Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Birth Story

My last day of work was supposed to be October 29, but on the tuesday before that, I had a bad cold/sinus infection so all my co-workers felt pity for me and said I could come in late on the 29th. I was supposed to come in at 1:30 for my last few days at Dr. Ramsey's office. My first contraction woke me up at 5:30am on the 29th. It was the painful kind, and I knew immediately that I was in labor. I tried to go back to sleep, but my contractions were about 10 to 15 minutes apart, and I was too uncomfortable and excited to sleep. So, I got up and ate breakfast and waited for Daniel to get home (he was already up and at the dedicated!) When he walked in the door, I said, "So, do you want to have a baby today??" As our due date wasn't until a week later, he was very surprised and excited.

When Reece woke up, we headed off to do some shopping at Wal-Mart to distract ourselves. When I was in labor with Reece, Daniel and I went to Target. I was too distracted with contractions to notice that he bought a new camera while I was in labor! But, this time I made sure he didn't slip any extras into our basket. My contractions felt like they were getting more intense and closer together, so we headed home to rest.

As I was lying on my big yellow ball, I was timing my contractions, which seemed like they were getting farther apart, which was not the direction I wanted to go! So I started doing random things around the house and before long I found myself pacing and unable to be still with contractions about 4-5 minutes apart. I called my midwife to let her know what was going on. It was then 3pm, and the birthing center is about 45 minutes away down I-45, so she told me to head on down.

When we got to the birthing center (Nativiti), Katherine, my midwife, checked me. I was 4 cm dilated with contractions still about 4-5 min apart. She had been at the clinic all day, so she went home to change and eat, and I went to my brothers house (about 10 minutes away) to hang out until my contractions were about 3 min apart. That didn't take long, and I got to the "I can't do it" phase, so Daniel called Katherine and were were on our way back to Nativiti. The 10 minute car ride felt like forever with my intense contractions. I just tried to breath through them and focus on distractions on the road. As soon as we pulled into the driveway, I got out of the car and started puking on the sidewalk. Just the, Katherine drove up and we all rushed in.

I didn't necessarily plan on getting into the tub, but Katherine got it all ready for me. She checked me and said I was almost at 9cm, and she told me to get right in the tub. I got in and kneeled down hanging over the side. Daniel did NOT get in (I don't know how people do just wouldn't have worked for me!). He did lean over the other side and I held his hands a he rubbed my head and hair. Katherine was on the other side and she was lightly rubbing my back. The lights were dim and believe it or not, I almost felt like I could fall asleep between contractions. During contractions was a different story!! He was coming SO fast and he was SO big that I really felt like I needed to push, but I still had one cm to go, so I had to try and breath through a couple more. Finally, my water broke and there was no stopping him.

This is were the story gets a little graphic in case you want to quit reading. The midwives don't do routine episiotomies (only for emergencies) and since I had one for Reece, I was really worried about tearing (and I didn't even know he was going to be almost 10 pounds!) So, my midwife was really good about helping me breathe through the contractions instead of pushing so that he would stretch me out before coming all the way out. In the hospital, they just cut you and then tell you to push as hard as you can, but the midwives tell you to breathe through the contractions so you'll get stretched and not tear. He came SO fast and it was SO hard to just not push, but with every ones' help, I was able to wait as long as I could. I could feel his head come out, and then usually everything else would follow right after, but I could feel his chest still in me and I had to push that part out. That was a strange feeling, and since his chest was 1/2 inch bigger than his head, I did tear just a little bit getting the rest of him out. But, I didn't even tear where my old episiotomy was, and after I had him, the midwife even debated about stitching the tear because it was so small, but she did end up putting in a stitch or two.

He was born in the tub. The midwife delivered him and then put him directly into my arms. We turned him onto his back so we could see if he was a boy or girl and we were SO surprise to find little BOY parts!! I think I said to him, "That was SO hard but I don't even care because you're here and you're a BOY!! :)" The midwife checked him over while I held him. The "afterbirth" was a lot harder this time to deliver. Maybe b/c he was such a big boy and needed a big placenta. I was got to the birthing center at 6:30pm and he was born at 7:24pm. FAST!!

