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
Garrett was born on September 26th, 2007. What an angel. And, again, I have to sing the praises of my doctor, Dr. Biter. He was THE BEST! I strongly encourage anyone who is willing to consider natural childbirth to do some research of their own and really give it some thought. And no, that doesn't mean I look down on you if you don't consider it! You don't have to be a super hero, or a martyr – you just have to be a mom. It is the way our bodies were built that helps you deliver naturally. Comparing my first experience (pitocin, epidural, etc.) to this experience, my dilation progressed much faster, the delivery went more smoothly, and my recovery was INCREDIBLY faster without any interventions. I gained a sense of self that I wasn't expecting. I was just trying to do what is best for the baby, but it has made me more confident in myself and in the body God gave me. If I can do this, you can too! I know there are some exceptions, where it isn't possible physically, or emotionally if someone is truly terrified of the process. But for most of us, I believe giving birth naturally is a union of body and spirit in delivering a new little person to the world – it is such a sacred experience! Sooo … here's the story. I had been having contractions for a week or so, regular for 3-4 hours, then stopping, and I felt close to having the baby. Then I got really sick – a deep chest infection – and I knew if I went into labor I would have a rough time. Mentally I think I stopped the process, because my contractions stopped. After taking antibiotics to ensure no bronchitis or pneumonia, I was feeling better. It was about 5-6 days later that I was thinking to myself that I felt good enough to have the baby, that I felt ready. That day, Tuesday the 25th, at 3pm I started having contractions 10 minutes apart, about 45-60 seconds long. We just ignored it as we went about our day, shopping and doing normal things. At about 5pm, they started taking my concentration, and we had the grandparents come pick up our older son Cohen. We waited until after 7pm to drive to the hospital, when contractions were 3-5 minutes apart, at least 80 seconds long, and had been coming that way for at least an hour. When we got the hospital, I was a 5! That was great news, because that meant I was halfway there already! We labored in the shower, walking around, on the birth ball, over the back of the hospital bed, and in so many other positions. I couldn't stay still. I had back labor once again which was very intense, but Cameron was excellent at putting pressure on my back and relieving some of the pain. Hurrah for Scripps Encinitas! The nursing staff was great – they looked at our birth plan and honored every single point! I had no IV, only necessary fetal monitoring (the nurse even listened to the heartbeat while I was in the shower in order to accommodate), and brought us heat and ice packs, ice chips, juices, etc. The heat packs were awesome for my back labor!. Om Sanctuary – some meditational music – also helped quite a bit! Cameron was the best coach, talking me through contractions and helping me release tension, and attending to every need! At 10pm they checked me again and I was a 7-8, and an hour later, I was a 9-10. I was ecstatic, and that is just what I needed in order to get up and move around with the last few contractions. The nurse also said the heartbeat was a little low, and she was slightly concerned, but that the baby seemed fine. Dr. Biter came about 20 minutes later, and broke my water to get the last lip of the cervix to melt away. I was in the supported squat position to push, but it just didn't feel right. Dr. Biter said Garrett was sunny-side up, and to get on my left side with my right leg up in a squat. After pushing that way for maybe 2-3 minutes, the baby turned, and all of a sudden pushing felt great! Dr. Biter helped me ease the baby out with mineral oil, and Garrett was born within minutes, maybe 15-20 minutes total of pushing time. Later I found out the cord was wrapped tightly around Garrett's neck. Dr. Biter had tried to loop it over his head after he crowned, but it was too tight, so he had to cut it right then. Cameron was able to catch the baby's head and helped support the head while Dr. Biter cut the cord so Garrett could slip into the world. Total labor is hard to count, but from early labor to birth it was about 9.5 hours, only 5 at the hospital. It was a full moon, by the way, on the 26th at 12:29am when he was born! Afterwards, I felt fantastic!! This picture is from the day Garrett was born. The only reason we stayed in the hospital was for the 24hour rule for the baby. I am recovering 100000% faster than with Cohen – no tearing, hardly any swelling, and bleeding was very minimal. Everyone that sees how great I feel says, "it must have been a natural birth." Even my nurses told me they were grateful to have attended Garrett's birth because they enjoyed watching the process since hardly anyone delivers naturally anymore. I have to recommend Dr. Biter to absolutely every woman who needs a referral for a doctor! He is a doctor, but really more like a midwife at the same time. He is absolutely the best and most caring doctor I have ever met. When he came into the room, I didn't even notice, because I was in the middle of a contraction, and he knelt by my bed and just watched me relax and breathe. I opened my eyes to see him watching me, and won't forget the care and attention in his face. He is an incredible guy and I felt so well taken care of. I also have a newfound respect for my body and the ability to create and deliver a tiny person. What an experience to feel the rhythm of each contraction and to work with them and appreciate them instead of fearing them. I won't say it was pain-free, because it was definitely the hardest thing I've ever done physically. But I feel so empowered, and I have such a special bond with Garrett, and with Cameron, because of what we accomplished together. Thanks to all those who encouraged us instead of looking at us like we were nuts! And to my yoga teacher, Liza, I know that your encouragement and wealth of knowledge helped to prepare Cameron and I for the most intense yet most rewarding experience ever!! Yoga and birthing go hand in hand … I am so grateful for my background in yoga!! My last comment on natural childbirth is – anything worthwhile demands great sacrifice, and great sacrifice leads to something worthwhile for those who seek it.