You weren’t there. You didn’t see the signs. You didn’t talk to the midwife on the phone and have her tell you that you still had a long time to go.
It’s not fair of anyone to judge our situation. Actually, from talking to other moms with posterior babies, the feelings I had were not unusual. I didn’t feel like the baby was coming because she was turned around and putting pressure on my bowel (the reason that the midwife and our Bradley teacher both thought I was constipated). The same thing causes my contractions that were anywhere from 2 to 10 minutes apart and very inconsistent. My water didn’t break. Given those signs and adding the fact that we didn’t want to go to the hospital until we absolutely had to, would you have gone in?
I’m guessing not.
Given the last 2 years to hear other people’s stories and process, I think I know what happened. It is my belief that my daughter was posterior for the majority of my labor. For a long time I was on the toilet “pushing” because the midwife said that once I was relieved of the constipation, the baby would come. Considering those two places are very close together, pushing in one place equates to at least some pushing in the other.
Then my daughter flipped around. I don’t know if she was in my birth canal or if all of the pushing before hand made her basically slip down into the birthing canal once she was in the right position. Either seems anatomically difficult, but it’s what makes the most sense for the sensations I was feeling. Suddenly, it felt like the pressure was in my vagina rather than my bowel. I thought myself crazy, but decided to check. Sure enough, she was just a few inches from crowning.
I immediately felt a strong urge to push her out. I don’t know if it was the sudden urgency of the situation if it was simply that she was finally in the correct position. Either way, it was the strongest urge I’ve ever felt. Just a few pushes and she was out. I can’t give a good idea of a time frame, but I know it was quick.
I’m sure that part of what we saw during labor could have pointed us in the right direction. Possibly I would have recognized transition if it wasn’t my first labor, but it was so short (I literally said to my husband once “I don’t think I can do this” and he said “Yes you can” and that was it) that we didn’t recognize it. Maybe if I wasn’t so afraid of going into the hospital and being stuck there and having all of these interventions, I would have gone in to get checked. If I would have had a planned home birth, maybe the midwife would have recognized the signs of a posterior labor and realized I was closer than we thought. Maybe if our midwife hadn’t had been so certain that I was just constipated, we would have seen the signs that it wasn’t constipation rather than ignoring them because the midwife must be right.
All in all, there were many things working against us making it to the hospital in time. Some simple things like not realizing that I was in transition. Some much more complex like my water not breaking.
I don’t regret birthing Peanut at home, with or without attendants. What I regret is going to the hospital afterward. What I regret is having to hear flack from people for missing the signs. What I regret is the resentment I feel towards the people in my life that think I’m stupid or ignorant for having an accidental home birth.