My birth story : How a natural birth enthusiast ended up with a cesarean section.
When you’re pregnant it seems like everyone has some piece of advice that they want to tell you. But, the one piece of advice that I will take to heart the next time we decide too have another baby is “you should never expect your labor to go the way YOU think it will go… flawlessly.”
Boy, were they right.
From the moment I found out I was pregnant, the planning and researching began! Everything I could get my hands on to have a natural birth was completely consumed by me. All the women in my moms family had vaginal births and even my little 4’8 in grandma and she delivered ELEVEN children vaginally! If her small frame could do it that many times, surely I could do it too!
Our bodies were made to birth! There wasn’t a doubt in my mind.
Very early on in my pregnancy I watched a movie called “The Business of Being Born” and it changed my life! Seriously! I recommend it to any pregnant mommy or women desiring to have a baby one day. It really made me question a lot of birthing practices and helped me mold the kind of birth I wanted! It gave me a desire to be involved in my own birth and not simply become a spectator. Birthing a child into this world is beautiful and powerful and I waned to become as involved in it as I could. Thus, began my researching!
I had been prepping for months and soaked in all the knowledge I could about pregnancy and birth. I went to the breastfeeding classes offered at my hospital, meetings at my local La Leche League, the birthing class at our hospital, I scheduled a separate time with the birthing instructor “Moe” (also a nurse on L&D ward at my hospital) so that I could come in and ask a bunch of questions I had written down, because hellooo, I was determined to have the birth I desired and that child birth class didnt give me enough time to get all my questions asked. I even took an extra childbirth class that lasted 12 weeks. Yall, I was birth crazy!
Several weeks before my due date My husband and I taking began taking “The Bradley Method” childbirth course. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it is a natural- based childbirth class geared towards educating you AND your partner towards the goal of a natural birth. Keyword is both of y’all. It preps the mom and who ever will be with her on baby day.
I learned about this specific birthing class later on in my pregnancy and signed up for the class as soon as I could. Its a 12 week program and I knew I was pressed for time since I only had about 13 weeks in my pregnancy. But, most women don’t go into labor early on the first baby, so why not take a chance and sign up for the class.
There was only 4 other couples in our “class”, we met at the certified trainer’s house once a week for about 2 hours. It was extremely hippie-like and laid back. We sat on the floor, watched really old, janky videos about birth, learned about our bodies, the different phases of labor, our husbands learned how to coach us through those phases, techniques that we could both use. We also had workbooks where we were assigned homework every week. we did one chapter a week for a total 12 chapters. I may have skipped over the chapter that discussed “what to do if you needed a cesarean section”, because in my mind my birth was going to go perfectly. Oops!
It was a very educational class, but frankly I don’t think it was worth the cost.
Fast- forward to my third-trimester and my parents drove in to town early, since I had been having “complications” just in case.
We had been walking all over the town for the past 4 days because I wanted this baby out. I had Polyhydraminos which, in a nutshell is, “Excess amniotic fluid” and only 1% of women develop it during their pregnancy. Of course, lucky me.
Because of the excess fluid, I was pretty enormous towards the middle and end of my pregnancy.
So by the time, I reached 35 weeks, the doctor told me I was measuring 42 weeks. Umm…how it that possible, Doc? I was HUGE to say the least… there was no way I was going to make it to 40 weeks, or at least I hoped.
Wednesdays were our Bradley Method class, this day was like all the others, nothing very eventful was going on. Except that I had, umm…I’m going to get a little graphic throughout this post, starting now, but if you’re a women then you know how it goes.
Well, I had some discharge through out the day, nothing major and I just chalked it up to weird pregnancy stuff… because there is no way that my water broke. Because when your water breaks, you know it or at least thats what everyone else had told me.
I was hobbling around the house like a penguin at this point, I was just too round to walk like I didn’t have a a 7-pound watermelon in my va-jane. Proof of my biggness- at only 37 weeks.
I was tired and didn’t want to go to class that night, but I put on my pantyliner and dragged my husband and myself to our class, because who knew how many we had left till our baby would arrive?
Our 2 hour class was wrapping up, and at the end of every class we usually did a few practice exercises either involving yoga or “fake contractions”. Basically us pretending we are having contractions and how our husband is suppose to hold us or support us through those ‘contractions”. It sounds super lame saying it aloud, but it was actually good practice.
So, that Wednesday night closed out with us doing practice contractions. “Alright, every one stand up and get into your practice pose” the instructor said. So, I stood up faced Jerry as he was positioning himself to hold me. When I felt some trickles in my pants, almost like when you’re on your period, but then all of a sudden I felt the flood-gates of heaven open up, y’all!
I looked up at Jerry, ripped my hands away from him and ran as fast as I could to the nearest bathroom. Thankfully it was pretty close.
My pants were soaked, I checked the floor and thankfully no amniotic fluid got on the floor. Phew! A rush of excitement and slight embarrassment over took me, but then I heard the class shouting and clapping from the livingroom. They obviously knew what had happened- I suppose its not often a women’s water breaks right in front of them.
It is always wonderful and empowering to be surrounded by like-minded individuals, we all had one goal, well 2 I suppose; to have a healthy, natural child-birth experience.
The instructor gave me a pair of her own pants, prayed for us, and we trekked back on a 40-minute drive to our house, so I could grab my stuff. When we got home everyone was pretty frantic (Jerry, my mom, and dad), all but me. Everyone was rushing me to get out of the house and to the hospital, but I was taking my precious time because I knew once I got to the hospital I would be on the clock, especially with the pregnancy “complication” I had.
I used the bathroom, took a shower, got dressed again grabbed all my essential items and we headed to the hospital.
I wasn’t even having contractions at this point. Why couldn’t I just labor at home like other women? But, still I heeded to advice of all the frantic people in my house and went to the hospital.
Do you know I packed a wax warmer, with a specific scent so that I would forever remember my daughter’s “birthday”. I also packed a huge framed 3d ultrasound picture of her, and I had a print out of “Birthing” words of affirmations to look at.
I’m pretty sure the hospital thought I was slightly insane! But whatever, it was my birth and I knew exactly what I wanted…everything was going to go perfectly! Or so I thought.