#259 | Resisting Coercion: Carolyn Marrone's Story of a Miscalculated Due Date and Standing Up To Pushy Providers

April 3, 2024

When Carolyn was pregnant with her first baby, she went past her "due date." After declining an induction at 41+6, her doctor questioned her integrity as a mother, stating, "I am surprised your motherly instinct (to protect your baby) hasn't kicked in yet."  Knowing that she and her baby were ok, she continued to wait despite heavy pressure from her OB. When she passed the 42-week mark, feeling out of options and having been told she was going to have a ten-pound baby, Carolyn accepted an induction on her 31st birthday. Her baby was born vaginally, weighing seven pounds and five ounces.  Looking back at her conception date, her baby was more likely closer to just forty weeks.  Carolyn's entertaining story highlights the inexcusable emotional abuse of her OB while demonstrating Carolyn's remarkable trust and faith in her baby and her body.

Follow Carolyn on Instagram @carolynnmarrone

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View Episode Transcript

Essentially said to me, I'm surprised your motherly instincts have not kicked in yet. It's concerning to me that your baby is still inside of you. And then he said to me, Well, what do you need us for then you don't want to do what we want you to do. So just go home and have your baby at home. He literally gave the analogy he said, if you were at a bank, and a robber came in with a gun, would you hold your kid up and use him as a shield? What? And now I have three doctors telling me that they need to get this baby out. Because it's been too long. I've turned down inductions. You know, we've had meetings about you, the whole hospital is knows about you. They're saying all this stuff. So when I get to the hospital, I was like, "Oh, you're the 42 week Mom", "You're the talk of the town!"

I'm Cynthia Overgard, owner of HypnoBirthing of Connecticut, childbirth advocate and postpartum support specialist. And I'm Trisha Ludwig, certified nurse midwife and international board certified lactation consultant. And this is the Down To Birth Podcast. Childbirth is something we're made to do. But how do we have our safest and most satisfying experience in today's medical culture? Let's dispel the myths and get down to birth.

Well, I'm really excited to be here. Thank you for having me. This is my first time on a podcast. But so this is really exciting. My name is Carolyn, I was here to like, introduce myself, but my name is Carolyn. And I have a son who is almost turning one now. So this is about a year ago when I was going through all of this. And I hope that this story provides the listener with, you know, courage to stand up for herself and, you know, educate herself and just really trust herself more through her birth and labor. Because that is something I had to do a lot during this entire process more times than I would like to have I had to advocate for myself more times than I ever imagined. And I'm the kind of person that I don't just wing things like I went in there prepared. You know, I'm an Enneagram three. So like, I want to make sure I knew what was not that you could like plan for everything. But I wanted to make sure you know I was educated I took a lactate or a breastfeeding course because I'm like, Well, this is a new skill I need to make sure I know what I'm doing. I read all the books, I did all the meditations I made a belief plan for myself. Like I literally went above and beyond I had the most picture perfect pregnancy, I exercised until I had him like from the day I found out till the day I had him I was moving my body every day I was fueling my body with all the healthy foods and nutrition and taking all the supplements. I had zero health concerns or issues the entire time, I was the crazy woman who loved being pregnant. Like I loved every minute of it, I have no complain about it. I loved it, I enjoyed it so much and it was just such a beautiful experience for me. I was so mentally prepared and so confident I kept reminding myself like I was born for this my body was created to do this all these things. And then I knew the number one thing I did not want was an on necessary induction I knew I didn't want to have an induction unless it was absolutely medically necessary. I wanted to have as natural of a birth as I as possible. I wanted to have a vaginal delivery like those were my non negotiables going into it I know that they're you know, you have to have some room for flexibility and I've heard other women tell me you go in with the plan and then you know it doesn't always happen that way. So like I was prepared for that. But I wasn't prepared for the experience I had in the OB prior to having my son what they actually they scheduled an induction for me without me even like knowing that they did this they I went to the OB I got handed a paper when I signed in and it said your induction date and I'm like wait, what the heck is this? Like I didn't schedule this? And they're like well they scheduled it for you I was like well I never had the conversation with them that this is what we were doing so like no don't sign me up but like I'm not doing it.

