Emma was born February 28, 2019 at 1:58pm. According to the delivery team, I had a complication free birth.
I would like to preface this by saying that all birth experiences are different. Please don’t overwhelm yourself with all the worse case scenarios if you are currently expecting or plan on becoming pregnant.
What matters most is that you and baby made it, not all the in between!
In this post I will talk about the details in between because it was MY experience I care to share, not what the doctor or nurses told me. Following are highlighted key points in a question/answer format.
- Did you have a birth plan?
I didn’t type one out to give to the delivery team but my plan was to NOT get the epidural and try to let nature take its course without unnecessary interventions.
- Who was in the delivery room with you?
I only wanted my partner to be there. My mom and sister are not good with high stress situations and I would’ve had to worry about taking care of them not getting scared versus worrying about myself.
- Did you have an epidural or were induced?
I received an epidural and was not induced, she came on her own one week early.
- How many hours did you spend in labor?
I’m not an expert in the terms but I started experiencing cramps or pre labor pain, Wednesday morning at 6am. We drove to the hospital at like 6pm because the contractions felt like they were 5 minutes apart. The pain started escalating to where I couldn’t speak around 8pm on wednesday. I got the epidural some point after midnight that evening. Pushing started at 9am and the baby came out at 2pm.
- What was the hardest part of delivery?
I was pushing for hours and felt like I was going to faint, and wasn’t sure I was ever going to get her out. I started pushing at 9am and had to take breaks until she finally came at almost 2pm. I will mention I also felt the hours/days after birth (postpartum) were mentally and physically overwhelming and feel like that was actually the worst part. I want to write a seperate post for this.
- What was your favorite part of delivering?
As cliche as it sounds, having the baby lay on my chest for the first was the most beautiful feeling I’ve EVER felt. The immediate motherly instinct to protect her is so beautiful to look back on. When she started crying as I held her for the first time, I immediately put myself in her shoes, thinking of her needs more than my own. I started crying and asking the nurses why she was crying, all I wanted to do was make her feel comforted.
- If there is something you could change from the experience what would it be?
I am expecting another baby in less than 3 months. This time I plan on typing out my most important requests on paper to hand to the delivery team. When I was in pain, I could not be my own advocate. I expected my partner to speak up for me, but he didn’t know what I needed, it was his first birth experience too. I have such an “I can do this myself mentality.” I am going to try to lean on him more this time, and hopefully not get the epidural too soon in the process (IF I get it).
- Did you learn any lessons from your first birth?
I was very bitter after my birth experience.
Yes, I had a natural (vaginal) birth and they didn’t need to intervene much besides the epidural and at the very last minute they gave me pitocin.
That doesn’t sound so bad, why bitter? I had envisioned and hoped my birth would be as natural as possible. That is, without any medicine, without being rushed to push the baby when we didn’t feel ready.
I had tried to prepare myself to be “ready.” I had read that hospitals try to intervene too much in a process that should be natural. I went in with my defenses up, and I still felt like I had my requests violated.
How were my requests violated? Upon introducing myself to the first nurse that would care for me during labor, I let her know I did not plan on having an epidural. This nurse proceeded to continually PUSH (like she was gaining commission) that I get an epidural. I am a strong willed person, but after being physically and mentally fatigued with pain and discomfort for hours I CRACKED. I gave in after being at the hospital for 5 hours.
So is this nurse to blame for all my resentment? No, but I wish she would have let me ride out the pain and change my mind on my own. I wish she would have let me go in the shower like I had requested, instead of forcing me to be hooked up to monitors, forced on a bed.
I wish she would’ve kept her unneeded comments about my size to herself. She said that my frame was very small and I would have trouble getting the baby out (NOT HELPFUL).
The second shift nurse. I had taken the class to “prepare” you for delivery at the hospital and expected the nurse to at some point tell me I was 10 cm dilated. She never told me I was 10cm, they just told me that I needed to start pushing “to get the baby’s head through,” I delivered 5 hours later. They made me feel like I was on the doctors time and said they didn’t want to bring the doctor until I was ready. I felt rushed and pushed.
Birth experiences are not going to be as cookie cutter as you’ll read. Expect the unexpected and know that people cannot read your mind, you might not be able to speak up for yourself like you normally can (due to pain and fatigue). Writing even a simple paper they can pin on the wall where the nurse makes her notes, may save you some of the grief I went through.
It was so surreal to meet my daughter for the first time, and feel her body on my chest. The magic of the experience helped fade the pain I felt, as they stitched me when we were doing chest to chest for the first time (Yup, I felt them stitching me).
All in all, I have no regrets. I am so happy both me and my baby girl made it through safe. I group my feelings of bitterness with the struggle I faced postpartum as well. A separate post will be up about my postpartum and breastfeeding experience.
I hope this didn’t come off as a negative post, I just want to shed light on some of the frustrations I faced with my birth but also some of the things I hope you can take from my experience.
Feel free to message me with questions through my email or my Instagram @bloomingandbliss_