Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Natural Birth with Belinda

I had always wanted a midwife. I knew this way before I was pregnant because my great great grandmother was one, and it was said of her that she never lost a baby. My first pregnancy, I saw my regular doctor to confirm that I was pregnant, and then she said she would send a referral letter so that I could go see the midwives at Valley Women for Women. 

Unfortunately I did not know that realistically I didn't need to wait for this referral and I lost the first baby at 14 weeks, before I ever got into see the midwives. But going in after my miscarriage, I knew that these were the women I wanted to see. I had spent lots of time stalking them on their Web Page, learning their names and degrees, so when I finally met Janice for the first time, I felt like I knew her. After meeting her, I knew this is where I was going to be the happiest, most comfortable, even with my second miscarriage, feel the most love. I remember finding out that our second pregnancy was a pseudo one, that there was no baby, we were devastated. I had a sinking feeling in the ultrasound room when we couldn't see anything, and the technician asked if we had our dates right. I was crying before we left the room while my husband kept saying, just wait for Janice, just wait. She delivered the bad news with such love, hugging us, telling us what was happening. I remember only half listening because I was heartbroken and sobbing, which she then took both my hands and said, "You're gonna be okay, and sooner than you know I'll be delivering a big fat baby for you." 

 We should have placed bets on it then and there. With our third pregnancy, I was trying hard to distance myself from emotion. This pregnancy was either gonna be a baby, or our third miscarriage which I was preparing myself for. At least if it was another miscarriage, our insurance would finally pay for testing to get done. I had mentally prepared myself so well that even after our first ultrasound I waited to miscarry. It took until our 20 week ultrasound where we found out we were having a boy that I finally allowed myself to get a little excited. It probably also didn't help that I had morning sickness the entire pregnancy! 

 Family Circle is probably going to be some of my favorite memories being pregnant. It was so nice and calming to be in a group of people all pregnant around the same time, talking about past experiences with parents that already had children, expressing concerns, talking about all the tests and options we had. I loved going to listen to our midwives. They were always happy, funny, and could answer any questions we all had. My husband loved being able to be in charge of finding heartbeats, and he loved being totally involved with the pregnancy. When he learned that he could even catch our little boy, he was so excited for Gabe to come into the world.

 Now, my mother kept telling me that I was most likely going to be a 'slow cooker'. All of my siblings came out super late. Most of them 1 or 2 weeks behind schedule. So with my due date coming up, I prepared myself to wait it out. My sister-in-law was pregnant at the same time as us with twins. She lived an hour away, so unfortunately she didn't get to see the midwives. We stayed pretty close during the pregnancy. When she was 37 weeks and I was 39, she started having a lot of braxton hicks. She had been having all sorts of issues the whole month before, and had really wanted to wait out the full 40 weeks, but my nephews were already wild in there. Her doctor scheduled her to be induced that Friday. She'd been dilated at 4cm all weekend long, and really uncomfortable. She started having lots of pain on Wednesday and let us know that they were going to go in. I grabbed our own hospital bags and when my husband got off work we headed over to her hospital in Goodyear. She had already been given her epidural when we arrived, and had started some pictocin. She had progressed to a 7cm early in the day but had stopped there and was sort of stuck. I hated that she had to be constantly monitored, and knew I definitely did not want that. I had to hold one of the babies monitors in place because it kept slipping in the straps. They only allowed 2 visitors at a time in her room, so all of us took turns in the waiting room. Around midnight my husband and I decided to go sleep at their house and wait till after they babies were delivered. They weren't going to let us in the OR room anyways, and I was exhausted. 

They called us at 6am telling us they were here! I stayed the next 2 days with her taking turns with her husband and my mother in law sleeping and helping with the twins. After learning that she'd be released Saturday morning, we decided to head home Friday night. I was sick of the hospital and was looking forward to not being in one for another couple of weeks. Ha ha. We met up with some friends, staying up late catching up on one of our TV shows, thinking that we could sleep in all morning Saturday. Haha Haha. I wasn't due for another week, and with my mother telling us we'd be late anyways, we didn't dream we'd be delivering that morning. I had been having some burning back pain earlier in the week, but it was usually accompanied by a big bowel movement. 

So when my back started burning around 1am when were getting ready for bed, I figured I was constipated. I hadn't had any braxton hicks contractions, and hadn't even had uncomfortable cramping, so at 2:30 when I started having sharp pain right under my belly I assumed it had to be something else. I remember looking at my husband, with slight terror in my throat though, because that had hurt more than anything I had ever felt before. I went into the bathroom telling him I probably had to poop, where I then started having regular contractions. Still thinking there was no way this could be labor, I wasn't due for another week, I was supposed to be late etc. I climbed into a hot bath and told my husband we'd wait it out a while before calling the midwives. By this time I was panicking slightly in the tub. We weren't ready, and I had used all the stuff in our hospital bag for our trip with my sister-in-law. I hadn't even done laundry that week. I kept telling my husband after a contraction that we weren't ready and the baby just simply could not come right now. We still had to fix the crib's base because it was wobbly. Thank goodness for loving husbands. He simply said, "Don't be angry Sam. This baby will come whenever it comes and we'll love it. Don't stress out about it. It's gonna be ok." That helped me decide it was finally time to call the midwives. Telling him that, we realized we hadn't been timing the contractions since I had been in denial. I really started to panic when we timed them at 4 minutes apart. While my husband called (to which he said "Sweet it's Belinda") I got out of the tub and got dressed. I tried to figure out and repack our bag, which ended up being really sad. I guess the stress and panic really got to me then because I really didn't pack anything we needed for us. At least I had a separate bag for the baby that was ready to go.

