Tag Archive | hospital birth

Please & Thank You

If you don’t agree with someone, that’s obviously your choice.  In fact, you may have very valid reasons for not agreeing with someone.  HOWEVER, you can disagree and still be respectful, right?  Oh this thought could take me in so many directions, but I’ll try to focus on home birth…for now.  Birthing choices are up to the parents birthing the baby.  If you have opinions, quite frankly, they really don’t matter.  You’re entitled to have them.  However, be kind.  Be compassionate.  Be supportive.  After all, that’s what love is, right?  We support the ones we love, whether we agree with them or not.

So, we had a cesarean section with our first baby.  Our baby was removed from my belly, brought to the other side of the room to be cleaned off & checked over, then they brought him to me for oh, I don’t know, a couple of seconds (crazy generous, right?) before whisking him away.  I wanted Todd to stay with him so off he went as well (he hated leaving his wife on the OR table all cut open & whatnot, but orders are orders!).  I had tears streaming down my face and after what seemed like an eternity (it was only about 10 minutes), I asked if they were almost done sewing me up.  The doc laughed & told me they’d finished soaking all of the excess blood off of my uterus and put it back inside my body (ew), were just about done sewing the first layer and had another layer to stitch.  Fantastic.  I’d just had the baby boy I’d been carrying for 9 months whisked away and I ached to see him.  If you’re a mom, you must know that ache.  Your heart literally hurts.  You NEED your baby.  This was a very traumatic event for me.  It may sound trivial in the grand scheme of things, but I’d had my heart set on a vaginal delivery and here this stubborn baby refused to get upside down (okay, I sort of can’t blame him there) in my belly to prepare for birth AND he decides to check out 3 weeks early, 3 days before my scheduled external cephalic version (to try to squish him around so he’d be upside down).  Then, to have the nurse tell me I can’t go see my baby until I can walk, despite just having had major surgery…it’s enough to make anyone emotional!

At this point, we wanted the complete opposite of a hospital birth where we’d have very little say in what goes on when.  In fact, the closest hospitals to us did not allow VBACs, so that was more of a reason for us to have our triumphant HBAC (Home Birth After Cesarean).  We want to have our baby in our home, with no white coats present, no wipe-off board with PIT (pitocin) written down and the time we are to be given PIT because we’re taking too long to progress, no instruments to yank the baby out before he’s ready, no monitors being strapped to my belly for all of labor & delivery, no bed I’m being told to lie down on, nobody telling me I can’t eat or drink (I’m working harder than ever before, and you’re going to withhold nourishment?), and no tub to push the baby out in (labor, sure you can labor in the tub, but try delivering a baby in one at a hospital & let me know how it works out for ya).  I can’t thank “Hope” enough for opening our eyes to an entire beautiful birthing community that we never knew existed.  I started seeing an awesome chiropractor that specializes in pregnancy adjustments, and she game me so much relief.  I had HORRIBLE round ligament pain, just horrible. I‘d wake up screaming in the night.  She took so much of my pain away.   I was so grateful.

Oh hello, Braxton Hicks!  I’d never had them with Brayden, nor had I had any type of contractions whatsoever.  I had no idea what to expect, other than the obvious pain.  I was at 40 weeks and, well, not exactly comfortable.  I decided to ask my chiropractor to do acupressure because the Braxton Hicks were just getting really annoying & (even though I know babies should come when THEY are ready) I just couldn’t be pregnant any longer!  She warned me that if she did acupressure, I’d be full steam ahead in labor later that day.  Well, as much as I adored her, I highly doubted her, lol.  I left there and started on the 45 minute drive home.  I was a bit frustrated because before my appointment, I’d been having Braxton Hicks for several days.  Now, they were GONE!  I remember thinking, “are ya kidding me?!  I went from fake contractions to NOTHING?  I’ll never get this baby out of my belly & into my arms!”    That night, I decided to sleep on the couch (I don’t remember why to be honest).  I fell asleep just before 11pm.  Todd slept next to me in the recliner.  Before midnight I woke up in shock, disbelief, anxiety, excitement, you name it, I felt it!  I remember the first thing on my mind was, “Honey!  Call ‘Hope’ & ‘Peace’-(our Doula & Midwife)!!!  We’re having a baby!!!”   We’d purchased the home birth kit online, so we had everything we needed (I’ll spare you the details, but if any of you reading this have any questions about home birth that you’d like to ask me, please feel free…even if it didn’t end the way we’d planned, we still went through the process).

