Did you have a doula for the birth of your child?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

My Birth Story, Part 3

Looking for a Labor Doula in the Denver Area?  Please call or e-mail to set up a free consultation.
(978) 424-7668 or britt71204@aol.com.  I look forward to hearing from you!   

  The clock struck twelve and I was sure my labor was going no where! After the exam, I settled into the bed for some fetal monitoring and the contractions continued to come, wave after wave.  I tried to stay on my side so the fetal monitor would not be disrupted but I kicked my feet and curled my toes, trying to manage the pain.  My midwife and her student rubbed my legs and massaged my feet and my wonderful husband held my hand even when I squeezed his fingers white.  (I suppose, he couldn't have let go, even if he wanted to).  Finally, the belts came off after what seemed like ages, but was most likely 20 minutes.  Contractions were every few minutes, lasting 45-90 seconds.
     I was surprised to find that I wanted to stay in the bed.  I curled myself up on the hospital bed, ate my ice chips and did not want to move.  Around one o'clock in the morning, my midwife suggested that I get up and use the toilet, since I had been in essentially the same position for about one hour.  Just walking to the restroom brought on more contractions.  I hated going to the bathroom, because out of privacy everyone let me go alone, but I did not want to labor alone.  I desperately wanted someone to hold my hand, but I was too embarrassed to ask.
     After two contractions while sitting on the toilet, I realized that I was not able to get up by myself so I called out for my sweet husband, who graciously got me to my feet and back to the bed.
     At this point, I noted some movement in the room as the nurses prepared the room for the coming of our baby.  I settled onto the bed on my hands and knees and warned everyone who was listening (or in close proximity to the room) that the baby was COMING!  I had distinctly felt our baby girl move through my pelvis, a sensation I can still recall months later.  I asked my midwife if I could continue to labor on my hands and knees and deliver in that position.  She said that I was fine where I was and I was extremely relieved.  I absolutely did not want to move.
    I felt the urge to push and the student midwife said, "Push nice and slow and stop when I ask you to."  I distinctly remember saying, "Talk loud!"  She didn't hear me and asked my husband to repeat what I had said.  She understood exactly what I needed, though, and spoke in a clear firm voice regarding when and how I should push.  I have a little bit of a phobia regarding student midwives as a result of my second birth, but this woman instantly put me at ease and made me feel safe and comfortable.
     I pushed several times and made good progress.  When our baby's head was delivered I was so relieved, then one shoulder then....I didn't understand, why was I having trouble, after the head and shoulder, I should feel a rush, the baby should just fly out....at this point, the midwife, said, "Brittany, you need to turn over,"(remember I was on my hands and knees). I had no idea how that would be physically possible, but by the grace of God, my midwives, the nurse, and my husband were able to flip me on to my back.  Then the midwife leaned on my abdomen and said, you need to push, HARD.  Thank God, Rebekah was born at 1:43am and I realized it had been a shoulder distocia.
    I immediately asked about any broken bones and was told that the was being examined.  Rebekah was taken to the newborn bed in my room and was put on oxygen and suctioned repeatedly as her lungs had not had enough time being squeezed through the birth canal to expel all the mucous and fluid that is there during pregnancy.  While Rebekah was being cared for, I delivered the placenta (my least favorite part of the birth process), and was started on a pitocin drip for excessive bleeding.  I was stunned to find out that I need not require any stitches thanks to the amazing coaching of the midwives.  Unfortunately, the bleeding continued to be concerning and I was given a shot of methergen to help my uterus contract.  This was very helpful and I was soon recovering nicely.
     My husband, went to be with Rebekah as the nurse who was taking care of her tried to bring her oxygen levels out the 80s (it should be above 93%).  As soon as he picked her up, she stopped crying and started breathing better.  It was amazing to see her recognize her daddy and be comforted by his presence.  After about thirty minutes, Rebekah was breathing well on her own and I put her to my breast where she promptly latched on and started nursing.  Our beautiful baby girl had arrived and we became a family of five. 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

My Birth Story, Part 2

Looking for a Labor Doula in the Denver Area?  Please call or e-mail to set up a free consultation.
(978) 424-7668 or britt71204@aol.com.  I look forward to hearing from you!    

 In Case you missed My Birth Story Part I

    So, there I was, on my hands and knees in our cool dark bedroom, thinking that it was too early to go to the hospital.  Thankfully, my husband started packing the car and encouraging me down the stairs.  So, with contractions about five minutes apart, I hugged our two sons and my mom and headed off to the hospital.  I had a few contractions on the way, which was particularly uncomfortable, due to being trapped in the car, but we made it to the hospital in about fifteen minutes.  As we sat in triage answering questions about where I worked an what my phone number was, I had one mild contraction and I was afraid that I had been right.  I wasn't really in labor, and now here I was, trapped at the hospital and my water had broken.  I was nervous about being pressured into using pitocin to speed up labor since I was already in the hospital!
     Finally, we were admitted up to the labor and delivery floor where I answered more questions, signed forms - all things NOT conducive to labor, and my progress was checked.  I was about four cm. dilated and 90% effaced.  After I was comfortable, my husband went to park the car and I requested a birth ball from the nurse.  As soon as everyone left, the contractions started coming back.  I was amazed at the difference in my labor, just minutes after I was alone.  When my husband returned to our room, even he was surprised to see the difference in my laboring.
     At this point, my husband, who is a Greek Orthodox Priest asked if I would like to receive communion.  He prepared the Holy Gifts, as my labor continued to intensify.  In the room, was a large leather easy chair which I would kneel in and then lean over the chair back.  So, I positioned myself in this chair as my husband started saying the communion prayers.  This was a very emotional time for me and I cried as I received communion.
    By this time, it was getting late, probably closer to 10 or 11pm.  My contractions were so strong that I was back on the floor (yes, the dirty hospital floor) and could not speak through them.  Our wonderful nurse called the midwife at this point so that she would be ready.  When Mary our midwife arrived about midnight, she wanted to check my progress.  The exam was extremely painful and I was so disappointed to find that I was still only 4cm dilated.  I felt that my labor had become so much more intense and was frustrated that my cervix had nothing to show for it.