When was your induction scheduled for we have what we can pregnancy Yeah, so it was scheduled for 40 weeks and five days and I was like I don't need it I don't even let me get to like the full 41 Like also due dates are estimates I've had no health concerns my blood pressure is great like I had no reason for them to be like okay, we need to get this baby out. Other than maybe like the weekend was coming up or whatever. And it was around the holidays as well. You know I suppose going into like December January like my due date was In January, end of January, so it was like the New Year and everyone just trying to like, get the babies out or whatever. So I was like, No, we're fine. We're cool. So I denied that they tried again, I turned it down again. And then at this point now I'm 41 weeks in six days. And I was hoping I didn't have to go back to the OB, I was hoping and praying that you know, I'd have my baby by now when everything would be great. But unfortunately, that wasn't the case. And looking back, I feel like I probably shouldn't have been gone to the OB that day, but I could have spared myself the trauma, but I went anyway. And I get there. And literally, all the confidence I had built up all the things I had done to like really build myself up. I felt like I was stomped on in an instant because I walk in. I see a doctor who I wasn't even supposed to be seeing that day. And found out later I saw him specifically because they figured he would scare me enough to like, do what they wanted me to do. So he was closer. Yeah, it Yeah. I mean, I walk in I'm like all it's like, feeling great and excited, y'all. I'm still pregnant, and everything's going well. And he says to me word for word. And every time I share this, people think I'm making it up because it's like that ridiculous. But he says to me, so why are you still pregnant?

Yeah, I've heard that before. And I'm like, I'm like, Why did you let this happen? Why did we get to this point? Why are we sitting and talking at this point? Basically, what's wrong with you? Yeah, trying to get you to feel that's so incredible. So he said that so this is this is not your Can you say your 40 week? I was 41 in six days? Oh, you're 41 in six. Okay. And he said, so why are you still pregnant? Why are you so pregnant? Yeah.

What did you say? Well, I didn't know what is how do you respond to that? Right? I was like, Well, I'd haven't had my baby yet. Maybe that's why Like, I literally was so shocked that those words are even coming out of his mouth. But it didn't stop there. him he essentially said to me, I'm surprised your motherly instincts have not kicked in yet. It's concerning to me that your baby is still inside of you. What a terrible mother you are. Meanwhile, like, my fiance is sitting in the room with me, like, looking like he was about to jump out of the chair. He was so livid. And I mean, I'm just like, I don't even know how to react at this point and everything. Like I was just so overwhelmed with like, What the heck is going on? And then he said to me, Well, what do you need us for? Then you don't want to do what we want you to do. So just go home and have your baby at home.

Wow. Okay, so why are you still pregnant? We've heard that before. I want to really point out that his saying to you, I'm surprised your motherly instincts haven't kicked in yet. That's actually an incredibly dangerous thing. He said to you. That's really harmful and qualify? Absolutely. It's psychological abuse, emotional abuse. Yeah. It's emotional abuse. Because here's what happens as soon as first time moms give birth. They spend the first few weeks if not months, at feeling like a fraud sometimes because they have no clue what they're doing. And they're convinced even though they're doing everything basically perfectly, basically all the time. They're convinced they're doing it wrong. And for him to say I'm surprised your instincts didn't kick in yet. How dare he say that to you? As the first thing about motherly instincts. He's a man and it was your it was your instinct that was protecting you from him. But that voice in your head if we put that voice in women's heads before right before they have their babies that will skyrocket harm to women skyrocket postpartum depression, guilt shame. Yeah, really is the tactic. That is exactly the intention. That's the tactics to come to ask you. I can't believe he said that. But I also have to ask you Did he literally say your attack? Can you just tell us literally without I don't want any? I don't want you to paraphrase. What did he literally say along the lines of terrible mother because I just I don't want to exaggerate it and I don't want it. Yeah, well, it's gonna sound like I'm making it up because I we were both shocked that these words came out of his mouth, but he literally gave the analogy he said, if you were at a bank, and a robber came in with a gun, would you hold your kid up and use him as a shield? What I'm not even joking. Like it sounds so made up because it's that ridiculous. But he literally said that. And I like didn't even know how to respond to that because I'm like, in what universe? Is that? Even Okay, to speak to someone who is about to have a baby and to even if I wasn't about to have a baby, how could you speak to another human being in that way? And like, like, those things aren't even in the same universe? No. I mean, that is it. It's a horrible analogy. Yeah, it makes no sense. And it's cruel. Yeah.

What age group was this doctor? In? What generation? Is he? Um, well, he was the older, maybe I don't know. I mean, he had gray hair. And he was the oldest one in the the OB office. There was probably it was younger than he looked because he's an asshole. Being an asshole, and you'll look 10 years younger.

