If you're reading this again, it might be hard to identify what I've added. I'm not doing this like a "traditional" blog. To me, it's a story in progress, and I'm filling in the gaps. The "newest" parts are at the bottom because you can't understand where I am today without knowing first how I got here.

January 29: I haven't written much because I needed to focus on "now" instead of the past, but I did write about the Re-Birth Ceremony today.
January 19: added some thoughts about the first part of recovery.
January 18: added some thoughts in the middle and at the end.

Re-Birth Ceremony

On January 27, we had a Re-Birth. This was our MW's idea, and I had my doubts because I don't consider myself to be very good at role playing or reenactments. I just don't "pretend" very well. But, I've had such difficulty remembering her birth without crying, that I felt like I had to try. I had been craving an herbal bath for months, so it was very important to me that I take one with my baby. So, once my doctor gave me permission to take a bath, I put aside my fear and started planning.

We invited the MW and the doula (who was originally part of the Birth Team as a care-giver for our older children). An hour before they were supposed to arrive, I got upset with everyone in the house and almost called it off. I had worked myself up into such a need for a "perfect" experience, that I'd forgotten to include my family in my vision. I'd failed to really explain it to the children (9 and almost 5), and now they were thoroughly confused. They didn't understand why I was making a big deal out of things. We had made special lists for each person on the Birth Team while I was pregnant, and I couldn't find them now. And, I had made special birth bead necklaces for the girls, and we could only find one. When my MW called, I was in tears and upset - but she's a brilliant woman, and she used that emotion to my benefit. She turned it into part of the experience - as how most women reach a breaking point right before labor and birth. She asked me to move forward as if I was in labor - and start visualizing contractions.

The baby was sleeping through all of this! The timing was perfect, and she took a very long nap, allowing us to prepare and focus on what the event was supposed to represent.

MW and doula arrived, and I was pattering around the bedroom & bathroom, getting things ready. I lit candles and cleared out the bathtub. MW brought in all of her equipment and a birth ball. She was very serious about making this authentic, and I really appreciate her dedication. My children were asking more questions now. The oldest kept trying to be rational and point out that I already "had" the baby, and she's two weeks old ... but the doula took them away and talked to them patiently every time. They went off to make smoothies, which was one of the things on their "To Do List." Towels and blankets were warming in the oven.

I decided to put on my robe and sit on the birth ball. Suddenly, I started feeling very emotional. I had one hand on my belly, trying to remember what it felt like when it contained a baby. I tried to remember how I felt during DD2's labor and birth, but I could only remember how wonderful I felt when it was over. No matter how hard I tried, I really couldn't remember much about pain and even less about fear. And those two emotions were and still are so present when I think about DD3's birth. So, I unconsciously started having ebbs and flows of emotions. It really began to feel like emotional contractions. 

MW checked my blood pressure and the "baby's heart rate." Not surprisingly, my blood pressure was a bit high. DH sat with me and massaged my neck and hugged me. That was how we sat through contractions with DD2. We hugged and talked quietly. MW was in the background checking on me ... I knew she was there, but she was just in the background. DD2 brought me a smoothie with a straw. mmmmmm. She asked me about the baby, and I said the baby would be born soon. She looked at me with wide eyes and asked where the baby was - was I sitting on her? Someone took her to the bedroom to explain again. DH and MW got the herbal bath ready.

By now, I was really starting to feel emotional, but not quite ready for this to be finished. I was really focused on getting some of the "bad" emotions out, and I could imagine "pushing" them out even. Looking back, I'm surprised that I was so "in the moment," since that is not normal for me. I started thinking about more intense and frequent contractions internally. I was ready for the bath. I remembered now laboring in the tub with my first children, and I wanted that so much now. I squatted next to the tub, and my doula rubbed my neck some. When I got into the tub, MW started coaching me to really push the baby out and vocalize it. To my surprise, I did that. I actually made sounds and cried even more with every one. Then, I tried to "feel" the baby's head. That made me cry even more - to realize that my baby wasn't born from there. DH was next to the tub, and MW was in the background urging me on. "One more really strong push."

