At 41 weeks, I was experiencing what I subconsciously feared. My hubby and I were at my weekly medical doctor’s appointment listening to his attempt to convince us to schedule an induction. He said that it was him and his other four partners protocol to prepare for an induction once a prenatal client went past their due date. He added that he was especially concerned about me since I was 41 years old, haven’t had a baby in 21 years, and that my most recent ultrasound revealed that our baby was 8 pounds 12 ounces. “Babies, normally gain 1 pound per week, and if you continue to wait, your baby may be up to 10 pounds at 42 weeks. You will not be able to push him out. Which in most cases end up in a C-section. I know you don’t want a C-section” he said.
He smiled to ensure that his words had no effect on my mind. I asked if my husband and I could have some more time to talk about it, and also for me to ‘will’ our baby to come. I confessed that I was enjoying being pregnant so much that I really wasn’t ready to have our baby yet, and I was quite sure that our baby was aware of how I felt. The doctor agreed to give us more time, but advised us to call his office within two days, so that we could schedule the induction for later on that same week.
On the way to the car hubby and I couldn’t believe what the doctor was and was NOT telling us. He obviously didn’t know that we were aware that an induction almost always leads to a C-section. At an induction Pitocin is given to induce (speed up) labor, which most of the time leads to an epidural, which guarantees a C-section. And I definitely was not going to have a C-section, especially since I was aware that my body naturally produces Pitocin and the anesthesia needed for childbirth. Therefore I was not going to allow the synthetic medical alternatives to enter my body, or to make contact with our baby.
At home hubby agreed to my decision to use my affirmations and my mind/body connection to ‘will’ our baby to come. From that moment on, I contacted every Facebook Natural Birth blog and page that I was a part of letting them know what the doctor said about my age, my due date, the weight of our baby and scheduling the induction. I was immediately overwhelmed with words of encouragement and reinforcement. I also started to frequently talk to our baby while rubbing my belly.
Just two days later on Wednesday night while hubby was showing me some affection, I pointed out to him how our baby was moving all over my belly. It was 10:30 pm and that’s when the contractions began. Since hubby previously downloaded a contractions tracker from the Internet, he began timing how long and how far apart my contractions were. I then took a warm shower.
Afterwards, to ensure that hubby and I were on the same page in case we would have go to the hospital and have the baby, I went over our birth plan with him, and also read out loud my labor and birth affirmations. After that, as he continued to track my contractions, I went online and showed him youtube.com clips of the ‘Business of Being Born’ documentary produced by Ricky Lake. He immediately got the full documentary and as I sat down on the floor managing my contractions with the breathing techniques he taught me, along with affirmations and visualizations. We started watching and discussing the non-natural, but surgical agenda of the medical system as it relates to childbirth (and that’s a whole other story).
At 3:30 am hubby decided that it was time for us to go to the hospital since my contractions were closer. We were sure this was it this time. So we got our hospital bags, and picked up my oldest son since he would be the one video-taping, taking pictures, and making sure that both my music playlist and the labor and birth affirmations that I recorded were on rotation while hubby would help me labor and give birth. Oh yes, my plan was unfolding perfectly. Me and hubby’s hospital bag, our baby’s hospital bag, camcorder, iPad, my cute labor & delivery gown etc. were all packed. IT WAS SHOWTIME…time for me to experience my natural, short, aware, spiritual labor and vaginal birth of our baby boy.
Once we arrived at the hospital, my son dropped hubby and I off at the ER so that he could park the car. I was taken to the labor and delivery floor in a wheel chair. At the nurse and registration desk I immediately began getting upset at the reaction of the staff who sat at the desk. They looked like they didn’t know or didn’t care that we arrived to give birth. Plus when I asked which medical doctor was on call, they informed me that it was the doctor who I definitely did not want to be a part of our childbirth experience.
There are five different doctors working in the office where I had my prenatal care and anyone of them could be on call at the time I gave birth. So, not wanting a doctor that I didn’t know showing up when I gave birth, I met with all five doctors and also interviewed each one to see which one best ‘entertained’ our natural, non-medicated, vaginal birth plan. Out of the five doctors, I only liked three, and of course the one that I least connected with mainly because he straight out told me that he was all medical, was the one on call, and was not leaving until 7:00 am.
WOW! So, not only did the attitudes of the people at the nurse and registration desk upset me, but the news of this doctor being on call while we were at the hospital made it worse, and hubby could see that I was upset even though I tried to be calm while taking deep breathes during contractions.
Finally, they found my file and hubby and I were led to a triage room. The triage nurse began hooking me up to the monitors etc. She let us know that my oldest son would not be able to stay in the triage room with us. Now, I definitely was about to explode because during the last three times I was admitted during this pregnancy because of contractions, more than one guest was in fact allowed in the triage room. So I didn’t understand why my son would not be allowed this time.
Again, my husband saw the look on my face, and looking me in the eyes he said, “No matter what resistance we encountered with the nurses, no matter which doctor was on call, no matter if my oldest son was not allowed in the room, we were going to have the birth we desired”! His words calmed me down and helped me return to the mental and spiritual posture that I needed to be in, so that our baby entered the world as planned.
