I had high hopes about how I would deliver my daughter. At the time I was not familiar with what a birth plan was, so I didn’t feel the need to have one written out. Boy, was I wrong!
At first I wanted an at home birth. I wanted to be in my own bed, snacking on something delicious, with my husband snuggled up next to me while we waited patiently for our daughter to arrive.
Unfortunately, my doctor had other plans. At the time, I wasn’t aware that I could speak up about my wants and needs, so I just listened to the doctor. Just a few weeks before my due date, I went in for a check up and we were given the paper work to be induced one week before my due date. I had gestational diabetes and they were afraid the baby was going to be too large to have a vaginal birth if we waited until our due date. I was so upset. I wasn’t sure if I even wanted an epidural, much less medication to start my labor. I wanted my baby to come out when she was ready, not when the doctor was ready. I went home crying that day.
A week later I went into labor.
My doctor didn’t look happy with me about going into labor early. Not because it was too early, but because it just wasn’t on her time. They were about to send me home to do the laboring process outside of the hospital when they realized that there wasn’t enough amniotic fluid in the womb. My water hadn’t broke yet, so this meant it was dangerous. I was admitted and told I wouldn’t give birth for at least another 12 hours.
It was exciting, scary, and a bit confusing, all at the same time. I hadn’t slept in nearly 24 hours at this point, so I was given some medication to help me relax. It was not an epidural. This medication didn’t numb me, it just made me feel a bit tipsy. Once the medication set in, I wasn’t able to think straight. During this time I was given Oxytocin/Pitocin to speed up my labor and I had no knowledge of them giving me this medication. That is when things took a turn for the worse! Just a couple of minutes later, I went into full force labor and my contractions were just seconds apart. I felt like something was wrong. I KNEW something was wrong. That’s when I found out I was given Pitocin. Why didn’t I have a chance to say no? Why didn’t I have any knowledge of this?
My contractions went from a point that I could bare, to a point of losing control of my body in a matter of minutes so they wanted to break my water. I’m already in so much pain and you want to cause more pain?? Half way through trying to break my water, the guy stopped and asked someone else what he should do next. That’s when my husband realized the guy breaking my water was a med student! We weren’t asked if it was okay for a student to be working on me during my labor and birth. I was screaming and crying so much that nurses had to hold me down. I started to black out.
They found a bunch of meconium in the fluid after my water broke and the doctors were a bit concerned. At this point they wanted the baby out and were only giving me a little bit of time to try for a vaginal birth before they would give me a caesarean. I was giving up at this point. I felt like I was losing control of my body, my feelings, even my own thoughts. My doctor had control over everything. I just felt so out of the loop on what was going on. No one was telling us anything except what they wanted us to know. I was given an epidural, which of course, helped with the pain, but it made my head feel even more foggy. I wasn’t able to understand much. I felt completely drugged.
Unfortunately, my contractions were just too intense at such an early stage of labor and I wasn’t dilated enough to give a vaginal birth. A doctor came in and told me I was going to have a caesarean birth, but I would be able to try for a vaginal birth with my next child. I didn’t believe her. It hadn’t been 12 hours yet. I didn’t even get a chance to try. I felt defeated. She wanted to know if I had any questions and all I could ask was, “Why?” Her response was that the baby was under too much stress. Well OF COURSE she is. I’m drugged up, I haven’t ate in nearly 18 hours, and I have stress monitors so tight on my stomach that it could cut my circulation off at any moment! No wonder she is stressed!
They began the surgery on me and told us that my husband wasn’t allowed to cut the umbilical cord because of the intensity of the situation. My doctor also mentioned that I am not allowed to see or hold our baby until they can make sure she doesn’t have meconium in her air ways. The doctor told me she was born, but they were trying to make sure she didn’t cry yet so that they can clear her air ways.
I couldn’t see her, but Ethan could. All I could watch was my husbands tears trickle down his face. I waited for her cry. I waited and waited until finally there was the most beautiful, tear jerking cry I have ever heard. She was alive and well.
Teagynn Grace weighed 5 pounds.
She was born at 11:58AM.
The first time I had seen my daughter was on a phone screen, through a picture that my husband took for me.
I can’t help but think (a year later) that things could have gone differently, if I was able to have a choice in the matter.
This is why I am a huge advocate about women giving birth the way they want to. I didn’t know that I had a right to say something, because it was my first time giving birth. But I did have a right, I still do have the right to give birth the way I want to, and you do too!!
Don’t let someone else take such a beautiful moment away from you.