Hey Peoples, as promised I am sharing with you all my birthing story. I want you, the reader, potential mommy or daddy to be to feel comfort in knowing there are options and to stick to your birth plan (unless in all seriousness there’s an actual medical emergency). Before I start I would like to drop a scripture.
Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. – Genesis 3:16
You’re probably like, “Coco why you gotta bring the Bible into it”. But I do, but I must, there are so many truths within this very scripture alone that speaks to the woman of today. Think about it, majority of us can not escape the judgment of Eve. Whether you choose the route of a C-section or out of your purse your going to feel some sort of pain. Unless you’re within that low percentile who felt bliss and wanted to run through the meadows singing like their Julie Andrews.
Well there is a positive, the pains of childbirth are not perpetual, eventually it all will be over and then you can fight your next battle…SLEEP DEPRIVATION.
Ok now on to the story….
Lets just start by saying I never saw babies in my future. As a matter of fact I imagined a different future for myself. I was going to be 40 and fabulous. Yes, that was what I aspired to be, single but dating, no babies or nagging children, cocktails after 5pm, a bunch of stamps on my passport, swimsuits, lounge chairs oh yes and cocktails. Ha, not by a long shot. I got married 2010 and in 2014 boom….she pregnant.
Once I found out my freedom was revoked, I mean pregnant, it was time get into prep mode. My prepping included finding a midwife, saving money and deciding on where was I going to make this special delivery. I was very adamant about not being in a hospital. From my birth to present it seemed as if every few years I always ended up at the hospital for something. I was frankly tired of the IVs, catheters, frequent interruptions, cold rooms, uncomfortable beds, 4/5am morning blood draws and “why are you here?” questions, ugh, enough was enough. In my mind giving birth is a process that requires extreme relaxation, patience and a stress free environment. Where I feel most relaxed and stress free is at home, however giving birth in a townhouse in not an option. My neighbors don’t need to be hearing me grunting and howling like a wounded animal.
I then set my search for a birthing center. That’s when I found Special Beginnings. Special Beginnings is a birthing center located in Arnold, MD. For me it was a perfect alternative for having a home style birth. The facility is mainly two floors. The bottom floor is like your normal doctors office, waiting room, front desk, exam rooms, while the top floor is where the birthing rooms are located. In addition to the birthing rooms there is also a classroom for workshops and a family waiting room with a fridge and kitchen. (Oh yes you can cook in there as well. Unlike a hospital you are encouraged to eat.) Ok so the birthing rooms are pretty much bedrooms each with its own bathroom equipped with a shower or soaking tub/whirlpool. Some bedrooms are larger than others and rightfully so, especially for those mothers who decide to use the birthing pool. Even my prenatal visits were cool and relaxed. The midwives I had were very pleasant, friendly and available. Oh and how can I forget there is a lactation consultant present and on call. I’ll get more into that in another blog post. If you are in the Maryland DMV area and are exploring the option of doing a natural birth make an appointment at Special Beginnings for a tour.
I must say not everyone was on board with my decision to nixed out a doctor, hospital, pretty much everything that was considered normal in obstetrics. My Hubby and Parents were especially concerned, what I was doing was almost unheard of. Yes I don’t want to be in a hospital, yes I don’t want an epidural, yes I don’t want a C-section, yes I don’t want any drugs and yes I’m doing it the old fashion way. I understood their concerns but I had to stay firm in my decision based upon my belief in the necessity of being relaxed and stress free during the birthing process. I knew I was new to this, however it was my faith in the Most High and constant prayer that got me through this pregnancy.
