Monday, April 13, 2009
Disclaimer: I think ALL mothers are amazing...no matter how their babies came into the world! The most important things at the time of birth are a safe mother and healthy baby :-)
Before I got pregnant, I definitely heard about more pregnancies that required interventions than I heard about natural birth experiences. I heard so many stories of fetal distress, "forced" inductions, C-Sections, etc. Television shows and movies that featured baby stories always showed emergency situations that required interventions and rarely (if ever) showed a natural experience.
A few years ago, a friend of mine from high school (shout out to Keya!) told me I should DEFINITELY go natural when I got pregnant, and my initial reaction was "giiiiiirl, I don't know!!". After talking with her for a while and learning a little bit about midwifery and water birth, my interest was definitely piqued. She shared her natural birth experience with me, and was honest about the fact that it wasn't easy, but it was truly an amazing experience. I didn't realize how much that conversation stuck with me until I found out that I was pregnant.
As soon as I found out we were expecting, I started reading about Certified Nurse Midwives and decided I wanted to move forward with a midwife instead of a doctor. I really believe that birth is not an illness and, therefore, does not need to be "treated" by a doctor and definitely not in a hospital...this is what women's bodies were meant to do. I searched for midwives in the area, and was immediately impressed with the practices of Ancient Paths Midwifery in Chino, CA (only 10 minutes from my house). We went to a "meet the midwife" session and decided that day that we wanted to move forward with this midwife and that we would give birth at the birthing center instead of the hospital. I won't go into all the details about the birthing center...in short, it is a truly comfortable, warm environment to give birth in! For those of you in the area, check out www.ancientpathsmidwifery.com!
To educate ourselves further, we watched a great documentary called "The Business of Being Born" (PLEASE check out the trailer at www.thebusinessofbeingborn.com) and I read an amazing book called "Ina May's Guide to Childbirth" (I HIGHLY recommend these for everyone!!). Kevin and I also took a course called The Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth (www.bradleybirth.com) - it was amazing preparation for the birth and I would definitely recommend it (the course is offered all over)!
In addition, I started using a Relaxation/Meditation series called HypBirth around Week 37. This series combines methods taught in The Bradley Method as well as the Hypnobirthing series (also known as The Morgan Method) - it truly helped me to stay in a relaxed state throughout the birth. Check it out at www.hypbirth.com!
Now...what you really wanted to hear...the birth...
THE BIRTH OF PRINCETON SHERARD JONES
On Sunday, March 15th I was awakened by an intense labor pain at 5:23am (I will never forget that time on the clock) and I knew right away that this was "it"!! I had been feeling what I thought was contractions periodically throughout the last month of my pregnancy, but they were clearly not contractions!! All I could think was "people lied when they said labor feels like menstrual cramps!!"...I don't know what kind of cramps y'all have had, but my cramps were NEVER anywhere near what this felt like! So, I leaned over to Kevin and said "we're in labor...this is DEFINITELY the real thing" and he was like "are you sure"...I was like "YES!! I am sure!". He tried to tell me we should go back to sleep to preserve energy, but sleep was the last thing on my mind at that point...I was SO excited!
Contractions continued at a steady pace, so around 7:00am Kevin called Lori (our midwife) to tell her contractions were between 6-8 minutes apart and had been constant for the past hour and a half. We both knew good and well we were not supposed to call until contractions were 4 minutes apart for 1 minute long for 1 hour ("4-1-1"), but we couldn't help ourselves :-) After asking us the typical questions, she politely told us to call her back at noon (I know she wanted to cuss us out for calling at 7 in the morning, but good thing she's a Christian woman...LOL). She did give me some great advice before getting off the phone though...she told me that most women feel better if they're upright during contractions...she was right! I had been trying to lay down and "rest", but that was not feeling great at all! I got up and walked around a bit, and then Kevin brought me some breakfast in bed (soooo sweet!).
Since more sleep was not an option at this point, we decided to watch some videos. We learned that laughter is good during early labor and can help ease contractions, so we watched Kevin Hart's comedy special which was absolutely hilarious and it truly did help! It's hard to laugh and feel the pain of a contraction at the same time...perfect! After that was over, we watched some things we had recorded on DVR. Every once in a while we would look at each other and say "WE'RE HAVING A BABY, HONEY!!" and give each other a kiss or cuddle...those were actually some of the most intimate and sweet moments we had in a while. Kevin was a great coach throughout all of the contractions...rubbing my back, saying encouraging words, reminding me to relax, etc.
