Monday, September 13, 2010

My Journey with a Midwife and a Home Birth

I don't remember how exactly I decided I wanted to do a home birth but I remember I was about 5 months along in the pregnancy.  This was my second pregnancy and I had continued to do research and refresher reading on relaxation through labor.  Maybe that's when I stumbled upon home birth.  I looked into it and thought, "Well, with Meena(my first pregnancy) I gave birth in the hospital with no drugs and I survived."  I also was not 100% impressed with my hospital birth.  The only time I had been in a hospital was when I was 5 years old and I had gotten ill.  With Meena, I had a fetal monitor on, the nurse talked me into Pitocin which I had known nothing about until this pregnancy and am not happy I agreed to it now.  Although, I am grateful my labor went real quick with her.  I was constantly monitored with vital signs after her birth and got no rest in the hospital.  I was forced to stay in that stupid room for two days even though I had an uneventful birth.  No tears, all natural, baby was fine too.  I even awoke the 2nd night to not having my daughter in the room.  The nurse took her and put her in the nursery thinking I'd get more rest!  I was pissed!  I was nursing for Christ Sake!  And the OB- Gyn that "caught" her wasn't even mine!!!  Never met the doctor and I went to a chain of 4 doctors that rotated and not one of them was available at 4:30 PM on a Friday to catch my daughter.  Let's not even talk about the cost they charged through the insurance.

So, this time would be different.  It was very different!  I found myself with no insurance this time around when I found out I was pregnant.  I had to go to a clinic and found a nice OB-GYN in the Chicagoland area where I was living at the time.  Nice doctor, but very impersonal.  "Just the facts ma'am."  When I was a little over 4 months along, we moved down to Arkansas.  I needed to find a doctor but had no insurance and started thinking about a Midwife.  I researched that and found only one in my area.  I talked to my husband the next day to see how he would feel about a Home Birth.  He was all for it and 100% fully supportive.  He agreed with me about the interventions at the hospitals and what I went through with Meena.  He knows I do my homework and felt comfortable about my decision to go with a Midwife and a Home Birth.

The next day, I contacted the Midwife who was at first stand offish over the phone but agreed to meet with us in her home the next day.  So, the next day, Husband, the two kids and me all went to visit the Midwife.  I had no idea what I was in for.  She had a nice office inside her home, and toys to keep the children occupied while she focused on me.  She answered all of our questions and I instantly liked her once I met her in person.  She told me there was another Midwife in another town 45 minutes the opposite direction from me and she would give me her number if I wanted to interview her and make our decision.  I looked over at my DH and said I'm satisfied How about you?  So, it was settled.  We decided to go with Belinda.

Her fee included the rest of my PreNatal visits.  Her being with me during labor, a birthing pool if I choose, she checks on baby and me 12-24 hours after birth, 1 week after birth, 2 weeks after birth, and me 4-6 weeks postpartum.  There was also a 2nd Midwife in attendance to help her during my delivery.  Going to Belinda I wish I had known about a Midwife for my first birth.  She not only treated the pregnancy, but she treated whatever I was going through emotionally.  I had a lot happen to me during my pregnancy and stress definitely was taking its nasty toll on me.  She counseled me and gave me suggestions.  She also borrowed me books and videos on natural childbirth and breastfeeding.  Towards the end of the pregnancy, she called me on a regular   basis to check on me and see how I was. 

So, my due date came and went.  She offered suggestions for natural induction.  Come to find out, baby will come when baby is ready.  I walked so many miles that last week and a half before she was born I was able to eat Ice Cream and still lose a couple pounds from the previous visit.  We had sex and that didn't work.  Poor husband, I told him to make it fast because this is a job not pleasure.  LOL.  I drank black and blue cohosh in my water that reminded me of weak whisky drinks.  I took Raspberry Leaf capsules.  Yep, that baby stayed put.  I was 4 days before my 42nd week.  Belinda called me and said I had to go see a nurse about a stress test the next day and it was $120.00.  My due date was on a Saturday and it was also Labor Day weekend.  All of this meaning, if I didn't have the baby BEFORE or ON the day of the 42nd week, I would definitely have to go see a doctor on that Tuesday(42 weeks and3 days) and have an induction scheduled and I lost my home birth.  Well, $120 I didn't have.  So, the night before that appointment we walked about 4 miles and had sex that night and all morning.  I woke up with contractions for 2 hours but nothing regular.  I called Belinda at 8:30AM (my appointment was at 2:30) and she said well she needed to check me to be sure.  Everything had stopped by the time I got to see her and it was after 2:30. She was now concerned because if I didn't have the baby over the weekend the forementioned would happen.  She told me I needed to relax.  I said, "How am I suppose to relax when you are telling me I need to get this baby out of me?!?"  She made a phone call, and said ok.  We can't do anything until Tuesday now anyhow (this was Thursday night) so just relax and don't think about the pregnancy anymore.