I must say I had overall a pretty good pregnancy experience, no nausea, no cravings, well I had foods I couldn’t for the life of me eat such as fish and popcorn. I did catch a cold in the beginning and end outside of that it was smooth sailings. Smooth up until Thursday 28th, 2015 at approximately 1am, that’s when it happened….CONTRACTIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The best way to describe a contraction is that its like a rush of extreme discomfort and pain. I guess it felt like @#$%&*!, whatever that spells out to be times 10 lol. I am a very impatient person with unrealistic expectations. I’m thinking, ok contractions means baby will be here in a couple of hours. I couldn’t of been more wrong. It must of been around 3am when I made a call to the birthing center . After I spoke to the mid wife she determined I wasn’t ready and to stay home to labor. (Reference above pic to visualize my feelings). In the meantime my Mom and Hubby were documenting my contractions in order to give the midwife a better assessment of how I was progressing in my labor. After making the second call , which was probably around 5 or 6 am, the midwife decided that I could come to the birthing center. Again I thinking, ok this is it, I’ll be ready to push this baby out then I can go home. Uhhh, nah…after being at the center for several hours I was stuck at 2-3cm so I was sent home. Sigh. Round 2: It was probably around 4 where we called back the center, this time the contractions were much closer and slightly more intense than before. Thankfully this time we weren’t sent back home I was ready to push out this parcel.
Fast forward to 8 or 9pm, after the sun went down, I believe, that’s when the animal came out. I always imagined that when I labored that it would be my opportunity to yell, scream, get out my frustrations and unapologetically drop as many f bombs and other choice words I could then later be pardoned. Nope, all that could come out were the sounds of a wounded animal, a very unattractive wounded animal. Thankfully I didn’t have to lie dormant like one. Unlike a hospital I wasn’t hooked up to anything so I was free to get into any position that felt comfortable to me, take a shower, eat, access to a birthing pool heck even use my diffuser and essential oils. Though with all the comforts of home at my leisure, I was slowly progressing it seemed as if I was stuck at 5cm. I felt hopeless and on top of that defeated. For a moment I was going to give up and get checked into the hospital, then this happened…
This represents my “exorcist moment” as I would always describe it when I tell my birth story. There was a point in time when my contractions intensified to where I just mentally out of it. This in turn caused my Hubby to call the midwife in our room to check me. Mind you I was under the impression I was going to be in labor another 5 plus hours. Then my midwife asked me, with the most pleasant voice as if a mother were about to give their child warm milk before bed, did I want to relax in the whirlpool or the shower. At that point I felt and sounded like a wounded animal. I probably didn’t have the strength to stand in a shower so I settled for the whirlpool.
Once in the whirlpool my midwife in her soft as cotton and Charmin voice then said. “That’s it relax, your doing a good job” Then she said “If you feel like pushing just push” Ok people, mind you at this time I didn’t have a clue I was fully dilated and that I was about to have this baby. I did remembered from reading Ina May Gaskin Birthing Within that I was suppose to push from the bottom but I wasn’t doing it right. So my midwife coached me to inhale deep and hold my breath and push. I kid you all not, it happened so fast, it must of been no more than 5 pushes and at 1:05 am out he came 6lbs 8 oz.
My midwife then placed my new born babe on my chest. I didn’t cry nor did I smile. “But Coco, you just had a baby!” Look I am going to be straight with you all, I was confused and was thinking, ok he is here what do I do now with him (inner voice: Help Me). So after a few minutes I was assisted out of the whirlpool onto the bed to finish the rest of my delivery. No its not over, there’s more pushing. After your baby has been evicted from your purse you have to make sure they take their home décor and furniture aka placenta with them. It took less then 30 minutes to deliver the placenta. Afterwards Hubby cut the cord and I was able to rest with my son in my arms, yes still confused but now in awe and curiosity. I was like wow, so your the lil thing who like to turn up at 2am.
So post delivery I was under observation for 8 hours. This was to make sure that baby and I were doing fine heart rate, blood pressure, temperature were normal and no signs of hemorrhaging present. Within that time the nurse gave me my post partum home care instructions while the lactation consultant made sure we had a good latch. Once everything checked out we were good to go home. Well not exactly home, I had to go to Mom’s Organic to get a shower filter and my Mom and I picked up some snacks, then home. I know, “you just had a baby and you running around.” I swear after that I went straight home. I guess I was stalling a bit because I knew once I crossed the thresholds into the house I was officially a mom, his mom.
Jerry Jerry Bo Berry says see you later….
What was your birthing experience? I would love to hear from you.