Friday, April 16, 2010

Birth Experience

Being pregnant for the first time is all about firsts, most notably so, your first labor experience. Girlfriends with children told me, its only max one full day of your life, compared to how long you've been pregnant, its really nothing. This helped me in only one way, I had no anxiety about going into labor. I did not write a specific birth plan, but I knew how I wanted it to go. Preferably no pain meds, including epidural, no induction. Just keep it as natural as possible. For my last 4 weekly visits to the OB, baby was "locked and loaded" as I liked to say. The 2 visits before my due date, they asked if I would like my membranes stripped, which after some research, I declined. I didn't want to speed up the onset of my labor (it being my first I was anxious about having a real live baby to care for).

The night of due date, early labor started and I was able to go to bed. Starting at 1am the contractions were strong enough to keep me up. I woke my boyfriend up at about 3, and by 5am, we were on the way to the hospital. My contractions were about 4-5 minutes apart.
At 7am I was 5-6cm dilated and 100% effaced. It seemed things were moving along quickly. The rest of the day went something like this:
-10am still 5-6cm, they want to break my water. I decide to wait.
-12pm still 5-6cm, I agree to let them break my water.
-2pm 8cm, contractions are very strong, and I am involuntarily baring down.
-4pm still 8cm, my baring down has caused my cervix to swell. I am told I need an epidural in order for the labor to proceed due to the swelling/baring down situation. I reluctantly agree.
-4:30pm I wonder why I didn't have an epidural the whole time! I was feeling great.
-5pm 10cm!! We can start the pushing process. The epidural has made it so I don't have the urge to bare down. I push based on sensing my contractions.
-6pm my contractions have slowed down, they load me with pitocin to increase the frequency and strength of my contractions.
-7:30pm still pushing, they make an attempt with a vacuum pump, which becomes unsuctioned as the doctor pulls with all her might and blood splatters on everyone, including my terrified boyfriend.
-7:40pm they try to vacuum baby out again. Not ok at this point, as it is another massive fail.
-7:50pm doctor tells me I need to have a c-section as I am not delivering vaginally.
-8:10pm baby boy is born via c-section.

As it turns out, the babies head was turned just slightly to the side and during my delivery I was pushing out not the crown, by the side of his head (which looked awfully mutilated after all the pushing and vacuuming). In that position it would have been impossible to vaginally deliver him.

So basically, everything I didn't want to happen, happened. I could not believe that after 17 hours of labor and 2.5 hours pushing I end up having major abdominal surgery to deliver my baby. I felt defeated. The whole experience was so far from ideal that I am officially traumatized (even up until writing this I forgot about the several times I vomited during labor!)

Friends told me, don't dwell on it, look what you have a healthy baby boy, etc. Ok fine, I will admit its hard to be mad when you have a little bundle of joy. But as I am still recovering, nearly 6 weeks after the fact, rehashing the memories of labor can still bring tears to my eyes.

Looking back, I would have never let them break my water. That was the first mistake by which I think the rest became inevitable. Perhaps my body knew the baby was slightly turned and not ready to come out. Its anyone's guess, but I was very disappointed with the whole process, and will have a forever anxiety about childbirth from now on. How was your experience? Is this typical of first babies, or can this happen with any childbirth? Just wanted to share my experience, and find out yours.


  1. I'm so with you, it's scary. It's hard to accept the disappointment. It's almost like mourning the experience you never got to have. Hopefully the next time it will be easier for both of us.

  2. You were a trooper Ooks!! I saw you the day after and you were a fighter!