Updated: Jan 15
In this series, we share real, raw, & honest birthing stories.
Straight from the birth person.
It was my pleasure to be their birth doula and capture photographs.
What was the most challenging part of your labor, birth, and/or immediate postpartum time?
"The most challenging part of my labor was the duration! I was in labor the morning of the 19th with some mild contractions the night before all the way through the morning of the 21st! Because labor took so long (my baby's head was in the wrong position) I had to throw away my beautiful birthing plan. When I knew it was time to abandon my calming birthing center and the wonderful water birth I wanted for an epidural, pitocin, fluorescent lite hospital room, it was the straw that broke the camels back. I never cried harder than I did in that moment. My baby came safely and quickly soon after, but the huge disappointment of being carted off to the hospital to have him was hard to accept."
What was something your partner, doula, nurse, midwife, or doctor did or said to support you that stood out to you?
I remember my doula explaining to my husband and I during her interview before we hired her, why an epidural and delivering in a hospital can be very beneficial for some women during certain situations. I remember thinking how I won't be one of those women but I was glad to see why it can be a good thing! I referred back to that conversation in the midst of my on-going labor from hell and felt a sense of relief when the time came for me to be "one of those women". I was more accepting of my fate and of the whole process because she never made me feel like one way was better than the other when giving birth. She herself has had both all natural and medicated births and was able to speak first hand to why both births were beautiful in their own special way. Even though I had to deal with a big disappointment of not giving birth naturally, I was more accepting of it and grateful she was never judging my decisions.
Describe your thoughts on the stage of transition?
With an epidural and pitocin the transition came quickly and I thankfully didn't have to push for longer than 30 minutes, but I will say that regardless of being medicated for transition, it is very obvious when it is happening! It is like an ocean wave crashing into you over and over again with very little time to breathe in between. I am almost grateful I didn't have to experience it unmedicated when I think back on the experience at times.
If your birth required a transfer of locations what was that experience like for you?
My birth did require a transfer of locations, but thankfully the hospital (new location) was right across the street. So I was carted to my own car and my husband drove me the front doors of the hospital. Nothing was rushed or stressful thankfully and I was so grateful to be getting the help I needed.
Do you feel that you were given informed consent throughout your birth?
I felt like the birthing center I started off at was wonderful at explaining things and was really hands-off with my labor in the sense that there wasn't a lot of over monitoring or hovering. They gave me room to move throughout the room and they let me eat, rest, play music, go to the bathroom, etc. without much supervision. It was relaxing and less stressful during an already stressful time. However, as soon as I got to the hospital, it was nothing but stressful. They gave me an epidural so I could sleep, but I was never truly left alone to fully doze off. They poked and prodded me constantly. They had me hooked up to noisy monitors and the lights were always blaring. It was everything I didn't want for my birthing experience. And even though I had choices at my birthing center I felt like a prisoner almost at the hospital. I didn't really have a choice or much control over what happened to my body or my baby.
What were your first thoughts when you saw your baby for the first time?
I had a look of fright according to my mother when my son was placed on my belly for the first time. And maybe it was a little bit frightening that he was actually here, but I also think it was a feeling of relief that labor was finally over! Almost like I couldn't believe it! There was absolutely a huge rush of overwhelming emotions flooding my body when I saw him and I think that is biology making sure you fall instantly in love with your baby to help secure the bond. I do remember instantly realizing what everyone was talking about whenever they would say, "you never truly know love until you see your baby for the first time" and they were absolutely right.
What was the most memorable part of your birth experience?
The most memorable part was all of it! The beginning when I felt a real contraction for the first time, the moment I realized I needed to go the hospital, the moment of transition, the pushing and feeling the ring of fire, and of course the sweet face I saw on my chest after it was all said and done. It was all worth it and all deeply scarred in my psyche forever.