I personally believe that birth stories are very important to share.
Caleb’s Birth Story
It was a Thursday night 1/27/2005. I had already called the midwife on call once. A thin mucous discharge that starts or gets worse as the case may be near delivery made me wonder if I wasn’t leaking a little bit of fluid. I didn’t really think it was, but it made all the worriers in the family happy. Calling it a night I took a hot shower to ward off the soreness you feel at 9 months pregnant. I wasn’t due for another week and I knew enough to not expect to early with my first baby most likely I would be late. 10:30-11:00pm I woke up with a start and ran to the bathroom to empty my bladder, then back to bed. There it was again, no worries I will just lay here and rest. Oop, maybe not. It might feel better to be up moving around I thought. I know, a shower had always worked before. I’ll try that again. Before I knew it I was singing Amazing Grace and The Lord’s Prayer in the shower as I swayed through more contractions. Finally convinced that we we’re dealing with the real thing I stepped out of the shower and called for my still sleeping husband to wake up. It was time! Bracing myself through each contraction in the car, I remember going over the railroad tracks into Silverton as being the worse, the whole time calmly telling Chad to drive safely and slow down this was going to take hours.
I could imagine the thoughts going through the nurses heads at the front counter of the birth center when they asked me how far apart my contractions were and I answered, “I don’t know, all I know is that they hurt.” I was shown to a triage room where when I was giving my urine sample the nurse noted the amount of bloody show and asked when that started. I assured her it just did. My cervix was 5 cm dilated which bought me a direct admission some time after midnight.
I tried the labor ball to get through the admission questions. Someone french braid my hair I’m not sure if it was the midwife or my mother-in-law then I tried the jacuzzi. At 8cm I was encouraged to get out of the jacuzzi and get checked. My water was broken and when the nurse and midwife were looking the other direction I dove back in the tub. (I’m sure they didn’t care) They got bags of ice to bring relief to my throbbing symphysis. I started feeling pushy, they let me push a little while in the tub then on the toilet, then squatting next to the couch on the floor. I was getting tired and so we moved to the bed using the squat bar and a sheet to play tug-of-war. Three and a half hours of pushing later at 6:28 am to my exhausted relief my little man finally came, stunned, blue and floppy. He was quickly taken to the warmer. A few breaths with a bag and mask turned him into a pink and screaming near toddler weighing in at 9lbs 3.5oz. I was shocked to discover the new life that had grown within me was a boy. Growing up with all sisters I don’t think the facts of genetics and the 50% chance of having a boy had truly sunk in. He had my heart immediately like I didn’t even know was possible. I was so thankful for my team, Louanne CNM, Brandy RN, Chad (hubby), Donna (MIL), my mother, two sisters and childhood friend Raylena, they gave me water when I needed it, rubbed my back and anticipated my every need.
I had accomplished the biggest feat of my life! I felt like super women, like I could do anything especially concerning my new baby. I knew then that my “team” had made it the empowering experience that it was. It could very well have been a defeating deflating experience making me doubt my abilities to take care of my new baby. Any time I doubted I could do it or felt out of control they were there to walk me through it.
Of course this was not the end of my birth story. My pain was worse after delivery than during labor. I had torn extensively and needed a lot of stitches, but believe me that baby and birth experience has been worth it. It was a long recovery, but despite the setbacks I have been so thankful everyday for my midwife and nurse who used evidence based practice and a wholistic approach in my care. They didn’t treat me like it was just another day at work and just another pt having another baby. They realized the long term effect this experience would have on me as a person and treated it as such.
I knew then that I was being called to labor and delivery, every women deserves the chance to have an empowering birth experience, to feel respected. There is too much at stake (confident parenting, bonding) for each patient for their personal needs, beliefs and desires to be disregarded.
Louanne you have given me one of the biggest gifts I have ever been given….A chance!!! That day I was blessed with a beautiful baby boy, becoming a mother, and the gift of a new life long friend.
My team…(this is actually my team for Eve’s birth but it was mostly the same people)
Prego picks from Eve. Caleb was pre digital camera at our house and pre FaceBook, so I have no pics besides a labor pic.