Friday morning, DH suggested I go for a walk by myself and just relax and gather my thoughts.  He would watch our daughter.  It was a great idea.  I went for a 2 mile walk.  By 6:30 that nigh I was beat and so wanted to go to bed but I knew if I put the two kids to bed that early they'd be up at the crack of dawn Saturday morning.  So, I held out for another hour.  I had to take care of something on the computer and did that and was ready for bed around 9:30.  I started getting cramping about an hour later and by 11PM I had noticed they were coming about every 8 minutes apart.  Is this really it?  I called Belinda and told her.  She said she had just had coffee and couldn't get to sleep and do I want her to come over?  YES!  They feel like the real thing and my husband is at work.  Now they were coming about every 4 minutes and I had to use the bathroom constantly.  So, I went to the toilet and texted my husband telling him I believe this is really it.  Belinda got to me about 11:30 PM and Shelby(my husband) got home about a half hour later.  He set the pool up, she checked me and said I was in labor and at 4.5 cm.  I had candles going, my soft laboring music, the kids were sound asleep in their beds.  We went ahead and got my bed ready in case I needed to birth on the bed.  I did pelvic rocks, walked around the house and a lot of deep, cleansing breaths.  I got into the pool and it felt so good and so relaxing.  My contractions were coming fast and hard and I was not getting a break.  I had Shelby cover up all the clocks in the house as I did not want to have a concept of time.  Then, the pool started to collapse.  When I stepped in it I must have popped it in a weak spot.  I still remained calm.  I had my Rosary and continued to pray to Mary for strength and to Jesus also.  In the meantime, Shelby went and sanitized our bath tub.  That was not fun laboring in that tub.  I started to get back labor and he rubbed my back and he poured warm water on me since the tub was so shallow.  The contractions were coming stronger now.  I wanted to get out.  I was done laboring in that stupid tub.  We went to the bedroom and I squatted and chanted and continued praying.  I said The Our Father through some good solid contractions.  I was ready to push.  I knew this.  Belinda said she needed to check to make sure and I needed to lay on the bed.  That was probably the most difficult part of the labour.  Getting onto that bed.  I just wanted to stand and deliver.  We finally got me onto the bed and she said I progressed very well and I was at a 10 and ready to push.  A peaceful calmness came over me.  Shelby was at my side holding my leg up.  Telling me to breathe the baby out they could see her head, Do I want to touch my baby's head?  They were telling me to get mad, get angry push...I was too calm.  I found out later it was 3 good pushes it took to get her out and only 18 minutes had passed from the time I got onto the bed. 

My Saoirse Georgianne was born in the caul at 4:58AM, Saturday, September 4, 2010.  She weighed in at a healthy 8 lbs 12.5 oz and 22inches long.  Born exactly at 42 weeks.  My step son came into the room shortly after, most likely from the sounds I made waking him up.  Shelby went and got Meena and we all sat in the bed admiring our new member of the family.  Belinda stayed with us to about 8 AM by the time we got everything underway.  I ended up saving the placenta which she showed me and explained how it was inside me which was very interesting and cool.  We froze it and plan to plant a tree at our new home in our new daughter's honor. 

There was nothing like going to sleep after that six hour work out I had just had in my own bed with my husband next to me and our daughter on the other side. 

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Saturday Morning Thought

So, I just read an interesting tale.  It made me sit back and ponder about some of the things that were said.  The story went on about how a young lady lost her father suddenly.  He hadn't been sick but went peacefully in his sleep.  Why?  He wasn't elderly and sick.  It was a traumatic accident.  Then there are people who are sick and God has them waiting to join him.  Some might suffer wondering when He is going to call them.  There are young children that are suddenly taken from us too.  We, as humans have no say so when it will be our time to move on to our next journey. 

