When I got pregnant with Eden, well much before that actually, I always envisioned having a home birth. And this time not transferring to the hospital. When I got pregnant I started to have second thoughts. My transfer and subsequent hospital stay were extremely traumatic for me. Anyways cut to deciding to have a PLANNED hospital birth.
I spent a lot of my pregnancy training and mentally prepping for birth. I posted my birth plan online and was ready for it. Something I did not share was that I did not under any circumstances want to go past 41 weeks. I also did not want to get induced. I mean I am a Homebirth girlie and a doula and the CaScADe oF InTeRvEnTioNs!! How could I, Me, Mary the Doula decide to do such a thing.
Well spoiler I did. I had an induction date set for Wednesday September 20th. I also had an appointment to see my midwife that day and get another check and sweep. I went in and I was a solid 4 and she gave me a sweep. I decided I didn’t want to do the induction that day and wait it out. But I move it to Friday September 22nd. When my midwife was working. And I was 41 weeks.
That day was like any other, except not it was my 35th birthday and I was willingly walking into insane intensity. Or Pain. Or intensity.. whatever you want to call it. I just know what it takes. It was the most surreal feeling saying goodbye to my kids and walking into the hospital and not be in labor. I will never get over it.
Ok my appointment was at 8:30pm and I went in and they got Eden on the monitor and my IV port hooked up. By 10:01 I had eaten a few bites of dinner and ready to get the show on the road. 10:01 PM my water was broken. I was 4cm.
I sat on the ball and chatted with my husband and sister and nurses. Contractions started slow and steady. After about 90 mins they were 10 mins apart and they convinced me to lay down and rest. I got in bed and at midnight I got up to go to the bathroom. The minute I stood up contractions were 1 min apart and intense.
And this is where i FREAKED out. I mean fear overtook me like…a tidal wave. They started filling the tub and in my head all I could think was she’s going to shoot out of me like a torpedo. And I felt completely and totally out of control. Laura and Philip were prepped and they got me my combs and tried to get me to lay down. And i just kept saying NO NO NO I don’t want her to shoot out of me. Everyone in the room thought that would be a great idea because then it would be over.But I just felt out of control and contractions were then only getting more intense.
My midwife said she would check me and I was a 5 and I said CALL IT I want an epidural. Which was never the plan. Never. Never. Never. Except when I was driving to the hospital and I had this fleeting thought “ya know Jesse Duggar had 2 home births then an epidural birth and said it was like a vacation. So treat yourself girl” but I quickly dismissed that thought because I COULD do it. I HAVE done it and I WOULD do it. And I am a doula and I have helped many a mom have natural births and what would it say about me if I just gave in and got an epidural. NOPE not me.
I got laughing gas while I waited for my epidural. That stuff sent me to the MOON man. I was flying and I felt the pain but it didn’t bother me. I kept asking for one more hit and I bet Philip thought I was going to become a junkie.
And at one point Philip put on my go-to no fear worship song and I was like “ok maaayybeeeee” and then I got checked as a last ditch effort to stay the course. I was a 5 and I was like NOPEEEEEEEE. Emily (midwife) said she thought my cervix was changing quickly but I just was so scared and did not want to do it. My mind was made up and I could have had 40000 doulas in the room and you could not have convinced me otherwise I had one or two thoughts of maybe I can do this. But then I would change my mind.
So I got an epidural. Yep. I know. The first step in the cascade.
Epidural set in and I was 7cm. We all thought it would happen quickly but even if it did I wouldn’t feel the cannon ball shoot through me. I hit my button as much as I could because I wanted to go full send. If I am getting an epidural I want to just relax. it was about 1-2am.
Throughout the night we listened to worship music, talked, laughed, rested. When I would talk to my friends and Philip my contractions would pick up. I also made some hysterical jokes to Philip about how A-MAIZE-ING of a time I was having. Get it? Because we were at U of M. I Digress.
at one point I was an 8 and Emily and I agreed her position was probably wonky which is why she didn’t come shooting out so I did the Lavonne Circuit which is basically a series of positions that help you disengage and reengage a baby. My legs were basically dead to me. I had no control over them and so my whole team worked to get me in the positions of the circuit.
At around 6;35 AM I was 9/100/0. So she was mid pelvis and almost ready. Emily had to go home and said I should just take a nap and I will probably wake up and feel a lot of pressure and have a baby. Ba DA bing. But I could feel a lot of pain in the front of my pubic bone enough that I had to breathe through contractions. So I got a dose of epidural from the CRNA and it was shift change. I decided to listen to a hypnobirthing track and try to fall asleep. But at about 6:45
The new midwife came on and asked if she could check me. Eden was showing signs of maybe coming down and she wanted to see if I was ready to go. I WAS and Eden was 10/100/+3. And let me tell you i BARELY felt anything. And that used to make me sad. I was so removed from labor and my body was numb and it was just happening to me. But my first two labors and postpartum were so far out of my control I needed to feel like my mind was there. A lot of times when you have a natural labor you go to “Labor Land” and you’re out of your mind. I did not want that. That is why I didn’t want her to shoot out of me. I thought I wanted to show I could do it without an epidural. But like who cares? My biggest goal as a doula is to help moms feel encouraged and HEARD.
