Joseph Aiden's Birth Story (part 2)
I wasn't betrayed by my family and thrown into a pit and sold as a slave and taken to a foreign country and I wasn't falsely accused of a crime and thrown into prison, but like Joseph of the Old Testament, I found my life going not exactly as planned...I knew I was going to have to fight to keep my birth as natural as possible, which I truly felt was best for myself and my baby.
"You're opposed to being induced?" The nurse asked me.
"Yes. If they are concerned about how the baby is handling these normal contractions, why do they think the baby will do better with more intense, Pitocin induced contractions?"
"Well, your baby just needs to be delivered. Sometimes the placenta gets old."
"For some people, maybe, but I've had a baby 11 days after my due date and had absolutely no problems."
That nurse didn't come back after our conversation. That didn't break my heart. Her telling me that my placenta was old was beyond her scope of practice. I had had four ultrasounds in the past week and my placenta had looked perfectly fine in all of them. The nurse who replaced her was only there for about an hour, but she was a sweetheart. The midwife who was on duty was also very kind and soft spoken, but her words were hard to take.
"I talked to the OBGYN and your baby's belly is measuring really big, off the charts. A big belly means big shoulders. The OBGYN is concerned about shoulder dystocia. So a C-section birth would be what is best for your baby. Of course a vaginal birth is what would be best for you. If you decide to go with a vaginal birth, you should start Pitocin right away. The baby's heart decelerations mean that the baby needs to be delivered as soon as possible."
Her words left me speechless for a moment. She made it sound like I was choosing between what was best for me and what was best for my baby. Then I thought about the fact that my baby's foot was up by his face during the ultrasound and how that would change the shape and measurement of his belly. And then I remembered that I had delivered a 10 lb baby with no problems almost 6 years before. I really did not believe that a c-section or Pitocin were what was best for my baby. And I knew that there was a lot of medical evidence to back up that belief.
Because I tested positive for Group B strep and I knew that they would want to get antibiotics in me four hours before delivery, I asked them to start the antibiotics and wait another two hours before talking about Pitocin. I texted my mom and she recommended I ask my midwife to be with me as doula. This would be the first birth that my mom would miss, but she knew that my midwife would be a hedge of protection and good advice for me. My midwife was able to get there before they even started the IV. I consented to fetal monitoring every twenty minutes.
It had been several hours since I had eaten, but I was upset and didn’t feel like having food. My midwife and husband gently encouraged me to order something, so I did and managed to eat about half my meal while the antibiotics went in and they did the mandatory fetal monitoring. Then I was encouraged to get in the shower to help me relax and nipple stimulation was recommended as a way to encourage the contractions to pick up.
Once I got in the shower I let loose and just started bawling. I felt so much pressure being put on me, it was overwhelming. I asked my husband to play David Crowder and got lost in worship. I was reminded that God knew everything that was going to happen, that the contractions I was having naturally had already gotten me four centimeters, and that my body was perfectly capable of birthing my baby.
Then my shower was interrupted by more fetal monitoring…I will finish my story next week, I promise!