birth was NOT for me. That is where people go when they are sick, not bringing life earth side.
IS THAT MY MUCOUS PLUG?
October 1, 2015 was my official due date. I was running professional development for a group of teachers and joked that I just needed to make it through the modeled lesson and then I could go into labor. I headed over to the acupuncturist after work where she did cupping on my sacrum. I went home, made dinner for my son and I and sat down to eat when I felt a bit of wetness. I put my son to bed, and went to change, not thinking this could have ANYthing to do with labor. I noticed 3-5 very thick globs. Surely this was my mucus plug! Yay!
NEEDED TO GET TO THE HOSPITAL ASAP
I called my midwife and told her I believed I had just lost my mucus plug and was going to call my husband to tell him the good news. While on the phone with her however, I felt a large gush. She began asking me more and more questions with urgency and ultimately had me send her a picture. She called me back immediately and told me I needed to sit down. She informed me that the globs were not actually a mucus plug but thick, green meconium & the gush was my waters. Because the meconium was so formed and actually had some of the baby’s hair and vernix in it she was concerned that the baby had turned breech. She explained that this automatically risked me out of the birth center, that the baby had a moment of stress and I needed to get to a hospital ASAP.
At this point, my ears were just ringing. My heart was pounding and the marathon of my life I had just spent 9 intense months of pregnancy preparing for a natural birth center birth that was being ripped from me. The rest of this story is a complete blur…
10/1/15 – 9:45 pm 1cm/80 effaced/ -2 station
We arrived at the hospital at 9:30pm with my doula and zero signs of labor. The doctor ordered Pitocin right away (2 drips/minute). My husband was such a saint putting a sign on the door that this was not my birth plan, to be sensitive to the situation and that no medication was to be offered. He was such an advocate using B.R.A.I.N. (Benefits, Risks, Alternatives, Intuition, do Nothing) to determine the necessity of obstetrical procedures and asking doctors and nurses for time to discuss things before making decisions. Let me tell you folks…even having all the background from Bradley, it is a very scary thing to have doctors pressure you into something they tell you is best for your baby.
10/2/15 3:30a 3cm / 80% / -2
10/2/15 10:30a 6cm / 80% / -1
10/2/15 12:30p Pitocin increased to 3 drips
10/2/15 2:05p 6cm/100% /-1
SUNNY SIDE UP
By this point, they had determined that the baby was sunny side up. I was having horrendous back labor, was sick from the Pitocin and my stomach was bruised from the continual fetal monitoring. I asked to go to the bathroom every 15 mins just to get relief from the monitor. I remember begging the nurses to let me shower so I could relax. Because of the IV however, they wouldn’t let me get in any water. My doula suggested that they reduce the Pitocin slightly to allow my body the opportunity to relax & progress. She explained that a dose of Pitocin this strong was nothing less than cruel. I can’t even begin to describe the pain that Pitocin brought.
10/2/2015 5:30p still 6cm… (now stuck for 7 hours)
I WAS A BLOB LYING IN BED
I had requested to not know my progress in the hospital to keep me from getting disappointed, but I knew something was wrong at this point. My doula had everyone leave the room and she explained that if I wanted to have a vaginal birth, my best shot at this point was to have an epidural. She was afraid that the doctor would come back, see my lack of progress and order the cesarean right away. This was the hardest decision of my life and I sobbed. We agreed to go another 30 mins and see if my decision was still the same. At 6pm, I received the epidural and was able to finally get some sleep. The epidural was the most awful feeling in the world. I swelled immediately, the numbness was so intense that I couldn’t even roll myself over. I was a blob lying in bed, helpless and unable to move.
Oct 2 8:00p 8cm/100% /-1
Oct 2 7:30p 7/8 cm / 100% / -1 position change to help with anterior lip
Oct 2 10:00p 9.5cm / 100% / 1 to zero
Oct 2 11:30p pushing
I had the typical hold your breath, turn blue, push for 10 seconds with all your might type of delivery which resulted in a 2nd degree tear. The doctor was impatient and although I was making amazing progress, she threatened to do an episiotomy if I didn’t get the baby out soon. I begged her to please not cut. I pushed with all my might and she still performed the episiotomy on the next push.
10/3/15 Sweet Isely Sage was born at 12:47 am 6.3 lbs. 16 in and all was wonderful in the world.
APGARs were a 4 and she was raced off to the NICU to clear her airways as she has aspirated some of the meconium. She was placed on my chest as soon as she returned.
We stayed in the hospital for 3 more days while Isley fought a fever and we waited for her white blood cells to regulate. The doctor that performed my episiotomy stitched the skin incorrectly. This is something that I am still dealing with today. Isley was born with torticollis and needed physical therapy until she was 6mo old.
RAGE, ANGER, DISAPPOINTMENT, GUILT
I have such mixed feelings writing our story. From rage and anger to disappointment and guilt. Thankful, for modern medicine to take care of sweet Isley, yet pure disgust for the hospital system and the way births are handled. It’s the exact reason why I wanted a birth center birth and how eerie to watch my worst fears play out right in front of me.
I am eternally grateful for Liza and the Bradley Method class for teaching us about my birth rights. I know for a fact that our birth story would have been much different had we not been empowered with all the information we learned.