I had visited the hospital to write my birth plan. I saw the birthing balls, tubs, and rooms. We discussed all of my options for labor, including walking and other options to assist my body in the process. I was happy to have a plan.
Little did I know when my water broke around 7:00 am that my plan would not be my reality. Not because of any traumatic circumstance, but simple because my doctor had not communicated to me his “requirements” for labor and delivery.
When my water broke, I was not having contractions. I knew this meant I wasn’t in active labor, and I had plenty of time to shower before going to the hospital. When I arrived, I fully expected to begin walking the halls, playing an active natural role in getting my body to begin labor. What I did not expect was to be given a catheter and internal baby monitor immediately after being admitted. I even asked the nurse about my birthing options, and my birth plan, but she informed me that was not how my doctor did things. He requires an internal monitor and catheter immediately.
Instead of walking to jumpstart contractions, I was given Pitocin. Instead of naturally laboring in an upright position, I was forced to labor in bed on my back.
The pain and discomfort was more than I could handle, and I ended up with an epidural. I labored 14 hours before my daughter’s heart became distressed. I was given oxygen, and within the hour my doctor would tell me I needed to deliver by C-section. I felt devastated and defeated, simply because that was not my plan.
The C-section was necessary because my daughter’s umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck three times. I can’t help but wonder if I would have had a different labor experience, would a C-section have been prevented? If I would have gone on a walk before going to the hospital, could I have skipped the Pitocin? If I would have labored at home, could I have skipped the C-section?
I’ll never know the answers to these questions. Even though my birth story didn’t fit into my plan, I’m thankful for the healthy little girl who was born at 10:52 p.m. that day. She made me a mom and changed my whole world. And for that I will be eternally grateful.
Wendy is a mother of four who lives in central Illinois where she blogs at TheMessyMom.net.