Martina’s birth story
At 3am on the 25th of October I woke with contractions…they were “different” in intensity but did not get closer together…around 20minutes apart with no real regular pattern. I did get up as they were really strong though and I knew this would be the day. I made DH go back to bed telling him I didn’t think it was going to be happening immediately.
We called the midwife in the morning and gave her a heads – up…I was a bit concerned when B, the midwife from Sophia’s birth called back instead of R….I had been kind of heading towards a UC but R had such a hands off approach that I became comfortable with having her there. She would stay in another room and only come in occasionally to check.
Finally around 7pm we called and R came by and checked me. Contractions were intense and strong and I was dilated to nearly 6 though not completely effaced. I was in great control and R asked if I was ok for her to leave go get her things as she had come straight from home. I said sure. So we were alone again.
A little while later B showed up. My heart dropped. It was quite a while before R came back. I was a bit disturbed. B set up all the equipment, asked questions during contractions and such…I was still handling things pretty well but could not get going with my hypnosis…she would interrupt me in the middle etc. Finally she got set up and left the room. She asked to check me and I said no. I finally was able to get relaxed with my hypnobirthing cd. And my DH helping me through.
So DH and I were alone for quite a long while after that…we were very calm and I was handling contractions well. Finally they got very intense, one on top of the other…hard to handle but I was doing fine. B asked to check me. I said yes and that was my first mistake. She checked me and during the check she stretched me too..trying to stretch my cervix to a 7…it was excrutiating! She kept offering to break my water something I did not want. She kept saying we need to get the head down on the cervix to get the cervix dilated. I was in pain but now in hindsight I know that was a load of crap. The contractions had been dilating me to this point. She also started trying to get me to move in certain positions to get the baby down and rotating…this was painful…very very painful and she kept saying I had to do that to get the baby to turn and come down. It’s like suddenly she was hurrying everything. I didn’t know why. I asked if I was almost complete and she said yes except baby needs to rotate and come down. Cervix was not dilating because head was floating and needed to push on the cervix. I tried every maneuver known to womankind all making things more painful for me.
Finally after an hour DH and I discussed it…and we decided to break my water. After that I refused all internals. There was not a big gush…she figured the head must be blocking it. After that I lost all control and during contractions I became quite light headed, almost passing out. I cannot explain the feeling…my legs would go numb(not weak, numb) and things would go black. I could not do the movements B was suggesting because it worsened the pain and made me even more dizzy.
They thought the numbness/blacking out was due to the intensity of the pain and asked if I wanted transfer for an epidural. I said yes but I wasn’t thinking epidural…I was scared of the dizzy spells. I tried to tell B what was happening but she was kind of unconcerned and said it was panic. They also started talking about getting down there and moving her to help her turn…it would be more painful but move things along because she was stuck. I knew I couldn’t take any more pain so I agreed we would transfer fot the epidural.
So we transferred to the hospital. Here is where it gets interesting. As soon as I got in the van to go I had a contraction…I talked myself through it with DH holding my hand…I moved my body and found a comfortable place and I could breath through it easily. Instead of moving “into” the pain like the midwife was getting me to do I moved my body away from it. I got myself to a point where I could find peace again and regain control. And I said to my husband…”keep B away from me” and he said “she’s the problem isn’t she” and I said “well she’s not here now and I am in a car going to the hospital and I am more relaxed” at one time I remember saying out loud “I am taking it back, she is not taking this away from me”! and I meant my control.
When we got to the hospital R met us at the door. We got a wheelchair but I walked to the maternity section…breathing easily between contractions and getting through no problem.
We get to the room and B is there. I immediately panic and lose control…I get to the bed and they hand me laughing gas. B wants to check me and I refuse…they are arranging an epidural and need to know where I am at. I ask R. to check me and she does. She looks at me and smiles and very gently checks me…I am at 8-9. I am only at 8. Why are we so anxious to get this baby’s head down if I am only 8cm. It’s not time to push at all.
Anyway there is laughing gas. I take the laughing gas to get through a couple of contractions. Some I can do fine…but when they are taking blood, doing the IV etc. I am distracted so the gas gets me through. The whole time I am finally feeling lucid. I am rocking and doing pelvic tilts…my DH is helping and is so comforting and gentle. Then B says “you seem to be doing much better do you want us to cancel the epidural?” and I say “no, get the epidural!”
