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.
I’m 32, I’m a cloth diapering, baby wearing, breastfeeding mother of 3. This is the story of my 3rd baby, Finley Harper.
What was your due date, and what was your baby’s birth date?
Due date: June 23rd, 2010. Birth date: June 7th, 2010
What was your baby’s weight and length?
6lb 11oz and 21 inches long.
Please give a brief synopsis of your birth.
My labor was induced due to low fluid, decreased fetal movement and a rapid fetal heart rate (212 when they sent me in) My pregnancy was high risk due to a previous premature birth so I had bi-weekly ultrasounds and NST’s from 28 weeks. I was induced with pit, but did not have pain medication. I arrived at the hospital (dilated to 3) at 2:30 PM but was only dilated to 5 at 11 PM at which point my OB broke my water.
The doctor checked me again immediately after and I had progressed to 7. He said he would be back in an hour. Pressure immediately became blinding and I was so hot I pulled off the heart rate monitors, blood pressure cuff and got on all fours. My nurse looked at me like I’d lost my mind, but pulled back the blankets anyway and yelled “Oh Lord.”
She ran to the hall to call the doctor back who had not even made it to the end of the hall. By the time the doctor made it into the room her head was out. He kept saying “don’t push” to which I yelled “I’m not pushing.” She was in my arms moments later at 11:36pm. My first push was to deliver the placenta.
What did you do to prepare for your labor and birth? Did it help?
I’d say my best preparation was my prior two births. I did listen to some hypnobirth cds which helped up to a point and then my iPod got tossed on the floor with everything else attached to me.
What did you like about your birth experience, if anything?
I loved, loved, loved being drug free. I loved feeling the pain, the euphoria, and walking to the bathroom 5 minutes after delivery. I also felt like a total rock star in recovery when I had 3 different nurses ask “did you really go drug free?”
What did you not like about your birth experience, if anything?
I wish I would have booted the nurse out of my delivery room who rolled her eyes when I said was having a natural delivery and asked about 25 times, “Are you ready for the epidural yet?”
What surprised you about your contractions/labor?
Going from no progress to all progress in less than 5 minutes.
In reflection, would you do anything differently, either before the birth, during or after?
I would have loved to have a home birth (or birth center birth) but my home is about 40 minutes from the nearest hospital and I didn’t feel comfortable being so far away having had a high risker before. And there is no birth center in my area :-(.
What do you remember the most about your birth?
Screaming “holy shit” in transition. I was kind of horrified that during this beautiful moment that was what came out of my mouth. I was not looking forward to the first days of trying to breast feed and I was terrified she might not getting enough to eat, or have jaundice, or latch issues. Turns out it took her about 10 seconds to get a good latch and she never looked back. I just weened her a month ago. Sigh.
How was your birth experience different from what you imagined it to be?
It was pretty much as I thought it would be except for the speed. I knew I could labor through having done it before, but I was really worried about the pushing phase and tearing without pain meds, turns out that wasn’t a problem.
What were your immediate emotions about yourself and or your birth experience after the birth?
I was very proud of myself and my strong beautiful girl who decided it was time to come out so she delivered herself.
How would you describe your recovery?
I felt amazing in the hospital. I had no pain (until the evil uterus massage) and was extremely hopped up. My husband and new baby and I had sandwiches and watched movies until about 4 AM. I bled for about 8 weeks, but didn’t have any complications. I was driving and doing pretty much my normal routine about 3 days later.
How has your perspective of your birth experience with Finley changed since the first week of having her?
Finley is 18 months now and my feelings are the same. I cherish the experience.
Did you learn anything about yourself through this experience?
It did confirm for me that I’m strong enough to accomplish anything I’m dedicated to.
Would you recommend having a natural childbirth or medicated childbirth to other women?
I would absolutely recommend natural childbirth. I have had 3 births, one on narcotics, Stadol, in which became paranoid and couldn’t figure out where I was or why I was there. One with an epidural (where I started vomiting uncontrollably and thought I was going to choke to death. I didn’t even know my son had been delivered). And a beautiful, fulfilling natural childbirth experience with my daughter. No question!
Any further thoughts, comments or advice you would like to share?
Believe in yourself and don’t be worried about what others think or what they believe you are capable of. Also, for first timers my best advice when asking what labor pains would feel like: my childbirth class instructor before my first delivery said to wet a piece of ice and hold it in your hand as tight as you can for 30 seconds then set it down for a minute eventually giving yourself less and less time between holding it and setting it down. I found this to be incredibly accurate. It was a great thing to do with my husband too to give him a peek at what it’s like. More and more uncomfortable and unbearable, but not really pain.