From Brittany, USA
I developed preeclampsia with my first baby and had preterm labor and delivery at 34 weeks. With my second, I tried everything I could to prevent that complication from coming up again. My goals changed throughout pregnancy, but I wanted a natural water birth.
I switched providers at 32 weeks to a midwifery practice that delivers at a very natural birth friendly hospital. They are one of two hospitals in my area that offers water birth under certain conditions. Everything was looking good until my 39 week checkup on the 1st. My blood pressure started going up and I had developed protienuria. I went to triage at the hospital to be monitored and to have some labwork done, which ultimately showed I was heading down the preeclampsia path again. 🙁
However, I had a wonderful midwife who sat with me and talked through all of my options and I was the one who made the decision to go ahead with the induction process that evening. I know how quickly preeclampsia can progress, and I wanted to still have a shot at a mostly natural delivery while things were still calm and not at an urgent level, even though I knew the blood pressure issue meant I could not have a water birth. As much as I wanted to go into labor on my own and labor at home, the health and safety of both my baby and myself had to come first.
Because I was considered favorable for induction, I chose to be induced with Pitocin over Cytotec; the main reason being that you can turn off an IV medication if something starts to go wrong, but you can’t “undo” an oral medication as easily. I was assured by all of the staff, down to the OB tech, that this facility does not “rush babies out” and that I was not on a timeline. They started with a very low dose and watched my contraction pattern overnight while I tried to rest. Of course, I didn’t get much rest though.
I stayed on the Pitocin from about 9pm to around 10am the next morning. My body stopped responding to the Pitocin, so we started talking about other options. I wanted to eat, so they turned off the Pit and I was able to eat and take a shower.
The midwife suggested breaking my water, and I agreed. I chose not to go back on the Pitocin after that, and instead walked the halls and rocked in the rocking chair and on my birth ball. It took a few hours for things to pick up, but just when I was getting discouraged, the contractions got intense. I knew I was getting into active labor when I started asking my husband to turn down the lights, turn the sound machine on, and the only position I wanted to be in was leaning over the bed.
When I thought I had to be getting close, I let the midwife check me, and she said I was at 6cm. Now I totally understand why cervical checks don’t mean very much!! I knew from the intensity and timing of the contractions that this baby was coming very soon, regardless of the number.
My nurse and midwife suggested getting in the shower to relax, and I got in there as fast as I could. I don’t know the exact timing of everything, but I probably wasn’t in the shower 20 minutes when I knew baby was coming. The pressure and urge to push was undeniable and I yelled out to anyone who could hear me that he was coming. They got a crew in the bathroom fast!
Someone asked if I could move to the bed but I could NOT. It was definitely the most intense thing I have ever experienced, and I’m pretty sure I screamed the whole time I pushed, which was only a few minutes. My midwife said she heard my “birth scream” from the nurses station and came running. So that’s a little embarrassing, but I couldn’t control it. My sweet Kyler Isaac was born at 7:41pm, and was put on my chest as soon as he was out. Seeing his little face for the first time was a moment I’ll never forget.
So, thank you for what you do. You are giving women strength and dignity during some of the most precious moments of their lives. Even when things happen that are out of our control, respectful care, honest information, and being treated like an adult can change the experience from traumatic to empowering. I’m so thankful that I came across your website and joined MamaBaby Birthing!
(NOTE: Want a Perfect Birth Plan Template? Use this template and step-by-step videos to write a birth plan that gets your birth team on your side for a beautiful birth experience! Get the birth plan kit here.)