Then, I opened my eyes and reached for my baby, drew her straight to my breast and cried with joy as she nursed. MW prodded our older children to tell us if the baby was a boy or girl (another one of their Birth "jobs"). They brought a warm blanket and a newborn hat. I touched every part of her as if I'd never touched her before. She nursed happily and looked at me with those beautiful eyes. Someone asked what her name would be, and I said her name. Everyone cried. And lots of pictures were taken. I lay in the tub for a long time, even after she stopped nursing, just grateful to have that opportunity. The doula took the kids away to play a game. I eventually gave the baby to DH, and they weighed her. MW pampered me just like she does with every new mom, and I was feeling good.

I eventually got dressed because we were going to plant a tree (two-winged silverbell). We buried the placenta from DD2 in honor of all 3 girls, and we read a prayer and a special quotation from Beatrix Potter. "Believe there is a great power silently working all things for good, behave yourself and never mind the rest." We also put copies of the prayer and quote into the hole with the tree.  Each of us shoveled dirt onto the tree and said something special. We dedicated the day as "Placenta Day" and hugged.

We are very honored to have special friends with whom we could celebrate this day with, and the fact that it was as special to them as to us is a tribute to their friendship. After it was over, the doula told me that she was holding the baby while I was in the tub. Every time I moaned, she looked around, not afraid, but very aware. She also told me that our oldest daughter realized at that time that she wasn't wearing her beads - and she ran to get them. In spite of protesting the whole time, she did realize "on some level" that it was important to participate. I'm glad of that.


Once we said, “o.k.” everything was set into motion. Mom, MW, and DH all stayed with me. I had to put the hospital gown on after all. Then I was shaved. DH joked about getting a Brazilian – but this was a half-Brazilian with a cheap disposable razor. I was dehydrated from all the crying, but they couldn’t let me have anything. The anesthesiologist came in, and I begged him to let DH be with me for the epidural. I said I just didn’t want to be alone for it – the nurse tried to reassure me, “I’ll be with you.” That’s not what I meant. He offered to give me local anesthetic or whatever so that I could avoid the epidural, but I refused to allow medication to get to my baby. I realized I had no choice in the matter, and they weren’t going to understand.

The nurse who was doing all of this was the nurse who had been dealing with me since we arrived. I had refused to cooperate with anything she had asked of me. I had been a thorny patient. And, still, she thought her presence would somehow comfort me.

The nurse took me to the O.R. in a wheelchair. They had “thoughtfully” covered my legs with a big blanket so I wouldn’t be cold. But their thoughtfulness was misplaced. I was in tears, and all anyone could or would say was, “You’ll have a baby soon!” As if all I was concerned about was it being “over.” I guess most women that they see in that situation were ready for it to be over. But it was just beginning for me – I was in shock. I was quickly realizing what I was losing. And, all the fear that had led me to this place was now scaring me, so I was not confident that things were going to turn out all right.

The ride took an unbelievably long time. I felt like they were pushing me slowly – not sure why. There was someone in the hallway – who also made some inane comment about my baby being born soon. Then we arrived at the O.R. It was bright. I wasn’t wearing my glasses, so everything was blurry, too. It seemed loud. It was very cold. I saw the machine (incubator?) where they would put the baby after they took her, and it made me cry to realize that it wouldn’t be my breast that she would first touch. My hands wouldn’t be the first to hold her. My heart was breaking already.

They made me climb onto the table and sit hugging the nurse, that awful nurse. I was shivering, and they kept telling me to relax and stop crying. They kept telling me that my baby would be here soon – again, not understanding why I was crying. That knowledge was not going to make me relax.

The epidural was as awful as I expected. My back was completely exposed to the cold. My legs were hanging off the table, also cold. So, of course, I was shivering. I think they had a blood pressure cuff on, and they threatened me with medication if I didn’t calm down. The first needle was to numb my back. It was just a prick, but it was not painless. Then came the scary part. I could only remember the pain of the spinal tap from before, so I was trembling with fear. Again, the threats. He said not to worry, all I’d feel was pressure. Yeah, right. And, of course, I had to remain absolutely still for this part. Now comes the intense pressure – which I translate into pain. I’m crying. I reluctantly hug the nurse even more. This was not the person I wanted to be hugging. The anesthesiologist was saying relax and breathe. “Almost done.” Yeah, right. I’ll take childbirth over this any day.

