The Birth Story You’ve Never Read

Jun 6, 2016 | Home Birth Stories, On Motherhood | 16 comments

This is the Birth Story You've Never Read

Eleven years ago this October I started this blog. True…. It’s not super popular… truth be told in terms of “blog lingo”… SEO… numbers… all that… I have no idea what I’m doing. But, I started out ‘cause I was a proud Momma of a boy that turns eleven today! I wasn’t on Facebook and I was dying to share his beautiful smile with my Gramma and the other special people in my life. Since then, I’ve birthed four babies with the blog and shared each one of their amazing birth stories. By the Grace of God, you’ll read another one in just a few weeks.

But this is the Birth story you’ve never read.

Until now.

I was “young”. Pumped and ready to show my world that I wasn’t crazy. I was going to have a “physician attended homebirth”. And like all first-time mommas, especially first-time natural-birth mommasI had no idea what I was in for.

I thought birth was something you muscled your way thru. I was tough. I was a workhorse. “I got this.” was my attitude. So… the day before I went into labour I hauled mulch like a man and worked in my garden in the blazing heat for over eight hours getting it ready for a garden tour I had been invited to participate in.

Stupid me. Nowadays, I tell all soon-to-be-labouring Mommas to friggen CHILL!!! Don’t get too much sun… stay hydrated… give your body a break. Eat. Take a huge nap.

They never listen. 🙂

The next day I was sitting at my desk in our office and I felt that familiar cramp. The one I had been waiting for…like a monthly cramp. I knew it was game time. We let things build before we sounded the alarm. I tidied the house, waxed my armpits (true story), washed my hair, got the bed ready and called the doctors office. I was devastated to discover that “Dr. Weirdo” would be attending my birth instead of the doctor I really liked. The sunset, the doula arrived and I was having regular contractions every five minutes.

The nurse scheduled to attend our birth called… from a suburb an hour and a half away. She was clueless about our side of the universe and wanted directions from Joel which annoyed me to no end. Get a map woman! I was hurting. How dare she take him from me to talk on the phone. And we thought, how in the world would she give me the IV I “needed” in time if she was that far away and I was already five minutes apart???

My good friend came over with some bananas and encouragement and she too thought this baby was coming by midnight.

I laboured like that ALL night. 3-5 minutes apart with Dr. Weirdo checking in periodically. Once the nurse arrived it was time for my IV. They had no surgical tape between the two of them and Doc Weirdo says to me (a labouring mother), “Do you have any tape?” I said “no”. An answer he just could NOT accept. Finally, to get it him off our backs Joel said, “I have painters tape.” and so there I was… with an IV attached to my bedroom chandelier (no joke) and my hand wrapped in painters tape.

This is the Birth Story You've Never Read - Daddy holds momma while Gramma Waltmire gives a much needed backrub.

What’s wrong with this picture? Here we were paying thousands to go with “physician attended home birth” instead of some “no-name” midwife and so far, it was a three-ring circus.

Looking back, I know that even though first-time births can take forever, but my body was probably in full rebellion due to all the stress and drama. Not to mention, Nurse-I–don’t-know-the-Chicago-suburbs showed up in Winnie the Pooh scrubs. I almost punched her. What kind of self-respecting adult woman wears Winnie the Pooh?

Just sayin’.

Hour after hour of contractions 3-5 minutes apart… the sun rose… and June 6th had begun.

This is the Birth Story You've Never Read

 

Dr. Weirdo offered to “check me” but felt this would be an ideal time to train nurse Winnie and see if she was up to snuff and so there I was, like a fricken’ human classroom with two people, fingers in my lady parts, trying to compare notes as to how far dilated I was. With all the stress my cervix was probably closing by the second. I begged him NOT to tell me if I had not made any progress since the last humiliating exam. To which he loudly announced “NO change. Still just two or three centimetres.”

I had been in labour for about 15 hours at this point. Joel and I were rocking it.

I was doing my relax-thru-the-contractions bit, we were “slow dancing”…. Everything we had studied. Yet Dr. Weirdo proceeded to pull my Mom and my doula aside and tell them how poorly we were doing and how ill-prepared we were.  (Cause we didn’t have breakfast pre-made for him, it turns out).

