Zoe's Birth Story Part 2

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

If you missed Part 1, you can find it here.

The feeling of my water breaking was total relief. It was a great physical relief and a mental relief. I knew now that my membranes ruptured, she would be following closely. 

After the small celebration, I looked at my midwife and she had a serious look on her face. She grasped my hand and told me that there was meconium in my waters. Because of this, a pediatrician would have to check over Zoe, before I would get to hold her, to be sure that she didn't breathe any in, on her way out. 
I heard my midwife talking to PJ, telling him that when Zoe came out she would use a technique where she placed her hand across Zoe's chest to keep her from taking that first big breath and crying immediately upon being born. Rather, they would wait until she was completely out for her to take that big breath, to minimize the chance for her to breathe in meconium. 

I wasn't nervous. I have been to a number of births where meconium was present. I've seen the way it looks when it's present in the waters and I was familiar with the procedure she was explaining to PJ. 

They helped me off the bed and I saw it. It was thick and there was a lot more than I had ever seen in the births I've attended. I got really scared.  

I had a monster contraction as I sat on the edge of the bed, preparing to walk the 50ft to the Hospital side. My doula supported my head from behind as I gave in to the contraction, and my midwife held my hands. I no longer felt strong. I was so scared. 

Once the contraction was over, my team helped me from the Birth Center side to the Hospital side. It was a short walk through a set of double doors, and we were there. I had another contraction as soon as I reached the bed. I grasped the sheets and my knees buckled as the contraction surged through my body. I swayed side to side trying to find the strength I had for the past 23 and a half hours. 

Then I found it. After that contraction I knew it was time to push. I got onto the bed and layed on my side. I told my midwife "I have to push". She said cheerfully "Well, let's have a baby". 

With the next contraction my body took over and began to bear down. It felt so good to push. I could feel Zoe moving down the birth canal, with each push. 

Another contraction came and again, my body got to work and started bearing down on its own. I let out a loud, long grunt as I felt Zoe moving. 

Then I heard my midwife say the one thing I never imagined to hear in that moment. 
"That's her butt. She's breech, in the birth canal."

She could have said anything else and I would have been less surprised. She could have said Zoe was a boy. She could have said Zoe was actually twins. She could have said anything. 
Zoe had been head down for at least 10 weeks. She was head down just the day before. Now here we were. She was about to be born...and breech. 

Come to find out later, her position is why the meconium was so thick. During labor, breech babies tend to poop on their way down, because of their position and how they are moving through the mothers body.

I looked around and saw the seriousness on everyones faces. For a moment it was silent. Everyone in the room was looking at each other in disbelief. PJ was confused. My doula looked at me as if she was talking to me with her eyes. 

My midwife then took my face gently in her hands and said "Tami, Zoe is breech and she is the birth canal. I can see her butt. You are going to have an emergency cesarean with general anesthesia."

Another contraction took over and I couldn't stop pushing. My midwife and doula were at my sides trying to help me breathe through and not push. The doctor was yelling for me to stop. It was impossible to stop. 

The room was in a frenzy, prepping. None of the doctors were acknowledging that my husband had no idea what was going on. He was afraid. No one told him what was happening. And no one told him why he couldn't come into surgery with me. I'm so thankful our doula was there with him for comfort. 

Within minutes I was wheeled into surgery, given an IV, transferred to another table and strapped down, and a mask was put over my face. Then I was asleep.
It happened so fast that I didn't even get to say goodbye, or anything at all, to PJ.

I didn't get to see her born. I didn't get to do skin to skin contact. And I didn't get to experience her birth. I was asleep.

I woke 45 minutes later in a hospital room, in bed, and PJ was standing there holding our sweet Zoe. He brought her over to me and I cried. He unswaddled her and placed her onto my chest for skin to skin contact and to start breastfeeding. 


I wish I had more pictures from those first few moments, but I was so out of it that I forgot to ask anyone to take any. My doula snapped this one.

I'm eternally grateful Zoe was born healthy, and for the doctors who helped make sure she came safely into this world. I'll forever be thankful to them.

I also feel a sort of dissonance between my labor and Zoe's birth. My mind can make sense of what happened, but my body is having trouble understanding. I've let myself cry to mourn the birth I thought I would have. I've also reminded myself to trust the wisdom of life and to accept that this was the way she needed to come into the world.

Although Zoe's birth wasn't what I envisioned, I had the most beautiful labor experience I could have imagined. It was perfect. The support I felt surrounded me and gave me strength. I felt confident. Like a powerful goddess bringing life into the world. Every woman deserves to feel that kind of support during labor. 

Pj wants to do a guest post to talk about the whole birth experience (now that he has been through two totally different birth experiences) from his perspective and what it's like for the husband/partner. I can't wait to share it!

Thanks for reading!

Tell me, what was your birth like? Were there any surprises? 

4 comments:

  1. This post made me teary eyed! You are an amazing woman.

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    1. Your comment made me teary eyed. You're too sweet. Thank you Tressan.

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  2. This was beautiful! So happy everything worked out for you and Zoe is so precious! I've been thinking about getting a doula for this baby and your post has definitely helped me solidify my decision 😊

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    1. Aw thank you!!! Congratulations on your pregnancy! When are you due? That's so exciting about getting a doula. I really can't say enough great things about how amazing my doula was during my pregnancy and especially during birth! Thanks for reading! :)

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