My Transition

November 10, 2009

To expand upon my last post, I’ll give you some insight on how my transition in my labor with Archer went. What I want to emphasize is that sometimes, during transition, a laboring woman needs some encouragement. What she also needs is the knowledge of what is happening with her body. I had a pretty good grasp on how labor progresses and was prepared if things got tough. My husband and I took a Bradley Method birth class that was wonderful. It broke down the stages of labor, explained exactly what is happening for baby and mother throughout the course of labor, and helped you and your partner prepare for your labor with relaxation techniques, massage, and positioning. I HIGHLY recommend taking this class if you are planning for a natural birth–whether it be in the hospital or at home, this class is outstanding preparation.

So, number one, I had education that helped me through my labor. Next, was John. He was amazing support for me. He knew what transition meant and knew what to do to help me through it. At one point, I was ready to give up, go to the hospital, and get an epidural so I could rest. This was after the birth team had left our house to let me get some rest as my labor seemed to be stalling out. To try to relax, I got in our bath tub, with John by my side. With my belly being so huge and the tub so small, I wasn’t able to fully relax enough to “sleep”, so we moved to the bed. Here is where labor got going! John was laying beside me rubbing my head and trying to soothe me enough so I could get the bit of rest I needed to continue with labor. Well, rest is not what I did. My contractions became more intense than ever at this point, and I was unsure if I could handle this extreme pain. Here I became worried about exhaustion and my only thought was, “I need to get to the hospital, get an epidural, and SLEEP!” John worked hard to calm me down, and reason with me. We both knew this was NOT what we wanted for Archer’s birth. Had I not had John there to talk me out of that, who knows what would have happened. Through learning about labor, he was ready for me to get to this point, and knew how to help me through it. The next step was to get into the birthing tub. Labor was still going in full swing, so I had John call everyone back. I needed them! Thirdly, on me list of help, was my Midwife and Birth Attendants. One of the ladies on the birth team, who I have mentioned before, was tremendous. I think she only wiped my forehead with a cold rag and here and there said some words of encouragement, but MAN was she lovely! My transition was hard, but it really didn’t last that long. All I could do during this time was lay against John in the water. Changing positions or walking around was not an option for me at this point. I was under the impression that my labor would have last forever due to having an Occiput Posterior (OP) baby. Luckily, labor didn’t seem to last much longer. I was blessed with a baby that wanted to come out quickly!
I remember towards the end of labor when it seemed that the whole world was quiet, I was looking up at the paintings on my mantle. One painting, a gift from my mother, is a scene in Guatemala of women walking to and from the fountain to get water. The painting next to this was tropical landscape watercolor painted by my Aunt. What gave me encouragement was knowing that these woman have all gone through natural birth. The painting from Guatemala reminded me that there are women all over the world that birth naturally, and they get through it. My Aunt has given birth naturally three times, so that was a huge comfort to me. So, after this, I prayed to God to help me deliver my baby, and next thing I knew he was here!

This is my take on transition: you need to be prepared for it. However you need to do it–with a Doula, a partner, family, friends, education, solitude, whatever. Transition can be rough, but it’s possible to get through. I think that more women need to know about this part of labor, so they and their birth team can be ready for it.


Happy 8 Weeks!

April 8, 2009

Archer is now 8 weeks or 2 months old today! He is smiling like a champ these days. He has made it to the 10 pound mark and is getting cuter every time I look at him. Check this guy out!

I woke up earlier and perkier than normal on Wednesday February 10, 2009. I was having contractions much lower than normal, and it seemed that they were coming regularly. So, I lay in bed for the next hour waiting to see if they would subside. They didn’t, so I got out of bed to watch the news, check my e-mail, and clean up the kitchen. Still, the contractions were regular! I was so excited. I assumed that I would be way overdue as I was with my first baby. This time I was early! I also never had the chance to experience normal natural labor with my first. I was induced with Pitocin. Yuck. Anyway, I took a shower, ate some breakfast, and called my husband. The contractions were strong enough that I really didn’t want to stay at home alone with my 3 year old all day. I was afraid I wouldn’t be as available to get him what he needed, so John agreed to come home. I also wanted John to be with me during the whole thing.

John came home and we decided to go out to eat and to the park. The weather was abnormally warm for February. And also there had been a full moon. Anyway, we went to Route 66 and I ordered a Double Steak with Cheese and fried potatoes. Yum. After this, we went to Happy Hollow Park. I had to stop every 6 minutes or so for a contraction. We met a couple friends there, and had a nice time. I was tired, so we went home so I could try to get a nap in. After getting home I took another shower to try to calm down for a nap. After trying to nap for an hour, I decided it wasn’t going to happen. So, I gathered John and Jackson to go on a walk with me. By this time the contractions were pretty painful. We only made it for about 15 minutes on the walk and then came home.

After being home for only an hour, I decided that my 3 year old needed to go. I was having a hard time getting through a contraction with him running around yelling. So, Grandpa came to pick him up. After he was gone, John went around the house lighting candles and turning down the lights. At this point I called our Midwife. When I got on the phone with her I started crying because I wasn’t sure how far I was into the labor, and I wasn’t sure if maybe it would be possible to stall out the labor with a bath so I could get some rest. Our plan prior to my going into labor was to stop the labor (if possible) if I labored all day. We wanted to avoid exhaustion. When the Midwife arrived we started filling the birth pool. It was taking much longer than I preferred to get that thing filled! Our hot water heater is miniscule, so we had to boil tons of water to get warm water in the pool. The warm water was supposed to either stall out the labor, or speed it up. After getting in, my labor slowed down.

