Three Variating Birth Stories

Photos by: Mad Marie Photography

Ever since I was a little girl, I knew that I wanted to be Mum with lots of kids.  At least 6.  With the strong desire of one day having my own large family propelling me into my career choice of Elementary Education and Early Childhood Development I learned all anyone ever needs to know about the female anatomy and child labor.

Never one for natural child labor, water births, hypno births, and anything else relate-able to those, I planned on having all of my children in the aid of an epidural.  Don't get me wrong, I had/have a huge amount of respect for any you Mumsies who chose to go the drug free route; but I just knew that wasn't for me.  In my opinion, God enlightened someone's mind to create the epidural, so that women like me could have easier and more pain free deliveries; and I was going to take that gift and run with it.

Fast forward to July 19, 2010.

I was 2.5 weeks away from my due date with my first son, Gus, and was going in to visit my favorite OBGYN in the entire world, Dr. B., for my regular weekly check-up.  While there, my urine test came back with a high amount of protein in it, so as a precaution, Dr. B. sent me next door to Labor and Delivery to have a more extensive test run.  To my, and my nurse's, great surprise, I had a severe case of Toxemia and was rushed in to the  nearest available labor/delivery room for an immediate induced labor.  

Over the next 24.5 hours, I would experience... 

* Extreme waves of nausea and vomiting brought on by the magnesium sulfate that was continuously being fed into my IV drip to keep my brain from having massive seizures.

* Failing kidneys.

* A faulty epidural catheter that in turn caused me to be in natural labor right up until I had to push.


* Overdosing on epidural medication after my anesthesiologist finally discovered I had a faulty epidural catheter, replaced the catheter with a working one, and then increased my epidural medication to try and catch it up with the severity of my contractions.  Sadly, he gave me too much, equaling the equivalent to what a heroin addict has in their system when they overdose, causing me to pass out and stop breathing in between every contraction; requiring Dave or a nurse to vigilantly sit by my side and wake me up every time I slipped out of consciousness.  

Setting aside the absolutely horrific experience, I delivered my beautiful and completely healthy first born on July 20, 2010 at 11:00 AM.  But, had I not naively assumed that the epidural would just magically work, I could have prepared myself for the worst case scenario (which I did in fact experience) and gone to a few natural labor classes to learn Lamaze breathing and other techniques that could help me navigate through natural child birth.  Instead, in between throwing up and passing out and a whole heck of a lot of screaming and crying that was done on my end, I had to quickly learn and instantly apply Lamaze breathing to help focus the pain and chaos that my body was experiencing.

Skip ahead to January 12, 2012 and I am once again in the hospital; getting ready to deliver my daughter, Birdie.  Prior to this delivery, I had somewhat practiced Lamaze breathing.  But, once again, I assumed my epidural would work.  Ironically, it didn't.  And this time, instead of slightly numbing my entire body from the waist down, it only numbed half of my body; creating a sensation that I thought was much worse than experiencing completely natural child birth because my poor brain could never fully figure out what was going on.  Causing me to go absolutely crazy!  Like, sitting up and yelling for my dear sweet Dr. B to come in and bleeping deliver my baby, kind of crazy.  Yes, I did implement the minimal Lamaze techniques that I had practiced.  And yes, they did somewhat help; but not as much as they could have, had I been more prepared.

Nearly two years later, I became pregnant with my second son, Bug, and extremely determined to have a positive experience with this labor and delivery.  Whether my epidural did or didn't work, I was going to do all that I could to make this labor and delivery as positive of an experience that I possibly could.  So, you only imagine how surprised I was when everything went without a hitch.  Arriving at the hospital with back up plans B, C, and D, I quickly realized that I wouldn't be needing any of them.  From start to finish, Bug's delivery was very calm and serene.  The epidural worked without a hitch and I ended up sleeping right until I had to push! 

 Despite me FINALLY having a near perfect labor and delivery, I have learned my lesson on the importance of never assuming that everything will go according to plan.  So, whatever you are planning on your future labor and deliveries being like, take note from my mistakes and come up with an alternate back up plan so the process of bringing your precious baby into the world can be just as joyous as the moment your baby is born.