April 2005 birth story...hospital unmedicated - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 3 Old 10-14-2006, 02:39 AM - Thread Starter
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I wasn't a part of this forum around the time I birthed DS, or I would have posted this. I wrote it a few days after his birth, originally for the other people who attended our birth class, so if the wording is confusing in places sorry about that. I keep thinking I'll rewrite it for posterity but I never seem to get around to it so I'm just posting it as is.

I was very happy with my birth, especially after finding out (recently) that the hospital midwives I delivered with hardly ever get to assist in unmedicated labors. There are things now that I would change, but overall I was so glad that I avoided the major interventions.

Here it is:

So...our birth story. It's going to be REALLY long so if you get
bored, just skip it, you already know the ending. Everything
happened pretty much how I wanted it, although I narrowly missed being
induced. I had to go in to the hospital at midnight on the 10th (my due date was the 8th)
because I was having weird double vision and the left side of my face,
feet and hands were numb and tingly. I thought great, I'm supposed to
be having a baby but instead I'm having a stroke. It was pretty scary
although the symptoms went away after about 30 minutes. The midwife
wanted me to come in anyway, and said there was a chance that the
hospital's neurologist would recommend I be induced to "get the
pregnancy over" so they could give me blood thinning meds. (YIKES) It wasn't
preeclampsia, my blood pressure and everything was normal. The only
thing they could think was that my blood was thick from the pregnancy
and had caused some pinching thing in my brain - like a stroke
actually but way less severe.

*This still does not make sense to me. Anyone with a similar experience please feel free to comment.*

As it turned out, to our relief and hers
they decided I could go home as long as I kept in touch. I never
thought I'd be glad to be sent home without having had the baby, but I
sure was. At that point I was 80-90% effaced and had been for a few
days, since my last appt, but I was only 2 cm so I didn't want to be
at the hospital yet anyway.
Well, apparently what they say about getting your cervix checked and
labor "kicking in" is true, because I had about 5 serious contractions
during the short drive back home. I then proceeded to have
contractions all night long, most of which were about 8 minutes apart.
They were NOT "sleep through it" contractions. I finally got a little
rest at about 5am when they slowed down to 15-20 minutes apart. Then
as the morning went on they got closer, but hadn't reached that "3-5
minutes for at least an hour" point. We were determined to wait until
they got there, because I did NOT want to show back up at the hospital
and still be 2 cm. Around 2pm they still weren't all 5 minutes apart,
but most of them were, and I reached a new stage that I can only call
extreme restlessness. Before I had been able to curl up in a ball for
most of the contractions, but at this point I couldn't stay still for
anything. I did a lot of hanging on Andy's neck and burying my face in
his shirt, kind of like the lady in the video from Mexico except I
didn't look as happy as she did. And we don't have a huge house in
tropical paradise for me to labor in. I tried at one point earlier on
to watch a movie to distract myself but about five minutes in I had a
contraction and started yelling at the actors to shut up.
At 5pm my contractions had finally reached the magic length and
regularity so we called the midwife, she said I could come in or wait
a little bit longer. My "fourth P" (psyche) needed to go in. I just desperately
hoped that I had made progress with all that pain. I think if I had
gone in and still been 2cm, or even 3, the rest of the story wouldn't
have been the same. My psyche would have jumped all over my best laid
plans and screamed for morphine. Sorry M. (my CBE), but it's probably the
truth. But joy of joys: I was 6, almost 7 when we got there. Within
two hours I was 9 cm, and my verbal skills were reduced to "YES" and
"NO". I threw up at this point, but only for a bit and then I felt
less shaky. One of my labor support friends kept reminding me to keep
my moaning really low, which was good advice because anytime I went
higher with my voice I would start feeling panicked. (Future birthers
take note.) The result was that I sounded a lot like Nico from the
Velvet Underground.
I'm digressing. Sorry. Ok, so at about 8pm I was 10 cm, but a tiny lip
of my cervix was just barely keeping things from moving on. I worked
on that for a little bit, and everyone kept asking me if I was feeling
the urge to push. I kept saying I wasn't sure, but then that lip of
cervix must have gotten out of the way because wow - I knew when that
urge came. I know it sounds gross but I really is like the biggest
bowel movement of your life. The midwife was out of the room with
another woman in transition when I reached this point, so my labor
support encouraged me to wait if I could. Yeah right. I did manage to
wait for about 3 contractions, but then the midwife appeared and said
- "Nobody tell this girl to wait, she can push whenever she wants." I
was glad about this but a little scared because the midwife was really
having to juggle my birth with the other one (the poor woman was
crowning for an hour and a half) and I worried she wouldn't be there
if something went wrong. I also kept hearing the words "ring of fire"
over and over in my head. Then the urge turned up a notch and my
friends and DH said super encouraging things and reminded me why I
was in pain (I actually forgot at one point, so it was good to tell
myself - "I'm having a BABY.") I figured that between the three of
them they could manage to catch my kid if the midwife wasn't there so
I kept pushing. According to my friend's notes I pushed for 45
minutes. My water bag broke while I was pushing and made a loud
popping sound like a water balloon. The ring of fire came and went,
and then came and stayed until he was out. It hurt SOOO much but gave
me hope that the end was near. I did about half my pushing on my hands
and knees but then moved into a creative sidelying position because I
felt more in control that way. I ended up delivering him half lying,
half sitting up on my left side with my right leg up in the air. I
keep telling my support people I was just trying to give them all
something to do - one friend stood by my head and let me give her the
death grip with my free hand, the other friend sat with her back to me
at the end of the bed and I braced my right leg against her upper
back, and Andy stood holding my leg up the whole time. It was like
Cirque de Soleil, with blood, pain and yelling. During this stage I
sounded less like Nico and more like what I imagine mother buffalo
must sound like when they're in labor. Then his head was out, and he
started crying even before I delivered his shoulders! He sounded like
a duck. Then the shoulders took some more work and I had the hugest
feeling of relief in my life when the rest of him slid out without
even a push. I didn't tear, even though he was 8 lbs 5 oz (bigger than
we expected!) I guess because I took my time with pushing. I got some
"rugburn" though and that stung quite a bit afterwards. The placenta
was a breeze. They handed him between my legs and put him on my chest
and he was huge and beautiful. This was by far the hardest, most
painful and most rewarding thing I ever did in my life. I thought
several times during labor that anyone who has more than one kid is a
nutcase, my labor support friends included. But now he's here and they
let us take him home and I'm starting to get it. But I'll keep this
posting and print it out for myself so I don't get amnesia about how
hard it was.

*Ha Ha! It didn't work. We're TTC #2.*

So that's the story. I think I was really blessed as far as the
circumstances and timing of my birth - and the people that were with
me. My advice for trying to be au naturale is this: Rest and eat
beforehand, as much as you have warning, drink LOTS of water during
labor, moan low, and take it one contraction at a time. Don't think
ahead and try and guess when you'll be "done". I tried not to look at
any clocks and it really helped me not to get discouraged.
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#2 of 3 Old 10-15-2006, 03:15 AM
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Great story! So was the midwife there? Good luck with #2! Thanks for sharing!
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#3 of 3 Old 10-16-2006, 10:45 PM - Thread Starter
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thanks! yes, she ran in just before his head was out. she was really nice, i wish she could have been there for more of the labor but on the other hand i was proud that i did it without her too...

#2 is taking her/his time, i've only had AF visit three times since ds was born and i've started to wonder if maybe my fertility won't really come back at all until ds is weaned. i would like kids close together but if that's the case then i'll take the hint.
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