Postpartum Experience: A Female Physician’s Account of Returning to Work After a Short Maternity Leave Part 1

Labor started early in the morning at home. I called my doula to let her know, then my midwife’s office. I was expecting a midwife for the delivery, but the doctor called me that day stating, “You have a big baby and there are risks involved. We should just do a C-section.’ It was the very first time I was hearing this.

Naturally, I felt threatened and scared and helpless as all my best laid plans were suddenly out the door! I spent the rest of the afternoon at home with my husband and doula until my contractions were less than 5 minutes apart. We were ready to head to the hospital - it was go-time.

I walked into my hospital room at 7 PM being bombarded with questions from the nurses. They simultaneously drew my blood while I was going through some major contractions and heavy breathing. I had to hold onto my husband while standing for support. I knew I had to mentally and physically prepare myself for what an unmedicated labor could be like. So, my doula took out the comfort measures (essential oils, massage tools, and candles) while my husband started to play relaxing, instrumental Christian music.

About an hour later, the doctor on call that evening arrived whom I had never met before and was again being told that because I have a large baby, a C-section should be pursued, even though both mom and baby had a completely healthy pregnancy. I continued to progress through the difficult contractions and ignored this negative wave of energy. Time seemed to pass quickly as I went from the shower for hydrotherapy, to the yoga mat, to the birthing ball, and then to the bed going through as many positions and laboring techniques that felt right for me in those moments. I just kept telling myself “My baby is coming soon; my baby is coming soon.” About 6 hours later, my whole world changed as my healthy baby boy was born at 9 lbs 10.5 oz and 22 inches.

I knew I would be forever in love with him. My immediate reaction was one full of excitement and thrill at his arrival; though I should have also been celebrating the unmedicated marathon of childbirth I had just pulled off, but that somehow slipped my mind.

For more, be sure to follow Nikoleta @drnikoleta or subscribe to her podcast The Millennial Doc Podcast.

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