Friday, November 21, 2008

Birth Story - Carri's First Son's Birth

Most of you have heard the story behind BINSI, but few have actually heard the full story and seen the pictures. So grab a cup of coffee, maybe a tissue, and a comfy spot to we go!

1st birth: Age 24
First of all I was the first of my friends or family to have a baby. That left me both excited, scared and alone. The only person offering me support and advice first-hand was my mother. She delivered 3 healthy babies naturally and very quickly. She also came from the time when you were scrutinized about your weight and doctors were just starting to let husband's in the labor rooms. Even though I appreciated her insight - it still seemed dated and mysterious.

I became addicted to A Baby Story and watched as much about birth and pregnancy as I could. Still I just couldn't seem to feel comfort in this ominous event that lie ahead. I did finally see one episode that had a doula in it, and that changed my life. I saw that doula offering support and hands on care - now that was what I needed! She not only helped with the labor, but she met with the parents before and talked with them about birth. She helped them see their fears and how they could work through them. That not only changed the course for my own pregnancy and birth - it changed my career and life all together!

There were certain qualities of a doula that I knew I wanted. So, I started e-mailing doulas in my area to see who fit my needs. After a few interviews I found the perfect doula, and we are still very close friends to this day. We met a couple of times. My view of birth was no longer A Baby Story's view of birth, but MY opinion and hopes for birth. It was empowering. It was liberating. It was refreshing! I was no longer the scared young woman with no one to turn to. I was capable and excited.

I wish I could say that this birth was everything I had planned on. It was not. But I can say that it was amazing, empowering, and beautiful. Frankly, I feel that no matter what happens during your birth - looking into your baby's eyes for the first time is the most amazing thing in the world. You have you never done anything as productive as bringing life into the world. Ahhhhhh - I just love birth!

Anyways, the night before April Fool's Day my husband and I made a pact that I would not fool him that I was in labor. So sure enough that morning I woke up and felt a leak. I asked my husband, and he didn't think it was very amusing. I looked at books and all said that if my water breaks it will flow while I'm laying down, and stop when I stand up. Sure enough mine did the opposite, so I decided that it was nothing. My doctor (who was the only doctor in his office) was gone on vacation, and I wasn't about to show up at the hospital and end up with just any doctor on call. So on it went for 3 days.

Finally when my doctor returned he told me he didn't think it was anything, but I could come in just to check. Sure enough it was amniotic fluid! A small high leak, but one that required induction due the risk of infection to the baby. So I met my husband at home, made him dinner and I drove us both to the hospital so he could eat and I could do something with the excitement and anxiety I was having about being induced. Not quite how either one of us imagined our trip to the hospital, but whatever.

We checked in and of course I get the "mean nurse"! She asks me about my water breaking and then chews me out about how dangerous it is and how they don't "bite" at the hospital and I should have come in. Note that my doctor was very laid back about it and comfortable with everything. I was so upset and scared - shame on her for talking to me like that! I'm there now and frankly now I think they DO bite at the hospital! Not a great start.

She told me to put my gown on and she would be back in a few minutes. I remember this because I knew so little about what to expect that I had to ask my doula if I kept my underwear on or not. Because they were breaking my water the answer was no, but for everyone else the answer depends on you.

They broke my water and monitored me for 15 minutes. Originally they were going to also administer prostiglandin gel, but my cervix was already 3 cm, and my body knew what to do and started contracting regularly. All seemed great! Then my contractions went from manageable to not so manageable very quickly. I started having excruciating back pain that would not let up. No bell shaped curve contractions for me with nice breaks in the middle! We worked through these for about 5 hours, but no relief. I ended up realizing that for me this birth was not going to go anywhere because I couldn't get a break or relax. I was heading down a very ugly mental path and I knew for me it would be best to have an epidural. I never even thought about getting an epidural, I was completely against it. But I was starting to entertain the idea that death would be a relief - not really a great attitude during birth.

I got the epidural and was relieved to no longer have the back pain. However, it was not smooth sailing from here. The epidural settled in my shoulder which I had to breathe through and we all rubbed so much that afterwards there was a very large deep bruise. I was nauseous and started throwing up, and overall just felt terrible. I ended up pushing for 2 hours with terrible acid reflux - ugh! Finally after a vacuum assisted delivery I ended up with an episiotomy and a 4th degree tear. I was able to reach down and pull him out and onto my chest - which was THE most amazing experience EVER! It was out of this world crazy to see this beautiful baby that just came out of my body! WOW! See you read all that yucky info above, but it's seeing that baby that makes all of that worth it - and all of it OK.

He did come out face up, which is called posterior. That is why the back pain was so terrible. With no bag of water and the back of his head against my spine - it was just too much for me. However, as a doula, I have seen women do it - and I am inspired and in awe. Each woman and each birth are different - and thank goodness! That is was makes birth so exciting and amazing. We all have to work with our bodies in different ways and do what we have to to bring our babies into the world.

Would I do it again? You bet! Two more times in fact. It was that experience that made me want to become a doula. Even though there were things that I hadn't expected or wanted, it was a good experience. I felt supported, I reached deep within myself during labor, and most of all became a mother. Hands down - best experience in the world!

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