by April, USA
Finding out I was pregnant was one of the most wonderful and frightening days of my life. Until this point in my life I had been a go with the flow kind of person now all of the sudden I was about to be a mom! When I told my partner he was just as excited as I was.
We had a lot of decisions to make. The more I thought about child birth the more I searched my own memory bank for information. I had been present at my god son's birth and that memory came rushing back. I decided that I did not want to have such a cold experience. When I told my partner about the birthcenter he did not like the idea at all. Everyone in my family kept saying things like, “if this is about money we can help.” I was very hurt that most of my support network was questioning my decision. My partner and I went for a tour of the birthcenter and I think it won him over a bit. I wanted a place that he could be involved in the pregnacy and birth of our daughter.
We decided that this was the place for us and that I wanted a natural waterbirth. I knew from the first day that our baby was a girl. During the weeks that followed we joined something called centering pregnancy. This was one of the best decisions we could have made. Centering is a group for women that are due around the same time and not only do you get your prenatal care but you meet in the group for educational conversations.
As a first time mother who needed reassurance that I could have my baby naturally it was just what the midwife ordered. A few months into my pregnancy my plans started to unravel. I found out that I had gestational diabetes and I would not be allowed to have a waterbirth. My confidence was very shaken but we decided to stick with our plan.
When I was nearing 42 weeks the midwife told me that if my labor wasn't soon we would no longer be able to give birth at the center because of the increased danger to the baby. The following day she swept my membranes and that next day my water broke at 3 am. Which was hilarious to us because I had complained the whole time I was pregant about waking up every morning at 3 am.(Kadence wakes up at 3am now to eat).
I got up, made an egg sandwich and tried to sleep. Sleep at this point was not possible; my adrenaline was already going strong. My mom and I sat on the couch and talked until my contractions were stronger and then we woke my partner up and headed of to the center. Once there I thought That I must be at least 3 cm's dialted. They told me I was dialated one cm and I almost cried “you must be kidding me “I said.
The nurse put us in the room I had picked ahead of time and there we stayed for 24 hours. My labor was a very long one but that is sometimes common for first time moms. My friend just had her first and it happened in three hours so I guess it varies from one to another.
For the first few hours I walked around the room and rocked. When the pain was very bad I got into the shower and the hot water melted some of the pain away. One minute I was hot the next cold. Those poor nurses had to keep adjusting the temperature in the room to suit me. I loved not being confined to a bed and being able to deal with my pain the way I needed to sometimes it was squatting sometimes bending.
I finally found the most comfortable position for me which was hands and knees on the bed with a pillow under my head so I could sleep between contractions. I know what you're – thinking before I had a baby I always said who the heck could sleep during labor…trust me once you get that tired you can. When I reached a certain point in my labor I kicked my Mom and my partner out. I know it makes no sense but I couldn't concentrate while they were in there.
There was so much pain that I can't remember much of the next part but my friend came by to see me and ended up being my doula. She stayed through the rest of the labor and coached me through it. Her mom is a midwife and I don't know if I could have done it without her. I never would have thought that I wouldn't want my mom in the room with me but when it came right down to it I didn't want her to see me in that much pain. I could see it in her eyes that she wanted to help but couldn't.
In the end they were getting ready to transfer me because it was getting dangerous for the baby and the midwife asked me if I wanted some stadol. I said no and then they explained my options to me that if I couldn't relax and dialate the last centimeter they would have to transfer. I decided to take the shot and try to stay there.
After the shot I calmed down a little and was ready to push. Pushing was the best part of labor. I started out on back and gave a few pushes to get started but they suggested that I get on my hands and knees like I was before and in no time at all I felt little Kadi's head making an appearance. Being in that posistion helped so much becase it made my hips loosen up.
By this time her Daddy had come back in and in couple of pushes she was here and in my arms. I couldn't even remember the pain the moment I looked into her eyes. Her big bright blue eyes.
Michael cut the cord and I held her on my chest while they stiched me up. I was so happy to have done this my way. I did end up having to take some medication but it was better than being transfered. I felt like I had failed because I had to have the meds at first but then I realized that was the best thing for the baby at the time she needed to be out because she had a bowel movement and getting her out as soon as possible was the best thing.
So in conclusion I just want to say that yes, natural childbith is hard. It's the hardest thing I have ever done. It hurt worse than anything ever has but I'm still here and I have a beautiful baby girl and a very spiritual expierience. I have never felt more powerful or primal than when I was in labor.
I now know that with God's help I am capable of many things. Having the baby my way and not strapped to a bed made me feel like I was in control and they were there to do what was best for us and our baby.
Kadence, 7lbs. 10oz