Ahhhh.... birth stories! I LOVE birth stories and I LOVE birth! When it comes up in conversation, my eyes light up and I get all excited. I usually gush about how much I love birth which oftentimes gets me some pretty bizarre looks from people. Nope, I am not a masochist and I am not one of those with pain-free births. But, I feel so connected to life and God during labor and birth. (As a Christian, I believe that men and women are created in the image and likeness of God.) Birth is one area where my likeness to God truly shines. It is uniquely feminine and I feel that it is a true privilege to birth babies and take part in the creative plan in such a direct way. I look forward to it, enjoy doing it, am high for a year or so afterward on the experience and then start longing to do it again! Think I am crazy yet?
With my first labor, things started up after a good night's sleep, I got to the hospital after an hour of labor (WAY too early). Labor was semi-easy in the beginning with contractions 4 minutes apart and lasting 45 seconds or so and me being regular ol' fun-loving, joke telling Jodie in between. At 5 cm, I consented to the breaking of my waters and got into the bathtub. There, things got rough (this is why I have a slight anxiety about having a water birth this time, though my rational mind tells me the intensity picked up b/c water was broken and baby got lodged into a BAD position). Five hours later, I was still at 5 cm. The pitocin talk started happening. I started feeling out of control (in relation to labor) and half an hour later asked to be checked again. I was fully dialated. Yes, 5 to 10 cm in a half an hour. Then came the pushing. 4 hours of it. I am shocked that no one mentioned c/s, but I am sure they were thinking it. I am grateful for the nurse that suggested I get up and try sitting on the toilet for a little while, because THAT did the trick! DD dropped, I hobbled over to the bed and easily pushed out a posterior baby. (No wonder we had such a hard time!) Tearing? Yes. Not good. (18 hours of labor)
With the birth of DD2, I chose a midwife at a birth center in a hospital. I had a prenatal appt in the morning and consented to an exam. "Today or tomorrow, labor will start," I was told. I went home and started experiencing mild contractions (not really regular), tried to take matters into my own hands and did the most fun natural induction technique I could think of. My DH was happy to oblige. (Thank God for Elmo! lol.**See below.) After that, contractions were more regular, but not really painful, so we went to the mall and then dropped DD1 off at the inlaws. Went back to the mall (No one could tell I was in labor. During contractions, I'd stop and "window shop" and then start walking again when it ended) and then left when it was "too loud" for me. From here, we went to by some furniture for the new patio we were putting in, but I called the mw to give her a heads up that we were going to be leaving where we were in 20 minutes and would probably be at the hospital in half an hour because I could feel that we were getting close to tub time. "Where are you? What are you doing now?" she asked. "I am at Ollie's picking out patio furniture." (Needless to say, she thought I was either crazy or not in labor.) Half an hour later (9:30), we got to the hospital and the contractions s.l.o.w.e.d. I was able to cheerily fill out the paper work and talk about how excited I was. Once I was in my room (10pm), mw came and checked me. 4 cm. Only one more than I had been late morning time. I paid no mind to the number. I knew that my body had just slowed things down bc of the new environment and that things would pick up soon. I told her we'd have the baby by midnight and she laughed b/c she thought I was joking. (She told me later that she thought it would be a 6am type time for birth.) Mw said she was going to take a nap since things would prob be a while (they have places for mw's to nap) and to call for her when things got a little more intense. ok. Everyone leaves and within MINUTES, contractions were fast and furious. Most of the time with no rest in between. After an hour, a nurse came in to check on me and see how I was doing. I said, "Good. How do I know when to get into the water?" "When things start feeling unmanageable," was the response. Ok. She came back after a little while to see how I was doing and I said I wasn't ready for the water yet. She left and not even 10 minutes later, things became what I imagined "unmanageable" to be. I called for the mw and she came (I found out later that she was thinking I'd be like maybe 6 cm or so... too early to get into the water, for sure) and found me to be 10 cm. (This was at 2 minutes til midnight.) She told me to bear down if it felt good. I told her I had been "breathing the baby down" for a little while. A few minutes later, I feel a pop! and baby's water broke and with the water came her head, sticking out between my legs with nowhere to birth. I was across the room from the bed and ad to wobble back to birth the rest of her. Time of birth 12:05. Darn! 5 minutes off! (12 hours of labor but only 3 or 4 of those 'active') I had some tearing again, and again, that was no fun.
This time, my goal is no tearing. I will be giving birth at home with a mw. I, too, have a (fear is the wrong word)... I have a feeling that it might be a good idea to be prepared for a UC. However, most of the things I need for a UC I will have on hand for a hb. Basically, this time around, I am just going to take things as they come and enjoy the unpredictable ride! We'll fill up a birth pool, but if I don't use it for labor, mw says I can use it for a post partum herbal bath. I plan on having my 5 yo around if she would like to be (and I have a feeling she will since the first thing she wants to do in the morning is was birth videos on youtube). If the labor is a middle of the night kind of thing, I will not bother shipping off the 2 yo, but just ask my mom to tend to the girls if they should wake. My ideal birth would just be myself and my DH, but since he's a bit uneasy about that, I don't mind a mw there as long as she is hands off when I want her to be (and mine seems like she will be). The only fears I have going into the home stretch are testing positive for Group B Strep and dealing with what that means to me (another thing to agonize and think over and weigh risks, etc). Other than that, I will take it as it comes.
**Edited to add: I want to make it clear I was thankful for Elmo, not because I find him sexy, but because it distracted my DD1 long enough to "induce labor!"
Edited by jodieanneanton - 12/7/12 at 5:48am