Tag Archives: Birth Story

thinking about birth

Our first pregnancy was in 2005, but we had spent over a year thinking, learning and praying before we were ready to conceive.  So before March of 2005 when we finally got that longed for positive pregnancy test, the topic of pregnancy and birth were already old to us.  In 2005 we were blessed with a great doula and we also took a childbirth education class; a Bradley Class http://www.bradleybirth.com/ .  I was less impressed with the class, mainly as it added nothing to the reading I had done prior.  I dedicated myself, while pregnant, to educating myself.  About pregnancy, birth, interventions and about breastfeeding (looking back I sorely wish I had spent more of that quiet 9 month reading about child development and education, about food and so on, the stuff I need now but have so much less quiet peaceful reading).  During the 8.5 months I had to prepare I read over 25 books (some best I list at the bottom of this post).

So when we took the Brady Birth class I had already read: both Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way and Husband-Coached Childbirth : The Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth on which the class is based, so really I didn’t glean any new information from the class.

Frequently since 2005, and especially given my poor birth experience, I have been asked what our birth class was missing.  I have several moms I know that teach child birth and the discussion come ups regularly for us that have birthed (and birthed more than once) what have we now learned that the classes did not cover.  What do we, now blessed with 20/20 hindsight wish class had been like.   What do we, as moms, think birth classes should cover? 

I never know what to say; our class was fine.  I didn’t get anything out of it, but I have to assume not everyone reads 25+ books in 8.5 months, not everyone is a research hound diving into pregnancy health and birth interventions before trying to get pregnant.  So for most, the class would have been fine; I have always been hard pressed to say what was missing.

I freely admit I felt ill prepared for the birth I experience in 2005; but I have never been able to say what would have made it better.  I can hardly blame the birth class when I did so much independent reading and still felt unprepared, right?

Recently it came to me.  Maybe it was the thinking and processing I did to write the 2005 birth story last month, or thinking about 2005 vs. 2007 and what was different, I am not sure but a lot seems more clear recently.

In 2007 I was confident.  I was prepared for my 2007 birth; either standard (my education) or non-standard (my experience) I felt ready.  That was not the case in 2005.  In 2005 I was not educated about or ready for a ‘non-typical’ birth or a birth that physically normal or standard or textbook birth.  I knew what was supposed to happen, but not what else might.  I had read all about the dangers of interventions; very little about the appropriate use or real need.  I read about normal labor and coping; I read nothing about warning signs, red flags or when to say “hey this is not right”.

If you have read my birth story from 2005 you will realize that from the time my water broke and labor started it seemed “off” and nothing “fit” with all I had read and all the class had covered.  However when this happened – and I remember, vividly discussing this with Hubby in the dark of the bathroom as I sat in the whirlpool tub – I had nothing to go to.  All my notes, all my techniques, all my prep was for a standard birth.  I didn’t know what to do when things were not typical.  I had nothing in my trick bag, I had no plan, and my decision tree had nothing for the non-standard birth.  Maybe had I been better ready to recognize a non-standard labor process, I could have acted differently and prevented some on the following 36 hours.  I don’t know, maybe just recognizing the abnormal labor would have helped me emotionally, then and in the years since them.

So I think that the things I missed in my self-education and the thing the birth classed did not cover was “when things are not normal”.  I heard a lot about doctors and professionals trying to talk you into thinking things were not right or that things needed to be medical, but nothing about when things truly were atypical.  I read, and we talked in class, about emergency C-sections (but not enough) or babies in NICU – but nothing on “this is when you know something is wrong” or “here is a list of red flags” or “if you think something is wrong….”

So there you have it, 5 years later I realize what I missed. 

Some of the best / pregnancy / breastfeeding books I read:

This is not all the books I read, and I have not listed any of the breastfeeding books since they are not relevant to the birth process.  I also included a couple that I have run across since 2005 that I would have read had I encountered them, and that I wish I had read. 

Active Birth : The New Approach to Giving Birth Naturally, Revised Edition.   Read before we were even trying to get pregnant. 

Birthing from Within: An Extra-Ordinary Guide to Childbirth Preparation. I did not like this book, but some might.  Too “touchy feely” for me. 

Heart and Hands: A Midwife’s Guide to Pregnancy and Birth

Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth   I only like the 2nd half the actual discussion birth, interventions and so on, the first part (birth stories) proved a bit too “hippy / touchy-feely” for me and I tend to feel the perfect birth stories are a bit fake (omitting the bad to seems perfect); I felt that way before birth too.  I never got a lot out of birth stores, but the factual data in the 2nd half of the book rocks.

Mothering Magazine’s Having a Baby, Naturally: The Mothering Magazine Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth   

Mothering the New Mother: Women’s Feelings & Needs After Childbirth: A Support and Resource Guide .  This is an excellent book. 

Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn: The Complete Guide 

Spiritual Midwifery.  I didn’t like this too much, mostly (all?) birth stories and history of The Farm.  I don’t remember too much about it, it was an interesting read but did not teach a lot, at least that is how I felt. 

The Birth Book: Everything You Need to Know to Have a Safe and Satisfying Birth  

The Birth Partner: Everything You Need to Know to Help a Woman Through Childbirth, Second Edition http://www.amazon.com/Birth-Partner-Everything-Through-Childbirth/dp/1558321950/ref=pd_sim_b_26

The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth  http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Book-Pregnancy-Childbirth-Revised/dp/0375710477/ref=sr_1_23?ie=UTF8&qid=1291665407&sr=8-23

The Pregnancy Book: Month-by-Month, Everything You Need to Know From America’s Baby Experts  http://www.amazon.com/Pregnancy-Book-Month—Month-Everything/dp/0316779148/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1291665104&sr=8-8

The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth  one of the many I read before we were even attempting to conceive. 

Your Pregnancy Week by Week, 6th Edition


Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way  

Husband-Coached Childbirth : The Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth  

Books I did not read, but wish I had found:

Gentle Birth Choices   

The Birth Of A Mother: How The Motherhood Experience Changes You Forever   

Childbirth without Fear: The Principles and Practice of Natural Childbirth 



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2010 — looking back : The birth of Big Brother Nov 13 2005

 Let’s start out with me admitting I made several mistakes.  I had in my head a grand ideal of the perfect natural, 100% non-medical, birth.  Our bodes were created by God to grow babies and to give birth; pregnancy and birth are not, in typical form, a medical event.  I must have said this a million times.  I still believe it.  God made me to carry babies, to birth them and to feed them.  However my pregnancy in 2005 gave enough indication that things were not typical and thus the birth might not be.  I turned a blind eye to them holding hard to that fact “birth is natural and normal and God ordained; it will be ok” after all Mary did this, Elizabeth did this; women have done this for millions of years.

I started out at a CNM (certified nurse mid-wife) office that was in conjunction with a doctor’s office.  I had a couple of bad encounters with one of the CNM’s (who dressed like a 20 year old out clubbing and talked like a cheerleader and had NO maternal / birthing feelings to her at all).  Also by week 15 I got the feeling things were non-typical with my pregnancy but that no one was really putting forth any effort to talk to me about it; just sign off on the appointments and move things along. 

At week 19 to 20 I made the switch from the CNM office to an independent CNM; in practice by herself as opposed to connection to an OB’s office.  She had back up OBs, or course (one of them was the great doctor that I birthed with for my 2007 birth), but she did not have partners.  The birth was still planned to be at the hospital; though I think this CNM does do home births that was not anything we were interested in, nor do I think the pregnancy would have qualified.  Making this switch was a mistake; and I am sure it had detrimental effects of the birth in Nov 2005.  I spent the rest of the pregnancy with the growing feeling the CNM did not like me, we never bonded.  I had, and have since, talked to many moms that birthed with her and the stories are amazing, even with troubled pregnancies and difficult and emergency births.  With them, she was engaged, emotionally here, part of the process; they have great memories, even a mom that ended up with an emergency birth and a baby in NICU.  I will not go on, but I always felt I was a disappointment to her or an inconvenience. 

From the start of the pregnancy I was small, the baby was small.  I measured “behind” the entire pregnancy and actually had our first US at week 15 not 20 because of it (this is even at the CNM practice we started with).  I am tall, and have a long torso, like my mom, who never looked that big pregnant either, so for a long time this “not looking very big” did not bother me.  I have a lot of room to hide a baby.  By the end of my pregnancy I was measuring 4 to 6 weeks behind and everyone but me was concerned.  Maybe I should have been more worried, I wasn’t.  Not till the final few weeks.  I also did not gain as much weight as typical; again I did not worry while everyone else did, and again maybe I should have.  We had a number of ultrasounds due to the slow growth and weight gain.  I was very very sick for most of the pregnancy and that DID bother me, but no one professional seemed to think it out of the ordinary.  As they say “if I knew then what I know now…”

On a Thursday in week 38, we had an US that showed the baby had not grown significantly since week 34 (and at the end of a pregnancy the baby should basically just be gaining weight and plumping up; up to .5 pound a week even).  The US that week also showed the baby was becoming asymmetrical (the head was growing and the body was not).  By this point we had consulted with a high risk pregnancy specialist (to review the US) and the decision was made to have a final US on Monday and if the baby still did not show significant grown to schedule an induction for Monday over night.  We realized that this was a formality and that there would be an induction Monday night; there was simply no way the baby was going to suddenly grow significantly in a few days.  Induction had been discussed several times in the last couple of months of the pregnancy. We were not really happy about it, but I think we were expecting it.  I was really anxious and already feeling like a failure for all the pregnancy issues and I saw my natural birth slipping away. 