It was devastating. Here, we were so proud of our teamwork and approach. My doula was appalled by his treatment. The man is lucky I didn’t have a gun under my pillow. I get angry eleven years later.

At one point after lunch, Doc Weirdo went out to his car to make a phone call. Turns out, he wasn’t getting babies heartbeat very strong during the contractions. He came in and announced that they wanted me to come into the office for the strap-on monitor. 45 minutes away. The nightmare progressed.

My contractions were strong and steady still and somehow I can still see myself gathering up whatever I might need, should they transfer me to the hospital. I have no idea how I was able to think coherently. But I remember putting on a skirt and a tank top and strapping in for the long, horrible drive.

My brother drove, trying his best to avoid Chicagoland’s notorious potholes and Joel and the doula sat in the back seat with me. With Nurse Winnie in another seat encouraging me to call on Jesus on the drive. She almost met Jesus face to face. But I knew she was right. It was getting horrible. I needed Jesus. I sure as hell didn’t need her. She needed to go back to the Hundred Acre Wood.

FINALLY, we made it to the doctor’s office.

I was very emotional from the almost 20 some-odd hours of pain. The heartbeat was slower then they wanted, so they said I needed to go to the hospital. Here, this amazing dream I had had of a homebirth was being taken from me. They wanted us to drive INTO CHICAGO and not just Chicago but to the HOOD… we were stunned because there was a hospital RIGHT down the road.

It’s so clear, the memory of me sobbing to the new doctor, (Doc Weirdo had been relieved of his duties), “Why can’t I go down the road?” and the doctor sort of verbally slapping me, “Do you WANT a c-section Cause that’s what they’ll do the moment you walk in the door.

If you want to labour thru this and see what happens, then you’ll need to go to a hospital where we have someone on staff.” (NONE of this had been explained to me in the months before the birth and so it shouldn’t surprise you that this practice has since closed down due to numerous lawsuits.)

If I went into the city, one of their “let nature do its thing” doctors worked there and I could work with him. So drive into the city we did. Into the hood. Into a hospital, I thought I’d NEVER deliver at. The wheelchair, the check in…. it’s all a blur… with memories that fade in and out. I was, at that point, delirious with pain.

We gave the nurse our birth plan and told her to PLEASE not offer me any drugs. She wasn’t impressed.  

She said, “You work with us and we’ll work with you.” And they came in repeatedly and offered me relief from my agony, which is just SO not fair to a labouring mother who has already expressed her wishes. I finally snarled at her, “DO NOT ASK ME THAT AGAIN!”

Once again daylight turned to darkness. Some waited and prayed. While we rocked and we swayed. Ten years brought us to this moment. Breath with me love and don't let go!

I begged them to keep the lights off. I was losing my mind. Every time they’d come in to check me they’d flip those fluorescent lights on. For a homebody like me, the room, the “gown”, the lighting, the constant interruptions… it was truly a nightmare.

At one point I was desperate for a warm bath. They tried to tell us they didn’t have a tub but we pressed the issue. This was around 2:30 and my doula, Joel and I walked down this long hallway to get to the bathroom with a tub and upon arrival, my water finally broke. I was so excited to get in… the sound of the already running water was just about to soothe my soul… until we saw a dirty Q-tip floating in the tub.   “Not a chance. You’re not getting in that water.” Joel said. Devastated, I made my way back to the hospital bed to wait for our much-anticipated doctor to finally arrive.

The next 6 hours are a blur of pain and delirium. Slow baby heartbeat. Steady contractions. But then I remember looking thru my pain-filled haze and seeing a sort of buzz about the room. I saw them prepping and heard voices and I knew the end was close. The doctor instructed Joel to take one leg and either my Mom or Doula to take the other and to cram my knees up to my ears so I could push.

What a joke.

Flat on my back. Pelvis smashed by gravity. Against everything I had learned, read and wanted. Sigh. 

