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birthing with polyhydrominos: a birth story March 21, 2008

Posted by guinever in birth, birth stories, birth story, home birth, midwifery, pregnancy.

This birth story is from Deb, a certified Bradley® teacher and doula.

I’ll do my best to recount our birth day without making it sound too bad. I wrote this a week after our birth, and even then, I could appreciate what we did and the choices we made that day, but it seems that with every birth there is something that I wonder if we could have done differently. I think that’s the way of things, though!

The midwife graciously said it will just make us better Bradley teachers. LOL I will tell you that I am a case straight out of Variations and Unexpected Situations…. not your normal birth.

knowing her options and trusting her birth team

I REALLY hope for those of you reading this and are expecting right now, that my birth story won’t scare you. This was one of those “couldn’t see it coming but you deal with it anyway” situations and I’m glad we had the chance to work through it. I think it comes down to knowing your options still and trusting your team. I felt like we always had a say in what happened…no one pushed anything on us. The only time I felt out of control was when it was ME doing it to myself! We still managed to have a vaginal birth without compromising anyone’s health. And for that I’m very grateful.

Deb’s obstetrical history

I have had polyhydrominos which is excessive amniotic fluid levels (normal levels at term are 5-25cm; my highest level has measured at 41cm. Basically, I was a whale.). I’ve been tested numerous times, because sometimes extra fluid is a result of an anomaly in the baby (such as problems swallowing or peeing in utero), but all babies have been normal. Other times extra fluid is a result of gestational diabetes, but that has been ruled out. So the docs have decided that it’s just the way I “am” during pregnancy. The down side to it is that with the extra fluid, there is no need for the baby to settle into a head down position, and for my last two babies before this birth, they have flipped back and forth between breech and head down up until birth, necessitating an external version (where the doc manually turns the baby from the outside). With this pregnancy, my fluid levels were staying sort of low (on the high end of normal, which is low for me!) and although she was both vertex and breech at times, she seemed to be settling more head down than not.

I was so hopeful that for once, I would be able to go into labor spontaneously and show up at the hospital in labor instead of for an induction. At 35 weeks, however, my visit showed that my fluid had spiked and was measuring a few weeks ahead, so they ordered an ultrasound. BAD IDEA. They did an u/s at 36 weeks and estimated the baby’s weight at 8lbs 13oz with extra fluid (at that visit my belly was measuring 44 weeks. Again, think of a whale).

They immediately went into panic mode saying that if we left the baby alone, she’d be over 10lbs at term and there would be no way they could turn her if she were breech. After a heart-wrenching week of trying to decide what was best, we decided to do an induction because we could be sure that she would be head down and we could avoid a c-section. I fully realize that others in my position would have refused the induction, thinking that if they just waited it out, the baby would flip to vertex, be in a good position, and labor could progress on its own. But with me and my past history, at this point it wasn’t only about as little intervention as possible, but my birth plan was basically one sentence:

We will do whatever is necessary to avoid a surgical birth.

planning an induction

We had decided that we were going to do the induction on Monday. As of the previous Thursday, I was just about 3cm and Chloe was head down and in a good -2 station. Things looked great for an induction that would hopefully go by “our rules”: the plan was to leak the bag of waters slowly to allow her head to settle even further in the pelvis. Then I’d just need a hep-lock and could call the shots in terms of induction, whether it be walking, lollipopping, or pitocin if we so chose. I was very optimistic that finally we have a chance to do this.

On Sunday, I was a little concerned because it felt like the baby had flipped back to breech again. My anxiety probably constricted all my pelvic muscles and wouldn’t allow her to turn if she’d wanted to! 🙂 On top of that, I just couldn’t be sure of the baby parts I was feeling so I was pretty much just obsessing.Throughout the weekend, too, I’d had a few sessions of hours of contractions, some strong enough to make me wonder if labor were starting. The last set came early Monday morning before the induction, starting around 4am. At first I thought

This is great; I’m going into labor on my own!