I also already felt at odds with the CNM and felt like she disliked me.  A couple of times during the pregnancy she accused me of lying to her (and Hubby) about what I was eating, and about being sick.  She accused me of intentionally making myself sick (throwing up); to “stay thin” she accused me of intentionally harming / risking my unborn child.  She accused me of lying to her and hubby about it.  I had a really bad feeling about her the end of the pregnancy, but I was stuck.  This upset me at the time, purely as a venerable emotional pregnant momma-to-be.  Now looking back, it really ignites a righteous rage.  I was very very sick that entire pregnancy.  I had “morning sickness” 24/7 for over 5 months, I was physically sick for months; I spent many a day lying on the bathroom floor.  I lost weight, I failed to gain weight.  Any food made me feel like I had food poisoning; the entire 8.5 months.  There was something wrong.  The baby was not growing, I was sick – but rather than look for a real medical reason, the CNM just wrote it off as me and accused me of trying to harm my child.  With the “20/20 sight” of 5 years, and all the issues Big Brother has I have to wonder how much of Big Brother TODAY is the result of that pregnancy (he was in distress on some lever at the end, he stopped growing and was asymmetrical, even if he was just a small baby neither of those two “facts” is healthy and both indicate a heath concern).  I really feel the CNM failed us; not just by be being unpleasant and setting me up for a ruined birth experience and physical scars from that (in addition to the emotional scars) but I feel she failed us with regard to the health of our child; not just in the womb but to this day and realistically for the rest of his life.  Maybe there was nothing that could have been done differently, I accept that, but had she addressed the issues as MEDICAL and not just “in my head” or “intentional” on my part we’d have the reassurance that at least we did all we could.  The fact that she should have taken these issues as a possible health concern becomes more obvious after the birth given the condition of the unhealthy placenta. 

Thursday night after the Ultrasound I had an acupuncture appt, I had another one of Friday.   Thursday I had – looking back – the start of labor.  At the time I thought is was just more and more BH contractions.  They were getting stronger, yes, but I though “that must be more practice”.  Ah the first time mom; so sweet and naive.  I was so anxious for labor to start; but at the same time I kept telling myself “this can’t be it”.  Friday morning I had a number of contractions, looking back they were more than BH, at the time I thought they were BH.

Friday night after work Hubby and a couple of his buddies brought a load of stuff from the storage unit.  Friday night my water broke at 8:40 pm.  I had been – since 4 pm – having a lot of BH with a lot of kicks from that baby (duh labor was starting); once the water broke they got faster and harder.  Really fast and really hard.  The “first contractions” did not at all match all my reading nor our birth class.  Now, I have to admit I was scared.  I had not been afraid of labor before this.  I had bee nervous, and excited but never really scared of labor.  Now I was scared, this hurt a lot more than I had expected, and nothing I had read about, learned about, put my faith of a natural birth in, seemed to help at all. 

We made all the necessary calls (midwife, doula, and family).  My dearest hubby went to cut the protective plastic off the sofa and chair that we had just gotten out of storage that day and to set up a living room; the assumption was my dad was going to want to be able to sit on a sofa and watch TV.  Since we built our house, and got pregnant on sub-floor and with no kitchen; at the time of birth we still had very little out of storage and even less unpacked. 

Contractions were never more than 7 minutes apart, and often 3 or 4 minutes apart for like 45 or more minutes at a time.  From the very start of labor (I recorded it at 8:40 pm when my water broke, really it started before that but I did not recognize it) straight though the night.  I kept hubby up, though he kept trying to sleep. I kept thinking “hey what about the starting easy and getting harder, starting slow and getting faster thing?”  I went back to my notes and my many many books and labor charts and so on and felt so lost.  I felt like I was in transition (hard, fast labor, sick to my stomach, shaking etc) but labor has “just started”.  Nothing was going like I had read about (and read about it a lot I had) or like I expected.  I was really scared from the very start; I felt very out of control, a feeling I did not expect.  Hubby tired to sleep; I kept returning to my notes and my books; my bookmarks and highlighting.  I showered, I sat in the tub, I walked.  Nothing helped. 

Then, Saturday morning everything stopped.  8 am, contractions just stopped.  Our Doula, Angi came out to the house – and she and I walked a lot, I showered and put my hair in a braid and ate.  A bad sign, in general, is that I did not want to talk to our CNM on the phone at any point in the labor and made Hubby do it.