Finally, they were done. I could lie down. I could feel the medicine in my body immediately. It was the strangest feeling. It felt very wrong. My legs got heavy. I could feel it in my belly. It was like sandbags were being laid onto my body, which got heavier and heavier. I could feel them strapping my ankles to the table. They laid a blanket on my legs. I swear it only went as high as my knees or mid thigh. It really bothered me that I felt naked. My arms were stretched out with i.v. fluids, blood pressure cuff and whatever else they attached to me. My gown was lifted up to below my breasts and left there. I was sure I was naked. I tried to lift my head to see. The anesthesiologist asked me what was wrong. I told him that I felt naked. He said nothing.

All around me, the nurses or technicians were preparing for surgery. They were documenting scalpels and time and supplies. They were chatting and gossiping. They would come over to me and look at me and tell me again that I should be happy because my baby was going to be here so soon. All I could do was stare at the lights and cry. The anesthesiologist asked, “Couldn’t you just prep and drape her now?” They said, “We will.” But they didn’t. Of course, I don’t know how long I was in there, but it felt like forever.

I thought about my nakedness, and I wondered why it bothered me so much. I could birth naked, even in front of strangers. But here, it made me feel like a lab experiment or something from an alien movie. I couldn’t get the image of rape out of my mind. I was worried about my baby. There was no feeling in my belly, and no external monitor to reassure me that the baby was still there. I’d been on a monitor ever since we got to the hospital, and suddenly now, I was disconnected from my baby.

The nurse came over finally and started prepping my belly. I couldn’t feel it. I asked her why they didn’t put me back on the monitor. She said there was no need because they’d be doing the surgery very soon. She walked away. I was still naked. Someone asked about the henna on my belly. I tried to be happy talking about it, but I couldn’t be. I was still naked. Still crying. Still alone. Completely disconnected from my baby.

Then things blurred together. The doctor came in. More voices. I saw them finally put a drape over my belly. A sheet came up over my chest. But I don’t know what happened first. I asked if he was doing the “good kind” of incision. He made some kind of a joke – or was it the anesthesiologist? I clarified, “What if I wanted to have another baby?” I think they said it would be ok, that they don’t do the “other” kind of incision anymore. DH was there now. I could see him and MW. He was worried. I told him I wanted HIM to tell me if it was a girl or boy.

MW told me that now there would be pressure and tugging. She was right. It did not feel good. This is not how a baby should be born. They pushed on the top of my uterus. I tried really hard to think about something else, anything else. And suddenly, she was out. DH said, “It’s a girl!” I think he said it more than once. I couldn’t believe it. Then I could see his eyes looking across the room to where they must have taken her. There were no cries. I could hear nurses mumbling. Finally, she cried – and now she wouldn’t stop. They were suctioning her. Such pain to hear the cries. I wanted to have her on my breast so badly. MW said she looked good – her vitals were good. Someone said, “It’s a girl.” Like DH’s announcement had no merit. They wrapped her, and DH brought her to me. I couldn’t touch her. She looked like an angel, so beautiful, so peaceful now. The bright lights made her close her eyes.

Then they took her away. DH went with her, but still, they took my baby away. Now I was crying for yet another reason. I don’t remember anything else in the O.R.

I guess they took me back to the Labor & Delivery room then. Things were really foggy then. After about an hour, DH and a nurse brought the baby to me! He had refused to let them bathe her, but they had put goop in her eyes. I brought her immediately to my breast. It took a little coercion and help from MW, but she nursed!

Suddenly, we’re in a supply closet. Yes, I said a supply closet. It was really a “Recovery Room.” But it was a tiny semi-private room with one chair.


In the nursery, DH was able to refuse the bath.  She had been literally covered in meconium.  I don't know how bad it was "medically," but it was scary.  She showed no signs of aspiration, though.  