Back and forth that little head appeared and disappeared for 45 minutes… they snipped me (another thing I was totally against) and gave me a catheter, thinking that if I could pee that might help him out. I could hear his little heartbeat dipping and dipping. I just kept my eyes locked on the doctor’s eyes. I figured if he wasn’t going to freak out, I wasn’t. A nurse tried to give me an oxygen mask as I pushed and I did flip out screaming for her to get that thing away from my face, I was trying to accomplish something!

And then there he was.

And they took him, and cleaned him off… and wrapped him up before I could hardly glimpse him.  He had swallowed the meconium a bit and they wanted to really irrigate him in another room after the initial clearing but thank GOD Joel said no, and they finally gave me my baby.

This is the Birth Story You've Never Read

28 hours of hell. To hold heaven in my arms.

This is the Birth Story You've Never Read

After a bit, in true hospital fashion, they took him away. I didn’t really understand what was happening or I would have never agreed to it. They stitched me up. They gave me an IV ’cause I hadn’t eaten since those bananas some twenty-five hours previous and still, they kept my baby. Little nurses with broken English assured me he was fine. Told me I needed to rest, Like hell I did, I needed my baby.

Finally… after 45 minutes (at least) I ripped the IV out of my arm (don’t I make a terrible patient?) and a nurse made the mistake of getting too close to my bed, I reached out and literally grabbed her arm and growled,

“I am going to haemorrhage my way down the hallway to get my baby unless you bring him to me RIGHT NOW!”

I had him within minutes. They moved us to a recovery room. Joel passed out. They had my baby in that plastic bed thing but I scooped him up and nested him close to me. I couldn’t sleep for all the money in the world. In the middle of the night, two nurses came in to take him away for a hearing test.

“He can hear just fine. Leave us alone.” All we needed was each other and by ten-thirty the next morning I was begging to leave. Trust me, they couldn’t get rid of me fast enough.

Hahahahahaha

This is the Birth Story You've Never Read

It took me YEARS to get over how Dr Weirdo treated us in our own home, how my first birth ended up being NOTHING like I had thought it would be… It took me years to “get over” that he was taken from me right after the birth and then again for those 45 minutes down the mystery hall. I had some major loss issues. It was through an hour of our time together had been stolen from me. Even in writing this story the anger and sadness have popped out again.

BUT…

I’ll never get over how much I love that boy of mine. My first born. My son.

I’ll never get over that.

This is the Birth Story You've Never Read

Happy Birthday, Beautiful Boy. You are the apple of my eye.

This is the Birth Story You've Never Read

Thanks for reading, Angela Pariessienne Farmgirl

Since my three-ring circus first birth, I have been blessed to have four, fabulous home births. In fact, baby number two was the total opposite and Joel and I did it all by ourselves on Christmas Eve morning.  Unassisted. THAT was awesome.

For all, you birth junkies here’s some more homebirth stories for ya…

Here #2 Amélie

Here #3 Juliette

Here #4 Julien

and here #5, Anaïs…

And we’re praying by the end of the month that I get to write another one.

16 Comments

  1. Rose

    Angela, that was quite the story!!! Wow! All I can say is that I have been there and done “that hospital” thing 8 times over. All different, yet the same end result… C-section. You are so so so blessed to have been able to have 4 more home births and ALL NATURAL!! Praying for you these last few weeks of Baby blessing #6 coming oh so soon! God bless you friend! ❤️

    Reply
  2. BOBBI

    My kids were born in 1974 and 75. It was terrifying for the first one, 18 years old and knowing nothing. After nearly 24 hours of labor, they gave me a saddle block. My husband was looking in the window (!) And saw the doctor put his foot on the bottom of the table and pull him out with forceps! They then took him away for who knows how long. He also told me I was too small to nurse and I believed him. We never bonded. We have been estranged since 1992.

