Cassidy’s Birth Story Leave a Comment / Uncategorized / By spiritofquartz Ever since I was a little girl I was terrified of childbirth. I absolutely loved being pregnant but I had to do a lot of mental work to come to terms with the fact that it would end in a birth. I spent a good portion of my pregnancy avoiding even thinking about the birth because it made me feel physically ill. I was concerned mostly about the possibility of a c-section or not making it out alive. Towards the end of my pregnancy, once I’d read all the books and educated myself I was feeling a lot better about things. It is truly amazing how little girls are taught about what happens when a woman gives birth. Even when you’re pregnant they don’t bother to educate you, you have to learn on your own. I was very aware of the birth I wanted and why I wanted it. I decided to switch from my OB to a midwife. (Originally I wanted a home birth but the hubby wouldn’t have it) Midwives tend to be more holistic, let you birth at your own pace, and have lower rates of c section. What did my birth plan consist of? No episiotomy, delayed cord clamping, skin to skin, laboring naturally, eating and drinking during labor, no epidural, noone tell me how far I’m dilated unless I ask, low lights, don’t break my waters, birth on hands and knees or my side, and give birth in one of the hospitals beautiful birth tubs. The thing about birth plans that everyone tells you is to prepare for none of it to happen like that. Women rarely get to plan their birth perfectly. So I had prepared for that. But still, when your plans go arye its unnerving and feels very unfair. When I was 36 weeks, the midwife measured my belly and it was measuring small. My heart sunk, we had such a healthy pregnancy and no issues to speak of and suddenly there was an issue with my baby? I remember also thinking it was bullshit. This tapemeasure method can’t be accurate, maybe she’s just in a weird position. And waiting until the next appointment was torture. Sean came with me for the growth ultrasound and we were both devastated to hear she measured very small compared to other babies at her gestational age. Suddenly the midwife started talking about induction, one of my biggest fears because it increases the likelihood of a c-section. For the next few weeks I was seeing multiple specialty doctors and she was measured weekly and her vitals and blood flow were also checked. She kept growing but the doctors were still unsatisfied. They called her IUGR and this made us high risk. This meant by week 39 or so they would insist on an induction. I was mortified. I was combative with doctors. I truly felt they were wrong because I could feel her strength inside me my whole pregnancy. I didn’t understand why it if she was still growing there was a problem. But by week 39 my emotions were exhausting me and the energy to try to stay calm for the baby was dwindling. They said a lot of scary things and eventually talked me into the induction. They believed she would grow better outside of me. At this point I wasn’t afraid of birth at all; I just wanted my healthy girl in my arms. In some ways the complications were a blessing because it really put things in perspective. I did however spent the entire week leading up to my induction trying to naturally induce. I drank raspberry tea, rubbed clary sage oil on my feet, ate pineapple, inserted evening primrose oil, got reflexology, got acupressure, acupuncture, I even ate at IHOP(yes apparently that’s a thing). Unfortunately I didn’t go into spontaneous labor although I did feel some contractions. So on February 12 at 10pm we arrived at the hospital for the induction. It was me, my husband and my mom. When we finally got into the room I realized there was no tub and to my dismay I was informed that being “high risk” meant i wasn’t allowed to have a water birth. At one point I tried to trick some nurses into getting me a tub room but to no avail. The first night there was just preparing my cervix. They call this ripening the cervix. They wanted to use a balloon which I protested a bit and then allowed them to. It was super painful for them to put in and then it ended up not working because Cassidy had her head positioned perfectly but right in the way. Then they gave me a pill to ripen my cervix. That was also not very comfortable but the midwife was gentle. The second dose was inserted by a nurse in the middle of the night and I cried out and woke up Sean and my mom. She didn’t allow me time to get ready and she was not gentle. By 9am I was fully effaced and ready for the dreaded Pitocin, the drug that makes contractions start. Now is when the fun starts. They hook me up to pitocin. My doula arrives and then my mother in law. The doula had helpful tools that helped ease my contractions. She used a riboso scarf to “sift my belly.” Sean was an absolutely amazing partner. He rubbed my back, held me, played with my hair, we danced and kissed. We took a few walks in the hallways. My step dad also came to visit. Around that time things got really intense. I remember being in the bathroom yelling out and getting very primal. Around them everyone decided to leave us alone for awhile. Around this time I got up to pee and a waterfall of water came out of me. It was like in a movie it was a ton of water. I was really happy because I didn’t know of anyone in my family whose water broke naturally. It was just Sean and I at the time and it was a really special moment. We were excited. I knew things would get more intense now. Some time after that I started asking for nitrous gas. This is the only thing I was willing to do during my labor because it doesn’t pass the placenta and it only works when you are breathing it in. You can still feel everything but you just don’t care so much. After awhile an anesthesiologist came in to talk to me about getting gas. He explained what it did and said I was not allowed to share it. He also said most women end up getting an epidural later. I said no thank you. I believe I had the gas for maybe 4 hours. It was absolutely delightful. It relaxed me so much and allowed me to actually enjoy the rush of my contractions. It made everything feel lighter and I started joking around. At on point I looked at Sean and our doula and said I had the perfect middle name for Cassidy, “nitrous.” CASSIDY NITROUS EDWARDS. I giggled so much. Her heartbeat was strong and sounded like horses galloping. I’ll never forget that because I had just recently watched Monty Pythons Holy Grail and was reminded of birds carrying coconuts. Nurses and midwives came in and said “wow this works well for you.” Apparently it doesn’t work for everyone. If you expect it to numb your contractions it will disappoint. I wanted to feel it. And it was AMAZING. The rush is like nothing I can compare it to. It felt almost orgasmic at times. When I reached transition I panicked. I thought I was dying. Because of the nitrous I didn’t care that I was dying. I was only worried about Sean being alone and losing me. I looked up at him and said matter of factly “I’m dying.” He and the doula looked at me and laughed saying I wasn’t dying and everything was fine. I protested. “NO, I’m dying.” The awesome nurse we had assured me I wasn’t dying. I didn’t believe anyone. I was sure of it but I didn’t care if I died. I knew I was loved and I was dying doing something amazing. For the record I was nowhere near dying. I think maybe at this point I got up and tried to shake it off. Sean told me later that I also said to him “time is not linear” and I remember thinking that I was in fact both dead and dying and very much alive all at once. I’ve heard people say that birth is like being between worlds, between life and death. I definitely experienced that. Not long after this I told the midwife to check me. I was fully dilated. It was go time. I got on hands and knees and prepared to push. I pushed like that fora while but got tired. My midwife suggested I try my side. Sean held my leg and I continued to push. It took so much energy. I suggested we just go home. I was exhausted after 12 hours of contractions. I remember howling, growling and screaming from the depths of my body.When she started to crown they told me to reach down and feel her head. It was amazing. Once I did I got new energy and out she came. They put her right on my chest and she looked at the with big bright eyes. I cut her cord myself. It was magical. Then they took her to make sure everything was okay. She weighed 5 lbs 10 oz and was 19 inches long and in perfect health. It was quite the journey but I wouldn’t have done it any other way. It was perfect and I’m so grateful for how it all unfolded. Birth is amazing. Women are incredible.