We were with a CNM so there was less of a time table about the water being broken, but it was still an issue.  24 hours is the magic number, and while I did not anticipate being pushed to a C-section at the 24 hour mark, there was still a ticking clock to think about.  Our CNM wanted us at the hospital at noon when there had been no contractions for 4 hours, and we were past 16 hours of the water being broken.  We got there, got checked in and still no labor.

They immediately start Pit (one of the mistakes I made was allowing this, I should have asked for an hour or even 2 to adjust to the hospital setting and “get my feet under me”).  The nurse that was TRYING to start the IV was worthless, and I felt like a pincushion.  My mom had called and was in the parking lot, I almost told the nurse to leave me along and wait for mom to do it.  Since I was immediately on an IV of Pit I was attached to a BP monitor, a contraction monitor and a heart monitor for the baby; in addition to the IV.  I stated out with an external “belt style” monitor for contractions, but it was not working and it HURT – so at some point relatively early on (I can’t really remember when) I was talked into a internal contraction monitor.  The sensor was placed between the baby’s head and the cervix.  I also had an IV of anti-botics.  I should have refused that, but I honestly felt almost like everything was going to fast and I couldn’t really think fast enough to keep up.  I had trusted that having a CNM I would be saved from the need to be on guard against my own HCP; after all that is why I chose to go with a CNM and not an OB; I was wrong.  I should not have assumed she was on my side as much as I did – even at the birth I still trusted that while I knew she did not like me I did not distrust her like a routine OB.  I should have. 

The most disturbing fact, after laboring all night, hard labor, when we arrived at the hospital at noon, 16 hours after my water broke, I was only dilated to a 2.  I can not express how defeated I felt, and I think Hubby felt. 

So we labored.  The CNM did her best to stay out of the room and make it very clear she was phoning this one in, just trying to get done.  Angi tired to find ways to make me comfortable, to keep me moving, but it was practically impossible.   I was in more pain, looking back, in early labor in 2005 and for the duration of labor in 2005 than I ever was in 2007 (even transition and even pushing).   I could not get on top of the pain, none of my techniques helped at all.  Not only did I feel like a failure but I was sure everyone in the room thought I was one too.  The room had so much stuff and generally a couple of nurses.  I had so many leads and wires on me too, it was a massive mess.  Labor hurt a lot; the Pit made it hurt even more than it had all night.  Again, in retrospect, something was not right.  I labored in 2007 with Pit again and never had nearly the pain that I had 2005.  I have to think something was just wrong in 2005, with the pregnancy, with the birth. 

I was scared, I was confused, and I was tired and worn out.  I attempted to address that with our CNM, but she basically blew me off with “yep labor is hard, can’t stop now”.  Looking back I really do not understand why she did not suggest or offer a one-time-shot on fentanyl (sublimaze) http://www.medicinenet.com/fentanyl-injection/article.htm like I ended up using in 2007.  Why didn’t she suggest or offer a one-dose of any valium type medication so I could relax, or get my feet under me, or “get a grip”.  I felt she allowed the birth to spiral out of control, knowingly and did not make any real effort to counter it. 

Around 4 pm or so – not sure of the time, without glasses I could not see the clock – we had a tornado warning.  One had touched down a number of miles north.  Yes, the 2nd week in November.  So we had to labor in the hall.  Me, the bed, the big machine I was attached to and my IV and everyone in the hallway.  I was the only mom in active labor (everyone had to go into the halls) so they took me to the enclosed hall outside the C-section sugary area – down the hall from my room.  We got to labor in the hall for 45 minutes.  People, other nurses, kept walking by.  I remember 2 nurses actually asking if I was full term or not?  Uh why else on I am Pit and stuck here in labor?   I was confined to bed, unable to move around at all, and lots of people kept walking by.  The funny part of that, my father was out in the parking lot, walking the lot and the hospital grounds.  He doesn’t like hospitals at all and birth less.  The security guard made him come in; so he ended up standing behind the head of my bed, staring at the wall; checking his watch and asking my mom when this baby was going to arrive.  Believe it or not that is one of my best memories of labor.    

I labored like that till 6 pm; at 6 pm I was only dilated to a 3.  Remember at this point my water had been broken for 22 hours; and I had been in active labor all but 4 hours of it.  Fast, hard labor with contractions never more than 5 to 7 minutes apart.  The CNM strongly suggested an Epidural.  I was defeated.  I had failed.  I learned later she had approached Hubby about it an hour earlier and he had, true to our birth plan and birth class, asked for another hour. 

I got the Epidural at about 6 pm.  There is one nurse in that hospital, which is very lucky I do not and did not know her name and that is a good good thing, I would have been writing a letter of complaint not only to the head nurse but to the hospital administration.   She is also luck I was physical tied down with all the monitors and IVs and so on.  When it came time to sign the consent for the Epidural she asked Hubby to do is and ACTAULLY SAID “I don’t feel she is in her right mind or able to understand this [consent]”.  She actually said that, I was so mad.  I did not want the Epidural, it was the 2nd to the last defeat (a C-section would have been the final defeat possible) possible in the lost natural birth I had spend years expecting. 