But then Todd woke up and grumbled “Do you know how the baby is lying?” and my ignorant bliss left quickly. I couldn’t tell, but I just had a feeling that she wasn’t head down. Although earlier in our late-pregnancy saga, our midwife had warned us that the doctor wouldn’t even try to do an external version if I came into the hospital in labor, she had just last week said that she managed to get him to agree to at least try, as long as I wasn’t in transition or anything. So I was hopeful on that front that even if things were happening, we’d at least still have a shot to try a vaginal birth.

getting the heplock

We arrived at the hospital shortly after 8am and did the usual admitting stuff. The first “event” of the day was trying to get my hep-lock put in. This is hands down my least favorite part of labor. There were 4 nurses and it took all 4 of them to get a line going. My veins just run and hide when they hear the word hep-lock! Seriously, all the relaxation techniques are put to use for getting a stupid line run in my arm. So the first try was a nurse and a student nurse. I *should* have respectfully asked her to defer to a professional, just because I didn’t want to get into the hour-long saga of getting it done. BUT I didn’t. Dumb. She almost got it in and then the vein blew.

So my midwife came in and I asked her for a shot of lidocaine in my other arm, which she was happy to do. The other nurses, however, including one who kept calling me “Bradley lady”, was heckling me about getting pain meds for an IV. I had no problem with that–I know my own weakness! My midwife, who is usually very efficient at the whole IV thing, promptly blew out my other good vein. So a discussion amongst 4 nurses ensued as to where they were going to get this line in and finally the “Bradley heckler” got it but she made my midwife do the other lidocaine shot. OK, so that was stress #1 over for the day.

I was on the monitor for a while and my midwife said it looked like I had a labor pattern. I could tell I was having contractions, but they were a lot milder than the ones I’d woken up with earlier that morning. I told her that I was worried about the baby’s position and when we did an ultrasound, sure enough, that little stinker had gone back to being head up. Between the three of us, there was a collective “CRAP”. Not what we were all hoping for! My midwife checked me and slyly said “I may have to fib to Dr. G about your dilation.” He was probably not on board with trying a version if I were past 5cm. “Officially” I was 2cm (I really don’t know what I was, but at this point it didn’t matter). She went out to call Dr. G.

doing an external version

The next step was to administer a medication that would relax my uterus (I was still having contractions, but although they were regular, they weren’t terribly strong). I was already frustrated at this point, because I knew the med would stop the natural contractions I was having and would take some time to wear off in terms of getting things going again. While we waited for Dr. G. to get to the hospital, my midwife and Todd almost turned the baby themselves. It was rather humorous, but also sort of a relief, because it looked like she would turn just fine. We were right; the doc showed up, did his own assessment, slathered ultrasound gel on my belly and flipped her lickety split.

He wasn’t able to maneuver her very far down into my pelvis, though, so they were concerned again about cord prolapse if the water broke. We decided to try a little pit to counteract the terbutaline shot (the relaxer…do you see the craziness in that!?!?) and once my uterus was contracting again go back to trying to leak the bag of waters to help her slowly come down into the pelvis. They started the pit out at the lowest level and it didn’t take long before I was having at least some contractions again. I actually feel like this was when I was either going to go into labor on my own or very nearly, so the induction part of the whole day didn’t bother me too too much). Around noon-ish, I was checked again and I was 4-5cm (who knows if I had been there since we had arrived–I never asked her!) and it seemed like an OK time to leak the bag. Here’s where the biggest mistake of the day happened, in my opinion.

it was supposed to be a slow leak

Dr. C. was on call and she was the one to do the leaking. She doesn’t know me from Adam and frankly didn’t care a whit about whether she broke it or leaked it. (This is my realization upon later reflection, of course). I’m still not sure why my midwife couldn’t do it, but she didn’t do it last time with Andrew’s birth, so maybe it’s a protocol thing. Imagine the scene: Dr. C, the midwife, and Todd are all flanking me for this procedure. She goes in, we all expect a leak, but instead she busts it totally open. All three of them jumped back with a gasp. I only heard the sound of the biggest dam breaking and water absolutely pouring out. And of course relief on my part, at least physically. Dr. C. was soaked, which was my only recourse. After my initial feeling of “wow, that feels better!” we immediately jumped into the concern about the cord…remember that the baby’s head was very high still.

