Tuesday, November 30, 2010
My first Birth Story
Welcome to my pregnancy and planning maddness!
I just want to explain why I decided to go with a Home Birth. To start I will tell you the birth story of my son. Finding out I was pregnant was one of the greatest and most terrifying events for me. Despite being in a happy marriage and having just purchased our home, I was scared stupid. I didn't know how to prepare for it, I had read a bit here and there, but never really studied anything. I bought "What to Expect when you are Expecting" and that did little more than help me revisit all the health classes I took in school. My OB was very nice, but very much so an OB. She reassured me and told me everything was going to be fine one way or another. Every visit involved checking me to see if I was still closed up tight like Fort Knox, measuring, and a mini ultrasound (she had an older ultrasound machine in her office) to see where the baby was and what it was doing, and listening to the heartbeat. Not knowing anything else, I figured this was the norm. What I did know was that I wanted to have a drug free birth, no epidural, no pit, nothing. The trouble was that every time I mentioned this to her, she either seemed to ignore it or make small comments like "We don't like our moms to be in pain." So rather than putting up a fight about it, I just hoped that I would have my way in the end.
I also knew I wanted to breastfeed but had not worries there as my mom used to be a Le Leche League Leader. I took a Lamaze class (they were given at the same hospital I delivered at) which I was partly disappointed with because once again, I felt like it was just reiterating a lot of things I already felt I knew. It helped reassure me I could do it without medication and I left feeling "I can do this."
The night before I went into labor, I had been sitting on the sofa, snacking, watching tv, and crocheting some random thing I don't think I ever finished. I now know that they were contractions, but at the time I just figured I had overdone it and it was time for bed. At five that morning and like every morning until then, I woke up because I had to pee. I started the battle I did every morning "Can I hold it a little longer? Do I really have to get up? I just got comfortable and the bed is the perfect temp, just a little longer...." Then I heard/felt a pop. My eyes flashed open and if anyone was awake I would of made the record for fastest moving pregnant woman. I rushed to the bathroom just in time as my water gushed into the toilet. I then yelled for my husband who was fast asleep in bed, probably not even aware I had left it. He appeared groggy at the door and I told him I was now in labor. I called my OB, our moms, put on an enormous pad and waddled out to the car to find it frozen in ice. After chipping our way in, we left for the hospital. I remember passing by two Dunkin Doughnuts and thinking that I could really go for one of their egg breakfasts, but I didn't because I was told not to eat when labor starts. An hour later I was in gown, hooked up and sitting in bed talking to my husband. When I arrived I was only three cm. I thought I was fully because my water had broken but oh well. I told the nurses I didn't want any pit or an epidural. They insisted on giving me little bit of pit and I let them (BIG MISTAKE!!). Our moms got there and they started to amuse themselves by watching the contraction chart as the hours ticked by. My father-in-law came too and took naps in different places in the room.
As the day wore on, the contractions grew in strength and with them the feeling of wanting to throw up with each one. (I now know that throwing up is a side effect of Pitocin, pleasant eh?) Around noon the nurses started to talk about an epidural, then they kept on asking. I caved and let them. Around five that evening we started pushing because I was fully dilated. Everyone was shooed out of the room except for my husband. Our son was born 45 mins later and then everyone came in. It was great and horrible at the same time. While different grandparents were looking at their grandson, I began to throw up. My grandparents were there and while my Oma was looking at my son, my Opa was holding my hair back and helping hold the little pan I was puking in. After having been so hungy that morning, I wanted nothing to eat that night. My appetite returned in the morning, but I was exhausted. We went home after two days and everything was fine.
The time after he was born, now having been through it, I knew what I wanted to be different with the second one. As I started to read and watch videos on birth and how it could be. I started to think more about what I wanted the next one to be like and how to achieve that. In the meantime, one of my best friends successfully had a natural, midwife attended hospital birth. She was awesome. Then my Aunt had a home birth with their third and had nothing but good things to say. I started thinking that a midwife was the way to go, but there was a part of me that was starting to want a home birth. I went to the group of midwifes my friend went to and they did not offer home birth. When I became pregnant, I started to really feel that nothing else would be acceptable except a home birth.
Now my reasons are simply that I am a control freak about some things. I want to be able to walk around while I am in labor, I want to EAT, rest and whatever else I feel like doing while I am in labor. So I started to hunt. I don't know if I could find it again if I tried, but I found a doula/midwife group nearby that offered home birth care and doula support. I was beyond Ecstatic!! I sent them an e-mail, met with them and fell in love with their procedures and way of thinking. They work in pairs with two almost always at the birth, one for the baby and one for me. They bring all the basics of a hospital delivery room with them. If something starts to show signs of going wrong, I will be transported to a hospital. I live within five minutes of one so no worries.
I have now started hunting out and reading just about anything I can get my hands on that relates to home birthing. I just started reading 'Home Birth an Invitation and a Guide' by Alice Gilgoff. I have a few others I want to read before I give birth.
I have never felt so calm and at ease with the idea of having a baby. All the images pummeled into my brain of woman flat on their backs, screaming in agony as their baby is born and being told that that is the norm, is being slowly erased. As it should be with every woman who is planning on ever having a baby. There are so many calm birth videos out there now to reassure a pregnant woman, it is very empowering.
So I guess that is it for this one.