Now here is the trick…the epidural takes a lot of time. B has to be on the phone with the anaesthesiologist and the OB on call and doing paper work. R is helping her. The whole time I am thinking…keep working on that and you will leave me alone. I don’t really want the epidural but it’s keeping you out of my hair….and if Ido need it then it will be ready.
So I am coping well…I feel the baby move down bit by bit, I feel like I have regained control of things…I am getting “pushy” but not quite there yet and B comes along and says “listen to your body” and I say “I would if you would just shut up” pretty rude but it was transition. I am thinking…my body knows what to do…please leave me alone. So there I am in the hospital and I feel like I have regained control….this is my birth not B’s. My body is an expert at giving birth to my babies. I have studied birth, I have given birth…I know what I am feeling…I don’t have to move certain ways and get baby to move certain ways…baby will move as I do what comes naturally. It’s instinct, it’s natural, and it’s all mine!
All of these thoughts are getting me through and the pain of the contractions is bearable. I am vocalizing through but not screaming out of control…I am doing exactly what I am supposed to and it’s working. Of course it’s working. I am in the dead centre of transition and I feel jubilant!!! The only time I panic again is when B comes and puts a blood pressure cuff on me. It feels horrible and I didn’t know what it was…I start shaking my arm violently and DH rips it off and tells me what it was. I calm down again.
Finally I feel like baby is coming…R comes over and says can I check you and I said “I am fully dilated and baby is coming” so R goes down and checks and confirms I am complete. Someone says “push” if I feel like it but I don’t’ right away. Then after a bit my body says push and I do a teeny bit and I feel great. B says “go slow so you won’t tear” and since I hate her at this point I push with all my might and out comes a baby’s head..in the membranes!!!…turns out B must have only broke the forewaters!…I grab her head and push gently and her body slips out and DH and I pull her up. She is crying a lot..she was really ticked…and though I didn’t see it hubby says her hand was beside her head when she came out. Her apgars were 10 and 10 and she was just perfect. I had a teeny tear at the perineum and a slight graze internally..yay!
Immediatly B was there with scissors to cut the cord and I say “no, it’s too soon wait until it stops pulsing” She seems absolutely amazed a while later after the placenta delivers and it’s still pulsing. I am sometimes amazed at what they don’t know. I said “of course it is” Finally it does stop and I say “DH cut the cord” R is taking pics and B is busy with something else.
I feel blood gush..they check…a wee bit more than usual. We get baby to breast…she is born at 2:21am and nursed at 2:45am..it helped but I got a shower later and was still bleeding more than I should have..so I asked for the pitocin…I knew that I would be stuck in the hospital if I bled.
So B leaves after a bit and R takes care of the paperwork..finally DH leaves and goes to get baby clothes and the car seat…I take a shower and R does my release papers. She tells me she would like me to stay until 8am but I am free to go anytime. A nurse may come by later to check on me. One nurse pops in and says “Is Kim here” and I said “wrong room I think” and she smiles and leaves.
Hubby gets back shortly after she leaves and tells me my friend Donna has to leave at 6:20am for work so I say “lets go”
Oh and baby has been crying pretty much the entire time. She didn’t like earth much at the beginning. We dressed her and put her in her carseat and I sat in a wheelchair with the baby and hubby took my clothes. We wheeled out past the nursing station, no one was there…so we just kept going. The emergency room nurse looked absolutely amazed and said “that was quick!” She was there when we entered and asked “boy or girl” I said “girl” and she said “awwww congratulations”
That was my entire interaction with medical staff the entire visit.
So that’s the story…wasn’t a homebirth but was very empowering in a whole other way. It was meant to happen the way it happened and I feel that the lessons learned are very valuable to me..more valuable than the location of the birth.
Martina Robyn became earthside on October 26, 2005 the day before her daddy’s 40th birthday…he jokingly said she was way better than the laser-guided mitre saw I gave him! She weighed 9lbs 10oz and measured 20.5inches long. She is quite chubby but was definitely post-dates…she has completely peeled over in the last 7 days and her nails were incredibly long as well.
She is a miracle and a blessing and already a very special person in her own right.
As an afterward…we got a call from the midwives the following day saying the hospital was concerned we had left without telling anyone…guess a nurse went in and we were gone. Apparantly they called CAS(Children’s Aid Society) who called the midwives and asked why we had left and the midwives said “because they were discharged” CAS dismissed the incident and told the hospital that there was no reason to report people leaving the hospital with their own baby after being discharged by their care provider.