Hey! I am re posting this story because it was (and most of my posts) deleted almost one year ago. (someone hacked my account and deleted 90% of them). Lucky for me I have copies of them all!
I love hearing birth stories and I love replaying mine in my head. So this was baby number 1- over 4years ago now!
Most of you probably already know the reason I have not blogged in ages is because of my baby was born on August 4th at 8pm weighing in at a healthy 3.65kg. As far as birth stories go, mine is not that exciting – no major trauma or gory details – although to me I still find it intensely interesting! Our bodies are amazing and I astill can’t believe how well it all went! Oakes and I were lucky girls, she was born via a completely textbook birth although luck really didn’t have anything to do with it except who happened to be on staff that night and in that case lucky we definitely were! Our midwife Jenny was amazing!
However despite what some say, I know I had some control over my labour and birth outcome. HOW??
I cannot emphasise a healthy diet and exercise enough. Studies prove over and over that both baby and mum have better outcomes plus mum & Bub is more conditioned to endure the pain and length of labour, and nutrition keeps every body system functioning well – But this is not what I’m on about (for once)!
What then? When you get to the birthing suite and you realise how freaking painful labour really is and start contemplating anything to “get this baby out!” believe and remind yourself that
*** one intervention leads to another***
I was offered to have my waters broken because my contractions had stopped when we arrived at the hospital. I declined. I wanted to wait and let my body do it. The baby was already on her way, so why rush it as such an early point? She was not in distress and neither was I.
Studies prove that a simple intervention like this can fail to bring on contractions, which in turn leads to an Iv drip of synthetic oxytocin that imitates the natural hormone but definitely has side effects for baby (speculation about add/adhd) and produces fast strong unnatural contractions that are much more painful and traumatic for the uterus. This is fed to you via a drip which meant I would not be able to walk around and have an active birth (which also naturally aids the birth / labour and is a valuable pain relief tool) which would also mean I would be in more pain and I would probably have needed an epidural which leads to not being able to push properly in phase 2 both because the contractions would not be strong enough after an epidural and the baby would not be rotated or descended properly because of laying on my back and weakened contractions which means I may have had to have suction/forceps or even an emergency c-section, which leads to more blood loss and more overall risks such as feeding & bonding problems, trauma for the baby, behavioural problems & longer recovery for both of us!
and I really did not want that for my baby or for me!!! So I just said no. We went home.
I started having contractions at about 2am Thursday morning and as I lived 1/2hr away from the hospital I rang the midwife and she suggested I come in around 6am to avoid having strong contractions in the car during peak hour traffic. So we left home before dawn and my contractions were pretty painful and I thought “yeah the baby is going to come soon” even though I could still walk and talk. Ha.
Once I was settled in a waiting room bed and my baby’s heart beat was being monitored, and all the midwives and Doctors were poking around EVERYWHERE and asking questions and feeling EVERYTHING my contractions started to ease even though I was already 3cm dilated. I remember even falling asleep for about 1/2 an hour. PHHHH if only all of labour was like that!! And poof you woke up and there was the baby!
So basically this is pretty normal for a first baby and I was experiencing “pre labour” . So, here is where the Doc. offered to break my waters to encourage the contractions to kick in again or … I could go home and come back later. By this time it was 10 am and we had been at the hospital for four hours. I think most people would not be bothered to go home, especially since we had been awake since 2am, it was cold and windy outside, it was cosy in the hospital, we did not live around the corner like most in that area, and I really did not want to drive back to the hospital later on when my contractions were bad… But I decided to go home. I just knew that if they artificially broke my waters, (ARM) my baby and my body would not be 100% ready, and down the track I would need some extra help – in the form of intervention!
When we got home I had a bite to eat but I could feel the pain building and then I had a show, and we were back at the hospital (apon arriving this time I couldn’t talk during my contractions) & we were settled in a birthing suite by 1pm & after much poking and prodding I was 5cm! I laboured bent forward with my husband rubbing my low back continuously until the midwife suggested I get on the bed. At this point I actually was beginning to wonder how much longer I could go on, when suddenly I felt the need to push! I delivered Oakes at 8pm on all 4s after 3-4 pushes and OMG the pushing was so intense – it literally felt like I was being split apart internally all the way from my belly button down to the … you know. Amazingly, there was no tearing. Everything was textbook.
The doctor tried to give me stitches for a graze, but I refused also. What was the point when the only symptom was that it stung a little when I peed? After going through the whole birth and it now being over – there was no way I wanted anything ELSE happening down there. EVER. My graze healed in a day or two.
In conclusion, I am proud of my birth story, because I feel I had control over it. I know every birth story and circumstance is different, and many women have real complications – but I do believe ‘Knowledge is Power’ – and having that knowledge can give a sense of control and satisfaction over your birth outcome if it is possible to act on it. I read a lot during my pregnancy – and I recommend these books;
- Active Birth by Janet Balaskas
- Birth by Catherine Price & Sandra Robinson
- Birth Skills by JuJu Sundin
- Also any of the fertility/pregnancy books by Francesca Naish
Well, to FINALLY end this post – I thought after pregnancy I would be back to my normal self and I would have time to live a leisurely life, lunching with friends, reading novels, baking cakes and playing games with my baby. I even thought I would go back to working pretty soon!
And if you want a natural birth try to remember: Taking the easy option now ain’t gonna mean it’s easy later!!
Written December 2011.