Before we decided to go to the hospital, we had analyzed all the reasons I didn't want to go.  One vivid memory of DD1's birth was watching the nurses giving her a bath.  I wanted to break down the wall of the nursery and take her away, but I felt powerless.  It broke my heart to watch.  

So they brought her to me after about an hour, naked just in a blanket.  He told them no diaper, too.  (I love this man.)  He said they were all concerned about her peeing on me.  I said give her to me!  I nursed her first, then we put on the first diaper.  Sadly, the nurse came back really soon to take her away again.  She took her temperature, and it was slightly low, I think.  She wasn't really swaddled well, so they got upset with me.  I tried to put her under my gown, and the nurse freaked out.  So I relented and wrapped her up tighter.  

I'm a little foggy on the details, but the nurse also started to argue with me about how long she'd been nursing.  I said it wasn't long enough, and the nurse disagreed.  I said that my other  babies had nursed for the first 2 or 3 hours, and that was what I wanted for this baby.  She said that 3o minutes was long enough, and any longer would interfere with colostrum.  Oh, I was mad.  I wanted to keep her with me and never let her go.  Then the nurse asked me if they could bathe her.  I said no.  So, she portrayed my baby as being unsanitary since she was covered with "fecal matter."  Leave her with me, then!  I laughed and said, "it's just baby poop."  Now, the nurse was acting like she was going to bathe her without my permission, so I said that my husband or my mother could do it, nobody else.  Of course, neither was in the room at that moment, and I was really afraid the nurse would take her away.  

So, how did I get here?

I don’t know where to start writing. Do I start at the beginning? When I think about it, it’s more like a disconnected series of events, none of them make sense. Pieces of a nightmare.

Thursday started out like a good day. We had arranged for one more biophysical profile and ultrasound. We wanted to be sure the fluid level was ok. MW arranged for it to happen at 7 am. The kids spent the night again with Grandma and Papa. I took the cohosh supplement on Wednesday night. Maybe I should backtrack now and explain things in sequence …

On Friday, January 2, I was officially 42 weeks and 1 day, if you calculated strictly by the dates. DD2 was born at 42 weeks and 5 days, so, even though I had convinced myself that this baby would be born sooner, it wasn’t completely surprising to go past 42 weeks again. Another factor to consider, though, was that our last ultrasound had pushed the due date back a week. So, if we considered the revised date, I was really only 41 weeks.

My parents had arrived on Monday, and everyone was eagerly awaiting a birth. Every day, we would joke about it – but nobody was concerned. The girls were spending wonderful quality time with their grandparents, and DH and I were enjoying some alone-time. I treated myself to a pedicure, another henna belly tattoo, and a massage. I was just trying to relax and enjoy these last pregnant moments, and I felt great.

So, on that Friday, my parents took the girls to Galveston. We had gone to Galveston the day before DD2 was born. Part of me wanted to go again, but I did not want to be in a car for that long. MW came over, and we did a Non Stress Test on the monitor. Her heart rate and variability looked great! We talked about cohosh and inductions and exams – and we did not want any of it. I had no signs that she was ready yet. She was very squirmy and content in my womb and hadn’t dropped any. We felt comfortable just waiting for the baby to “be” ready.

Emotionally, I was close to that point of being “done,” but even that wasn’t convincing. Mostly, I was bored! I was anxious to be birthing and move on to the next phase. Women eventually come to a point in pregnancy where they think they can’t do it anymore, and that is often a sign that it’s almost over. Some women reach that point a lot earlier than others. With DD1, I never reached that point, and I felt sad when she was born at 37 weeks. I never will understand why it happened that way, but she was clearly “ready” to be born. With DD2, I whined and complained a lot in the last weeks, but I didn’t reach that crisis point until 42 weeks and 3 days. That’s when we needed reassurance that she was ok, and the biophysical profile gave us that. She was born 2 days later.

This time, I was waiting for that feeling to happen. Each day, I got a little closer, but I still felt like I was missing something. Since I never really got to that crisis point, I wasn’t worried about being “overdue,” either. But on that Friday, I was getting a little bit more anxious. I was worried about the girls being in Galveston and maybe out of phone contact. What if labor was really fast and they missed it? But nothing happened, and another day came and went.