The lights were turned off, I was told to sleep.  Hubby went to eat.  I laid there and worried and stressed.  I might have dozed – by 7 pm I had been up 38 hours in a row and in labor for 23 of them – I do not remember.  I had my hand on my tummy, tears in my eyes.  I just wanted my baby.  I just wanted to hold my little one.  I was so sacred something was wrong.  By this point I was overwhelmed with fear my baby would be taken to NICU; either because of a real need or due to some thing happening in the birth to harm the child.  I just wanted my baby.  I felt totally defeated.  Looking back I am still so disappointed.  I know many moms that birthed with the CNM and they have such glowing stories.  Even one that had an early emergency birth and her baby was in NICU for a long time, had a supportive and caring birth.

At 11 pm I was finally dilated to a 10 and the epidural was turned off so I could push.  I asked about ‘rebound pain’ and was told, literally “it is gonna hurt worse, yes, but there is not another options”.  I pushed and pushed and pushed.  I was unable to move the baby; all my pushing was ineffective.  Now having birthed in 2007 and knowing what effective pushing is, knowing what birth is supposed to be, the experience in 2005 is even more glaringly wrong.

I pushed in several positions; to no avail.  I did not have the upper arm / body strength for some, and I felt off balance and silly on the birth stool (though that could be because it was on the bed, not the floor; the CNM pushed us to take the Bradley Birth class but then certainly wanted everything for her comfort in the actual birth, counter to that class).  At one point I over heard the CNM say to someone “this just is not gonna work, she can’t do it”.  I am not sure who she was talking to, not hubby.  I was pushing you’d think she have been with me; not talking about me.  Also if she had a concern, don’t you think she should have addressed it to me or my husband?

I no longer remember all the details, but she brought in her back up OBGYN, one of them anyway.  Dr Newland.  She made the suggestion of the vacuum; he said he’d rather try the forceps.  He sat with while I pushed 3 or 4 rounds, then told us the baby was not moving at all and it really didn’t matter if I pushed all night nothing was going to change.  I am admit total and complete exhaustion at this point (Midnight maybe 28 hours after my water broke? 12+ hours on Pit?).  So Dr Newland explained to hubby that he was going to try a forceps delivery if that failed we’d have to have a c-section.  The Epidural was turned back on and way up.  I could not feel any of my body below my breast. 

A screen was up so I was unable to see the birth.  I ended up with a 4th dress tear and too many stitches to count.  Nevertheless I FINALLY had my baby boy.  The OB asked Hubby if he wanted to cut the cord, Hubby agreed as started around the bed, the doctor then cut the cord himself filling me with panic that there was an emergency and that I was about to see my baby rushed out of the room.  Finally, though, I got to hold my baby.  Tiny little thing that he was.  I was holding him and our doula announced his gender.  He was laying on my breasts, and I let him slip back towards my feet and I thought I dropped him as I had no sensation below my chest.  When the placenta was delivered; it was less than ½ the size it should have been and was also mid-shaped and “old” (that is it appeared older than it should have if I was well past my EDD). 

A little over 5 pounds, he went home at 5 pounds.  He was so so tired; it was so hard to wake him to nurse.  Poor little guy, I felt bad for him at the time, I feel bad for him even more so looking back in my memory.  I had been up 44 hours and was so tired; I just wanted to be left to hold my baby.  Hospital staff, at the mid point is there shift, did not seem to understand this at all.  They wanted to bathe the baby and do this and that, we pushed off everything but the immediate care of me till ‘tomorrow’ after we got some rest. 

We had our first boy; and a long road ahead of us to get nursing down, but we had a healthy happy tiny little boy. 


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3 years ago today …

October 29 2007 I was blessed to give birth to a second boy.

 Thursday Oct 26 I had on OB appt, I was at the end of week 37.  Knowing my conception date (both in 2007 and 2005) I knew my expected due date; but I also respect the fact that an expected due date is not a expiration date or even a date for the movies, it generally means nothing God has a plan for each pregnancy, each baby, and all we can do is follow along the best we can.  We decided to do an ultrasound to check growth.  Because Big Brother had been IUGR while I was pregnant with him in 2005, we had done extra ultrasounds with this pregnancy.  That day, it was determined that the baby had not grown in the past 3 or 4 weeks since our last U/S.  The baby was fine, heartbeat good and so on, but no growth.  Apparently this is a trend for me; my baby stop growing week 35 or so, and I give birth week 38.  The OB, an awesome doctor, Dr Michael Mintzer, and I had a long talk about while the goal all along had been a spontaneous labor and birth free of all medication intervention, we now needed to consider inducing labor; being in the womb was not being beneficial to the baby at this point.