    Within the year I was pregnant again. I was more prepared. I knew she would be my daughter, no testing needed.i made them let my husband in (a first in that hospital) She came easily, in 4 hours, no episiotomy this time, I pushed her out, the doc caught her and I said GIVE ME MY BABY …NOW! I still remember their shock. But they did it, I gathered her up an helped her latch on. We are nearly that close to this day. She is still my BabyGirl

    Reply
  3. Rebecca

    I’m exhausted just reading this but Well Done you for managing a natural birth after all you went through. I live in the UK and I also decided to have a home birth for my first child, 3 1/2 years ago. Home births are not common here and everyone tried to convince me to have my first in hospital and then have future children at home but I stuck to my guns! Despite my best efforts to avoid a Christmas day baby, the first signs of labour started Christmas eve, by Christmas morning I was definitely in labour but to cut a long story short by 5pm Christmas afternoon I was in an ambulance and on my way to hospital with my husband following close behind in case I gave birth in the Ambulance. About 6 hours later I started pushing and then eventually I was taken down to surgery in the early hours of Boxing Day as baby was becoming distressed and ended up having a c-section. In the end my natural home birth wasn’t to be but I can console myself that I couldn’t have done anymore to get my beautiful baby girl out by myself because as a result of the pushing that I had done, I developed a rare condition called hamman’s syndrome. I’d forced the air through my lung tissue into my chest cavity and inflated myself like a ballon. They also though I had torn my gullet and so put me on a liquid diet, not good for a new mum who has just given birth and trying to breast feed! Although things didn’t go as planned, I’m still pleased I ignored everyone who said I shouldn’t have a home birth with my first because I did get to enjoy some of the experience at home and if we are ever lucky enough to have a second child then it is unlikely I would be allowed to have another home birth so I would never I had any of the experience. Wishing you all the best for baby no.6. I look forward to hearing all about the latest addition to your beautiful family arrival x

    Reply
  4. Carol Blanchet

    I’m so glad you posted this because so often those first births don’t go as we envision, and that is so disheartening! We don’t know the questions to ask because we’ve never done it before. I hope this post helps a first time expectant mom.
    My first birth did not go as planned either, but there was nothing we could do due to complications. BUT I can so relate to the “loss of time spent with baby”. It’s grieving and I honestly think it contributed to my post-partum blues.

    I’m looking forward to hearing about this upcoming birth. May the Lord be with you and Joel, may your “dance” be sweet, may the contractions be swift and productive, but manageable.

    – Carol

    Reply
  5. Faith

    Thank you for sharing this. I’m so glad you have gone on to have so much better, after that awful experience. It was so fun to go back through and read each of them again and I can’t wait for number 6! Crazy lady!! Haha. I adore you!! Much love 🙂

    Reply
  6. Janet

    LOL about sending the nurse back to the 100 acre woods. I delivered 2 babies, now 22 and 24 years old–never even heard of home deliveries then–except the fact that my dad’s generation was born at home. I ‘Birthed”my other 6 through adoption—I don’t know which is harder=)
    Looking forward to reading your next birth story, remember, rest, hydrate, and eat=)

    Reply
  7. Jen

    Oh gosh, this story – makes me cringe! Horrible! What the heck were they all thinking?!?! He’s such a handsome, vibrant-looking boy. Happiest of birthdays to him!

    Similar experience here with my first (who will actually also be 11 on July 12th). I was DEAD SET on having a natural childbirth (with a CNM in a hospital though). Did NOT work that way, the midwife when ended up being in Prague, when the attending doctor heard me for the millionth time declare I was doing it all natural he smugly told me, “you don’t know what you want,” (he was right!) and I ended up taking an epidural. I was so, so disappointed and felt like such a failure, whether that’s right or wrong. But she was healthy and robust and I praise God simply that he sent her. Period. Wish it had been different but I guess it wasn’t meant to work out that way.

    And I see from reading through your other stories that we had a similar experience with our 2nd – a big surprise in the bathroom at home! Ahhh!! I seriously had some PTSD going on from that though.

    And baby #3 came quick and natural and healthy with a fantastic OB in the hospital.

    All is well!

    Praying for all of you and baby 6’s triumphal entry!

