The Birth Interview Project consists of 17 simple questions designed to help mothers process their birth story & share it with others. All mothers are invited to take part in this project. Born out of Joy’s desire to help women discover, process and express the feelings surrounding their birth experiences, The Birth Interview Project strives to offer a platform for mothers and readers alike to share and be heard, to search and to discover, to identify and to heal, and to exhort and remember. The views and opinions expressed here are unique to each woman who takes part in the Birth Interview Project and may not always reflect the values of the blog author.
Please give a brief description of yourself, and what number baby/birth you’re sharing with us:
My name is Alissa. I’ve been married seven years and my husband and I have four children. I am sharing about my fourth birth, my son, Isaiah.
What was your due date, and what was your baby’s birth date?
My due date was Oct 3, 2011 and I gave birth Sept 12, 2011.
What was Isaiah’s weight and length?
He was 7lbs and 19in long.
Please give us a brief, one paragraph, synopsis of your birth:
This was my fourth induced, but otherwise non-medicated, birth. I have a medical condition that requires early induction and I have not been able to birth at a birth center or at home even though that is where I’d love to be.
Everything for me is pretty much planned, wake up at five in the morning, head to the hospital, answer a thousand questions, get stuck with several needles, have my water broken and begin hard pictocin labor. HA! I did all these things and then after (approx) four and a half hours of labor, I met my handsome son, Isaiah. I really enjoyed this birth experience.
What did you do to prepare for your labor and birth? Did it help?
I love to study. Birth gives me an excuse to get lost in study. I read The Birth Partner this time around and I really think what I learned in that book helped to make my experience oh so much better. I also watched a GAZILLION birth videos of natural labors to get coping ideas.
I decided ahead of time to move the hospital bed out-of-the-way and NEVER lay down. THAT HELPED A LOT! I was upright the whole time and it was so much easier because I was laboring instead of letting labor take me over.
What did you like about your birth experience, if anything?
I liked that this time (being my fourth) I wasn’t surprised at how bad labor pains were. With my first, I was so shocked at how hard, fast, and immediate the contractions were that I pretty much lost my mind and afterwards said, “I want to wait a while before I do that again.” This time I think I said, “That was easy I’d do that tomorrow if I could have two babies!”
I didn’t lose control. I know it didn’t hurt less than my other births, but I was prepared for how bad it would be and worked with it. I think it really took four painful births to get to that point, though.
What did you not like about your birth experience, if anything?
I didn’t like getting the IV catheter put in for the pitocin. I didn’t like being hooked up to belly bands (monitors) and I didn’t like having to carry belly bands and an IV station to the bathroom …BOO! But that’s life in the jungle.
What surprised you about your contractions/labor?
Between my contractions, I was totally sane and felt normal. In between, I was able to rest and get ready for the next contraction. Usually, because of being induced, I had previously given up on the picture perfect natural labor thing. I pretty much thought, “Well this is going to be REALLY bad so I’ll just have to get through it.” With my other births, I never tried to work with labor only to survive it. But I was wrong, you can have a satisfying natural labor even with pitocin.
In reflection, would you do anything differently, either before the birth, during or after?
Practice squatting more. My legs were strong but not strong enough to squat for more than a few second spurts at a time.
Use different chapstick…lol. The pomegranate burt’s bees makes my lips look purple in pictures!
What do you remember the most about your birth?
I remember sitting in a rocking chair holding Kevin’s hand and feeling so taken care of. During the worst of labor, Kevin was right next to me, and my mom was right in front of me. I was totally clear-headed and I could pray. I felt like God was right there comforting me through them.
How was your labor and or birth experience different from what you imagined it to be?
I really didn’t know if I could ever enjoy an induced labor, but it was peaceful and quiet. I loved it, and that surprised me. I think it was an attitude change on my part.
What were your immediate emotions about yourself/birth experience after the birth?
I was elated! I had planned on staying upright and I did! I pushed and gave birth squatting just like I wanted. I felt strong and at peace. I felt in love with my husband and Jesus for giving me another beautiful child.
How would you describe your recovery?
It was awesome. I love all the nurses at Baylor UMD . They are awesome! I felt good and rested. My bleeding wasn’t bad at all. Nursing went well. My other kids were awesome helpers for me, and my 2-year-old was even gentle! Woo Hoo!
How has your perspective of your birth experience with Isaiah changed in the last 3 months since the first week of having him?
Not really at all. It wasn’t that long ago though.
Did you learn anything about yourself through this experience?
God is big enough to give me peace even through the worst pain. My attitude is what determines my experience.
Would you recommend a natural childbirth or medicated childbirth to other women?
Oh yes, I would recommend a natural childbirth! Always! I have always had very hard labors and have always been induced, but I wouldn’t trade natural birth for anything. Having every ounce of sobriety and being able to feel everything when my baby slides out of me and I finally see their beautiful little face! Feeling like the strongest woman in the world. Feeling the severe pain instantly disappear the moment the baby comes through. ITS AMAZING!
Further comments or thoughts or advice:
If you are facing induction, it is still worth it to go natural. Don’t give up just because you hear the word pitocin. It really isn’t the end of your dream birth experience. My first birth was supposed to be at a birth center I had to go to the hospital though and I kinda felt like everything fell apart. You have to keep your chin up at whatever is thrown at you. For me, hospital births are the end of one dream, at least for now, but my attitude is what dictates how much of an awesome birth I can have in the circumstances I am given.