Something to Prove: The Conclusion of a Birth Story

something to prove newborn
Image via Samantha Chase

It seemed like the minute the words came out of my mouth they were prepping me for an epidural. I didn't want it, not really, but I was too exhausted to say anything and too defeated to fight. Instead I just stood there, battling each contraction as they came – hoping to dear God that someone would speak up for me. They didn't. It seemed that everyone, save for me, thought the epidural was a solid plan. So, when the nurse finally asked, I just nodded my head. Sure, I would take the epidural.

{ MORE: Labor and Delivery: Did You Have a Belly Birth? }

As soon as we decided to go ahead with the epidural, reassurances starting coming our way. One nurse told me that I needed to rest.  Another said that my baby was distressed and would benefit from a more relaxed mother.

I was told all kinds of things.

Even in the moments they were spoken, I knew they were lies. I didn't need to rest, I needed to labor for my child. I knew I was strong enough to do it. But despite my convictions, I couldn't seem to spit out the words necessary to convince anyone of anything . Instead, I just sat there, mouth shut, feeling even more defeated than before.

Did you miss the other parts of Something to Prove? You can check out part one, two, and three  before you continue to the conclusion.

After  just a few minutes of waiting, the Anesthesiologist arrived and my husband left the room. I was asked to lean over as far as I could and to stay perfectly still. I did as I was asked, bending as far as my contracting belly would allow. I stayed as still as a statue even as the pain of the ever strengthening contractions came over me. I was trying to hold on to the littlest bit of pride I had left. I wanted everyone to know, including myself, that I was not as weak as I seemed – even if I was crying.

My husband, the midwife, and the nurse were sympathetic enough, but ultimately agreed with the doctor. 

I rushed to wipe the tears from my eyes before my husband or the nurse returned to the room. The anesthesiologist gave me a forced  and somewhat sympathetic smile before leaving the room. I hated her. She had robbed me of the natural birth of my daughter. I know it was irrational. She was just doing her job and I guess I shouldn't have faulted her for that – but I did.

After the epidural was placed, I was told to lay down. And just like that, the pain from the contractions disappeared. I was asleep before I even realized I was tired.


When I woke up, I was faced with a harsh reality. The baby's heart rate was dropping and my labor had failed to progress at all. I was nearly out of my 24 hour allowance and needed to make a decision. I could continue to try and labor for another hour or two, or I could have a C-section. My OB urged me to consider the latter as the safest option since my daughter's heart rate dropped on the charts every time I had a contraction. He just didn't see how my situation was going to change enough in the next 120 minutes.

My husband, the midwife, and the nurse were sympathetic enough, but ultimately agreed with the doctor. Feeling like I had no other option and fearful for the health of my daughter, I agreed to the Caesarean.

They wheeled me into the operating room and strapped down my arms and legs. The area where the incision was going to be made was cleaned and the Anesthesiologist was brought in once more to make sure that I couldn't feel a thing. I was hysterical throughout the entire process, finding it difficult to catch my breath or even to look anyone in the eye. I was mourning the loss of my birthing experience.

{ MORE: Study Shows Midwives Bring Many Benefits to Safer Birth Outcomes }

Less than 30 minutes after I had agreed to have the C-section, my daughter was brought into this world. She was beautiful, even covered in all that blood. As soon as I looked into her eyes my heart filled with more love than I thought possible. The tears of agony and disappointment turned to joy just from the sight of her. My husband, shedding his own joyful tears, whispered in my ear, “That is our baby girl.” He reached out and held my hand tightly in his. Looking back to my daughter, my daughter, I lost total control of my emotions, tears freely flowing. One look at her had made it all worth it.

Was your birth experience completely different than you had hoped and expected?

What do you think?

Something to Prove: The Conclusion of a Birth Story

Samantha Chase is math major turned elementary school teacher turned stay at home mom extraordinaire. She spent three years studying mathematics at the University of Southern Florida before deciding it was time to make a change. She switched her major to Elementary Education and became a teacher. After graduation, Samantha spent 6 years (and a lot of sleepless nights) working in a high poverty school in the heart of St.Petersburg, Florida. She taught the first, fourth and fifth grades and lear ... More

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  1. Thank you for your kind words! I will definitely check into hypnobirthing. 🙂

  2. my labor was similar although I did finally deliver vaginal. I was a week over due but only went into labor because I started throwing up. my midwife said I was dehydrated and that’s why. I labored hard at my midwife’s birth center for 17 hours & 10 hours of mild labor & vomiting at home before I was transferred to the hospital because I couldn’t progress farther than a 6. I was told the same I needed pitocin to progress my labor but I also needed rest so they recommended an epidural.. my husband did speak for me but ultimately everyone else’s voices out weighed. however the epidural only took on one side of my body so I could still feel the contractions: the other side, but it did help me rest a bit even though I was so anxious to meet my baby I just wantedto get it over with. my daughter was finally born 5 hours after the epidural/pitocin. I was thankful I could still feel on one side but was disappointed for a long time that my natural birth plan want successful.

  3. char-knee says:

    a threat of a c-section is not right and make me angry inside at just the thought. good job for sticking to your guns but that should never be held over a woman’s head. this is your birth not the dr.’s. yours.
    oh and stitches suck!

