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
Here's our story… My water broke on Friday night at 10:45pm (just as I was falling asleep!). I didn't have any contractions except the Braxton-Hicks which I'd been having for several months. I called my doula, Jacqueline, who is also my best friend. She lives near Ventura and arrived at our house before 3am. I tried to go back to sleep but I was too excited. Curt was able to sleep some that night. I did not call my obgyn as nothing was happening yet (my water was clear and the flow slowed significantly) and I didn't want to go to the hospital too early…or have them scare me into going to the hospital! By early morning I still didn't have any contractions. We went to breakfast around 9 and I started to feel a few very mild contractions. We made it through the meal and came back home. My contractions slowly started to get stronger and by 11am I was in active labor. We timed my contractions with an app on Curt's iPhone. Having Curt and Jacqueline there as my support was a big help mentally. Physically I didn't require them to do much…very liitle massage and I used a heated neck pillow on my back for a short time. I started with a lot of deep breathing (bee breathing from yoga) and as time progressed it turned into low vocalizations with each contraction. I changed positions frequently and didn't really find one that was more comfortable than the other. By 2-ish we decided to go to the hospital as they were between 4 and 5 mins apart, over a minute long, for over an hour. We were checked in by 3pm and I was 7 cm dilated. I was already 100% effaced and started at 2cm dilated (found that out at the obgyn the previous day). An hour later I was 10cm and ready to start pushing. At 6:12pm our baby girl, Jaden Price Beyer was born…with one hand up by her head as she came out! Jaden was placed on my chest and I think I attempted to breastfeed but she was not hungry. By that time I was very tired from lack of sleep and pushing. And I was hungry! I didn't have any medication during the birth but they did give me pitocin to expel the placenta (which was not such a pleasant experience). As a side note, Scripps policy is to draw blood from the baby if s/he is delivered over 18 hours after the water breaks. I delivered 19 hours later and would have "modified" the time my water broke had I known this because they tried to draw blood from both of her arms unsuccessfully, then from her hand (where she still has a bruise) and also from her heel. It was torture to hear her cry so much! 24 hrs later she showed no signs of infection, but they kept us in the hospital a second night just to be sure. After a bout with jaundice (requiring round the clock phototherapy at home) and an aggressive feeding schedule to overcome a greater than 10% weight loss (and expel the bilirubin) we are starting to settle in a little bit more! Thank you, Liza, for giving us so much information about the birth process. I feel this helped me stay calm and push aside any anxiety I may otherwise have had! Tiana & Curt