Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Guest Post: "A Home Birth Worth Waiting For"

Well, where do I start? Let’s see, I have been having “false” or prodromal labor since 36 ½ weeks. At 36 ½ weeks, my midwife was over and checked me, to make sure I wasn’t actually in labor, as I would have had to transfer to a hospital if I was. In Colorado you have to be 37-42 weeks for a midwife attended homebirth. My first edd by LMP was 8-22-11. BUT I was charting the cycle I conceived, and I KNEW I didn’t O til cd 24, making my EDD 10 days later than that, at 9-1-11. Sure enough, the ultrasounds matched MY edd, from charting.

I saw my OB from my first two pregnancies to start, I had gotten Hyperemesis AGAIN, and had a PICC line placed, only to have it out 5 days later when it made my Superior Vena Cave swell, and almost killed me-NOT FUN. After that, I got care from a CPM, just for Hyperemesis. She started me on Milk Thistles (not blessed thistle, blessed is FOR milk supply, MILK thistle is for live function) and I was on around 20 carpels a day at first, BUT it took care of things wonderfully. I was not comfortable with a CPM for my birth, as I have MTHFR and it can present more issues than a “normal” person. So I found my CNM, Janet Schwab. Surprisingly, she is NOT very medical, and more natural than MOST of the CPMs I know.
I hired her when I was 14 wks. It would have been sooner, but I interviewed several midwives, and I also was in the hospital in Feb (on Valentine’s Day) for a few days, I had Flu type A, and also Swedish hospital tanked my potassium. I went in for hydration my “K” (potassium) was 3.4 normal is 3.5 and up (don’t remember the upper range) well they pumped me full of 4 bags of just water. NO K in it at all. Surprise surprise when that night I ended up at a different hospital, due to heart issues, only to find out my K was down to a 2.9. They gave me 3 bags of IV K, BURNS LIKE HELL. And sent me home. They next day I saw the OB I was seeing, and we had my labs sent in again, only to have them tell me to get to the hospital I needed to be admitted. I was + for Flu A, and my K was now a 2.7! So I was in for 2 nights, and got around 11 bags of K, plus the 3 from the ER the night before. 14 total bags got me to a 3.7, but hey it was range. The next day I hired Janet. Went to 1 more apt with Dr. B. and fired him.

The rest of my pregnancy was normal for once. I did see my midwife's back up OB, who ironically was my mother OB when she was pregnant with me. He was wonderful, and believed in homebirth, I wonder if his wife being a midwife has anything to do with that lol. I got my anatomy scan, decided to find out what we were having, and it was gonna be our 3rd girl! We were so excited! Familiar territory!

About 36 ½ weeks, I had contractions after going to the zoo. We went to the Zoo about 100 times this summer- can I just say I LOVE the zoo pass-all I ever needed was the gas to get there, and I could walk, as well as make the girls happy all at the same time! The contractions seemed like “business” and I was spotting with them, so I called Janet, who came right over and checked me. I was closed, and there was nothing to worry about. This Contracting and spotting kept up until I reached 40w3d. However, there were 2-3 times, where we thought she was coming before then, only to have me try to sleep and wake up still pregnant.

Sure enough, on Sept 4th, 2011, at 40w3d pregnant, my baby decided she would come out. I woke up around 430 to come contractions, but this had been normal so I blew it off. Woke up to another around 5, another at 530 and it kept up that way until around 8am when I woke up David and we had 1 final round of “fun” to move things along. Let me tell ya, that was all my body needed that day! After I started contracting, but it was different, it was ALL low, before they had been low and high, but these were ALL LOW. And there started out, 5-6 min apart! I called my Midwife, My Doula Jessica, and let my parents know what was going on. Part of me just felt different. David and I took a walk, to where the contractions picked up to 3 min apart, and I could hardly move through them. We called the team back, and everyone was on their way.

This was my first non-induced labor. Azalynn was 35 weeks after 5 wks in the hospital for a montage of issues. Kaydence was 38 ½ wks due to PIH that was turning pre-e. So I had no clue what to expect. My midwife and her assistant got to my house around 1030, my doula around 1130. I got a little panicked, seeing everything being set up, but the ctx were hurting so bad, I got over it pretty fast.  Ctx were around 3 min apart, I wasn’t checked, as I said my mw is very non-medical. But after about 2 hours, I asked to be checked. I was only 4 cm, BUT 100% thinned and baby was at a 0 station.  I HAD to get in the tub, because I was not dealing with them well at all. Honestly, the pit was about the same as MY own ctx. So really, I don’t buy the “Pit is so much worse” line anymore.

An hour later, I felt a TON of pressure, so I asked to be checked, but I was only a 5, but a +1 station.  I was happy cause I made it a whole cm in an hour, oh and she would not have checked me if I didn’t ask. About an hour and a half later, I had a feeling I could no longer do this. I figured I was in transition, then my body started to push on its own, but something didn’t feel right. I asked to be checked again. Turns out I was only 6cm, with a bulging bag.  But my body was pushing. I couldn’t help it. I tried millions of positions, the tub, the toilet-other than tub, toilet was the BEST spot. An hour later, same thing, but more intense, guess what? Still 6cm. I was staring to lose it, thinking I needed to transfer because I was worried my cervix was going to swell shut, since I couldn’t stop my body from pushing in the ctx. I just could not help it. I asked, well more like demanded to transfer so I 1 wouldn’t swell shut, 2 to get rid of the pain. I was in a “CANT DO THIS” state of mind for an hour and could not take anymore. My midwife, her assistant, and my doula somehow convinced me to go for a walk outside with my husband. I had 3 ctx just between the front door and the end of our property; I turned around said “I WANT TO GO NOW” and headed back to the house to get ready to go to the hospital.

