datestampSunday, October 18, 2009

Axel's Birth Story

(photo by Boyd Robinson, Ironwood Photography)

We did it! I wanted a natural, unmedicated childbirth from the first day I found out I was pregnant. I started reading, practicing breathing and imagining my perfect birth as soon as the nausea subsided. Knowledge, preparation and support are essential for a birth that bucks this country's 'norm'.

I'm not going to tell you it was easy. I loved being pregnant and it took me until the last 3 days to get to the point where I was mentally ready to be done being pregnant. I started to feel very pressured, friends and family were calling to see if I was in labor yet and I felt like all eyes were on me. So, Saturday night October 3, my sweetheart took me to the mall and we turbo walked both levels. I had a few contractions, but nothing serious. On the drive home, we had a perfect view of the was almost full and I asked a silent prayer for her to work her magic on me.

Sunday morning, Digger told me he was taking me away for the day. I immediately felt more peaceful and calm. It helped a lot that Gramma was here to play with and spoil Spanky. I didn't need to worry about him at all. So we left and had some much needed alone time. Toward the end of the day, we were watching a movie and during the opening credits, I started to have regular contractions that continued through the entire movie. They faded out as we went back home and I went to sleep.

Monday morning at 2 am I woke up with 'the real deal'. I was so wide awake, but I knew it was early and I didn't want to wake the house up. So I decided to catch up on a few emails and get some housework done. I timed the contractions and when they got to be about 2 minutes apart and 40 seconds long, I let Digger know today was the day and I took a shower. Then I called my doula.

Well, the full moon worked her wonders on more then just me and my doula was already at the side of another laboring woman. Surprisingly, I didn't panic, I still felt calm. She sent over another doula, who turned out to be just who I needed. When she arrived it was about 6:30am and I was having to stop and focus on breathing through the contractions. My OB said to head over to the hospital when the contractions were about a minute long.

Nikki (my doula) helped rub my back, reminded me to eat a little something and helped Digger load up the car. Then we were on our way. I was a bit worried that I had gone too soon, but on the other hand, I really didn't want to deliver in the car on the 60 freeway. In triage, we found out we were at 5 almost 6 cm and I was pleased with that progress. During the contractions, I had to focus, breathe and close my eyes. But in-between I was carrying on conversations, walking around, showering and feeling really pretty good. As per my wishes, the nurses did not check my progress except for when we first arrived and right before we delivered. This was a huge help to not have to stop for that kind of distraction. We also had remote monitors, so I was not tethered to the bed.

Digger pulled up the James Taylor station on Pandora and it really helped distract me and give me a feeling of peace. Somewhere around noon I started feeling pushy, my OB showed up and broke my water. My calm and peaceful demeanor left the building. I tried to stay on top of the waves (contractions), but couldn't. I started to retreat into myself, but every so often I heard Nikki's voice and it helped to bring me back. I labored on all fours, tried the bar and on my side...but when it came down to it I felt I was getting the job done best mostly on my back, slightly tilted to the side. Digger held one of my legs for me, what a man!

When I finally stopped or got a grip on the primal screaming, I got some good pushes in and was told to touch my baby's head. I did and then I felt him go back up...I wanted to scream and felt a little panic come over me, but then it was time to push again. I begged Heavenly Father to let this push be The Push. And eventually it was, at 1:32pm.

Axel got stuck momentarily right round his chest, then he was out and on my chest. The cord pulsed, we snuggled and then I got to cut the cord. The nurses had to take him, because he swallowed some of his amniotic fluid. Digger stayed right by his side. Imagine my surprise when when they announced he was 10 pounds, 10 oz. I knew he'd be a big boy, but honestly couldn't imagine him being that big! And lots of dark hair and cute chubby cheeks.

So while they were fixing up my boy, the OB and L&D nurse were working on me. I delivered the ginormous placenta, then I was bleeding a lot, so they were massaging my belly. That was the worst part of the whole thing. I couldn't even help but push the nurse's hands away as she was digging into my stomach. I wanted to hit her. Nikki got my attention and I stared into her eyes to try to get through it. I was hooked up to pitocin at this point to help stop the bleeding.

Before they got everything cleaned up, Nikki showed me the placenta and explained all of the parts. It was really cool. Then she took pictures of Axel. When I finally got him back, we started nursing, I ate lunch and then we were moved into our recovery room.

The hormones and adrenaline had me on a major high. I felt so good after delivery. I am thankful for a husband who was so supportive and loving throughout the whole pregnancy and birth. I am thankful for my mother-in-law who stayed with, loved and spoiled my firstborn. I am thankful for Spanky and his sweet spirit. And for all of my blessings. I am paying the physical price for birthing such a big boy the old fashioned way, but mentally...this experience has healed me in many ways. I wouldn't trade it.


simplyshye said...

miShA !! this Is BeautiFul How yoU wroTe thiS ! - MAjoR laDY with WonderfUL skiLLS - congrATS ;-)

Susan said...

What a wonderful birth story. I am so glad I got to read it today. Love you!

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