Personal Tags: Ergobaby Birth Story Series
Being a mother is everything to me. I never thought that I wanted to be married, but being a mother was never something I questioned. The joy I feel when look at my two amazing and beautiful daughters is something I have never felt before. It is heavenly, sweet, and wonderful. Being pregnant comes close to being as joyful. I loved feeling both my girls swimming around inside my overly large belly. Being very short and having a very tall husband made my body look almost freakish with a baby sticking out all in front. But I didn’t care. I was joyous; smitten with my unborn children. Both pregnancies went off without a hitch. I felt tired at times, but I was able to work through it all and was full term with both babies. I wanted so badly to have a natural birth. My mother had all four of us children at home with no drugs or interventions. I was able to have the chance to actually see my baby brother come into the world. My mother seemed so brave and strong. I wanted the same thing for myself and my child. But the world had another plan for me. My doctor said that I was late and that he wanted to induce me. At the time I had no idea what Pitocin was and what it does to a mother’s body. A little over twenty four hours later I gave birth to my first daughter by cesarean five days after her due date. I was broken after the whole experience. I had wanted so badly to have the birth I had envisioned; the birth that my mother was able to have four times. What was wrong with me? I asked myself over and over. But I had my lovely daughter. She was perfect. Very large for how small I was, at 9 pounds 3 ounces. But an angel, a delight, and so lovely.
When I got pregnant two years later, I went to the same doctor. I told him that I wanted a natural birth. He said that was fine, but wouldn’t I rather have a cesarean again? He said it was dangerous to have a VBAC and he “suggested” that I have surgery to deliver my baby. He suggested over and over, every visit we had. I consigned to his suggestions. I gave up hope of having my baby naturally. It was the hardest thing that I had ever done. Time went on and I could not stop thinking of the birth that I had wanted for me and my unborn child. To be able to bring my love into the world as God had intended and to pull her up between my legs would have been the best feeling. Being able to hold her the very second she came into this crazy world was all that I wanted. One evening while my husband was at work I watched The Business of Being Born. I watched through a veil of tears as women talked of their natural births and I was brought to the realization that I did not want to give up. Natural birth was all I had ever wanted for me and my baby and I was going to have it. The very next day I contacted a midwife. I was going to have my baby at home, and that was that. I told my doctor my wishes and he watched me walk out of his office shaking his head in disbelief. I was determined and no one was going to get in my way. I was 6 months pregnant.
Three months past. I woke one morning with a twinge in my belly. I thought nothing of it and went off to work. I was working at a preschool one morning and the other teacher in my classroom noticed that I looked uncomfortable. She asked me if I was in pain and I told her yes, I was a little. She asked me if I thought I was in labor. I had no idea and that I had never been in labor before. I described my pain and how often it happened. “Girl”, she said “you need to get yourself home and have that baby!” So I drove myself home with happiness in my heart but worry not far behind. Jesse called the midwife and was told to keep an eye on contractions. They became closer, about 15 minutes apart. The next day they were about ten and I started to be in much more pain. I could not sleep and did not feel like eating. The midwife came, thinking that I would have my little one any time. She was there all day, but I did not seem to be progressing. She went home but told us to call if anything changed. I ate spicy food, took some tincture, walked often. I even bagged some leaves to see if it would help progress. Can you imagine seeing a 9 months pregnant woman bagging leaves in between heavy and hard contractions? I assure you, it was not pleasant for me and probably quite jaw dropping for anyone that saw me. Days went by with no progress. At one point I thought that she was coming. The midwifes assistant and my doula came over to put up the birthing tub in our kitchen. I felt ready and at peace in my own home. I was not scared at all. I knew I could do this. Those amazing women stayed by my side for days. They told me how amazing, strong and beautiful I was. These women were my rocks. They held me as I screamed in pain. They walked up and down the stairs holding my hands as I tried to get things moving. They watched me vigilantly. They did not sleep very much, but I did not sleep at all. Five minutes here and there in between the most painful moments of my life. One night the ladies all went home to rest. They told me to call for anything. I sat there on our futon mattress writhing in pain. These were the hardest two weeks of my life. Not because of the pain. No, I knew there would be pain. It was hard because I knew that what I wanted was unattainable. In my heart I knew that I had to give up. I gave in to the sorrow that had been creeping in on me for two weeks. I was delirious from two weeks of no sleep and barely any food. I had lost ten pounds and I felt physically and emotionally drained. I pulled myself up and walked up the stairs to tell my husband to call the midwife; I was to go to the hospital.
The women at the hospital thought I was crazy. Why would a woman want to labor for two weeks instead of just getting the baby out? I was so tired and in horrid pain that I just gave into their idea of a cesarean. My midwife and doulas were so supportive, as was my dear husband who was beyond worried at this point. They all looked on as I consigned to the one thing I did not want for me and my baby. But in my heart I knew she was not coming the way I wanted. When I finally saw her face behind all of the tears and between my IV cords and the big blue curtain shielding me from the after birth, I knew it was all worth it. I had my chubby little angel. Even though I was not able to hold her the minute she was born, I had her. She was mine. She was heavens gift to me. I loved her no matter how she came into this world. My beautiful miracle; my baby.