But Dr. C, her work done, flitted off to the next train wreck. I’m really not very upset with her, but just wish that she could have been a little more thoughtful to the situation or that Dr. B. , who at least was my ally in this situation, had been the one at the hospital. But seeing as how this day was going, it was par for the course.

My midwife did an immediate check just to feel for head parts (and hopefully not other parts). There was no cord, but she did feel something odd… She was mumbling to herself and I didn’t really pay attention too much at that point, but Todd did. When he pressed her, she just answered like she was trying to figure out *what* she’d felt. Not a cord, though. (did we have an alien child? LOL) My contractions picked up a bit, but still were not demanding my attention. Really, they were just there…. The pit had been turned up a bit but I’m not sure of the numbers (I should have had Todd chronicle every increase, but just now thought of that!).

My midwife came back and checked again (how’s that for keeping exams to a minimum?!?! what are we up to, something like 27 by this point!??!) and discerned that Chloe had her hand on top of her head. Evidently when the water broke she moved down, along with her hand. It was almost on top of her head. This is not a *huge* complication; with my 3rd birth the baby was born with his hand up next to his face. It slowed down the pushing stage and caused me to tear a little, but nothing overly complicated. My midwife assured me that they don’t do c-sections for hands, but there was that little voice in the back of our heads that cautioned us about a big baby.

We all remembered our former midwife’s claim that I had a 10-lb capacity pelvis and went confidently with that thought! She did ask that I stay in bed on my hands and knees for a bit to see if maybe the situation could resolve itself. At this point, we didn’t want her to descend any further because then her arm could get into a place where it was stuck. I was on board with that, so I just tried to relax for a bit and not let my mind totally freak out. I have to say that although I wasn’t overwhelmed, I was not dealing with everything very well.

I really had wanted to do this without all the interventions and STUFF, and I was frustrated at feeling so helpless even at this point. My mental preparedness was not that great, but thankfully I have Todd, who is just so good at reminding me of all the things I need to know. I don’t know what I would do without him.

Are you all still with me?

Sometime after 2pm, I was checked again because of Miss Chloe’s hand/arm situation. This was my midwife’s day off, mind you, and she stayed with us pretty much the whole time. She took a nap at one point–maybe when she suggested I stay in bed–but I would say that she was in the room about 80% of the day. I was so thankful. She was really fighting for our right to keep laboring when anyone else would have called it quits before now. The report from the latest exam was not good: Chloe’s entire arm had gotten in front of her head and was actually out past my cervix into the birth canal. (Don’t think the irony of having joked about this a lot in class was lost on me!)

the baby grabbed the midwife’s finger

When she did the exam, the baby grabbed her finger. Oh my word. NOW we were in a true complication situation. She sat down next to us and laid it out. It was not something that was going to resolve itself, but she thought she could try to maneuver her arm back in where it belonged and hopefully the baby would pull it back down. She thought it could work mostly because Chloe had that arm around her head and on the opposite side of her face (I can’t remember which was the offending arm, but if it was her right, then it was up around the left side of her face). Usually, she told us, the protocol for this procedure is to get an epidural and then try, because, as she said

I will have to put my whole hand in there to try and fix it.

Now I am usually OK with labor…it’s hard work and I’d call it painful at times, but it’s usually something I can work through myself without pain meds. At that point, however, whenever someone uses the two words “whole hand” together when she’s referring to your birth canal… I was very persuaded. I felt totally defeated, actually. I’m going to have to get an epidural!?! Still, it seemed like a good use for one if the procedure was going to be all that.

