My obstetrician made me have a home birth!

The birth story for baby number five (a.k.a. Lady Bug) started with baby number four (a.k.a Wee Man). At 36 weeks I asked my doctor why my baby’s butt felt so high. I had a lump on my rib cage, which I was assuming was his bottom, that concerned me. The doctor started feeling around only to discover that my baby was breech. Well, up until this point I had experienced three totally normal births, and never questioned anything the doctor told me to do. So when my doctor said the safest way to delivery my upside down bundle was to do a cesarean, I believed him. He had, after all, informed me of the dangers of a vaginal birth and trying to turn the baby. Either of those options was a death sentence for one or both of us!

The day of the csection brought up many feelings of dread. I hated the idea of being cut open, but really believed that I had no choice. I was relieved that I had decided to have a tubal ligation performed after my baby was out. After all, four kids is enough! Not to mention the fact that our society typically thinks that once you have undergone a csection you are doomed to repeat the procedure in subsequent pregnancies. Oh well, no need to worry!

During the surgery I felt alone, naked , and helpless. The room was full of people. Big Daddy was next to me the whole time. His surgical mask and hat made me smile, but I was scared to death. I felt the pressure and tugs of the instruments as they cut their way through me to take my baby out of his fluid filled cocoon. Within minutes I heard my son crying. He was taken to a table where he was suction and cleaned, but I had not yet seen him. Big Daddy went over to check out his boy while my tubes were being tied. All of the sudden I felt as if my lungs were being crushed and I had a terrible sensation of panick and pain. I knew it, I was going to die and I had not even seen my baby! Finally, Big Daddy brought my Wee Man over to see me. Unfortunately, this was the same moment that the anesthesiologist was administering the morphine to knock me out because I was in pain. I fell asleep only remembering my boy’s nose. It looked like Big Daddy’s nose. I did wake up. I did not die! I was happy for being alive, albeit a bit itchy from the morphine, in pain, and wondering why the nursery would not let us have our baby. I wanted him to nurse. The first hour was long over and I felt it important to get him at the breast as quickly as possible. Luckily, I was able to nurse him. With great relief I held my boy and knew that he was the last child I would ever have. Over the next few weeks the pain of surgery subsided, but the damage was done. I was scarred both inside and out. I ended up having to stop nursing my son due to hives, which occurred each time my let down happened. After weeks of itching with no relief I started formula. Again, I was broken. At least I was done with pregnancy and childbirth.

Or so I thought…..

While attending my second semester at the local community college, I started to feel really run down. I was having a hard time sleeping, even though I was exhausted, because of terrible night sweats. I had not gone to the doctor since my son was born, and these night sweats were telling my something was really wrong with my body. I googled night sweats, and had myself pretty sure that I was dying of cancer. Google and I have a love hate relationship. I love to look up every ailment any one in my family has, but I hate finding out that we are all dying of cancer! Anyway, I went to the doctor where they did a pregnancy test as part of the routine work up, and the doctor announced cheerily that I didn’t have cancer I was pregnant. The cheer was quickly replaced with worry when I reminded her that I had my tubes tied two years before. I was sent for an ultrasound with the knowledge that this pregnancy was likely a tubal pregnancy. In that case, the pregnancy would have to be terminated to save my life.

Great! I am not supposed to be pregnant, but now I am going to have to face an abortion. Yikes! This is too much. However, this was not the case as soon to be baby number five was safely in the uterus where she belonged (but didn’t really belong ha ha).

My first course of action was to make an appointment with the doctor that did my tubal for a pregnancy work up. I wasn’t mad at him for the tubal not working, stuff happens. At the appointment, my first appointment with him, he calculated my due date, which was january 2, 2011, and wanted to schedule my csection. Whoa there, easy, easy! “I am not doing that again,” I told him. “Oh, well we don’t do vbac,” he replied. He followed with a very condescending, “why don’t you keep seeing me and see if your mind changes as you get more uncomfortable in your pregnancy. A lot of women are ready to just get the baby out around 38 weeks!” Those words are burned in to my memory. Thos words changed me from “the good patient” to the ” you are an asshole and I am not having a surgery to get my baby out” kind of patient.

