"For I know that I am fearfully and wonderfully made in You...You make it Beautiful Somehow"

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Charlotte's Birth Story Part 1: Why a Natural Birth?

 It is now 6 weeks since the birth of our precious baby girl. Life has been busy, but wonderful. We are currently visiting with my husbands family and I finally have a few moments to sit down and write our daughter's birth story.

For her birth we decided to use a midwife and have our daughter at a free standing birth center (meaning it is not located in a hospital). Before I jump into the birth story I want to give you a bit of background to explain why in the world I would even want to have a natural labor.

When I was pregnant with my first son the thought of a natural labor was completely insane to me. Why in the world would some one not want an epidural?! I always said I wanted to enjoy my labor and remember my son's birth, not be screaming in pain and so out of it that I remembered nothing. So at 39 weeks, after being on bedrest for the last 6 weeks dealing with preeclampsia, I went into the hospital for my induction. Looking back now I realize how uneducated I was about the whole ordeal. I just went with the flow and did what ever the nurses and doctors told me to. Praise God because I know His hand of protection was on me and my baby during that labor and delivery. I had no idea all of the risks I was taking by being induced- a cytotec induction no less. Thankfully I was able to deliver my son vaginally after only 6 hours of labor, an epidural, and a horrific tear.

I remember being so drugged up and feeling very out of it. I loved my baby and was so happy to meet him, but something was missing. I truly believe all of the drugs made it difficult for me to really connect immediately and enjoy the experience. Funny how what I thought would help me enjoy my labor more actually disconnected me from it.

Recovery was horrific. I healed for 6 weeks, then had to have surgery since my tear did not heal properly and had 6 more weeks of healing. There had to be a better way.

My second son was born in a different state, with a different doctor. I had a dear friend who had told me all about how wonderful her natural homebirths had been so I began doing some reading and research. I found myself thinking if having a natural birth can help me feel more connected and not tear as bad I think I could handle the pain. But here we were at 39 weeks again and I made the choice to have another induction. My little sister was getting married two weeks later, 12 hours away, and I was to be her maid of honor. I just couldn't miss that. Yes I know many would say that I was selfish, stupid, whatever, for having an elective induction, but I made the choice and I would not change it.

His birth was the one that made me know for sure that I would never have an obgyn or hospital birth again. After pitocin being set to the highest level possible, not being allowed to get out of bed to even pee, an epidural, and 4 hours of labor, our second son was born. I had a 3rd degree tear and still felt very drugged up from all of the pitocin and epidural. But this time I had made it to 8cm before getting the epi. I was proud of my self for making it that far but also disappointed that I was not able to have the birth I had really wanted. I realized that for me that would never be possible in a hospital with an obgyn.

Praise God that He protected me and my precious boys through both of my inductions. I know not all women are as lucky.

When I got pregnant with our daughter, I determined that this time would be different. We were living in Oklahoma City at the time but were going to be moving soon to Houston. I decided to temporarily go to my OBGYN that I had with my last baby, but as soon as we moved to Houston I began looking for a midwife and a birth center.

Read Part 2 here...

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