But then I thought to ask how long it would take… if it worked, would it be quick? or would she take 10 minutes to get it done. She said that if it was going to work, it wouldn’t be more than a few minutes. After talking with Todd, and recalling the strength of two recent students who endured other docs manually breaking up cervical scar tissue, I asked her if we could try it without, but if it was too much, if we could stop and do an epidural. She agreed that it was worth a try.

It seemed like an eternity before we actually got on with it. When the midwife was putting on her glove (which she stretched to her elbow…I should have fainted right there!) So she started and Todd held my hand and tried to be encouraging, along with the nurse. She was right; it did not take very long, but it was probably worse than any other pain I’ve ever felt. I only kept on because when it was about to be too much, she said “OK, I think I got it.” Then she had me in bed on my side for a bit to see what happened: would her hand creep back up around her head? Would she pull it back where it belonged? I was rather traumatized by the events of the last hour, so I was happy to just recover. It was probably at least an hour or so before she checked and we got the good report

“I don’t feel any digits.”

At this point, we thought getting up and using the birth ball would be good. I was 6-7cm by this point, but obviously not working or in serious labor. I was just chatting, and I was ready to get on with it, but I think it was me that was keeping it from moving. My pitocin was pretty high at this point, and my midwife made the call to keep it on. I did not argue, mostly because it wasn’t even affecting me. I think at that point we were at 20 units (can never remember what units, though!).

If we had the all-clear of digits check around 3ish, then it was a good two hours later, maybe more, when I was still just putzing around. My midwife came in and gave me the “we’ve stalled here for a while, and that’s very unusual for a para 6.” I knew it and was worried that it was me that was my mental state that was causing the plateau. I had a little breakdown with her and she gently offered an epidural again, citing maybe the arm thing we did earlier was holding things up….but she used the phrase “cruising towards a section” here and that got me all in a tizzy.

getting a pep talk from her husband

I asked to go to the bathroom and Todd was in there with me and I had my all-out breakdown. Was I not ready for 6 children? Was I holding this up because I hadn’t mentally prepared myself for another baby? Again, Todd is so wonderful at giving me perspective, and reassured me that we were doing just fine, that we had only started several hours earlier, and that I was making progress. I didn’t have to take an epidural if I didn’t want one (I really didn’t want to, and mostly because I didn’t want to have to deal with the after effects. But I was pretty close to caving by this time)

Todd’s pep talk gave me a renewed confidence and perseverance and when we left the bathroom, the midwife suggested that I lay on my left side with the bed flat for a while. Whenever she did an exam that day, if I was totally flat my cervix seemed to magically open more than if I’d been tilted or the bed was up even a bit. So hey, worth a try. She also had my pit up to 26 by that point. (I HATE the number 26, by the way)

labor rituals for transition

I don’t know if it was the pit increase or the position change or my mental adjustment, but suddenly we changed gears. I would say it was sometime after 5 o’clock that all this happened. My contractions started to get fast, furious, and just plain awful. I remember how much pit contractions hurt. My ritual was that Todd HAD to lightly rub my shoulder on top of the hospital gown when each contraction started and had to continue until it was gone. NO questions asked, no slouching. I couldn’t deal with the strength of the contractions if he didn’t do that. I always find that so funny, but even thinking about it at the time, I still needed it and he got snapped at if God forbid he missed the start of a contraction. 🙂

By now I didn’t care who was in the room, who talked, or who was even breathing the contractions were so strong. I do remember my mantra became “I hate pitocin, I hate pitocin! My midwife and her stupid pitocin” and when she came in I said “It’s too much; can’t you turn it down?” to which she answered

These are the contractions you need to get your baby out.

It sounds so insensitive (and I remember really not liking her right then, but I respond to that kind of matter-of-factness, I guess.

