Sunday, September 21, 2008

The unassisted birth of J - I did it my way.

I had a wonderful pregnancy. I suffered mild morning sickness or nausea and had some mild ailments but it wasn't uncomfortable like my other pregnancies. I had an unassisted pregnancy which means I didn't see a doctor or midwife for antenatal care. I cared for myself and did all I could to remain in good health. This included eating right, gentle exercise and plenty of rest. I didn't see the point of waiting 1-2 hours to see someone for 5 minutes. It was stressful to even think about. I knew the only person who would provide the best care for me was me. I could be responsible for myself and my baby. Who cares more than the mother? And who knows my body best? I didn't expect anyone one else to take care of me (except maybe hubby).

So when it came to the birth I knew what I wanted. I wanted to birth in water with my husband as my only support. I had wanted to do this with my third child but as soon as the contractions hit I was off to the hospital. This time I educated myself and felt so prepared. At first my husband was not in agreeance. In fact he was totally against the idea. I felt very alone and upset. But he knew I was serious. We discussed having a midwife present. He wanted someone to blame if something did happen to wrong. But as time went on he started to understand how I felt. I married a caring and smart man. He was still worried and influenced by the comments of others but he supported me. I couldn't do this without him. I felt that we conceived this child - just me and him. And that is how I felt about birth.

I felt midwives don't trust that a woman knows she is in labour. They check that you are in fact bleeding (had a show)and use machinery to assure you are contracting etc. Luckily I was finally left to labour when with my first child - just my husband and I. I had no expectations of what birth would be like. It was great ...until a midwife came to perform an internal. I was told to get out of the shower where my waters broke, I was rushed across the busy office in a little towel to the labour room where I birthed on the bed. The midwife told me to stop screaming which was a form of pain relief. I tore quite badly and had 90 minutes of stitching down while I sucked on the gas. In my labour with my second child I was monitored for such a long time and not sure why. I was definite I was having contractions. I was in extreme pain and the midwife stared at me the whole time. I felt very uncomfortable and had a borderline third degree tear. It took a while to recover. The midwives came and went during my third labour. I tried to filter it all out yet felt much more relaxed when it was just my husband and I. I breathed my baby out yet still tore.

My husband suggested we get a birth pool. He was upset that the hospital never "√°llowed" me to use the bath/pool. He was upset the lack of education some doctors had about water birth and even birth in general (once I had pointed it out to him). So we had a pool and I continued to read and research til 42 weeks gestation. Oh surely they would induce me by now? Who's they?!

After 5 days of pre labour I was wondering myself if I would ever meet this tricky baby. I had 3 rather quick labours that started with a bloody show, a few hours of contractions then a baby! So this pre labour had my husband in particular on tenderhooks. I would have a show that wasn't bloody every day! Then pains at night but I would fall asleep just to wake in the morning thinking where are you baby?

Saturday night at about 10pm I again had the labour pains.They were not regular. My kids went to sleep which was perfect. As soon as I saw my youngest close his eyes...Bang. I had a strong contraction. I told my husband, "Fill the pool". He started to do that as I walked around the house having irregular contractions. Each one felt different and I was concerned we would be tricked again. Some felt good, others not so strong then some nasty ones. I was eager to get in the pool. My husband was boiling pots of water to get the temperature up. I finally got in sometime after 12am. I could feel my baby moving in utero. We knew we were going to meet our baby soon enough.Not sure when my waters broke but I assume that is what the bubbles were. I was still checking for a bloody show that never came but could feel myself opening up. I then felt the soft head of my baby. He was crowning. I could fit 2 fingers between the head and my perineum. I was not worried about tearing, I could feel it had stretch. With my body in control and a series of pushes I took my baby in my hands and brang him to my chest. One moment he wasn't even in the birth canal then he was and then he was just as quickly out.

Born at 12:45am on 21st September 2008.

Our son was so content that he fell asleep on my chest after a wah and a gargle. I tried to feed him but nil interest. We could see why when he gave us three bowel movements in the hours after birth. I was trying to concentrate on birthing the placenta as my husband impatiently phoned our family. I was amazed that the placenta came only 35 minutes later. No injection, no breastfeeding, no walking or even changing position. It always had me worried that I had to get it out pronto in previous births but this time I could feel my body was in control. And then there was blood. I got out of the pool and sat on the recliner. I was passing clots. My husband cut the cord as it was now cold. He took J and put him in a nappy and wrapped him. They lay on the couch as I had a shower. I was feeling faint so went to bed on cloth flats. No need for pants at home. I was somewhat worried about feeling faint as I didn't want to actually pass out and end up in hospital. But everything was fine and I had iron supplements. I heard J crying and tried to feed him again. On day one he slept alot only feeding 3 times though made up for breastfeeding on day two. I was glad that he indeed knew how to latch on and had a very strong suckle reflex.

My husband is now an advocate for freebirth! He says he is in awe of me. But really we should be in awe of birth and our bodies. We as woman can birth naturally.

Now to enjoy my babymoon that I deserve after I birthed the way I wanted

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