Friday, March 15, 2013

9.3 pounds! Lucy's Baby born with Belinda

The midwives at Valley Women for Women helped me have the natural birth that I wanted. 

My birth story starts 11 days after my son was due. That's when he decided he was good and ready to come out and meet the world. 

At 5am I felt a leak, so I got into the shower. Sure enough my water broke, and I thought to myself "my baby is coming today!" I was worried I wouldn't recognize contractions because I've never felt them before. I need not have worried, they started almost immediately after my water broke and it was a very distinct cramping. Even though I had planned to labor at home for hours before going to the hospital, I couldn't wait. 

I soon realized that just because your water breaks doesn't mean it is over and done with. I kept leaking. The nurses in triage at Mercy Gilbert gave me a huge pad. The contractions hurt, and I threw up into one of those convenient blue paper bags. All together I threw up three times because of the pain. My husband helped me through the pain by putting pressure on my lower back and by rocking my legs back and forth when I lay on my back in the hospital bed. 

My birth plan was simple: It was important to me that I deliver my baby naturally. When I asked Belinda to check me in the labor and delivery room she said I was 3cm. At this point I was allowed to use the birthing pool. It cut the pain WAY down. My husband wasn't able to push on my back in this position, so instead he gave me hand massages. My hands were not linked to the pain, but it provided me with emotional support. I felt very connected to him. It soothed me as he rubbed my hands through the contractions. All in all I LOVED the birthing pool and would recommend it highly!

During this first stage of labor, I would take the pain as long as I could, and then demand a position change. I went from the bed to the shower to the tub to the birthing ball then back to the bed and so on. The BEST position was when I was in the shower on all fours, and my husband sprayed warm water on my lower back during the contractions. My least favorite was the birthing ball. When position changes no longer distracted me from the pain, I would ask Belinda to come and check on me. I was 6cm during the next check. And the one after that was 9.5cm. 

Then everything slowed down. My contractions stopped coming as frequently. This was the stage between the first stage of labor and the pushing contractions. My body was letting me rest before the pushing started. Only I didn't see it that way. I became frustrated because it was taking so long, and that everyone was waiting for me to have a baby but here I was stalled in the process. The pain was bad. There is no escape, but I would squirm around in an attempt to free myself from bodily pain. My pain management was 100% Michael pushing down on my lower back. That helped so much. I would also tell myself to "surrender" to each contraction. I was so grateful that the pain was always followed by some relief. Pain. Relief. 

When the pushing contractions finally came, they were pathetic! I was told that I would feel the urge to push. But mine were short and weak and far apart! I could barely get a good push in before it would fizzle out. I was getting frustrated! Belinda had to help me by putting pressure on the area that I should concentrate pushing on. After a while I felt more confident in pushing. So in between contractions I would say "come on contraction, let's do this, I can do this!" I pushed as hard and for as long as I could, but it seemed like that baby was going nowhere. In the meantime they kept checking his vitals. He was a champion through all this. After agonizing minutes of slow, weak contractions and pushing with all my might... Belinda would tell me to push more and push harder. I kept upping my game but it was taking everything that I had. Plus my contractions weren't working with me. I lay on my back with my husband holding my left leg and my mom holding my right. (After everything was over I learned that I ended up injuring both of them because of the muscle strain I put them through.) And then... I looked down and saw my baby's head coming from my body. My exact words were "that is so weird". Two pushes (or so) later and out he came. Belinda had pulled out my baby boy, and words cannot express what a happy moment that was. They say his hands and his umbilical cord were gathered up by his neck when he came out. Belinda thinks this is why my pushing contractions were so atypical. My body needed to go slow to keep the baby's heart rate from going too low. 

They put him on my chest but he was wheezing pretty bad. So they cut the cord and whisked him away and got rid of the wheeze. My husband told me he loved me and gave me a kiss. He told me he was going to go with our son to be weighed and he would be right back. The weighed him at 9 pounds 3 ounces, 21.5 inches long. When he was cleaned up they gave him back to me and I couldn't believe what was happening. This little baby started to root to my nipple. He practically crawled up my chest and he was lifting up his head and everything! 

I am so proud of myself for doing this without any drugs. Not even an IV! It took 14 hours of labor, but I did it! I look back on this with pride and I feel like I can do anything now! In hindsight the pain is impossible to remember. It was so worth the pain! Along with the good feelings there were some struggles. Some women have an easy time breast feeding, but I struggled as soon as I left the hospital. Also, I was told that I would experience a moment of a euphoric feeling of pure love for my baby. When it didn't come in the hospital, and then in the weeks after, I felt that there was something wrong with me! I realized that for some women, the love happens over time. I love my son so much that it doesn't matter how I fell in love with him. I learned so much from this experience. And almost everyday I think about Belinda and how she helped me bring my beloved son into this world. She is also the hero of my story, because she kept us calm and focused. Even after I got home she helped me get better when I would call in with questions. Thank you Belinda, and all the midwives that helped me along the way!

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