Saturday night, we had Mexican food for dinner. Maybe spicy food would do something? At dinner, we discussed dates again. Mom says I was 3½ weeks late, and my brother was 10 days late. My dad asked how “late” I was now, and he seemed to get a little distraught when he realized how far away 21 days was. They had been planning to go home on Monday, but now they knew that wasn’t going to happen. My brother, who doesn’t have children, brings up his theory again that maybe we just don’t know “how” to induce the baby to come out. All of his knowledge about babies is from the tv show “Friends.” He asked again, if we were really doing everything we could do. “Yes,” I told him. He started to ask again, and I said, “yes, that, too.” Then I said that there was one thing we would not do – castor oil. My mom heard me say castor oil, and she quickly said, “Don’t do that! It doesn’t work. I tried it.” I promised her that I had no intention of trying it. We were willing to try a lot of things, but that was not one of them. I do not wish to be miserable from an upset stomach while in labor. My brother asked if it would make you throw up … we all laughed.

Another night with no labor. I went shopping with my mom. And then I had a massage from R, who does a lot of prenatal therapy. She worked hard on the legs and pressure points that tend to encourage labor. I had a little snooze while she was working, but it did not encourage labor.

Sunday, 10:42 am, email
Past Due - And Not Inducing ...
I just thought I'd start a thread to boost my/your confidence in yourself when you go "past due". I'm currently 42w3d or maybe even more, depending on how you calculate the EDD. I'm 1000% positive of my dates. MW isn't worried. I'm not worried. BUT, I'M BORED BORED BORED BORED. And that's affecting my demeanor now. I reached the point of being "done" finally about 5 days ago.

I had attempted to induce DD1 with EPO, sex, etc. I freaked out at 42w3d and had a BPP, which was perfect, if overly inaccurate on weight and due date. But I did cohosh one day, and she was born at 42w5d. Perfect. Well, this time, I've avoided all internal exams, and haven't done any EPO - and have not really decided about cohosh yet. I'm done having sex - I nearly fell off the bed yesterday. I did an NST on Friday, which looks great - thinking about another today - torn on the BPP because I was so disgusted by the information 5 years ago. I'm ok with just waiting it out now, I **think**.
Sunday, 5:23 pm, email
I just got home from a massage *and* a nap. I feel great! Sitting on a ball, hoping the baby will fall out or something now ....

Monday, 10:03 am, email
baby still in utero.
I'm gettin' grouchy.

Tuesday, 7:36 am, email
nope, nada, nothin', zilch
a LOT of frustration this morning, though.

Wednesday, 1:44 pm, email
well, i'm now 42w6d, and I'm officially emotionally wiped out. I think i'm losing the mucous plug. I had BPP last night, slightly low fluid, but otherwise the baby looks great. I had NST monitor last night and this morning, and baby looks great - except one huge decel that really scared us all. But that was while lying on my back, and I felt what "may" have been a contraction. Then I lay on my side for half hour, with no more decels. And nothing today. MW will come back again this evening. We have another BPP scheduled for tomorrow morning at 7. Then, she did an exam because i had some discolored discharge last night. Soft and the cervix is in the right place, but not more than 1cm. I know that means nothing. I wasn't even going to have an exam, but I'll do anything to avoid the hospital now.

We talked and talked and talked about what to do, and of course, it made me cry. I don't want a hospital birth. I want my home, my peace, my children, my bathtub. I don't want pitocin, interventions, monitoring, or to have a baby on a bed in bright lights. I don't want to be in a car during labor. I don't want to have to take antibiotics (gbs+) or have separation from my baby. But, I want a healthy baby more than anything in the world. An emergency transfer would be worse than just "going".

But, for right now, I'm not going.

