As a doula, I look back on my birth and dream of what it could have been. I know my birth experience was the way it was for many reasons. The day it happened, the time of day, the reason I had a hospital birth and not a home birth and the people I had with me were all sequenced that way on purpose.
My birth story has many chapters, but today I will keep in short. One day I am sure I will dive into the details.
My daughter was due December 30th 2009, but fitting to Mia’s personality, she took her own sweet time and was encouraged (via Pitocin) to be born on January 11th. I chose this day because the midwife I was most connected with was on call and if I was going to have a hospital birth and not a home birth, I wanted people around me I was comfortable with. Along with Sylvia I had my husband, friend Jenn and my mother-in-law.
I was induced shortly after 8am, was able to walk around a short time and then things started moving around noon. My husband was on massage duty and was applying pressure to my hips (now trained as a doula I know he was applying a double hip squeeze) as I had a contraction. My support person had just birthed her 3rd child at home 6 months prior and knew exactly what I needed before I knew it. I had a cold cloth on my face, neck and forehead between waves and sips of water and “labour aide” given to my from a straw while I rested between contractions. PS- This really is only good cold! My mother-in-law was encouraging everyone to eat and making sure all the hospital staff were doing their best work, she demanded informed choices and for me to be part of the decision making process. My body just knew what to do. I pushed when I needed to push, I rested when I needed to rest. Not once was I checked by my midwife, she encouraged me to listen to my body. At around 2pm Sylvia (my midwife) told me I was already pushing… I had no idea, I was just in the zone. This is when I asked to be checked….. being a first time birther, I was starting to get nervous about pushing, anxious to birth and excited to meet my daughter. being an experienced midwife, Sylvia was right. I was 10cm dilated and ready to push. 4 hours later I was still pushing and still on Pitocin, baby was doing ok, but I was really beat.
This is where everything happened so fast, the pitocin machine was beeping, something strange was happening and it was not giving the proper dosage and my pushing was not as effective. Suddenly there was an OBGYN in the room with team. I consented to the vacuum. A large difference from the serene home birth I had planned. Being educated on the subject I knew the fact that I was essentially strapped to the bed and already having the intervention of Induction along with pushing for 4 hours the likelihood of the vacuum, forceps or caesarean were increasing. In moments, the vacuum was on, baby was born, the cord was cut (little delayed cord clamping) and the OBGYN flew out like a flash leaving Mia with me.
Mia was on my chest, I cried, Jonathan cried,my support person cried, the Midwife had a happy smirk and my mother-in-law was doing her best not to cry. Mia was born… healthy, alert and perfect. January 11th 2010.
I had a long amount of skin to skin with Mia as well as breastfeeding initiation within the first hour… 2 key points on the crumpled up, re-wrote birth plan I really wanted.
Are there things I would have changed, sure. But I made informed choices along the way… There was no coercion or fear. I knew my body was amazing and I knew by baby was coming out of my vagina.