Monday, November 16, 2009

Birth Story ...not what I expected

My due date had come and gone and I was getting anxious. Days went by where NOTHING happened. There were times I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with a child growing inside of me... Okay, I know that sounds crazy but when you're expecting to have your baby a little early and you watch day after day pass by with no signs of labor, you start to lose it a little.

The night was finally here. I had fairly strong, consistent contractions for a few hours each of the three nights before so thinking they may actually progress seemed far-fetched. The contractions pretty much started at 5 minutes apart. I waited a few hours before calling my midwife, just to make sure there was something to call about. They continued so I called and we decided I would call back once contractions were closer together and stronger. I tried sleeping, taking a bath, rolling on the birthing ball, swaying my hips,...not much was helping the pain but it was still tolerable. Once my contractions were 3 minutes apart and not so tolerable for a few hours I decided I needed to go in. After all, we live a good 40 minutes from the hospital and if I waited much longer, we'd be in morning rush hour traffic and I might have to have my baby on the side of the road.

We arrived at the hospital and they got us a labor room. Okay pause... They tried making me sit... They tried putting me in a wheelchair. I think 10 people asked if I wanted a wheelchair... And then the lovely escort walked like the speed of lightning. Even my long legged husband couldn't catch up. I think we were still in the lobby when she was at the elevator...

Anyway... once we arrived at the labor room they checked me and baby... 3cm dilated, 90% effaced, VERY strong contractions, baby responding well to them.

We walked around, tried several different stretches, my hubby and doula rubbed my back and feet,... I screamed in his shirt a few times,...

Several hours later... 3cm dilated, 90% effaced, VERY strong contractions,... Midwife scraped membranes so I didn't have to go home...

An hour later... Shift change... 3.5 cm dilated, 90% effaced, VERY strong contractions,... baby responding well.

New nurse sat with us and stared into space...also insisted on checking baby heartbeat every 30 minutes. EVERY 30 minutes... bear in mind that this nurse has a 12 hour shift... AND we had to be back from walks every 30 minutes. AND if I was naked in the shower trying to cope with the pain, she would still check me. (Oh, it's waterproof... Grrr...)

And also, she "told on me" to my midwife for eating french fries, lol. (I'd like to see her go nearly a day without food and a very difficult workout and not eat...)

By this point I had been in the hospital for 20 hours... and I was having VERY strong contractions that were clearly not doing anything. My hopes for a natural birth were slipping away by the minute....

(to be continued...)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Birth Plans are just that... a plan

Whether it is in writing or not, everyone has an idea of how they'd like their labor and delivery to go. Some know without a doubt they want the strongest meds they can get. Some want c-sections. While others desire to have a completely natural birth.

I wanted to go natural. Certain facts and rumors scared me.

Forceps and Vacuums.
After much research in high school and college about abortions and the use of forceps and vacuums, I didn't want that to be a thought at delivery. (Little did I know that they RARELY use forceps and vacuums anymore.)

The effects of meds on mom and baby.
I didn't want any meds to make me sleepy or loopy or affect my baby. Stories of people who had epidurals falling fast asleep right after delivery loomed in my head. I wanted to hold my baby and nurse as soon as possible.

That might mean longer recovery time, scars, not being able to have my baby put on my chest, not seeing my baby for a while, and many other things that weren't for me.

It's sort of strange, but I wanted to experience the pain of having a child. I wanted to see if I could do it. It was a challenge.

There are millions of other thoughts that can go with a birth plan, from episiotomies to keeping placenta. Here's a quick run-down of my basic desires...

No meds.
IVs if absolutely necessary.
NO EPIDURAL (not gonna lie, I was scared to death of this thing)
No Episiotomy (Can actually cause more tearing and more recovery time)
Do everything possible to avoid tearing
Husband to cut umbilical cord
My doula and husband in the room with me
Labor as long as possible at home
DON'T announce sex of baby. Lay baby on my chest so that I can tell everyone whether he/she is a boy or girl.
As few checks as possible before and after birth
Baby to stay with me unless I requested he/she go to the nursery so I could rest
Delay eye drops
Don't do shots at hospital except Vitamin K
If boy, circumcise at hospital. Husband to be present.

All this to say, things didn't exactly go according to plan, but the end result was spectacular.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The end of the world as I knew it

Life as I knew it has ended. But I am beyond grateful for that. I have been blessed with the most incredible, beautiful, and intelligent little girl I have ever met.

I love my husband more than anything, but the love that I feel for my little girl is different. It blows my mind away that I can provide everything she needs. I comfort her, feed her, care for her,... I always seem to magically know what's wrong. I can't describe it.

Being a mommy is the most rewarding and challenging experience of my life.