In the post about birth plans I shared about a mommy who despite the planning and work ended up needing a c-section. Here’s Jessica’s account, more than a year after the birth of their precious daughter. Even when things don’t go as according to your plans, it is still important to follow through.
“I definitely had a birth plan. My husband and I took 12 weeks of Bradley Method courses with a private instructor, we hired a to help us through the laboring process. I just knew I wanted natural, drug free, incredible childbirth experience.
I discussed all my well laid out birth plans with my Dr. beforehand and had a plan for before, during, and after the birth of our daughter. In the end what I thought would happen, and what actually did unfold with the birth of my baby girl was very different.
I was “due” on March 9th, that day came and went and I patiently waited for the twinges of labor to begin. Finally on March 21st (12 days later than originally thought) at around 6 am, I got out of bed to go potty (which very pregnant woman do a lot of), and I was leaking…a lot…non-stop. I figured out really quickly that my water must have broken, and thought, “Wow!”
This is it, labor has begun, I will be meeting my baby girl very soon. The funny part was that I didn’t feel any contractions, or pressure or back pain, or anything close to labor. I called my doula and she was okay with me waiting it out at home for awhile, I called my Dr. and she wanted me to come to the hospital just to get “checked out.”
Around 9:30 my hubby and I headed to the hospital, where they checked me in and started monitoring my contractions, which they said I was having, but did not feel. I was also only dilated barely 1 cm.
I had brought my birth plan and all of the nurses had a copy of it, so I was not hooked up to any pitocin or machines, except periodically to monitor my contractions and the babies’ heart beat and as long as the baby seemed fine I was free to walk around the labor and delivery unit. I must have made the trek around the unit 40 times, trying to bring on my labor.
As the hours progressed I did start to have some contractions, still 10 minutes apart, and not that bad, and I thought, wow…I can do this, it’s not that bad. As the hours progressed they checked how far I had dilated and I was still at 1 cm. This was disheartening but I knew it would progress over time.
At around 3 pm our doula came out to offer help, and support, and had me do different exercises to help the labor progress, and help me to get through the more intense contractions. My parents arrived, and were in the room as well, and they were having a hard time seeing me in pain and wondered why I wouldn’t want to take pain medicine. There was definitely some tension there, but we did the best we could, to keep a calm environment.
As the evening progressed around 7 pm I still had not dilated any further and my doctor asked if I wanted to try some pitocin to help me possibly dilate. I said, no I wanted to keep trying on my own, and she was okay with that. At around 10 pm our doula suggested I try to get some rest overnight so I had strength to push during more active labor, and I tried to get some sleep overnight.
At 6 a.m. I woke up, and my contractions and labor had completely stalled. Around 9 am I still had not dilated any further then 1 cm, so I reluctantly but willingly opted to let them give me some very low doses of pitocin to get the contractions started again. It worked, and the contractions were coming on very strong, and very painful, and I was having a hard time managing the pain levels.
I also was now unable to get out of bed as easily because of the IV, which made it even worse. After 6.5 grueling hours on pitocin, they checked how far I had dilated and I was expecting at least 3-4 cm and they told me I was only at 1.5 cm!! I could not believe it, at this point it had been 32 hours since my water broke, and although the baby’s heart beat was great, and there was no apparent danger they had already given me an IV with antibiotics just in case to prevent infection and they worried about how much longer my amniotic levels would sustain.
I had to make a really difficult choice, keep trying to labor and be in pain, or opt to have a c-section and have my baby within a few hours. I thought of all the planning, and classes, and how I so wanted a natural birth, but also how much I wanted to meet my baby girl, and how exhausted I felt. After deliberating with my husband and my doula I ultimately decided to have the c-section.
All turned out beautifully with no complications, and our beautiful Aria Christiana made her debut in the world 36 hours after my water broke!!
Although my birth did not turn out the way I had originally planned or even thought I wanted it to be, I could not be more grateful to God, who gave us a healthy, strong baby to love and nourish. I realize it is not the birth plan that matters as much as the ultimate outcome which is holding a beautiful baby in your arms.”
In our postpartum visit we discussed how the labor had gone. What worked well, what we would’ve done differently. The three of us all agreed we wouldn’t done anything differently. Nor would she have chosen to have the c-section sooner.
Jessica wanted and planned for a natural birth. It was important for her to follow through the journey of doing all she could to birth her baby without drugs or knives. She believes had she “wimped” out at the beginning she would have felt like she failed. Instead she is able to be secure that despite all her efforts she was not meant to have it that way.
We did all we could to bring on contractions after her water broke. Her body, as well as her mom’s and sister’s just wouldn’t cooperate in maintaining contractions to push those little babies out.
This is one of the times I am grateful for medical interventions. Because of disease, mutated genes and general degradation of the perfectly planned ecosystem that is our body there are these rare times when man must intervene to save a life or two.