Wednesday, 9:27 pm, email
fortunately, here, we don't have too much to worry about with time-lines, but of course, it's generally frowned upon by the medical establishment to go this long. I'm officially 43 weeks tomorrow, but the 37week u/s actually gave a later date, so we 'could' use that if need be. (but I knew i was pregnant within 7 days of DTD, so there really isn't any way to be that far off) The conversation I had with my MW was one where we hashed out all the pros & cons of all the possible scenarios, and we're left with really desiring to wait it out but being fearful at the same time. The only hospital where we "might" have a chance with a respectful doctor is far away and not where we'd go in the event of an emergency transfer - but even if we went to that hospital, there are no guarantees. It would still be in the hands of the nursing staff mostly. And to make matters more scary for me, the emergency transfer hospital is just NOT where I want to be, but it's super close, and they are certainly qualified. I just don't want to be in a hospital, that's the bottom line.

I started taking a cohosh concoction this afternoon. I'm actually a wee bit sad about doing all this because i *was* content not to do any of these things, but I think I've been pushed to my limit now. I'm hoping that I have to cancel the BPP for tomorrow, but who knows.


43 weeks
Thursday, 10:48 am, email
Still here.
The cohosh "might" have been responsible for something. I slept like crap last night - very crampy and nauseous and now I have a full-blown migraine. I made DH stop twice on the way to BPP to puke out the car door. lovely. Afterward, I went back to bed. Just now getting online. BPP showed fluid levels up to normal, baby active - so that's a relief. Midwife will be coming in an hour for another NST monitoring. For some reason, that just makes me feel better.

I think I'll go take a shower ... I might even attempt to get a haircut today. That's what I do when I'm depressed, so maybe I should ....

So, after that, I did take a shower, got dressed, and I actually went to get a haircut. That felt really good. I was having mild contractions, so I was excited. I talked with MW, and she was coming over in the afternoon to do the NST. I went to shop and chatted with friends. I picked up a few clothes for the girls, and a new shirt for me. If I wasn’t done being pregnant, at least I could get a new long sleeved shirt! To my surprise, it was a nursing shirt – bonus! When I got home, we had to rush out again – we had arranged to have the car seats checked out. Unfortunately, it’s rather hard to get done here. There are places, but they are in the suburbs or only open one day a month. We were very fortunate to meet the man who teaches car seat safety to everyone else! He was very personable, and I was very relieved to have done it finally. Of course, we had the seats in correctly, but we did learn a couple things to make them even better.

I was still having really little contractions, but now they were every 15 minutes, so I was sure this was finally it! My parents dropped off the girls, and I told them that I was having some contractions, but nothing was “really” happening yet – we’d just have dinner like usual. MW came for the NST, and we bribed the girls with tv, so we could do it quietly.

Thursday evening was a blur. Never had I felt so scared. There were decelerations in the baby’s heart rate after each contraction, and there was very little variability. We had been so relieved with the BPP in the morning, that it never occurred to us that something could be wrong. These decels were too big, and it was too early to be seeing them. I was also having more discharge. I knew now that it wasn’t the mucous plug – it was probably meconium. The discharge increased after ever few contractions. The presence of meconium meant that the baby was in some type of distress. The contractions were now between 10-15 minutes apart – still very mild, but very regular. We had talked very bluntly about our options. It seemed like everything was pointing to us needing to be in the hospital for this birth. We needed the safety net of medicine. But we still thought we would be getting a “birth.”

MW had left to tend to two other Mamas. I decided to make dinner and try to have a normal dinner with our family. My parents and brother were on their way. I was having extremely mild contractions, so there was no reason to rush to any decisions. We would tell everyone after dinner. Once it was in the oven, I lay down with the monitor again and asked my mom to join me. She knew something was wrong. When I started to explain, she thought I was trying to justify staying at home, and she was immediately defensive. So, it took a little more explaining to clear that up. I tried to explain why I was so against going to the hospital – fear of interventions and loss of control were just a part of it. But we really did know that there was no other option.

This is how home birth is supposed to work: we had a Plan B, and now we had to use it. Our midwife is completely in tune with birth, and this wasn’t looking right. Decels during early labor just proved that something was causing the baby to be in distress. If she was in this much distress “now,” we were afraid of how much distress she could be in “later.” And later could prove to be too late.

