Birth Stories

Unsuccessful attempt at Natural Labor... but a baby all the same

This will get long I'm sure, so I apologize in advance. LO is almost 3 months old now, and I'm finally getting around to writing this (for my own sake more than anything).

I wanted a Natural Labor forever. DH and I took a 12 week Bradley class to prepare. He went, he tried to pay attention, but I had a feeling I was going to be in this on my own. I love DH and I'm moving on with my resentment because I too am responsible for how my labor turned out, but if I'm being honest I'm still a little bitter when it comes to the whole process. Please don't misunderstand, I LOVED my experience in the end. I had a baby who I have been wanting for so long. He's healthy and I'm happy. But when I seperate the birth itself from the specific events leading up to it, I am disappointed.

This was my first baby, and so I went past my due date. Our insurance would not cover a birthing center or midwife, so I went the hospital route knowing it would be a challenge to go natural. I was allowed to go 10 days past my due date, and not allowed to reach the full 42 week mark as I had wanted to. I was 1cm and 80% effaced for 3 weeks. and on August 8th at midnight (my mom's birthday) DH and I packed up and drove to the hospital to be induced. i had been told by several doctors that LO was "very big" and one had said "too big". I was given a 50% chance of needing a C section. this scared the crap out of me. the one thing I was not willing to give up on was a vaginal delivery.

We got there right on time, were showed to our room and then waited... and waited. Around 3am I am finally seen by a nurse who gets me set up. Around 4 they start to give me an IV. 5 different spots in my arm, 3 nurses and 30 minutes later I finally had my IV in. Then they inserted the Cervadil. The cervadil was supposed to go in around 1am, but it was closer to 4:30am. I finally tried to sleep, and got a couple hours before the 7am nurse came in to start my Pit. I asked if this was supposed to be happening, since the cervadil has only been in for a few hours. The nurse just said "yeah well we're going by the orders here from your doctor to start pit at 7am". I knew then this was not going to go well.

Around 7:45am the doctor came in to see me. She wasn't even halfway through the door when she said "hi! let's break your water!". I laughed because surely she was joking. I was 1cm! the Pit had only been in for 45 minutes! No, she was serious. She responded with "seriously, let's get this going because I don't think this baby wants to come out the normal way". (and there it was. she said it. she wanted to break my water, to basically get this over with via c section. only 45 minutes into my drug induced contractions just 10 days after my due date). I told her that I was only 1cm and there was no way I was being put on the clock at this point. I remember saying "that would ensure a C section, so no". She then asked in a snippy tone "do you want to have a baby today?" I said "doesn't have to be today, it can be tomorrow. i'm fine with that. i'm here for a long time, so lets get on the same page". She simply said "the nurse will be in to check you" and walked out. bravo doc... bravo.

My parents and brother arrived around 8am and were a great source of laughter and moral support. Around 8:15am my first contraction hit. The "wave" I heard about in bradley was not happening. It was a minute long solid contraction with no start up or let down. I guess this is the "pit contraction" everyone speaks of. they were not fun but I was managing to deal with it. The birthing ball worked for a few hours and I pretended to be ok enough to smile and half laugh with the group. Then i needed something else. And mom suggested the rocking chair. That really helped. I think it was just the rocking that I could focus on to keep me from thinking about the pain. (and yes I use the word pain). DH had the video camera (i know... i wanted to kill him too) and was trying to "trick me into not feeling the pain". What he was really doing is living in denial that i was hurting, and that he would have to help the way Bradley trained him to. This was just the start of DH's major let down. But I got through the next 4 hours like that. (watching it back on camera has really made me realize how much "real labor" i was in). I could not talk even do a half smile/half laugh through these to pretend to be a part of the conversations. During this time the doctor did not come back into the room. Only nurses would come in to up my Pit. Which by the way hit it's max dosage in 2 hours. That seemed fast to me, but whenever I questioned why they weren't following the birth plan by going up only once every hour, I was told "doctors orders".