Yeah, just wow, I this is great. Okay, so he didn't say you're a terrible mother. He strongly indicated it because he implied you're holding up your infant to shield you. The remarkable thing is you were the shield in between your infant and him. Yeah, that was actually what was going on. So yeah, your punches in defense of your baby and trying to protect your baby. So yeah. And I did say to him, I was like, I would honestly feel like my motherly instinct has kicked in, because I am not allowing you to take this baby out of me when you want to.

Did you say that?

I did. And he didn't like it. Because I didn't like what he said to me to say, I was like, Okay, well, you know what, let's, they wanted me to do like a non stress test. They wanted me to do an ultrasound just to check on baby. And I was fine with that. But I had already, like checked in to the office and everything. And then he tried to tell me, well, you're gonna go have those two tests done at the hospital? And I was like, No, I'm having them done here. Because I'm not done. And I know if I go to the hospital, I'm not leaving the hospital. So that's right. Oh, thank you. Where do you want them here? Oh, I'm just gonna go home. Like that's literally what I told him. Because at that point, I was like, no, no, no, like, you're not gonna fool me. Right? So we had them done there. The ultrasound, perfection, like checked out perfect. Baby was head down, ready to come out? Fluid is clear.

Everything looks perfect. Plus a disappointment to the doctor. Probably.

Yeah. What do you have to say to that? Well, the thing is the ultrasound tech decided it would be a wonderful time to share a horror story with me about her friend who went 42 weeks and her baby aspirated meconium and died. Unbelievable, though, like, shoot me when I'm down, right? I'm like, okay, like trying not to. I'm just thankful I did all of the mindset stuff I did beforehand, because I feel like it would have been a lot harder, it was still difficult, but it would have been a lot harder for me to like, continue to like, stand my ground. If I didn't do any of that stuff ahead of time. Like if I had just gone in there blindly and was like, okay, whatever, like it definitely would have turned out different than it did. But yeah, the ultrasound was great. Everything was perfect.

Was there? Was there any part of you that believed? That's something that you might be putting your baby in danger? Or was there any part of you that was scared? Or were you full on just, I trust my motherly instinct, I know this is okay. Yeah.

Well, the data backs me up that like I could do, they could visually see that nothing was wrong. And I felt like they kept trying to tell me he's going to be so big, he's going to be so big, you're not gonna be able to have him you're gonna have a C section anyway, if you wait too long, but I wasn't that big. Like, I could feel like, my I'm very in tune with my body. And I could tell like, he wasn't that big, because I could kind of feel him like I did like belly mapping. I could feel him I could feel in him inside me. I like physically saw, like how much I had gained. And like, I just knew in my mind, I there was not a 10 pound baby in there, like, okay, like, it's just a normal, average size human. And I was not worried that he was going to be too big. I was not worried that like something was wrong. I felt like if something was wrong, I would know. Like, I would just know something was not right. So no, and that's why I was getting like, I don't know if I can say it, but I was getting pissed off that they kept like, trying to scare me and trying to like, do all these things and make me feel like I was not making the right decision. But I've kept reminding myself that, you know, I got this we've got this, like I was communicating with him and my baby every day and I just knew that we were we're gonna get to the finish line. We were going to do you had absolute trust, because you trust your body. Yeah, that's a skill that you know, takes a lot of practice throughout lifetime to master or even get good at which many of us don't have but and that's you know that the battle then goes on between feet. You're an intuition which one do I trust? Because yeah, and intuition can be very easily confused. But you knew your intuition was on and you trusted it.

Yeah, I mean, the way I look at it is you can, you can go by faith, or you can go by fear. And you can't see either of those things. Right? You can't see fear. You can't see faith. So why would you want to go that way? Why would you want to be led by fear when faith is just so much better? It feels better. It's just like, I don't know, I just felt like, I just felt very confident that what I was doing was right. I kept reminding myself that. And, you know, the data that I had from the ultrasound confirmed that all was well. But then we did the non stress test. And that's when things kind of got a little crazy.

Just quickly before you proceed with that. Your fiancee, what's his name?


He looked like he was going to jump out of the chair. What? Yeah, anything at all? And back to the doctor visit? What did he say anything at all? Yeah, he asked him to leave the room. He said the doctor leave the room. Yeah. He said, Can you leave the room? We need a minute. And what happened? And he left the room. Because he left the room, he actually left the room to ask if I was allowed to have the test done at the office, instead of the hospital. Okay, got it. So you don't that's a great strategy. A great strategy is to get time and space. Because what happens is they ask you questions, you feel on the spot, you feel pressured, they're looking at you. And then we forget, even in the hospital, even mid birth, we can say Can you leave us alone? We need to talk. And they have to, they have to leave you alone.