Contractions at this point were steady at about 6 minutes apart and I was going to the bathroom like crazy (soooo much pressure on the bladder)...I was excited that I was making progress when I saw that I lost the mucous plug and came out the bathroom saying "honey, I passed the mucous plug! we're making progress!!" and he smiled and gave me a high five (I know, we're corny). After I took some time to listen to my HypBirth CD, we decided to watch another movie to kill some more time...this time we watched "Vicki Christina, Barcelona"...I really wanted to see this because I needed to see if Penelope Cruz deserved to beat Taraji P. Henson for Best Supporting Actress...I thought Taraji was AMAZING in Benjamin Button! In short, Penelope clearly won the Oscar for her body of work, because it could not have been just for this movie! Enough hating...It actually ended up being the perfect movie for us to watch because it brought us back to where we met (Spain)...we laughed and talked and reminisced about our time in Spain...it was perfect!
Kevin called Lori back a noon to talk about progress and she said it sounded like I was progressing fine, and that we should call her back around dinner time. In my head, I was like "dinner time???!!! I'm going to be in labor THAT much longer?!!", but I just said "okay". Kevin warmed me up some food for lunch and I scarfed it down in between contractions (during a contraction I didn't feel like I could eat a thing!!). I decided to take a shower, hoping that the warm water would help to ease the contractions (and I wanted to be clean for the birth...ladies, y'all understand!)...I am SO glad we have a seat in our shower because I definitely had to take some breaks to regroup! I even managed to fit in a body scrub in between contractions :-) (gotta get my pamper on even in labor!)
Fast forward to about 4:30pm...we decided to watch another movie...I wanted to watch another comedy show, but Kevin was done with comedy (we had just gone to two live comedy shows recently AND watched Kevin Hart's special earlier that day) so we decided on Hustle & Flow...this movie is not supposed to be funny, but we CRACK UP at so many parts of it so it was perfect! We got almost all the way through the movie when I heard a POP and felt water dripping out of me...."OH MY GOD, HONEY!! MY WATER BROKE!! MY WATER BROKE"...Kevin was like "relax sweetie...I'll help you to the bathroom". I seriously felt like I could not move...it felt like the baby's head was about to come out!! Kevin held me up as we walked to the bathroom to clean up. It was 6:00pm at this point...Kevin called Lori immediately to let he know my water broke & she was like "great! she's making great progress...call me back at 9pm"...I was in the background moaning loudly and saying to Kevin "CALL HER BACK!! They're coming closer together...more like 2 minutes apart...I think it's time to go to the birthing center NOW!!". He called her back, and she was a little hesitant because typically it takes more time than this but when she heard me in the background she could tell it was time. Now comes the hard part...getting out of the house....
At this point I was thinking to myself "I can't take this level of intensity for too many more hours!!"...welcome to Transition (the point in labor just before pushing where you have the strongest contractions and most women feel like calling it quits...this is when most women ask for an epidural). To be honest, I felt like I was paralyzed! I went from contractions being 6 minutes apart to only having about a 1 minute break in between contractions that were even stronger than the earlier contractions...it was intense to say the least. I was also surprised that I was feeling a pushing urge (I had heard that when it was time to push, women feel a pushing urge...your body basically does the pushing for you, etc.) and was a little scared because I thought the baby was going to come at home. Kevin helped me get my clothes on...this took about 5 minutes or so because I could only do things in one minute intervals. He helped to gather my things and put everything in the car, while I fell to my knees beside the bed to wait for him to help me. In between contractions I found time to put on the pearls that my grandmother gave me a few years ago...for some reason I thought they would give me strength...I was willing to try anything:-)
Kevin came back upstairs and was like "are you ready?" and I was thinking "uhhhh...NO!!", but I just told him I needed to take the next contraction and then I would try to make it downstairs. After the next contraction came, I walked as fast as I could down the stairs...just in time to drop to my knees by the couch for the next contraction. At this point, I really didn't know how I was going to make it while riding in the car...this baby was ready to come out! I rushed to the car and adjusted the seat so I could be a little more comfortable on the way (didn't help at all). I just closed my eyes for the entire ride and kept telling Kevin "I'm feeling the urge to push!! I'm feeling the urge to push! His head is right there!"...he was just rubbing my head and telling me to relax and breathe. When we got close, Kev was so focused on me that he missed the turn to the birthing center :-)
We got to The Oaks House Birthing Center at 7:00pm. I walked in and barely spoke to Lori...I walked directly to one of the birthing rooms and dropped to my knees again for another contraction. Lori came in the room and asked if I needed to pee...I told her I did and walked toward the bathroom...as soon as I got in there, I had another contraction so I got on my knees, rested my head on the toilet, and was making a grunting noise (pushing)...Lori thought I was throwing up so she brought in a plastic container, but Kevin let her know that I was feeling a pushing urge. She couldn't believe that I was already fully dilated since my water had just broken, but she checked me and felt the baby's head! She asked me if I wanted to go ahead and have the baby in the birthing room since the tub was not ready, but I said I REALLY wanted the warm water (I was willing to try anything that would ease the experience for me). She rushed and filled the tub with warm water and I got in at 7:15pm.
