I wrote this entry to express my personal feelings about my birth experience with my son. I believe that It is through sharing my story that I have been able to heal from Jude's traumatizing birth. Although I regret certain decisions about my birth (such as not getting a second opinion on the necessity of the induction, not hiring a doula, and not listening to my inner wisdom that told me I could have had a homebirth.) However, I find comfort and healing in knowing that my experience led me to become a doula and birth advocate.

Jude (seconds from being pulled from my belly)

40 weeks 4 days
My midwife suggested Induction
for borderline high blood pressure
So tired and selfishly wanting my son to be in my arms
I didn't question it,
I just agreed.

4cm before my Induction
Thursday April 3rd, 2008
Blood pressure is normal upon admission
Pitocin rolls through my veins and I coast through early active labor
In the tub, on the birth ball, John supporting my every move.

Transition hits me
11 hrs in...
12 hrs in...
13 hrs in...
14 hrs in...
15 hrs in...
I am checked to be the same as hours earlier.
8/9 cm

Discouraged, defeated and swollen with their fluids...

I cry
I fight
I whimper
I beg for that needle in my back
My midwife holds me in a hug tighter than anyone has ever held me before
I didn't want her to let me go
But she had other patients to see
I am told to lay down and then I'm ignored and left to "rest".

2:00 am
20 hours in...
In walks the midwife to check me
9 maybe even 10cm - 0 Station
Same as hours earlier
They say my baby isn't descending and sometimes that "happens"
I can feel the doubt now, I am broken. I must be. Why haven't I had my baby already?
My midwife had mentioned c-section as an option earlier

But I wanted to wait.

I wait. Waiting.
Waiting only for the permission to give up or the courage to go on.

After hours of no change
I ask my midwife if she had a daughter with my labor would she still tell her to get a c-section?
She said yes.
I decide to get the c-section

and am surely labeled FAILURE to progress.


Is all I hear.

Rolling into the OR
John can't come in yet
Strapped to the table
John peeks above the curtain
I scream out in pain and vomit everywhere
Dr. tries to calm me down
I say this pain is more than pressure
It can't be normal, It feels like someone is pulling me apart
Anesthesiologist tries to argue with me
Suddenly...liquid quiet in my IV
Sleepy now, must stay awake to see my son
Pulled from my belly he is poked and prodded, weighed and measured, and handed off like it didn't matter
I hear them say "Ah, no wonder! He is "sunny side up!" (Meaning that his posterior position is what likely caused a longer second stage - despite no one suspecting this while I was in labor or helping me get him into a better position)
Held by at least 8 people before me
Alone in the OR
Layers of sutures left
Where is my baby? My husband?

I get you
I nurse you
I hold you
I smell you
I cry the most grateful tears for you.

To this day, I still cry those grateful tears for you...

However I can't help but
touch my scar to check if it is still numb.
You see, some days I envy it's numbness...

My scar where sensation used to live reminds me
of the surgery that forever changed me.


  1. Thank you for sharing your story! I had my first by Cesarean and the pain has still never gone away. However, 2 kids later (both homebirth VBAC, but 2 VERY dramatically different births), I do see how each birth has completely shaped me as a woman, a mother, a doula... It is bittersweet.

  2. Thank you, Jenn! It is so healing to talk about it. It has brought me here, and for that I am very grateful.

  3. In tears...I am so sorry this happened to you. I know it is SO, SO hard to deal with and that it is impossible to ever get over. Maybe the whole in our hearts and the scar on our bodies makes us stronger, I don't know but what I do know is that we can use our experiences to make a difference for other women. You have done exactly that so thank you :)

  4. If it helps you in ANY way, Taryn, KNOW that you are NOT a failure...and that if your midwife is who I think, she did not label your reason for a cesarean as "failure to progress". I've heard her scold others for labeling that particular causation in that way, calling it instead what it truly is...arrest of descent.

    I am sorry that your birth did not go as you had planned, and I pray you will find healing and peace...and someday, have a joyous VBAC!

  5. Sounds a lot like my birth story! My LO was malpositioned to and I had a c-section! http://www.beautifulinhistime.com/blog/ezra-s-birth-story

    i absolutely love this poem!

  6. @Kathy,

    Thank you for your kind words.

    I don't know if we are talking about the same midwife but she didn't tell me I was labeled "Failure to Progress" - She told me "some babies just don't fit" and at the time I wrote this poem (2 yrs ago) with the limited birth knowledge I had - I researched the term "Failure to progress" on my own when looking for answers about my birth experience.

    I loved my midwife and I don't fault her for what I choose to do - However, It would have been nice to have been offered position changes and offered more time to labor since my baby and I were healthy - but every provider has clients who seem them on days when they are overworked and tired. I still respect and love this midwife very much.

    I will never believe that my 7lb baby wouldn't fit through like my midwife implied (It felt like she was trying to validate my experience for me). I think it was a combination of the induction forcing baby out too soon and the baby's OP position combined with the supine position I was in for the last several hours of my labor.

    Also, as a sidenote: When my sister met my midwife for her prenatal care she told her that I had become a doula and the midwife said "She became a doula because I didn't do my job."

    When I heard that, I cried. I felt a sense of sadness of course - but I also felt a deep peace in knowing that she was willing to see where she felt she had let me down me as a provider.


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