Okay, so can we give his ego a minute to settle down to Oh, yeah, I'll ever happen. And it's also interesting, I just wanted to comment on the fact that you showed up, and he said, so why are you still pregnant, which is a common one. Just remind everyone that when you watch politicians in an interview, which is always a waste of time, and it's always infuriating, you know, as soon as they're asked a good question, they go, what what really matters is such and such, and they change the, you know, they change the subject entirely, you can hold them to something that they stand for, they'll be like, what matters is jobs, like, they just take control of the conversation. And it's a skill that they learn. And we forget, sometimes that when we're in a conversation with someone, and we really have to protect ourselves, you know, presumably, this is not in your intimate relationships or a trusted relationship. But when you're in a situation like that, you have to remember that the person asking questions is seeking to control the conversation. You're the client, you get to show up, you get to ask them your questions for you to walk in, and they're asking you questions. It's like, it's not a chord scene, you don't have to answer anything. You're there because you need information from them. They don't need information from you. So when they say, Why are you still pregnant? You can be like, Look, Doctor, the important thing is or the reason I'm here so you don't you don't actually have to answer it as uncomfortable as it is. You don't have to answer a question that's asked of you. Yeah. We feel we do. We're like I didn't know what to say. So I said this so that while you don't have to say anything to that you can regain control of the conversation. This guy is a skilled carpenter. You know, he's a skilled whatever he wants to be polished closer if

you have that appointment. Exactly. Be an attorney, be a politician, some people have, they have that gift and they use it against people rather than building rapport in their relationships that using against people. Okay, so we're up to your nonstress test. You're still 41 weeks and six days. Yeah, this is all the same doctor. Okay, well, one after the other after the other. Okay, so we they did the ultrasound first and like I said, it checked out perfect. Everything was fine. Fluid was clear percent a look great baby was head down, ready to go. So I'm like, okay, great. So we do the non stress test. And this is the second time I've done this, because they made me do one the week prior, and everything was fine, and they let me go home. But this time, I was attached to the machine for about maybe three minutes, they want you to stay on there for 20 and I was on for about three minutes. I'm like in this chair in a very uncomfortable position, like in the worst position reclined. So like sitting on my tailbone essentially. So like, I don't know, babies, probably not in the greatest, most comfortable position if I'm not.

And probably your baby's sitting on their cord.

Yes. So what had happened was three minutes on the machine. The door was shut. This is like the tiniest room. It's like a small room and Tay is sitting in front of me and the chair like are his knees are almost hitting the the little table that I'm on and the doctor comes barging in the room hospital now you're going to the hospital now that's all I said. And I was like why? Could you please explain to me why I need to go to the hospital now like, Oh, and of course, I'm just like, shaking do because that's like jarring. You're just sitting there chill. And then next thing you know, someone comes barging in telling you you need to go to the hospital now. And he said, I don't like that tracing. That's it. Oh, I don't like that's the famous. I don't like the famous rhetorical I don't like. So I asked those words, beware.

But what specifically do you not like about it? Because I wanted to know, because I'm the annoying patient. It's according to them, like, I want to know like, I'm not gonna just take your word for it. What don't you like about it? And he was like, they're the heart rates going down, like it's going up and down. And I'm like, that seems normal to me. It doesn't abate. Like I'm laying on my tailbone. I'm contracting. I'm feeling contractions. And my baby's heart rate is, you know, heart rate variability, which, which was later confirmed at the hospital by this nurse who was like, fantastic. Wow, your baby's heart rate variability is great. He has such a strong baby in there.

So you were in that moment, same doctor came in and did this. He just wouldn't give up on you. You were his little project for the day. He was standing behind the closed door listening, waiting to burst in and declare that he didn't like something. Okay. And then you were lying back. Not a good position. You're right. But it's temporary. You're lying back, you said this. What happened next? You said you ended up in the hospital, but just you and you also said you felt contractions, but you weren't in labor yet.

