Thursday, May 2, 2013

Supermom! How I birthed my baby -- Part 5

I've had three children, all born naturally.

With my first, I quickly decided I wanted to have midwives help me and found a midwifery group that will deliver in the hospital or my home.

Uncertain of how things would go, I knew I wanted a hospital birth, and wanted to try to deliver naturally. Two days overdue, I felt the beginning cramps of labour at 4:30 am. After finally convincing the midwife that this first-time mama was really in full-blown labour, I got to the hospital at 8:00 am, and quickly delivered my first baby, a boy, at 9:33 am.

Within five quick hours, I had gone from a restless sleep to holding my 7 lbs, 5 oz boy. I did not have time to run a tub of warm water. I did not have time to think about (let alone ask for) pain meds. I went home after 3.5 hours and recovered very nicely in the comfort of my own home.

20 months later, I found myself in a very similar predicament. I was 39 weeks pregnant with #2, a girl this time. A month or so beforehand, our midwives had told us to be prepared for a home-birth. Since I was only in labour for five hours the first time, it could go even quicker this time. So we were ready. We had everything on the list for a home-birth. But we were still planning a hospital birth.

I woke up around 4:15 am (again) and knew I was in labour. We chatted with our midwife who said, “If you go to the hospital, it will be in an ambulance because you could have this baby at any moment. If you stay at home, I will be there in a few minutes and you can call if anything changes.” I decided to stay home.

I had the freedom to walk around my house as I laboured. Eventually, the midwife broke the membrane, knowing that my body was ready and that it would speed things up. I was in labour another hour or so and got to use a birthing stool to deliver her. I had my lovely baby girl, weighing 7 lb 6 oz, around 10:20 am, seven days before my Estimated Due Date (EDD).

One of my favourite memories from this day is that as we sat on the couch, just an hour or two after our little girl entered the world, Aaron made breakfast for everyone. We sat visiting, midwives (three of them by now), Grandma, and the four of us, over omelets and toast. It was such a happy moment, one I will cherish, knowing how special and unique it was.

21 months later, waddaya know... I found myself labouring at home again, planned this time.

It was around 8:00 in the morning, one week before the due date. I just started not feeling right and thought, “Here we go again.” Since it was my third time around, I was very comfortable and at-ease. This video, was taken 4.5 hours before #3 was born. We were singing and dancing!

I don't remember a whole lot from this day, because it went just as expected. Once again, our midwife came to help through the final hours of labour. Just as happened with #2, the midwife broke my membranes and I had #3 about an hour later on the birthing stool. He was born in my bedroom around 2:10 pm, weighing exactly 7 lbs.

Things I loved about my birth experiences:

My midwives. Whether you plan to give birth at a hospital or at home, midwives are amazing. Having seen other people's birth experiences, I would always choose midwives. Even if your pregnancy develops complications and they have to refer you to a doctor, they will still be involved in your care. (At least that is the case here in Ontario.)

My husband. Aaron was so good about going along with whatever I needed or wanted regarding our children's births. He has a servant's heart and was there, ready to do what was needed, and ready to keep his hands off when I didn't want anyone touching me.

Low moaning. I laughed when the midwives told us this, but it works! Low moaning is the best way to relax your body when you're in pain. If you scream, it tenses your body up. Low moaning relaxes your muscles. And it's a great alternative to whining and complaining.

My extended family. It must have been so hard for them (I'm thinking of our mothers) to not be there when their grand-children were born. My mother came to help after each of the kids was born, but she missed their actual birthdays. Aaron's mom wanted to be right there when they were born but I asked her to stay away until I was ready for her. Staying with the younger kids on the lower level of our house as I was labouring on the upper level must have been torture for her!

Home. With all three, I loved being home. Home right after or home during. It was so nice to be home, where I was most comfortable.

Everybody has a different story, a different experience. I know that my stories are very different from most others. But we can each tell our stories and share them so that other new moms can read them and feel a little more sure of themselves going into the whole ordeal. Birth is messy and painful. It doesn't always happen the way we want. Sometimes there are life-altering complications. But God can use the messiness of it all to tell a beautiful story, if we let Him.

Wanda is a wife and stay-at-home mom who can be found writing about the ups and downs of life over at Wanda Willy WhoopieCushion. She has previously written for Green Grandma when she reviewed the Diva Cup and you can find her review of Green Grandma’s Vinegar Friday’s over here.

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