Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Six Months Later ~ My Birth Story

On July 4th 2009, my husband and I conceived a child. after having a recent miscarriage, we didn't feel comfortable telling anyone except my parents. Finally, at twelve weeks pregnant, I felt safe telling people, and started planning for my baby and my birth. My first instinct was to have a home birth. My husband felt that was risky for a first baby. We ended up going to a hospital where a female doctor (Dr.F) and her group of midwives worked. I cried on the way to our fist appointment. After meeting them, and getting to know them, I grew to like and even trust them. they seemed like they wanted the same things in a birth that my husband and I did. Time went by and we learned that Dr. F would not be delivering weeks surrounding my due date and a male doctor (Dr. K) would be filling in for her. This was NOT OK. I cried for hours and my husband and I began to lean toward a home birth. But they all promised that I could use the midwife instead.

On Thursday, April 1st, 2010, I went into labor. It was not at all a hard labor. The only reason I even knew it was labor was because the contractions were so timeable. As they grew closer and closer together, my husband, my mama, and I decided to call the hospital. They said I should come get checked out. I was only two centimeters dilated. It was also then that we were told that my midwife was out of town for the weekend. If I gave birth that weekend, I would have Dr. K.  I wanted to go home. After they had me walk for over an hour, then told me that walking really doesn't do anything to help labor along anyway, and hooked me up to various machines, I was finally allowed to leave. That night, my husband suggested that we just have a home birth. But I thought that (at 41 1/2 weeks pregnant) it was too late to get a midwife and get everything set up for one. I told my baby and my body to wait a few more days. I quietly cried myself to sleep. 

Though I was still having contractions, I managed to make it through all of Friday and Saturday (including an Easter dinner at my aunt's house). Sunday morning I woke up. I ate breakfast. I hung out with my husband (we didn't go to church because I was so exhausted from being in labor for over 72 hours).  By late afternoon, my back began to ache. The contractions grew stronger. I tried to take a nap but I was too uncomfortable. I tried to eat but I couldn't handle much. The contractions grew closer. I was upset about having Dr. K. I grew weary.  At around 8:00pm, we called the hospital and they told us to come in.

After stopping for gas, we made our way to the hospital. Twenty five minutes never took so long. I still couldn't believe that I was going to a strange male doctor. I kept expecting the midwife to come through for me. When we finally got inside and up to labor and delivery, I was dilated to seven and no midwife in sight. I nearly cried with relief and because I didn't want a strange male doctor. It was real. The rest of the night was a blur. I remember that they didn't let me wear my own clothes, even though the midwives said that I could. I remember answering some questions that seemed ridiculous. I remember trying so hard to breath that I almost couldn't breath. I remember them putting the I.V. in my hand and them twisting the needle so that it constantly pinched. I remember wanting very badly to kneel and not being allowed. I remember Dr. K stabbing my baby in the head trying to break my water. I remember them saying I was at 10 and to push when I wasn't ready. I remember Nurse J showing  my husband the baby's hair, him asking if the cord was up by her head, and Nurse A saying "No, that is the edge of the cervix." I remember Dr. K ordering for the vacuum before I had even had a chance to push her out on my own. I remember saying "I don't want to do this." and not meaning the birth, meaning the birth this way. I remember Dr. K sticking a needle into my perineum to numb it and that I had to look away because the needle was so big. I remember him shoving the vacuum into me, before the numbing had taken affect, ripping me in the process. I remember screaming at him to "Stop! You're hurting me!" and he didn't even flinch. I remember yelling that "I don't want it this way!" and he didn't even care. I remember my mama telling me, "We've lost control. Just get her out." I remember them shoving an oxygen mask in my face because her heart rate was dropping from me not being in the right position for a posterior baby. I remember finally feeling the unstoppable urge to push and it being the biggest relief of my life. I remember feeling myself rip open as she came yanked out of me. I remember it being 12:24 am on Monday, April 5th, 2010. I remember that her cord was gashed and gushing blood from being up by her head. I remember that Dr. K had to be told by my mama and Nurse J to clamp it off. I remember that my husband getting to cut the cord. I remember asking for permission to hold my daughter. I remember that she smelled wonderful and looked beautiful. I remember the large purple bruise on her head from the vacuum. I remember that she weighed seven pounds one once and was 20 1/2 inches long. I remember my husband saying that next time we would have a home birth!