After 14 hours of labor and 23 minutes of active pushing, Princeton Sherard Jones was born!! He came out with his head facing up (somehow he turned Posterior during labor!) and eyes wide open under the water...as soon as I saw his face, I forgot about the pain and pushed him out! Lori put him right on my chest and we stayed there for a good while. Kevin was yelling "You did it, Kandace!! you did it!! Look at him!!"...it was too cute :-) After the cord stopped pulsating, Kevin was able to cut the cord. We got out of the water after about 10 minutes and Kevin took the baby to the bedroom to lay down with him while I got cleaned up. I came in to join them after a while...Princeton was asleep on Kevin's chest...it was SO precious! I got in the bed and got covered up with blankets (I was shivering from getting out of the water) and we rested for a little while as a new family. I pushed out the Placenta not too long after laying down...I was SO glad all of that was over!
I started nursing about 45 minutes after the birth...such an amazing bonding moment with our new son! He nursed for what felt like forever to me (it was probably about 45 minutes or so). After that, we just laid in bed...rested...smiled...kissed...and stared at the baby for hours...truly a blissful moment. We left the birthing center at 1:00am and were off to the house for our first night with our perfectly healthy newborn son...
Overall, it was an amazing experience and I would not have done it any other way! I look forward to my next natural birth experience...I think I'll try home birth next time!
Friday, March, 27
10'ish pm - lost part of my mucus plug (I think)
Saturday, March 28
Went for a long walk, 11'ish am lost more of my mucus plug (I think?)
Sunday, March 29
Got spanked at a game of spades; labor wise very uneventful
Monday, March 30
Had more than the usual number of BHC
In the a.m. I timed them for a bit and they were about 8 minuets apart
While “cleaning” they were 4 – 5 minuets apart
While watching TV I had 10 in one hour, (not consistently 6 minuets apart), each lasted about 1 minuet
Tuesday, March 31
Woke up at 3:40 (well actually at 12:40, 2:20, than 3:40) couldn't fall back to sleep, from 4:09 - 5 something timed them, they were about 7 minuets apart but stopped after I went back to sleep at 7am
Went for a long walk in the evening (I think walking makes me lose parts of my mucus plug)
Came home drank some tea
Had the best night sleep I've had in over a week
Wednesday, April 1
Started timing contractions around 6am, they are about 6 minuets apart, I'm not convinced it's labor but Pablo was going to be late for work so decided to stick around and time them.
We laid in bed and timed them and they were a little less than 7 minuets apart, lasting about a minuet each, for one hour
We got up made breakfast and they spaced out to about 9 minuets, still lasting about a minuet
We went for a long walk and they went back to 6 minuets apart, each lasting about a minuet, for one hour
Came home and slept for 45 minuets
While at home resting they were about 10 min about, while walking they are about 6 min.
Went to sleep at 9am and had an awesome night sleep
Tuesday, April 2
Contraction were 7 - 12 min apart while resting
After some light activity contractions they were less 4 min apart but spaced back out
About 8pm we got them to be about 2 min apart and somewhat uncomfortable with activity
I took a shower, started some laundry, drank some water, and started timing them, still about 2 min apart and more uncomfortable than they have been.
