Positive Birth Stories
Women can overcome the fear surrounding labor and birth by hearing or reading Positive Birth Stories. I have asked a number of my Bradley Method® and Prenatal Yoga students to write their experiences down to share with other couples. Most of these stories on my blog http://prenatalyoga.wordpress.com are stories of natural birth. A couple of them are not, but these mothers were able to turn their baby's birth into an empowering experience and bring their babies into the world in the best, safest, and gentlest way possible.
"Women need to hear positive birth stories. Sadly, women who have positive, transformative, challenging but amazing births usually don't tell their stories. They may think it's not normal, or may not want to make other women feel inferior. Women need to share their birth stories, both positive and difficult, and when they're difficult, we should examine why and what could have changed. These stories have the power to transform how society looks at birth, to dispel the myths and relieve the fear." Debra Pascali-Bonaro
On Thursday, I went to the midwife and I was 4 cm dilated, 90% effaced. After a bit of bleeding and a hospital check-up on Friday to make sure things were OK, I went into active labor around 10 p.m. on Friday night. My contractions were waking me up 45 minutes apart and soon became intense enough for me to wake Louis up around 1:00 a.m. He was the best coach and helped me through 4.5 hours of contractions at home until they were 3 minutes apart. We were waiting for the doula at our house, but decided to head to the hospital and meet her there. When I got to the hospital around 5:30, I was 8 cm dilated and 100% effaced. After checking me and getting situated in L&D, I labored through transition for another few hours and then was ready to push after about 10 hours of labor! My bag of waters remained intact through a bit of pushing and I was so happy for that. I pushed for about an hour through some heavy contractions and an emotional surge that I had to work hard to get through mentally. My doula and Louis were amazing at helping me to remain focused and to realize I could get through the birth. After they reassured me, I said, “I can do this…” and a few pushes later, Whitney’s head was out, followed quickly by the rest of her. There was some meconium in her amniotic fluid, so they worked on her while I was stitched up and delivered the placenta and then returned her to me a few minutes later. It was an amazing experience and almost directly after she was born, I knew that I’d have another natural birth in a heartbeat. I felt so good after her birth, alive and in touch with the experience. Our midwife thanked us for sharing our labor with her, saying that she used to do a lot of natural births but hasn’t done many since being at this hospital. She watched out for us and made sure we got the birth we desired and I couldn’t thank her enough for being so supportive.
Here is my doula’s version of my birth story if you’re interested.
Emily called about 3AM on 11/17/07 to let me know she was contracting. She was at 40 weeks and 6 days. I asked how she was doing and if she needed me yet, and she answered she was doing OK so far. She had been having contractions earlier but thought they hadn’t been very strong or regular until now, and were probably about 7-10 minutes apart. I asked her to call as soon as she felt she needed me, and I would come right away. A bit before 6AM they called to say the contractions were 4-5 minutes apart and they had decided to go to the hospital. I replied that would meet them there.
I arrived at 6:45AM, and she had just been checked. She was already at 8cm, 100% effaced and –2 station! She was managing the contractions very well, staying on top of the breathing. We moved into the room, and she was anxious to get out of the confining bra and “stuff”! I set up the music, and fixed a lavender washcloth for her to smell and cool her forehead. Colleen was her nurse, and Sheri was the midwife. Sheri checked her again at 7:01AM, and in only 16 minutes, she had already progressed to 9cm! Sheri and Colleen were fabulous, very supportive of Emily’s desire for no medical interventions. She was being monitored for a while and she couldn’t wait until they got her off so she could move around! It drove her crazy that they kept on asking the same questions over and over again, too! It was because she was in transition, and she was doing amazingly well in spite of all of it!
Once off the monitors, I helped her change positions, and we tried the birth ball for a few contractions. She did some lunges, but her best position seemed to be leaning into Louis while I did the double hip squeezes. When a position or technique stopped “working” we would try another. Emily was progressing very fast, finding it difficult to make decisions due to the intensity of the contractions. Louis and I encouraged her a lot. She used the bathroom, and found sitting on the toilet felt good for a while. Then Emily leaned against the birth ball while it was up against the wall. That wasn’t so successful, and she leaned against Louis instead! She even tried the shower, but she cried, “I don’t like it in here!” So, Louis and I got her out, dried her off, and helped her back into the bed. We set the bed up like a “throne” with her feet down and her back sort of straight and supported. That was successful, and then she was checked again about 7:41AM because she was beginning to feel a lot of pressure. She was still 9cm and 100%, but the baby had dropped to –1 station, Yaay! She was feeling very hot, and asked if she could take off the gown, of course she could! Louis and Emily worked very well together and he was so very supportive of her. In just a few minutes at 8:05AM, Emily was already 10cm!
At about 8:08AM Emily began pushing because she felt the very strong urge to do so. Colleen got the squat bar, and Emily used it while still in the “throne” position. Then her arms started to tire, and I suggested changing positions a little. I said we could raise the foot part of the bed up, and lean her head back a bit, then she could hold herself up better and still use the squat bar. She was reluctant to try it. When Sheri came in a little while later, she suggested the same thing! Emily decided to go ahead and give it a go. She began to push much more effectively as she had more leverage. Colleen gave her a sheet to hang on to while she pushed, and shortly thereafter baby’s head crowned, so she called Sheri in for delivery! Sheri was a little skeptical, but Emily showed her with just one push how well she was doing! Her water broke shortly thereafter, as well. When Louis told Emily he could see the head, that gave her much more incentive, even though she was getting tired!
Emily pushed for about an hour, and little Whitney Kate was born at 9:17AM, weighing 7lbs 3oz, and 20½ inches long. She was just beautiful, so pretty and pink! Her APGAR scores were 7 and 9, and she loved nuzzling at her Mommy’s breast. The fingers and toes were all accounted for, pictures were taken, and tears were shed! Emily did a wonderful job of birthing her little one, and Louis was an excellent coach…was so proud of them! They were also successful in fulfilling their birth plan wishes, including the desire for no medication …Emily was amazing, and it was a wonderful birth!
Tags: baby, birth ball, birth coach, Bradley Method, breathing, doula, first stage labor, labor and birth, natural childbirth, pain in labor, prenatal yoga, relaxation in labor, second stage labor, www.yogajanda.com, Yoga Janda
Posted in Natural Birth Stories |