Ok. So I was in control. I set everyone up. Laura held my leg, Philip was by my side, Emily (not midwife) wad taking pictures I was asking her what angle she needed and Oralia was taking video but asked her not to take any money shots. And then I laughed because I was getting the birth I wanted in a different way.
I also had an idea that we would play “Eden” by Sean Curran as she came into the world. But I decided to sing it as I was pushing. The midwife thought she would come in 2 pushes. dude I PRAYED for 2 pushes. I won. I was getting everything I wanted.
It was 6:50 when I started pushing
She didn’t come in 2 pushes. Not in 4 pushes. My eyes were closed and I could hear the heart monitor she was starting to have decels. Yes she was going behind the pubic bone but they were lasting longer. I said “ok I need to get her out. She isn’t coming and she should be” another push. Another decel.
They asked to put an internal monitor on. I said no. But they said they couldn’t find her heart rate. It was shift change and the nurse was training the other nurse and there was no gel. I don’t remember giving consent to that part. That’s the part I hate the most. But she got one.
I could hear her heart rate and it was getting Lower and for longer and I said “I think we need a vacuum she is NOT coming” the OB had stepped into the room and was behind the curtain and he heard me give consent for the vacuum and started setting up.
a vacuum? yeahhhhh my doula head feels like thats my fault. If you didn’t have your water broken…if you didn’t have an epidural… but you know what? Things happen. Things go sideways. I have seen a lot of births and sometimes babies have other plans.
So she got vacuumed and her head and shoulder delivered at 7:13am. The OB said “we have a stuck shoulder”
Few things here..one I am so sore from this part and i can FEEL it as i type this…two..my eyes were closed the whole time but I could see the scene play out from the sideline. I could hear Oralia praying. I could tell the room was probably filling with 20-30 people. I was vaguely aware of the midwife PUSHING on my pubic bone to get her shoulder out And I know in my head flipping over can help dislodge a baby. I said “ok lets flip me” but I had an epidural and my legs were dead. And the OB said we don;t have time for that. He asked me not to push and next thing I know she is out. And on my chest and I am sobbing. They did not delay cord clamping they took her to the warmer. Another thing I didn’t love. But she was crying before she got to the warmer.
I KNOW. What a hospital birth. I KNOW. If you were home….yeah it would have been different. But would it have been better? I don’t know.
Next thing I hear is we need pit wide open. Which means I was bleeding A LOT. I had previously consented to pitocin if needed. I was going to get a shot of pitocin in my leg preventatively because I hemorrhaged at Ander’s birth but told them I trust your judgment and if i need more I need more. Well I needed more. I also said to just throw what you need to at it. I was fine with it all.
I lost 987ml of blood. Which is a lot. I lost more than double than when I had Ander. And that is why I wanted a hospital birth.
Her APGARS were 7 and 9. Her shoulder is fine. I am like reallllyyy sore but I only needed 2 stitches.
the OB came in later and told us he had to manually rotate her. He said the maneuver is called the R2 or R#2. He reached in and slowly turned her until her shoulder slipped out.
The midwife had originally told me she thought it was more of a sticky shoulder than a true dystocia. I DON;T KNOW man. He also said Eden’s belly had been measuring 3 weeks ahead and so her shoulders were large.
I think when I went to the bathroom she loaded into my pelvis weird and that is why I was in so much pain. It just happened. And I am reminding myself that if could have happened without being my water broken. The evidence does not show 100% not breaking the water helps baby navigate through the pelvis. I carried all of my weight in the front and those babies can just dump in weird. If I had an epidural I could have been more mobile. But I also would have another birth where an adult;s hands were going up in me (that’s 3 for 3) and both other times I felt it. This time there was basically some pressure and that’s it.
SO no the birth didn’t go as I wanted. But it was everything I needed. It was healing. It was 8 mins of chaos and 24 mins of pushing. And I was in control. It was worshipful. I learned a lot. I have experienced a lot which in turn will make me a better doula. And then we had 25 hours of bliss in the hospital. No NICU stay, no insane pain post c-section no trauma and abuse and being scolded for having a home birth. We were taken care of, listened to, and respected. We watched college football ate food and hung out.
I would maybe tweak 1-2 things but overall it was incredible and I’d do it all again for Eden Promise