So Noah will be 6 months old in a few days and I figured I should probably make this post sooner rather than later while it’s all still fresh in my mind. So here’s the birth story I’ve been putting off writing for 6 months.
I just want to share now that I’m not happy with the way his birth went. I still look back on it and try to forget it instead. There were a few moments where I thought things had gone very wrong. There were a few complications and my overall reaction to his birth wasn’t one of joy and happiness and awe like the typical birth story. If that’s not something you want to read about then don’t read this, I just want people to know childbirth isn’t always the magical amazing thing it’s made out to be even when mom and baby both walk out healthy.
Noah was born on May 9th 2017 at 11:03am. He was a scrawny little thing but he weighed a decent 7lbs 9oz. For weeks leading up to his birth I was in early labor. I was getting small contractions which were very far apart and dilating. I lost my plug, had my bloody show and it was a really long waiting game. I also got what’s called prodromal labor. Basically, the definition I was given is it’s false labor that feels really really real. For one reason or another, usually because baby is in a bad position or in distress for some reason or even just because, your body gives you intense and timetable contractions which present like active labor but they end up going away when and if whatever is wrong with baby resolves itself. I spent quite a few hours curled up in bed or whimpering on my couch because of it. On top of all that Noah was head down and engaged with my cervix effaced and partially dilated for the last week and a half before he was born. The last bit of pregnancy was not fun at all. But eventually, like all pregnancies, mine came to an end.
Active labor started for me around 8am, the time I usually woke up around then. Both my babies gave me the courtesy of letting me get my usual nights sleep before a very rude awakening – contractions from hell. I woke to some of these contractions with Noah. I was bedsharing with Michael at the time – and still am to this day in fact. When I woke up Michael had his knees digging into my back and his arm over my face and I sat there for 5 minutes trying to get away from him without waking him. For most of my pregnancy I tried not to get out of bed at night to pee if I didn’t have to and it usually resulted in a painfully full bladder. My first contractions felt similar to this pain and I figured that’s what I was feeling. I got out of bed, went to the bathroom and was still in intense pain. I decided these were definitely contractions. I waited a little longer than I probably should have to tell anyone because like I said already, I had been having false labor that felt very really but the pain got so intense, so quickly I knew that it was real.
I called my mum, started packing a bag for Michael and tried my best to get everything ready for the day while feeling like I was dying. I can’t remember if Michael woke up before or after my mom got home to pick me up but she helped carry his bag out to the car and I got his car seat installed and buckled him in. Lemme just tell you that was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. If you’ve never tried buckling a toddler into a car seat around a 9 month pregnant belly while having intense contractions every 2 minutes I don’t recommend it. We got to my grandmas (she agreed to watch Michael while I gave birth), I had to carry Michael inside and then stay there a few minutes to stop him from crying and missing me (even in labor I tried to make sure he was happy, yay me) and then got back in the car to meet Tyler at the hospital.
We got to the hospital, my mom dropped me off and went back to work. She ended up picking up my dad and meeting us after the baby was born. We got to the hospital before the midwife. A nurse checked me out and informed everyone I was 10cm dilated already. Aka I had no chance at an epidural (good, because I didn’t want one and if it had been an option I might have got it). I had been having the urge to push since we were in the car but resisted it. Eventually we got me into a room. I stood for a bit but had to get an IV due to low iron and had to lay down. I breathed through the contractions, held onto the bedsheets as best I could. At one point the midwife decided she needed to check my dilation despite the fact I was already at 10cm upon arrival and had been checked numerous times. She shoved her whole hand in despite my protests and telling her to stop and checked my cervix. A contraction had started just prior to this and it was extremely painful. I literally ended up yelling at her to get her “fucking hand out of my vagina, now!” But she continued anyways. Awesome.
I waited for my body to start pushing on it’s own but it never did. I was still having that urge though and eventually decided I would just push on my own. My waters broke as soon as I did and surprise – they were stained with meconium. That means baby pooped in the womb and was at risk of infection. Awesome. They checked his heartbeat after a few pushes and it had dropped. At this point we had the room prepped incase something went wrong. Baby was getting stuck and he needed to come out right then. They flipped me on my side and had me deliver him from my side. I pushed and pushed and didn’t stop until he was out.
When Noah came out he was super purple. Not crying. Had the cord wrapped around him numerous times. They cut it off of him and then took him away. Still not crying, not moving, not making any noise. I asked if he was okay. No answer. Asked again numerous times. No answer. Eventually he started crying and they said he’s fine. So, no delayed clamping, no immediate skin to skin, I was in shock from the way he was born, the fact he wasn’t crying and nobody would tell me he was alright. When they gave him to me he was cleaned off and wrapped in a blanket and I was too stunned to take anything off of him for skin to skin.
I fed him for the first time and it didn’t feel real. I let tyler hold him, my parents, Tyler’s brother. I don’t think any of it felt real until a week or two after he was born. I just kept thinking back to his birth and those few moments where he didn’t cry or move or anything. Nothing felt right. I spent weeks living in sort of a trance, doing and saying things I was supposed to say and just feeling numb and in shock I guess or feeling angry at everything. I didn’t have the same immediate attachment to Noah that I did to Michael. I didn’t have the same bond and I didn’t have the same instinctual ability to care for him that I did with Michael. Looking back I hate that. I feel like I was robbed of such an amazing thing. I feel bad for not feeling the same way with both of my babies. I spent weeks having flashbacks to Noah’s birth that left me hyperventilating and on the verge of tears. I still feel like something is going to go wrong and I’ll lose him any second. So this is what the birth story of someone who’s gone through birth trauma looks like. This is what it looks like when you leave the birth of your child with postpartum ptsd, depression and anxiety.
I know that so many mothers have experienced so much worse. I know Noah was fine and I was fine. We both walked out healthy and okay. I know this might all sound ridiculous but I’ve avoided talking about it for so long. I’m not going to do that anymore. I’ve had people asking about his birth story because they loved reading Michaels. Here it is, as best as I can remember.