10pm Pablo wants to go to the hospital I DO NOT. (pablo says: cut me some freakin slack they are 2 mins apart and hurting! if not at 2 mins than when? Bradley says between 3 and 4 but your lady says F Bradley what does he even know he's just a farmer from Nebraska with a phd. Since I know people through out all of time have had babies under all sorts of conditions, which didnt include medical staff, its cool if she wants to wait.)
Friday, April 3
At 2:15 am we left for the hospital
We got most of our last minute stuff and left for the hospital at 2:30ish a.m.
We got to the hospital and realized we forgot my purse and I thought I might need my ID so we turned around and went home to get it.
Contractions on the way to the hospital required my attention but I was surprised at how relaxed and normal I felt in-between each one
We arrived at the hospital with everything a little before 3am
We told the ladies in ER we needed to go to labor and delivery and they asked if we had something scheduled (which was retarded because who schedules appointments at 3am), when we told them no that I was just in labor they looked confused and asked once or twice more if I had something scheduled and than told us to go on back and they would let them know we were on our way.
When we got to labor and delivery the ladies there asked if my water had broken and when I was due and said they would go ahead and check me in but they didn’t seem very convinced I was in labor.
I Got checked in, changed, hooked up, and checked, and I was 5cm and 90% effaced and she was at station -1. To their CHEGRIN, I really was in labor and not just being a wimp.
The first nurse that checked me was new to the hospital and apparently I was the first person she had checked while working there and she didn’t do the check during a contraction. The more experienced nurse decided to double check her work and do so during a contraction which was super irritating.
I was not a big fan of laying in bed and thought I had to pee so I got up and sat in the bathroom for awhile.
The nurses were not big fans of me being in the bathroom and kept asking if I was ok, pablo told them "she'll let you know if there is something wrong just let her be." when I was ready I came out and stood next to the bed.
Standing next to the bed made it difficult for them to get readings on my contractions and the baby so they kept encouraging me to lay in bed on my left side.
Pablo kept telling me to do what was comfortable for me so I continued to switch between sitting in the restroom and standing with him next to the bed.
A little before 5am they checked me again and I was complete.
I got back in bed on my left side and started feeling tons of pressure.
My body started to push on it’s own during each contraction and Pablo put counter pressure on my tail bone which felt awesome.
The Dr., who we had never meet before, came in around 5:30 and broke my water, which felt really good but completely changed the way pushing felt.
The nurses had me start pushing while laying on my back and holding my legs. For about 4 pushes her head would start to crown and than slip back in.
Pushing was hard work and it burned like no other but I wanted to get her head out so badly and around 6am she finally didn’t slip back in.
At that point the burning got even more intense and the nurse said "ok you need to stop pushing and blow though the next couple of contractions while we waited for the dr to come in."
The idea of not pushing sounded like the most ridiculous thing in the world and I was sure I had to keep pushing.
While saying this I guess Pablo noticed the nurse holding keelin’s head, he told her “don’t push her back in” and pushed her hand away from me.
He told me not to listen to the nurses and just do whatever I needed to do.
This bothered the nurses a little so they started bickering and saying that they weren’t qualified to deliver the baby or keep my perineum from tearing, and Pablo reminded them that they’d been stretching my perineum the entire time I was trying to get her to crown.
The nurses got real quite at this point and than the doctor walked in. He asked “what’s the problem?” Pablo said “she’s ready”. He looked over and saw the babies head, threw on his scrubs, the nurses broke down the bed and put my feet in the stirrups which I had no idea were there and made pushing way easier since I didn’t have to hold my own legs anymore.
The dr. poured oil on the area and we were on our way.
It was only a couple more pushes and her head popped out. At that point all the pain went away and being able to see her head was the most amazing thing.
With the next push her shoulders came out and the dr. looked at Pablo and asked “you ready to take her?”. Pablo said “really!?” the dr. responded “yeah just don’t drop her”. So he reached out guiding the rest of keelins body out and handed her to me.
She was born at 6:23 a.m, 7 lbs 9 oz, 20 inches long, and scored 8 and 9 on her apgars.
