We're sharing a beautiful birth film from Count It Joy photography. Jamie asked Jan, her client, to share her own account of Jack's birth story:
Early August 6, 2015 at 1 o'clock in the morning I woke up with contractions 5-7 minutes apart. It was exactly one day after his due date, and we were ready as ever. After being on bed rest for weeks starting at 32 weeks, because he tried to come early, we were thankful for a full-term baby boy ready to make his entrance. I gave it until 6:30am to text my doula, Jeanne Stolaas and she recommended we head to the hospital as soon as possible.
We were given a room, and checking-in went smoothly thanks to Jeanne. They hooked me up to the monitor, and my contractions were still at 5-7 minutes apart. There was one other woman at the hospital that was having her baby that day, so it was very calm and quiet in the Labor and Delivery ward. The doctor wanted to break my water and give me the lowest dose of pitocin to speed things along, to which I agreed. I had dilated enough to receive an epidural, and everything was going smoothly! At some point before the epidural, the nurse came in and upped my pitocin... and after the epidural again... and again. The baby was big, so they had me try positions to get him to move under my pelvic bone; to guide him down the birth canal.
It was time to push... by this time I could feel my legs and the contractions were very strong once again. At some point between getting my epidural and pushing, the pitocin was bumped up 5 times the amount i had originally agreed upon. Contractions were extremely intense and around 1 minute apart due to the high amount of pitocin. I couldn't catch a breath between contractions and before I had to push again; it was utterly exhausting. This lasted an hour and a half.
Baby Jack was born into the world at 3:55pm on August 6, 2015. He weighed a whopping 9lb 5oz and 21 inches long!! The most beautiful, and precious boy we had ever laid eyes on! They laid him on my chest, and I wanted to enjoy the moment in all it's entirety, but all I could think about was how the after-birth delivery was hurting and that I was feeling everything. I winced in pain as they finished-up what was necessary, and thanked God when that part was over.
Looking back on the delivery, I feel disappointed in how things were handled as a patient. We were gifted with the most precious little human being on the planet, but feel like I was out of control and didn't not have a choice with the decisions for my baby's birth. At no point was I informed as to the pitocin decisions being made for me and my unborn baby; I felt like a victim of my circumstance. No say-so in my birthing decision... other people making all the decisions and no voice. It was a ride I just played a part in while others were in complete control of my fate and delivery of our first child.
While we gained our precious angel from this difficult and incredible journey, I look back with a bit of disappointment on the birthing process. Why didn't I have a voice, why was I not informed, why did I feel out of control? Although my doula was absolutely supportive and was extremely helpful, she can not legally give medical advice. In the end, I look back and wish that I would have talked to other moms about options on how I would have liked my birth to look like, the medical options, a birth plan... and more. I just didn't know the questions to ask, and felt unequipped.
What I would have done differently? Hired my doula earlier to keep an ongoing birthing dialog, ask the nurse about the decisions being made at the time of my baby's birth, and interviewed more mothers on their birthing story so that I could have known more about the process, my options, and that I DO have a voice!