I realize now how Bradley is supposed to work. Because I swore I would be strong enough to be able to realize what was going on around me and to me enough to speak up for my wishes. that's not the case. or at least it wasn't for me. I was too busy getting through each contraction (coming about every 3 minutes since 11am) to argue with the woman. So this is when DH would have said something, asked to speak with the doctor, something... but he was either napping (because the poor thing was up all night) or on his phone playing a game. I digress...

by 4 I felt my water break. i was sitting in the rocking chair. it was just a little bit, but i knew that's what it was. mom helped unplug me from the wall so i could go to the bathroom. my plug was on the rocking chair when i got up, and when i got to the toilet there was a steady stream of fluid. i flushed. i freekin flushed the toilet without having anyone look at the fluid to see if it was clear. again... i wish i had asked my mom to go in with me so maybe she would have thought not to flush. when i came out my doctor had finally come back. she was ready to check me. i informed her i lost my plug and broke my water at once. the nurse had cleaned up the rocking chair by that point. the doctor assured me my water had not broken, and that i was just confusing it with "peeing myself". that usually the plug comes first, then the water comes some time later. "plus, you're not in labor so your water didn't break". this sentence was said to me many times throughout the night. "you're not really in labor". it drove me crazy.

she checked me at 4pm, and i was still 1cm and 80% effaced. She suggested a C section. I said no. She suggested an epidural. i said no. so finally she said "if i really wanted to" i could cut the pit, take a shower and start the cervadil all over again that night and try again tomorrow.(i hardly remember this conversation but i am so glad i had the clarity to say no). so i went with the 3rd option. they said the contractions would stop once the pit stopped. the doctor took my mom outside and told her it would be in MY BEST INTEREST if they left so i could get some rest and to come back tomorrow. since i dont have a medical degree, i listened to this advice too. everyone went home but DH and they cut the pit. at 6pm the contractions had not stopped and were getting much worse. steady 3 minutes apart, and i was having to moan to get through them. here's where it goes downhill...

i was laying in bed. DH was sitting on the sofa silent. He simply froze. my family had gone home and DH froze. I was so foggy I didn't even think to get back into the chair or try the ball or get on my hands and knees. i just stayed in bed, and rolled from side to side. around 9pm i was really not doing well and when the nurse came in i asked to be checked. the doctor came in to answer my question but said its not good to check too often, and because I "wasn't really in labor" there wasn't much of a point. I remember DH at this point standing next to the bed with the doctor, and he told me to just get the epidural. i told them both no and they left the bed. i guess DH went back to the sofa. As it got worse I decided i wanted to be on the toilet. it felt like i had an awful UTI during each contraction. so i would roll out of the bed, unplug myself (i remember my hands shaking trying to get the plus of the heart monitor out of the wall), roll the IV stand with me to the bathroom and sit on the toilet during each contraction. it was the only place i remember finding some sort of ability to get through it. the nurse wouldn't let me stay there, so i had to go back to the bed, hook myself back up, and get back into the bed every 3 minutes. (i dont know why i kept getting BACK into the bed instead of just leaning over the side. i was not really in a state of logic).

This must have gone on for hours, because the next thing I remember is the nurse telling me i needed to take an ambien to help me sleep. i remember asking what time it was and she said after midnight. i guess that meant 12 something. (DH is not in my memory here, he was in the room i think, but i just dont remember his face or his voice). i said no to the ambien then, and 3 more times (the following two times i was on the toilet when they asked me about it. they didnt want me to be getting up anymore so the ambien they thought would help). finally the doctor came in and said i needed to sleep or i would end up with a c section. so i guess i just gave up and took the darn pill. It of course didn't work, and the pain of the contraction just woke me up in between a couple minutes of "sleep". so basically all i remember are back to back contractions. I still got up and went to the bathroom though. at this point it's about 2am and a new nurse was talking to me. she was kind enough to realize this was my comfort zone, and told me she'd let me have 45 minutes off of the monitor to stay put on the toilet. (thank god!). the only problem was i would fall asleep in between contractions, and i dont think she realized that. DH at this point was asleep. he literally curled up in the fetal position on the sofa and went to sleep. I think he had been out since they had given me the ambien.

around 3:30 a different nurse came into the room to check on me, but didn't see me (the bathroom door was shut). She apparently woke DH up and asked where I was. he pointed to the bathroom and she opened the door to find me asleep with my head against the wall sitting on the toilet. (or so i am told). i have vague memories of this time alone in the bathroom but i do remember being half asleep wishing i could just keep my eyes closed but knowing i couldn't b/c of the contractions. i remember i felt better when i would pound the soft side of my fist into the wall next to me, and that's about it.