WARNING- THIS IS GOING TO BE A DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF MY LABOR AND BIRTH, IF THAT DISTURBS YOU, SKIP THIS BLOG.
I STARTED HAVING CONTRACTIONS ON AND OFF FOR A FEW WEEKS BEFORE MATTHEW WAS BORN. I WOULD WAKE UP IN THE NIGHT WITH PAINFUL CONTRACTIONS, BUT THEN I WOULD GO TO THE BATHROOM AND CHANGE POSITIONS AND THEY WOULD GO AWAY. AND THEN I STARTED HAVING THEM DURING THE DAY, BUT THEY WOULD ALWAYS GO AWAY WITH A CHANGE IN ACTIVITY. THEN, ABOUT TWO WEEKS BEFORE THE BIRTH I NOTICED THAT THE BABY DROPPED AND ABOUT A WEEK AFTER THAT I LOST MY MUCUS PLUG. ALL THAT TIME I CONTINUED HAVING CONTRACTIONS EVERY NOW AND THEN.
I HAD A PRENATAL APPOINTMENT ON CHRISTMAS EVE AND SO ELAINA AND I DROVE DOWN THE HILL WITH NATALIE FOR MY APPOINTMENT. I DROVE BECAUSE WE WERE IN MY CAR WHICH IS A MANUAL TRANSMISSION AND ELAINA ONLY KNOWS HOW TO DRIVE AN AUTOMATIC. I STARTED HAVING PAINFUL CONTRACTIONS AS I WAS DRIVING DOWN THE 15 AND WE ALMOST GOT IN AN ACCIDENT BECAUSE OF THEM! SO, AFTER THAT DAY, I DECIDED I HAD BETTER NOT DRIVE ANYMORE! BUT, AT MY APPOINTMENT (38 WEEKS) I WAS CHECKED AND AT FIRST MY RNP SAID I WAS AT A 4. I REALLY DIDN’T WANT TO BE AT A 4 B/C IF YOU ARE THAT FAR ALONG THEN THEY MAKE YOU STAY, BUT IT WAS CHRISTMAS EVE AND I KNEW I WASN’T IN LABOR YET. SHE CHECKED ME AGAIN AND ACTUALLY MEASURED WITH A MEASURING TAPE AND DETERMINED THAT I WAS AT A 3 INSTEAD, I WAS REALLY GRATEFUL FOR THAT! SHE SAID MY CERVIX WAS REALLY THIN AND THE BABY WAS REALLY FAR DOWN. SHE SAID HE WANTED TO STAY INSIDE TO HAVE CHRISTMAS DINNER, BUT THAT HE’D BE OUT BY NEW YEAR’S!
THEN WE HAD A NICE CHRISTMAS AND I KEPT HAVING CONTRACTIONS ON AND OFF, BUT I MOSTLY JUST IGNORED THEM. THEN ON FRIDAY THE 26TH IN THE MORNING I NOTICED SOME AMNIOTIC FLUID LEAKING. THAT IS JUST WHAT HAPPENED WITH NATALIE TOO AND ITS WHAT LED TO ME BEING INDUCED, SO THIS TIME, I DECIDED NOT TO CALL THE DOCTOR YET, AND INSTEAD JUST CALLED CAROL. I STARTED HAVING SOME CONTRACTIONS RIGHT AWAY, SO WE WERE PRETTY CONFIDENT THAT I WOULD BE HAVING THE BABY THAT DAY. SHE CAME OVER AND HELPED ME PACK MY BAG FOR THE HOSPITAL AND THEN WE WENT OUT TO LUNCH AT ROADHOUSE TO CELEBRATE. I CONTINUED TO HAVE CONTRACTIONS ALL THROUGH LUNCH AND THEN AFTERWARDS WE WENT TO TARGET AND I CONTINUED TO HAVE CONTRACTIONS. BUT AFTER TARGET MY CONTRACTIONS KIND OF FIZZLED AWAY. CAROL AND I WENT BACK TO THE HOUSE AND WENT ON A WALK WITH ME WALKING WITH ONE FOOT ON THE CURB AND ONE IN THE STREET TO TRY AND START MY CONTRACTIONS BACK UP, I WOULD HAVE CONTRACTIONS WHILE I WAS DOING THAT, BUT THEY WOULD GO AWAY IF I STOPPED. THEN WE WENT BACK TO HOUSE AND ALL THE FAMILY CAME OVER AND I HAD VERY FEW CONTRACTIONS.