Thursday, 8:39 pm
I'm so very sad right now. I have to go to the hospital. I can't believe I'm typing these words. I know it's the only choice we have - the baby has been showing decels after contractions, and I'm not even in hard labor.

*Anyone reading this needs to know that home birth is supposed to work this way. Hospitals are here for a reason - they are the back-up plan for emergencies, just like this. I know it doesn't mean that we've failed or that home birth was wrong. It's just the way it is - we don't get to control some things in life - and some things are just not worth the risk. I'm sad, I'm devastated, but we just have to do this.*

MW is on her way now to help us get what we need and get to the hospital. We'll be able to birth with an OB who respects home birth - which has always been my biggest fear about a hb transfer. Our kids will be able to be in the room. My mother is coming with us.

I'll have a baby in my arms tomorrow, and that's what it's all about. Pray for us - that we get through the night without being induced or pressured too much.


After dinner, we told the family that plans had changed, and we were going to the hospital. DD1 was distressed, and we did our best to reassure her that she would still be involved with the birth. We were going to the hospital because we thought it would be best this way. All I could do was cry. DD1 helped me pack. She is so intuitive. She knew something was wrong, but she tried to be motherly and helpful. She picked out an outfit and a blanket for a boy and for a girl.

MW arrived and helped us figure the rest out. I was in a daze. We caravanned to the hospital – my parents following us following MW. Of course, the hospital was so very far away. We finally arrived, but it was after the main doors closed, so we had to enter through the emergency room. We were an odd bunch. Not wanting to be there, not knowing what to do. Everyone wanted me to be a typical pregnant woman, who would go into the hospital in a happy joyous mood. Nobody knew that my dreams were being shattered just standing there. They wanted me to use a wheelchair, but I refused. They argued that it was policy in case I accidentally had the baby outside of Labor & Delivery. I tried to be rational – I was very aware of my body NOT being ready for delivery. Nobody was listening. But I wasn’t going to sit in a wheelchair.

We walked through a maze of halls and up to the second floor. They knew we were coming. They took us straight back to a room. Immediately, I was given a cup to pee in and a gown to put on. And so the fight began. Every time I said no, they said it’s policy “just in case.” In my head, all I could see was my hopes of a natural birth getting slashed – but still, I didn’t know it was going to end up in surgery.

I did refuse the gown. I put my own on and climbed into bed. They stuck me for blood and hooked up the monitor and blood pressure cuff. I was able to lie on my left side, but the baby continued to show no variability and regular decels. My blood pressure was rising, but MW’s records showed that I’d had normal blood pressure up til then. Everyone was worried. I didn’t like the nurse. We were both trying to follow different agendas: she was following hospital protocol, and I was fighting for some control and dignity.

Every time they left the room, Pat helped me sneak a sip of something to drink. I was so thirsty. I was being bullied, and it was really getting to me now. They demanded that I get hooked up to the I.V. and start taking oxygen. "Just in case." Now they were threatening the health of my baby with everything. I was terrified. I looked to MW for advice each step of the way, and she was agreeing with them now. My mom is a doctor, and I also looked to her for reassurance. She was quiet. Then the paperwork came. I had to sign away all my rights – episiotomy, forceps, anesthesia, medication, c-section ... it just felt so wrong to have to do that. MW promised that they would always ask before they did anything, but I wasn't convinced.

One thing that bothered me a lot here was that the nurse kept arguing with me and making me cry – and my children were in the room. I wanted them to be a part of the birth, but I didn't want them to be scared. I was deeply distressed by how this all might be affecting them. When the nurse began fighting with me about the I.V., I finally had to insist that she stop for a moment and let me talk to my children first – then, I would be happy to discuss it with her again. She was clearly not happy not to get her way. So, sometime around 11:30 pm, I gave my daughters kisses again and promised them that they'd be involved in the birth, that they just needed to wait outside for now while we did more stuff.

The oxygen and I.V. did slow down the decels. My contractions were still so mild that they weren't even registering on their monitor most of the time.