    Reply
  8. Jean

    To me it doesn’t matter how your children enter this world as long as they arrive healthy and breathing. Yes, you sound like a hero to go through labor without medication. I had to have a c-section and I carry no guilt about that. My daughter was born healthy and even though they had to take her away from me immediately, we bonded then and continue to have a close relationship after 33 years. I can only think of the mothers who have had still born children after placental abruptions and the many who have miscarried their children. I’m sure they would have loved to birth at a hospital for chances to welcome a breathing child to their world. What if your first born had faced life threatening issues and he needed immediate medical attention? What if you had a placental abruption and he had not been born alive? Would you still be writing this story? I hope your next child will be born healthy and alive. That’s what really matters

    Reply
    • Parisienne Farmgirl

      Jean, thank you for your comment.
      I wasn’t trying to be a hero by going drug free. It was just something that was very important to me personally. Everyone’s birth experience is different. For me, having Aidan taken was unbelievably traumatic. I have some friends who craved that recovery time before their responsibility as Momma kicked in… for me though, it was a time not to share him with anyone.
      Please understand, I am in no way implying that homebirth is “for” everyone. But all the research shows it is actually safer than hospital birth in the case of low-risk pregnancies. The lack of hospital’s S.O.P. intervention allows for a low, low risk of emergencies. SO much of what hospitals do create an emergency situation. As for placental abruption this is something that usually happens during the pregnancy with the highest risk being those with high blood pressure (with a qualified midwife you would NEVER approved for homebirth with high blood pressure). And there is perhaps a misconception that a homebirth midwife just shows up with some herbs and a blanket or something. She comes prepared with anti-hemmorhage meds, oxygen and more. Home births on the whole have a much lower infant mortality rate than hospital births.
      And I do know the loss of a child as I lost my first baby to miscarriage.
      I don’t take my ability to birth at home lightly. Considering that it is something I so strongly desire I feel very, very blessed indeed that we have been able to thus far.

      Reply
  9. Nita Hiltner

    Had second baby at home with just hubby and me. Mistakenly took her to hospital to check her out, and they gave us all kinds of snit that she was birthed at home. They scared us into admission for tests, and finally this lab lady came up to my room and told us to get out of the hospital, there was a staph infection going round and the baby was just fine. That they were taking advantage of us. This big fat pediatrician “woman” came and tried to block our way to leave, and my hub told her if she didn’t move, he’d deck her. We left and all was well. Baby slept on our water bed for 12 hours, we were both exhausted.

    Reply
  10. Justine

    You had my pregnancy hormones making me tearing up. I hate how some doctors are just so holier than thou. I unfortunately have to have cesarean sections and they are nowhere near what I want but luckily my hospital is totally fine with family centered or gentle cesarean a and so that eases some of my momma guilt. I can’t imagine having baby taken away from me right after birth! I had a nurse come to my room after my second and she said we don’t encourage cosleeping here and Imjust told her she didn’t have to encourage it that’s what we were doing and since he was my baby I would make the decisions. We can’t all be nice patients!

    Reply
  11. Berlin

    You’ve made me laugh and cry and share in your joy sweet friend! I was very young when I had my son but not too young to know that hospitals are not the nests birthing mothers need. I remember my son not allowed to stay in my room for the night and how heartbroken I was. Thank you for sharing such a lovely memory and Happy Bday to your boy, and happy welcoming to motherhood for you (even if the ride was rough)

    Reply
  12. Karen Bachman

    …I’m so sorry. I know who all the players were in your story. At the time your son was born, I was not attending births with them as i needed to step away from the crazy….it was too much. They were doing 30-50 births a month and things were a bit ridiculous to say the least. Again…I’m so sorry for any pain that was caused you. Karen

    Reply
    • Stefanie

      I live in the far south suburbs and have had 5 out of my 10 children with this same practice that you used. I can guess who the first Dr. was! I had him once also, but even though I can see why many people didn’t care for him, my husband liked him. But the particular birth he attended for me was very simple. It makes me think that just like anyone, a Dr. or nurse can have “off” or bad days at work. I am sorry for your bad experience. The Lord did help and in the end you were so blessed! Every situation we are in when we need His help, is used for our good. You definitely learned something through that few days. I really do think they were overwhelmed by the end and most of the doctors were only doing their best in a worsening situation. Our state makes homebirth so difficult! You have beautiful children….

      Reply
      • Parisienne Farmgirl

        Every other experience I had with them as our family doctor was awesome… and he gave great advice on teaching toddlers to eat. We had Sarah in Chicago for the baby Joel delivered and Deb for the last four.

        Reply

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