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Birth Story Series: Jessica (First)

Updated: Mar 24, 2021

It was my first baby and I had decided to go natural. We live in a rural area where birthing centers and home births weren’t an option, so hospital it was. I went into labor at 41+1 weeks and it started nice and easy, consistent and manageable. After 10 hours of easy labor my mom suggested we went on a short brisk walk. That ‘walk of doom’ broke me into active labor,then the contractions were hot and heavy every 3-4 minutes apart and quite painful.

We lived an hour from the hospital so we decided to load up! I remember starting to tear up as we were leaving. Every doubt crept in, fear, overwhelming unknown. But I choked them back and told myself “don’t waste your energy. It’s going to be a long night”

The car ride was BRUTAL. I hit a transition, couldn’t sit on my back, couldn’t get comfortable I just endured.

Fast forward to the miserable check in “Ma’am, We won’t take you up unless you’re sitting in this wheelchair”. Next time I’ll have the baby on the floor. Hold my purse, I’m going up lol I got checked in, and labored in the tub for a little while. I was starting to stall out a bit and the nurses labeled it as “failure to progress”. In retrospect, I realize it was my body giving me great breaks because it was almost baby time. My mom (my amazing doula) told me it was time to get up. I took a low, wife sumo squat and I rocked back and forth and back and forth through excruciating contractions. Baby moved! She was moving down. I reached my limit. I threw up and I remember looking at my husband and I told him I didn’t know how much longer I could go. He told me we’ve come too far to stop and that was all I needed to push through. At this point I had been awake and in labor 24 hours.

After dealing with pushy nurses who just wanted to put me on pitocin, or worse yet get me into a c section just because she was moving so slowly...I was finally ready to push. I bore down and pushed with all of my being for 3 HOURS. right at the end, I felt the ring of fire briefly but I dug in my heels and pushed her out. My 9lb 7oz 23 inch baby girl was here. I’ve never felt so empowered in my life.

I wish it stopped there but it didn’t. The doctor gave my placenta about 5 minutes to come out before he yanked on the chord, ripping off half my placenta. I began to hemorrhage. He then, still without any medication, went elbow deep into my body and ripped off the rest. I lost over 40% of the blood in my body and had a long hospital stay and blood transfusions. recovery mentally, physically and emotionally was so hard. Had he been knowledgeable about natural birth, he would have known that it can take up to an hour to safely deliver the placenta. But he rushed it at my expense.

I was proud of myself for holding my ground and not being bullied by the staff. I was thankful for my support team and that I proved to myself I could do it.

This picture was after I finally had her, wasn’t passing out anymore and could hold my new babe. If I could pass anything on to a pregnant mother it’s this: know your power and stand your ground, and to the postpartum mother who didn’t have it go her way... stand tall. You may have been a victim of the system, but you’ll be stronger for it and can support other women in a way you couldn’t relate to before.

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