A birth story - Revisited

Posted by  | Tuesday, December 23, 2008  at 8:00 AM  
This post was written by Krista and originally posted in December, 2007. Krista writes about her birth experience with her first, Lydia. Be looking for another birth story written about her TWINS due in March, 2009! We're actually planning another entire week of birth stories in the next line up. Yay! We love a good birth story - and they're all good!

When I found out I was pregnant I began to read all I could about labor and birth. My heart's desire was for a totally natural birth experience. I was alarmed, however, at the incredibly high c-section rate in America (currently about 33%). I realized quickly that selecting the right doctor was very important. I wanted a doctor who was experienced with natural childbirth - not just a vaginal delivery. Many obgyn's have never truly experienced a natural birth. I wanted to make sure that if there was a problem and I needed intervention I wouldn't look back and wonder if that intervention was really necessary. The more research I did, the more I wanted to consider homebirth as an option; however, my husband was definitely not ready for this. We compromised with a midwife that would deliver in a hospital. We also took a Bradley Class and found a great doula that would come to the hospital and help assist me in labor. The doula made me feel more comfortable because I knew that hospitals have rules and regulations and can really pressure you if your birth isn't progressing as fast as they think it should. The Bradley class was good, but the best part was that my husband came to understand why I wanted a natural birth and how that was healthier for both mom and baby. (As a side note, there are two books I would strongly recommend for anyone considering a natural birth: The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer and Natural Childbirth - The Bradley Method by Susan McCuthcheon.)
Well, let's fast forward to the birth. . . I was due on a Friday and started having mild contractions during the night on Sunday. Now Margaret had just given birth four weeks earlier and had been in labor for days so I didn't think much about this. I went for a three mile walk that morning as usual, and talked to Margaret on the phone later when my contractions were getting more regular (about every 12-15 minutes) but nothing to make me stop my day. She told me I was in labor but I didn't believe her! By Monday evening I was still thinking about having a baby on Friday. I took a meal to Leah (who had just had her baby one week earlier) and another teacher at our school who had just had twins. When I got home I read a book and Josh was playing a Play Station game. He had been working on beating that game for weeks and beat it that night; I finished my book that was over 500 pages. Shortly thereafter, I started having intense contractions that began to come very quickly (this was about 10 p.m.). We began to write them down and time really seemed to stand still. It's amazing how clearly you can think but I remember being unable to really communicate my thoughts. At some point Josh said he needed to get to bed because he had to work in the morning. He gave me the paper and pen (I was on floor so I could get to the bathroom easily), but he quickly realized I wasn't in any condition to be writing down my own contractions which were now about 3-5 minutes apart. I remember wanting ice chips and Josh said he didn't know how to do that, but would go ask the neighbor. He came back and said my friend was already asleep so her husband and mine put their heads together but still couldn't figure out how to make ice chips :). Inside I was laughing about all of this. We called our doula who was going to come out to our house and labor with us before heading to the hospital. However when she talked to me on the phone she said we needed to go straight to the hospital. I'll admit, I was scared to get to the hospital too earlier. My goal was to arrive when I was about 9 cm, push out the baby, and then head back home. So, when I arrived and they told me I was only dilated 2 cm, my heart just sank inside. It was about 1:30 a.m. The midwifery unit that we wanted to deliver with only delivered between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. so in my mind I was thinking that I just had to make it until 6 a.m. I had prayed about a natural birth so long and I thought the only way I would have it was with a midwife. I asked for a birth ball and labored on it for a little while. Then my water broke. I've heard of some women's water just leaking out but mine was a gush. Shortly thereafter I remember saying that I had pushed through a contraction. Our doula went to get the nurse to check me. Reluctantly she did and to her amazement I was at 10 cm. (Later she said she had never seen a first-time mom go from a 2 to a 10 in less than 1 hour.) The hospital was scrambling because they didn't even have me in a room and her head was about to crown. I had a total of 5 pushing contractions and Lydia was born. She was born at 3:10 a.m. so it was with a doctor and not a midwife. However, it all happened so fast they didn't have time to intervene and it was a totally natural birth. I really can't praise Duke Hospital enough either. I had a birth plan that really went against the grain of hospital tradition, and they followed it to a T. I even remember one nurse coming in and the head nurse asked if she had read my birth plan; she said she'd skimmed it and the other nurse told her to go read it and then she could come back in!
Having a natural birth was absolutely amazing. Yes, the contractions were painful (the Bible even says this) and I can attest it really was. However, it is not more than you can bear. In between contractions you feel totally fine. I could feel the urge to push and had the freedom to push as my body wanted to and in any position that I wanted. I tore only a little (2 stitches) and I was running again 10 days after she was born. This first picture was taken literally 60 seconds after Lydia was born. They took Lydia and weighed her in my room before handing her to me to nurse and this is when this picture was snapped. Lydia was born alert and awake. She nursed and then we played together for a couple hours. It is one of the most special memories of my life.
My advice if you are considering a natural childbirth is this: purpose that in your heart beforehand. If you take a "wait and see" approach, you'll more than likely end up with pain meds. Know why you want what you do and be prepared with a birth plan. Choose your doctor wisely; this cannot be emphasized enough. Finally, bathe it all in prayer. I realized later that although I didn't deliver with a midwife He had truly given me the deire of my heart. It wasn't that I wanted a midwife per se, I just wanted a totally natural birth experience and I feel so blessed to have been able to have it.

3 comments:

Terra Jones said...

what a beautiful story!!!

noahandlylasmommi said...

I completely agree about making up your mind beforehand. I had both of my kids naturally in the hospital. With both of them I knew from the get go that I would be doing it without any pain medication or interventions. I am also stubborn so that probably helped :) Congrats on having the birth you had planned. That is a huge accomplishment!

Curt, Mariah, & Carli Badura said...

thanks for sharing!

both of our birth stories are on our blog...

www.cmbadura.blogspot.com

you can search for "birth story" I think...

email me if you can't find them
mariahbadura@gmail.copm

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