So I wasn't in labor yet. So I guess one doctor wasn't enough. So another one came in. And another one came in. So now there's three doctors in there. And I'm still in this leg, very vulnerable position here strapped to a machine. And now I have three doctors telling me that they need to get this baby out. Because it's been too long. I've turned down inductions. You know, we've had meetings about you, the whole hospital is knows about you. They're saying all this stuff. So when I get to the hospital, it was like, Oh, you're the 42 week mom, were the talk of the town. This is unbelievable. So now there's three of them in there. And then so that we have this we have, man Well, I don't know what we want to refer to him as but maybe if she said, asshole, we have him. And then some number one, that's all number one. And then we have another doctor who is on call for that day, who says, oh, no, I wouldn't even induce you. I'd give you a C section right now. So remember to ask her to write. And then another doctor who was in there, I guess just because she was there for the day. And they just wanted to be strengthened numbers, I don't know. So I took a picture of the tracing on my phone. And I emailed it to my doctor who's also my son's pediatrician. She's a family doctor. But she's just not like any old doctor. She is a published author in like labor and delivery space. She's an ibclc. Like, I trust her. I trust her over the doctors that day. And she literally emailed me back and said, if you're not at the hospital yet go home. Because my guess is they're just trying to scare you. That looks absolutely normal. Go home and relax. That's what she told me via email. Thank goodness for technology.

Did you get that while you were still there in the office? Yeah. Okay. So you didn't go to the hospital?

No. So I went home. How did they respond to you going home? Well, I think they thought I was going to the hospital. And I just didn't. Because the hospital was right across the street. I was like, Okay, well, I'm going and they're like, alright, well, I'll see you there. And I'm like, Okay, you probably won't and I just want help. Like, no, I'm not, I just didn't feel like also at the time, then I was kind of thinking like, do I want to go to that hospital anymore? Do I want to have my baby there? Do I want to maybe find another one. I'm like literally about to have this baby trying to make all these decisions. And the hospital though was like completely different environment than the OB. So I mean, I chose that hospital specifically for a reason because they are the best in the area. I mean, I drove an hour to go to this hospital. So like I stuck firmly with my choice there. And I'm really glad that I did but I'm just also really glad that it was a different environment than that OBS office that day, because if it was, if it wasn't, it would have been more dramatic than it needed to be me.

Why did you say you felt contractions when you're at the non stress test?

Because I couldn't feel them like well, I was having like Braxton Hicks and then they have like two little like things. So the one thing was like the contractions like you could see the contractions and then the one other little circle thing was the baby's heart rate. So was like a double monitor and one was monitoring the contractions. And then the other one was monitoring the baby's heart rate. And there were there were lines for both.

What you were having was uterine activity. Just uterine activity. It's yeah. It's like a Braxton Hicks. It's not labor contraction. Oh, yeah. Action. That's, that's causing cervical dilation. It's just uterine activity.

Yeah, I was far from labor. At that point, I was not even dilated.

So you went home? And how many more days? Yeah, so I went home, we went for a walk on the beach, we bought some adult coloring books and just colored we're like, we did all the things to just like, whatever like, but try to not remember this traumatic experience, although like, I firmly believe that if I didn't go in that day, and have that happen, I would have went into labor on my own that like next day or so. And they would have had my baby. And it would have been like, completely different. But I really felt like my body kind of like, like tightened up and closed up a little bit. from that. So that night, I actually had a conversation with my son, you know, I had my hands on my belly. And I was telling him I know, that was scary. You know, that man was scary. He was not nice to us. But you know, it's not scary out here. You know, I've got you, we've got this. So we had that conversation. And I felt like, I mean, if I was showing up, he definitely was too. So I wanted to make sure he knew it was safe to come out. And not everybody out here is like that, man. It's, you know, it's nicer out here too. But he really liked being in there. So I ended up the hospital ended up calling me. They actually they called me for my first induction that I already told them, I wasn't coming to I guess they figured if they just kept like, assuming I was going to come, I would just go. But they had called me for that one for 40 weeks and five days. And they're like, Oh, we just want to let you know, like we got we're a little backed up. So if you can come in a little later. And I was like, I'm not coming at all. So like, I don't know why I'm still on the list. Like you can take my name off, I'm not coming. But they called again, this was like the day after the OB traumatic experience. And they said they wanted to schedule an induction. And at this point, I was like, alright, well, I'm I'm getting past the 42 weeks, like, nothing is really like, progressing at all. I also just had a really traumatic experience, my body's probably like tightening up and like I don't I don't want to get to the point where it's like, okay, well, now it's dangerous. That's just kind of like what I was thinking. And also, like, my brain was like, mush, because I just, like, had to make so many decisions, and everything was just firing at me. So I was like, You know what, let me just schedule it. But in my mind, it was like, I'm not going to have to go anyway. But let me just schedule it. You know, I just schedule it, you know, and it'll everything will just kind of work how it's supposed to. And I woke up Sunday morning, which was induction day and I was still pregnant. You know, like, when you go past your due date, you wake up every morning, you're like, Oh, I'm still pregnant. You know, you wake up and the next day, I'm still pregnant, you know, and it was like, How many more days Am I gonna wake up? Okay, I'm still pregnant. So I scheduled it, and we went to church that morning. I was actually wearing this sweatshirt, which is funny. We went to church, and I don't normally go up to the altar for prayer. I've seen people do it before. I don't normally do it. But just something made me feel like I needed to do it that day. So we went up there tight. And I went up there. We met this amazing woman and we see her every week now. And she prayed over me and she put her hands on my belly and she prayed over my son and she started speaking in tongues and it was just like this crazy experience. And she ended up telling me like she was one of the first women in like this it at the hospital where she had her son to have a successful VBAC, which I thought was really cool. Like, of all the people out there for me to go up to and like, ask for prayer. I randomly chose this woman, and she made me like, feel really comfortable with going in that day. That was a little divine guidance right there. Yeah,