SO, THE NEXT DAY WAS THE PARTY AT DAVID’S PARENTS HOUSE, AND SINCE I WASN’T DRIVING ANYMORE, CAROL & AARON GAVE NATALIE & ME A RIDE. ALL THAT MORNING I WAS HAVING CONTRACTIONS AND ON THE DRIVE DOWN THEY GOT MORE REGULAR. SO, I TOLD CAROL I WAS HAVING THEM, BUT WE BOTH THOUGHT THAT IT WAS POSSIBLE THAT THAT MEANT NOTHING BECAUSE I HAD BEEN HAVING THEM OFF AND ON FOR A LONG TIME. SHE AND HER FAMILY WERE GOING TO HAVE LUNCH WITH FRIENDS, SO I TOLD HER TO HAVE A NICE LUNCH, BUT THAT AFTERWARDS SHE MIGHT WANT TO CHECK ON ME, IN CASE I WAS STILL CONTRACTING. ALL THROUGH THE PARTY I HAD MORE AND MORE CONTRACTIONS, BUT I DIDN’T TELL ANYONE WHAT WAS GOING ON, BECAUSE I STILL WASN’T SURE ANYTHING WOULD COME OF IT AND I WAS TRYING TO PLAY LABOR DENIAL. I STOOD UP MOST OF THE TIME BECAUSE IT WAS MORE COMFORTABLE FOR ME AND I DID A LOT OF ROCKING BACK AND FORTH. EVENTUALLY THE CONTRACTIONS WERE VERY REGULAR AND PRETTY CLOSE TOGETHER, ALTHOUGH I WASN’T TIMING THEM, SO I FIGURED THAT I WAS REALLY IN LABOR.
I CALLED CAROL AND TOLD HER TO COME PICK ME UP, AND THEN I TOLD THE FAMILY AT THE PARTY THAT NATALIE AND I WERE GOING TO HAVE TO LEAVE EARLY BECAUSE I WAS IN LABOR. EVERYONE GOT REALLY EXCITED AND THEY HAD ME OPEN ALL OF OUR CHRISTMAS PRESENTS AND THEY OPENED ALL OF THEIR PRESENTS FROM US. IT WAS A LOT OF PRESENT OPENING VERY FAST, BUT WE GOT A LOT OF FUN AND CUTE THINGS! THEN, AROUND 3PM CAROL AND AARON PICKED US UP.
I KNEW I WAS IN LABOR, BUT I WASN’T READY TO GO TO THE HOSPITAL YET AND ALL OF MY SIDE OF THE FAMILY WAS MEETING AT VICTORIA GARDENS, SO WE DECIDED TO GO THERE TO DROP OFF NATALIE WITH MY MOM AND THEN WALK AROUND FOR A LITTLE WHILE UNTIL I WAS READY TO GO TO THE HOSPITAL. CAROL STARTED TIMING CONTRACTIONS AND WHEN SHE STARTED TIMING THEM THEY WERE ABOUT 5 MIN. APART AND ABOUT 1 MIN. LONG. I WAS STILL CHEERFUL AND TALKING IN BETWEEN. BY THE TIME WE GOT TO VICTORIA GARDENS AND GAVE NATALIE TO WADE & GEYSA, MY CONTRACTIONS WERE ONLY 2-3 MIN. APART AND LASTING BETWEEN 1-2 MIN. SO, WE DECIDED NOT TO WALK AROUND AFTER ALL AND TO GO STRAIGHT TO THE HOSPITAL.
