We're adjusting really nicely to being a family of four. Our daughter is such a sweet and dare I say, easy baby. She's very content, sleeps very well, and is very happy. Giving birth to her was one of the hardest things I've ever done. I told my husband that there is now no need for me to run a marathon. As giving birth to my daugther was one of the hardest but most rewarding things I've ever done! It felt like a marathon in and of itself. I gave birth to Blue Rock naturally and without drugs as well but it was a different experience. I don't know if I was just younger and since I didn't know what I was doing was able to block out more of the pain or what. Anyway, on with the story. By the way, if you have no interest in reading about this, please STOP here. :) If you're interested, scroll down and read on!
|Now she's here!|
|Walking around the atrium after my water was broke|
I love how as women, we have so many choices when giving birth. If we want to have a natural and drug free labor and delivery and everything is going well, we can. If we want some medication to help with the pain, that's available too. Any choice a woman makes is usually very personal. There's no right or wrong way to get through one of the most exciting times in a woman's life. For me, I'm a huge fan of natural childbirth. Maybe partly because my own mother was and things like this tend to run in one's blood. I also didn't want to deal with the possible side effects. That is not to say that at certain times of my birthing experience I didn't secretly wish they would have given me an epidural. But overall I am so glad I was able to give birth to another child naturally. Especially since this pregnancy I had to be on blood thinners and I really didn't want to risk anything by adding more drugs to my body. If you are considering a natural and drug free childbirth, you can do it! In the U.S., it seems like it's important to find an OB who is familiar with it and supportive or find a good midwife.
My baby's due date was January 23rd. She was born 10 days early, on January 13th. Although according to my first sonogram, they put her due date as January 26th. So she was anywhere from 10 to 13 days early. Either way I was 38 weeks along.
|Eating crackers and drinking juice while being monitored|
I had been having contractions for weeks. These were close contractions 2-3 minutes apart for hours. I had stopped taking my blood thinners two weeks before she was born since I had started dilating and having regular contractions. Being off blood thinners can be risky but so can giving birth and being on them. Since I've never had a blood clot, I just have two blood clotting disorders, I thought the risk of being on them was higher than getting off of them in time for birth. Saturday night I had horrible chest pains. I called the nurse on call to ask her about it. She said take Tylenol and see if that helps. Two hours later she called back and asked if I had blood clotting disorders. She had remembered my doctor talking about a patient who was having regular contractions and on blood thinners. I told her yes and she told me to go to the hospital. Blue Rock was already asleep and thankfully my sister was able to come and stay at our house with him. I got to the hospital and they made me stay the night. I think it was just my costochondritis acting up. In 2007 I found out I had it and it's very painful. The nurse told me my doctor would see me in the morning and probably induce me. My OB stopped by on her way to church and said she could break my water after church was over to start labor or I could go home. I was hungry and wanted to eat. The nurse told me I couldn't eat anything so I asked to leave. I was discharged and went and got a donut, something I rarely eat, went home, showered, and went to church.
|Laboring on the birthing ball|
Monday morning my OB's nurse called and asked if I wanted to have my water broken today and be induced. I had a dream the night before that my daughter was born. This originally wasn't my first choice but after thinking about how she would only get bigger the longer she was inside me and how utterly uncomfortable I was, I told her yes. Also my specialist would have wanted to induce me Thursday if she wasn't born by then so I figured, why wait? This is America after all. Also I have a 4-year old I had to find care for. I was still in a lot of pain from the chest pains and just tired. She told me to head to the hospital. I called my husband and he came home from work. We got there around 10:15am. At around 11am, a nurse came in and wanted to start me on some pitocin. I told her no and that from my understanding my doctor was going to just break my water and we'd go from there. She called my doctor and confirmed that's what I wanted. At 11:45am, my OB broke my water. What a mess! Ha! I'm glad I was there and not at home. After she broke it I went walking for 45 minutes. I was able to drink water and juice and eat crackers. My parents were at the hospital and so was my sister and Blue Rock. We all walked together for about 45 minutes. Then I told them to take Blue Rock and we'd call them once our baby was born. Labor can take a while and I knew since I wasn't getting pitocin it could be all day. My husband, of course stayed with me. He is the best birthing partner. Very encouraging and helpful. If you don't have a partner, hire a doula. You need someone who can be a strong support for you.
|My awesome birthing partner aka the man I love!!|
|It's getting uncomfortable|
One strange thing after she was born was how much pain medication the nurses tried to give me. One kind of pain medicine they said would take away any pain I was having. I thought after all the pain I just went through there is nothing more painful that I could be experiencing now. They also offered me Tylenol, which I also nicely refused. Not wanting drugs in my system or my baby's is important to me. I did use the Epifoam, ice pack, and spray. Again, no judgement of anyone who wants the pain medicine. People's level of pain differs. For me, personally, I just didn't want it.
|Breathing and working on bringing the baby down|
At the time I thought this would probably be the last time I could give birth. Now that it's been almost 2 weeks, I could go through it again. Of course I don't have the best track record for carrying babies to term. So for now, I am just so thankful to God for my two healthy children, an overall easy pregnancy and natural childbirth. When I found I was pregnant I was scared. Scared of losing her. I praise God for blessing us with her. Children are truly a gift from God.
|I'm getting tired|
|She's here!! Hallelujah! I did it!|