It was maybe an hour of that before I was pushing without trying to, but when I got checked I was 9ish. She asked me to push through a contraction and she was convinced that I could push it away, so I did. Even after 6 babies I still have trouble getting into the groove of pushing and this time was no exception. That probably extended my time a bit, but it didn’t take long. Todd managed to call his sister and mom back in the room (I knew they weren’t there, but wasn’t concerned about them missing it. I just wanted to be done) and they arrived less than 10 minutes before the baby was born. I remember the midwife asking to have another nurse come in when Chloe started to crown because we had some concern about her size and shoulders.

She announced that if she had back up there, nothing usually happened. I asked her if she thought we should lower the bed and she laughed about that later, saying “When the baby is crowning, most moms are panting, breathing, or screaming ‘get it out!’ but you were asking me if we should lower the bed!” Oh well…it was a trick I remembered seeing from another big baby birth.

the birth

Todd was next my midwife, ready to catch. Chloe was born at 6:37pm with no dystocia and no problems. It was wonderful.

The nursery nurse jumped in at 6:38 and asked to take her to do the newborn stuff (remember that her shift was ending at 7 and she wanted to get her job done so she could leave). My midwife chewed her out and said,

She has worked really hard for this baby and she’s going to hold it for a while!

She deliberately didn’t cut the cord till way after it had stopped pulsing. We both really appreciated that. 🙂 The nurse got huffy and actually left! She didn’t ever come back, in fact, and Todd and my midwife did the newborn stuff themselves. I didn’t have any stitches, so that part has been great. She weighed 8lbs 13oz and was 22 in long. I was a little disappointed; I was hoping for at least 9lb!! But she was beautiful, has a very unique shade of blond hair that is really long in the back (she has male pattern baldness in the front and top) and looks JUST like her brothers and sister. It is quite amazing to see the same face in just a slightly different model.

processing the birth

So now, writing about this birth a week later, there are things I would change, but all in all, I think we took a possibly bad scenario and worked with it to keep mom and baby healthy. The next day my midwife said in all her OB years, she had never seen a complication like that and the nurses in L&D were still talking about us that we hadn’t taken the epidural. I was so glad we at least tried it without, even if we would have had to end up with one. I know the recovery without metabolizing the epidural is so much easier. Without that and without stitches, I was amazed at how I felt. I’m still tired and I was sore but nothing like past births. At least THAT part of it was smooth!

We owe so much to my midwife. She said she’d talked to Dr. G about what he would have done if it had been his patient and an arm and he replied (she said they call him Eeyore and if you use his voice, it makes it funnier!) “I probably would have tried it, but I’m not very good at it….” At least he would have tried; I’m convinced Dr. C. would have just hauled us back to the OR. We feel so indebted to her that we gave Chloe her middle name, Rose.

a nice homebirth of a third baby February 19, 2008

Posted by guinever in birth, birth stories, birth story, home birth, homebirth, midwifery, pregnancy.
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After having an “accidental” homebirth for her second baby, Sarah and her husband decided to plan a homebirth for their third baby. This is Sarah’s birth story:

I’ve heard many times that third babies are unpredictable. My first two had come right before their due dates, and within four hours. I expected this one to be a week late, missing the whole definition of unpredictable. Nothing quite prepared me for the experience of Sabrina’s birth.

Our due date was December twenty-first. Sabrina had already begun to drop in November. By the beginning of December I was having some painful Braxton Hicks fairly often. We speculated a possible early delivery. I tried not to get my hopes up.

just some pre-labor

Thursday December thirteenth, I felt particularly sick. The nausea was just awful, and I was having contractions every eight minutes. When I went to the bathroom that morning I noticed a lot of bloody show. I was so excited I called my husband Chris at work and interrupted his meeting to tell him he needed to be ready to run if I called again. I spent that entire day waiting for the contractions to pick up. They never did. By that night I was in tears. After a good cry I fell asleep.

