My Birth Story - LivDharma
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My Birth Story

Welcome to my birth story blog!

It all began January 31st, 2021… I found out I was pregnant! Wow! Not planned but very much welcome.

Fast forward 41 weeks (and comment below if you’d like to hear my pregnancy story) and baby isn’t here yet! We go to the hospital for a non-stress test. This is a screening test used in pregnancy to assess fetal status by means of the fetal heart rate and its responsiveness. I would’ve never imagined what happened next…

Our midwife tells us that baby’s heart rate is concerning, he may not be getting enough oxygen, the placenta is no longer doing it’s job and we need baby out TODAY.

My response? Shock. Fear. Tears. Disappointment.

But I then go back to my “cup is half full” mentality: we get to meet our baby boy today!!!!

Little did I know it would be a long journey before that happened. And so here we go into my birth story, where everything went exactly opposite to how I wanted!

Since before I was pregnant all I wanted when the time came, was an all-natural pregnancy and labor. No interventions, a midwife, zen and free. Just let the body do it’s thing.

My pregnancy went just so. Smooth. No major issues. (Not comfortable or without it’s challenges, but all as it should be.)

I was confident labor would be the same. I read three birth books, read countless articles, watched hundreds of birth vlogs and took four birth classes. All with an all-natural birth in mind. I was so ready!!!!

But… The universe had other plans. I end up in the hospital, 41 weeks pregnant awaiting an induction. We weren’t counting on this so we were not ready. No hospital bags with us. No car seat in our Jeep (the car seat was in the other car, which our moms were using to do groceries.) We had to PIVOT fast and come up with a game plan.

We wait to get transferred to the hospital room. A nurse came in and put an IV lock on my wrist (bad idea!) I didn’t want this in the first place but with an induction you need to have it. It hurt on my wrist and later on I had it switched to the inside of my forearm (so much better!)

Correct placement of IV.

Incorrect and painful placement of IV.

Next, Sean goes to Subway and buys me a sandwich (I’m starving!) Once I’m well fed, the midwife comes in and puts a foley bulb inside me. A foley bulb is a soft silicone tube with a balloon near the tip.  This tube is called a catheter and is inserted into your cervix. When the catheter is in place, the balloon is slowly filled up with sterile salt water fluid which opens up the cervix. While the bulb did it’s thing, Sean rushed home to switch cars and grab our things. I labored alone but the pain was very mild. When Sean returned I ate some snacks and continued to labor. Once I was about 4-5 cm dilated the nurse came in and easily popped out the bulb.

The foley bulb once it was pulled out.

Real contractions had begun. I was moving as best I could through them. I was attached to the IV and a drip that contained Pitocin. This is what brings about the contractions. From what I hear, Pitocin contractions are stronger than natural contractions. I wouldn’t know what a natural contraction feels like but the contractions I experienced were very intense. I found myself moaning loudly through them and my body taking over. It tapped into some instinctual movements and groaning. As the hours went by, the contractions grew in intensity. I got into the shower (which is hard to do while being attached to the IV) but it helped IMMENSELY! I’ve heard that a shower or bath is nature’s epidural and this certainly felt like it then!

More hours went by and I kept moving around. I got out of the shower, the contractions get stronger. I get into a hot bath now. I don’t know how dilated I was as I refused dilation checks. It seemed like my water had broken in the shower and I didn’t want to increase the chances of infection by getting checked. I also didn’t want to become disappointed if I hadn’t progressed. I wanted to keep on going all natural until it was time to push.

But the hours kept passing, the contractions kept getting stronger and I was getting more exhausted. I could no longer eat (my midwives allowed you to eat and drink anything you wanted; some hospitals don’t allow this). I couldn’t hold anything down by now though. My body was under too much stress. The hot bath no longer provided much relief and I was losing hope. The midwife suggested checking my dilation and depending on where I was, using pain control, or not, from there. I got checked and I was about 6cm dilated. I could not go on at this point. During contractions I was GONE. I couldn’t speak and resorted to thumbs up or down to communicate anything. So I received some pain medication through the IV. It allowed me to fall asleep which was more than welcome as it was well into the morning hours and I had been laboring all night.