 We set an Appt for Tuesday to do another US and then set a date for induction if that was the consensus.  Daddy was going to take off work and go to that appt with me.  The Dr Mintzer felt that be the middle or end of week 38, if the U/S showed the baby was not growing, then baby was just as safe if not safer outside the womb and there would be no value to waiting.  Our of the womb I could nourish the baby with breast milk, in the womb but continually not growing one would have to wonder how well the baby was being nourished by the placenta. 

 Labor actually started the next nigh; Oct 27, Friday night.  Nothing consistent, nothing organized; but real labor nonetheless.  My first labor 23.5 months before that had also started on a Friday night.  I was amazed at how different labor could be.  Labor in 2005 was harsh from the very start; in 2007 it was almost unnoticeable.  I was glad labor had started; my body had started on its own.  In 2005 Labor started on a Friday night with a Tue appt set to induce and it seemed that 2007 was going the same way.  I only prayed that this is where the similarities would end. 

 Grandma Packard and Auntie Roo were here in hopes of staying with Big Brother while Daddy and I birthed and spend time with the new baby.  At that point, we were still unaware if we were welcoming a baby girl or a baby boy to our family – we had a girl name waiting (the same one that had been waiting since 2005 and actually before that).  We had a first name for a boy, but Daddy being convinced this baby would be Katherine Beatrice the boy’s name lacked a middle name to go with it. 

 Labor started and stopped and started again only to stop again.  Each “cycle” was more focused, a bit more intense, stronger and more organized and generally lasted longer.  I was ecstatic to be so ‘typical”.  Each time labor started with seemingly with more purpose I got more and more excited THIS was going to be IT.   Each time labor stopped, sometimes after hours of regular contractions, I’d reassure myself that, “soon, it has to be soon”, and take comfort in this labor being so much more text book than the one in 2005. 

 Friday, Saturday and Sunday we continued to enjoy a great fall in the mid-west.  We went to a pumpkin patch, I walked miles and miles on our little gravel roads.  We took then “the boy” now Big Brother to the park and I had a blast sliding with him, climbing play structures and playing tag and chase.  One of my best memories is of sitting at the top of a slide, waiting out a contraction as Big Brother slide, ran around, climbed back up and signed “TURN, GO” for me to move for him, then he climbed over me to slide again.  Life does not get better than that.  To this day memories flood me of that trip to the park each time ve take the boys to play there. 

 By Sunday afternoon, pushing evening, the cycles of contractions were getting longer and much stronger; I was less and less able to effectively interact with Big Brother, less and less able to play with him, or talk to him while the contractions were “on”.  I was really enjoying myself, nervous, but thinking “how perfect a labor this is”.  By bed time Sunday we were anticipating a baby over night, or at least the need to leave the house over night.  This is really sad but I can not remember who put Big Brother to bed!!  I am so ashamed.  It must have been me; as Big Brother was not then and still now is not one to go to bed with someone else if I am home.  I know he slept in Auntie Roo’s bed.

Towards night the cycle of contractions did not stop, it would wax and wane but not stop like it had been.  By 10 things were moving great, and I vas so excited; I finally really felt like things were on.  This was it.  Daddy went to bed; he had to either go to work the next day, or be ready to help me.  I sat up washing and folding all the laundry in the house.  The house was dark and silent.  My thought being, if I am gone 3 days and come home with a new born I need to have things as orderly as possible to start with.  After the house was quite labor got much stronger, then stopped cold.  I almost cried.  I finished the table of laundry I was folding, making baskets for each bedroom and went to bed about 3 am – telling myself to sleep I’d need it later.

Oct 29, a Monday in 2007, I woke up with Daddy at 5:30 and out of habit started doing a kick count, talking to the baby.  The baby failed the kick count, not giving me 10 good movements in an hour’s time.  This amazed me, both my babies were very active in the womb and this one in particular had been kicking and pushing for days like “he” wanted out and out the side not the birth cannel. 

Daddy and I talked and decided he was going to work and I’d call the doctors office at 8 am and discuss things with Laurel the rocking great nurse there and then call him.  Daddy needed to get things ready to be gone if nothing else. 

I managed to fall back asleep.  Later I heard Auntie Roo get up with Big Brother; I texted her I was still in the bedroom and not to let Big Brother know I was home.  From 6 to 8 the baby failed 2 more kick counts and I was getting worried, labor also had not restarted, at all, and this vas the longest since Friday afternoon I had gone without contractions. 

