Thursday, July 9, 2015

My Home Birth Plan

Ethan's first day in the hospital.
People love knowing other people's business, it's why we all love reality TV right?  Please don't think that I'm judging, I'll be the first to make a bag of popcorn and binge watch 5 hours of the Kardashians.  For that reason I realized that I never shared my birth plan and that there may be people out there that are curious.  I'm going to start by giving some background info on my last birth plan.

Ethan's Birth

When I was pregnant with Ethan I had a midwife and was planning on having a homebirth.  I also had an OB that I met with in case I had to transfer to the hospital.  I went into labor the day before my due date and everything was textbook. I thought to myself, "Wow I'm going to pop this little guy out in like 10 hours, yes!" Fast forward 16 hours into heavy labor and I was still 2 cm. dilated.  My contractions were every 2 minutes and I was having 2-3 at a time.  I was 100% effaced but I just wasn't dilating.  I was having excruciating back labor and to this day we've wondered if I was just in too much pain to relax and dilate.  At that point my midwife and I decided that I was going to go to the hospital to receive whatever intervention was needed.  At the hospital I had pitocin, epidural, and my water broken.  I know what you're thinking. I went from planning a homebirth to having practically every intervention.  I've always been the kind of person that loves to plan and be prepared, but as I've gotten older I've realized that they are just plans, nothing is set in stone, and I need to be flexible when things don't go the way I expected them to.  That's exactly what I did. I had really wanted a homebirth but that didn't work out, so I was open to the new plan, a vaginal birth in the hospital.

It took 9 more hours before I was fully dilated and then 2.5 hours of pushing.  I was exhausted and running a fever, Ethan's heartbeat became irregular and at that point the doctor told me he really needed to get Ethan out.  My OB knew that as open to change as I was I did not want a C-section as long as it was safe for Ethan and me. So he suggested an episiotomy and vacuum extraction and I said, "YES!"  The NICU was there but Ethan was given a clean bill of health in what felt like 5 seconds and handed to me as quickly as possible.  I had my little miracle, and still couldn't believe he was mine to take home.

The Aftermath

The day after giving birth to Ethan, I have to admit, was a difficult day for me.  I kept asking myself why I knew so many women who were able to give birth at home but I wasn't.  Why was my body 100% effaced but not dilating?  Was I not as strong as other women? Was there something wrong with my body?  I didn't feel regret at having gone to the hospital, or at having received the interventions, because in my heart I knew that that's what I had needed to get through the birth, but I was disappointed in the fact that my body hadn't worked the way millions of other women's bodies worked.  After talking to my midwife and some very supportive friends and family who had had their children both at home and in the hospital, I came to realize that it wasn't my fault, and it wasn't my body's fault.  I was grateful for having the opportunity to labor at home, and I felt that I received wonderful care both at home and at the hospital.

Current Birth Plan

You're probably thinking that after all that I must be planning on having Alice in the hospital.  It's quite the opposite actually.  The care that I received throughout my pregnancy, delivery, and postpartum were so extraordinary that I was more than happy to give homebirth another try.  I really love my midwife and OB and I trust them completely.  I feel that they made all the right calls during my birth and in the end I did get a vaginal birth, which had been my main goal.  Just like last time, I have all of my homebirth supplies ready, but I also have my hospital bag set to go.  I would love to be able to birth Alice at home, but I've been praying that whatever is safest for my baby and myself is what comes to fruition.  I have complete faith that, just like last time, we will be taken care of and although I nervously await the event, I can't wait to meet my little girl.
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