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Indus' Birth Story

Another few years later at twenty-three, I was embarking on yet another journey into motherhood, expecting a sweet little boy. This was the most miserable pregnancy I had ever experienced with many complications. I suffered a slow leak at four months pregnant after an injury and fall that continued until he was born at thirty-eight weeks. I went for weekly ultrasounds to monitor fluid levels and growth. I continued to work full time throughout and care for my babies. I was incredibly sick this entire pregnancy and could barely eat. I was never offered or suggested pharmaceutical relief or intervention and I lost fifty pounds during that pregnancy. I lived on pineapple almost entirely. Nothing else was palatable and rarely able to be kept down. Looking back, I believe the reason I craved it so badly was because my body knew it needed the immune support. The human body never ceases to amaze me. We were made perfectly, and designed perfectly, and it supported my son incredibly well despite my ailments and injuries.

Several months later during the rise in swine-flu, Yara became very ill. While at the doctor they gave us both a flu shot. Within hours I needed urgent medical care. I began experiencing debilitating pain in my stomach so bad I crawled into the ER on my hands and knees and was immediately sent to labor and delivery where I had begun bleeding. They ran all sorts of tests and came up empty-handed but they assured me that it had nothing to do with that flu shot. Ultimately, they did nothing but administer IM morphine for the pain and to stop the contractions and immediately discharged me. I remember being so terrified to take even a Tylenol and didn’t want anything stronger but they said it was the only thing that would stop the contractions so they could send me home. They helped me arrange for transportation after discharge and I slept on and off in a daze for two days. 

On May thirteenth I began having steady contractions that had begun to take my breath away. When they were regularly 5-6 minutes apart, I drove myself to labor and delivery after leaving my kids with my mother and they hooked me up in a delivery room with pitocin even though I was only 4cm dilated. I received the meds for several hours, but the contractions stopped completely. They wanted to unhook me and keep me, but since I wasn’t in active labor after all I decided to go home and spend a little more time with my babies. 

We went to bed around midnight and at 6 am I woke up screaming to incredibly intense contractions. My friend drove me to the hospital while I was doubled over in pain crying as they hit me back to back to back. I was sweating and throwing up. Birth seemed imminent. Yet… as I went to check in, reality hit me in the face. I was alone in a hospital that had hurt me. I had no support this time and I didn’t want to go through the pain of another epidural that didn’t work right, or the pain of labor, or even… birth at all. While in the delivery room all those fears took over and all contractions stopped. It was as though I had never been in labor. They left me alone for an hour before coming in and telling me they were getting the show on the road. I was defeated but ready…and had all but lost my voice. Pitocin was started, another epidural was placed (though it never actually kicked in at all and I felt everything) and there was no turning back. By 10 am the doctors had again left my room after seeing that I was 6cm since they thought I still had so much time. Not even five minutes later I knew he was coming down. Fetal ejection reflex kicked in once again and my body was working quickly to birth my baby on its terms. After calling the nurse’s station I was told the doctor was catching a baby in another room and I needed to calm down because my baby wasn’t ready. As I went to respond I think she heard something in my voice because she came running. My boy was crowning as she came in yelling at me to stop pushing as I yelled back at her that I wasn’t. She held pressure on my baby’s head trying to prevent him from coming out until the doctor could make it. It was excruciating. Agonizing pain. She held him in there until the doctor came in and was able to grab him. He was born at 1015am weighing six pounds eleven ounces and twenty and eighteen inches long. He shares a birthday with my firstborn, his big brother. 

I was so traumatized by this experience, however short-lived that it was, that I was convinced that I never wanted to do this again. I never wanted to have another baby. At my six-week postpartum check, I made my desires clear and asked for a referral so I could discuss removing my tubes. Again, I was denied. Even though I had met the “requirement” of having three kids they deemed me too young and since I wasn’t married I would have to wait until I was married and my future husband permitted me to end this phase of my life. Once again, my reproductive choices and care of my body were taken from me. I had zero autonomy.


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