The practice of sharing birth stories is common. So, why am I only deciding to tell Hudson’s now? Well, I’ve had three years to process it and three years to accept that I cannot change any of it. I’ve also come to realize that there is a good chance that The Galactagoddess would not exist had this birth gone any other way. And…now, that Davis is here, I have another story to tell.
We planned for an all-natural birth. No drugs, no interventions. We watched documentaries, we read books, and we took a natural childbirth class.. We felt ready, but Hudson felt otherwise (he would have stayed in there forever or maybe, at most, a few more weeks). His due date came and went. A few of the doctors in our practice were supportive of our decision to wait and decline an induction. Another one of the doctors told us we were “not allowed” to go past 42 weeks “because that is when babies die” (yes, those were his exact words).
We went to our appointment on Friday evening (41 weeks & 5 days) for a non-stress test. It was a little all over the place so the doctor sent us to the hospital to be monitored. While in triage Hudson decided to roll on his cord and his heart rate dropped. They started to prep me for an emergency c-section without any explanation. Once he repositioned himself his heart rate was fine.
After that incident they would not “let us” go home, they admitted me and began Cervidil (the first of many interventions) that night. It was an awful experience; I was uncomfortable and could not rest. Saturday morning, after telling two nurses that there was only one doctor in the practice that we REALLY weren’t comfortable with, who walks in the room but Doctor Death!! Tom asked me what I wanted to do. I said it was fine; that I would give him a second chance…big mistake!
It took him three tries to remove the Cervidil. He then proceeded to break my water (without my consent). I was Strep B positive so I questioned him about starting antibiotics; he didn’t respond. He repeatedly told me to shower, eat, and then they would start Pitocin (despite me saying that I did not want it). I began contracting on my own and the nurse “bought” me a few hours. Eventually he “ordered” the nurse to start Pitocin. At that point we decided to “relieve him of his duties” and never saw him again.
It was his responsibility to call the other doctors in our practice. Another doctor agreed to come in, but not for another four hours. By the time she arrived we had been there for 24 hours; I labored for another 10. By 3 o’clock in the morning I was falling asleep in between contractions. I decided that I wanted an epidural. I was already defeated. I felt that I had to sleep or I would be unable to push when the time came.
We slept and when I woke up I was fully dilated, but my contractions were not very strong. The epidural took away too much of my sensation. I saw my contractions on the monitor, but could not really feel them. We decided to let them monitor internally. Eventually, the doctor suggested that it was time to push. I pushed for about 3 hours. He started to crown (she could tell what color his hair was) but I was still not progressing. After 48 hours in the hospital, I ended up having a c-section.
I went against my birth plan 100%, right down to having students in the operating room.
I know plenty of other Mamas (my own included) that have had c-sections. Many of them own it, embrace it, and even schedule repeats. I, by no means look down on them, I AM ONE OF THEM, yet every time I hear the word “c-section” I cringe. I can’t help but feel that I was sent to the hospital for “additional monitoring” because I was “overdue”. I can’t help but feel that I was “not progressing” because the second Doctor’s shift was coming to an end. I can’t help but feel that I’VE BEEN HAD BY A FAILED SYSTEM.
It goes without saying that the outcome, a happy, healthy baby boy is the most important part of this story, but it should also go without saying that he deserved to come into this world when he was ready and that his Mama deserved the birth that she wanted.
Physically, recovery was simple. But I felt that I had failed. Suddenly, achieving my personal breastfeeding goal became more important to me than ever before. And so, on October 17th, 2010, The Milkie Monster AND The Galactagoddess, were born.