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<p>Before I begin with Sebastian's birth, I must expound a little about my first child's birth. It was August and Estella was past due by 9 days. They decided to induce, I was excited to see my baby. I had no idea about the risks, when I asked, they said "only in an emergency will you have to have a c-section". When I went in I was already 3cm dilated! They broke my water to bring things up quick and started pitocin. The nurse saw me coping with the artificial contractions and gave me something to take the edge off, which made me feel drunk. Hours later I was pushing. There was still a lip of cervix, but they had me push anyway. My doctor gave me an epidural to "loosen my cervix" which only made me dopey and made it so I couldn't feel enough to push anymore. She suggested we get a c-section and get this baby out sooner rather than wait for me to push it out. I was so doped up I was laughing about my husband crying saying "this isn't what we wanted Amanda". I just kept telling him that this is the only way and that we can see our baby sooner this way. Well, we had the c-section and when I sobered up a little I was crushed and felt powerless, like I was less than other women who were "able" to birth thier babies correctly.</p>
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<p>When we decided to have another, I was researching midwives before we even got pregnant. I decided to go with a birth center. About 28 weeks into my pregnancy I decided I didn't want to have my baby somewhere other than home, I didn't want to accidentally have to kid on the road, or get stressed about when we should go to the center. I had to find another midwife that made home visits, as this one did not. I called a woman who is famous for her work with VBACs but she gave me  a whole "I'm famous so I am the boss" attitude. She told me on the phone that I wasn't doing things right in my pregnancy and needed to sit differently, and oh, she didn't <em>do</em> free consults!</p>
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<p>Not wanting to be bossed around again like I was with the doctors before, I called the next one on my list. A woman who was very soft spoken and very nice. She not only did free consults but was willing to work out a payment plan for her services. Once I met her I knew she was the one I wanted. She was excited about my birth and let me lead. Throughout my last few weeks, whenever I asked if there was anything sje could do to bring this kid out sooner she would say something like "Amanda, I can do whatever you would like me to do, but you and I both know that a baby comes when it wants to, not when we want it to. Do you want to get induced again?" And that would snap me right out of it. I was feeling pretty hopeless at 11 days past me EDD during our visit. I really thought the baby couldn't come out, that there was something wrong with me, just like after my last birth. She bolstered me telling me "I have never heard of a case where a child hasn't come out, it is very unlikely that you will be that first anomaly" I went home in a sour mood. I was ticked off about everything!</p>
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<p>The next morning at 4:30 I awoke with stronger "tightenings" (that is what would say instead of contractions). Of course it was Easter day and my midwife was visiting with family that day. I called her later in the morning to let her know that this <em>might</em> be it (although we had already had a few false alarms earlier in the week). I went to Wal-Mart with my family, hoping that walking would help to stimulate more of these feelings. It did. But when I got home they slowed down and nearly stopped. I remembered that nipple stimulation brings about more oxytocin, so I decided to try that.</p>
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<p>My husband and I put my daughter down to nap and went to nap ourselves. I divulged my plan to my husband and he was more than willing to help. He would suckle for a minute and then stop for two to check our progress. After doing this for about 30 minutes, my contractions were coming on much stronger. I called my midwife to update her and she advised that we not do anymore nipple work so as to not bring on labor to quickly, the body has its own slower rhythm to work at.</p>
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<p>My contractions got more and more intense and once night fell they felt major! I started to push at around 3 am I think. I pushed for an hour and a half. I had been up for 24 hours and in labor for that long as well. I was so tired. But I was the boss the entire day. They had prepared food when I asked for it and gave me whatever I thirsted for. When I wanted conversation there was plenty, and I laughed and joked in between contractions, until the pushing came that is.</p>
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<p>I made everyone be quiet, I didn't even want to hear them whisper. I was laboring in a sort of "doggy style" position over my couch, knees on the floor. My husband had a bowl of hot and cold water to apply with wash cloths when needed and I had a blanket to cover me in between contractions, which I threw off from me when I was pushing. The first thing I pushed out was a little water balloon looking thing, which of course was part of the sac, my water still hadn't broken! I felt his head getting nearer, I felt like I was going to split open. I took it really slow, thinking that I didn't want the really painful part to come. After a few contractions with that thought I remembered that he had to come out sometime! So I started to grit my teeth and push harder. He made slow progress.</p>
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<p>Pushing his head out seemed to be a herculean effort for me, and WOW did it hurt! I can't remember what the rest of his body felt like coming out, but i do know it didn't just follow the head like you read about, I think it was 3-4 cntrxs later. My midwife was wonderful in that she was calm the whole time. My baby had the cord wrapped around him like a seat belt and I never knew it. He was born a perfect 10 APGAR.</p>
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<p>I held him for seemed like forever waiting for my placenta to come out, which was more like an hour, Meanwhile, his short cord was slicing my labia (this is what it felt like), causing me extreme pain. They finally gave me an herb that helped the placenta come sooner and then I was free! I was covered in birthing fluids, including meconium which had been excreted on his way out. I felt cold and gross. I wanted a shower NOW!  Someone helped me to the shower where I started washing, only to almost black out. I got on my hands and knees as my midwife instructed me and I couldn't get up without nearly passing out. I had some help getting out of the shower and sat on the toilet while they dried me. I passed out finally then, right onto my midwife. She told me I wasn't allowed to pass out. So I stayed awake until they tried to move me. I passed out right onto the floor then. It felt so wonderful to be asleep, I was angry at them for waking me. My husband and brother in law moved me on a sleeping bag to the couch where I needed to refuel. I ate a bagel and drank lots of water. I felt better and could sit up without passing out. My midwife wanted me to pee before sleeping but i just couldn't I was too tired. She let me sleep for a little bit.</p>
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<p>I didn't really get to spend too much time with my baby because I was so tired. A tip to everyone else, sleep when you are in early labor. It would have really helped me if I hadn't been so tired at the end. My midwife was wonderful and ended up staying at my house till noon (7pm-12pm=16hrs), she even did all of the birthing laundry!</p>
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<p>This experience gave me power to make my own decisions and realize what doctors are there for, high risk cases, complications and most of all surgery.</p>
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<p>I hope this story helps other women make educated decisions about their birthing processes!</p>
 

