My husband and I started trying to get pregnant in March of 2009. The first few months were unsuccessful, however being an A-type person, I started reading up on pregnancy/delivery even though I wasn't pregnant yet. Before doing this reading, I always just thought I would get pregnant, go to an OB-GYN and have my baby in the hospital with a heavy dose of pain meds. Once I started researching my mind changed completely! I began to form a strong opinion in the complete opposite end of the spectrum. I believe doctors have over-complicated the beauty of childbirth. Afterall, for centuries women were having babies without drugs, and they continued to have more than one so it had to be somewhat tolerable. Also, being a Christian, I began to realize God created my body to handle childbirth without any assistance and that He wouldn't give me any burden I couldn't handle.
In late July we discovered we were pregnant! I liked the idea of a midwife, but I had no idea where I would begin to look for one. Anxious and eager to see someone I ended up going to an OB-GYN office. From the initial visit I could tell they were not 100% behind me doing an all natural childbirth. When I asked what the practice's c-section rate was they said 25%! That was a little too high for my comfort. I decided I'd relax a bit, and take the time to find an office that had midwives. A girl at church recommended Bethany Women' s Center, so I made an appointment---the smartest move I made while pregnant!
My pregnancy, fortunately, did not have many complications nor did I really get seriously uncomfortable. The only hold-up I ran in to was my due date rolled around and still no baby! I tried everything--and I mean EVERYTHING- to spur labor: sex, walking everyday, spicy food, pineapple, massages, pedicures, etc. I went to 42 weeks, and my baby was still not coming on her own. Thoughts of wanting to be induced definitely filled my head, but my husband kept reminding me that the baby would come when ready, and induction would interfere with my plans for a natural childbirth. The midwives worked with me to get the baby to come out, using the most non-invasive plan as possible.
I ended up having a foley catheter put in and was sent home overnight. The idea was the catheter would help dialate me, and labor would start on it's own. The next morning I woke up, and the catheter was still in me and no contractions. We were told to come to the hospital since i was so late. When I got there at 8 am, I walked for an hour before the catheter fell out, but still no real contractions. They sent me walking some more, still nothing. Finally at noon they broke my water, and I had made it to 4cm. I began to feel tiny contractions, as I continued to walk the hospital hallways. Around 4pm I began to feel real pain. I was still walking which helped. But I was devastated when at 7pm, I was only 4.5 cm---I had only dialated half a cm!!! Diane, my midwife, assured me that I was still making progress; it was ok. From 7 pm til 5 am I was having strong contractions every couple minutes. At around midnight they checked me again and I was at 6cm. It was good I was making progress, but I felt like it was going so slow. I was getting very tired and was starting to doubt whether I could do it. I'd been awake for 24 hours and was losing energy fast--I just kept praying that when they checked me again I would be close to 10cm. When they checked me around 5:30 I was relieved to hear I was at 9.5 cms. I knew I could make it.
From there it all went super fast. Within a few minutes I was ready to start pushing. Diane told me the harder I pushed the faster it would go, so I just pushed with all my strength. Diane did an amazing job helping me push effectively. I know talking to friends who had drs. deliver their babies they felt like they didn't know how to push. I have no idea where the energy came from, but I was able to harness it and push her out. THe pushing was definitely the hardest part but also the best, because I knew I was that much closer. An hour and a half later I had a beautiful baby girl lying on my chest. I know every mom thinks her baby is perfect, but Madeline really was so beautiful (some newborns are kinda weird looking)---those extra couple weeks really paid off!! It was one of the most amazing experiences, and I am so proud of myself and thankful to God, my husband, the nurses, and my midwife, Diane, for helping me get through it. I'm not ready to do it again any time soon, but I know I*'ll be ready/capable. And the amazing part is you really do forget the pain you go through.