it's just and they continued, which is the coolest part. So we're on our way to the hospital still didn't want to go but like, I knew I had to go I guess at this point. And I was like, let's get some food because I don't know the next time I'm going to be able to eat a really great meal. So let's go get some Italian food on the way. And I opened up the, the little container like the foil with the plastic top. And there was a little heart of marinara sauce, just like on the on the lid of the container. And it was like -

Oh my gosh, sweet, right. And then when I went in to pick up the food, though, I told you I don't know if I mentioned this, but I made a playlist for my son and I listened to it whole time I was pregnant. And it's great because it helps him like take naps now. So if you're pregnant and you want a little tip there, make a playlist of all like your favorite songs and listen to it all the time and your baby will love it. But I walked in and the song mama's boy was playing a country song Jong Un in an Italian restaurant. And that was like one of the top songs on this playlist. And I was like, that's interesting. Like, it just kept pointing me like I was I was making the right choice things were lining up. And then our check number was one to seven. And I see two seven everywhere. My birthday is to seven tastes birthday is actually the 12. So one, two, and then minus the seven. And I'm like, okay, like, we're good. Like, we he's got God's got us. We're good. Everything's gonna be okay. So that was like, super cool. Wow, that's really crazy. When you pay attention, and you start tapping into that stuff, it really you really do see that? There is a higher power guiding you. Mm hmm. Yeah. You trusted?

Yes, he trusted and so that was on the way to the hospital. I got there. It was really late. It's like Sunday night. And I actually like called ahead because it's a rotating practice, right. And I wanted to make sure asshole number one, and as hole number two, we're not going to be delivering my base. It's so cool. I called ahead. And they told me number two was coming in on Wednesday. Then number three was coming in on Thursday. So I was like, Okay, so the goal is in my mind, like, I'm a goal, like I set a goal, okay. We, we got to have the baby out before Wednesday, like and I know, that's like probably pressure I didn't need to put on myself. But I also knew it was probably better to not have to experience either of them again. So I told myself, okay, baby's gonna be born before Wednesday. My birthday was on Tuesday. So let's maybe we're gonna share a birthday. I turned 31 And don't even remember it. Because I was in labor the whole day. So they started me with as soon as I got there, they pop that monitor on me that continual fail monitor, which I wasn't too thrilled about. Because I know that like, when you have that they're just like obsessive over like every little thing. But thankfully, there was only one time where like, six doctor or six nurses came running in and we're like, Oh, my God, like what's going on? And I actually I just went to go use the bathroom. And I guess when I peed and my bladder empty, the baby moved and sat on his court, like, that's all it was. But luckily, they were able to like, you know, well, let's try this position. Let's try this position. They didn't jump to the conclusion that Oh, my God, that baby like something is so terribly wrong. Like they assess the situation and everything was fine. So I was thankful that it ended up that way. But they put it on as soon as they got there. I had that thing on for three and a half days, because it took me that long to get them out. So we started with the service URL, they chose that option, because it was the least invasive. They said, if he has any adverse side effects, we can just rip it out. And it's out of your system. Whereas other things like drugs and things like that, it's kind of hard to get them out quickly. So we started with that 12 hours, I moved a whole half a centimeter, like goofy, we've got some movement going. And then they were like, do you want to do it again, then? Like, I don't know if they want to do that again for another 12 hours if we've got a half a centimeter. So like, what are my options, and we did a membrane sweep which hindsight, I wish I could have had that done earlier than when I did but can't go back and change that. So I had that done, things started moving along. Then they gave me site attack, which I wasn't too thrilled about. But I only had to take like maybe two of them. And then I was like I think it's working enough. We don't need to keep taking these. So like it's good enough because I mean, from what the research I've done it comes in a black box and it says not to use during pregnancy, which is a little sketchy.