WE ARRIVED AT THE HOSPITAL AT ABOUT 5PM, MY CONTRACTIONS WERE VERY STRONG AND I WAS QUIET IN BETWEEN THEM AND FOCUSED. ON THE WAY THERE I ASKED AARON TO TURN OFF THE RADIO AND EMMA TO TURN DOWN HER IPOD BECAUSE I FOUND THE NOISE VERY DISTRACTING. I HAD TO BE WHEELED INTO THE HOSPITAL IN A WHEEL CHAIR, BUT AS CAROL WAS WHEELING ME IN I HAD TO STOP HER A COUPLE OF TIMES WHEN I WOULD HAVE A VERY DIFFICULT CONTRACTION SO I COULD STAND UP AND LEAN AGAINST THE WHEELCHAIR AND ROCK. WHEN I ARRIVED IN L&D THEY SAID THEY COULD TELL I WAS IN ACTIVE LABOR. IT WAS REALLY HARD WHEN THEY WERE TRYING TO PUT MY MONITORS ON AND TAKE MY BLOOD PRESSURE AND THINGS BECAUSE I KEPT HAVING CONTRACTIONS AND WOULD HAVE TO GET OUT OF POSITION SO I COULD DEAL WITH IT. THEY TRIED TO GET ME TO PEE IN A CUP, BUT I JUST COULDN’T DO IT!
CAROL PASSED OUT COPIES OF MY BIRTH PLAN AND I WAS VERY HAPPY WITH HOW WELL THEY WERE RECEIVED. THE MIDWIFE CAME IN AND I HEARD SOMEONE SAY, “JUST A HEPLOC? NO IV?” AND THE SHE SAID, “THAT’S THE WAY SHE WANTS IT. SHE WANTS TO GO TOTALLY NATURAL AND LET IT HAPPEN HOW IT HAPPENS.” I DON’T THINK MY NURSE HAD EVER ATTENDED A NATURAL CHILD BIRTH BEFORE BECAUSE SHE SEEMED TOTALLY CONFUSED AND DIDN’T KNOW WHAT TO DO, WHICH WAS FINE BECAUSE THERE REALLY WAS NOTHING FOR HER TO DO. THEY CHECKED ME AND I WAS AT A 7.
CAROL WAS TELLING ME “HOORAY YOU ARE AT A 7!” AND I TOLD HER THAT I WAS AFRAID OF TRANSITION AND THAT I WOULD NEED LOTS OF ENCOURAGEMENT. I HAD FOUND THAT I WAS MOST COMFORTABLE ON ALL FOURS AND ROCKING BACK AND FORTH OR CIRCLING MY BEHIND. ALSO, I STARTED LOW-MOANING. DURING MY BRADLEY CLASSES SOMEONE MENTIONED LOW-MOANING AND DESCRIBED IT AS “SINGING YOUR BABY INTO THE WORLD.” I REMEMBERED THAT AND TRIED IT AND FOUND THAT IT REALLY HELPED ME TO BE ABLE TO VOCALIZE THE PAIN, I FELT LIKE I WAS ABLE TO RELEASE IT OUT OF MY BODY THAT WAY. WHEN THE NURSE PUT MY HEPLOC IN, I WAS ALREADY IN TRANSITION OR CLOSE TO IT AND I HAD TO SIT UP AND BE STILL. IT WAS REALLY PAINFUL AND I HAD TO MOAN VERY VERY LOUDLY TO BE ABLE TO HANDLE IT, THE NURSE DIDN’T LIKE THAT AND ACTUALLY SHUSHED ME, BUT I IGNORED HER. ALL THROUGH TRANSITION I KEPT HOPING I WOULD FEEL THE URGE TO PUSH. EVENTUALLY I FINALLY DID!
I PUSHED THE FIRST FEW TIMES ON ALL FOURS, BUT I DIDN’T FEEL LIKE THAT IT WAS VERY EFFECTIVE, SO THEN I TRIED PUSHING ON MY SIDE, BUT I DIDN’T LIKE THAT BECAUSE IN BETWEEN CONTRACTIONS I FOUND IT UNCOMFORTABLE. THEN I TRIED SQUATTING BUT I DIDN’T LIKE THAT EITHER AND EVENTUALLY I SETTLED INTO THE CLASSIC POSITION. I REMEMBER THAT I WAS TRYING TO FIND A GOOD PUSHING POSITION MY GOWN KEPT FALLING OFF. I COULD FEEL PEOPLE TRYING TO PUT IT BACK ON ME AND I SAID, “NO, ITS HOT!” AND SO THEY TOOK IT OFF AND I GAVE BIRTH TOTALLY NAKED. THAT IS FUNNY TO ME BECAUSE IN MY BRADLEY CLASS WE LEARNED THAT YOU CAN TELL HOW FAR ALONG A WOMAN IS IN LABOR BY HOW MUCH CLOTHING SHE IS WEARING, BECAUSE SHE WILL START OUT ALL CUTE AND FULLY DRESSED AND THEN BY THE END SHE WILL BE TOTALLY NAKED.