the nurse took me to the bed, hooked me back up and i hated it b/c i didn't have my wall anymore to lean on or punch. she checked me and i was 6 almost 7cm at that point. so i guess i really was in labor! the doc was in right away and said I was either getting a spinal for a c section or i was going to get an epidural so that i could sleep. i took the epidural. at that point, i was so out of it there was no way i could have fought the pain meds off any longer.

at 4 i got the epi, and went promptly to sleep.

my parents arrived at 7am and i woke to say hello and went back to sleep. Then my new doctor came on. oh how i love her. and i got a new nurse, she was amazing too. i always wonder if i liked them so much better because of the epidural... but i doubt it. this doctor has more common sense than the first.

they started the pit back up around 8am and around 10 the new doc said she wanted to break my water. I informed her it had broken the day before, but no one believed me. She shot a concerned look across the room to the nurse who ran out of the room. she checked me and she said i was "dry". and that my water had broken, there was nothing left in there. she asked what time, i told her, and she ordered antibiotics right away. the doctor left and was not back for an hour at least. i hope she was giving hell to the first doctor and nurse who didn't even check to see if my water had broken. also, she had checked me and i was 8cm now.

at 1:45 the nurse said to let her know if i feel pressure. i told her ive had pressure for a while. so she checked me, and i was 10cm, and ready to go. i pushed for 45 minutes with my mother on my right, my husband on my left and the amazing doctor and nurse helping me along.

what's amazing to me is how much i FELT. even soon after the epidural was giving i could move my legs. i switch sides a lot when i sleep. and even just a few hours after getting the epidural i was able to flip from my left to my right while sleeping just like i always do. my legs felt cold and tingly, but i felt them and could use them. it was really amazing. i had anticipated not being able to move on my own. i felt every single contraction while on the epidural. but they were not pianful. there was a lot of pressure with each one, but it was not pain.

when it was time to push i felt even more. they told me they were going to help me hold my legs up, but i just picked them up myself. even the doctor asked if i wanted to push the button for more meds, but i was good to go. so we pushed, and 45 minutes later he was here. he was amazing, he still is amazing. my dad and brother were listening outside the door the whole time i pushed and came in as soon as i was stitched up. i had a 2nd degree tear and never felt much pain from that either. i was lucky enough not to get any hemorrhoids.

that "big" baby was 7lbs 11oz 23 inches long. so he was off the charts with length, but not "too big" at all. he was perfect. alert, awake and cooing (we got it on camera) within the first hour of his life.


so that's my birth story. i went 20 or so hours without pain meds and i'm proud of that. plus... i did most of it alone. i knew i should of hired a doula. i had a feeling DH would not be able to do this. i just didn't realize he would literally sleep through it to avoid seeing me like that. when we started our bradley class i asked him if he was seriously up for this. when i questioned him he was very upset and so for his sake i didnt hire the doula, and just hoped he would use this experience to really stand up and be a strong, supportive husband. the term "man up" comes to mind a lot for me. Sadly he just wasn't able to do it.

i love DH, and it sounds like i'm an awful person for speaking about him in such a way. but the poor thing is just not capable of dealing with serious or unpleasant matters. i'm moving on from this experience, and have loved every moment with LO since he was born.

good luck to everyone reading this in preparation of their upcoming labors. i wish you all well!!!


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Re: Unsuccessful attempt at Natural Labor... but a baby all the same

  • i'm a newbie and lurker, but a total sucker for birth stories.  first things first, your son is a-d-o-r-a-b-l-e!  your birth story is similar to my first birth (past due, induced, attempted natural and then pain meds saved my sanity, DH.. well unfortunately most of them can't handle seeing us in that state). a few friends of mine were pg around the same time and devestated they had c-sections.  i was like, well i know because it is surgery, it is not the ideal delivery, but both of you have healthy, handsome sons.  i think there is too much pressure on women to do everything a certain way, guess what, there are no guarantees on gender, delivering, that breastfeeding will go smoothly, that you will get a great sleeper, etc.  i don't mean this in a snarky way towards you, but your title starts with unsuccessful, from your avatar pic and gorgeous son i would say you are very successful. i also know a few people who have been ttc and that just makes me count my blessings at being able to conceive naturally and give birth to live, healthy babies.  it shouldn't matter how a baby gets here, how he is fed, what clothes he is wearing, etc.  as long as that baby is healthy, loved and happy, that is success to me.  congrats to you, hope you are getting rest and enjoying your little guy.  =)

    p.s. i had a 4th degree episiotomy and they used a vaccuum to get my first guy out, he was 15 days past due.  so sometimes they just don't want to come out! i joke he had to be evicted from my womb. lol

  • your son is too cute!!
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  • Your son is beautiful. It sounds like you are a really strong person being able to follow your plan and say no to what you felt was unecessary for so long. You are one fierce mama.

