My birth story is not one of the greatest birth stories. It was full of stress, anxiety, and a whole lot of fear. Luckily, I gave birth to a very healthy baby girl. As I’m reflecting and writing about my birth experience (8 months later) here are a few of my regrets about my labor.
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Labor Regret #1: I didn’t pack any comfort items in my hospital bag.
For some reason, I procrastinated so much with packing my bag for the birth center. For someone that is extremely over prepared for every occasion but for whatever reason, this didn’t translate over to my hospital bag. I was determined to just bring the bare essentials. Why? I have no idea. My perspective on labor was more of a “get in, get out” scenario and not the loonnnngggg journey that it actually was. I wish I had thought ahead more about how I wanted to treat myself while in labor and directly after the baby was born.
Some things I will do next time include:
- Scheduling a pedicure the day before my due date!If I have the baby earlier then that then great! I won’t miss those painted toes too much!
- Buying new cozy slippers and some comfy socks. I had slippers at the hospital but they were old and grungy. How about these hilarious Keep Calm and Push socks!
- Actually bringing the beautiful robe I was gifted! I brought one robe that I wasn’t too concerned about getting blood and guts on but I wish I had brought the beautiful maternity robe that someone had given me when I got pregnant. I drool over pictures I see of women with their brand new babies in those gorgeous flowery robes. I HAD ONE OF THOSE ROBES! Why didn’t I bring it?!?! Here is a beautiful birthing gown that would look amazing in pictures!
- Bringing my essential oil diffuser I am all about smells and how they make me feel but for some reason, I didn’t think I would need that comfort during the most painful experience of my life? Next time I will bring a diffuser.
- Note: There are so many essential oils that can help with labor for nausea, relaxation, and even moving labor forward!
- Have some fun items that I was excited to use during labor. Like, check out this cute labor an delivery kit!
Labor Regret #2 I didn’t call my midwives soon enough
For those of you who have read my birth story know that due to complications was encouraged to get induced. I had planned to go the midwife route and deliver at a birth center with midwives. However, since I was induced I needed to be at a hospital. Since our midwives don’t have hospital privileges they become more like a doula when you have to deliver at the hospital. They can be there to support you but they are no longer your medical provider.
One of my midwives came with me for intake and got me settled into a room, helped with all the paperwork, and put us to bed for the night after the Cervidil wasinserted. She told us to call when we needed support. She called in the morning to check on us and continued calling or texting throughout the morning reminding my husband and I that they would be there the minute we wanted labor support.
For some reason, I was feeling extremely prideful and I didn’t want to have them come until the very last minute. As a result, I felt very unsupported during labor (my husband did the best he could!), which was totally my own doing. My husband ended up calling them around the time I was asking for an epidural which at that point was too late.
As I mentioned in my birth story I do not regret my epidural at all. But, I also know that I could have gotten through labor without one. (Anyone can! The baby is going to come out one way or another!). I do think, however, that the minute I made up my mind to get one that there was no way anyone was going to change my mind. Maybe, if my midwife had been with me before I made up my mind the outcome would have been different.
Labor Regret #3 didn’t change positions often enough
My labor was pretty long. Around 36 hours. In my opinion, this was partly due to the fact that I was induced. I also think it was because I was feeling very defeated the minute I was told to go get an induction. I pretty much laid in bed or the tub for most of the 36 hours. Despite everything I had read about labor and the importance of changing positions I did not do any of those things. I just laid there, like a potato, and let labor happen to me. Not a great way to do labor.
Labor Regret #4 I didn’t have my mom in the room
My mom waited in the waiting room for a lot of those 36 hours. A few times she came in to see me but for some reason, I didn’t let her be in the room when I was pushing. I think I felt that I wanted to do labor on my own, with just my husband. But now I realized that having my mom there would have been pretty great.
Labor Regret #5: I didn’t allow myself to enjoy any part of it
As I mentioned before I was felt very defeated by the fact that I needed an induction. I wasn’t even remotely excited to be having my baby at that moment. I felt overwhelmed, anxious, and extremely scared. I didn’t enjoy a single moment until I was holding my healthy baby girl in my arms. I wish I had tried harder to enjoy the process and find some joy.
Looking back, I regret almost every part of my labour..but I don’t at the same time. Just before 39 weeks, I had my cervix stretched and membranes swept (twice). I spent hours sitting on my yoga ball after each which lead to my water breaking. I didn’t start having contractions so they eventually induced me, around 14 hours after my water had broken. Being induced is INTENSE, the contractions came quick, hard, and STRONG. There was no ease into it, I caved and went for the epidural. I had hoped not to. About 6-7 hours later it was time to push. I couldn’t feel a thing, I wasn’t making any progress, over an hour later they asked if I wanted some help getting him out, I felt defeated, exhausted and ready for it to just be finished. My (very healthy) son was quickly born with the help of forceps. He ended up being 9 pounds, which is a LOT of baby for someone my size. I wish it had all been slightly more natural with less assistance, however…if I had let labour come on naturally he would have likely been a week or two late and much larger, likely leading to a c-section. For that I am happy.
Thank you so much for sharing your experience! Induction is so INTENSE! I am so glad your baby boy was born healthy! Even if you had to have medical intervention to get there! It’s taken me a while to come to terms with my labor as well. I think we need to give ourselves a break when it comes to going less than the natural route! Our babies had needs and we had to do what we had to do! Thank you so much for sharing your story!