Please give a brief description of yourself, and what number baby/birth you’re sharing with us.
My name is Danielle and I’m 19. This is the story of my first baby’s birth, 10 months ago.
What was your due date, and what was your baby’s birth date?
My due date was May 17th and Lilia was born May 26th.
What was your baby’s name, weight and length?
Her name is Lilia Grace, named after my grandma. She was 6 lbs 15 oz and 20 1/2 inches long.
Please give a brief synopsis of your birth.
My daughter was diagnosed with a cleft lip and palate at 37 weeks. We had previously been seeing a CNM and after her diagnosis, we were transferred to a specialist at a different hospital. It was a horrible experience, with that doctor. (I have since found out that she was fired and is in the process of losing her license, due to malpractice.) I was induced two days after my due date, on May 19. We were at that hospital for 3 days and after 2 doses of Cytotec (which they did not warn me of the dangers to pregnant women – no informed consent whatsoever), 18 of the 20 Pitocin doing absolutely nothing, them wanting to break my water and playing the “dead baby” card, we left against medical advice. I left at 3cm dilated.
I called my CNMs office and although she was out-of-town, I was induced with the OBs that she practices with. I went in on the evening of the 25th, and they began the Pitocin. (Although I had not wanted to be induced, I do believe it was medically necessary. Because of my daughter’s cleft palate, she was unable to drink the amniotic fluid as much as she would have normally. Since there was so much amniotic fluid, she was unable to press on my cervix and make me dilate.) We spent the night and although I was contracting slightly, I slept fine. The next afternoon around 1, the doctors respectfully consulted with me and we agreed to break my water. I progressed to a 4 after that and stayed there until around 5:30. I had not wanted to get an epidural, but because of the Pitocin contractions, my body could not relax enough to dilate. I got an epidural and by 6:30, I was fully dilated. She was born at 6:55, perfect and beautiful. I had very minimal tearing.
What did you do to prepare for your labor and birth? Did it help?
What did you like about your birth experience, if anything?
I really liked that the doctors that I delivered with were very respectful and accommodating. I liked that as soon as she was born, they were helping her latch on to breastfeed and encouraged skin to skin time. I liked that they did not ask to take her away to the nursery, at any point. We did not allow her to be given eye ointment, the Hep B shot or the Vitamin K shot and we got no negative responses to any of that.
What did you not like about your birth experience, if anything?
I did not like the rushes manner of one of the nurses. She expected me to accommodate her wishes and her schedule while I was in the middle of a contraction. Ha! And I did not like that the water in the showers was only lukewarm.
What surprised you about your contractions/labor?
I was surprised at how fast I dilated after my epidural! I am very proud of myself that I only spent an hour of my labor with any pain medication.
In reflection, would you do anything differently, either before the birth, during or after?
I would wait longer to see whether or not I went into labor on my own before consenting to an induction. And I wish I never would have gone to that first hospital to begin with.
What do you remember the most about your birth?
I remember being tired. I remember it all being a blur!
How was your birth experience different from what you imagined it to be?
I had expected to go all natural and I was a little disappointed that I wasn’t able to. I did have a good experience with my epidural, though.
What were your immediate emotions about yourself and or your birth experience after the birth?
My immediate emotions were that I couldn’t believe that she was actually here! And I did think that all of the vernix and blood all over her were really gross, although I did touch her. Love, of course.
How would you describe your recovery?
My recovery was pretty easy. I only had a few stitches. It stung when I peed for a few weeks, but after that it was fine. I was very swollen afterwards and it was uncomfortable.
How has your perspective of your birth experience changed in the last 10 months since the first week of having Lilia?
I felt very empowered after leaving the first hospital and I still do! It gave me great confidence as a mother. I felt good about my birth, and I still do for the most part, but there are some things, like the induction, that I wish I had done differently. That is why I will be having a home birth this time (I am 7 weeks pregnant right now).
Did you learn anything about yourself through this experience?
I learned that I am not easily bullied. I gained great respect for myself as a woman and as a mother and it was a very valuable experience to me.
If you could recommend a certain type of childbirth experience, based on your own experiences, what would you recommend to other women and why?
During this current pregnancy, we are using the Hypnobabies method and I am excited to use it with this birth! I highly recommend it. An essential for any birth, home or hospital, is to hire a doula.
Any further thoughts, comments or advice you would like to share?
Not at this time.
- The Birth Interview Project | Stephanie’s Birth Center Labor w/Transport & C-section (thebirthinterviewproject.com)
- The Birth Interview Project | Emily’s Medically Indicated Induction w/out Epidural (thebirthinterviewproject.com)
- The Birth Interview Project | Heidi’s 3rd VBAC – home waterbirth (thebirthinterviewproject.com)