Friday, February 26, 2010

Unassisted Birth Story

Birth Story
Wesley Gerald Blair
Sunday December 13th, 2009
8lbs 2oz

A little background. My oldest child Danielle was born in hospital assisted by a wonderful midwife. It was an easy uncomplicated delivery and I was excited to have another baby, one was just not enough. Since breastfeeding didn't go the greatest (long story) we were already trying to conceive when Danielle was just 7 months old. It didn't take long and we were expecting baby #2! It wasn't a difficult pregnancy per se but it was a tough time in our lives and I really didn't prepare well for the birth. I think I just figured since my first delivery was easy that this one would be even easier. Needless to say, it wasn't. It didn't follow the same pattern as Danielle and so I was left feeling frustrated and confused. I was trying to birth at home and my midwives kept coming and going (I wasn't really in established labor and so they were leaving me to labor until I was, but I felt very helpless and unprepared... my husband who tries his best, was really no help) When I was about 7cm dilated I was ready to give up, my midwife had been concerned about the baby's position since I was 3cm and wanted to go to the hospital to get an ultrasound to confirm that the baby was head down. While I was there I got seated on a birthing ball and took the nitrous gas. It was what I needed to relax and finally my body did what it was supposed to do without me fighting against it. The Dr came in and confirmed I was safe to deliver and then 20 mins later my first son Jack was born!!! It was a disappointing experience, I think I suffered a bit of PPD without really admitting it. Gratefully, breastfeeding came along (after a rocky start) and I think I was able to build a better attachment to Jack through breastfeeding. When Jack was just 5 months old, Danielle had just turned 2, the Lord saved me!!!! It was an amazing new birth! God has done nothing but bless my life since. Jack's first birthday got me thinking about having a baby again. But I was still nursing and still no signs of fertility. 14 months post partum we started trying to conceive. Around this time a friend asked me to attend her homebirth as her doula. It was a wonderful experience but got me questioning whether or not I would actually want the midwives there. What I had experienced and seen was that once you have this wonderful experience of childbirth, you've got your baby in your arms but soon they rush in there and start mucking about, trying to get your placenta to deliver... they have a time limit on that thing you know. It was unnerving to see my friend trying to bond with her baby while her midwife was tugging at the cord, giving her a shot, pressing on her abdomon. Looked terrible. Not long after this, I was pregnant with baby #3! I was going to do things differently this time. I prayed and read my bible, I read tons of birth stories. I read lots a few good books about childbirth. I was seeing my midwives for prenatal care and planning another homebirth but in the back of my mind I was considering not calling them when the time came. Then God blessed us with 80 acres of land and a great deal on a newer, mobile home! This meant that my midwives could not attend my homebirth (they only attend homebirths within city limits). Either I could have my baby in hospital or at a private home in town to be attended by the midwives, or I would have him at home. The Lord led me to go ahead and share my thoughts with my midwife. After being discharged from their care and then taken back in, brought along a real emotional roller coaster God gave me perfect peace that I should have our baby at home. My husband was very supportive. I prepared myself for birth so that I would need very little from him, he was willing to do what he could but I knew that he'd rather sit it out... his words were something to the effect of "whoever decided men should be there when women give birth oughta be drug out into the street and shot.... it should be like the olden days, when you go into labor I should call the 'women-folk' and then go wait in the barn." Despite how negative this all sounds he would say it very calmly and with a little half smile and I knew that although he meant what he said, he would still do anything I asked him to. As the due date approached I felt so calm about the birth... as the due date passed I was still feeling ok about it.

