Becoming Mothers: The Good, the Bad and the Baby
posted by: Susan Wells
When my husband and I decided we were ready to become parents, we quickly learned that getting pregnant was the easy part. The pregnancy wasn’t too difficult either.
The worst part was anticipating the birth. Knowing that the baby was going to have to come out somehow. I tried to decide which path would be best. The traditional way didn’t seem like a good time and neither did a C-section. I wanted to reconsider. But there was no going back.
I was due on my 30th birthday.
The day after my birthday, I failed the stress test at a routine checkup. I’m always stressed, so this didn’t surprise me. But it was about the baby’s stress – her heartbeat dropped every time I had a contraction.
We were sent to the hospital to get checked out.
The doctors believed I should deliver right away. One teensy tiny problem – I wasn’t dialated at all. Not even one little centimeter.
In my ignorance I was sure that wasn’t a big deal. A few drugs, a few contractions and Boom! the baby comes out.
That’s not even close. I spent the day having my cervix softened and uterus encouraged. The process was slow. That evening I finally reached my first centimeter. They backed off the drugs, gave me the most disgusting food ever and sent me to bed to try again in the morning.
The next morning came and so did the Oxytocin. Doctors kept coming in, checking me then turning up the dial on my IV. I was going on 24 hours in “labor” and I was a measly three centimeters. At this rate, it could take a week.
They wanted to break my water. I wanted to try and keep something natural about the entire process and refused.
Then, around 4:00, I felt a rubber band shoot off inside me and I was wet. We all celebrated the natural breaking of the water. I was so relieved my body was able to do something on it’s own. I was sure my body would take over.
I felt as though this was the most unnatural birth. Drugs, laying in bed on my back, sensors and wires everywhere.
Then the contractions kicked up. The pain was intense. Breathing? Forget it. The contractions came out of nowhere with such intensity and overlap that I couldn’t get a grasp on them. I wasn’t dialated enough to get an epidural so I was given Demerol. This caused me to fall asleep until the peak of a contraction when I would wake up and scream.
When I was allowed an epidural, I wanted to kiss the anesthesiologist. So did my husband and mother.
I began pushing a little before midnight. I was doing well and the baby was coming. Then the lights went on, doctors ran in and had to get the baby out. Her heart beat was dropping with every contraction. They used forceps and yanked her out.
I was so worried but my little girl was born healthy and screaming. She had an APGAR of 9 and was 5 pounds 10 ounces. Her cord was over her shoulder and was pinched, causing the dropping heartbeat.
Little did I know the screaming and the bodily pain would continue for months after the birth but it was all worth it. My second delivery and baby made up for the difficulty with the first in ease and knowledge. I can’t believe that was more than 10 years ago when I look at my tween daughter, growing up so quickly.