April 11, 2010 the birthday of my first born. It was the most magical day of my life and was just so typical and routine. I am so not that way. I have an interesting background; I was raised by a healer, a reflexologist to be precise. My mother taught me so much. I have always avoided doctors, medication, hospitals, pretty much anything to do with western medicine. My mom taught me that my body can heal and about how to help it heal. So, I have always been very natural. When I was pregnant for the first time I really didn’t want to go to the hospital. There was no other options for me at the time, and so that is what I did, I went to the hospital.
State insurance would pay for pregnancy and birth care by a nurse-midwife in a local hospital. I knew about home birth and was very attracted to it, but that was totally out of reach for me at that point. I was young, totally reliant on the system, and didn’t know anything about birth. I did not learn about birth in childhood from my mom, or from anyone else actually. I guess it was just something that I had to learn about on my own.
The prenantal appointments were routine. Weight check, blood pressure, glucose reading, belly measurement, ultrasound. My midwife was doing her job to make sure I was healthy and baby was healthy too. I didn’t understand any of the reasons why. It was just my job to show up for the appointments. She told me to call her if I started having contractions 3-5 minutes apart. One evening I felt like I was having some pretty regular contractions, so I called. She said just relax, take a bath, it probably wasn’t labor… It wasn’t.
When the day did come, I was totally freaking out. I went into labor, went into a hospital, and was pretty scared because of it. I knew that I could have a baby, that’s what women do, but I was still scared. The night I went into labor something was definitely different, there was gooey mucusy bloody stuff. I called up the nurse-midwife and she said come on in. We called a cab and he rushed us to the hospital.
We arrived at the hospital and I was immediately placed in a wheelchair. My legs were shaking. I had to poop. I was really uncomfortable. We got set up in the labor and delivery room, and by that I mean that the hospital staff wheeled me to my room, set an IV in my arm, and put a external fetal monitor around my contracting abdomen. So, they were set up for my labor and delivery but I was not. I should have set myself up better, but you live and you learn. I did learn, a lot.
The contractions hurt. They asked me if I wanted any pain killers. I accepted. They wanted to know if I wanted an epidural. No, I didn’t. I made it to 7 or 8 cm. dilated. I still had to poop. There were people around, I couldn’t go to the bathroom or walk at all without taking the IV bag with me. I didn’t move or go to the bathroom at all because it was all too awkward. I couldn’t handle it and asked them for the epidural. I had given in. It was all too much. I rested for a bit after the epidural was in. When it was time to push, my midwife came in. Nurses had been managing my progress until then. My legs were in stir-ups and I pushed with the guidance of the hospital staff. That lasted for about two hours. I pooped all over the hospital bed, and then I was a mother.
It wasn’t my proudest moment. I couldn’t even walk afterward because of the epidural. The staff had to help me to the bathroom and I felt like jello. I was inspired though. I thought my midwife had a pretty cool job.