When my contractions stayed at the slower pace for a while, my Midwife and the attendants decided to go out for some dinner. They thought that maybe I would get some rest while they were gone, or speed labor up due to not being the center of 5 people’s attention. When they left things definitely got going. I was yelling for HELP and telling John that I needed to go to the hospital so I could get an epidural and go to sleep. He stayed strong and told me no. He knew that wasn’t really what I wanted. I would have been very disappointed if we would have gone to the hospital. After yelling so loud that the neighbors were probably wondering, ‘who the hell is being tortured next door?’, I told John to call our Midwife. I was definitely in hard labor. I got back in the birth pool and stayed there until Archer arrived. John laid behind me to support me while I moaned and yelled some more. I was very attached to one of the attendants. Later I found out she has been a doula and has been attending home births since I was born. She just gave me a lot of comfort and encouragement. Every time she would leave the room I would yell HELP!

By this point there was no conversation and the only thing you heard was me moaning. This lasted for only an hour and a half and all of the sudden I felt a snap, and I assumed it was just my water breaking. Then came the urge to push. So, I yelled, ‘I gotta push’! And I did. I pushed maybe 2 times through that one contraction and Archer was out! He came out in the water sac with it perfectly intact. He surprised everyone with how quickly he came. We all were in a bit of shock. He went right on my chest and it was all over! He was beautiful! He cried shortly after laying with me and stayed with me for the next few hours. He was born at 1:09 am on February 11, 2009, also my birthday! He is by far the best gift I have ever gotten on my birthday!

Our experience with having a home birth was wonderful. It was better than we expected, and even though it was rough for a little while, I am so glad we did it. This was much more of a natural way to welcome our new baby to our family. It seems that at the hospital the doctors and nurses take control of the labor and birth. For us, we were in charge, and we made the experience what it was—absolutely wonderful.

I’m in labor

February 10, 2009

I’ve been in labor all day, and now it’s starting to pick up on intensity, and it sucks..

Ready for Labor!

February 2, 2009

If you were wondering what a 38 weeks and 3 days pregnant girl does at home while her family is at a super bowl party down the road at her in-laws house, you’ve come to the right place for that answer. She is probably spending a good amount of time on her laptop surfing the internet. When surfing gets old, she’ll resort to watching an episode of Arrested Development for the first time. While watching the show she decides that the time could be better spent if she were actively trying to go into labor. So, she places the laptop at the end of her bed to watch the show while marching around her room, doing squats, and swaying her hips. After this workout she goes to the kitchen to make a delicious strawberry, banana, blueberry smoothie. And while she is enjoying this wonderful snack, she decides to post a blog about her evening. Let the laboring begin!!

Docs vs. Midwives

January 27, 2009

We just recently had a hiccup in our home birth plans. I tested positive for Group B Strep. This is no big deal for me, but if this bacteria stays present for the birth of our new babe, it could be a bad situation. The chances of passing the bacteria are pretty low, but they are even lower if the mother is given antibiotics intravenously during labor. So, since the state of Indiana did so well in setting up laws and regulations for Certified Nurse Midwives, I had to go seek out a prescription for antibiotics. Certified Midwives can have their own private practice just as a family doctor would, but they do not have prescription privileges. So, in the event that a client would need a prescription, the client is responsible for finding a doc to write it. I don’t think all the bases were covered concerning the laws surrounding the practice of Midwives.

So, we first went to our family doctor to ask for this prescription. You would think this would be easy considering that fact that if I don’t have this antibiotic there is a chance of death to the baby. No, not so easy. Doctors today are more concerned with politics and protecting their selves before putting the health of a human being first. Once a patient transfers care to Midwifery, they are usually on their own. Docs want nothing to do with them. (At least in our area, this has proven to be true)

Our next stop was our prior OB. He was wonderful and very supportive of our choice for home birth. I am healthy, my Midwife is very experienced, and we have done our homework on all that goes into creating a safe and healthy birth at home. He actually made a few comments that discouraged us even more from delivering at the hospital. That was VERY unexpected. But very re-assuring to have a doc back us up. But with all is support, he could not write the prescription. Something to do with who he works for.

After freaking out and considering a delivery at the dreaded hospital our Pediatrician returned my phone call. I told him the situation and he immediately agreed to write the prescription. ‘This is for safety and health of the baby, so of course’ is what he said. I thought ‘No shit, that’s what any doc should have said!’ We are talking about a precious new life here! Anyway, this wonderful man also gave us prescriptions for the drugs the babe will need following delivery and any precautionary drugs I or baby would need should something go wrong. I want to kiss my Pediatrician! More docs should be like him. I’m sure they all started out this way, but so many have lost touch with what is really important; caring for the human life.

3 weeks!

January 22, 2009

3 weeks exactly until my due date! (translates to 4 or 5 weeks til the baby is here) 🙂 Yay!