• Heather Hartman

Life Lessons in Surrender... My Birth Experience.


Bruises. Tears. IV fluids. Induction. Pitocin. Laboring for 24 hours.



Delivering my little man via c-section in the end.



The plan was pretty clear. I had it all worked out. But I guess the Universe had other plans for us...



And I’m left to pick up the pieces. Good thing I’m resilient AF! lol



I had the perfect pregnancy.

No morning sickness.


No pre-eclampsia.

Perfect iron levels.


All blood work excellent.


GBR negative.



Perfect weight gain, a grand total of 30 pounds of gain thru the whole pregnancy.


Baby’s heartbeat on point at every single prenatal visit to the birth center.


Baby’s measurements on point every week.


Baby’s head down.


Baby moves a shit ton in utero. (Active little mofo! Lol)



Perfect pregnancy.



Due on 1/20/19.


1/20 passed.


1/27 passed.


On 1/30 I went to the hospital for a routine NST (non-stress test to monitor & make sure baby was okay) and results were good. All on track for natural labor & delivery.


On 1/31 I went in to begin natural induction.



Tinctures, nipple stimulation w/ a breast pump, sitting on a birth ball, labor prep acupuncture, baby-come-out massages, orgasms, walking, raspberry leaf tea like it was going out of style, birth prep supplements, evening primrose oil, sex, I tried fkn everything.


After 6 hours of a rigorous cycle of nipple stimulation plus tinctures to kick my uterus into gear with no yield, I left the birth center to have a chiropractic adjustment and head home in hopes that I’d go into labor that night.



By the next morning, Friday 2/1, I still hadn’t gone into active labor and by this point I was 41 weeks and 5 days. Midwife wanted me to go have another NST done to make sure that baby was still doing okay, since our natural induction methods had not worked, still.



I had a labor prep acupuncture treatment, then headed to the hospital before my scheduled “Baby-come-out-massage” that afternoon.



The NST results were disappointing, but not devastating. Trystan was having “late decelerations” in his heart rate. Hospital recommended that I stay for induction via Pitocin.



"Okay, here we go..."

Friday afternoon I began IV fluids and Pitocin with no pain meds. I gave myself the “out” if I wanted the epidural, I signed the, “just in case” form so that they could give it to me should I end up wanting it...



I labored on Pitocin (still w/ no epidural or pain meds) all evening and all night on Friday, into Saturday morning. My husband and my birth doula stayed by my side the whole time. They helped me up to go to the bathroom, they stayed by me while I tried to take a hot shower to relax, by my request, they rubbed my tense knotted up legs (so much that I had bruises on my quads for 3 weeks after delivery lol bless their hearts) - they tolerated me complaining that they had coffee breath (the smell of coffee was awful while I labored, I know...weird AF, but how else were they supposed to stay awake for 24 hours? LOL)



As the night and morning wore on, and I still wasn’t dilating the way they wanted me to be, and baby’s position wasn’t as low as they wanted it to be, and my cervix wasn’t as effaced as they wanted it to be...it became clear that this was going to be a bit more challenging than I had originally planned...



My entire pregnancy, I had vivid fantasies of having a natural water birth, or a blissful orgasmic birth (or delightfully, BOTH) where Baby T was just going to slip right out, with that right & perfect contraction + push...NOPE! That ain’t even close to how it shook out, lol.



By lunch time on Saturday - after they had bumped up the Pitocin levels 4 or 5 times already, we decided to have them manually break my water. But when they did, not much really came out, I kept waiting for the “gush” that some women talk about, but that never happened. The doctors suspected my water had already broken, and had just been leaking out slowly instead...



I was on IV fluids, 12mUnits of Pitocin per minute, the contractions were FKN brutal, I was also on nitrous oxide inhalant. I was only dilated to 9cm, baby’s position was only at 0 (meaning his head was just touching my cervix, and had not yet began the journey into the vaginal canal) and I was 70% effaced (meaning my cervix wasn’t completely “open” & thinned out yet to accommodate a baby to pass through...



I had the urge to push, so I pushed. Twice.



They thought the nitrous was exacerbating Trystan’s decelerating heartbeat, so they gave me oxygen instead...



Then a high risk pregnancy & delivery doctor came in and informed me that I was not going to be able to deliver the baby vaginally. His decelerations were worsening, and they were concerned that he would not be able to sustain during the pressure of my contractions and pushing, and that I needed a c-section.



Not gonna lie. I was pretty crushed. It felt like the hospital room was going to close in on me and I was going to implode from the pressure.



The pressure of the pain.


The pressure of the contractions I was still having.


The pressure of wanting to meet my son FFS.


The pressure of my own impatience, and frustration with myself, and my body.


The pressure to decide whether or not I was going to do what the doctors suggested.



It took everything I had not to just burst into tears sobbing right there. I cried for a split second. I was dizzy, drugged, still feeling the Pitocin contractions, which by this point were intense AF and it was almost like I was in a fkn twister, and couldn’t stop myself from spinning... physically, mentally AND emotionally...


I muster up all the strength & courage I have left not to bust out crying in front of all the doctors, nurses, my family & husband and birth doula. There must have been like 40 people in that hospital room waiting for me to decide if I’d go ahead with the c-section.

I’d waited long enough to meet my baby.



I was at 41 weeks and 6 days and I was tired and in pain, and effectively I was “over” the Pitocin contractions.



If I’m honest, I was relieved that they were going to stop the Pitocin drip (lol)



C-section it was then.



“Get me to the OR, let’s get this show on the road people!!!”


The anesthesiologist explained everything to me, they gave me a spinal anesthetic and after the injection, I literally felt nothing.



My husband got to be in the room with me, and I guess I was a jolly old gal cracking jokes and poking fun at myself and making the doctor, interns, residents & attending laugh. They said I was the most fun patient they’d done a cesarean on (go figure, lol)



The moment they took Trystan out, we heard him cry. Doug and I looked at each other in awe and wonder. “That’s our baby!” I thought to myself as I started to cry from the sheer emotional overwhelm of the whole experience. The sound of his cry was something inexplicably marvelous and wonderful.



The wait was over.


Finally.


We got to meet our baby boy on this side of the veil.



Daddy got to cut the umbilical cord, and I’m so glad he opted to do it!



After they cleaned the baby up, they put him on my chest for skin-to-skin and even let me nurse him while they put my guts back together and stitched me up.



Side note: I’d had a dream that Trystan was already a master at breastfeeding, and he absolutely was. He knew exactly what to do, even in the OR after a traumatic birth of his own.



After everything was said and done, I delivered Trystan into the world, and he was healthy, strong and beautiful.



The gift of this child will continue to unfold in my life as a mother, and my husband’s life as a father, and everyone else that meets him or comes into contact with him.



Trystan is a special little soul, and I’m so grateful that the Universe picked me to be his momma, and him to be my babe. I accept this assignment with grace, gratitude, love and eagerness.



I can’t wait to see what happens next in this journey of motherhood!