At 8 am I called and left a message at the doctor’s office.  I tried to sleep, I read, and I worried.  At 10 (when the office opened on Mondays, I should have remembered that) laurel called me and invited me to go to the hospital and start Pitocin to re-start labor, she made it clear it was still our call.  In my message I had asked about going ahead and inducing the labor now rather than seeing Mintzer the next day then setting a date later in the week.   She and I discussed the options, inducing the failed kick counts and the stalled labor and all my fears.  I called Daddy, again, at the office and we agreed that vas the path we wanted to take.  We agreed that sitting home worrying did neither nor the child any good. 

I texted Auntie Roo the plan and she and Big Brother “hunted lions” in the laundry room so I could sneak out.  I had to carry out my suitcase and pillow, not great planning for sneaking, and laughed that I should have had Daddy carry them out with him either the night before or at 6 am so I didn’t have to.  I left, called Daddy and told him I was on the way.  He arranged to have someone from his office take him to the hospital so he could meet me. 

 I arrived at the hospital at a bit after 11 and had a wonderful wonderful birth nurse named Laural.  That is a great name.  I was so happy when she turned out to be as great as the Laural at the OB’s office.  We had no doula for this birth, but Laural was all that and more; I told her she should go for her CNM.  First I took a fast shower since I had not done so at home for fear of Big Brother hearing the shower.  Then she hooked up an IV and started the Pit, I ate pop ice and hung out on the birth ball, waiting …. I did have a fetal monitor on, and the baby was just fine so at that point I was ready to sit back and wait and let God and the baby take the lead.  She and I talked and chatted like to old friends about birth and babies.  She reviewed our birth plan, point by point and while we discussed several of the choices and the how / why of our thought process – more because she seemed interested, she did not question or argue any of the choices and made sure to abide by it the entire birth. 

 Quite humorous; Dr Mizier stopped by at noon to see me.  He talked to us abut the pros and cons of starting Pit; then said “ok let’s do it” the three of us in the room looked at the IV and laughed and the nurse said “you called in that order before she got here, we started it over 30 minutes ago” and he smiled.  There was some discussion of artificially breaking my water, stating that vas the next step, if we needed that or felt we wanted it; but he told me he had no desire to rush me and he trusted me.  

 When I was crawling back into the bed from the birth ball my water broke on its own.  I have to say I HATE contractions after your water breaks; I hate that gush feeling each and every contraction brings after the water breaks, the most unpleasant part of birth for me.  At the end of lunch Dr Mintzer came back by and asked “so I am assuming we are not going to break the water” and again all of us laughed and Daddy told him “already broke” and Mitizer laughed and said “do you even need me?”

 Once my water broke the labor really came on strong.  Still not at all the painful experience of 2005, but strong and intense and with out question productive.  I had been sitting on the birth ball beside the bed.  Leaning forward felt better so I was standing up over the ball, leaning on the bed.  Laural was concerned I was making my legs too tired and would need them for the birth so she suggesting I kneel on the bed, and lean over a big bean bag.  That was perfect.  I found the best position was on my hands and knees, pushing forward into a pile of pillows with a big bean bag under me for me to lag down into for resting.  Daddy sat at my face, and Laural rubbed my back and all in all it was an enjoyable labor.  After 2005 I dreaded birthing, the process of labor and delivery; but I found myself loving it.  We had dialed the Pit way back (off?) after about 45 minutes, once my vater broke and labor took off.

 I labored from 11:30 or noon till about 4 or 4:45.  Then Laural started to talk about transition, and about the birth being soon.  Things were a lot more intense and took a lot more effort to relax though from about 4 pm on.  Nevertheless I LAUGHED at her, labor in 2005 had been 33 hours straight (after all the starting and stopping was over and it was just ON).   4:30or so I made a major mistake and tried to roll over and sit up, I THOUGHT I waned off my knees, that was not a good choice, contractions not only sped up they took on a lot more of an edge and I started to panic and tense up, remember 2005.  On my knees and hands it I had been in a great groove, and moaning the pain out and rocking.  That worked.  Once I changed position it vas like a card house tumbling, I could not quite “get a hold of it” again.  I started to panic.  Memories of the 2005 birth were my greatest enemy from the entire birth process.  Daddy and I talked and decided to accept a shot of fentanyl (sublimaze) http://www.medicinenet.com/fentanyl-injection/article.htm   to take the pain back a bit, and to stop my panic.  Our birth plan had specified narcotic not be offered and everyone had respected that.  Daddy and I wanted to avoid unnecessary medical intervention, but we decided from a physiological stand point this vas a good option more to let me get back on top mentally than to actually address pain.

 I had one shot, and boy I felt warm.  The contractions did not stop and frankly the pain did not really get better, but the panic left me and the sharpness of the contraction vas removed.  For most of the labor the contraction did NOT have a sharp edge to them; they were classically “squeezing” and “constricting” and dull and wide; the shot return them to that feel with out the cutting feel that the panic brought on.