I remember yelling in pain from each of  the first stitches. I remember agreeing to let them give me stadol to ease the pain. Then.... handing off my daughter to my husband because I was so drugged I was afraid I would drop her.... moaning from each of the 50 or 60 or more stitches.... seeing double.... blacking out....waking up to my mama asking me if I wanted to hold my baby....being so out of it that I didn't want her to see me like that.... Dr. K making jokes that were not funny....my daddy coming to see his baby girl's baby girl.... Nurse J latching my baby on to nurse and saying it was a good thing that she was a natural because I was passed out....seeing normal with one eye closed.... blacking out again.... getting out of the bed and going to the bathroom.... peri bottle, tucks pads, and fake underwear.... another bed... my brand new baby daughter in my arms .... sleep. At some point during the night a nurse came in and told my mama that I needed to put my baby in the bassinet. I said "No." and went back to sleep. I nursed her a couple of times through the night, but I don't really remember how or when.

 I woke up the next morning with my daughter in my arms and tried to make sense of the night before. It was then, and still is like a nightmare. And, until recently, it would play over and over again uncontrollably in my head. I couldn't understand where it went awry. I worked it backwards in my mind. I should have taken control (but I had told them that I didn't want it this way). I should not have gone to a male doctor (but they promised me I would have a female). I should have stayed home when they told me my midwife was out of town (but I thought it was too late for a home birth). I should have planned for a home birth when I found out Dr. F wasn't going to be there (but I trusted  them).  I didn't have many visitors in the hospital. The truth is that I didn't want any. I just wanted to go home.

I went home after two and a half days in that prison. I was so glad to be home that I nearly cried as my husband laid down next to my daughter and myself in our bed. We were finally where we should have been all along. Seven weeks later, when my sister had her daughter with the Midwife S (a beautiful and peaceful experience), my mama spoke to Nurse J. She cleared up a lot of questions we had about my birth for us. "It was the most barbaric delivery I have ever seen in this hospital." she said. She then continued to say that she was so upset by the delivery that she wrote letter to both Dr. F and her group of midwives and to the hospital. It was a great relief to learn the truth about things. And to know that we weren't just overreacting.

I blamed everyone involved-- Dr. F for leaving when I was due. But she had to have surgery. The nurses for not letting me do what Dr. F and the midwives had said I could do. But they were just following Dr.K's orders. Even my husband and my mama for not standing up for what I wanted in a birth. But I screamed what I wanted an d Dr.k didn't care. Finally, Dr. K for deciding ahead of time that I couldn't push out a posterior baby. for jamming the vacuum though I screamed in pain for him to stop. For not letting me kneel which made my baby's hear rate drop causing a rush to get her out.  For pulling her out of my so fast that it caused fourth degree tares. For making me feel violated. For making the birth of my daughter a nightmare. For the flash backs that consumed me at times. for all these things and more I blamed him. Only recently have I been able to forgive him for the way he treated me. I even blamed God for not protecting me from that nightmare.

