My husband and I planned to have a home water birth. We knew going into it, that if something happened and I had to be transported to the hospital, it would be okay. We knew that if I ended up with drugs, it would be okay. And we knew that if I ended up with a c-section, it would be okay. We knew that whatever happened, it would be okay because our midwives weren’t only the most amazing support, but they were our best advocates.
My husband walked into our first consultation with them very apprehensive and when we left, all he could say was, “I can’t believe everyone doesn’t have a home birth!” My pregnancy was delightful and I relished every moment. I took great care of myself and just knew that everything would go just as I planned.
My due date was February 2, 2012. That day came. And then it went. And then a few more days went by. No baby. We didn’t know what we were having, so that made the days even longer. I couldn’t wait to find out if I was having a son or daughter! The deadline of 42 weeks (Feb. 16) was quickly approaching and if the baby didn’t come by then, we would no longer be allowed to have a home birth and I would have to be induced.
On February 13th, we met our midwives at the hospital for an ultrasound to make sure there was still enough amniotic fluid around the baby. There was and the baby was fine, so my OB (yes, I also have 2 OBs that I adore) stripped my membranes (ouch!) and both the OB and midwife told me to go home and drink a castor oil milkshake at 4:00 a.m. So at 4:00 a.m. on Valentine’s Day, my sweet husband made me a castor oil milkshake. It wasn’t that bad and he spent $15 on a pint of gourmet ice cream just for the milkshake. It was worth it.
By 6:00 a.m., I was having contractions about 15 minutes apart. It worked! We would have a Valentine’s baby! Right? By 11:00 a.m., my contractions were about 8 minutes apart and lasting about 45 seconds. We called the midwives at some point that afternoon and when they got there, I was dilated to 2 cm. Late afternoon, contractions were getting to be only a few minutes apart and were lasting for 1-1.5 minutes. The birth pool was full and I was in and out of it all night, as well as the shower, the floor, the bed, etc. Every time I was checked, I was still only 3 cm. Midnight came. And went.
24 hours into my difficult labor, we finally decided that this baby wasn’t coming, so off to the hospital we went. Luckily, the hospital is only a 1/2-mile from our house, so I didn’t have too long in the car. It was now Feb. 15th and I was able to get some rest with an epidural. I dilated to 7 throughout the day, but my white blood cell count was elevated and I had a fever. I had developed an infection while at the hospital, but the baby was showing no signs of distress.
My OB broke my water in the afternoon to get things moving, but early in the evening, I started to regress and was only dilated to 6 cm and had a swollen cervix. She told me that I could keep trying, but we probably needed to talk about a c-section. This, of course, sent me into a total bawling fit, but I decided that this was obviously not going to happen the way I wanted it to. If you’re keeping track, I’m now in hour 38 of labor.
Off I went to the OR with my husband and one of the midwives at my side. They were both amazing and kept me distracted during the surgery. I was a bit of a basket case, but I was so ready to meet this stubborn little guy/gal.
A healthy 7 lb 5 oz girl came out of my tired belly and she was perfect. A c-section was the last thing I ever, ever wanted, but I had great advocates and support in my husband, midwives and OBs and I don’t regret it for a second. I tried really hard to follow through with our plan and it was my first lesson in motherhood…things don’t always go as planned. While nursing Scarlett when she was about 15 hours old, my midwife came in and told me that she, too, had a c-section with her son and that even though it wasn’t ideal, having a c-section is still ‘giving birth.’ Those words meant the world to me! My OB fully supports a VBAC, should we have another baby, and just like my sweet and strong Scarlett, should I end up with another c-section, that’s just the way it’s supposed to be.
If you would like to share your birth story, please email me at alidamron @ gmail