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2 years ago I gave birth to my oldest daughter Ella, and it was a very difficult and traumatic birth. <a href="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=380136&highlight=homebirth+transfer" target="_blank">See here for her story</a> She and I both took a long time to recover from it. We started out at home then my cervix swelled up due to some very strong premature pushing. We worked on it for awhile at home to get it to resolve and then decided to transfer for some medical intervention. We were a little afraid that my strong pushing would either tear my cervix or push it out with the baby. The epidural stopped the pushing, and luckily I was able to push Ella out. However it was not a good experience at the hospital and I vowed nothing short of total calamity would put me back there!<br><br>
For this birth we used the same midwives and stood in very clear resolve to work through any emotional issues from the past birth and in general that would keep me from a gentle peaceful birthing experience. I worked with a therapist and did some post-traumatic stress work. During that time, I was able to re-frame my previous experience from one of victimization to one of empowerment. I had gotten into a fight with the OB right after delivery when he wanted to stitch a first degree tear. He was very nasty to me - and while I kept insisting that he leave my tear alone, his harsh words sounded like a repeat of years of victimization I had suffered through with countless doctors while dealing with endometriosis. It wasn't until recently that I realized that I hadn't repeated that pattern. I stood up to him - I was strong in my defense and protection of my body for the first time in my life. I wasn't beaten down - I WON that battle! He didn't stitch me up. Such a simple realization, but it was so profound and changed how I related to everything.<br><br>
Starting at 32-34 weeks I began experiencing contractions almost non-stop. It was maddening. They weren't doing anything, except driving me batty. Some of them hurt pretty badly - some of them came every 5 minutes and lasted at least 1 minute - some of them didn't hurt at all. I couldn't tell if I was in labor - or not - or early labor - or not - or what??? I don't know. I always woke up in the morning still pregnant, so I figured it was all just practice. They never got longer, stronger and closer together... I kept waiting for that, I figured that would be my definite clue that something real was happening.<br><br>
I started loosing my plug at 39 weeks - and I got really grouchy. I was a surly beast of a pregnant woman. Several days later I woke up at 4am feeling something different. Nothing that I could put my finger on - I just *knew* that this was it. Contractions defiantly started getting longer, stronger, and closer together about 7am. I was so happy! It was a beautiful Friday morning, and Ella had a party that she could go to that day, so things were working out perfectly. I was zipping through contractions like they were nothing at all. 1 minute long - 5 minutes apart, no problem!! They were strong, and painful - but I was totally on top of it. I could feel a lot of soreness, tenderness, and tightness in my legs and pelvic floor though that I tried to loosen up. I finally got into a nice hot bath and it worked like a charm. Once I got out though, my contractions spaced out to 10 minutes apart. I took advantage of the rest by lying in the office with Chadwick and chatting with him. I also had some lovely moments with Ella cuddling up and giving kisses and hugs.<br><br>
Ella was picked up by friends and taken to her spring party and I settled in to my work at home. Laurie (my midwife) came out to check on me about noon. I told her I was much too cheerful inbetween contractions to be very far along, but that they were regular and painful. Laurie listened to the baby, and it was doing well. I asked her to check me, so I could get a benchmark of things - I was 4cms, 75% effaced, baby at -1 station. Laurie noticed that I was super-sensitive to movement - every-time I changed positions or walked even a step or two I would get a strong reaction from my uterus. She decided after watching me a bit that she would go to lunch in the area and then give me a call to see how I was doing.<br><br>
Chadwick was wonderful - he would shake my legs when I got a contraction to help keep them loose - or he would push on my back and hips for some counterpressure. He then left to make a phone call in the other room - or make the bed - or I don't know do something... I remember being on the floor with my head on the coffee table and several big ones hit right in a row. I lost my cheerfulness. I was on my hands and knees and the only way I could get through them was by holding on tight to the table and rocking fast on my knees. (and scream - I am pretty sure this is where the screaming started) I moved to the rocking chair ottoman. I grabbed onto and was able to rock my whole body with it and yell into the pillow that was on top. Chadwick came back and checked on me and I asked him to draw me another bath.<br><br>
I got into the bathtub and things got a bit hazy. I tried to stay positive - its hard work staying positive while in that much pain. I would repeat over and over "OPEN - LOOSE - OPEN" Everytime they started my first reaction was to fight it - so I would start off the contraction by saying "YES - DON'T FIGHT - DON'T FIGHT-YES" Then at some point, all I could manage was "OK - OK- OK - OK-OK" I was pretty loud. I think I was slamming my hand against the side of the tub too...<br><br>
At this point Laurie came back - she sat with me for a long while and held my hand. I remember sitting up in the tub and looking at Laurie and asking her "How much longer - how much longer can I do this? I can't do this much longer" She gently said "Oh, Wendy - thats transition talking." I broke down and starting crying. I cried and let it all out. <br><br>
After this she checked the baby and its heartrate was fast. She told me that I was too warm and would need to get out of the bath. That's the LAST thing I wanted to do. Once you find a position where you know the contractions won't kill you, leaving it takes a huge leap of faith that you won't die. She told me I could hang out there until she got her supplies set up in my bedroom.<br><br>