So, wow!  THIS is what contractions feel like!  I don’t love them, not one iota!  Our Doula arrived and shortly after that, our Midwife arrived.  From this point on until a few months down the road, some things remain foggy, but I’ll share what I do know.  In less than 2 hours, our baby was in the birth canal!  I started dreaming of eggs, home fries, sausage & toast with my birthing crew!  We would all have breakfast together because our amazing baby is going to be born in no time!  I was in pain, but excited.  Now I’m going to share some things that I’m truly scared to share.  I tell you this because I want to be completely honest with our readers.  I’m going to be extremely vulnerable, but you need the whole story, so here goes.

We’ve got a few (yes, I was one lucky mama!) Midwives (Peace, Patience, & Faith) and our Doula (Hope) at our home now, all trying to help ease my pain through the birthing process.  I was in & out of the birthing pool (by the fireplace in our family room, oh so peaceful).  My poor husband suffered the pain right along with me.  Each contraction I had, I put my arm around his neck and I’d bear down on him, taking him down forcefully with me with every push.  He’d later be in complete agony from my abuse (oops! – love you, honey!).  Every once in a while they’d ask me to try to use the restroom.  I’d laugh telling them they were nuts, there’s no way I could go to the bathroom when I’m trying to push out a baby!  I tried, but couldn’t   No biggie, after all, I’m trying to push out a baby, my body was a little distracted.  I continued trying to push, and they continued checking in on his heart rate.  His heart was beating perfectly the whole time.  For some reason (I’ll explain later), I just couldn’t get him out of the birth canal (good thing they’re flexible, he’d be there for a great many hours!)  After several hours of trying with all my might to push our baby out, our Midwives & Doula advised me to go to the hospital.  I was crushed, but knew they were right.  So, somebody got a few of my things together while I kept pushing.  I made it out the front door and paused to push again (no matter what, anyone that tells a woman to “stop pushing” is completely certifiable, you can’t stop, you just can’t).  Then I made it around to the other side of the porch, down the steps, and all the way to the back of the minivan!  Woo-hoo!  Now I had to stop to push again (keep in mind I’m making crazy loud Amazon Woman noises, while my neighbors all stare at me from their driveway, awesome).  After that round I had help getting into the back of the van so I could lie down & keep pushing.  Ugh.  One of my midwives (Patience) drove us 45 minutes down the highway, all the while I was screaming & pushing in the back of the van.  She’s awesome for being able to get us there safely with a screaming banshee in the back (and for many other reasons!).

I’ll give you the details of the hospital arrival next time.  It’s going to get raw.  Thank you for taking this journey with us.

Building Networks

Hi everyone!  We’re sorry it’s been several days since our last post.  Sometimes things come up and life just gets in the way.

I left off talking about helping women to avoid & helping them to work through postpartum depression.  One of the main reasons I was able to get past that rather quickly was because of friends.  I decided it was time I made some friends that had babies so that Brayden & I could do some socializing.  I found a playgroup and started signing up for any event I could make it to.  Immediately Brayden & I found these other moms with little babes and the babies would lie on blankets next to each other just having a great time with their baby babble. It was adorable.  While they “played”, the moms would have coffee or tea & just chat about anything and everything.  It was such a great outlet for all of us to have this network we could rely on for socialization, in a crowd that “gets” how frustrating it is when that nasty diaper leaked through the clothes and you forgot to replace the back-up outfit the last time there was a diaper blow-out; a crowd that understands your baby is coming with you so yes that means you won’t be able to give others your undivided attention and you will come with a fair share of noise, a crowd that understands why Lansinoh is a must-have in your purse at all times as a newly nursing mother.  Yes, this network is vital for every mother’s mental well-being.