 I had 1 more ctx on the way to the door,  and one more right when we got inside, the one inside is when I finally gave up and gave in. I was standing in front of the swamp cooler (god that was a nice feeling) and I told David I was sorry for wasting $4,000. I made it down stairs to the toilet again, where I felt I really had to poop. Thinking too bad I do need to poop and I know it’s not the baby, seeing as I was 6cm 15 min before.  My midwife came in to see how I felt after the walk, I told her I give up, I’m ready to transfer, this could be hours more. I asked her to check me one more time, and then we could go. In my mind I said “if I’m at least an 8 I won’t go” so I got to the bed, had another ctx-a WHOPPING one. That lasted 2 min long. Then I laid down on the bed for her to check me. With the most shocked look on her face, she said “you can push if you want” all I could do is say “REALLY????” I must have asked if she was sure about 10 times. My doula said the look on my face was priceless. I did have a small right anterior lip, just like with Kaydence. I hopped up, and hopped into the tub, I had a ctx as I was going from the bed to the tub, but I just wanted in the dam tub!!!! I debated just diving in instead of climbing in lol.

Once I was in the tub, things spaced way out. We tried different positions, to get the bit of cervical lip gone, none were working, but ctx were so spaced out at that point, I just was happy I had rest time. When I had one, I tried pushing, it hurt, so I stopped which hurt more, so I tried again. I told the mw I thought I brought her down a bit again, and asked her to check and see, I had, but the lip was holding her back a bit, my mw offered to hold it out of the way, and I said “YES PLEASE!” so next ctx when I started to push I told her, and she held it back, then things really got insane pain wise. I just wanted her out. I took her from at the lip, (so a +2 station) to crowning in 1 huge push. OMG it hurt to have her sit there. They told me to reach down and touch her head, I did, the bag was still intact at that point! It was awesome to feel. Next ctx my waters broke, which I didn’t feel at all because I was in the water, but then it hurt even worse. I actually screamed “JUST PULL HER OUT!!!!” to the midwives, but she wasn’t even out yet lol. I gave one more push; I didn’t want to wait for a ctx, period. So I just pushed, I could feel myself stretching, and feel her trying to come out, I was screaming one of the “EGHHHHHHHH” screams, and everyone in unison told me to breath, I took 1 huge breath and went at pushing with everything I had again, my hand still on her head! And then her head just popped out! I didn’t want to stop, it still hurt bad. So I pushed again, and felt her rotate (k that was kinda cool) and then she was out. Next thing I know there is a splash and my baby is being handed to me. The position I was in was kinda half on my right side, right leg somewhat folded up under me, left leg digging into the bottom of the pool hard. Wednesday Sky was earthside at 413pm, 13” head, with a nuchal hand.  BEST LOOKING cord out of any of my kids (can we say proper nutrition?) her placenta was somewhat of a heart shape too-awesome!

 I got out of the tub about 15 min later, after sitting there in awe amazed I did it, and even more amazed that *I* did it. I went into labor on my own, my child picked her birthday, I dealt with the pain, even if I did beg/demand to transfer at one point, I did it at home in the water!!!! Just like I WANTED too. Her APGAR’s were a 9 and 10. Just for the record, a 10 in Colorado, is HARD to get. But yes she was a 9 at 1 min, and a 10 at 5 min. We got me out of the tub to deliver the placenta, on the birth stool. It came right out. Easy with a plop!

Then I got in bed, where I ate a grilled cheese, and snuggled and nursed my baby. It was about 50 min from birth til when she latched, but she was happy and not interested sooner. Then we worked on looking at me, sure enough, 2 tears, SAME spots as Azalynn and Kaydence. Labial, so OUCH for peeing lol. But they already feel better. Hardly any swelling, it’s great! We did her exam, she checked out as a 40 wker! So perfect for dates, and then we measured her, 6 lbs 14 oz, and 18 ½ inches long. Not a long as Kaydence, longer than Azalynn, but the heaviest of all, and largest head of all.
Wednesday did get a vit K shot, because I have to take Aspirin for MTHFR, so I’m in a higher risk group for a VKDB (Vit K Deficiency Bleed) baby, so for me it was the right choice for the baby. Oral vit K isn’t really studied, the doses are always changing, and it screws up a virgin gut right off the bat, so we did the injection- ALL babies are born Vit k deficient, the difference is if you’re on certain meds, the risk of a bleed happening is higher.

Getting the pool emptied was an adventure. My dad’s drill pump broke, but he decided to go get a submersion pump for us (THANK YOU DADDY!) and David held it in place for almost 2 hours emptying the pool. Once it was low enough to move, the carried it outside and dumped the rest in the garden. I got my post-partum sitz bath, the herbs are really helping the tears. It’s amazing!-OH and a bit of wonderful advice I got, DEPENDS- So much better than pads and panties lol.

I forgot to add, the girls and my parents came down just minutes after she was earthside, so they got to meet her while I was still in the pool. The girls were so excited. I hope it made a permanent imprint on what normal birth is- and yes I’m glad they were not there when I was pushing her out, they could not have dealt with that at all.

I am so thankful for my wonderful birth team. Jessica, Janet and Bergen, They really held me together when I hit my wall, and I’m even more grateful for how wonderful David was through it all. He really was my rock.

Story reposted with permission of original author, Felicia. Felicia is a size -friendly doula located in Colorado, please check out her business site to contact her and have her attend your birth!

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