I'm always looking for birth stories because each story is unique and beautiful and each story gives mommy's encouragement as they reflect on their own unique and beautiful story. This Bahama Mama's story was one I was especially excited to read and share because she is my sister. I can't describe how anxious I was on this day! Now I finally have the opportunity to share the story of my newest niece's birthday! It was a day I spent in prayer and in celebration when we finally heard that all was well. Without further ado...
When your pregnant the Internet is the best and worst tool. It makes information so accessible, and at times it's easier to understand happening inside you and how your baby is growing, but it's also full of horror stories! Even the hiccups, which are a normal body function, can seem life threatening. The thing to remember when reading any birth story is this: God is in control. I wish someone would have told me to look at my birth plan more as a birth wish. There are a million different ways your body, and your baby, will respond to delivery. We had planned to labor at home, all natural, and only go to the hospital to have her and then leave. God of course had his own plan, this was God's birth plan:
David had arrived Saturday night and by that time I had been in Nassau for a little over a month. When he arrived we were beyond ready to meet our daughter. We walked daily, ate spicy food... anything you could think of to try to get the ball rolling. But God wanted to make sure we knew He was in control, Monday morning when I went in for my weekly appointment I was only 1 centimeter dilated and 70% effaced. Which meant it could be any minute or any day. We both left realizing how stupid we were for trying to rush it and started enjoying our last few hours together. The next morning we went for a walk, like always, and it was pouring rain so we had to get a ride back home. When I stepped in to the bathroom to take my damp clothes off I had a very noticeable trickle and knew right away my membranes ruptured! (Good thing we got a ride home or I would have thought my pants were just wet from the rain!) Knowing we still had some time before she came, we called the midwife (Anna) and went on with our day. Four hours passed and no contractions, so they asked us to head to the hospital to see if it was indeed my water. Arriving at the hospital I don't think either of us actually thought we were going up the steps to have her. It felt like any other time walking in. And our plan was to labor at home and only deliver in hospital. I thought even if my water had broke they would send me home like I had planned. When Anna arrived and started readying my room I realized I wouldn't be walking out those doors again without my daughter. Disappointment of my plan not going as I wanted, and fear of pitocin, started setting in. The doctors came and checked and it seemed my membranes were intact, but because it was a small trickle and not a gush they felt as thought it had torn the upper sac and that's why they still felt it. After much deliberation we decided it wasn't worth the risk of infection if it had torn and agreed to start pictocin. The drip was put in at 3pm but I didn't begin progressing until 11:30 pm when the rest of my upper water bag broke. My midwife then broke my entire membrane and my active labor finally kicked into gear! I was so thankful I never got a epidural because the best thing I did was move. With every contraction I was in a different position and each new position helped make it tolerable.
At about 2-3 am they checked me and I was only at 4 centimeters. I began to worry she would be delivered c-section because if she wasn't born by 6 am I had no choice. David and I began praying that The Lord take over at this point and let my body do what He designed it to do. Boy was our prayer answered! At 3:15 I couldn't take it anymore. I begged Anna to get me something for the pain, both her and David tried to talk me out of it but there was no convincing me, I physically couldn't do anymore. When Anna left the room I felt the uncontrollable urge to push, I told David and ran to stop her. Sure enough I was at 10 centimeters! Her head wasn't far enough down, and my doctor was about 15 minutes away so they told me not to push. Not pushing was the hardest thing I have ever done. When each contraction came I had Anna and David holding me down. It's an urge like I've never felt and I knew that baby was coming with or without the doctor. Anna realized this as well and prepared herself to catch Abi. Right as I felt her head engage my doctor walked in. She put on gloves and a tunic walked right up to me I could finally stop fighting my body! After 4 hard pushes our beautiful daughter Abigial June was born at 3:49 am, weighing 6 pound 11 ounces, 19 3/4 inches long. When they put her on my stomach I was overwhelmed with emotions! We had decided to delay clamping so we got to just sit, stare, and enjoy the new creation, uninterrupted, until the placenta stopped pulsing. She immediately peed on my stomach, right away "breaking us in" to parenthood.
When your plan doesn't go how you wished don't fret. God has a reason, ours was different than we expected but my main goal was to deliver her without pain medication and I did! Everyone says pitocin makes contractions worse, but my experience was not that way. Put your faith in God, knowing He made you to do this, and you can and will deliver your child.
I'm going to take a moment and reiterate a few of Mandy's points:
It's so difficult to accept something like pitocin to start contractions, or a c-section when there's an emergency, especially when your plan is an all natural birth. I truly believe that some doctor's push too hard for epidurals or pitocin when it is not necessary, but I also believe that the majority of the medical community is there to help you when your body is not acting fast enough (i.e. contractions) or when your child's life is in danger (i.e. emergency c-section). We can be ever so thankful that we live in the day and age that we do because we would never know had Mandy waited for her contractions to start on her own whether or not an infection would've set in or if I had not had a c-section my daughter may or may not be with us today. Embracing God's sovereignty will give you comfort as you accept pitocin or an emergency c-section (as two examples). Calling it a "birth wish" vs a "birth plan" is an excellent idea - haha - thank you for sharing that excellent point Mandy! I learned that the hard way, perhaps the next mommy won't have to.