 By 6 Laural was prepping the room for the birth, bringing the heating table (that we don’t use) and the BIG MIRROR and the rolling carts of stuff (most unused by us but I thank God over and over again that we are blessed to live in a day and time where we have the tools and care available if anyone should even need them).  I just argued with her and laughed; again I labored 33 hours straight in 2005 and then pushed 3 hours – this vas too easy and too fast.  At 6 pm she told me “trust me, in an hour or less you are going to be holding a baby”.  I had no idea, I vas in transition – I hit that about 5 or 5:30.  Never having experience transition in 2005 I had no idea.  Things felt faster, the room louder and brighter despite Laural having turned the lights down for me.  My skin felt hot an a little itchy.  Still I could not believe the baby vas arriving this soon. 

 When the urge to push hit, it hit.  Mitizer was not there, but we did not wait, I had pushed though 2 or 3 contractions before he arrived.  I was on my side, sitting up, well kinda up.  Supported behind my back by my hubby and a pile of pillows.  One older nurse that came in (the room seems to fill when you push and the baby arrives) tried to get me to roll over, and scoot down.  Laural stopped her before I could even say a word to refuse.  Mitizer walking in at that point told her from across the room “Let Aimee do what ever feels best”.  Looking back I wish I had remained on my knees; but I am also glad I did not since had I nee on all 4’s I would not have been able to catch Little Brother like I did.  Laural sat on the edge of be bed by my hips and held one of my hands as I pushed, she counted for me (not that it mattered but I liked her voice and one thing to concentrate on in the noise).  At our request the room vas not silent, because if it is silent then I’d “look for sound” but it vas not loud either.

 Mitizer had a medical student with him, as he had most of the day, and I was excited for a student to see a “mostly natural” normal birth.  I would RATHER birth without any interventions, but I know enough to respect my mental state as well as how to use interventions for us.  In 2005 I made several mistakes and the biggest one vas the sin of pride and the attachment to a grand ideal of 100% natural birth.  I am glad the Student got the opportunity to see natural minded family use medical interventions to support a natural birth without the birth becoming a “fully medical” event.  I think we presented a nice balance; that medical interventions are not an all or nothing option for a birthing mothers – the choice does not have to be medical or natural.  Ok maybe I am wrong and that is self justification, so be it.  I made massive mistakes in 2005 and had a very hard unpleasant birth and I feel a lot of it was the result of my holding a perfect natural birth as an idol and then flaying as I failed to achieve it thus digging myself deeper and deeper.  In 2007 I had an amazing and nearly perfect birth. 

 I pushed for about 20 minutes, I love that mirror seeing the baby’s head crown was amazing.  Little Brother has a dark full head of hair, Big Brother in 2005 I had not seen till after birth, but was bald.  Daddy said he felt my concentration on my push slip when I saw that great head of hair.  Daddy, at that point, was sure the baby was a girl.  J  It took 3 contraction / push cycles to get past crowning.  I head Mitizer talking to the Student, they sounded 1000 miles away, discussion episiotomy and why he was not doing one and why they can be a bad idea.  I had a 4th degree tear in 2005 and still (in 2010) have scars.  I did not tear, but it might have been better if I did, I had massive swelling, and a clear little tear might have healed faster. 

 Once the baby’s head was free Mitizer asked Daddy if he wanted to guide the baby out and he did not, but I sure did.  I reached forward.  Little Brother had his head and one arm free.  I got a hand under his arm, and Mitizer had a hand under his back until I got a hand under his 2nd arm.  Then I just pulled him up on to my chest.  It was the most amazing tear filled joyous moment ever.

 Bad Momma I can not remember, now, who announced the boy to be a boy; and I remember Laurel putting a blanket over us.  That is all folks, I do not remember much after that except gazing at my baby and hearing my loving husband talk in my ear.  One new nurse did try to question the refusal do to a vit K shot, but she was silenced by someone (maybe me, I don’t remember). 

 I wanted a shower so bad about 2 hours later, but no go.  I tired to get up to go to the bathroom and fainted.  So I was stuck bed bound till I finally snuck out on my own some time Saturday morning!!  We were blessed with a 2nd great nurse, Shelly. 

 We took Little Brother home on Halloween.  When daddy arrived to take us home (he was going home and sleeping with Big Brother) we still did not have a middle name for him.  He had the first name we had before labor, but still no middle name.  Daddy and I sat for over an hour going over a list of names, middle names, Daddy had brought with him before choosing a name before left. 


Little Brother

  • Oct 29, 2007
  • 6:53 pm
  • 6 pounds .05 oz
  • 18 inches


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