Becca Murrell’s Birth Story
My mother’s first child was born in January of 1992. My older brother gave mom just as much of a challenge coming out as he would in his years growing up; he has always marched to the beat of his own drum. My brother was a face presentation baby, and although mom tried her best to get him into position to be born, he decided to do things his own way.
When my brother began to show signs that he was in distress, as many face presentation babies do, mom was whisked away to an emergency cesarean birth.
Just shy of two years later, my mom went into labor with me in December of 1993. My mom saw an OBGYN during her pregnancy that she described as very supportive of VBACs, so she hoped to have a vaginal delivery.
Mom began contracting early in the morning and arrived at the hospital shortly after. The medical staff encouraged her to walk to progress her labor. The doctor that was on shift that day was an older man, not the provider that she had seen throughout her pregnancy. After a bit of walking, she was rechecked for cervical dilation.
Despite the walking, she was discouraged to learn that she had not made any cervical change. As my mom recalled her labor, she said that at this time, the doctor came in and said,
That doctor’s lack of belief in her, combined with the pain of her contractions, was enough for her to elect for a repeat cesarean. She said that she was one of the last people to hold me after I was born.
At twenty-two years old, I followed in my mom’s footsteps and became a Registered Nurse. However, unlike my mom, I chose to work in labor and delivery. I was much more attracted to bringing new life into the world instead of treating illnesses. As I began working, I realized that my mom’s story of the doctor who did not believe in her body’s abilities was actually an everyday event.
I have since met and cared for lots of people who have been robbed of the birth experience that they longed for. I realized that these stories followed many people for the rest of their lives- the heartbreak of their births often leaves a lasting feeling of trauma. I also realized that a positive birth experience is not mutually exclusive with an unmedicated vaginal delivery. Instead, it is a birth where the woman feels listened to, empowered, and included in decisions.
About two and half years into my nursing career, I cared for a woman who changed the trajectory of what birth meant to me. She laughed her way through labor, made out with her husband between contractions, and was supported by her mother. This woman labored during a night shift, so the on-call OBGYN was asleep. It was just this woman, her husband, her mother and I, all working together to bring her baby into the world safely.
Wow, what an incredible thing to be a part of! About two weeks after I helped this woman deliver her baby earthside, I applied to a Certified Nurse Midwifery Program. I am so pleased to say that I begin classes this April.
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