So that's because it will do exactly what it does. And open a cervix dilates. So yeah, it does have risks.

It's not FDA approved for that purpose. And it is it it is linked to some very serious risks so some hospitals have even banned Cytotec yeah and others are using them and and even homebirth midwives love it sometimes been Yeah, it's all over the board.

Okay. I was still a little I don't like taking anything so I'm like, I don't know if I want to do that guys. Like I'm the I'm the person that doesn't take Tylenol. I won't take I won't take any of the things unless it's like 100% absolutely necessary, and it's usually not. Cytotec scares me. I mean, they are all worth thinking long and hard about. So where were you now in your pregnancy? How many days weeks 42. I was 42 weeks on the Saturday so I was 42 in one when I checked in and started the induction because I was there for so long. With each nurse that came in this shift change. I had to continuously have these cervical exams, which was like the absolute worst part of the entire thing. I had like all the things that like I had a comb, I had essential oils. I had a bag of ice I was holding on my forehead I was like I am doing this on medicated I am not going to take to get the epidural. I'm going to do this unmedicated. I'm like, I'm a person who does what she says she's going to do. But then eventually it got to the point where I was like, Okay, I got from zero to seven, all on my own unmedicated. I'm now I'm like, almost at the point where I'm like, Okay, this is absolute torture. Maybe it's not the worst thing in the world. Because the the alternative, you know, like, would be like, I don't want a C section. And I know sometimes when you do the epidural, it could slow things down. And I just, it was going through my head, and I couldn't make decisions. I had decision fatigue. Like it was just so many decisions I had to make and a nurse. My nurse said to me, and I, this has stuck with me since I've had my son and it's I use it like all the time, she said, You cannot make the wrong decision, but you do have to make a decision. And I was like, okay, okay, so like trusting the decision I'm gonna make. I went with the epidural, like I joke, I got an epidural for my birthday. And I was contracting while this was getting like, stuck in my back because I had waited so long. And thankfully, everything worked out okay with the epidural. And I was able to sleep a little bit because I needed to because I was going on like, this was like Tuesday, and I got it. I got there Sunday. So I'm like two and a half days almost into this thing. And I'm like, This baby's got to come out. They did end up before the epidural, they did break my water. And there was an conium. It's like one thing after another, right. And so that was a little freaky. And the one nurse did tell me that like, it's, it is normal. We see it all the time. Don't panic. It's okay. Like, it's not the end. It's not the end of the world. So that made me feel better.

It is really common for babies to do that to pass meconium and labor, especially if there's some stress and labor from a medication like cytotec. Yeah.

I had thought maybe the doctor visit made him do that. You know, maybe that stressed him out a little bit, too. So yeah, the days were passing, though, and I tried not to watch the clock. But I'm like, Okay, well, we're getting close to Wednesday, and that lady is coming in, and I don't want to see her. And I didn't want to use any anything like they offered me intravenous drugs. And like no, like, that passes the placenta, no, thank you, like I do all the things. But I ended up getting the absolute lowest dose of Pitocin to get me to the like, where I was able to push because I didn't want to risk having to do it with this doctor. But unfortunately, it is now Wednesday, the shift change, and that doctor was coming in. But thankfully for me, God had my back because the doctor who was there the day before I expressed to her my concerns, and she stayed a whole nother shift to deliver my baby. Like, she didn't have to do that. So I'm thankful for her and her her kindness to stay and be there for me in that moment when I needed someone who I can trust and depend on. So continuity of care. She understands the value of it. Yeah. And she probably knew she was needed. You probably knew she was an asset to you that helped. She knew that that other doctor was nice. She didn't have to experience that.