We both woke up around five-thirty the next morning, the fourteenth. I began to time the contractions that hadn’t stopped all night and they were four minutes apart. I was stumped. I’d experienced so many false alarms with this baby, and my last one, that I just didn’t know what to think. I hated the idea of having my midwife drive an hour to our house for labor that wasn’t really going anywhere.

Chris decided he didn’t want to be alone if this baby came as quickly as our last one, and called our midwife. My contractions picked up as we waited for her to arrive. I still couldn’t bring myself to believe this was it.

3 centimeters dilated

She arrived and quickly checked me, only to find that I was three centimeters dilated and fifty percent effaced. She told me to try sleeping and she would check me again in an hour. I couldn’t sleep a wink. My head was whirling. Chris however, was sawing logs in a matter of minutes. After an hour I had not progressed at all. We decided to stop the labor by “knocking me out”, so I could get some sleep. I took two Tylenol PM and slept for three hours. When I woke up the contractions were back to eight minutes apart. The boys were awake and doing their thing, running wild and making messes. I timed contractions for awhile and then began to clean… again. Chris knew I was truly agitated when I began washing dishes. I hate washing dishes.

I called my mom to let her know what was going on. She suggested I take zinc to speed the labor. She’d done it when I was born and said it worked. So I took two zinc, and sat down to rest. I decided that I had all weekend to have this baby so I was just going to chill out and try to stay positive. This was around five 0’clock. At five-thirty I had eaten half my sandwich, and suddenly felt so nauseated I couldn’t finish it. I decided to lie down. My contractions were three minutes apart. I was still not sure if this was really it.

Chris made a quick call to the midwife again and our friend Maryellen to come over and watch the boys. I got up to walk and refused to lie down again because I didn’t want the contractions to stop. I became very determined to make this baby come if it took all night. I was even massaging my abdomen because it made my uterus contract.

My midwife arrived again around six-thirty and began setting up. It was fascinating to watch her. She was so organized. In just a little while she had all her tools laid out on a cookie sheet and new sheets on our bed covered by plastic and another sheet with disposable pads on top of that. We were set to go.

enjoying labor

The three of us talked in between contractions. We shared stories, swapped jokes, and quoted comedians. Bill Cosby’s account of his wife’s first birth had me cracking up when a really big contraction hit and I leaned against Chris who was sitting on the bed in front of me. He was pretty tired too, and rested his head on my belly. It actually helped with the pain!!! For the next several contractions that was our stance. I rested my hands on his shoulders as he pressed his head against my belly while giving me a hug and rubbing my back. I know we probably looked silly, but I certainly didn’t care.

Around a quarter to nine I told my midwife that I was really confused. I’d never had a labor last so long, and the contractions were so strong. She thought that perhaps Sabrina had turned posterior, and that was slowing things down. I asked her to check my progress, and she said I was seven centimeters. The baby wasn’t posterior, but she did notice some scar tissue on my cervix. We assumed it was from Clark’s speedy entrance into this world three years ago. I was so tired that she asked if I wanted her to break the water to speed things up. I said, “Yes” without hesitation.

breaking the water

She began trying to break it with her fingernails but it wouldn’t budge. We started to chuckle at its strength. She tried again, but could only pull on it. By that time we were in hysterics. Chris didn’t get the joke so much, so I told him the bag was so strong it wouldn’t break, and it felt like she was pulling a water balloon out of my vagina. It took her several attempts with an amniohook , but it did finally break. It wasn’t until that moment that I accepted the fact that I was going to have a baby that day.

I got up to go to the restroom, and had three powerful contractions in a matter of a few minutes. “Wow”, I thought, “Transition already?” I got back to my room and sat on the side of the bed. The contractions came so fast and so strong I couldn’t quite think straight. Suddenly I was pushing. Chris and the midwife were making a last attempt at prepping the pool that our son had poked a hole in days earlier. We had planned a water birth, but it was not to be. Chris quickly sat down in front of me to help me breath through the contractions. When asked if I was pushing, I kind of whimpered, “Yeah.”