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<p>Congrats on your sweet little one -- will you post a picture? I love seeing these cutie pies!  Glad you had a more positive birth experience. </p>
 

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<p>Congratulations on your  little miracle.  It is amazing how our babies come in their own time....your midwife is a wise woman.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
<p><br>
Sebastian was actually born April 13, 2009</p>
<p><a class="H-lightbox-open" href="http://www.mothering.com/content/type/61/id/506256/width/1000/height/800/flags/" target="_blank"><img alt="Sebastian Robert" class="lightbox-enabled" data-id="18374" data-type="61" src="http://www.mothering.com/content/type/61/id/18374/width/1000/height/500" style="; width: 1000px; height: 500px"></a></p>
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<p>This is what he looks like today (or Monday really) :</p>
<p><a class="H-lightbox-open" href="http://www.mothering.com/content/type/61/id/506260/width/1000/height/800/flags/" target="_blank"><img alt="Sebastian 1.5 yrs" class="lightbox-enabled" data-id="18376" data-type="61" src="http://www.mothering.com/content/type/61/id/18376/width/1000/height/500" style="; width: 1000px; height: 500px"></a></p>
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<p>I am currently trying for my third child! It is quite exciting, but I am a little overwhelmed by the idea of 3 children, to be honest, two are quite overwhelming much of the time!</p>
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<p>And yes, my midwife was a very wise woman, and very kind. But we moved back home to Maine (from MA) and now I have to find a new midwife. I am sure I will find a compiant and kind woman to help me birth my next child, but it is a little worrisome to think about.</p>
 

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<p>I'm also from Maine (central), and I have a wonderful (soft spoken and sweet!) midwife named Heather Stamler that I've been seeing this pregnancy.</p>
<p>I'd be happy to pass her contact information on to you.</p>
<p>We're due in a couple of weeks with our second, and this is our first home birth.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
<p>So cool to meet another Mainer on here! I am in the "Midcoast" area (Camden, Rockland). I have a few midwives to contact from the Belfast area, but I would be glad to check out some one else. Thanks!</p>
 

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<p>I love that area!  My book club meets in Knox county, so I'm out that way at least once a month.</p>
<p>I've heard a lot of good things about Ellie and Donna at Morningstar Midwifery as well.  Though I know they have a different working style than Heather.</p>
 
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