Time went by, I made more friends that I really enjoyed seeing, but the drive to get to those meetings was just too long & far.  Todd & I talked a great deal about starting up our own family playgroup.  While I really enjoyed meeting all of the moms in the mommy group I’d been attending, I always wished there were more events that my husband could join in on when he had a day off.  After all, new dads deserve socialization, too!  So, we started a family playgroup on our own that would give people that lived near us a more local group of events to join in on.  It took off!  We never expected so many families to join, but it ended up having about 65 different families involved!  WOW!  It was awesome.  Every week we spent time with different friends, anywhere from 1-3 days a week.  We both met other folks with young children that we could really connect to.  We loved having families over for bbq & s’mores nights, potluck parties, holiday parties, and one of my favorites…Coffee Talk.  One member had the great idea to start a regular event where everyone who wanted to would show up at the chosen destination and we’d have this massive stroller walk with each other.  It was so much fun, gave us a good dose of fresh air, and we got exercise! This play group helped create lasting friendships for our oldest child and for us as well.  One of the things that was so humbling was that every time a family had a new baby, or there was a death in the family, or someone had illness in their family, moms and dads would pitch in to make a dinner & deliver a hot dish to the family in need.  It was a drop at the door to avoid making mom more stressed out (we all do a little extra tidying when we’re expecting company, so a drop at the door avoids the stress of feeling like that must be done, because that would defeat the purpose!).  When a family had a new baby we’d get 2 weeks worth of meals on the sign-up sheet so that the first 2 weeks they were home from the hospital, they didn’t ever have to worry about dinner.  What a wonderful thing these families did for each other!  I feel so blessed to have been able to be a part of that.

Time went on and Todd & I decided we were ready for baby #2.  We were so excited to have chosen a different path this time.  I knew if we were to deliver at the hospital a half a mile down the road, they’d require me to have a scheduled c-section due to my previous c-section (for breech presentation).  We wanted to research other options.  Through a friend I’d made in the playgroup, I was introduced to an amazing and inspiring woman who I’ll call Hope.  This woman, a Doula who was training to become a Midwife, would end up having such a deep impact on our hearts that she’d have a lasting effect on our lives and our children’s lives.  We met with her and explained the trauma of the previous cesarean section.  One of her many wonderful qualities is the ability to teach that there are always other options, but she did so in a way that fully supported whatever path we felt was right for our family.  She would point us to information, but was always clear that it was just information, from every angle, so that we could make truly educated decisions.  After all, this would be OUR BIRTH.  The previous birth was more of a hospital policy birth, we just did as we were told.  That’s just not how it should be, and it’s not how it has to be!

After a LOT of researching, questioning, soul searching, and praying, we decided we wanted to plan a home birth for this second baby.  We were so excited to have a HBAC (Home Birth After Cesarean).  I’m sure you can imagine the shock that most people felt when we told them this was our plan.  I’m okay with shock.  If something is different than what we’re used to, it surprises us sometimes.  No problem.  The only issues I had with reactions were from people who felt it was their duty to tell us that it was wrong, dangerous, and just unhealthy altogether.  Clearly they had not done any of the learning that I did.  No, they in fact followed along with policy just as I and so many others had done.  That following is okay, it’s their choice, but it’s never okay to tell someone they’re making the wrong choice.  It’s THEIR choice to make.

We read several books & watched movies about natural, home, and water birth.  My ultimate favorite is by Ina May Gaskin and it’s called Ina May’s Guide To Childbirth.  This woman is a huge inspiration.  A couple of the other books I read were Water Birth: A Midwife’s Perspective by Susana Napierala, and Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way by Susan McCutcheon.  Ina May herself is enough to get you thinking about how you want YOUR birth experience to be.  I highly recommend reading over her website and learning a bit about what she does & what she stands for.  One of the movies that comes to mind instantly is The Business of Being Born produced by Ricki Lake.  I also strongly recommend every expecting parent watch that.

http://www.inamay.com/books

http://www.amazon.com/Water-Birth-Perspective-Susana-Napierala/dp/0897892852/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1363980283&sr=1-1&keywords=water+birth

http://www.amazon.com/Natural-Childbirth-Bradley-Way-Revised/dp/0452276594/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1363980208&sr=1-1&keywords=natural+birth+the+bradley+way

http://www.thebusinessofbeingborn.com/

 

So by this point, we’re certain we want a HBAC.  We do all that we can to prepare, including establishing ourselves as patients of Midwives (awesome Midwives, I might add) that assist with home birth, and as a backup, a Midwife that has practicing rights at hospitals just in case we ended up needing one.  I won’t get into how ridiculous it is that there is this line drawn to keep women from having birth where THEY  want it by not protecting the practicing rights of ALL midwives.

Next time, I’ll begin to explain the process of preparing for home birth, and soon after you’ll get to read about the actual birthing process.  It was,…interesting.