Thursday, August 25, 2016

My "Textbook" First Birth of Adelynn

Birth Stats...
Estimated Gestational Age: 42 weeks exactly
6 hours labor, 3 hours + pushing
8 lbs. 1 oz.
Unmedicated, Midwife birth center, 1st Birth

When we found out that we would be having a baby, both Tim and I desired to weigh our options when it came to how we would bring our child into this world. We had very FEW options in our town and had found out the hospital c-section rate was well over 40%. After a lot of studying we decided to go to the Lisa Ross Birth and Women’s Center of Knoxville to deliver our baby with the least amount of medical intervention as possible and that held to a high standard of care that was steeped in the midwifery model of care. 

We saw four wonderful and skilled midwives throughout the nine months of waiting. I was almost two weeks overdue the night I finally went into labor. As you can imagine, I was very anxious (total understatement) for labor to begin. The midwives had advised me to take castor oil the next morning, if that didn’t start labor they would break my water on Wednesday. I was really unhappy about all of this, because I was hoping to have an unmedicated birth in the birth center. I felt like I was on a fast track to chemical induction in a hospital, which was the last possible thing I wanted due to the risks and disadvantages it has.

However, Monday evening I had mild contractions for several hours, but I didn’t get too excited since that had been happening for a week or so and by morning they would stop. Around 10 p.m. I decided to take a bath and to go to bed, since I had an early wake up to take the castor oil. I tried to enjoy my bath, but I kept having to get out to go to the bathroom. That’s when the contractions started feeling very different. They were sharper. Realizing that this could be “it” I called Tim upstairs to start timing them. I didn’t want my mom (who was visiting with us) to know I was going into labor because I had gotten everyone’s hopes up before, so I said, “Honey, come tuck me in.” We started timing the contractions and they were about 3 minutes apart by 11 p.m. This scared Tim because we had an hour and a half drive to the birth center. He called the birth center and our midwife, Susan said to go ahead and come on in. 

The drive to the center seemed to fly by. Tim must have been speeding because it only took us about an hour. Right after we got to the center my water broke and in it was meconium, likely from my overdue status.  

I spent some time on the birth ball with my husband rubbing my back. Then I tried lying down on my side, however, this was awful! I felt so much worse lying down. After trying it for a while Susan our midwife suggested I get in the birthing tub. What a relief! I felt so much better. The water took away the pressure and the warmth felt so good and I felt like opening up. I stayed in the tub for most of the remainder of my labor. My labor was very intense and seemed to come in waves and groups. Then I’d have a good break to rest.

Around 6 a.m. Susan checked my progress and found that I was already at 9 cm and about ready to begin pushing. I remember thinking, “Wow! That was labor?” It seemed to go by so quickly. I never felt like I couldn’t keep going on. Susan requested I get out of the tub to push due to the meconium. I dutifully got out, but wasn't very please with leaving my "happy place".

The first hour I made very little progress pushing. At some point, after about 3 hours of pushing in all manners of ways, the midwife said, “Marci, you need to make up your mind if you want to get this baby out here or go to the hospital… it’s up to you… but I think you can do it here if you just give it everything!” l couldn’t even entertain the notion of being transported to a hospital (that sounded absolutely horrifying) and thought, “What the heck to I have to lose?” and pushed like a fierce woman. At that point I discovered what it meant to really push. I pushed for about another 30 minutes until our baby finally crowned. I thought, “Holy cow, I’m going to split in half… but, oh well…” and the amazing thing was, I didn’t split in half! I did have a nice tear, but it was easily repaired. 

Once the head of the baby was out the midwives (another one had appeared) discovered the cord was wrapped around the head twice! They managed to get one loop off, but not the other so they had to cut the cord. The midwife placed the baby on my stomach. The baby was purple and floppy, which scared me. I remember looking down at this new little face before they took the baby off to be suctioned and to get the baby breathing, which it did right away (with no issues due to the meconium)! We didn’t know what the baby was and the nurse kept calling it a “he.” But one of the midwives came in and said, “Do you know what you had?” We said no, and she said, “It’s a girl!” Both Tim and I were so happy!

They brought her right back to me and laid her on my chest. Tim said, “Oh, honey there’s our baby!” We both couldn’t believe how much hair our little girl had, and how beautiful she was already. Her blue eyes were so alert and awake, looking around at the new world around her and at her new mom and dad. We decide to name her Adelynn Ruth. She was 8lbs 1 oz and was a total rosy cheeked chunk!

They gave me a shot in the thigh of pitocin due to some bleeding. Other than that we just rested for a few hours before packing up and driving home that afternoon. 

I was so glad I had decided to try and have her with midwives and that I hadn’t been in a hospital. My midwife noted that my birth was a very “textbook first time birth” for the majority of the clients they see.  I doubt that I would have been viewed as a normal “textbook” case by traditional obstetric care in that area… they most likely wouldn't have been so patient with my 42 weeks “over due” status, the meconium or my  3 hour push session. I have no doubt I would have ended up with an outcome that wasn’t necessary and wasn’t ideal or as positive for us all. I didn't care about proving anything to any one, but in the process I really proved to myself that I am capable of much more than I ever thought I was! 

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