“it’s a head”

My midwife put her gloves on. I stood up and leaned against Chris so she could change the wet pad underneath me, and out came Sabrina’s head. Chris said,”There’s something down there.”, and I screamed, “It’s a head!” to which my midwife calmly replied, “Well so it is.” She placed her hand on Sabrina’s head, and it was a good thing too, because the very next second her body just shot out. She said, “Grab your baby!”, and we did. I held her arm, and Chris held the rest of her. Somehow I ended up lying back on the bed with Sabrina on my chest. Judah and Clark hovered over us, fascinated by their new little sister. My midwife still had a glove half on, just flopping all over the place.

That was my first bare handed catch, she said and we all laughed.

I noticed the cute little birth mark on Sabrina’s chest, and her blonde hair. She was so beautiful. Suddenly, as in every birth, I forgot all about the nausea, headaches and exhaustion. For such a miserable pregnancy it ended so perfectly. My labor was long, emotional, and tiring, but it was also sweet, and casual; even fun at times. I loved the way I laughed my way through it. “This is how babies should be born.” I thought, quietly and casually with laughter and tears.

Chris dressed Sabrina while I bathed. When I came back to the bedroom, Judah was holding her with the biggest grin on his face. We all crawled into bed for a family picture. We were so glad our baby girl was finally here. Our family felt complete.

an unplanned homebirth February 19, 2008

Posted by guinever in birth, birth stories, birth story, home birth, homebirth, midwifery, pregnancy.
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This is the birth story of Sarah’s second birth. With her first birth, she was sent to the hospital from her doctor’s office after they checked her and was found to be 6 centimeters. Overwhelming contractions started once they artificially ruptured her membranes. Both she and the baby required oxygen. She felt out of control. Sarah’s hope was to not be induced and to have a much more peaceful and gentle birth than the first time. Her birth story follows:
I’d had several episodes of pre-labor for a month, and began early labor eleven days before he was born. I’d never heard of prodromal labor before that, but became very familiar with the term after eleven days of contractions ten minutes or less, apart. We went to the hospital twice with contractions three minutes apart, and me in a very serious frame of mind. However, each time, no progress was made past three centimeters, and so we went home. I was very fortunate this time to have a doctor and midwife who didn’t believe in induction unless it was absolutely necessary. They just calmly kept telling me that he would come eventually, and boy did he.

Around 11 o’clock on the 16th my contractions got noticeably stronger, but I didn’t make a big deal over it, because they’d been there twice before. I drank a big glass of water and went to bed. I was extremely restless for the next six hours, finally getting up to walk around at 5:00. My contractions were five minutes apart when I woke Chris up at 5:30. My back hurt, and I needed a rub with each contraction.

We went downstairs so I could lay on my birth ball. After a few hard contractions I decided to go through the Bradley test for “real” labor. I got up to make a bagel w/ cream cheese. I took one bite, and a contraction hit me so hard and quickly that I thought I would throw up. The contractions had moved to three minutes apart. Chris suggested I get into the tub to help me relax. I told him I thought this was definitely it, and he should call the sitter to come get Judah. He says he was still skeptical because I was still being so nice to him, and smiling in between contractions.

I had three hard contractions while walking from the table to the kitchen door,(About five feet) and told Chris I thought I was going through transition. He suggested we leave. I told him I wanted to go to the bathroom before we left. It took me five minutes to get there. My contractions were double peaking at this point. Somehow, Chris managed to run around the house getting ready to go, and still be there to rub my back during every contraction. While on the toilet I had the urge to push, and pretty much knew at that point that we weren’t going to make it.

