This is a true birth story...
"I feel scared. I feel let down". This moment another powerful contraction takes over my body and the only thing I can concentrate on now is its intensity. "I am home alone and the baby is just about to come!" These and other thoughts are passing through my mind with a lightning speed. I must be transitioning because all of a sudden the pain is so overwhelming that a seemingly simple task suddenly feels impossible. Why is it so hard to move from a bathroom to a room I prepared for the birth? "Wait!. I think aloud, "Where is my cellphone? I need to call my midwife or anyone to come and help me". I feel helpless. I grab the cellphone and frantically try to dial the number. "What is going on? My cell phone is dead, but it was charged and yet the screen is blank. It feels almost like a bad joke. I am slowly crawling into my bedroom and I keep dialing, dialing and dialing. All this while having an overpowering urge to push. The feeling to push is strong but I am hesitant, I am very uncomfortable on my all fours thinking that baby's head will pop on the bed's hard surface. I can't catch her, I hardly am able to support myself with my arms so I control the urge and I don't push. I wish I was sitting or reclining and able to reach for the baby's head but now it is too late for me to move my body. Finally I am able to get a hold of my midwife. She had already driven about 45 minutes away from my home and I feel really angry about it. She is calling my husband in meanwhile who is in a nearby park with our older daughter. It seems to me it takes ages for me to withold the pushing urge and yet it appears it is only 9 minutes or so till my husband gets home. He calmly washes his hands and comes to assist me holding a clean blanket. Finally, there is no need to wait. I push and let a scream out and with one more push she comes out. He gently holds her and covers with a warm blanket and then deposits her in my arms.
Bliss after birth
I hold my precious baby girl and nothing else matters.The whole world ceased, I hear nothing, I experience the NOW while holding my newborn and putting her to my breast. She is also very calm, the scene is very serene and surreal to me. After the distress of frenzied and agonizing moments while I was alone and desperate I am at peace and am floating in a bubble of motherly happiness and bliss. We stay like that for quite a while, my older daughter comes to sit next to me and our new arrival and we just sit together for another half an hour. After that half an hour my midwife arrives and starts taking care of everything else. I still need to deliver placenta and we need to cut the umbilical cord. I am being told I need to get a shot of pitocin to stop my excessive bleeding and I give my consent but my mind wanders away and I am not present or really aware of what she and her assistants are doing. Eventually everything is taken care of and we are left alone.
These made a huge impact on my decision to birth at home
This is a powerful documentary, a must-see if you want to find the truth about what drives the business of birthing in US.
This book heavily influenced me on a spiritual level and I highly recommend it to any pregnant woman
Two different births- two different personalities
Now we are a family of four. We are shaken and euphoretic at the same time. The birth happened not as it was planned and we were thrown out of our balance yet there is this new life in our arms and this life is so gentle and delicate.
As I lay here with my new girl next to me I am reminiscing and remembering the birth of my first daughter. She entered this world and in an instant I was in love with her. She was wide awake and looked into my eyes with an expression that made me feel we had known each other before. She was very aware and present for a newborn. Love I felt for her was like a lightning, it struck me all of a sudden and was intense. By comparison, this baby's entrance and ambiance is so different. She is so sleepy and wouldn't open her eyes at all. I try to sense her and all I can feel is her softness and delicateness. She is so trustful and still feels like she doesn't quite belong to this world. I love her but there are no fanfares to announce it, my love to her is more tender and quiet. It takes more time for me to embrace fully her different light.
We planned a homebirth but not an unassisted homebirth
And it is because of her that we are all here together, resting on our sleeper couch and being very relaxed in our appartment just a couple hours after the birth. I believe she chose to be born that way and while I had planned for a homebirth and was determined to do this in a natural way, I wanted to have an expertise and assurance of an experienced midwife. I wanted to be surrounded by women while giving birth this time around, compasionate women. One of the reasons I decided to have a homebirth was that I disliked my first hospital birth. The other reason was that I wanted to include my older daughter in the birth of her sister as long as she would want to be a part of it. Interestingly, the fate had a different scenario for us.
Here are some of the reasons women choose to birth at home:
- birth being a natural process doesn't need to be a medical emergency
- hospital setting can cause women to be anxious, the unfamiliarity of it, the smells and sounds are often stressful. Add to that an l&d nurse that is a complete stranger in charge of you and your birth, an obstetrician appears usually once during the labor and at the end, during a pushing stage
- women are more comfortable in their own place and labor tends to be more relaxed and progresses smoothly without interventions
- in hospital, women are often offered means that induce or speed up the labor which is a road down the hill to more interventions. Widely used pitocin or its alternatives make contractions extremely painful without a slow build up that happens with a natural birth. Your body while in natural labor is able to get used to the intensity of contractions while after pitocin the pain is unbearable. This leads to more women opting for epidural.
- epidural makes your pain disappear but when you are ready for active labor, your body may not feel a thing - and thus you are unable to push out because you don't feel at all. This may considerably slow down your final stage of labor, waiting for epidural to wear off.
- women take comfort in familiarity of their home and they are able to recover faster after a homebirth. There is nothing better than a shower after a birth and snuggling with your newborn in your freshly made bed. Eating your favorite homemade food is also a nice touch.
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A day before...
It all started a day before, in the morning, with light sporadic contractions that eventually became stronger in the evening when I decided I wanted to go to sleep to get some rest. As soon as I laid down they started coming stronger. I waited awhile before calling my midwife. She and her assistants arrived and set up their equipment. My midwife was resting/sleeping next to me in the room. I spent the night focusing on my contractions, yet, I seemed peaceful and quiet. Night is a special time when quiet and serene surroundings make it easy to get the internal focus as it was in my case. I was able to concentrate and feel my contractions. Sometimes I felt I was very aware of them and sometimes I was somewhere else, observing them and being in some sort of the half-aware half-absentminded state. But when the morning came I was tired, and suddenly I was able to hear all sorts of noises made by my husband, daughter and waking midwives. My midwife looked at me and made a comment that I had seemed to be far from delivering my baby. She suggested that perhaps there were too many distractions for me to birth and implied that everyone leaves so I can relax and rest. This made me sad, I was almost on the verge of my tears. I was feeling I was getting close to having my baby. Honestly, I was exhausted by now. But I was unable to speak up my mind and ask them to stay. I never was. All my life I believed that people in charge know better than myself. I went to my bedroom and tried to fall asleep while everyone was leaving the appartment. My husband was sent to a park with our older daughter and the midwives left. I was alone and tried to find a position in which it would be possible to sleep but it seemed like a hopeless task. As soon as I was asleep a powerfull contraction would wake me up. And then 7 minutes later another one. And again. That's when it dawned on me that the baby was ready to be born. This very moment. And I was alone...
The things happened the way they had happened and I needed a lot of time to reflect on this. Having a healthy and beautiful baby in my arms I felt at ease to come to terms with that unexpected twist to my homebirthing story. I realized later that it was not me that was in charge but my daughter as she was the one whose birth it was. It became clear to me that she wanted to be born the way she was, with just the tree of us ushering her to this world.
- Pitocin FAQ - Childbirth.org
Trying to find information on pitocin or induction? from Childbirth.org