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Sofia’s Birth

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Wednesday morning(April 18th) I had contractions that were so strong they hurt, though they would come regularly and then disappear for a while before returning. The doctor’s office told me to head to labor and delivery anyway and see if I had made progress. We got there around 1:30pm; they checked me and I was 4cm dilated. The doctor showed up and examined the printout of my contractions. He almost sent me home, saying they weren’t strong enough, but he didn’t like the way the baby’s heartrate looked during the contractions and decided to admit me and augment mylabor.

After I was taken to a delivery room they started the pitocin drip. I dilated to 10cm within about two hours and had really bad back labor. The anesthesiologist came and gave me my epidural. Eventually my doctor returned and they allowed me to start pushing. After about 2 hours of strong pushing and the baby coming down I still couldn’t get her out. She was turned slightly so that her forehead was against my pelvic bone, and she was stuck. Her heartrate dropped with every push and they finally decided to do a c-section. At around 7:20(I think?) I was taken to the operating room. I was pretty frightened and cried as they were wheeling me through the hall but I tried to suck it up and act like everything was fine. I didn’t want to be a wimp.

While they set everything up, the anesthesiologist held my hand and talked to me to put me at ease. He was so sweet. I was shaking like crazy from the epidural and fluids running through my body. They set up for surgery and then brought my husband in. He sat next to me and held my hand, and my eyes started to well up again. He wiped my tears and I squeezed his hand and felt better knowing he was right there. When it came time for the pinch test I could still feel it just enough that I was afraid I’d be in pain when they made the incision. I begged the anesthesiologist to turn up the epidural, and though he was hesitant because he wanted me to be alert enough to hold my baby, he finally gave me an additional medication in my IV that made me a bit foggy.

After the incision was made I could feel lots of tugging and pressure. It turns out baby was lodged quite firmly in my pelvis and they struggled a bit to get her out. After what seemed like an eternity I heard her cry- at 7:45 pm my daughter was born! They briefly brought her to my side of the curtain so I could see her… I remember thinking that she looked purple and that something was wrong, but the OR staff promised she was healthy and perfect! She had some bruising over her eye and cheek on the side of her face that was pressed into my pelvis, but this healed and faded away within the first week or two.

The recovery period from surgery was far from fun… I was incredibly sore between the normal post-birth cramping that occurs and the pain in my incision area. My husband had to help me shower the first two times because I seriously just wanted to curl up on the floor of the shower and cry.

Nursing was fine for the most part. My baby latched very well from the first time we tried to breastfeed, but my milk took a frustrating 5 days to fully come in and she was so ravenous and grumpy! When my milk did finally arrive it showed up in full force, and we were able to very successfully establish our nursing relationship. We battled a gnarly, painful thrush infection soon after going home because of the antibiotics from the surgery but it did eventually clear up. So nursing was initially a bit more of a challenge than with my firstborn (a vaginal birth) but we were able to get through it all just fine.

With regard to my hospital experience, I was (and still am) very disappointed that I ended up having a c-section but the hospital staff were wonderful and took fantastic care of me, my baby, and even my husband, who stayed overnight with us throughout our time there. Aside from my experience with my boneheaded doctor (a long story for another time), I felt like my family and I were in good hands during our stay at the hospital.

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Birth story | Amelia’s Unassisted Birth

November 21, 2008 1 comment

I wrote a month ago about my experience at my first unassisted birth, and I was given permission to post a link to Laura’s personal story of the birth of her daughter, Amelia, here. Definitely check it out! I love reading uplifting birth stories, and they helped me immensely when I was pregnant with Oliver.

HERE is her story 🙂

Amelia’s Unassisted Birth Story

October 24, 2008 4 comments

I am a big fan of unassisted births. Hey, I had my own! Many birth professionals look down on women who choose to go unassisted, believing them to be taking birth ‘too far’ or being selfish. I personally believe that every woman should be able to birth how she feels she needs to. I find it very sad that even those surrounded by birth, women who say that they trust birth,  are so quick to call unassisted birth irresponsible.

All of the women I have come across who have gone unassisted know their stuff. I know I read a million books about birth before I had Oliver. Most of these women are not going blindly into birth. It is a tough road to travel; you must defend your choice to everyone who finds out about your “plan”.

As a doula, I am proud to say that I support any woman who wants an unassisted birth. Surprisingly, when I began researching doula work, I discovered that most doulas will not attend an unassisted birth. Most fear that if something goes wrong, that they will be prosecuted.

So, as I was saying, I love free births! I was extremely excited when I was asked to attend one in September.

I got the call early on September 25. She was in early labor, but definitely progressing. Once I got there mid-morning, I was really pumped! She was doing great, and her partner was there by her side. I was happy to be able to provide relief for him, so he could rest and take care of a few things. She was having back labor, and I was lucky to have brought along my new little massage ball.

It really helped, and through the rest of her labor, both her partner and I took turns massaging her lower back.

Although really tired from lack of sleep, she did so fantastic. She changed positions when she needed to, and was really amazing. I felt so lucky to be able to be apart of something so great 🙂

During transition, she thought she had more time to go, so she wanted to get in the tub. Before the water even rose high enough, the baby was crowning! She stood in the tub, and with the support of her partner, gave birth to their beautiful daughter.

I felt a bit useless at the time, so I did what I knew I could: take some pictures! She was kind enough to give me permission to post this:

Amelia was born at 3:15 in the afternoon, just a little under 4 hours after I arrived! It was a beautiful birth. Brought me back to that excitement and awe of having my own birth. I am usually not a gushy person, but I definitely had tears in my eyes when she was born.

The Birth of Akasha

HERE is the story of the birth that I was at a little over a week ago. It was an amazing experience for me, since it was the first time I saw a baby being born. Lisa created such a great birthing environment, and everyone there was so respectful of her and her needs. Her husband was also incredible, and caught Akasha in the water. As soon as she hit the hair, her eyes burst open, and she was looking around.

Lisa was the epitome of birth goddess. She ‘roared the baby out’, and yet was so calm and centered in between pushes. I was amazed at her strength. I am so thankful that I was able to be apart of something so wonderful.