SO, I PUSHED A FOR A WHILE, BUT I STARTED TO FEEL LIKE THE PUSHING WASN’T WORKING THAT WELL AND THAT HE WAS HAVING A HARD TIME COMING OUT. I STARTED TO THINK THAT I NEEDED AN EPISIOTOMY, BUT I DIDN’T SAY ANYTHING. AFTER A FEW MORE TIMES PUSHING MY MIDWIFE SAID, “THE ONLY THING I COULD DO TO HELP YOU AT THIS POINT WOULD BE TO GIVE YOU AN EPISIOTOMY.” I THOUGHT SHE WAS RIGHT AND I LOOKED AT CAROL AND I THOUGHT SHE SEEMED TO AGREE AND SO I SAID, “YES, DO IT.” I THINK THE MIDWIFE WAS RELUCTANT TO OFFER AN EPISIOTOMY BECAUSE MY BIRTH PLAN SAID I WANTED TO AVOID ONE, AND SHE WAS BEING VERY RESPECTFUL OF MY PLAN, BUT I THINK I REALLY NEEDED IT.
I HAD A FEW REALLY GOOD PUSHES AFTER THAT AND I FELT HIM CROWNING, SO I REACHED DOWN AND TOUCHED THE TOP OF HIS HEAD. IT WAS REALLY EXCITING TO BE ABLE TO TOUCH HIM AND KNOW THAT HE WAS REALLY COMING. THEN THE MIDWIFE HAD ME SLOW MY PUSHING WAY DOWN TO TRY AND AVOID TEARING. HE KEPT COMING AND SOON HIS WHOLE HEAD WAS OUT AND I COULD SEE HIM, AND I REACHED DOWN AND TOUCHED HIM AGAIN. AFTER A FEW MORE SLOW PUSHES HE WAS OUT AND THEY PLACED HIM ON MY CHEST AND THEN PUT A WARM BLANKET OVER US BOTH. IT WAS 6:59 PM.
THEN THE MIDWIFE LOOKED AND SAID I HAD 4TH DEGREE TEARS! I WAS VERY SURPRISED BECAUSE I HAD PUSHED HIM OUT SO SLOWLY. BUT, I HAD 4TH DEGREE TEARS WITH NATALIE TOO, SO I WASN’T SUPER DISMAYED BECAUSE I KNOW THAT YOU CAN HEAL FROM THAT. BUT, NEXT TIME I WILL TRY AGAIN NOT TO TEAR SO BADLY! THEY CALLED IN AN OB TO STITCH ME UP SO THEY COULD DO A REALLY GOOD JOB.
WHILE I WAS BEING STITCHED I GOT TO HOLD AND NURSE MATTHEW. HE LATCHED ON RIGHT AWAY AND NEVER WANTED TO LATCH OFF. EVENTUALLY AFTER HE HAD BEEN NURSING FOR ABOUT 2 HOURS STRAIGHT, I LATCHED HIM OFF SO THAT WE COULD MOVE TO THE ROOM WE WERE GOING TO BE STAYING IN. HE NURSED PRETTY MUCH 24/7 WHILE WE WERE IN THE HOSPITAL. HE WAS VERY ALERT FROM BIRTH AND HE GOT TO ROOM WITH ME, WHICH WAS WONDERFUL. ALL THAT NURSING PAID OFF I GUESS, BECAUSE MY MILK CAME IN AFTER ONLY 2 DAYS, IT TOOK 4 WITH NATALIE.
NOW WE ARE HOME AND HAPPY TO BE SETTLING IN. NATALIE LOVES THE BABY, BUT IS LEARNING HOW TO SHARE HER MOM. SOMETIMES IT IS HARD FOR HER, ESPECIALLY SINCE SHE HAS BEEN SICK ALL WEEK. AT NIGHT, WHEN I AM ALONE WITH MATTHEW I JUST LOVE TO STARE AT HIM BECAUSE HE IS SO PERFECT AND I FEEL SO BLESSED.