January 14, 5:44 pm, email
i wanted to update y'all, and i hope you realize how important this thread was to me last week. the story took a difficult twist thursday night, and i ended up having an emergency c/s less than 4 hours after arriving at the hospital. there were no interventions or bullying to blame. it was simply an example of how life is unfair and sometimes we don't get what we want, even though it may seem like the best thing possible. we are grateful that we live in a place where we have access to modern medicine and skilled surgeons. our daughter will forever remind us of that.

i've been writing my story in bits and pieces, through tears. i had to read these messages to remind myself what i was thinking and feeing those days. we didn't do anything wrong. we followed our gut, and there was only one thing we could have done. it was an awful experience. i lost so much. but at the same time, it renewed our faith in birth. i would choose home birth again without reservation.


January 15, 11: 05 am, email
I'm far from 'at peace' with it. A big part of me has been ripped out in a horribly violent way. But knowing beyond a doubt that it's the only possible thing that we could have done does make it more possible to see a recovery.


The word implies that I'll somehow get over this. I suppose I will someday, but right now, I don't see it. Physical is so different from emotional, though. The more I read about other women, the more I realize our words are the same. It pains me to know that the feelings I have are universal. Well, maybe not for everyone, but at least they aren't unique. How is it that I never knew how devastating this would be? Does that mean I ignored the truth? But how could I have ever known that it would matter to "me" what it felt like to have a baby ripped out? That would have meant I had to admit it was a possibility for me, and that would be impossible.

January 18, 1:15 pm, online
It frankly sucks. But I can't even imagine tandem nursing after this. You are 4 days behind me, so I'm trying to think of where I was on Wednesday ... and, yes, I hurt a LOT more than I do now. I think that's when I started taking less medicine, though.

If it helps, this is what I was taking: in the hospital, at first they gave me something in the I.V., but after they took that out, I was taking percoset. I found out on the second day that it was supposed to be every 3 hours, but they were giving it to me on demand, and I was waiting til I was in excruciating pain to ask for it. I'm a martyr with a high tolerance of pain, so I just assumed they were taking care of me. It took a night of regular demerol shots to get the pain under control, and then I began taking percoset every 3-4 hours plus motrin in between. The pain was marginally better the next day, but I requested another demerol shot. That shot didn't even touch the pain. All this time, I was also waking up in sweats - I wonder if that was a reaction to the percoset. The next day, I switched to darvoset with motrin in between. My mom (dr.) says that darvoset is less effective than percoset, but I think it worked better, and the sweating went away. So, that's what they prescribed when I left the hospital. The first 3 days at home, I took the maximum dose and ibuprofen in between. But I kept forgetting to take it til the pain reminded me. One week pp, I reduced it to 1 tablet every 5 hours, and that seems to be working mostly. I still hurt like crazy if I go longer than 5 hours or forget the ibuprofen in between.

It's much easier to cope with the pain if you keep it in check. When you allow it to get too bad, then your body has to fight harder. I don't know what drugs they're giving you, but you need something different. Ibuprofen isn't enough. Can you take half of what they gave you til you can get in touch with your doctor? Are you taking any herbs?

What I want more than **anything** is to take my herbal bath with my baby. I think that is one of the hardest parts of this for me. It was so helpful in recovery from my last birth - and it's dreadful that I can't have it this time.

Oh - and I can't look at myself in the mirror. Not even my face. I shower in the dark. I am mortified to look down at my belly for fear that I might catch a glimpse of it. I don't know how I'll ever get past it. I'm completely disconnected from it. It's numb, it hurts, and it symbolizes something i don't want to remember.

In spite of all of that, I guess I'm recovering physically. My blood pressure is scaring me, though. It is still so high. (for me) MW has been checking on me, and she says it's nothing to worry about, but I worry about it anyway. My arm and leg are still bruised from the demerol shots a week ago, and my belly hurts in a new place every day. If I don't sleep well enough, I feel like I can't stand in the morning. If I laugh or cough, I fear that something inside of me is ripping. The numbness bothers me, but I am almost grateful for it. The hair is starting to grow back, too, I guess - that hurts, too. And, I have hemorrhoids! That is so not fair - but at least I am nor constipated - I should be grateful for that, too?