Jonathan’s Birth Story, 3/31/07
I have been fascinated with childbirth as long as I can remember. So, when my own pregnancy happened, I felt very confident that I would have the vaginal birth that I planned on and assumed would happen. My pregnancy was complication free, I never measured “big,” and everything looked great. At my last appt, the day before my due date, my cervix hadn’t done much changing. An induction date was set for the following week at the 41 week mark. My doctor, whom I trust and have a great relationship with said that was as far past my due date as he was comfortable going. He did also say, though, that I could very well have the baby on my own, so not to to focus on the induction.
The following morning, a little after 5am (my due date!), I started to feel very regular contractions. They were every 15 minutes apart and progressively got closer together. This was it! My labor began on its own, which thrilled me to no end. I could do this! I didn’t need medical intervention! Around 10am, I went in to get checked, was about 2cm and definitely changing. My doctor came in, and basically said that yes, it was early, but he knew how much I wanted to go naturally, so he suggested I go home and labor as much on my own there. We were back at the hospital at 3pm for good, in that 5 hour period, my contractions got much closer together and much more difficult to get through. At 3pm, I was nearly 4cm and progressing well. We settled in, and I was thrilled at how well everything was going. My water broke on its own, again a huge thrill. I wanted as little intervention as possible. I did end up getting an epidural, but was still able to feel the urge to push, etc. At 10pm, the party started! Excited that everything happened on it’s own without pitocin, artificial rupture of membranes, etc I began pushing. I was able to try different positions, but nothing was working. I was beginning to feel very defeated and exhausted. I could see his head, but he just wouldn’t come any further. The on-call doctor was a good support and really tried to keep me encouraged. My husband was my rock. At 12am, the two hour mark, he hadn’t made much progress crowning, and I was crying, wanting to be done. The doctor pulled my husband aside and mentioned a c-section, given how exhausted I was. I conceded out of sheer exhaustion, I think. 16 minutes after calling for the c-section, Jonathan was born weighing a whopping 9lbs 8.4 oz. He had an agar of three. Apparently, he had what was called “arrested descent” and they needed to kind of wedge him out of my pelvis to get him out for the section. The most important thing was that he was here and we were both ok.
It wasn’t until after we were home that I began to feel like a failure. Here I was, a childbirth scholar and I couldn’t even deliver my own baby naturally. I talked with friends who had similar experiences and the further away from my birth that I got, the better I felt and was finally able to realize that if it weren’t for the c-section, my son might not be here and okay. I wasn’t bullied into it. He’s now 5 years old and the only reminder of his delivery is my physical scar. His brother was born 17 months ago by repeat c-section, which I was okay with. It doesn’t make me less of a mom for having had c-sections. It doesn’t make me less of a woman. If anything, it’s my battle scar. I went through a little more of a battle to get my babies here. I wouldn’t say I’m proud of it, but I respect it. And when I see my two precious boys, I know it was worth it.