Candace Ott
I have been a new mom now for two and a half days, and as my precious daughter is finally asleep... I want to write my birth experience while it's still fresh in my mind (it's true that you begin to forget over time!).

First, I want to just say that childbirth has to be one of the most empowering things a woman can possibly experience!  I can't think of anything else that has come close to it in my life.  It is the hardest thing I have ever gone through physically and mentally.

Second, while I would love to paint this beautiful picture of a smooth labor, I must be honest and confess that mine was anything but smooth.  My perfect natural birth plan of laboring at home, eating popsicles, getting to the hospital with only a couple hours left to go... went out the window.  Please be warned that I'm going to be 100% honest, I don't intend to be "flowery" about labor. Here's my story.

Tuesday (March 20th) marked week 41 for me - a week overdue.  I was scheduled to go to the hospital for non-stress testing, to make sure the health of the baby was still good.  Signs indicated that my amniotic fluid levels were too low, the placenta had started to age and not function as well, and my daughter's heartbeat decreased during a contraction.  End result: I was admitted to the hospital for an induced labor that same day.  The Doctors felt it would be safer to go sooner rather than later.

Around noon that day I was started on Pitocin to get my contractions going.  Labor started off very easy, with mild discomfort.  Even as the contractions grew stronger, I had little trouble coping, that is until the hours started rolling by and Tuesday became Wednesday.  By 12am my labor pains were intense to the point that I couldn't talk through them, and had to focus on getting through each one.  I had been making pretty good progress up until then, and was 7cm dilated. However, things started going downhill from there...

For the next 3 hours, I labored in hopes to make the jump from active labor to transition.  But I remained at 7cm for those 3 hours, with no progress.  It had been about 15 hours of labor at that point, and my body was showing its exhaustion.  With progress hitting a plateau, I finally and reluctantly decided that I needed an epidural in an attempt to relax my body enough to dilate further - not to mention rest so I could push later.  Even though pain medication was the last thing on my birth plan, I was more afraid of not progressing due to exhaustion and ending with a c-section.

Once the epidural was administered, I did my best to try and rest.  And contrary to what I thought it would feel like, I could still move my legs (though they felt very heavy), and I felt pressure with the contractions.  Thankfully, as I hoped, this ended up being exactly what my body needed.  The rest and ability to relax jumped me from 7cm to 10cm.  By 7am I felt pressure to push, and the epidural was turned off.  Emilee however, was not in the right position (I had extreme back labor earlier).  So they had me labor in various positions with pressure points on my belly to encourage Emilee to move.  This was very difficult since they also didn't want me pushing.  This lasted a couple hours with the contraction pains increasing again.

Finally by 9am, they gave me the go ahead to push.  This was a relief, as the counter pressure of pushing helped dull the pain of the contractions.  However, Emilee's position was making progress very hard.  The nurse tried to manually shift Emilee to turn, and that is the only time I yelled out in pain (I sure hope I didn't scare any of the other laboring moms).  There was no luck, and after 2-1/2 hours of pushing the nurses were starting to look discouraged, and a comment or two of a c-section came up because of how long my water had been broken, my high blood pressure, and Emilee's health being stuck too long.

This is when I believe God gave me a second wind.  Out of no where, I suddenly couldn't take the pain anymore and found strength and determination to finish things.  Let me tell you, pushing is like running a marathon, I was surprised by how exhausting it all was.  Even with my new found energy, when Emilee's head was starting to get in view, another problem arose.  She was stuck and not crowning fully.  The nurse was suggesting a vacuum assist or episiotomy.  I remember saying "Not the vacuum! Please give me the episiotomy!" (I didn't want any further trauma to my daughter).  By this point another nurse had turned the epidural back on, but it was too late.  I received the episiotomy cut without anything to numb the pain, but thankfully it did the trick.  After three hours of pushing, Emilee's head came out (she was sunny-side up) and the nurse let me pull her out and deliver her on my own!!

That was the most thrilling experience of labor, and I will never forget seeing Emilee's face as I pulled her over to my chest.  Of course, the pain wasn't over then, I still had to have the placenta delivered and get stitched up.  Not to mention, I experienced postpartum hemorrhaging and lost a good deal of blood, but once Emilee was out, the relief of knowing I had avoided a c-section, and survived labor was absolutely astounding!  It is a right of passage to say the least.  My delivery nurse said that in her 22 years of work, my labor was one of the hardest she's ever assisted with.

While my labor sounds scary and unbearable, I do believe that it can be a beautiful experience too.  I want to end on a positive note and express that it was completely worth it!  Words can hardly describe the feelings you have after labor.  I wanted to cry out of joy seeing my beautiful daughter, I was proud of every stretch mark, and I was overwhelmed with love for both my daughter and my husband.  Seeing my husband holding her tiny hand in amazement is a snapshot in time I will never forget!

I also can't express enough how thankful I am for my husband and mom too.  They supported me throughout the whole process, and were just absolutely amazing.  I couldn't have done it without them!  For any future children, I pray my pregnancy is healthy to begin on its own - and that I can have my original birth plan; however, I am also very thankful for the medication that is available since it helped my body deliver Emilee safely.  And most of all, I'm thankful to God for a strong healthy baby!

1 Response
  1. Sarah Klein Says:

    Oh my God hun I am crying right now at how beautiful this story is. What an amazing woman you are to go through all this! Your entire birth plan was thrown out the window yet you still had the strength and desire to deliver her on your terms. You were so adamant that she go through the least amount of pain or discomfort no matter what that meant as far as pain for you. Truly a special mom and you should be extremely proud of yourself! I know I am. God had his hand over you throughout this and helped you deliver a very healthy and beautiful baby. Love you dearly hun!! Welcome to Motherhood! <3

Post a Comment