While hubby and I continued welcoming and flowing through my contractions, to ensure that I did not feel like a patient, instead of the hospital gown, I changed into the cute Pretty Pushers labor and delivery gown that I ordered. When the nurse returned to check if I was dilated, she told us that I was at three centimeters. We then gave her our birth plan, even though one was already in our file. The triage nurse then handed me the paperwork that needed to be signed and I could see her irritation with me not signing in advance the part that gave the hospital authorization ‘in case’ I would need an epidural or a c-section. Seeing that she could not convince me to sign the ‘just in case’ areas, she accepted what I did sign and left.
Hubby continued to encourage me, and held me as I rode the waves of stronger contractions. About an hour later, we were finally taken to a delivery room. We had to wait because the triage nurse informed us that the delivery floor was full, and they had to move another woman from one of the rooms for us since I was further ahead in labor.
In the delivery room, a new nurse was assigned to us. She walked in with our birth plan in hand, and hooked me up to the monitors, along with a heplock because our birth plan stated that we would allow an IV for vein access only. The nurse then left hubby and I alone. We continued managing my contractions, but this time with long moans as each contraction became even stronger.
Thank goodness that my affirmations created a new mindset for me about child birth pain, contractions and labor. I no longer viewed the contractions as pain, but instead waves of energy that my body was releasing that caused our baby to descend. I understood that the contractions were not stronger than me, nor were they painful. So with each one, while hubby held me tightly, I moaned and swayed my body and encouraged our baby to descend. WOW! The female body is truly powerful!
As we continued labor, my son finished setting up my playlist, and the affirmations that I recorded with my voice were on rotation. He then announced that he had to leave and would return shortly. I was kind of disappointed that he had to leave. But instead of saying anything, I simply agreed, and then changed positions because lying on my back was extremely uncomfortable. So I repositioned myself with my face towards the bed, and knelt head down into a pillow.
The nurse came back into the room and I asked her what we were waiting for because I was ready to have our baby. She looked at me, smiled and said, we are waiting on you. She then checked to see how far dilated I was. I was 8 centimeters. Then my contractions became more extreme in my lower back. Oh yeah, the power energy within me was shaking my body! The nurse advised hubby to massage my lower back, which helped a lot. But my moans became louder as I flowed with each contraction.
Before my next contraction came, and as the nurse walked out the room, I looked at my husband and voiced my consideration for some sort of other pain medicine instead of an epidural. I didn’t even get to finish what I was doubtfully suggesting to my husband when he interrupted me saying, ‘No sweetheart, you are almost there. You don’t need it. You are doing a great job’.
So I shifted my mindset and we continued our labor. It was now 7:00 am and during a contraction I felt my water break. I also felt our baby bearing down, descending and coming out and I could not control it. So in a loud voice I told my hubby to get the nurse because my water just broke, and that I felt like our baby was coming out. The nurse came in, confirmed that my water did break, but she left us again.
A few minutes later, I felt water again and I felt a stronger indication that our baby was coming. With a loud voice I told my husband that our baby was coming and our doctor had not yet arrived. Hubby then hit the intercom and as he was talking to the nurse’s station, our nurse walked in. Panicking, in a loud voice again, I said, our baby is coming and our doctor is not here.
This time, hubby firmly answered me, “You don’t need a doctor to have a baby. We’ll be fine”!
That’s all I needed to hear and I prepared to release our son. And then all of a sudden, a bunch of nurses were in the room with us, trying to flip me on my back. I panicked again, because I didn’t want to be on my back and not being on my back was clearly stated in our birth plan. But I had no choice, as uncomfortable as it were they managed to get me on my back. Then out of nowhere, our doctor rushed in with a team of people. It was the doctor I liked because there was a shift change at 7:00 am.
From that moment hubby and I lost control of the peaceful and conscious atmosphere we created. There were doctors and nurses everywhere, screaming at me, telling me to lay on my back…telling me to bend my knees, while hubby and another nurse were instructed to hold each of my legs back. Push, push is all I could hear. Again loud push coaching was NOT a part of our birth plan. Upset, I looked at hubby and he reassured me that everything was alright and to push because he saw our son’s head. So I pushed. The third time I pushed our son was released into the world and immediately placed on my chest.
As our son and I started our bonding time, hubby cut the umbilical cord and all was well. The nurses than administered the newborn procedures in our room as we requested, while the doctor immediately and quickly gave me a shot of Pitocin, and a shot of anesthesia as she sewed my mild tear. When hubby saw the shots, before he could finish protesting, the doctor had already given them to me, claiming that she wanted to prevent me bleeding which could cause death. Hubby and I decided to not even get into a disagreement since all that really mattered was that no drugs were administered before the birth of our son.
Our son was born weighting 7 pounds 12 ounces, instead of the 9 pounds the doctors and the most current ultrasound predicted.
Despite my oldest son having to leave, and we didn’t get to take pictures and video of our labor and birth experience, and despite the chaos that the doctors and nurses brought in at the end, hubby and I had the natural, short, aware, non-medicated, non-complicated, no IV, no epidural vaginal birth that we wanted.
It was obvious that the hospital staff doubted that we would stick to our birth plan. Later in my recovery room, the nurses even told us that almost 90% of the women who arrive with a birth plan, end up with a C-section. No wonder hubby and I felt their attitudes and doubts, as they left us alone in the delivery room, expecting us to call and give in to the drugs and the hospital’s surgical birth procedures. But instead, we only called to let them know that our baby was here and that is why they rushed in because they did not expect it to happen so fast, and they were not ready.
Natural childbirth is the most powerful, beautiful experience a woman can have. I am so grateful that as a 41 year old grandmother, I was able to express the power of the female body.