The year 2002, I was a new Muslim, new wife to someone I barely knew, and newly pregnant. So many things were new at the time. The only thing I was sure of was that I wanted a natural childbirth. I mean my mom did it so why couldn't I? I was also a huge believer that Allah created us perfectly and that our bodies were made to do this thing called birth.
Initially I wanted a midwife, I didn't even know what they were I just knew someone that used one and it seemed like it was up my alley of "natural". For whatever reason though, I let my sister in law talk me into to going to the OB office that she used for her first baby. I was naive and young and this was my first time so I listened to her and booked my appointment. This may have been a mistake but in the same breath it is what has brought me here where I am and was obviously part of Allah's plan for me.
Like many newly pregnant moms, I was obsessed with watching all shows birth related on TV. What I noticed was almost all of them ended up with c-sections and there was almost always some kind of panic button hit at some point and then "whew" the doctors "save" the baby. This was all I saw on TV. But I for sure felt like that would never be me. I would not have a c-section. Heck I didn't even want pain meds.
As far as the OB care was concerned, there were some doctors I liked better than others. Some were more personal than others but it always seemed like I spent more time waiting to see them than I did actually conversing with them. But I just thought this was how it was so I just dealt with it.
At around 30 weeks I started having blood pressure issues. The numbers slowly started to creep up to about 130/90. They of course got really concerned about pre-eclampsia and since I had seen this mentioned on TV it got me in the frame of mind of "be afraid". I did a 24 hour urine test I think at about 33 weeks or so and it came back totally normal. Not a single sign of pre-eclampsia. I was immediately labelled as "high risk" however once my blood pressure was up. I was given a stress test on the baby I think about 35 weeks and then also an ultrasound which estimated my baby to be 7 lbs already! So now not only am I high risk but I am going to have a huge baby too.
I did the 24 hour urine test again and some lab work that they said made them want to induce me at 37 weeks. It was my first baby and I was naive and like heck yeah let's have a baby! I was excited to become a mom so in my mind the sooner the better. I was to have one more visit before my induction that was initially scheduled for a Friday.
The night before my appointment I was feeling a lot of contractions and I had already lost my mucous plug the week before. I was so excited I don't think I slept at all. My contractions continued into the morning and I started to wonder was I in labor already??? I got to my appointment and my blood pressure was up so they decided we are not waiting until Friday you are going to the hospital today to be induced now. They wanted to check my cervix before sending me there to see where they needed to start the induction. I was already 50% effaced and 2 cm dilated and baby was at 0 station.
I went straight to the hospital and walked through the parking lot contracting still. I remember starving too. I was soo hungry but they told me I couldn't eat. Once I was checked in and in a room they checked my cervix again and I was already 4 cm in just that little bit of time. I was also having contractions on my own. By all definitions I was already IN labor. However they determined I wasn't in labor "enough" and decided to induce me anyway. So the pitocin was started.
I was so hungry my head hurt but when I told them that they were convinced that I was on the verge of a pre-eclamptic seizure. I was hungry the headache didn't have a single thing to do with my blood pressure. Anyway they wouldn't let me sit upright they wouldn't let me stand up, all I was allowed to do was lay there.
Once the doctor came in to check on me she stated that I was 6 cm and then threw in there that my pelvis was really narrow. She also said the baby was in a posterior position and already began the breakdown of my confidence. At this point I was having 10 minute long contractions with a small 30 second break. I was in agony. With a posterior baby I felt like my back was going to crack in half at any moment. I finally agreed to get some stadol to take the edge off. It did nothing but make me feel high and drunk at the same time. It was an awful feeling. Once it wore off I begged for an epidural and I was told once again that my pelvis was narrow and the baby was probably very large and I may need to think about the possibility of a c-section.
Ugh.... That was the one thing I did not want. I have had major abdominal surgery twice in my life ( appendectomy) and I KNOW what it is like to recover from and I did not want to do that while caring for a new baby. I declined the offer and got some much needed sleep. At about 3-4 am she came and checked me again and said I was still 6 cm. I thought no way. I felt so much pressure that I could not believe that I was only 6. She basically said that she didn't think baby was coming out vaginally because he was big, my pelvis was narrow and I have had no progress. She then said I will end up with a c-section either way and it was up to me whether I wanted to have it now or wait until he goes into distress. None of the people there with me were in my corner. They all thought I should get a c-section. And well of course I don't want to endanger my baby so I agreed to the c-section.
He was born a little after 5 am . The surgery was so uncomfortable. After the baby was taken out I felt like I couldn't breathe. I was crying which wasn't helping me breathe either. I was also alone in the OR with no one around that I knew. It took what seemed like forever for them to stitch me up. I was wheeled to a cold empty recovery room where I was in an extreme amount of pain. I think I was given two shots of morphine while there and then with all the pain they wanted to also push on my uterus. I thought I would die of pain right there. I asked for my mother or my husband and they said neither were allowed to come. So I sat there in pain alone.
I was finally taken up to my room and I still had not held my baby yet. In fact it was 5 hours after he was born before I got a chance to hold and nurse my newborn.My first what the heck moment was when I found out he weighed only 6 lbs 11 oz. He was tiny! A far cry from the huge baby that would never fit BS I was fed. The next what the heck moment was the nurse who checked my incision and lady parts the first time after and asked me "How long did you push? You are awfully swollen." I was kind of pissed off she asked me that and I told her I never even got the chance to push. But now I am wondering why am I swollen down there?
I spent a week in the hospital between me and my infection and my son's ABO incompatibilty issue. I never really had the opportunity to process what had happened while I was there. I really just wanted to get out of there. Once I got back home I remember feeling like this was just a nightmare. What on Earth just occurred? I didn't feel like I gave birth. I emotionally felt like I wanted a retake so I could do this all over again differently. I was depressed. Really depressed. I felt robbed. I felt anger. I felt lied to. I felt like I was broken and the only thing that would fix me was a different birth outcome.