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
Fiona was due on December 20th and it had already been a week past her due date. We were looking at different options in order to induce the labor naturally (nipple stimulation, spicy food, sex, and we even set up a couple of acupuncture appointments). The night before the labor, we ate some pizza and some pineapples, my mom believes that pizza started her labor AND it looks like mom's theory worked out for us too. Anyway, on December 28th, 2AM: Fiona woke me up morning to tell me she was having contractions. I rolled out of bed sleepily and we started timing her contractions. They were about 5 minutes apart, so we just gave a call to the birth center to see what they wanted to do. We were supposed to give a call at 5-1-1 in order to get antibiotics because Fiona was GBS positive. We really woke the midwife up and she seemed like she wanted to get a little more sleep, so she asked us if we wanted to come in or just wait a little bit longer. We decided to just keep waiting at home. 4PM: Throughout the day, the contractions varied from 7-8 minutes apart till around 2 in the afternoon. We called up the midwife again, and she asked us to come in at around 4pm. We get into the birth center and get checked up. The contractions seemed to stop as soon as we walked in the door. Fiona was measured at 1 cm and we were told that we were going to have a LONG labor. She advised us to get some rest and that she could give us some medicine that would allow her to get some sleep. In order to get the medicine we needed to run some tests on the baby's heartbeat. The baby's heartbeat was baselining at around 170 and peaking at 180, the day before it was baselined at 130, so the midwife was concerned. She tried giving our backup doctor a call so that they could run more analysis on the baby. While she was making the call and waiting for a response, she told us that we could go get some food while we wait, 630ish PM: Midwife gives us a call while we are out getting some gyros, and tells us that we need to head over to UCSD Medical Center. Our backup doctor called it an urgent issue and that we need to get there immediately. I start driving back down from Clairemont to downtown and on the freeway, Fiona says "MY WATER BROKE! I'M RUINING THE CAR!" I throw a jacket at her for her to wipe up and sit on while i still am driving down the freeway. I never have been to UCSD Medical Center before and got LOST on the way down there 7PM: I finally found my way to the front of the doctors office and grab a wheel chair to put Fiona in and walk her upstairs. The people check us in there and monitor the baby, and the heart rate was PERFECT! there was no issues of it being elevated. We get checked and Fiona is still sitting at 1 cm and the doctor starts urging us to take some pitocin in order to speed up the process. The nurse talked to us and knew that we were coming from the birth center and told us that we can wait. We decided to wait it out while we continue to be monitored. 915PM: The nurse tells us that we can transfer back over to the birth center if we wanted to. Fiona starts thinking about it, but tells me that she cannot make decisions at this time. The contractions were starting to get a lot worse and Fiona was starting to ask for some drugs. I told her to wait for 30 minutes at around 9:45 and we can talk about it again. I also called up the birth center to see if the midwife could make it over, since I didn't want to have that temptation of drugs around us. The midwife at the birth center starts talking with our nurse and Fiona is rustling around trying to jump in the shower. She takes off the baby monitor and starts heading for the bathroom. With the nurse and midwife on the phone, Fiona starts yelling "I FEEL LIKE I NEED TO PUSH!!!" It is around 9:45 and the doctor comes in and says let's check you out. They check Fiona and she is completely dilated! RIDICULOUSLY CRAZY FAST, and I had couldnt believe it. The doctor could not even believe it, she had to check TWICE to see if she was really completely dilated. The doctors start setting up the room for the delivery. We ordered some doulas to help us out when we first walked in and they walked into the room just quick enough to grab a leg. Fiona starts the pushing process and baby Caleb was ready to rock on out! 11:18PM we deliver Caleb Ernesto Padaon… 8 pounds 5 ounces and 21 inches long without any tears. Once again, the doctor was shocked that it went so quickly that she had to check twice to make sure that there were no tears and we were able to stay away from the drugs… WHEW The next 2 days was spent at the hospital and was an annoying process. If we delivered at the birth center, we would have been able to head back home within 6 hours. Instead, we were at UCSD and had to stay for a couple of days with doctors and nurses and lactation consultants running into our room in what seemed like every 20 minutes. just a little annoying and tiring. Baby latched on really well and being a dad is pretty awesome! Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight Proverbs 3:5-6
Tags: baby, birth, Bradley Method, first stage, lactation, midwife, natural birth, natural. labor, obgyn, pitocin, pushing, second stage, UCSD birth center, unmedicated
Posted in Natural Birth Stories |