Perhaps, I am pondering this because the opposite of Death is Life.  As I wake up on the 1st day of my 41st week of being pregnant, I am realizing once again, we don't have a say so when it will be our time to join the Earth.  We just have to be patient and trust the Lord knows why he is setting things up the way they are happening.  Some babies are born early and others come after the date science has given us as a "Due Date".

Just a short little thought on an early Saturday Morning...

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Past Forty Weeks

Well, I never thought I'd see 40 weeks with this pregnancy.  Tomorrow is my Estimated Due Date August 21.  When I found out I was pregnant, I had missed my period and had avoided taking a pregnancy test because I was still nursing Meena.  I realized I hadn't been producing enough milk either.  I pumped one day and only pumped 1 oz out of both breast after pumping for 10 minutes.  I knew something was going on.  She was already being supplemented with formula by this time she was 8 months and she was eating food like a champ so I wasn't concerned about her nutrition.  Then, I started spotting.  I wouldn't call it a period.  So, I was confused --was I pregnant or not?  We got the chance last minute to go out to husband's family in Colorado for Christmas/New Year Holiday and I knew I had to take a test before we left.  My birthday was also in that mix of holidays, and I knew I would be drinking a lot.  Sure enough, confirmed.  Big Fat Positive.  I didn't say anything to husband---until the 1st night we were out in Colorado.  He wanted to get me a beer and I said we need to talk instead.  Ha Ha...he wasn't excited.  Why?  I had recently quit my job to be a SAHM and he had just graduated #1 in his Commercial Dive Class.  He had expected as he was promised these great job opportunities that never happened.  It was a nightmare and he was stressed.
Then, one night while we were out there, I bled alot.  I bled for 2 days.  I cried.  I had assumed I lost the baby.  We finally came home to Chicago and with no insurance at all, I looked into a clinic.  One clinic I called would not get me in until March.  I would be 16 weeks by that time.  I found one that could check me I was 8 or 9 weeks along by that time.  I had taken a pregnancy test again when we came home expecting to see a negative but it was still showing positive.  When I went for my check up, the OB just said it could have been old blood but everything sounded fine and I shouldn't be concerned.

Then, more stress just piled on this pregnancy.  Shortly after we came home in January, on the 16th of January, my dad was admitted to the hospital.  The doctor had found a tumor on his colon.  It was shortly confirmed a few days later he had stage 4 colon cancer.  I cried as I sat up at night researching outcomes of this.  It did not look good.  I would go and visit him when I could and he had such a great spirit.  He just wanted to get the Hell out of there so he could get back to work because he was sure they were screwing something up.  In February, Shelby decided to go down to Arkansas and stay with a buddy from his Diving School.  They talked about starting their own company since neither still had found work.  With the help of family and friends they were able to get enough to get the company going, and it was decided I would be moving down here shortly.  I was hesitant in wanting to leave Chicago with my dad being so sick.  I talked to him about it and he would tell me it sounds great Babe!  I wish you guys the best of luck.  So, we moved to Arkansas on Meena's 1st Birthday, March 27, 2009.

I had to go back to Chicago a week later for an ultrasound.  We had found out it was a girl and everything was good.  That relieved a lot of emotional stress I had felt with the beginning of the pregnancy.  I would visit my dad that April 5th and he looked a bit more tired than he did at my daughter's party 2 weeks before.  i cried every time I left him.  All I would have loved to do with him is go and sit and have a beer and hear his "boring stories" about rebuilding clutches and brakes at work and what so and so did at work.  But that couldn't happen.  We would sit and chat about mundane things.  My father was a very quiet man, not much of a conversationalist unless he had a few beers in him.

We, Shelby, Malachi, Meena and I , went to Chicago one month later.  It was Mother's Day Weekend.  And Meena and I both had doctor appointments.  I was picking up my records as I would no longer be traveling to Chicago for appointments and had to find a doctor in Ark.  and Meena had her one year check up.  My dad looked real bad to me.  The chemo had taken a toll on him and he was tired.  My mom tried to get a picture of him and the 2 kids well all 3 were looking a different way and somehow an argument started between my parents.  Stress on my mom I am sure.  But my dad who rarely raised his voice yelled at her, she yelled at him and stormed out of the house, my son was confused and I started crying.  This was the last visual I had of my parents together.  The next day was Mother's Day and when I went there, my mom was out with her sister, and I spent some time with my father.  I got some nice pictures of us.  This would be the last time I would see him.

