Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Guest Mama: Adelaide's Birth

Since my first guest post by Keri this past Saturday, I have had several moms volunteer to share their stories of giving unmedicated births. When I contacted Keri and asked her if she would be willing to share her story of Callen's labor and delivery, I must say that this was exactly the response that I was hoping for--many mom friends coming forward and offering to support one another with honest tales of strength and encouragement. I hope to keep these stories and more coming as we make these available through this blog! A couple of points that I would like to once again re-emphasize: First, if you're a mom who had a medicated birth, I am not judging you! I had two medicated births! I totally support you and your choices about your baby's birth. I love sharing these stories as a way of woman-to-woman encouragement for those who seek the lesser-traveled route (in this country at least), not to disparage those who could not or did not choose this route. Second, birth stories here are not shared for the purposes of terrifying anyone, but rather of making you aware that others have chosen this route as well, so you are not alone. All women who choose the path of natural birth know that it will be painful, so there is no sense in lying about that. However, the task is ultimately do-able, and it's worth it to most of us! Within just one week I found my entire birth story with Van to be hilarious, and I love thinking back on it now!

Following is the story of Adelaide's birth by guest mama Mikah. Mikah is a recently-made friend of mine who is also friends with Keri, and she was the first to volunteer to share her story. Adelaide is Mikah's second child, born via a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC). Many thanks to Mikah for sharing her story! (Photos by Katrina Wheeler Photography)

I once again found myself past due, 41 weeks and 3 days this time. It was Tuesday and I was busy around the house cleaning everything. The next day I would visit my midwife for a non-stress test and to discuss options of induction for Friday. Around 4 o’clock, I noticed a small trend of tightness in my belly every 15-20 minutes. It was not painful or uncomfortable. Not wanting to get anyone’s hopes up, we went on about our evening. I did let my husband know that I intended to go to bed early just in case. We had no problem going to sleep.

At 1 am I woke up to a painful contraction. I got out of bed and told my husband a contraction just woke me up and I was going to start counting them. He asked me if it was okay if he went back to sleep. Knowing that we could possibly have a long day ahead of us I said yes. I sat in the living room waiting and praying. In comes a contraction around 1:15 and then another around 1:30. The intensity of them had me somewhat convinced this was it. I decided to get in the shower, again not knowing what the day would have in store for us. Since we would be driving an hour and 45 minutes to deliver, I was really praying that God would make it very obvious when it was time. In the shower, He most definitely did. My contractions went from 15 minutes to about to about 5-7 minutes apart.  The intensity was amazing; I completely skipped the “Today is the day!” emotion and went to “Am I going to be able to do this?” I got out of the shower around 2 am and told my husband, “You gotta get up, I’m thinking we are going to have to leave soon.” Jarrod got up and showered and I began making the phone calls to my mom and dad to make arrangements for our son. I also called my sister-in-law Katrina, who would be helping us and would be taking delivery pictures. I told her we would leave in about an hour.

Things fell into place as we rushed around packing bags and dressing. I had to stop a lot and focus through contractions. My husband kept asking “Are you having another one already!?!” My daddy came in and when he saw me became very concerned, telling us we could stop on the interstate and go to another hospital if we didn’t think we could make it. He placed his hands on my belly and prayed for a safe delivery.

We were able to leave the house around 3. The weather was awful. It was cold and had begun to rain. We had to stop for gas--of course the one thing I did not do the day before. My husband said another quick prayer and then we were off! I think Jarrod drove about 85 miles per hour if not more at times. About halfway through the drive the prettiest snowflakes began to fall, making the drive even more stressful on both Katrina and Jarrod. I lay down in the passenger seat with pillows and kept reminding myself to relax and unclench my jaw. During the drive, contractions began to roll in every 3 minutes.

We safely arrived at The Children’s Hospital, grabbed our bags and wheelchair, and headed up to Labor and Delivery. They got my information quickly and our midwife Leanna met me in the hallway to see what was going on. I smiled and said, “They are about 3 minutes apart.” About this time was when I had to start asking Jarrod to rub my back while I had contractions; I would say “Push, push, push…” He has helped me labor naturally before so he knew exactly what to do and did an excellent job. We were taken to a room and a nurse checked me and said, “Yup, you’re doing it.” This statement really disappointed me. I was so afraid she was going to tell me I was at a 4-5cm; however they began to move quickly. I am not sure who began to ask questions but I heard the nurse say, “They are probably going to be taking her very quickly.” I asked, “Where am I at?” The nurse said, "You’re at a 8-9.” All of us smiled and laughed. I said “Oh my goodness! I thought it felt like I needed to go poop!” Not the most ladylike statement I realize as I type this out, but there is truly no other way to describe it.

I was quickly wheeled into a delivery room. I crawled onto the other bed and got on all fours.  I was told Leanna was next door delivering another baby. The pressure became so intense I began to secretly push to help relieve it.  The nurse came in and asked, “Are your contractions different? It looked like maybe you were pushing.” I ignored her and asked if someone was coming, I really needed to push. They said Leanna was still next door and they could call the other midwife or get a doctor. I said, ”Just get someone. I don’t care.” A young doctor quickly came in, introduced herself, and began to check me. Before she got started, Leanna quickly rushed in and told her “No, no, no! I’m not interested in doing that, thank you!” The doctor left and Leanna told me to drape myself over the bed and began to rub my back reassuringly. She said she wanted to bring this baby in gently and that she wanted to keep my water intact as long as possible. I was group b positive, and since labor was going so quickly, keeping the bag of waters intact would help protect the baby. This was the reason she was so brisk with the doctor, who probably would have broken it.

Leanna told me to push when I needed to. I pushed on all fours for a few short moments and then turned over to a sitting squat supported by the bed. I felt so much pressure in my hips and back.  I began to push harder and harder, beginning to scream and moan during pushes because of the pain and effort it took. The best part was when my contractions would end; I got the most wonderful break, just a few pain free moments.

Leanna asked me to lie on my back for a few moments. Surprisingly when I asked to sit back up she said, “No, that last push moved your baby down so much more than the others.” Even in all the pain, I was so excited because I knew at this point I was going to make it. I knew I was not going to have another C-section! A few more hard pushes, and Leanna told me she knew what the baby’s hair color was. Now she asked me to begin to give gentle pushes, three to five seconds long to prevent tearing. She even let my husband help her with the stretching and massaging. I loved this and I love that Jarrod is the kind of husband who would want to help. Leanna told me to put my hand down there to feel my baby’s head and to be ready because I was going to be catching her soon. A push or two more and the head came out. It was like a pop, and I said very loudly “Oh my gosh! Thank God!!!” I think it only took one hard push and the rest of her body came right out.

The best part of the whole story was that I grabbed our baby and pulled her up right away to my chest. I said, “Oh we did it! We did it! We did it!” I was able to hold Adelaide skin-to-skin for a few hours. We did not even know her weight until later because the nurse was not interested in taking her from me.

Adelaide Kay was born at 7:14 am on Wednesday, February 20th.  I was only in noticeable labor for about six hours and pushed for about an hour. She was 6lbs 15.5 oz. and 20 inches long.  Praising God for my successful natural unmedicated VBAC!


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