    Your attitude towards your DH is great too. You are not the only one to be let down by your husband, but the fact that you are trying to move on from it is awesome. I imagine it is very hard to try and find some sort of peace with how things went, and it is easy to feel bitter. I know I would be. By sharing your story you are reminding other mamas out there to stand by their gut instincts and make sure they have a doula or other support system if they feel they need it.

    Thank you so much for sharing and best of luck with your LO, he is truly gorgeous.

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  • You are my hero. Good form you for standing up to that terrible MD. Congratulations !
    b/w=FSH 15.6, AMH 0.4 surprise natural BFP on 3/12/11
    DS born via unplanned C-section at 40w6d


  • This makes me want to get a doula. A friend of mine offered to do it for free (she is trying to get certified so she has to do a few births first). My husband doesn't want that, he just wants it to be us, but I don't think he is going to be very supportive in the long run when it comes to wanting to be med free. Thank gosh I can refuse to be induced as long as I feel necessary and that at the hospital I'm delivering at always has midwives on staff. On top of that, I see a midwife, not a doctor. I haven't seen a doctor since I got pregnant..

    My husband tends to think everything anyone tells him is the truth though and will take their side, especially when it comes to thinking that whoever is telling him this should know whats right (including his mom). So I think I'm going to have my friend be my doula.

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  • Thank you so much for sharing your story and the beautiful photo of your precious baby!  Wow, what a story.  I felt like I was on a bit of an emotional rollercoaster reading it.  First of all, to echo PPs sentiments, you are FIERCE and strong to have held off and labored like you did for all those hours with limited support.  I appreciate that you are so open and honest about your disappointments and especially lack of support from your husband.  I don't even know you and wish I had been there to help be an advocate and get your needs met.  That said, you did a lot on your own and brought your baby into the world safe and sound.  I think you had fantastic intuition as a mother to know when to say no (to an unnecessary c-section, etc.) and I think you're going to be an awesome mom.  I'm glad you are recognizing the need to organize what happened in your head, make some sense/peace with it as best you can and enjoy life with your beautiful baby.  Congratulations on your birth and enjoy the next steps.  (hugs)

  • I'm so happy for you and your LO.  Mom-to-be to another Mom, even proud.  We did Bradley and are approaching our induction date...your story helps me keep some hope for standing firm and maintaining some control.  So sad how there are unsupportive, self-serving docs/nurses.  But happier that you ended up with really great ones.  Thank you for encouraging me!
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  • First of all, your son is adorable!!

    Second, having a baby is an incredibly life changing experience - not just the baby part, but the birth part. It's something that you're not likely to forget. I think you are perfectly justified in your attitude toward your DH. You had expectations and they weren't met. I'm not saying this against your DH, but just to recognize your feelings about it. And yes, you do have a beautiful son and were very successful in that sense, but don't feel bad if you need to talk about feelings of resentment you may still have about the birth. Even in a best case scenario, it can be traumatic. Your feelings deserve to be heard.

    Thank you for sharing your story, and congratulations!  

  • Congratulations! He is absolutely beautiful :)
  • At least you got your vag birth! You were persistant. Great job!
  • Wow. Can I just say that you are such a strong person to have gone through (most) of that alone. Wow. I had the same "worries" about DH's capabilities and insisted on a Doula. Between me, the doula, and the midwife DH was shamed into active participation I think:) 

    There is something to be said for women helping women through birth...Men have sorta been thrust into the birthing room in the last 20 years or so without much precedent for how they are supposed to act, or what they are supposed to do...Just our politically-correct expectations that men and women should "share" the responsibility/pain/etc.  Which isn't to say before 20 years ago things were much better... I am a big supporter of moms/doulas/sisters/friends etc helping out:)

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