Birth Story - Leah

My first two births were unmedicated, natural births with midwives at the hospital. But even with that, they were full of frustration and uncertainty. I wanted to labor as long as I could at home to avoid the "hospital regulations and protocols" and the skeptical nurses. Even with laboring at home, the uncertainty seeped in. I didn't want get to the hospital too early but was uncertain (especially with my first labor) on exactly when to leave so I could have the baby in the hospital and not in my car! The car ride over was awful; the contractions were so painful and there was no room to move around to help with the pain. Once getting to the hospital, the frustration seeped in. Waiting to be checked in to the ER was frustrating, and then when they finally got around to checking me in, they dumped me into a second waiting room to wait for a triage nurse to come and get me to check me into labor and deliver. At this point I was already waiting for twenty minutes plus and I was frustrated, angry and in so much pain while they nurses just trudge along slowly around me taking their sweet time. My husband even had to talk with the ER staff about calling L&D again after they said they were on their way down 10 minutes prior.

Once I finally got to L&D, they made me go into a little "check in" room, where my husband wasn't allowed in, and had me change clothes and lay on my back where they check my dilation and the baby's heartbeat. Up to this point, I kept explaining to each nurse that my pain level with contractions were extremely high and that I was certain I was close to full dilation. Of course, none of them believed me and continued to make me wait. When the triage nurse finally checked me in L&D, I was at 9 centimeters dilation and was finally rushed to a laboring room where my husband was able to rejoin me. Nurses continued to rush around me, never giving me peace or space to just labor. Once the hospital midwife got there, there was still never room for me to labor by myself. There was always suggestions on what to do and when and they checked my dilation constantly which left no room for me to just labor and let my body completely do what it wanted and needed to do. From the second I got into the hospital, I was told what to do and, even being able to have a voice and tell nurses and my midwife no and when to stop, I was uncertain on everything that was going on and frustrated because I felt like I was being rushed and that there was nonstop buzz and movement from the nurses running in and out and all around the room! This was the feeling my husband and I had the entire time there, including after the baby came.

So with my third pregnancy, my husband and I came to an agreement that we could not stand the hospital again. I wanted a quiet labor where I was able to move, eat and do whatever I needed to do to deliver my baby. I wanted to feel in control of my labor, aware of anything and everything that was going on and I wanted a peaceful atmosphere with the power to stop anything that frustrated me. My home-birth was just that. I called Sarah and told her I was in labor and that I thought I was about 6 centimeters dilated. She believed me and came over right away! From there I was able to move as I pleased and there was nothing but love, support and kind words. My husband was never made to leave my side, I was never made to lay on my back (most painful position ever!) to be checked unless I wanted to be, and Sarah even trusted that I knew my body and my body knew what it was doing. It was so calm and peaceful. I was given space when I needed it but Sarah was always close by and ready to come close when I needed her. After my baby came, nothing was rushed! I was able to enjoy and bond with my baby and family. Baby was never taken out of the room and was only taken once but place right next to me to weigh and measure. The midwives cleaned up everything, so there was no worry of a mess, and they stayed until we both felt comfortable that baby and I were fine to be on our own. It was such a different experience from the hospital in such an amazing way!! I would never go back to the hospital after my home birth!"

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