What exactly happened Tuesday?
I’m sure it doesn’t matter to a majority of people, but I want to always remember why I chose not to go through with my scheduled induction.
Last Sunday, I couldn’t catch my breath.
Not because anything was wrong, but because I couldn’t rationalize in my mind why I had agreed to going to the hospital for an intervention-filled delivery when I knew that wasn’t what I wanted.
As surprising as it may be, I can get a little granola when it comes to having babies. And I’m sure some of the things I’ll be referencing aren’t for the faint at heart. You’ve been warned: click the links at your own risk.
But, it’s true, something primal in me came alive when I started my pregnancy adbenture 6 years ago. I watched an amazing documentary called The Business of Being Born (also see Pregnant in America) and was in shock over how birth practices are handled in our country. I read everything I could and researched as much as possible, and realized early on, that this was something I could totally get behind.
I don’t mean I mounted a crusade to save the world from c-sections and Pitocin, but just wanted all mamas to be informed about options for delivery. You have choices. You can say no. Or yes. It’s a given that as long as everything is medically sound with you and your baby, of course. But you do have options.
I’d heard stories of my grandmother having a twlight sleep birth, and laughed at how barbaric it seemed. BTW that’s one of those links I was telling you to click at your own risk.
She went in to the hospital pregnant, woke up to a newborn, and didn’t remember much about what happened to her in between being pregnant and then not. This was totally normal. It was practiced well into the 1960s, some places even until the 70s. What the wha???
It was normal!!! People accepted this as appropriate medical practice because DOCTORS told them it was cool. But now we know better. And when you know better, you do better Thanks for that nugget Oprah!
Knowing I could say no to Pitocin and membrane sweeping (ick!) meant I could have the birth I wanted. But with Hank, I didn’t have my no voice under control just yet. Surprising, I’m sure.
I ended up in the hospital for almost 3 days laboring my little heart out with him. I caved at the 22 hour mark to get an epidural because I couldn’t take the brutal contractions the Pitocin I was told I had to have was causing. I hadn’t been allowed to eat anything since midnight of the day I went to be induced, and I can’t even begin to tell you how much that affected me. I was so hangry and weak, the last thing on my mind was pushing out a baby.
Luckily, Hank tolerated it all so well that c-section wasn’t threatened until I had reached the 24 hour mark of my water being broken. I survived, and he only suffered a bit of cone head. That makes it all ok, right? The end result was a healthy baby.
No! Not alright!
I’m still a little traumatized about how that went. Even back then, I knew there were other ways than jumping straight to last-resort methods. I just got so caught up in the day that came and passed that Hank was due. Good gracious being late was sooooo bad!!! Or not. I know now.
Thankfully, I have an OBGYN who supports informed decisions, and never once has he declined to answer any of my questions. I know he did all he could to keep me from having a c-section, and for that I’m grateful. But it still didn’t happen how I’d hoped.
Once I had Margaret Hannah and Amos naturally, I saw how totally different the other end of the delivery spectrum could be. They both came out alert and calm, I recovered in 1/3 of the time it took with Hank, and my heart for safe, informed birth pretty much exploded. That’s pretty evident by both of my Instagram account follow feeds. If it’s about a mama in labor or some cute Etsy junk of baby paraphernalia, I’ll follow!
I assumed things would follow the same path with Porter as they had with the last two. Obviously he’s proving me wrong, but the days before I was supposed to be at the hospital this time, I just wasn’t able to find any peace. I’m anxious for him to be here, no doubt, but I’m more concerned with it happening naturally and safely. Every prayer I made over those few days got me closer to and more comfortable with the decision I ultimately ended up making.
Don’t get me wrong, if the only way to get him here means taking other steps necessary to ensure his and my well being, I’m down for that. But after being monitored, having an ultrasound, and spending 3 hours in Labor and Delivery Tuesday morning, all there agreed that it would cause more stress to Porter if I continued to be stressed about being induced. Two amazing nurses and my dear, sweet, Dr. Pollard told me to go eat breakfast, relax at home, and gave me a game plan I can live with for Sunday if Porter still isn’t here.
The nurse that discharged me said “I hate I’m not going to get to be here when you finally do deliver. Not many women stand up for what they want. You would have regretted this for the rest of your life if you would have continued on with it, and then said ugly stuff about us for making you do it. You go sister!”
Those were powerful words my pregnant heart needed to hear.
I’ve talked about savoring this pregnancy, potentially/probably the last one, as much as possible, and I’m taking it to mean Porter wanted me to be SURE I was soaking it all up as long as possible. I’ve lamented about the usual struggles that all pregnant women experience, but I’ve also spent extra time feeling him move, admiring (and crying) over just how big my body grew to be able to grow him, and of course, realizing I’ll most likely never look like this again. That’s not even the hormones talking, either. That’s just total awe and respect for what our bodies are capable of when it comes to life.
Please realize I’m not about that mommy shaming (unless we’re talking about the grocery store haha!) style, and what works for me may not have been what worked for you. The goal in every pregnancy is a healthy baby and mama. I also get that not everyone wants to think about the realities that come with birth. You know, storks and all that crap. But please know I made a decision I think is best for my life and family, and Porter will be here when he’s here.
And to answer the real question: NO!!! I AINT DONE HAD THAT BABY!!!