Finally,after five months, I began to understand. God tried to protect me. I didn't listen. I should have NEVER gone there in the first place! I should have trusted that the bad feeling I had was from God. I should have listened to my husband's leading when he finally said we should just stay home. But I let my worldly concerns about home birth overrule what I knew deep down was right for me, my family, and my birth. I put my trust in the doctors and midwives more than in God Himself. For that I could only blame myself. I prayed long and hard and I ask God to forgive me for not listening to His guidance and to help me to listen in the future. I know I am forgiven, as if it never even happened. The flashbacks have faded. Though I still remember it as a nightmare, it is only a reminder of the repercussions of not following my heart and God's calling. A reminder to NEVER let it happen again. I pray with all my heart that I never have to return to that place. Dr. K was wrong for treating me the way that he did, but I went into the hospital (his house). In his house, I had to follow his rules. Next time it will be my house, my rules. Next time (Lord willing) will be a home birth!

Today, my daughter is six months old. We are both healthy and happy. I have healed physically, though not until recently. I love being a mama. I love my little family. I am so grateful for everything that God has given me. I still mourn the loss of my birth from time to time. I still have a hard time thinking or talking about it for very long. People that haven't had a traumatic birth can never really understand the way that it feels. Some people say that I have a healthy daughter, I should be happy. I am happy. I love the the conclusion. I just wish I could change a few things about the story. Some people say that I should sue Dr. K for malpractice. But that wouldn't change my birth story. And honestly, I have forgiven him. It is a fine line to walk. Forgetting enough about the trauma to not let it  interfere with my life, but remembering enough to never let something like that happen again. I guess while I'm learning to do so, I'll just keep on loving God, my husband, my daughter, my family, and my new life as a mama. After all, it is a wonderful life to be living!


  1. It was very hard to finish reading through the tears
    You are my baby sister and this SHOULD not have happened to you

    You wrote this beautifully. I love you!

  2. Hannah,
    what a terrible experience for someone beautiful to come out of. I am saddened by what you had to endure. I understand the conflicting emotions of it being horrible yet beauty came from it, forgiving but not allowing it again...so much emotion.

    A few of my births were like yours and because my children were all over 8 pounds I felt it not safe to give birth at home...

    The peace came in letting go of the past and forgiving like you have talked about. My daughters Tessa and Aliss were robbed of nursing past 6 weeks and 6 months because of the ignorance of doctors. It hurt for a long time and finally I let it go for the future.

    You are doing so well with your emotions regarding this.
    much love,

  3. (((Hannah))) Witnessing the 1-1.5 hour long nightmare still haunts me, so I can only imagine how much more it troubles you. I am so glad God blessed you with a sweet little baby (an especially easy, happy little baby who adores her mama!) to help you heal. Like you said--we LOVE the ending, but man the story was rough. I love you, Kyle, and Bunny so much!

  4. Thank You to Nurse J for at least communicating this experience to Dr F from a professional point of view. God Bless You Hannah, and remember that if God brought you to it, he will bring you through it. ♥

  5. I know the doctor you are talking about....I had first gone to her when i got pregnant and discovered many things that i didnt like and had a bad feeling about. My last visit there they discovered my baby didnt have a heartbeat. Although i didnt give birth i know some of what you have went through and I hate that you had to endure the pain and such bad service from the Doctor. You are blessed to have such a beautiful and precious baby girl, wonderful supportive husband and family. We can always forgive but never forget. Always remember God has a reason for everything and always always trust in your first instinct!!! Thank you for your blogs they are very inspiring and helpful in my own relationship with my husband i look forward to reading them!!!

  6. And, in vanity, I would like to say--This nana had not slept in... lets see.. Sunday, Sunday night, Monday, Monday night ... when was the pic taken... I was the "stay up and watch to make sure baby didn't fall out of bed" person so the hospital would "allow" Bunny to sleep and nurse throughout the night with her mama. So THAT is why I look... ummm... rather tired. :)

  7. Although I wasn't planning a homebirth, my first birth has some similarities to yours, ending with a posterior baby, vacuum, forceps, a large tear ... a second midwife-planned hospital birth ended up with the awful old man doctor who through out my birth plan and ignored my wishes.

    But I want to encourage you to remember that God is in control. God was there through all that. He will bring glory to His name through you, through what you have learned, through your passion for gentle home births, through those you are in contact with.