Moving came too soon - I practically leaped onto my bed ahead of another contraction. I was on my hands and knees with my head on a mountain of pillows. I rocked through the contractions yelling as loud as I could and bashing one hand against the wall. Ella came home sometime around then - I gave her a hug and a kiss and she handled seeing me wacked out very well. Chadwick took over caring for her and Laurie became my main support through MONSTER - MONSTER contractions. These ripped me to shreds. I felt like I was being torn apart and ripped open. (The back-up midwife Meredith arrived around this time as well.) I totally lost all control, all decency, all decorum. I would grab Laurie around the neck and hang on to her screaming into her neck - so scared that if I let go I would fall into an abyss. I remember digging my head into her shoulder and smelling her laundry detergent - which was too strong. I wanted to tell her to change shirts, but I never did - a part of me said there wasn't time for that.<br><br>
Ella hearing me scream ran into the other room and grabbed the goddess figurines that my mom's group had made for me during my blessingway. She rushed into the bedroom with them and put them by my head. They were made to remind me of my strength during labor - I can't tell you how touching it was to have her bring those to me. <br><br>
The contractions started getting unbearable - the pressure was unreal. Laurie mentioned at this point that the pressure might be the water bag as it still hadn't broken. I was shocked at remembering this - with Ella my waters broke before labor started and to avoid that this time I took lots of vitamin C. I couldn't believe I had made such a strong water bag! I was pretty proud of myself. Then I got another contraction. Pride went out the window when I felt that pressure again. I begged Laurie to break it for me. She reminded me that I had originally wanted my waters to stay intact without any intervention. I think my exact words were "HAVE SOME COMPASSION!" So - she asked that I go through 3 more contractions and if they still hadn't broken she would do it. I went through 3 more without it breaking. I moved down to the potty and she broke my bag on the toilet (less mess that way!) Water was clear - and it was a HUGE relief.<br><br>
At this - everything started changing. My contractions got short and weird. In retrospect I realize that my uterus was changing gears and that the baby was moving down. At the time I just enjoyed the break. (I use the word 'enjoy' loosely)<br><br>
I started pushing. Its like throwing up backwards. Not easy puking, but hardcore - vomit your toenails out your eyeballs puking, except in reverse. I was back in my mountain of pillows on my hands and knees. When it hit I buried my face in down in the pillows and shot my butt high up in the air - I was scared of it, it was a HUGE sensation and not pleasant at ALL. I went through about 3 of them and surrendered to the sensation. But the baby wasn't moving down. I knew I needed to change positions, but it was scary to move so I resisted. Laurie checked me at this point and found that I had a lip (again) and the lip was filling with fluid. She tried to push it over the baby's' head when the contraction started, but she got a swift hard kick from me. (sorry Laurie) She asked me to move down and sit on the birth chair so she could really get the lip out of the way before it swelled like the one with Ella did.<br><br>
I moved off the bed, walked three steps to the chair and the baby started crowning. Laurie poked her head out of the bedroom and shouted for everyone to come in. Ella, Chadwick, and Meredith came back in and watched. I instinctively put my hand on the head and helped it come out. After the head, my body rested for what seemed like an eternity, but was probably a few seconds. Then the body slipped out and I held the baby against my chest - trying to comprehend what just happened. I was totally in shock.<br><br>
And so came into this world - a beautiful baby boy - Dashiell Clair Chennault. 8 pounds even, 21 inches. He was born at 4:10 pm, which means that I went from 4 to complete in 3 and a half hours and pushed him out in 25 minutes. No wonder it hurt like heck - it was fast!<br><br>
Unfortunately my uterus and cervix wanted to go along with the ride and popped out with him. (not all the way, just prolapsed a bit) Laurie and Meredith hoisted me back up on the bed in a hurry and put all the bits back where they belonged. I was still able to hold and cuddle the baby while they managed all of that. Several minutes after that passed and everyone was puttering around, I got some monstrous afterpains - I screamed out for Laurie to help and she came back in and assessed that I had some clots that needed to be dug out. Holy crap. I screamed and screamed, while they went in and pulled them out. That was bad. Then they drew me a bath with a herbal healing tea in it and the baby and I got to relax and float around. It was lovely. I was so relieved that it was all over and I had such a perfect, beautiful boy.<br><br>
Bad news was that because of the prolapse, I had to stay in bed and horizontal for 5 days. I was put on strict bedrest, so that everything could get settled back where it was suppose to be. This wouldn't have been so hard, but our pipes busted and our kitchen flooded with sewage on day 3. It was a disaster - but we managed. (we are still managing!)<br><br>
Dashiell is perfect - he is an absolute joy and it has been so wonderful having him in our family. Big sister loves him so much and has done great. He is nursing beautifully - which is a huge relief, Ella had loads of problems and it took 6 weeks for her to be able to nurse at all. So I don't take a second of it for granted. I feel so blessed.<br><br>
BABY STATS!!<br>
Dashiell Clair Chennault<br>
Born May 11, 2007, 4:10pm<br>
8 pounds 0 oz<br>
21 inches<br>
Beautiful and perfect in every way
 

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Congratulations Mama. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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What an <i>amazing</i> story, mama! I am glad you are healing and recovering. Congratulations <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">!
 

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I just read your dd's birth story and wanted to come back and say that my dd had mec staining and deep suctioning too, and the trauma made nursing a living hell for 4 months <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">. She would cry while nursing, then refuse to nurse, get hungry, scream for hours, round and round ... it was so awful, and only stopped after I stumbled upon craniosacral therapy and used that to help her heal. Many <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">s from one mama to another. I am glad things went better this time around, although the prolapsed uterus and cervix sounds awfully scary!
 

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congrats!!!
 
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