Today is the day I forgive myself for the homebirth and actually give myself a little stinking credit.
For 10 years I've been saying it was sheer luck that got us through a crash C-section with no ill effects and not even a second of NICU time. That he had meconium was no surprise because he was in distress. But the fact is he was monitored the whole time, even at home by the midwives, and he had not been in distress until we arrived at the hospital. He was in distress for minutes only.
That is because in spite of the decision to homebirth, I actually made a lot of good decisions along the way.
I read voraciously. Everything I could get my hands on. Some were better info than others but I absorbed it all.
So when a close friend recommended her fabulous awesome midwife who heroically sat in the corner knitting for 3 days while she labored, refusing to budge, refusing to give up and go to the hospital, I knew THAT was not a wise path. I went with more conservative types. They were still midwives though.
I knew that when my water broke in the birthing pool (I felt it pop and gush) we had 24 hours before risk of infection.
I knew that my contractions were as strong as they needed to be and the lack of dilation was a problem.
I knew at 23 hours of labor at home it was time to go to the hospital, much to my bitter disappointment and defeat. Those crushing emotions did not justify making further bad decisions at the risk of my baby. So I didn't. I made a good decision to go to the hospital when I did.
When they put me on the monitor, baby looked fine. They offered me an epidural. The midwives pressed for me to get pitocin to strengthen the contractions in the hopes of still doing a vaginal birth. I knew that would have been a mistake, putting more pressure on an object that is refusing to budge when my pain was already a 10 did not seem wise. I am extremely glad I resisted the pitocin. THAT felt like a birth injury waiting to happen.
I got an epidural instead and sent all the midwives home. THAT is when the fetal distress started and the doctors said its time for a C-section. I took a few minutes to process this but did not resist. They topped off the epidural and carted me to the OR and Parker was out soon after.
So, yeah, the decision to homebirth was a bad one. For me. But I made a lot of good judgement calls along the way that I believe in hindsight really kept us safe, considering.
And then for baby #2 I didn't fight the planned c-section. It was SUCH a better experience. But in the end, both in spite of and because of myself, I have two healthy boys.
After 10 years, its time to stop beating myself up.