  4. char-knee says:

    i am so sorry that you didnt have someone to speak for you or to tell others you plan. i wish you did have the expericance you were looking for. i do understand that no matter what you go through that in the end as long as you are safe and your baby is safe that is really all that matters but those things really do matter to us women. you were not defeated and you did things right, just not what you wanted. if this is not your last birth i would like to STRONGLY RECOMMEND checking into HYPNOBIRTHING. i am taking it right now and it sounds like exactly what you wanted last time and will help you to have the birth you want for you and your baby.
    you are a great mother and never forget that.

  5. nichole says:

    wow, reading your comment, im glad to hear i wasnt the only one who had issues with their epi that made it not worth it! im not sure if mine was set wrong so much, as i have two disks in my lower back that are buldging, and probably were when i had one, but didnt know it. the epi went way to much on my left side, rendering my left leg as useful as a dead limb. and the meds didnt get all the way to my right side, so i had much pain on that side, and my left leg useless so i couldnt even move a centameter to try to help with it. im NOT getting one this time, but im looking for other pain management options, would you happen to have any that you could pass onto me? im only 14 weeks, so i have a while, but i like to be as prepaired as possible as early as possible

  6. Morgan Hart says:

    I had a vaginal delivery with my first son, but definitely took the epidural! My thought is that unless the baby would have been compromised by the pain meds, take it! Delivery is still painful no matter what:) With my second, I had to have a c-section due to a total placenta previa. I cried for weeks after we found out-a c-section was my worst nightmare! However….I’d now pick a c-section any day. I think it helped that mine was scheduled, as I didn’t labor at all, but my recovery was quick and easy. I was up walking the same night, showered the next day on my own, and my scar is much tinier than I imagined. Overall I felt like my c-section recovery was better than my vaginal recovery. Much less bleeding and discomfort, and you don’t feel like everything has been stretched all out of place:)

  7. Mari says:

    I had already thought of the epidural but didn’t make a decision until that day. My son was induced a week before my due date and the pains started very strong the contractions started at 8 pm and all night so I don’t remember much my husband says we walked around i don’t remember nothing until I got the epidural. I remember waking up and already being 10 cm but like everything it was all worth it. He was born at 12 pm the next day.

  8. I still need to make a plan. And soon. 29 weeks today 🙂

  9. jenjuniper35 says:

    I had a terrible first delivery and I swear this time NO EPIDURAL! It wasn’t set right and I still had all the pain in the end anyway!

  10. jessicrossen says:

    I was induced with my first baby and ended up having a c-section. I wasn’t really prepared because I never thought I would have a c-section, but it was all right in the end. I had a vaginal delivery with my second baby. For me there were good and bad things with both deliveries, but I would choose a vaginal delivery because there is less risk and I am more involved in my baby’s birth.

  11. MCler13 says:

    I haven’t given birth yet but my plan is to have a totally natural birth as long as there is nothing wrong with the baby. So far I have had a very simple pregnancy very little nausea and only recently have I stated to have trouble sleeping, but then again until recently my little man wasn’t really moving around either.

  12. Melody says:

    I’m not sure how I got the idea, but while I was pregnant, I felt like if I got an epidural, it’d be like I was "less" of a "real woman." Maybe it’s because my mother had all nine of us without any medications at all. I wanted to go natural for myself, but I didn’t think anyone else was "less a woman" for getting an epidural. I would say I wanted to be "flexible"–but ultimately, I wanted to go naturally. I don’t know why I was so mentally harsh on myself. My labor didn’t go as planned. At almost 38 weeks, I had to be induced because I had preeclampsia. I was not mentally prepared at all, and neither was my husband. I stuck it out as long as I could, but I ended up getting the epidural, still feeling a bit of pain (even though I was pressing the button–frequently, and although the anesthesiologist was called in for a "booster"–I could still feel the pain of baby being sunny side up). Oh well. It was almost 8 months ago, and I don’t have any regrets. I’ve got the best baby I could imagine ever having and we’re so happy!

  13. rgmommy says:

    That is awful that your husband didn’t even say something for you especially if he knew it wasn’t what you wanted. At least in the end though you still have a healthy little one to love.

  14. Lesha says:

    I hope my family sticks up for me if I am in too much pain. I do not want any medication and I have made that completely clear to everyone including my doctor. Im glad everything went ok for you over all 🙂

  15. I am glad that was your take away!! Thanks for reading. 🙂

  16. Elfie says:

    EVERYONE told me my labor was going to be fast since I dilated to a 5 without feeling a contraction. My labor was 11 hours and I had to have pitocin, which gave me back labor so I took the epi. They had to do the epi 4 times because I was so swollen. I didn’t move a muscle the whole time they did it because I was terrified. Later my dr threaten a c section and I cried. Then I started pushing at 9 cm. I tore in 2 directions but he’s here and that’s all that matters in the end.

  17. Kelly says:

    This just reminds me that no matter how much I plan for the birth of my baby, I have to be flexible. Thanks for sharing!

  18. Darcy says:

    I couldnt imagine having to have a c-section. I have had two natural child births and immediately I got to hold my daughters. You are so brave for having been through the c-section. I have always wondered what it would be like and your description settles my fears and helps me to realize a childs birth, regardless of its ways, is still beautiful in itself.

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