|Less than a week after Gwen's birth.|
I was very upset that my perfect birth story would now be something I had not thought of. It was the morning of January 23, 2009. I had gone to the birthing center 12 hours previously and had been experiencing contractions for about 24 hours. Upon being checked in, I was checked and still at 6 cm. The doctor assigned to me (my midwife had no authority at the hospital and could only function as a doula) came in to say 'hello' and I was so relieved to learn it was a woman. Nothing against male doctors, but since all of my prenatal care was with women, it was a comfort to know one would be delivering Gwen.
Ben and I were both emotionally and physically exhausted, once everything settled down, we slept.
A few hours later my mother-in-law brought Ben something to eat. One of our preconceived ideas regarding the birth was that Ben and I would be alone during this time. Meaning: no family or friends of any kind would be around for the labor/birth. I think that is more usual during a natural labor, since the mom is not feeling up to chatting and it takes a lot of focus to relax during contractions. As oppose to a mom having an epidural, where she can easily talk and socialize (if that's what she wants). Anyways, once word got out that we were now at the hospital: people gathered. No one hung out in our room, for which I am grateful, but it definitely felt weird to know there were people just hanging around waiting for me to push a baby out.
Sometime in the afternoon, I was checked and had progressed not even 1 centimeter. Not even ONE!!! People, I was beginning to think that I would be the only lady to be pregnant forever. Pitocin came up and I immediately closed up. "No way!!!" I thought. I was already giving up my dream of a natural birth and now they wanted to give me Pitocin? Uh-uh. Not happening. Instead of saying that though, I asked to have time to contemplate it and call my midwife. Which I did, she told me that she supported the idea, as I had not progressed on my own and my water had now been broken for over 12 hours. She even said she thought it was awesome they were giving me so much time to get to 10 cm. Apparently some other doctors at the hospital were more quick to call for a c-section. My mind slightly eased, but my spirit more defeated, I agreed to the Pitocin.
Again, hours passed and we were now into evening. My mom and sister were now in town and I had a group in the waiting room. My progress was being checked periodically and I had plateaued at barely a 7 1/2. So much for Pitocin. We were starting to hear more about a c-section. My new doctor had fantastic bedside manor and acted completely respectful towards Ben and I. She knew that I did not want to be there and she proceeded to gently let me know that at a certain point, they could not let me continuing laboring. There were a couple factors in this: my water had been broken for quite a while and my hear rate was dipping. I was given a time. If I wasn't ready to push by that time, we would be meeting our baby through a c-section.
I was bloated, sore, exhausted and emotionally distraught. I had totally resigned myself to the fact I would have a c-section. I did not believe I would reach 10cm by the time they gave me. It was mere hours away. We were into late evening and I knew Ben was feeling similarly.
|Few days old.|
At 10:37pm on January 23, 2009 Gwenevere Marie was born. After 24 hours of active labor and 35+ hours of contractions. Finally! I remember being so relieved and exhausted when they handed her to me. People took some pictures, but they're on a packed away computer somewhere. Just picture me as a bloated beach whale, Ben as a beaming new Dad and a squinty eyed baby. Gwen weighed 7 lbs 9 oz. I only tore a little (yay!). In the pictures it's clear I look almost dazed. And I will admit it took a little bit for me to "get" what I had just done and what a gift we were just given.
|And now this little baby will be 4 tomorrow! <3|
Thanks for joining me as I re-lived those long hours and once again remembered what a gift all births are.