When it comes to birth we are taught natural=good, medical intervention=bad, and with valid reasons. So when it came time to have my baby, I knew what I wanted and I was ready. I was having a natural home birth, likely in water and my husband was all for it.
I had my midwives (amazing women from Genesis Midwives Kitchener, Sky and Susan).
I had my doula (a wonderful ND friend, Corinne Brown, practicing in Beamsville).
I had another ND friend for support just a call away (and a short drive if needed!).
I had an extra large bath tub and enough food and coffee to last days.
At 10:30am on August 22nd, my water broke. Because active labour hadn't started yet, I had a stress test, everything looked good and I went home to wait. I spent the day having mild contractions and eating (the nausea and vomiting I had experienced for the 9 months previous disappeared the moment my water broke and I was making up for lost time). At 7pm Corinne arrived and we waited for my midwife to come and check on us. With still little progression we had a second stress test and were informed that should I not be in active labour, I would have to return in the morning to be induced. This was not going to happen, so we returned home and stepped up our game with some labor induction acupuncture (doulas don't usually do this, but because Corinne is also an ND, she is trained and licensed in acupuncture), which really got the ball rolling!
At 12pm on August 23rd, 12 hours, 2 acupuncture sessions, homeopathy and stair lunges later, my dilation stalled and my midwife made the call to transfer me to the hospital for induction.
As my husband drove, I cried. As the rude nurse made us sit in the wait area while the midwife waited for us in the room, I got angry. As I waited for the Ob-Gyn to come, I got impatient. When the midwife said there was an emergency C-section and it would be at least another hour, I cried again. When I got the 'tide-me-over' pain killers, I slept. When the Ob-Gyn finally arrived, I asked 2 questions: At this point, it doesn't look like I'll need a C-section (the answer was no) and How long is this going to take?
Because it was going to take about an hour/cm dilation (I was at 4cm and swollen and needed to get to 10cm) they sent Corinne home for sleep, since we had all been up for about 30 hours at this point, and they figured it would be a long night. I had made the decision the night before that should I need Pitocin (to induce) I was going to get an Epidural. So for the next couple hours I slept, 2.5 hours later, I was fully dilated. At 7:31pm on August 23rd, Lily was born.
My birth experience did not go to plan. But there are a lot of things I learned. I truly believe that I was just too tired to relax and my body couldn't do it's job. I also believe that had I not had the epidural, I would have just tensed even more with Pitocin and would likely had ended up with a C-section. Ideally I would have liked to have tried the epidural alone (without the augmentation) but because my water had been broken for so long, it wasn't an option.
I look back on the whole experience with no regrets. It was perfect for the issues that arose. There is no right and wrong, at the end of the day the goal is to have a healthy mom and baby. You have to roll with the punches. Do I think epidural-pro moms should tell natural-pro moms epidurals should be given out on every street corner, no. Do I think medical births should be frowned upon and judged, no.
The big question, having had both the natural (painful) labor experience and the medical (painfree) labor experience, should I have another baby, what would I choose. Well, here's hoping home water birth round 2 goes more smoothly....
Disclaimer: Naturopathic Doctors strive to provide individualized health care. The information contained in these topics is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, it is provided for educational purposes only. This information shouldn’t take the place of seeing an ND for individualized health recommendations.
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