I had started to feel Braxton Hicks in my 38th week and we started to get excited and thought that it might happen any day. The start of my 39th week came (Sunday Jan 30) and still no baby. I finished packing the hospital bag that afternoon before we went to have dinner with some friends. For dinner, our friends cooked homemade pasta and brownies from Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc cookbook. After dinner, my stomach started to feel really uncomfortable, though I wasn't sure if it was because of contractions or my overdoing it on the food. Chris is convinced that the brownies initiated the labor although he probably ate more than anyone else… We went home and went to bed. I figured if this was the start to labor then I needed to be as well rested as possible. I woke up around 2:00AM to very distinct pain in my abdomen that came regularly. I took a bath to ease the discomfort and didn't want to wake Chris yet, in case this was a false alarm. At this point, my contractions were about 10 minutes apart and lasted 45 seconds each. Chris woke up around 4:00AM and started to get ready by reviewing his notes and the Bradley workbook from Liza (last minute cramming) while I labored on the birthing ball, timing my contractions. He also packed another bag of stuff because he had little idea what was in the bag I had packed earlier (some lack of communication on my part). By 5:30AM, the contractions were about 3 to 4 min apart and lasted from 45 to 60 seconds. They started to become very, very strong and it helped when Chris remembered advice from our class and encouraged me to vocalize through them. We decided to leave and stop to pick up some coffee on our way to the hospital around 6:30AM. We were worried that we were making the rookie mistake of going too early, especially since my contractions weren't consistently a minute long though they seemed to be coming more quickly. At this point, I literally had to run in between contractions, because I was otherwise completely immobilized. On our way out of the house we decided to change our plan and head directly to the hospital. This was probably decided after Chris returned to the house from loading up the vehicle to find me on all fours in the living room working through a hard contraction. Our arrival at the hospital was a little hazy for me. It felt like the contractions were on top of each other and I found myself stopping everything to focus on getting through each one. On our ride up the elevator, several nurses inquired about my pregnancy and upon learning it was my first, proceeded to joke that we were going to be here for hours. Of course this didn't help Chris with his dislike of hospitals at all but we soldiered on to our destination with the help of one nurse who accompanied us up to the birthing section. Our first stop was a small room that hadn't been shown during our hospital tour. We arrived at roughly 7:00AM and Chris began to set our things down. The nurse on duty wanted to check if I really needed to be at the hospital yet and asked for me to get undressed. Chris had to help me get undressed and after a quick check the nurse told me that I was 6 cm dilated. We were immediately moved to a delivery room. While he was being asked a battery of questions, I began to feel the urge to push. A total of thirty minutes had passed since the initial check and the doctor had just arrived. Chris was coaching me to remain calm as he was afraid it was too early. The nurse asked if she could examine me again and discovered I was at 9cm already. We were not ready for things to move this quickly and it was a little hard to determine where exactly we were in this experience but Chris focused on talking to me as I continued to experience severe contractions. At that point, the doctor on duty (Dr. Pattengil) who had been waiting for my medical records to arrive was called to the room to assist with the delivery. Chris says the nurse turned to him and said "We're going to have this baby in the next couple minutes" to which he replied "But we haven't even read the birth plan…" During this discussion, I was bent over the edge of the bed working through another heavy contraction while Chris massaged my lower back and talked to me. My water broke, drenching his pants and flip flops. The nurse pointed out to him that my water had just broken. Chris describes this event as if someone had dropped a drink on his bare foot and then had the courtesy to tell him that they had in fact dropped their drink on his foot. At this point, it hit Chris that we were indeed having this baby in the immediate future. The doctor took the time to thoroughly review our birth plan while Chris kept me focused on working through a single contraction at a time. We began to push at roughly 8:00AM. Initially we requested a squat bar but I was not able to get comfortable with using it while on the bed. I spent the rest of the time on my back and followed the instructions of my doctor while she guided the baby's head out and worked to massage the baby through with as minimal amount of tearing as possible. This was the hardest part of labor for me. I was torn between pushing because of the urge and not pushing because it hurt so much. I remember saying things like "I can't do this" and "I just want this to be over." At this point Chris had taken charge, talking me through the contractions while the doctor and nurse mainly stayed out of his way. After a series of contractions, Violet Qi Anderson was born at 8:50am on Monday, January 31. She was this squirmy, screaming, purple, chubby baby with a full head of hair. She laid on my chest for quite awhile and Chris cut the cord (and surprisingly didn't pass out!) Chris and I cried when we met her and I'm pretty sure he cried a few times more afterward. I was lucid and Violet was extremely aware and active immediately after the birth . We held her and breastfed her shortly after. The staff was completely helpful and worked with us on fulfilling our goal of having a natural childbirth with minimal involvement on their part. I took a shower about 90 minutes later and was able to walk around for the rest of the day. We went home the following afternoon (and even grabbed a cup of coffee for Chris). Chris was a really wonderful partner and coach and I couldn't imagine doing this without him and his support. I feel closer to him than ever. We feel very lucky to have had such a great experience and look forward to hearing everyone else's experiences with their childbirths. Thank you so much for preparing us for this experience Wendy, Christopher, and Violet ￼ ￼ ￼ ￼