The contractions woke me up every time and I was in a lot of pain still. I found myself moaning loudly and shaking my hip with my hand to try to get through each contraction. After some hours of this I gave in and requested an epidural. I just felt like I couldn’t go on. I promptly received it. I didn’t feel any pain or discomfort during the procedure. The pain quickly went away and all I could feel was tingling from my stomach down. Not a super pleasant feeling but better than contraction pain. I could not move my body, the nurses came in to change my position every 20 mins or so.

Epidural procedure

But… the baby’s heartbeat was still a concern. I had a remote, bluetooth monitor on my belly that kept track of the baby’s heart rate. And it was a concern throughout my labor and any time the heartbeat dropped, I’d have to change positions and hope that it picked back up. This increased once I got the epidural. The nurses would rush in every now and then because the baby’s heartbeat drastically dropped. They’d move me and his heartbeat would pick back up.

After a couple of hours of this they checked me and I was 8cm dilated and it seemed my water hadn’t fully broken so the midwife broke my waters. After an hour or so they checked again but not much progress had passed. The concern was building that his heartbeat kept dropping and I was advised that an Emergency C section might be needed during my pushing stage. So I was offered the opportunity to just get a C section now to prevent a potential Emergency C section. By this time I had been in labor for over 24 hours. I was beyond exhausted, concerned for the health of my baby and just wanted to meet him. So I agreed to the C Section. Some paperwork got signed, more pain meds were administered and I was transferred to the operating room. I had my baby boy in my hands within minutes!

I didn’t feel ANYTHING during the C Section. I didn’t even know they had begun the procedure before they had my husband looking over the curtain and I heard my boy’s cry. It was an overwhelming moment filled with relief, love and pride. I had done it!!!

NOTHING went as planned. Almost all my birth preferences went out the window. I found myself agreeing to procedures that I had promised myself I wouldn’t agree to. But… I got my baby boy out safe and sound.

This whole experience taught me one thing: You CANNOT fully control how your labor goes. You can 100% prepare for what you want. And it TOTALLY can happen! I know many, many women who have had incredible, all natural deliveries. But things are out of your control and the best thing to do is to go with the flow, maintain a positive attitude and know that it’s only temporary.

If I were to get pregnant again, I would choose to give birth in a birth center (if it’s an option). I gave birth in Oahu, Hawaii and could not find ANY real birth centers around- only hospitals. I would also opt to hire a doula next time. You really need a professional that’s completely devoted to your birth by your side. My husband was amazing but he’s never given birth before! How would he know exactly what I need? The nurses and midwives were great but I wasn’t their only patient. They couldn’t sit by my side the entire labor. And because of COVID regulations my mom wasn’t able to attend to be that extra pair of hands to help with my support.

So I believe a birth center setting with a doula would have made my experience a completely different one. But… I can’t change the past. I can only learn from the experience, share it with you and hope that it helps a fellow mom have a better birthing experience.

Thanks for reading this. Please comment below with any questions or any parts of my story you’d like me to elaborate on. Also, stay tuned for a You Tube version of my Birth Story. I’m editing that very soon.

Be positive and stay healthy.

Much love,

Dharma

8 Comments
  • Reka
    Posted at 09:32h, 18 November Reply

    Loved this , you are so incredible

    • Dharma
      Posted at 13:16h, 18 November Reply

      You are too! Thank you❤️

  • Janice
    Posted at 13:27h, 18 November Reply

    You did it! Even if it wasn’t as planned. You both are healthy and that is awesome!

    • Dharma
      Posted at 19:51h, 18 November Reply

      Absolutely! Thank you for taking the time to Comment.

  • Patty
    Posted at 20:59h, 18 November Reply

    You are one of the bravest humans I know and your resilience is a testimony to my life

    • Dharma
      Posted at 22:22h, 18 November Reply

      Gracias amiga! That means a lot!

  • Katerina Campos
    Posted at 01:18h, 19 November Reply

    Proud of you ❤

    • Dharma
      Posted at 01:50h, 19 November Reply

      Thanks friend!

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