Nicole shared her birth story before- but felt like she learned some things in that journey she wanted to share with you. Her original story can be found here: http://alaboroflove.org/2011/05/nicole-shares-her-story/
The funny thing about it is, I knew I was wrong. From the very beginning of my failed castor oil self-induction, I knew it wasn’t what I should be doing. Since I knew what I was doing was wrong, I had to sneak to do it. I polled friends about it – secretly. I surfed the net for castor oil recipes; then I deleted my searches. I made it a point not to mention it to my midwives or the doula team. I wrote C.O. on my grocery list and snuck it into my cart – I didn’t even want to write the words. As the cashier scanned it, I was praying she wouldn’t ask any questions. I didn’t want anyone to see or ask or even know about it because deep in my heart I knew I was wrong.
So, how was I able to convince myself that the wrong thing to do was the right thing to do? I let emotions carry me away. Fear, jealousy, desire to control, impatience – ugly dragons I thought that two years of motherhood had slain.
Impatience. Just about everyone gets there eventually. It’s not that I was “over” being pregnant. Compared to my first, this pregnancy was textbook and easy. No complications, no health scares, no high risk. I just wanted to meet my little girl. My first pregnancy had ended sooner than expected – why shouldn’t this one?
Control. I’ll admit it; I’m more comfortable when things conform to my plan. I like to make plans and see them happen – no, MAKE them happen. I’m not really the type to sit around and wait for something to happen to me. Usually in life, that works in my favor. I should have learned by now that it doesn’t work that way with my pregnancies or my children.
Jealousy. Hurts to admit this one, too, but I had a friend who was due two days before I was and she had already had her baby. It sent me over the edge and I pouted like my toddler. I wanted my baby out and I wanted her now! Ugly, isn’t it?
The strongest ugly emotion, however, was fear. For some reason, I just didn’t believe that my body was going to go into labor on its own. Silly, because it’s pretty much inevitable. I just feared that It wasn’t going to happen and that if it did, I wouldn’t know. Just how I wouldn’t know, I don’t know. And if my body did go into labor on its own and I knew it, I would get to the end of labor and not know how to push. Silly again because that’s pretty much inevitable, too. I was just irrationally afraid.
That cocktail of emotions led me to make a cocktail of castor oil and orange juice and guzzle it down before bedtime the night before my due date. I went to bed and started contracting about two hours later. I was so excited that everything was going to happen just the way I wanted it to. After about an hour of 10 minute apart contractions, I woke my husband to tell him what was going on and snuck into my closet to call Teresa. I wanted to sleep, but was too excited, so I went downstairs for a glass of Baileys on ice. Just the way I planned it. I continued contracting through the night, so when the sun rose, we called Teresa and Intown Midwifery. I just knew this would be happening soon.
I got in my bathtub to soak and relax. When the water got too cold, Greg gave me a massage. This labor thing wasn’t so bad so far!
Teresa arrived and the day dragged on. When we decided to start timing my contractions, they were still only at 7 minutes apart. This was in the afternoon. Teresa suggested that Greg and I fool around some to see if that would help. No change in the pattern. Then, Greg and I went walking around the neighborhood. I was having 5 minute apart contractions at that point, but as soon as we got home, they fizzled out. I went to take a nap and my contractions slowed to 15 min apart. At that point, Greg offered me some more castor oil & OJ. That outed me to Teresa, so she asked to have a moment alone with me. She talked to me about castor oil and why she was against it except as a last resort and that it doesn’t work for most people until they’re past their due date. She prayed with me and cried with me (well, I was crying at least). We chatted for a bit and since my contractions were slowing down so much, she asked if I wanted her to head home for the day. I told her that would probably be best and I went to sleep.
I kept contracting through the night — but only once or twice an hour. My last contraction was at 6:30 or so on Saturday morning. When you try to control the uncontrollable, you quickly find out who is really in control.
I made myself get out of bed, but I was beating myself up pretty bad mentally. I blamed myself for being impatient and messing up and possibly harming my baby, and exhausting myself and was totally rethinking my natural childbirth plans. After 30 hours of useless contractions, I was just tensing myself up during every single one. I really didn’t think I could do it anymore. As tightly as I was squeezing my butt cheeks on each one, there was no way a baby was coming out!
In the end, my story turned out well. More wonderfully and beautifully than I could have written it myself. I found myself in labor later that afternoon after a 9 hour break. After a total of 37 hours of actual spontaneous labor and a bit of Pitocin at the end, my daughter made her appearance. It leaves me to wonder, however, that if I hadn’t worn myself out in practice rounds, if my body (and mind) would have been better prepared for the real deal entirely on its own. I’ll never know; I’m done having babies….
So, my words of wisdom from my journey – before you decide to take matters into your own hands or succumb to any interventions, make sure you address your fears. Dismiss any feelings that don’t correspond to reality and evidence. You need to give yourself permission to have these feelings, but not to let them rule over you.