Before I get started, I want to say that I am doing this all by memory. Being a mother, you never forget your babies births, no matter how many you have. I now have six sons. Every day this week, I will be posting the experiences from hospital births, epidurals, to home births, and dealing with the pain. This is all from my perspective as the mother. How I felt during this time.
My first birthing experience was in August 2008. My pregnancy was fine, I had no issues, gained the right amount of weight, and my baby was a healthy 8lbs and 11 ounces when he was born. I remember walking into the doctors office on my due date, naive as can be because, it was my due date after all, I was going to have the baby. I mean surely the doctor would get him out since it was his “due date”. Now let me step in right here to remind you, that a due date is just an estimate it’s not actually the day your baby will be here. About 5-10% of babies are born on the estimated due date. Many factors go into this calculated date, such as when you conceived, the day of your last period, and the baby will tell you when they are ready to arrive. I didn’t know any of this. I learned a long the way everything I know now. Sadly, my doctor told me that the baby wouldn’t be here for some time due to the fact that I was not dilated or effaced at all. I was devastated. She also informed me that in about a week she would be leaving on vacation so she had to schedule me an induction for me at 41 weeks in order to give birth to my son. Again, I was devastated. I told her I’d prefer not to be induced and she said that she would not be able to deliver my baby so she lead me to believe I had no other choice than to be induced. I went along with it. She also informed me that if the induction failed, I’d have to have a C-Section, again, devastated. But, I went along with it. I was 19 years old and had no idea how birthing worked and up until 40 weeks, I had no clue they could force a baby to be born.
After my doctors appointment I went home and looked up ways to help you dilate. I read a lot about Evening Primrose Oil and went and got some, I put it by my cervix, I do want to point out this is not a good idea unless you research medication or herbs, I am not a doctor and am not recommending the use of EPO. It did NOT work for me at this point. I went to the hospital at 41 weeks and was still a zero.
So, at the hospital I had to get undressed and put a night gown on and lay in the bed. They strapped me down with cables and monitors to keep track of the contractions and the babies heart rate. They put an IV in my arm even though I did not need it right away. Then they told me very little about what was going on and put a Cervidil next to my cervix so that I could start to dilate. My doctor asked me if I’d want an epidural and I told her no. The nurses were shocked and couldn’t believe it and told me they’d keep the pain doctor on call in case I changed my mind. A few hours had passed and they finally took the pill out. I was only a 1 at that point, so it was working, but my doctor didn’t seem convinced. Again, mentioning a C-Section, which made me cry. I didn’t want a C-Section. She then ruptured my membranes, aka broke my water. Back then, I didn’t think anything of it, but you are supposed to give birth to a baby within 24 hours after your water breaks, especially in a hospital setting, they will try to force you to agree to a C-Section. Induction can fail, but you still have a choice, do not let them break your water if you do not want a C-Section. Premature breaking of your water can be a bad thing. Again, this is something I did not know at the time. They also went ahead and started the Pitocin drip to start up contractions.
Luckily for me, my water made me dilate faster, I ended up with the epidural and felt nothing after that. A few minutes after I received the epidural I was ready to push. I pushed for about 10 minutes and my first born son was born. After the epidural, I could barely walk because I was numb. I immediately was able to take a shower once the pain meds wore off. They continued the Pitocin afterwards to firm up my uterus.
If I could go back, I’d wait a little longer to see if he could be here on his own, I’d also refuse the epidural the entire time. One of my birthing stories will explain the logic behind why I’d do all of this.