Another thing I must mention was the amazing "hand" of the birth assistant. When I was already in the tub having intense contractions, when I saw this hand offering me things that I didn't know I really wanted until she was there with them. A cup of cold water that she put to my lips for me to drink and a cold wash cloth that she would hold on my head. She helped me with a bath after the birth, she rubbed me and massaged my hands and arms during the stitching, she made sure I ate afterwards, she held up a cold juice box to my lips right after delivery while I was holding Joesph, she made sure someone was taking pictures and she helped me with breast feeding and did tons of teaching with me (which I actually remembered this time since I wasn't all drugged up!!)

After I got out of the tub, I went to the bed and got to breast feed right away. Joesph was happy to cooperate and nursed for almost an hour while family came into visit. Then, we took a bath together (not and Joesph). Then, they stitched me up and then the midwife did her exam on Joseph right next to me on the bed. This is the part they usually to right away in the hospital that makes your baby scream and cry. I ate while she did this. Then, after lots of teaching and looking over materials that we took home (in case we forgot all the teaching) we were ready to go (3 1/2 hrs after having him).

We slept SO good that night, just waking every 3 hours to feed Joseph. It was nice not having people in and out of our room all night long and getting to sleep in our own bed. They called to check on us the next day, and the day after that, a nurse came to our house to check on Joseph and I. We also had to go see the pediatrician 48 hours after his birth so he could be check out.

Some people wondered how I did at home without anyone to help me. The answer is that I didn't need any help because I felt SO great!! I did rest a lot and I didn't pick Reece up or make any meals or clean anything for about a week. Today (Day 8) I made breakfast, did the dishes, and walked to the park with both the kids. Now my mom is here, so it's nice to have the afternoon help!

I would encourage every women to at least consider going with a midwife on their next pregnancy. I would never go back to a doctor (of course, in case I had complications or needed surgery...midwifes aren't for everyone, I totally understand that.) Or AT LEAST ask your doctor to let you try not to have an episiotomy. I had Reece, who was only 7 pounds one ounce with an episiotomy, which I surely didn't need, and then I had Joesph, who was 2 pounds heavier and 2 1/2 inches longer than her without one! The labor was harder, but the recovery was a world of difference.

Okay, to people who think midwives are a little crazy, I think their great, but some things they did were a little strange to me:
1. they always asked Daniel if he was SURE that he didn't want to "catch" the baby. "No, I don't think so," Said Daniel every time! :)
2. If you have a compliant during your pregnancy, you'll probably get the answer "You need to eat more vegetables."
3. I was asked if I wanted to keep the placenta. Umm... no, thanks...
4. Joseph and I took an "Herbal bath" together after delivery. It didn't do much for me, and I think he swallowed some water, which is why he screamed the whole time.
5. I was given a tiny little pill that I was instructed to not touch but place under my tongue and let dissolve. It was some kind of herb for healing "down there" but I'm not exactly sure what it was... Maybe that's why I felt so good. :)

So, that's pretty much the whole LONG story. :) I want to put some pictures in so people can see that it wasn't as weird as it sounds, but they're a little graphic, too. Oh well, here they are.
During the contractions. The women in the blue is Katherine, and the other women is the birth assistant.

I love this picture. This is when he first came out and she gave him right to me.

Then we turned him around to see if he was a boy or girl!

This is Daniel getting Joesph all ready to go home.

This is Kathrine, our midwife, doint her exam on Joe. I think she's about to give him a shot in this picutre!

Very Proud Grandparents!


Marianne said...

Thanks for sharing the story. I was wondering how it all went down. What a blessing!

Nalley Family said...

You're amazing Becky!!

Cora said...

What a great birth story :). Thanks for sharing!

mel sutton said...

i LOVE this story bec! i'm definitely considering a birthing center/midwife/home birth for our next baby, but i'm not sure how it will work if i've had a c-section. guess i need to do a little more research. i am SO proud of you!!!

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