Our First Cave Baby: Bowen’s Birth Part I
After 42 weeks and 6 days of waiting, wondering, praying, and listening to the nurses’ horror stories of everything that has ever gone wrong with an overdue pregnancy, our healthy baby boy finally decided to grace us with his presence. He made his grand entrance on July 13th weighing exactly 8 lbs and measuring at 21″ long.
Here’s how it all went down.
Though my pregnancy was long and painful, I have to say that being in the care of South Coast Midwifery really put me at ease. I was so excited to bring my child into the world through a relaxing, spa-like experience complete with a beautiful birthing suite and water birth tub.
Sorry, I just have to laugh when I think back to a time when I actually thought I had control over any of that.
As it turns out, the Midwifery and Birthing Center can only facilitate “low-risk” pregnancies, and any pregnancy over 42 weeks is no longer considered “low-risk”. This is not their choice, but is a rule they must follow to stay in business. So as week 40 came and went, the midwives were determined to help encourage little Beau to come out safely and naturally so I could continue under the care of the wonderful women who were already familiar with me, my baby and the birth experience I wanted. Every effort not only failed, but failed miserably. There was even a disastrous event involving a foley bulb that I will most certainly not expound upon except to say that I got a nice little preview of what labor would feel like. Needless to say, despite a healthy activity level, heartbeat and fluid level, Bowen was seriously determined to stay put.
When 42 weeks came, I was completely devastated. We even asked the midwives to review our first ultrasound to make sure the due date was right. It turns out that the ultrasound was read correctly, but someone at Hoag had recorded the wrong date! We were so excited, we had just bought ourselves three more days!
Three days came and went.
I was devastated all over again. I would not get my spa birth, my familiar faces, my natural-birth promoting atmosphere… instead I would get a hospital. And after my extensive research into hospital births (a.k.a. watching “The Business of Being Born” and reading online articles), I knew that giving birth in a hospital surely meant that I would be strapped down to a hospital bed, forced to take medicines I didn’t want, and eventually be wheeled into the operating room for a C-section so that my OB could be done in time for his lunch break.
All of a sudden I felt like I had to do an entire pregnancy’s worth of preparation in a few short days. I had skipped everything our Hypnobabies class said to read concerning hospital preparation because we didn’t think we were going to one! Now I had to write out a birth plan, read up on all the things I would be offered, all the things that would be done out of routine without asking me, and the pros and cons of every decision I had to make pertaining to anything and everything that might, could or definitely would happen.
I knew one thing for sure: I did not want to induce. This doesn’t mean I judge anyone who chooses differently, I just know that it wasn’t right for me. There was no medical reason for induction, and trying to force out a baby who just plain isn’t ready can lead to some really serious complications right out of the gate and years down the road. I wanted my baby to come when he was ready.
The one hope we had was that the OB we were transferred to was the go-to OB for all 42+ week patients coming from the Midwifery. This meant he was used to all us crunchy, high-maintenance moms-to-be and was a lot more understanding than the average OB when it came to special requests. He didn’t have any openings to meet with us, but he did give the orders remotely that we would not have to induce as long as we came to the hospital for testing every 3 days and everything looked ok. So every 3 days I went to the hospital, got strapped to a machine, listened to the well-meaning nurses as they told me all the horrible things that have happened to people who didn’t induce, and then went home with a clean bill of health for me and the baby.
I know it may seem crazy, but I knew he wasn’t ready. I knew he was ok. I knew he was healthy. I knew he would come out when the time was right.
And then, something wonderful happened…
To be continued. 🙂