Contractions in the car were brutal. I placed my feet up on the dash and just held onto the bar above the window while breathing and moaning all while looking at the clock and praying this would go fast. We arrived at the hospital before Belinda, at 3:30am. I felt bad actually having to wake her up in the middle of the night. This was my least favorite part ever. Getting to the emergency room of Mercy Gilbert, they made me answer all sorts of questions. There was actually more pregnant women before me, but the nurse that came downstairs to wheel them up took me first because my contractions were rapidly progressing. She apologized to the other ladies by simply stating "I've already delivered a baby downstairs today, and don't want to do it again. I'll be right back." It was nice not having to walk, because it was easier for me to deal with the pain being still and pushing against something like a chair, or wall. 

The triage room sucked though. We were still waiting for Belinda to show up, so the nurse on duty shoved the metal clamp up my hoo-ha to check my dilation. Dear lord I almost slapped her, that HURT the most. I yelled out actually then because it felt like she pinched and punched my uterus at the same time. Then they ask questions. SO MANY QUESTIONS! WHY?! Not only did she ask them to me once, which was a slow process, but she stopped afterwards and said "Oh no, the computer didn't get those in" and she had to ask me ALL the questions AGAIN!! I told my husband that I hated her.... I hoped she didn't hear that. In the middle of all this nonsense I started throwing up. That was cute. They got me several blue baggies and YAY Belinda showed up. 

We slowly walked to my room when that was finally over and they were in the middle of filling up the birthing pool. I was dying to get in it. One of the only ways I had been relaxing lately was in my tub at home. We got me seated on the toilet for Belinda to check me. My water still had not broken, but I had progressed to 5cm and we got me in the tub. I could die in that thing. It feels SO SO SO GOOD to be in there. Cuts the pain in half, gets you all comfy and you can change into almost any position. I went from hanging over the side with my husband feeding me ice chips to on my hands and knees, to some other weird inventive positions. I thought I had urges to push at one point and asked Belinda to check me. Getting on the bed and lying down put me in a full panic attack. It hurt 20 times worse being in the bed, and I freaked out. Luckily Belinda stayed calm and got me checked and back into the pool. Around 5am my labor stopped though. We really didn't notice too much, because all of us fell asleep. I had been awake for over 24 hours at this point. Then around 6:30 my contractions came back full force, and I started pushing in the tub. The nurse noticed first and I had to get out. Big bummer. The nurse went to go get Belinda, who was checking in on another labor, telling her it was time for me to start pushing. I got on the toilet first with my husband holding my hands while I did another push, and POP went my water. It literally shocked us both because it sounded like a popping balloon and it shot out all over my husbands shirt and chin. I knew that I was going to want the squat bar right away. This part went so fast and so slow at the same time. Everyone helped me get ready to push, with my hands up on the bar, and my feet pushing against the bottom of the bar where it connects to the bed. I admit that I screamed...a lot. It was the worst pain ever, not going to lie, and at one point I felt like I was going to rip in two down below. If it wasn't for the water softening everything up, I think I would have torn pretty badly. 

One of the nurses kept telling me to hold my breath, she probably wanted to control the screaming. I remember in between pushing I cried that I just couldn't hold it in. Belinda was really good about it and just kept saying, it's ok, let it out let it out. It's just the birthing song. Oh Belinda....we love you. My husband tells me at this point while he's panicking changing from my side to looking below that the Nurse kept saying, he's coming too fast. I guess Belinda then gave her a shut up look, and had him get ready to catch our baby. It was really fast though. Withing 15 minutes of pushing out came Gabriel. Unfortunately, maybe because I did push so fast he came out dark blue, and my husband had to hand him over quickly to Belinda because he didn't breathe right away. A testament to her though because I remember looking over and watching her pat and rub his back and he was crying soon. For some reason my body decided to go into shock for a little bit. I remember after being done pushing I just collapsed on the bed and started shivering. The pool was really warm, and with Gabriel I had been running at a higher temperature the whole time, so I think it was just a big change really fast plus sheer exhaustion. The nurse had to help me hold him to feed the first time, and we got him to latch good. He stayed dark on his toes for a day though, which one of the nurses said I bruised him on the way out :( poor baby. After he was out it was a huge relief. 

My parents checked in about a half an hour after he was born. We got me dressed and cleaned up and we went to our room where the rest is history. I recommend anyone that I know who can make it over to see the midwives. They love and care after each patient and are the calmest people to deliver with. I already know if I have to move away before I'm done having babies, I'm going to cry about them not being there for me.

Proud Momma: Sam

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