I did not know what my options were. My best friend had a homebirth with her son around the same time I had my csection. I asked her for the number to her midwife. I am so glad I did! I enlisted that midwife as the leader if my birthing army. She was experienced with hbac (homebirth after csection), and had even had one herself. I was very nervous, but excited as well.

Don’t let me lead you to believe that everyone I knew was all for me having this baby at home. Big Daddy was a great support but our family and friends were telling me to prepare my will, and asking how far the nearest hospital was. I educated myself through out the pregnancy, and I knew that the risk of uterine rupture (the big fear during vbac) was about the same as a first time mom. I was going to do this!

January 1, 2011

Okay, I must admit that I thought baby number five would come early. I wondered id she was ever coming. I had no contractions that day. I decided around 9 pm to have a glass of red wine. My midwife said I was allowed a glass, and it just sounded good. I remember drinking the wine slowly while Big Daddy drank two glasses. Neither of us drank during my pregnancy so I think he wished he had stopped after one glass. I started to have some small contractions. I told Big Daddy that we should go to bed just in case. My first child was born on her due date, and knowing that the 2nd of January was this baby’s due date I figured that the law of averages probably was not on my side and there was no real chance of the baby coming. I figured that once I went to sleep the contractions would stop. Wrong! I got out of bed shortly after I got in it. The contractions were pretty uncomfortable, but they were not increasing in frequency or duration. I figured I was in early labor so I hung out in the living room breathing through contractions and sleeping when I could. I knew the minute my contractions got regular I would need to call my midwife because I didn’t have the birth tub at my house. I really wanted a water birth. Sometime during the night I realized that I kept having to pee. I must have gone to the bathroom 20 times. My water hadn’t broken, my contractions were still varying in frequency, so I waited for something to happen. Finally, I had enough. I was done dealing with this process on my own and I tried to wake up Big Daddy. Ahhh but he drank those two glasses of wine so he wasn’t budging. I decided to would just go back to the living room and try to sleep. Instead of sleeping I tried to sit on the birthing ball. Ouch! It hurt like crazy so I decided that I was going to go pee one more time then get Big Daddy up for real this time. Well, finally there was progress my mucous plug came out! I was so happy but a little nervous as well. I figured this meant my water would break soon, and some where deep in my mind I wondered when things would take the inevitable turn for the worse that every one tried to convince me was going to happen. When would I have to make the 12.2 minute trip to the nearest emergency room. I had to block out those thought because as I was going to wake Big Daddy this time, I realized something was happening. I shook Big Daddy and told him that I thought it was time to call the midwife. He asked if I was sure and I said to hold on I had to pee again really badly. When I came out we called Jeni (the midwife) and she was sounding like she was going to wait to come until the heard the groan I let out as a contraction hit me. She told me she was on her way. She called her assistants, which were closer to my house, and had them rushing my way. It was 4:00 in the morning on January 2, 2011 my due date. Immediately after we hung up the phone I had to pee again, but this time when I went in to the bathroom my body started pushing. I say it that way because it was as if I had no control over my body! This baby was coming out! I made my way to the couch and told Big Daddy that she was on her way and I was scared because my water hadn’t broken yet. He could see the intact membranes coming out, and as I was pushing they ruptured. With a large whoosh out came my Lady Bug’s head. With one more push the rest of her was out. She was beautiful and pink. We left the cord intact and waited for the assistants or Jeni to show up. My little LadyBug was perfect. I didn’t die and neither did she.

It is a shame that it took my obstetrician taking away my choice (and right) to birth my baby in a way that was comfortable to me. I am glad that he told me I needed another csection. I am glad he talked to me like I was an idiot! Had he not been that way, I never would have looked for a better way. I never would have learned that childbirth is neither an illness or an emergency (in my case) and did not need intervention!

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