My Birth Stories

By Carmen Schultz CD(DONA)

I do not write this to scare anyone however I feel that it is justified and a really good case why women need to be informed of choices and have proper support in labour.  Had I had a doula or someone there to guide me I know it would have been different. These stories helped me grow as a woman and become the doula I am today.  A doula who loves birth and loves to help families in birth.  I see myself now as a mature and educated woman and wish I had been that woman when I gave birth.  However, if I had not been a scared young mom who went through these experiences, I might not be able to help women as I have..

I became pregnant with my son Braeden when I was 20 years old.  Except for a lot of morning sickness it was a rather uncomplicated pregnancy.  My doctor did not do deliveries and I was not told this until one day I was scheduled with another doctor.  I felt betrayed and unimportant.  My partner Steve tried to be supportive but did not understand.  I went into labour one cold winter evening.  The winds were blowing and the chill factor was –32 degrees.  I hauled Steve out into the cold to walk with me.  The contractions were intense with a lot of back labour.  I went home and tried to rest.  I spent the evening walking around, resting in the chair.  I was alone as everyone was sleeping.  About 5 am the contractions subsided.  Later that afternoon they started up again. By 10 pm I felt ready to go to the hospital.  I met Steve there and had my mom with me.  The staff checked me and said I was only 1 cm.  They told me to stay as contractions were very strong.  I spent the whole night in bed and in the morning a nurse again checked me only to still find me at 1 cm.  Later that afternoon, still in bed and not knowing any different I lay in pain, with terrible back labour that would not subside.  The doctor came in and had his resident feel around only to still find me at 1 cm.  I was so discouraged.  I was not allowed to eat, the hospital was very busy and my partner while caring and sweet was tired and not knowing what to do. We were into day three and this was going nowhere fast.  The doctor broke my water and contractions were coming every 1-2 minutes.  The nurse urged me to take demerrol.  Big mistake.  I became very fearful of the strange effects it had on me.  I was told to calm down and stay quiet. I was still in bed and stayed there until 5 pm when the nurse came in again.  They checked me and found me at 2 cm.  Oh my gosh I thought.  I am not going to survive.  I hit a point of pure survival where I knew I had to do this or just give up and die. They then noticed my bladder was very full and asked when I had last gotten up to the bathroom.  I looked at my partner in shock.  It had not been since the day before.  They quickly drained my bladder, and called the OB.  The OB was a good doctor.  He told them to start pitocin.  Finally the nurses told me to get up.  I went to the bathroom but my bladder would not work.  I went into the shower.  Oh how I loved that shower.  But they wanted me out quickly to start the IV.  I was so disappointed.  When I got back to the bed, I was 5 cms!  Big jump just because I moved and had my bladder drained.

They started the pitocin at 6 pm.  The contractions were on top of eachother and the back labour more intense.  I was urged to hang over the bar on the bed to turn my baby who was determined to be OP.  This continued for several hours until about 10 pm when I was told I could push.  RELIEF!  But I was very tired.  About 11 pm the OB checked me and said we had two choices, push for another 4 hours or use forceps.  At that point I chose the forceps.  At 11:20 pm Braeden Thomas was born.  He was 8lbs 5oz.  He was healthy and beautiful.  I was tired and while I loved him I felt very cheated by my experience. He was bruised and battered.  He had a lesion over his eye where the scalp clip was misplaced.  But he was alive and so was I.

I became pregnant with my daughter Autumn and was due on December 6th.  Two days before Braeden's birthday.  I was nervous as I had my image of Braeden's birth in my mind.  My date came and went. On December 14th I woke up with some show.  I was scheduled for a prostaglandin gel induction for that afternoon.  That afternoon I had my induction and was told my cervix was not at all ready and I should not expect a baby that day.  Immediately after the gel I started getting strong contractions.  My doctor said they were not real.  The nurse asked if I wanted to stay.  I said no as I believed my doctor and wanted to go home and wait for what I suspected would be another long labour.  Contractions carried on.  I left the hospital at 2 pm and by 4 pm felt a lot of pain.  The contractions were different. I needed to concentrate very hard on them.  I called the hospital and they said that I could come if I wanted but probably not to rush.  At 5 pm I knew I had to go NOW.  Steve and I took Braeden to my sister’s house and went to the hospital.  They checked me and found me to be 5cms.  I was overjoyed.  The resident doctor came in and so did my mom.  I had just been checked and the resident said if my water broke he wanted to check again.  One contraction later it broke.  I dilated immediately to 7 cms.  My doctor was called and he rushed down.  I was so happy.  I had walked, been upright and although I felt little support I thought this time it was different.  At 6:10, less than an hour from being at the hospital I started to push.  Autumns head crowned.  Then it happened.  The resident pulled so hard on my baby that I slid down the bed. I yelled at him to stop. The baby came out so quickly that the umbilical cord ripped off of the placenta.  I began to bleed out.  Here it was 6:20 pm and I was so happy to have my beautiful girl in my arms that I did not know what was to come.  I began to get dizzy and they thought I would need to go to the OR.  My mom rubbed my stomach and thank goodness my placenta delivered.  It was a long recovery though to what was supposed to be a great labour.  I again felt cheated but grateful my baby was healthy.

My stories conclude as this.  I was hit very hard with postpartum depression after both children.  It was a long battle to recover from it.  But I love my kids.  I took those feelings of hurt and frustration and began supporting other women through a non profit group.  I then went on to become a counselor and facilitator through our local Postpartum group.  This furthered into becoming a doula.  If any woman should learn anything from my stories I hope it is not fear.  I hope it is something that educates women that it does not have to be this way.  We have choices.  We have people such as doulas that can educate us and our partners.  Our bodies were made for birth and we can do it well.  We only need some guidance on how to use our bodies to do what it was born to do. It is my passion as a doula to make every woman feel good about her experiences and feel like she was in control of her birth and that she was supported.



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