Friday, July 30, 2010

Recap of Sam's birth week

Rather than go into all the gory details of birth, I just want to highlight the basics of how I managed to guide my child's way into this world by the 29th, naturally with no drugs.

I've always been goal oriented but to direct something like labor and delivery takes an iron will and good timing.

First I waited until the doctor said it was safe for baby to arrive, July 29th was determined the safest date.

Second, my doctor was going out of town for a conference from July 30th - August 8th - my actual due date of August 5th right in the middle. So we really put it off until the last possible day.

People have questioned why I was willing to be induced and not let nature take it's course - namely the natural birth professionals because their motto is let the baby decide when the time is right and your body will open up perfectly.

If you've been following this blog as far back as January you might remember this was a twin pregnancy and Baby B passed away at 14 weeks; it was important to me to deliver with the doctor who knew the entire history and could make sure the 2nd twin was found post birth. I didn't want to explain the history to a stranger so I grit my teeth through every weekend my doctor wasn't working; it was very important for me to deliver with my doctor.

After we picked the 29th as our deadline, I spent 3 days prior doing everything in my power to go into labor naturally.

Monday -
* I walked 3 miles in the morning
* I did a one hour yoga session with Jiwan from 6:30-7:30
* Husband walked with me for one hour on the beach following yoga

Tuesday
* I walked 3 miles in the morning
* I did a 1.5 hour yoga session with Jiwan from 11:30-1:00
* Following lunch I did another special 1 hour yoga session with Jiwan where she worked with myself and husband showing us many special techniques for how he could help me through labor. I will never forget this special time because she really worked with us as a couple to show us how to connect and focus together as one person.
* That evening I planned to walk again but I was exhausted, I couldn't do it.
* I had Eggplant Parmesan for dinner because I'd heard it makes women go into labor!

Wednesday
* I walked 2 miles in the morning (got up too late to do 3)
* Arrived at doctor's office exhausted, definitely feeling like baby had dropped, his butt had been high on my belly for weeks and it was resting below my belly button. I was quietly confident he had moved down.
* I was 2.5cm dilated and told to go home and rest - but you can read that several posts down. I went home and rested - I didn't move from my office chair for the remainder of the day pushing to get work done, knowing it was my last work day.

Thursday - day of delivery
6am - check into hospital, get hooked up to machine to check baby's and my heart rates, get very painful IV put in - worse since I hadn't been drinking much since midnight!

I'd been counseled against being induced by so many people but I had to balance that with wanting to have the baby by the 29th so my doctor and I compromised that she would break my water by 7:15am and if dilation hadn't ramped up by 1pm she would start the Pitocin. My reason for not wanting the Pitocin is because I wanted a natural birth without an epidural and since Pitocin causes stronger and more painful contractions, it would be much harder to have a natural birth.

Before she broke my water I was 3cm dilated so the ball was in my court to push my body into dilating fully so Pitocin was not needed.

After she broke my water I bounced on an exercise ball for 2 hours to push the baby down further into the birth canal and progress dilation; contractions were 10 minutes apart from 8am - 10am. Husband played a variety of music on our laptop and the nurse left us alone for the majority of this time.

Right at 10am they came 4 minutes apart so I got back in bed to focus on each contraction and rest. I wanted the nurse to check on my dilation but she was really relaxed and wanted to wait until noon or 1pm! Knowing my history of quick labor with Charlotte I was patient until 11am and then requested a check - I was 9cm dilated! She called the doctor who arrived within the hour.

I spent another hard hour of breathing through the contractions with my husbands help. He knows my face so well that with the slightest wrinkle and he would remind me to breath and relax my face.

I pushed from noon until 1:10pm and baby Sam was born. It was a combination of supreme will power and strict mind control that brought him into our arms so quickly. There was talk of using a vacuum to help pull him out since they suspected there was a stool loose in the birth canal - how they guess these things is beyond me but we worked even harder at pushing him out and got him safely born without any extra "help".

Don't think I'm entirely against pain medication, I'll happily take it after the birth. It's just important to me to be present and focused during labor - especially when things potentially go wrong and I can make choices if I'm focused. I'm also blessed to have had 2 quick births, if they were longer it would be difficult to withstand hours of contractions.

This is my story and it's worked for me but I think every women must decide what's the right decision for her. The team who worked with us to bring Sam into this world was wonderful and very respectful of our choices. Our nurse's name is Funky and she's from Nigeria. She's been a delivery nurse in the US for 10 years and 20 years in Canada where she said they opt for less pain medicated deliveries. She was our biggest cheerleader in not wanting to start the pain medication. It helps when she's in the background cheering you on, saying how great you are doing.

I am so thankful for everyone who helped me on this journey and that includes my yoga teacher Jiwan, all my readers of this blog who sent through encouraging comments, my mom's church who prayed relentlessly for safe and healthy delivery and finally my husband who is my greatest cheerleader and coach - I'd never have been able to do this without him keeping me focused and alert. Choosing to give birth naturally and working so hard at bringing baby boy safely into this world on our chosen date is one of my greatest accomplishments.

3 comments:

crazywildberry said...

Rahel, your story was beautiful and I enjoyed reading it. You are very smart about things. Even though I was encouraging you against being induced, I should have known you would make great decisions, with Mike, about how little Sam would make his way here. Sounds like your determination has helped you again!

I am still amazed that you were able to deliver an almost 9 pound baby without any pain medication! That's crazy! :) I am proud of you. I can't wait to see you again and congratulate you in person! Love you!

Rachel M. said...

Thanks Gina! And don't think I wasn't conscience of your comment to push like crazy to get him out! I definitely channeled that energy!!!

crazywildberry said...

Haha! Glad I could be of some encouragement even though I didn't get my plane ticket in time. LOL! And glad to hear that Mike is an awesome coach. I feel blessed by my husband's coaching abilities too.

Just an FYI: I was induced with little man and I didn't need an epidural. I wanted to go med-free, it just wasn't to be. I got through it much better with some meds. So, it would have been possible to get through an induced labor without an epidural.