This mom shares her three quite different childbirth stories and how she labored on her own terms to achieve the birth she wanted. Thank you for allowing us to share your birth story.
My first birth was an induction at thirty-nine weeks due to the baby having intrauterine growth restriction. My baby was measuring at about 5 lbs. 12 oz. for a week. My doctor was concerned that if she stayed inside until my due date, she might lose weight. It did not make complete sense to me, but I believed my doctor. I was administered Cytotec vaginally on a Thursday at 9:30 pm.
Unfortunately, I was informed that it could take days for this medicine to work its "magic". There was another mother there who was on Day 3 of Cytotec. I nervously ate a late dinner and tried to get some rest.
The following morning around 7:30 am, I was awakened by dull contractions. I was excited because this meant that I wasn't going to be much longer. My cervix was softening, and the baby was dropping down. Allahu Akbar! After my initial excitement, the contractions started becoming more and more intense. I was having trouble catching my breath in between. I feared that I would hyperventilate, pass out and need an emergency cesarean. I didn't want any of that, so I requested pain meds. Looking back on it now, I had no idea that Stadol was a narcotic. SubhanAllah. I remember feeling relaxed afterward. And I also recall my nose being itchy and me not being able to find my nose on my face. I had to have other people scratch my nose for me. I was so HIGH!! Ya Allah!
Finally, it was pushing time. I threw up and urinated at the same time. The time now was about 2:15 pm on Friday. I would push with each contraction as instructed by my labor team. I was pushing hard, but not as hard as I should have been. I didn't want hemorrhoids or tears. Unfortunately, this resulted in me getting an episiotomy which induced a 3rd/4th degree tear. My baby girl was delivered using both forceps and the vacuum.
I breastfed my daughter for 2 years. My milk fully came in when I left the hospital and went home to recover. After going home, I was in so much pain. It took me over 3 years to fully heal. I had to take stool softeners daily and I was always paranoid about the pain that might have ensued from having a bowel movement or acts of intimacy. Alhamduillah, I finally surpassed all the pain and fear, and one of the main things that kept me thriving was my beautiful baby.
My second birth was more to my liking. I knew more about what I wanted and what I disliked. Thankfully, I had done more research about immunizations and the shots given to babies upon delivery. I was pregnant for approximately forty-two weeks. I appreciated allowing my body to jump-start without medical intervention. In fact, at my last appointment, my doctor informed me that she "would allow" me to go to forty-two weeks and then rupture my membranes to stimulate labor. Because of my research, I tried many natural approaches under the guidance of an herbalist. I drank penny royal tea once I had hit forty-one weeks. I ate rich dark chocolate and had sexual relations with my husband. Alhamdulillah. My water broke naturally at about 11:30 pm, about 2 days before my scheduled induction.
My contractions started increasing right away. I recall when I got to the hospital, that I could barely walk, and my feet were soaking wet from water rushing down my leg with each contraction. I was admitted immediately. I was surrounded by my mother, husband, and sister. The room was filled with the sound of nasheeds. I was able to walk around the room, use the bathroom and labor on the birthing ball.
While swaying from side to side on the birth ball, I had a huge strong surge of pain. I started begging for people to help me up. When I got off the ball, the towel was covered in blood. I was nearing showtime. Unfortunately, my doctor was late and it was snowing outside to her surprise. The labor team was trying to hold things off until my doctor arrived. Up until this moment, my labor was going amazingly. I wanted to have an at home birth but my mother threatened that she wouldn't have attended if we had done so. It was important for my mom to be present.
So I went from feeling in control to being commanded to cross my legs and not push. I was crying and hyperventilating. My mother stepped in and demanded that they figure something else out. At that moment, my baby started crowning with my legs crossed—my body was jerking. Allahu Akbar! I delivered my baby in less than two pushes. I touched my baby with my hands as she was birthed. She was placed on my chest and she began nursing. Her cord was clamped. I refused all immunizations and eye ointment at birth except vitamin K. I didn't receive any cutting or tearing. Alhamdulillah. I had a great recovery.
My third birth began when my water broke at 8:30 am on a Monday and my baby was born at 12:30 am the next morning. Even though my water broke, there were no labor pains at all. The evening before I had a lot of different activities in my womb and believed I'd go into that evening. I went to the hospital around 11:30 am. After I was admitted and checked, I was informed that I was barely 1 cm and not effaced much. I was offered induction medication. I declined any intervention and opted to walk the maternity ward, dance, and squat. My doctor "agreed to let me" attempt to go into active labor on my own until 6:30 pm. I was examined again, and I had dilated to 3 cm and started thinning out. This was great news.
My doctor was getting tired and I requested more time. She agreed to give me more time and left to take a nap at home. After walking and being active, my contractions began to take my breath away. I started to lean on the wall more as I was walking. I returned to my room and decided I shouldn't leave the room anymore. I recall my husband saying that I was smiling too much and I wasn't ready yet. In my husband's defense, he was correct. I felt amazing in between all my contractions. I was laughing and eating. I felt so liberated. I was birthing the way I wanted to under my terms. I was examined again by the attending physician, and I was measured to be like 4 cm. I told her that I had been having really strong contractions but I wasn't really on the monitor that much. I shifted my position and was and measured at 7 cm.
Alhamdulillah. I wasn't given the medicine. Around 10:00 pm I entered into the transition phase. My husband spotted it when he said my facial expression had changed from a smiling face to a focused one.
I remember at some point proclaiming my defeat. I was asking for the drugs, but my sister rubbed my face and told me it was almost over and that I was doing great. I labored from about 10:30 pm to 12:00 am. My bundle of joy came at 12:30 am. I didn't have any tears or cuts. I began nursing my baby right away while she was clamped and I was examined. She received no medications or Vitamin K and she stayed with me the entire time.
Breastfeeding her was different. With my other two babies, I didn't feel my uterus contracting as intensely. The nurses offered me pain medication, but I refused them. The pain I felt made me feel like an accomplished new mom.
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