My Birth Story: Homebirth And Hospital Part II - At The Hospital
Making the choice to have a home birth is not the obvious choice. It is not an easy choice. It is not a widely accepted choice. And it can be heartbreaking when that plan doesn’t come to fruition. For me, who truly believed that a home birth was the best thing for my family, I made an equally difficult decision to leave 30 hours of labor at home and go to the hospital for an unknown outcome. I mean, I knew it was a possibility to go to the hospital and I was not opposed to that, but I honestly thought that wouldn’t happen.
At this point in our delivery I just wanted everything to be over. We had discussed in birthing class how a mother in the midst of homebirth will most likely say “I can’t do it!” and her team has to encourage her to continue. Usually the baby comes soon after that. But I think I had hit that “I can’t” point multiple times. Something inside, my instinct, told me to go to the hospital. So my midwife made some calls, and we started packing another hospital bag. It was 4am so there was no traffic. My husband drove, with my mother and I in the back of our Honda. I couldn’t sit, contractions still coming hard and fast, the skull of my baby hitting and not showing. What the fuck was going to happen!?!?!? Can we get there faster!?!? The fear started to creep in… yes it took 30 hours for fear to hit me! Partially because I could see the faces of my mother and husband. I could feel the panic in their energy.
With the midwife and doula en route, we arrived at North Shore Hospital (all the way from South Miami to North Miami) around 5am. I remember everyone signing in the security desk. The guard was about 6 foot 6 inches, pushing 300 pounds. He offered a wheelchair but I could not sit, just waddle and try to manage the pain. As a contraction came I stopped, squatted and yelled in pain. The look on his face was priceless, I will never forget. I am sure he thought I was going to pop that baby out right there and then. He stood guard with that same panicked face my mum and husband had while we rode the elevator up to the delivery floor.
I was put in a room and by now I couldn’t manage the pain. I was making noises I had never made before. The Doctor wasn’t there yet. The tech with the epidural couldn’t come for at least an hour. And they had a bunch of questions to ask, papers to sign, oh lord!
Eventually I got an epidural and it helped me rest, removing about 70% of the pain. When the Doctor arrived he checked and said we were going to try and push, that she was right there. Even though I was half numb I was ready to do this! I just wanted everything to be over. The nurse had me start pushing three times when the Doctor stopped and said “see that bone, the baby won’t get around that bone.” My pelvic bone was apparently in the way. The same thing happened with my sister, but I think she only had 15 hours of labor before they decided to do a c-section. And that’s what was now going to happen to me.
My heart broke and I think I said “I’m sorry” to everyone around. Everyone told me to stop saying sorry. I had to wait a few more hours before they could perform the surgery. My mother, my in-laws, the midwife, the doula, and my amazing husband all waited. I slept until it was time, still very much in pain but half drugged. Finally they came for me and wheeled me on the bed down the hall to surgery. My husband met me in the room before they began. I felt like shit. Shaking from the meds and lack of sleep, cold, and hungry.
I remember the doctors talking, but I couldn’t see them. I remember throwing up the medicine they gave me to keep me from getting sick. Funny how that worked out. I remember my husband telling me to stay awake so I could meet… her… there she was… I heard a little cry, and she was here in this world. Finally. Safe. Healthy. Ten fingers. Ten toes.
They laid her on my chest, and I felt relief for a moment. My husband was so happy, and so was I. Then they all left to take care of her, and I was once again wheeled away to a room. I slept for hours until they told me it was time to go to the recovery suite and be with my baby. The suite was awesome. I could have as many visitors as I wanted. The nurses treated us like gold. Food was served for me and my husband, three times a day. Everything was done to make my stay as comfortable as possible. I could not complain about the service and care. They brought her in, baby Sonia, and that was all I cared about. I was so happy. IN pain still, fuzzy from the meds, but my heart was full and overflowing.
My recovery was very difficult since I essentially had both a natural labor and surgery. My pregnancy was so amazing and easy it almost seemed like the Universe wanted to balance out my experience. The emotional pain was just as difficult to work through. But, now I reflect back and it was all worth it. I do not regret attempting a homebirth. I do not regret my c-section birth. I tried, without drugs or medical influence, to go as natural as possible. My inner self, and my baby, told me when it was time to stop and let the medical world take over. I have a greater appreciation for hospital births. And next time I will do things a bit differently. But now I know how strong I really am. I am a Birth Warrior. And my baby has been a Warrior through it all. What a blessing. What a story I can share with her.