Friday was the first day that I felt quite unhappy about being overdue. I was just 4 days past my estimated due date. So Saturday I asked Aaron if we could get out of the house and maybe do some walking if for nothing else but to cure the cabin-fever myself and the kids were feeling after being stuck in the house for the past week due to the recent cold snap. We walked around a couple stores, trudged around in the crowds at the mall and then went to a gun show. I had forgotten our stroller AND my sling so I was carrying our 2 year old for a good chunk of the gun show. Early in the day I noticed some mild crampy like contractions. By evening, I realized that these contractions were still going on and coming every 10-15 mins, I was chatting with my mom on the phone but didn't let on that I thought the baby might be coming. I went to bed around 11pm waking a few times throughout the night (as usual) and they were still coming. At 5am, I took a bath and had some toast and wondered whether this would continue on, or stop and restart another day. At 7:30am I used the bathroom and passed a bit of my mucous plug! The contractions were starting to come every 5-10 mins at this point and felt a little stronger, so I figured it was the real thing! I made breakfast for my kids and laid out their church clothes. Aaron ate breakfast with them, dressed them and took them over to his mom’s around 8:30am. Throughout the rest of the morning my contractions were coming steadily every 5 mins and increasing in intensity and duration. I coped by breathing deeply, concentrating on making low moaning sounds and tried lots of different positions. I walked, squatted, sat on my birthing ball, took a bath (about 5 times) and got on my elbows and knees on my bed. Aaron would check with me periodically and rub my back but mostly he did the right thing and stayed out of my way. We really didn’t talk, we didn’t need to he seemed to know that I didn’t need him yet. By around noon I was feeling very tired and my prayers turned from ‘thank you God for helping me through this, please give me strength and energy” to more of a plea “please don’t let this carry on much longer, I don’t think I can do it, please, PLEASE give me renewed strength and energy! I can’t last past 3, I know I can’t!” At 2:30pm I was squatting by the end of my bed and prayed aloud “I quit Lord, I can’t, I quit, I’M DONE!” I listened to the words I was saying and thought “transition? Am I in transition?!” I thought through the next contraction ‘what is my body trying to tell me to do? Push? is it really time to push?” I felt to see if there was a head, I felt a smooth ball. I felt like I needed to use the toilet so I went back to the bathroom. Next contraction I felt the ball move towards my hand a little! Next contraction my water broke! I started REALLY pushing. Aaron came in and asked if my water broke, I nodded. He rubbed my back and asked if I could feel the head, he looked for himself and said “there it is. Wow, he’s got more hair than I do!” (we always thought it would be a boy) The hairy little ball was moving towards my hand more and more. I pushed and felt for my perineum to see if it was stretching nicely. I had my hands on either side of my baby’s head as I stood up, his face slid out, then I waited for a good contraction and pushed the shoulders out, with one last little push the rest of his body slid out into mine and Aaron’s waiting hands! He let out a little squawk as we lifted him up to my chest. I rubbed him down a bit with a receiving blanket and he let out a lusty cry. I kept chanting little welcoming remarks to my new little child! I mucked back to my bedroom, Aaron ran ahead and threw a few chux pads on the bed and I plopped down with my new little baby and confirmed that he was a boy. He didn’t want to open his mouth to nurse so he nuzzled at my breast while I started excitedly calling people to share the news! I had to stop the phone calls to deliver the placenta about 10 mins after the birth. I tied and cut the cord about 5 mins after that. I wrapped Wesley into some clean blankets and towels and Aaron held him by the wood stove while I cleaned up a bit. After that he latched on and nursed beautifully! He’s perfect!!!! Both Aaron and I agree that this was the BEST birth experience we’ve had and that all babies should be born this way! God has blessed us so much throughout this pregnancy and birth!

Little update, Wesley is now 2 1/2 months old and is doing great! He's getting so chubby and nursing wonderfully! He loves to smile and laugh, he's already tickelish and is the first of my kids to somewhat enjoy his soother. The kids seem to like him and Danielle has really become quite the little mommy to her all her dolls. She doesn't like it when Wesley cries.

Hope you enjoyed!


1 comment:

Deborah said...

Hi Nadine! Somehow I missed this and just noticed today that you had posted. It was great to read your story!