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You Know Better than Your Doctor…Kinda: How to Have an Empowered Birth

I wanted an empowered birth.

I was 39 weeks and due January 18th. On Friday, January 13th, I went to the doctor for an appointment. After the exam, he told me I was dilated. If I did not go into labor over the weekend, he wanted me to go to the hospital on Tuesday, his surgery day, and he would induce me. I was speechless. My husband could not go to the appointment, so I went home and waited for him to come home from work. When he asked how the appointment went, I explained to him that we had the weekend to have the baby naturally; otherwise, they were inducing me.

Our empowered birth almost didn’t happen.

Tuesday morning showed up, and after an anxiety-filled weekend, we marched into the labor and delivery ward at 6 a.m. The nurse began our intake and asked us all the normal questions. She asked me my due date, and I told her I was due the next day. She asked if there were any complications with the baby, and we answered no.

After we answered her questions, the nurse hooked me up to the monitor, and I began to shake. She asked me what was wrong, and I explained that we had not planned the birth that way. I wanted to go into labor naturally. I wanted to do this our way, not have a crochet-rod looking device shoved into me because our doctor happened to be working at the hospital that day. She asked me if I had told my doctor. I explained that the doctor knew what we wanted. Right then, my doctor walked in. I lost it. I burst into tears.

My empowered birth was rescued.

My doctor told me it was normal to feel this way and that lots of women with control issues did. Enter my husband, the hero. He asked the doctor two simple questions: “Do we have to do this? Can we just go home and wait until it happens naturally?” My doctor sipped his Starbucks (yes, he had one and did not bring one for me) and said, “Sure, but I am here, and we can do this today. She will be fine. I have a surgery in an hour, so I am headed down there. Just let me know.” And he left.

The nurse was super sweet and told us to do what we felt right. I unhooked myself, grabbed my husband and our hospital bag, and went home. On our way out, eight nurses told us they were proud of us. In 90 minutes we had become the vigilantes of the labor and delivery ward. Our nurse explained that so many women come in and do not ask questions and do not push back when the doctors tell them what to do. I did not try to be a pioneer. Overall, my doctor was great; he kept us safe the whole pregnancy. But I just wanted to feel like I had a choice and a voice in my birth and my baby’s story, and my husband supported me in that.

We had the empowered birth we wanted.

That night the little contractions started. The next morning, I knew it was time. 28 hours after leaving the hospital, we went back to that same ward with different nurses. Two hours after arriving, with a nurse and one push, we had a beautiful baby girl. The doctor showed up an hour after we had our daughter. Would she have been fine if we had induced? Maybe. But it was not necessary, and, more importantly, it was not what we wanted.

When you reach the end of your pregnancy, ask questions and know what you want to happen. Have a supportive spouse or another advocate attend your birth, and create the birth story of your dreams. And remember, you can do this. You know your body. You know your baby. Trust yourself; you were made to do this.

With love and support,

New Momma Bunny

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One Response to You Know Better than Your Doctor…Kinda: How to Have an Empowered Birth

  1. Sarah April 6, 2017 at 9:04 pm #

    Good for you! I had 4 babies at the same hospital. The director of patient services and I were on a first name basis. It’s so frustrating to me how pushy doctors and nurses can be during the birthing process and after the baby is born.

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