Today I want to share with you my birth story for my first baby, an 8 pound 3 oz girl who is super tall like her daddy. My experience was by no means the easiest nor was it the most traumatic – it was just exactly that, MY experience. After some debate, I did choose to go the hospital route. I love the idea of birth centres and home births, but I realized I am too paranoid and decided I wanted a medical team accessible should anything go wrong. You do you, mama, I support it all.
Make a birth plan, they say.
So I did. I decided I wanted an all natural experience, or at least as natural as possible (I was not opposed to an epidural depending on pain or if things were moving too slowly). Many of my friends had natural births. If they could do it, why couldn’t I?
My due date came and went.
I was desperate to meet the baby inside me. Every day felt like a week. Everyone kept telling me to enjoy the “me time”. If you’ve gone past your due date, you know this is practically impossible given your belly is enormous and you are so ready to meet your baby. It was agonizing. I was a roller coaster of emotions, impatience at the forefront.
Hello pregnancy anxiety!
Throughout my pregnancy I practiced meditation to help calm my anxiety. I researched hypnobirthing and practiced the mantra “I get to find out WHO I’ve been growing.”. I couldn’t wait for what I believed to be the best surprise of my life. Was it a little boy or little girl kicking me nonstop the last 9 (almost 10!) months?
At 41 weeks exactly, I went in for the fetal non-stress test and the ultrasound tech blew the gender surprise. I stared at my husband in shock as silent tears flowed down my cheeks. Of course, I was excited to know I was having a girl, but I was devastated the surprise was taken from me. I spent my entire pregnancy telling myself I could get through labour because at the end I would get to find out who I was nurturing for the last 9 (almost 10!) months. It felt like all my hypnobirthing training went out the window. I straight up panicked. Of course I also couldn’t wait to meet her. It was so confusing.
Contractions began for me at 41 weeks.
Labour began for me that very night as I was getting ready for bed around 8:30pm (I know, early). I barely slept the night before and I was so emotional and exhausted. I went for a 5 mile walk that day trying to process what had happened. Around 11pm I knew we had to head to the hospital. Contractions were getting close together and starting to make me pause. I had no idea what to expect as a first time mom.
Sometime in the middle of the night I asked for the epidural. I think I was about 6cm at that point. The nurse I had assigned to me was not vibing with me at all. First she wouldn’t let me get out of bed. The midwife recommended I get in the shower, which sounded amazing to me, but as soon as she left to check on the next patient the nurse told me I wasn’t allowed. I was annoyed, frustrated, and had been awake way too long at this point. I just wanted to rest.
A natural birth just wasn’t in the cards.
After I got the epidural things unfortunately seemed to slow down. I rested most of the night but couldn’t get any sleep. I can’t sleep in the best of conditions so that wasn’t a surprise. My epidural started wearing off – it was functioning on whatever side I was laying on. I shifted back and forth.
Next, I ended up getting some Pitocin to try to move things along. They broke my water. Finally, a few hours later, they told me I was ready to push. After a couple hours of pushing I was feeling overwhelming desperation. The baby was stuck sideways in my pelvis. I reluctantly agreed to try the vacuum assisted birth. In two pushes, out she came. They swept her away as I stared in complete shock. She was finally here. I did it (with help). We both made it. It didn’t go how I wanted it to, but I understood at that moment that it really didn’t matter. She was here, and she was healthy.
As you can see, I did not have a natural experience at all. It was completely against my birth plan. But the second they placed her on my chest it just didn’t matter how she got there. She was perfect. I was smitten. I’d do it all again in a heartbeat to have my baby girl.
Thank you for following my experience, friends! If you are ready and willing to share, I would love to hear your story. Drop me a comment below!