    I don't know that you should second guess your steps, even though they did not end the way you desired. You followed your husband's lead, and the Lord took you somewhere different than you both wanted, but I don't think you were rebellious or disobedient in going to the hospital. You made the best choices with the information you had at the time, through prayer and seeking Him. Sometimes He leads us in dark and unpleasant places. But He leads us through, and He goes with us, and He promises that it's been for His glory.

    I hope I'm saying that right, I don't want to come across as hurtful, I want to encourage you to see even this as a God thing moving you towards glorifying Him **even more** <3 <3

  8. Thanks to all of you for your words. And sorry for those who have had similar expeariences. I will never understand why so many doctors act that way to patents when, without patents, doctors wouldn't even have a job.

    nicholson9899~Yes, God has and will continue to bring me through it. However, I don't feel like He brought me to it. I feel like he tried to steer me away, but I continued down my own path and ended up where I never should have been.

    TeeStrader~Dr F. was not a problem for me. However, I only saw her twice. I am so sorry for the lose of your baby. Just remember that angels make the best babysitters and you like you said,"God has a reason for everything".

    slugmom~The probem is that I didn't follow my husband's or God's leading. Though my husband initialy said that we should have a hospital birth, in the end he tried to convince me to stay home. Through the whole process God put obsticals in the way of the hospital. I pushed them aside for my own selfish reasons. It was as if He told me over and over not to touch the stove. I touched it, and I got burnt. But God is still comforting me in my pain. He still kisses the burns and holds me tight. And I am sure that God works all things together for good. I have seen that too many times for myself to doubt it.

  9. That last picture of Hannah and baby nursing is precious, it speaks volumes. So traumatized, so happy. Unbelievable.

    Beautiful baby.

  10. What a strong family you all are! The love, the prayers, the everything! God is awesomely amazing & he has certainly watched over you & your family, Hannah. To go through something like this is by all means traumatizing. YOU ARE A STRONG, LOVING, CARING & FAITHFUL woman. May God continue to bless you & heal all wounds, as we all know He can and will!
    Lots of Love & Prayers, Kristy Hall

  11. i am so sorry...my heart is breaking for you. it is so unfair how women are treated. i am so glad you were able to forgive him... i bailed out of the hospital at 37 weeks...my gut also called to me....my insurance wouldnt switch and i had to pay myself...but ANDALUZ took me in w open warm and gentle arms. they made it work... i love them and love that they advocate for women's rights to choose.

  12. Many hugs to you still... as we both go through our journeys to healing, I pray that we are able to come out of this as stronger women & mothers!

  13. Wow Hannah...so sorry your birthing story was not what you had hoped it would be.

    I will say, that with having three of my babies at home, the birth was soooooo very much more less complicated. I even had a cold coke to drink while in labor with the ones I had at home...ahh it was so refreshing!

    My Amish midwife was so good, and, really made my birthing experience so much more enjoyable...if I hadn't gotten so old (44), and, still having babies, I would have had the last two at home as well. :)

    Praying that you next birthing story will be all that you were hoping for.


  14. Wow!! I read your home birth story and then decided to read this one. What a stark contrast.

    Congrats on your most recent birth!!

  15. I came to read this from your other birth story. I am holding it together, but I feel like sobbing. I'm so, so, beyond words sorry that this happened to you. Everything about it is completely unacceptable. Birth should be beautiful, and not scary or traumatic, and that doctor sounds like a complete moron. I am so, so glad that you got a different kind of birth for your second. I hope it helped heal the pain of your first experience.

    1. Thank you Rachel... 10 weeks later and I can not stop smiling. Such a healing and soo amazing!

  16. I nearly cried through this. I'm so sorry for you. But I know you and Bunny were protected and He has brought you into a better place. Thank God for your second birth at home!

    1. Mia! God is so good and finally. finally, with this homebirth, I feel 100% healed!