After the success of my first birth, I felt the sky was the limit with my next. I decided to go with a birth center that had an amazing tub room and was very excited for the birth during my months of pregnancy. I interviewed with all the center’s midwives that could possibly be the ones to deliver my new bundle and was comfortable with all of them. The only hiccup that came in the end was that I tested positive for strep B. (ask me for references on how to avoid this!)The birth center offered IV antibiotics or shots in my hips every 4 hours. Since one of my main reasons for wanting a birth center was so that I didn’t have to have a heplock, I opted for the shots.
I arrived at the birth center in active labor and the shots had to be administered before I got into the tub. The shots were hard to fit in between contractions since they were so close together. The combination of the shots and the contractions sent me into transition and was a very painful moment for me.
All of that subsided as soon as I was able to get into that beautiful tub! The next 3.5 hours were my utopian labor experience! My friend was snapping photos here and there. My sister in law was reading encouraging quotes and playing soft music. The lights were dim. My mother was there feeding me snacks and gatorade. My husband was applying counter pressure and telling me how amazing and beautiful I was. The only thing missing was that my sister/doula could not be there. My husband was getting very worn out being the only one in charge of counter pressure etc.
I was able to deliver him on all fours in the tub and have him immediately on my chest in the warm tub water--just what I had always hoped for. Relief engulfed my relaxed body as I held him close and stroked his little temples. The warmth over this experience flooded through me and the tears flowed.
It turns out that this experience left me feeling like I for sure needed to have either my sister doula or another doula there for my other experiences. I made a resolve to make sure of that in the future. There was some bleeding after this birth that I would have emotionally managed better with a trained doula at my side. Though the labor was just what I always wanted, the aftermath left me feeling a bit scarred and in need of some emotional processing in order to fully bond with my precious baby Joey. For more reflections on how a complete birth team can aid in creating a healthy birth and bonding experience, click here.