Yeah, thank goodness. So I got to the point where I was able to push like we did all the things. I'm like dancing around the room, we're doing the peanut ball, we're doing the like, big yoga ball where I took a sheet and threw it over the door. And I'm like making my own robot though. I'm like, I'm doing all the things and nothing was working. So eventually, we did get to the point where like, Okay, we stretched to the 10 Let's push took me four hours to push this baby out. I said like three to four. Like I it's hard to remember exact time, but it was a long time. And all I knew was they told me when my water was broken. I had 24 hours to deliver this baby. And I was coming up on 23 and a half hours I had him 23 and a half hours he decided okay, let's be born. That's not evidence based. But while they were imposing for that deadline, yeah, yeah, they told me that and I was like, Okay, well, that puts more pressure on me but okay. But thankfully, he did decide to be boring before then. So I was pushing it was that was the coolest part though. Like I can't wait to do it again. Like that was the coolest part. Getting to see him coming out with a mirror. They asked me if I wanted a mirror and I got to see all his little hair and I was like, Oh my gosh, like he's actually there and it was so encouraging. Because I could see the finish line I could see the baby like we were almost there even though it took three or four hours. I felt like I was right there. And you know, pushing his pushing it took a while, but I got to the point where like he would he would not just pop out and pop back in. He would like pop out and stay there. So I was like, Okay, we got this. And it was getting really close, like I said, and the doctor had asked me do you can I give you an a Pz autonomy? And I said, not unless it's absolutely necessary and at this point I do not believe it is. And I said, Give me one more. One more push. Let me push one more time and I don't know I'll from where this came from. But Mama Bear, I pushed as hard as I could. And he came flying out of my body. I thought he was gonna fly off the table. It was the craziest feeling like, I can't even explain it. But then you're like, What the heck just happened, right? You're just laying there, you're exhausted. You look like I mean, my photos after birth are not cute, which was like in and out of the shower. Messy Bun, my hair was a mess. I've got like mascara running down my face. Like I look like an like crazy. But I achieved my goal of having my baby vaginally when I was told multiple times, I was going to have to have a C section, I was going to have to have a C section. And well, let me share with you. My baby was seven pounds and five ounces, seven pounds, five ounces. That does not sound like a 40 to plus oh, maybe there's so much error and due date calculation. Did you have any concerns that your due date may actually have been much later?

I did. Actually I was like, You know what, this doesn't seem right to me. And I know like I knew the exact day that I conceived. So I knew it was not correct.

And how far off was that from? You're about to leave? Oh my god.

Seriously? Yeah.

Your you know, your conception date and your due date would have been two weeks later based on your conception date. Yeah, but they were going by the size of the baby in me and Jenna, is where we go so wrong. Women's menstrual cycles are not the same. And women have a wide variation in when they ovulate relative to their last menstrual. Yeah, first day of their last menstrual cycle, which is what the due date is calculated on. It is so atypical for a baby to be born beyond 42 weeks and be in the seven pound range. Your due date was wrong.

Yeah. Hey, there's no way that that was that could have been correct, because honestly, actually after the fact, the lactation consultant came in helped me with breastfeeding, which he laughs straightaway. He's an excellent breastfeed her thankfully, I didn't have any issues with that. She looks at him and looks at me and says, Okay, so I used to work in the NICU. And he does not look like the 42 week babies that I've thrown in there.

When you look at a baby after birth, you can assess their gestational age quite well. And this is it's so frustrating, because all of that that you went through was because of some date that somebody gave you erroneously in the beginning.

Yeah, so I was like, the next time I'm not telling people and I'm new.

Well, I have a question. Looking back now. And knowing that when he was born and looking at as gestational assessment after birth, would you have avoided that induction? Would you have just continued to let yourself go until Labor spontaneously started?

If I knew 100% That that date was wrong, like if I knew what I knew after I would have waited? Yeah.

So what do you want to tell? First time moms?

Okay, well, first time mom, definitely do your research. Educate yourself. Don't go into it blindly. Trust yourself, understand the importance of advocating for yourself because if you don't, nobody else is going to for you. It's your body and it's your baby. And no matter what anyone tells you like you are the one who makes that ultimate decision like no doctor can tell you what you must do. You get to decide. And that choice is always going to be yours, not anybody else's.

Thank you for joining us at the Down To Birth Show. You can reach us @downtobirthshow on Instagram or email us at Contact@DownToBirthShow.com. All of Cynthia’s classes and Trisha’s breastfeeding services are offered live online, serving women and couples everywhere. Please remember this information is made available to you for educational and informational purposes only. It is in no way a substitute for medical advice. For our full disclaimer visit downtobirthshow.com/disclaimer. Thanks for tuning in, and as always, hear everyone and listen to yourself.

It's the most empowering thing you will ever do as a woman have a baby and that's like I mean, men can't do that. People can do that. Only women can do that. And you're so much stronger than you. You actually like give yourself credit for and I think that that has really taught me that birth teaches you that. Yeah, birth really makes you feel like Superwoman it truly does.

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About Cynthia Overgard

Cynthia is a published writer, advocate, childbirth educator and postpartum support specialist in prenatal/postpartum healthcare and has served thousands of clients since 2007. 

About Trisha Ludwig

Trisha is a Yale-educated Certified Nurse Midwife and International Board Certified Lactation Counselor. She has worked in women's health for more than 15 years.

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