Friday, October 24, 2008

The Birth (Novel)

So some people have asked about the whole birth experience (with going natural.) I'll try to summarize as much as possible, so as not to bore anyone. Those who don't really care can skip this and just check out the few new pictures.

So the surges (contractions) started about 9:00 pm Wednesday night, but they weren't very regular yet. I just kind of dealt with them on my own through the night, but didn't sleep much. They started coming regularly at about 4:00 am. I woke Neil up at about 5:00 am to start helping me through them. His biggest job was to use light touch massage (he basically uses the backs of his fingertips to try to create the chills. The chills release endorphins, and endorphins are natural pain blockers.) It wasn't bad enough yet to need that too much, so he just helped me keep track of how far apart the surges were. I took a bath, and then showered and got ready. Finished packing the hospital bag, and then just tried to relax in bed. We wanted to wait as long as we could at home so that we were in the most comfortable place possible so that it would be easier to relax. We finally left for the hospital at about 2:00 pm.

We checked in the hospital at 2:30 pm at which point I was 100% effaced and dilated to a 5. We decided to stay anyway, since it was a half hour drive each way if we were to have gone home. I spent most of the time in bed and Neil would just help me through each surge and then we would chat between each one. My midwife showed up at about 6:30 and checked where my progression was. At that point I was at a 6+. I was surprised that I had only progressed roughly 1 1/2 cm. in 4 hours. At that point I decided to take a bath for awhile. Neil helped by pouring water over my stomach (as the bath wasn't deep enough to cover it all.) They had to get me back on the fetal monitor, so I got out of the bath and made it over to the bed. I decided to lay on my side for awhile and the first surge that hit me, my water broke. (What a weird sensation!!) That happened at about 7:20 pm. The surges became steadily stronger, and I began to lose my focus in getting through them. I started getting nauseated and Neil and my midwife were able to use some pressure points to help me through them. I decided to go sit on the toilet to relax through the surges. (It helps relieve the pressure and allows your hips to spread well.) I was able to regain my focus and was dealing pretty nicely with the surges when the nurse said I had to get back on the monitor! Grrr....I wasn't too happy about that. So back to the bed, monitor on, and trying to focus. I was able to get into focus in the bed, but is was not as comfortable as the toilet. The monitoring is supposed to be for 20 minutes. Well, WAY more than 20 minutes had passed but the nurse wasn't removing the monitor. My surges were lasting between 1 - 2 1/2 minutes each, so right when one would ease up, another would start. I finally found a moment to break my focus and asked to have the monitor taken off. She said that I had seemed so relaxed that she didn't want to disturb me. So the monitor came off, and I went straight back to the toilet. What seemed like not very much longer, I told Neil I felt like it was time to start pushing. He paged the midwife and nurse back in. The midwife checked me and I was fully dilated. In Hypnobirthing (the method we used) you "breathe" the baby down instead of push. Difficult to explain in writing. Anyway, I gave a few of the downward breaths on the toilet when the doctor suggested I get back to the bed so that the baby wasn't born IN the toilet. I chose to deliver on my hands and knees as it was less pressure and more comfortable for me. I continued to use the downward breaths, and what seemed like 5 minutes later, she was out!! (About 30 minutes total passed from when I said to Neil that I felt like I needed to push, and when she came.) Neil watched the whole thing and was even able to help deliver her!

I immediately turned around and they put her on my chest for some skin-to-skin contact and bonding. The midwife and nurse were still working on other things and I just sat and held our beautiful little Avery. Eventually, they needed Neil to hold her while the stitched me up and got everything cleaned up. Once all of that was complete, they brought the people in to do the weighing and measuring and then gave her back to me to nurse. She latched on great and took a full 10 minutes from each side. We then just continued to bond and enjoy her little presence before they took us to our recovery room.

In Neil's own words, he says that half of the time he couldn't even tell I was in labor. The nurse said that she had only ever been involved with one other Hypnobirthing birth and that the other girl wasn't able to relax very much and was quite miserable. Seeing my experience made her want to take the class just to simply learn about the concept and better be able to help someone in the future. My midwife (she said about 90% of her patients use Hypnobirthing) said that she was amazed at how well I did and that very few women have kept the level of concentration that I had. None of this is to brag, but to simply say that it was WELL worth the studying and practicing and the entire experience turned out as well as I could have hoped! Well, almost... I hoped it would have been a little bit less painful, but who doesn't? :) It still was a wonderful experience and I will definitely be doing it again - just not in the near future!

Note: I did not emphasize one of the most important parts of the entire experience and I can't believe myself!!! I have to say that there is ABSOLUTELY no way that I would have been able to get through it all without Neil's help!! He was the most amazing coach and said and did all of the right things at the right moments for me to be able to stay as relaxed as I did!! I couldn't have done it without him and I thank him SSSSOOOO much for being there for me every step of the way! We made a great team and my love for him has grown immensely through this entire experience! Thank you Neil, and I love you so much!!!


The Youngs said...

Wow. Well... You just confirmed to me that I will never have a natural birth. And I'm more than okay with that. :)

Leah said...

WOW! You are amazing!

PĂ©itseoga said...

well done!
you just confirmed to me that i will try to have a natural birth! :-)

well, i'm planning on one, anyways, but if i need it, i will take the gas and air, and see how i get on after that... and hopefully i will have the advantage of the deep bath (birthing pool)!

do you know of any websites that explain the 'breathing down'? i mean, you're not supposed to hold your breath while 'pushing', or are you?? i just wonder how breathing down is different to pushing...

Shellie said...

What a great story! I am so going to look into hypnobirthing in the future. Do you have more info about your midwife? Major pats on the back for a job well done ;

The Domina's said...

Dude you're amazing! I'm all about the drugs and can't wait for the epidural. Congrats on Avery, she is beautiful!

Megan H. said...

Way to go on sticking to your word on the natural birth! I like epidurals! :) I am so glad that your labor was not too long for you, that would not have been very fun. Avery is a cutie, I hope all is well for you. Welcome to motherhood!!! :)