One month later, my mom calls to tell me my dad was in the hospital AGAIN.  Mini Heartattacks.  Shelby tells me to start packing we were going home and I was okay.  I was going to see my dad and he was going to tell me once again" The Damn Doctors just trying to make money off of me.  They don't know a damn .  thing!  Tell me what I can and can't eat or do...blah blah blah"....We drove 10 hours home.  Drove through a  wicked storm through Missouri.  I got to my condo where my brother lives now, at 5:45 AM.  David said as soon as we walked in ,"Dad passed away at 10 PM."  I was stunned.  I sat down.  I looked at him and for the first time I saw tears in my brother's eyes.  I knew it was real.  I took a deep breath and my husband sat next to me and put his hand on my knee and then I let out a cry.  It was a long week.  My mom's birthday was 2 days later and she didn't want to do the wake and funeral until after her birthday.  It was so dreadful for me, but it was her husband of 37 years. 

I came home to Arkansas, and had my prenatal check ups and everything seemed well.  Except I was told I was stressed out and needed to eat more.  The Midwife told me I needed to relax or this baby would come early.  At 34 weeks, I lost my mucus plug.  I called the Midwife and I went in to see her the next day.  She said everything was fine, it was just my body preparing for the baby and the baby can come anytime now.  Since I delivered Meena at 38 weeks, I had assumed this one was coming early.  Week 37 I was awoken at 2AM with contractions for 2 hours.  Later, that morning was ironically another prenatal and she checked me and said I was not in labor but I was dilated to a 2.  So, things were happening.  I picked up my birthing pool and we have everything set and ready to go.  Week 38, Contractions again for about 2 and half hours, I call the Midwife she says call her in one hour and tell her what is going on.  Everything had stopped.  I haven't had any activity in over a week. 

I had an appointment yesterday, Thursday, and she said I look ready.  I feel ready.  I feel like that turkey in the oven on Thanksgiving who's timer went off but the wife is too busy running around to pull it out.  I did tell her I didn't want her to stimulate my cervix since technically I still have 2 more weeks.  Babies come when they want to...and maybe this baby just needs a little bit more time to cook.  Yes, it's frustrating.  Yes, it's upsetting when people say "Isn't that baby here yet????(Especially when the due date hasn't even happened)" But everyone is just excited to here of happy news, and I'm cranky, hot and 40 weeks pregnant(LOL). 
Maybe the Ultrasound tech was wrong and the big joke is, the baby is really a boy!  We will all just have to wait and see...and when Baby makes an appearance I will blog about the experience.
Baby's 40 weeks with me have been an emotional journey and I'm sorry that I have cried so much these past nine months, Baby is probably afraid to come out, She probably thinks it's scary out here.  But when she does, She has a big brother and Big Sister who are very excited to meet her.  They kiss the belly everynight and every morning.  I just can't wait until they can kiss the actual baby! 

Sunday, August 15, 2010

I caught the Blog Bug

Well, I'm not sure where or how to start.  Never have done this before.  I guess you can say I caught the Blog Bug.  Currently, I am 39 weeks and 3 days pregnant and have been doing a lot of research this pregnancy.  Because of that research, I was introduced to random blogs.  I have been wanting to blog this pregnancy, but with a 4 year old and a current 16 month old that didn't work out so well. 

About my 4th month of pregnancy me, husband and children moved from the big city of Chicago where I have called home for 36 years, to a small town of 2000 people called Bull Shoals, AR.  Husband is a commercial diver by trade and partnered up with a buddy he graduated school with who is from Arkansas, to start a commercial dive business.  Everything sounded great, and we took the major life plunge and did it.  Now, 4 months later, and more bills than customers, we are moving on.  That's a story for another blog.  Shortly after we moved here, I decided I was going to have this baby at home.  I had looked into it and made the decision.  I found a midwife and everything is set and ready to go.  Everybody but baby.  She can't decide to pick a birthday.  So we wait.  Once she does come, DH will stay with us for a week, and then leaves for his hometown in Colorado.  We will follow one month later and my next journey starts.

I haven't decided what I will blog about just yet so this first blog is a Freshman First Attempt!   I'm sure it will be a journey of motherhood, being a wife, moving to a place where animals out number people, child birth, home birth, using a Midwife, being a mom to a step child.  There will most likely be blogs about home beer making, my recipes I create and my children latest accomplishments.  So, if any of the above perk your interest, please feel free to follow me as I write about the next chapters of my life and adventures.