Friday, September 11, 2009

Yay for ME!

I like to think that I generally don't brag that much. I'm not sure how true that is, but please excuse me while I now brag and toot my own horn: The birth of my third child was completely drug-free! Heck, they didn't even put a hep-lock in!

I'm pretty proud of myself and also pretty amazed. I had always known that my body could do it--I have just never been fully confident in my ability to get my brain out of the way and let my body give birth to a baby. My brain gets thinking, wondering if I can really make it through, tempting me, telling me there is a way to bypass all the discomfort of those contractions. Reminding me once I'm in the hospital it will be so easy to ask for that epidural, it'll be quickly administered and all pain will quickly go away. I am so glad and proud of myself that I did not give in to temptation and ask for that epidural--having done so would have always haunted me; knowing that my desire to fully experience the miracle of childbirth was not fully reached because I gave in to my brain and gotten the epidural.

With baby one, we had read about the downsides of epidurals and I was anxious to avoid them, but the induced labor was proceeding slowly and the baby was in trouble and I couldn't focus and finally I asked for an epidural. Which ended up being fortunate as it sped up the emergency c-section that became necessary less than thirty minutes later.

Baby two: I took a couple shots for pain, but the last mile of labor moved so quickly that I was denied the epidural when I begged.

But this time.

This labor and birth were hard but I must say that I handled it well. Especially when you consider that Theric and I did zero direct preparation for this birth.

When I was pregnant the first time, with Big O, I decided I wanted a drug-free childbirth and that we would use Hypnobirthing as our method of reaching that goal. At the time, the cost of the Hypnobirthing classes was (for us as poor college students) huge. But the instructor promised it would be worth our time and money. And it most surely has been. The techniques learned there have served me well with all three labors--even when we did not review or practice them! Amazing! The Hyponobirthing relaxation techniques have stuck with me for five years and are still effective--Theric and I just slipped back into our roles. Those classes were money well spent!

From the beginning of labor at home (which didn't exist for labor one and went fine with labor two) to the drive to the hospital (a disaster with labor two) to triage (the end of my control with labor two and my greatest concern with this labor), I remained in control. I let the contractions pass through me with a bit of swaying and moaning.

This labor was never guaranteed to go well. The kids did not drop immediately to sleep but stayed up making a lot of noise in their room, which made relaxing more difficult. Theric spent the beginning hours on the computer, trying to get some work issue straightened out. (Then I let him nap for an hour because he looked so exhausted from playing with the boys all day and knowing I would need him fully awake and focused later on. Thank goodness he could sleep and monitor my contractions at the same time.) Halfway to the hospital we had to take a sudden detour when our freeway was closed. And through it all I was calm and in control.

Or so I'm told. I did not always feel in control, but Theric tells me I seemed calm and centered throughout.

I made it through triage (where they did not give me a hep-lock, something I was dreading because I found it so distracting last time) stopping often to sway through a contraction and was then wheeled to my room, where we worked for the baby. For most of the time we were alone, just me and Theric, contraction by contraction, focused on my unplanned mantra, Waaaave as the waves passed through me, bringing the baby closer and closer. When it came time to push, the midwife came in and delivered the baby. Everything went smoothly. (Which is not to say I enjoyed the ring of fire.) Then a squirmy, crying, slippery, vernix-covered baby was placed on my chest. And I marveled not only at him but at what I had accomplished. A goal set five years ago, finally achieved. Euphoria. To quote the midwife, "You are amazing, a rockstar!"

Then after I had held Little Lord Steed long enough and allowed them to weigh and wash him, we were moved to maternity where I popped as many Vicodin and ibuprofen as they would give me.

Girl's got her limits.

Besides. What else did I have to prove?

published one month to the minute of the baby's officially recorded arrival


Blogger FoxyJ said...

Yay for you indeed! That sounds like a great experience. Way to go.

Friday, September 11, 2009 6:24:00 AM  
Blogger Tristen said...

Definitely a reason to brag...

I've not yet taken the step to drug-free childbirth, but seeing as my longest lasting wounds for at least two of the births come from the iv points of entry (my arm... the one they poked 100 times to try to get hooked up and then abandoned to get to the other arm... is still black and blue a week and a half later) your experience sounds MUCHO impressive.

It's all still so fresh in my mind and I was sufficiently drugged, so I know what an accomplishment your natural childbirth was... HATS OFF TO YOU!!!

Friday, September 11, 2009 6:59:00 AM  
Blogger Kengo Biddles said...

Miki loved her experience with Marko -- similar to you, she had unsavory experiences with Ginta (26 hours...gag) but Marko she did have a hep-block. She delivered him in 3 hours of labor and 10 minutes of pushing. Her friend who's a massage therapist learned some doula techniques which made all the difference for Miki. I know it was tough for her, but so empowering, and I'm sure you feel the same.

Congrats to you! You are woman! Hear you roar!

Friday, September 11, 2009 7:40:00 AM  
Blogger Cinderella said...

Congrats, Lady Steed. I'm still all sorts of nervous and stuff for someday being pregnant and giving birth, but I suppose there's hope for me that it may not be as bad as I think. :)

Ya, you're pretty much amazing.

Friday, September 11, 2009 8:30:00 AM  
Blogger cchrissyy said...

good for you!

Friday, September 11, 2009 3:11:00 PM  
Blogger Marianna said...

You ARE a ROCKSTAR!! Amazing.

Friday, September 11, 2009 3:33:00 PM  
Blogger Kari said...

You ARE amazing! Congrats on the latest addition to the fam! What an accomplishment, with such fab results! You're my hero!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009 4:23:00 AM  

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