My poor mother, who had arrived the day before, was having a nervous breakdown, and kept saying we should call an ambulance. The hospital close to us was less than desirable for having a baby, and I ended up screaming at her that we were not calling an ambulance. That I would have this baby at home and we would drive him to the hospital further away if we had to.

Chris kept saying we had to hurry, and I kept saying we weren’t going to make it. I finally looked him in the eye and said, “Honey, you’re delivering this baby in the car on the way, or here at home, and I’m more comfortable here.” He still wasn’t convinced we didn’t have time, but helped me to the bathroom to change my pants because with the previous push I had peed on myself. Not my most dignified moment. While sitting on the toilet my water broke, and there was no holding back the pushes after that.

Chris just looked at me and said, “Well you can’t have him in the toilet.” He had to drag me into our office, because the baby was crowning and I couldn’t walk. The sitter whisked Judah away right about then. I was moaning quite a lot, and he was a bit scared. Ten minutes and a few pushes later Clark was born. Chris caught him of course. We placed him on my bare belly, and he nursed beautifully. He was so warm and toasty.

We wrapped him up with his placenta, and got to the hospital two hours after his birth. Everyone was buzzing. I had a second degree tear, mostly because of the speed of his birth, and from having to push on a carpeted floor.

Read the story of her third birth: this time a planned homebirth.

on homebirth: Ron Paul in favor of families having the option to choose January 15, 2008

Posted by guinever in doula, family, health, home birth, homebirth, midwifery, pregnancy.
Tags: , , ,

Here’s what Ron Paul said at a political rally in Greenville, North Carolina when asked about licensing midwives:

But if you can allow it with licensing, that’s slightly better, [than prohibition] the ideal is that people make up their own minds. I am not in favor of government prohibiting people from making private choices. I may have a medical opinion–well, you shouldn’t do this or you shouldn’t do that, but politically, people should make their own choices.

So you’re in favor of families having the option to choose.

Oh yes, definitely, said Ron Paul.

To watch and listen to this short video at a rally in Greenville, South Carolina, go to the clip at YouTube. What I have quoted above appears at the end of this video.

looking for birth stories to be included on my website December 7, 2007

Posted by guinever in birth stories, birth story, doula, family, health, home birth, homebirth, homeschooling, midwifery.
1 comment so far

I am looking for more birth stories for my website. Since I have only birthed five children, I am limited in the number I have to offer, so I’m asking for yours. I will be choosy in the birth stories that I publish. This is a natural birth website. This fact doesn’t rule out births where drugs and surgery were involved if you were well-informed during your pregnancy and labor and made decisions accordingly.

  • What I’m looking for: It doesn’t matter where you gave birth– home, birth center or hospital. Things to include would be what you did during pregnancy to prepare yourself for a natural birth, what techniques helped during labor and what things didn’t. If you chose medical intervention, tell me why and how it helped you (or not.) I’m looking for birth stories that will inspire other women to birth naturally. Keep it positive and upbeat.
  • I’m also looking for HBAC and VBAC stories. If you don’t know what that is, then it doesn’t apply to you. In other words, I want to hear about your journey to vaginal birth after surgical birth.
  • What I’m not looking for: standard induction, epidural hospital births. There are plenty of other places on the web who publish those. I don’t want to hear about how painful or unbearable your labor was until you got the drugs.
  • Do not include the name of your hospital, doctor or midwife
  • Guidelines for submission: Use a spell checker. Have someone else read it for grammar and clarity of thought. I don’t have time to do a lot of editing. Do not type in all caps. There is no word limit. It can be as long as you want provided that everything you include adds to the story and isn’t redundant. Absolutely no swearing or crass language will be accepted. Common birth language like “vagina” is perfectly fine when used appropriately.
  • How to submit: You can cut and paste your story into the comment section at the bottom of this article and it will be sent to me via e-mail (it will not appear on the website here). If accepted, it will be posted on this site in a separate article and be listed with other birth stories.

I look forward to reading your birth story.