Lately I’ve been swapping birth stories with other holistic Moms. I’ve listened with some degree of envy to their tales of giving birth in a bathtub at home, in a warm, serene, and welcoming environment. My own un-holistic Mama birth story can be summed up in 5 words: “Nothing went according to plan.” Or, “I’m never giving birth without a doula again.” The plan was for a “natural” hospital birth: no drugs, baby put immediately on my chest after birth for breastfeeding and APGAR scoring, no injections, no erythromycin, and vaginal delivery. The last part – vaginal delivery – was the only part that actually occurred – so I guess I can’t say that NOTHING went according to plan.
In hindsight, I was lucky that I was even able to give birth vaginally. I chose to have my baby induced, and usually, one intervention leads to another, which leads to a Cesarean. In fact, 60% of all inductions end up in a Cesarean. Had I known that, I would not have chosen to induce. Well, is that true? I was 9 days overdue, and was in a kind of “crazy” state of mind. Once my due date went whizzing by, I started to think all sorts of unproductive thoughts, from silly ones like, “I’m going to stay pregnant forever,” to harmful ones like, “My placenta will deteriorate and the baby will die if I don’t get her out of there.” It didn’t help that my doctor told me, “If we get to 41 weeks, and she’s still not out, I want you to let me take her out.” So at 39 weeks and 5 days pregnant, we scheduled an induction for 41 weeks and 1 day. I thought to myself, “Surely the baby will come out on her own by then.” No such luck.
The first step in my induction was to give me Cervedil, a vaginal “tea bag” of prostaglandins that gets the cervix to open up/ripen. I was to lay in bed for 12 hours, and if the Cervedil didn’t work, they’d let me take a shower and then give me Pitocin. In my case, it worked very well…3 hours after insertion, my labor had actually started and I was 3 centimeters dilated! So far, so good.
But then, the pain started coming…and I’ll continue in Part 2.