Every birth is unique and unpredictable, even for the same mother. This was my first pregnancy so I did not know what to expect. I read several books and took a Hypnobirthing class that described giving birth in great detail, but one truly cannot fully understand until they actually experience it. It was emotional, painful, blissful, beautiful, exciting and scary, but all worth it when I saw my baby girl’s sweet face. She instantly stole my heart and has been a joy ever since, even on those sleepless nights.
My original birth plan was to have a hypnobirth. My husband and I took a six week course in hypnobirthing and really liked the philosophy behind it. We weren’t 100% on board with everything the class presented, but agreed with about 80% of the information. My goal was to have the baby without medication (epidural) because as a nurse I know the benefits of this type of delivery. I liked the idea that I would be able to walk around during labor, my recovery would be quicker, and the delivery would be all natural with less risks and complications. This was our plan, but I knew I needed to be flexible because labor is so unpredictable.
I had contractions at least every ten minutes for two days and they increased in intensity on the second day. I used the techniques I learned in hypnobirth class to help me through the contractions, such as closing my eyes, using my yoga breath, listening to relaxation music, diffusing calming essential oils, and my husband applying pressure to my hips. However, after two full days of contractions with no sleep and increasing pain, I needed some relief. I wanted to enjoy bringing our baby into the world and not be miserable or exhausted, so I made the decision to elect an epidural.
In hindsight, I am glad I opted for an epidural, but at the time I was not sure it was the right decision. My blood pressure dropped too low immediately after receiving the epidural, which caused the baby distress. Several doctors and nurses rushed into our room, but did not say anything. I could tell by the look on their faces that something was wrong. Finally, they let us know the baby rebounded and was okay. However, they were unsure if the baby’s response was due to my blood pressure dropping or if the contractions were too strong. I received medication to decrease the intensity of the contractions. The baby responded well, but the medication caused me not to progress any further for several hours. My water had already broke so I needed to progress due to the risk of infection. Therefore, they administered Pitocin to me at the smallest dose possible. This caused my contractions to be too intense again and the baby could not handle it. The doctor told me she was going to give me an hour to see how I do, but that if I was not dilated at least to an 8 (instead of a 5), then we would have to discuss the possibility of a caesarean section. I was upset by this news, but tried to stay positive and flexible with my birth plan. My only concern was the health of our baby. An hour passed and the doctor came back to check me. Miraculously, I was fully dilated and completely effaced. The doctor and nurses were all in shock. I was ready to push!
I pushed for about 20 minutes and Sonoma June was born at 11:31 on Earth Day, April 22, 2015. She weighed 6 lbs and 5 ounces. A healthy and beautiful baby girl! It truly was the best moment of my life when I got to hold her for the first time. In my eyes, she is and always will be perfect!