When I was “planning” (can we really ever plan for birth?) for Griffin’s arrival I made a clear list of things I did and did not want to happen. One thing I didn’t account for was my wishes being disregarded as soon as I laid down in the hospital bed. During my pregnancy with Griffin I’d read every book and taken every class.
Going in to my birth I wanted to be unmedicated and unhindered by either an IV or an epidural. My husband and I had taken Bradley Natural Childbirth Classes . Movement and the ability to change positions are great for labor. That was what we wanted.
I went in to labor at three in the morning on February 8th, my contractions weren’t that bad so Chris went in to work. After he left, I showered, ate, and bounced on my birthing ball. I called Chris around one in the afternoon to come home and take me to the doctor. My OB sent me to the hospital after confirming I was in active labor.
When we arrived there were no beds available in L&D. So we waited. It took almost an hour for a room to become available. The OB saw us another hour after we were given a room.
The largest cause of stalled labors is stress. My labor stalled after waiting two hours to be seen. The OB told me to go and walk for an hour around the hospital to see if my labor would pick back up again. Surprise, surprise, it didn’t. Most doctor’s would have probably sent me home. I was overdue, but only by two days. I had an induction scheduled for the 14th. The OB stated, “So, am I going to babysit you or are we going to start Pitocin to get this going?”
I realized then I was not in control. Psychological birth trauma for me began with someone taking away my consent and pressuring me into things I didn’t want to do by making it seem like I had no other options. I labored with Pitocin and no epidural for 12 hours, finally “tapping out” after having a double peaking contraction for 11 consecutive minutes that never came back down to zero.
Instance after instance my opinion was disregarded because at the end of the day I “wanted to have this baby…right?” It wasn’t until the shift changed that the new attending OB was receptive to my wants and needs, but I had to wait almost 24 hours for that to happen.
For Birth Trauma Awareness Week I’m teaming up with three other mamas who also experienced a traumatic birth. Join us on instagram to read their stories and loop up with us!
Please feel free to share your own experience in the comments!