I’ve been spending some time reading posts on the Birth Without Fear (BWF) Facebook site recently and have been amazed by all the mothers choosing home births over hospital births. Eventually, though, I discovered part of the reason behind both this and the growing use of midwives. If you’ve ever watched any of those baby shows, you’ll notice that all the parents seems to know that this is the day their baby is going to be born. I didn’t quite understand how they could just know like that until I made the connection with all of the stories on BWF – apparently, scheduling births through induction or c-sections is a big thing with OBs and many mothers have had unwanted c-sections because of this. In response, I want to tell my birth stories to let people know that it’s not like that everywhere and you can use doctors in some areas without worrying about unwanted procedures.
When I tested positive for my first little guy, I didn’t have a family doctor. The clinic doctor that tested me referred me to a low risk maternity clinic that had my local Hospital name attached. I hate calling strangers, so I decided to go there in person to make my initial appointment. I had no clue where I was going, so I went to the Hospital and found my way to the obstetrics department where they informed me that they only take high-risk patients. They were kind enough to give me the address of the clinic that I was looking for and told me how to get there.
The clinic itself was great. They had a variety of female doctors, most of whom I met with over the course of my pregnancy. They also always had one doctor at the Hospital in case one of their patients went into labour. Their support was wonderful and they always made sure to answer any questions that I had. By the time my estimated due date came around, I was confident that everything was going to be fine…and then the due date rolled right by.
When we did our prenatal classes, we’d been told to go to the Hospital when our contractions were 5-7 minutes apart and increasing in intensity. My contractions started on the Wednesday after my due date. They weren’t too bad that day but I woke up around 3:00AM Thursday morning as they started growing more frequent. A couple hours later we left for the Hospital. They hooked me up to a monitor and did an exam. I was only 1-2cm dilated and my contractions had slowed. They sent me home with instructions to rest. The next morning, we were on our way again. They reported no change and offered morphine to dull the pain a little so I could rest. I took it rather gratefully, knowing that I hadn’t gotten much sleep the two previous nights. Saturday morning saw us once more on the way to the Hospital only to receive the same news: 1-2cm dilated with slowing contractions. This time, the morphine pooled back out of my leg. We got home some time after 7:00AM and both climbed into bed. My husband managed to get some sleep, but my contractions had started up again and this time they were more intense than before. By 9:00AM I had him convinced that we had to go back. I don’t recall what time we arrived, but they did a quick exam and rushed me to a delivery room – I was 8cm dilated!
Everything was going so smoothly that they asked if I would be willing to let a student nurse observe. Apparently, she had yet to see a normal delivery as the day had been filled with complications. The nurses worked with me to find a comfortable position and the only thing they insisted on was an IV line just in case I needed it. I refused all further drugs and they didn’t push any on me. The only thing I had really been against was an episiotomy – the mother of my husband’s first son had gotten an infection after having one and wound up in Hospital for two weeks after the birth and I didn’t want to risk it. In the end, I was going to tear in the wrong spot and they ended up giving me an episiomoty to prevent the tear. I didn’t mind since they had explained the situation to me. Honestly, the most painful part of the whole process was having that thing sewn back up.
I had a perfect little (red-headed) boy at 12:27PM one week after his estimated due date. He’s three now and a force to be reckoned with.