“The birth of my first child and second child were so different. I had my first child via cesarean the day of my due date. My doctor didn’t know he was breached so they sent me to the hospital to have him cut out. Fast forward to March of this year. I was 39 weeks pregnant and man was I barely making it. My husband said I was just struggling to survive (lol), and I was. My back hurt, I peed every 20 minutes, I needed help getting up, and I couldn’t sleep. Baby girl was wearing me out! That Sunday night I did all of my primping – shaving, touching up my feet, you know what we do. I woke up about three Monday morning with light contractions. My doula told me to call her whenever I felt I needed to. The contractions weren’t bad so I spared her a middle of the night phone call and went back to bed. Of course, sleep wasn’t the best but I got a bit. Hubby woke up to take our son to school. I told him I was having contractions so it’d be show time soon! Here I am thinking I’d have my little angel by the end of the day (rolls eyes). Hubby was already on paternity leave (look at God!) so we laid and lounged all day while I basked in the beauty of contractions and childbirth. It really was beautiful.

My contractions got stronger as the day progressed but still bearable. I put my doula on standby and went to bed that night. I woke up around two that Tuesday morning. I could no longer sleep through the contractions and they went from six minutes apart to four minutes apart. I woke hubs and called my doula. We agreed to meet at the hospital. I called my mom; she was on grandson duty. She came over and we left for the hospital. They took me to triage to check me out. I was only dilated two centimeters. I couldn’t believe it. A baby was coming but just not now. My doula asked if I could have something to help me sleep, since they were sending me back home. They gave me an Ambien and told me not to take it until I got in the bed because it was going to knock me out. I got home, took my Ambien and went back to sleep while hubby took our son to school. That lasted all of thirty minutes. Not only did the Ambien not knock me out but the contractions were stronger. I labored at home until 4:30 that evening. By that time I couldn’t take it anymore. My contractions were two minutes apart and I was in tears. Hubby called my doula, we dropped our son off, and headed back to the hospital. I knew my doctor was out of town, he was supposed to come back the next day.

We made it to the hospital at 5, hubby was getting it. I had about four contractions just from the car to the parking deck. A nurse, leaving for the day, stopped to help us. She was the sweetest thing. She got me a wheelchair, talked to me, helped me breathe, and stayed with me a while. I was sent back to triage. My doula hadn’t made it but she suggested I get an epidural just so my body could rest. She was shocked to find out that I had been awake all day and not asleep while my body progressed. She knew I was fighting the contractions and probably hadn’t progressed much. She was right. I was only three centimeters! I couldn’t believe it. The nurses offered me all types of drugs. I told them I only wanted an epidural, nothing else. After about thirty minutes she told me the doctor wouldn’t authorize an epidural. He wanted me to be at least four centimeters before admitting me and giving me an epidural. My contractions were strong and close but they wouldn’t admit me!

I asked to speak with the doctor myself. He refused to come talk to me. Yall. He. Refused. When does that happen? They then moved me across the hall, triage again. With my husband and my doula I cried out in pain every minute and a half for the next four hours. Yep, in triage. The nurse finally had some sympathy on me and told the doctor I was four centimeters (I wasn’t) so he would give me the epidural. He came in, unbothered, and signed the orders for the epidural.

It took another hour before I got to my room. They told us they had just cleaned a room and the floors were drying. I offered to dry the floors myself. Surely I could do it faster than they (whoever the hell they were) were doing it. I finally made it to a room and got my epidural. My contractions stopped and my body was still. I was in heaven. I slept for a while. By 11:00pm I had progressed to six centimeters. I was half sleep when I heard the nurse talking to my doula. She told her that the doctor wanted to go ahead with the cesarean because my baby’s oxygen levels were a little low. The nurse said “she better progress quickly because he’s ready to cut.” I then “woke up” and she began to explain it to me. I politely asked her was my baby in danger. She told me “not yet.” I politely told her I didn’t want a cesarean. I went back to sleep. She came back at 11:45pm. I was nine centimeters. It was showtime! I woke hubby and told him it was go time. The doctor arrived at 11:50pm. I pushed twice. My princess was born at 11:58pm. Yall, health disparities are real.”

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