One thing you are told when you’re pregnant is to have a birth plan. I didn’t really think about mine. I was going to deliver in a hospital, I wanted an epidural, and I wanted to push my baby out. It seemed simple enough, I knew the baby had to come out eventually and I was ready for labor and birth. The labor and birth I had was not what I expected it to be.

I went into labor around 2:30 in the morning. I was woken up by contractions and I was 38 weeks along. I was having contractions every 20 minutes. I got up to go to the bathroom and I felt a tiny gush. I looked down and I saw what I thought was blood tinged amniotic fluid. I woke my husband up and we finished packing my bag. We drove up to the hospital and they tested the fluid to make sure it was amniotic. When it was confirmed they put me in a room, hooked me up to monitors and started the pitocin. I was at two centimeters dilated when I got my epidural. My contractions were intense and they were coming regularly. I was in pain. Every time I had a contraction the baby’s heart rate would drop. He was in distress. They had to do an emergency cesarean. I was terrified. I was about to be cut open. I only had had an epidural, I couldn’t feel the pain but I could feel the pressure of the knife, I could feel the tugging and the pulling. I felt like they had put a plunger to my stomach and suctioned my insides out when they pulled my baby from my body. It took them so long to sew me back up when all I wanted was to hold my baby.

The next two weeks I had to take pain meds. I was in a lot of pain and my middle section look horrific. I spent the next 9 months absolutely hating my body because it couldn’t do the one thing it was supposed to do.

Looking back now I realize my mistakes. I don’t blame myself, though, because that was the first time I had ever gone into labor. Labor can be very scary for first time moms. I should have waited longer before going to the hospital. I should have waited until my contractions were closer together before going up there, I would have been a lot more comfortable at home. I also should not have let them put me on pitocin. I should have let my contractions naturally do what they were doing to do. I also should have waited longer to get an epidural. I’m not a doctor, nor a scientist, but I do believe that the combination of the pitocin making my contractions more intense and the epidural slowing down the labor is what caused my baby to become distressed. I feel as if the nurses and staff did this intentionally so that the doctor could just do a cesarean on me and be done with me. I feel as if this happens to a lot of women. I feel like certain doctors don’t want to wait for the hours and hours that labor can take. I think they just want to deliver the baby and be done.

I wish I could go back and do thing differently. I know it probably sounds crazy but I feel like I was robbed. I was ready to push that baby out, I wanted to. I wanted that experience. Instead I felt resentment towards my body and I had to take more time to heal and I was terrified. It was very traumatizing. It’s no wonder I had postpartum depression and anxiety.

This is just my opinion, I don’t have actual facts that this is what doctors and hospitals do, but the way they handled it had lasting repercussions on my mental health. I feel like they took advantage of the moment to make my body do something before it was ready just because they were ready. I’m glad that my baby is here and healthy and is about to be five years old, but I wish that moment hadn’t been taken from me.

I say this because I never got to push a baby out. Because I had had a c-section I had to deliver that way the second time. I changed doctors with my second baby because I didn’t like the last doctor. My new doctor was willing to do a vaginal birth but he wasn’t sure if my uterus could handle it since he did not do my first c-section. It’s a good thing I did do a planned c-section with him because when he delivered my second baby he told me that the first doctor had sewed my uterus so tightly that it was so thin he could see through it to my baby. If I had tried to push him out my uterus could have ruptured and it could have killed us both.

My advice to first time moms is trust your gut. Surround yourself with a good medical team. Have a partner who is going to be with you during the labor and delivery who knows what you want and will fight for you if you can’t. Don’t make the same mistakes I did, you may not get the chance again.

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