Despite it being 3 years ago today (and tons of folks asking!), I’ve never shared Izzabella’s Birth Story. The fact is, I didn’t write it until just before Braxton was born. I wanted to get it out, in my handwriting, as a keepsake for her, but also as a healing journey for me. I wanted to close that chapter and prepare for the next birth. I don’t have a lot of details about dilation, and I don’t think I have any times mentioned, but I guess when I wrote it, I feel like it wasn’t necessary. The details are all taken down, for our records, in our Bradley Workbook. 🙂
Please remember that this is my personal account of a very personal experience. You don’t have to like it, you don’t even have to agree with it.
Here it is, being shared for the first time. (Nope, not even Brian has read this…) Oh, and this is written to Izzabella, in a journal for her.
July 14th, 2012
You’re two now, it’s time to finally write your birth story. Your baby brother is due in 5 days and I wish for so many things to be different this time. There are so many things I could have done differently.
Daddy and I took Bradley Method classes for 12 weeks to prepare for your birth. Jeanette taught us so much and I was well prepared for a natural birth. Daddy was a great coach.
However, around 34/36 weeks, my OB suggested we schedule a C/S. He thought my pelvis was too small to birth you, but said he’d “let me try.” There were too many things along the way suggesting this wasn’t the right Dr., but we tried to push through it.
At 40 weeks and 1 day, we allowed an induction. We knew we wanted you to come on your own, but the OB’s fear tactics were working. We thought it would give us a better chance to birth you naturally if we did it sooner, rather than later.
So, we went in on St. Patrick’s Day and had the Waters broken. We refused any drugs and contractions started in right away. This was in the morning. Family took turns walking the halls with me. I walked for hours. Miles and miles, I’m sure.
Every once in a while, I had to stop for a while so they could hook us up to a monitor. I hated it. I wanted to walk you out!
The day nurse was originally a midwife from Trinidad and very helpful with our natural plans. I was still very limited by the hospital, though. I couldn’t eat or drink- they wouldn’t even allow me a piece of gum. They limited guests to 3 at a time, including Heather, our photographer. (She showed up around supper time, I think I was maybe 6cm?)
About that time, I started to get into labor land. I vomited once and was too tired to keep walking. I rocked a while and bounced on a birthing ball for quite sometime. Eventually, I needed to lean against the bed, and rested like that on the ball for hours. Daddy and Mamaw took turns rubbing my back, since you were posterior. (But we somehow didn’t realize it!)
Probably around 11pm or so, we got into bed, where I rested against Daddy. He says this was the worst part and longest part. I stopped dilating for several hours, but my body needed to rest. Every time a contraction came, everyone knew because my legs shook so violently. Mamaw spent many hours rubbing them.
All this while, Aunt Shannie was trying to study for exams the next morning. I felt so bad for her and Aunt Manny, both with exams the next day. The rest of the family was freezing and tired in the waiting room.
This was taking a while and I know at some point, Mamaw started to get scared.
After hours of laying in bed, I had dilated enough to try to push. There was a bit of a lip, so they had me side-lay and push for about a half hour. I found that to be terribly painful and difficult, so I asked for the squatting bar. The nurses (now night-shift) had to hunt it down and figure it out but it was worth it. I squatted and pushed (standing between contractions) for probably 2.5 hours. They all thought I was crazy, but I had energy back and pushing helped relieve the pain. I could have gone on and on.
Our night nurses didn’t know much about natural birth- they couldn’t even tell me your station. But, they said you were “right there” and began to get things ready for your arrival.
Daddy went to update our families, and that was when the O.B. came in. He told me it was time for a C-Section and that I “couldn’t say I didn’t try.” I was too far in labor la-la-land to fight or even think. I didn’t even realize your daddy wasn’t present. We just realized, 2 years later, that the OB had me consent to surgery while he wasn’t there to help me or ask, “why?”
So, when Daddy came in and found out, he was so upset. Mamaw was relieved to see an end in sight. I had mourned this during my pregnancy, so I was O.K.
They took me to the O.R. and strapped me down, etc. but I kept pushing. It was the only way to handle the pain. They kept telling me to stop, but I couldn’t. I remember your daddy wanting a kiss before he left, but we couldn’t because of his mask.
I woke up in recovery, not really knowing much. I don’t think I even realized I had just “had” a baby. I wanted to go to my room, but no one was listening to me. Finally, Daddy come in and a nurse put you in my arms. Daddy took pictures as I asked questions. I was so confused. I couldn’t move, and I couldn’t see your face, laying beside me.
I asked the nurse to pick you up, just so I could see what you looked like.
Then she laid you back in my arms and I wanted to nurse you. I was told there were too many wires and I had to wait until we got into our room. I hated that I didn’t get to see you until you were an hour and half old, but I’m glad your dad did. You weren’t alone. He even got to see you measured and weighed! 7lbs, 5oz. and 20 Inches long, born at 5:28 AM on March 18th, 2010.
So there it is, the story of Izzabella Faith Short. Oh, and perhaps I should mention the details of her name. When I was just a little girl, about age 5, I decided I loved the name Izzabella. (Sorry, I always imagined it with two “z’s.”) I had fallen in love with the name and I never wavered. Brian hated it, but he had been warned early on that someday I’d name my daughter that! Growing up, I had even been told that I wouldn’t be able to have children, and through the years I had faith that God would give me a daughter, even if through adoption. Her name was Izzabella. Family and friends thought her middle name would be Marie, like mine, and we thought so, too. But, when it came down to it, we knew that so much about her life, and her birth, was about having Faith. So Faith it was. This little girl made me a momma, and in doing so, made me whole.
Happy third birthday, my Love.
Thanks to Heather from Xpressions by Heather for photographing as much of the birth as the hospital would allow. I cherish these images and highly recommend hiring a professional, experience birth photographer. 🙂