Monday, July 30, 2012

My hippie drum circle birth experiance

Oliver Eugene was born 7-25-12 at 4:15am!  He weighed in at 8lbs 13oz and was 21" long.

My thoughts on all of this might be a bit scattered, so try to keep up.

We'll start with Tuesday night.  The Frisco Running Club was having a meet up at our local high school track so the kids and I walked up, about a mile, to watch.  Well, the kids played on the adjacent playground while Dave, Marsha (they run with us on Saturdays) and I spectated.  At around 8pm Brad (he had gone on a long(ish) run by himself vs doing the FRC meet up because he's still bitter about them coming into our territory), the kids and I were walking back home.
My pathetic attempt at cool photoshop effects.

I went to bed at around 10:30 or 11.  When I woke up feeling the cramps of labor, the clock read 1:03.  I had been having some very light, very inconsistent contractions for at least the last two weeks so I stood up, walked around, laid back down, and a few other things to make sure that these were for real.  They were definitely stronger than the "teaser" contractions and for a full hour they were consistent and getting a little closer together.  I made the executive decision to go ahead and call the midwife on call and have my husband call his parents.  They were meeting us at the birthing center to take charge of our two kids whom already roam this earth.  We woke the kids up from a dead sleep.  Alaurie was ecstatic about finally getting to meet her new sibling, while Braden actually told us on the way that he wanted to go back home and back to bed.

We got to the birthing center at 2:30am.  Side note: Car contractions absolutely suck.  Every stop light will piss you off to no end.  Once we were inside, the contractions, now about 4 minutes apart, caused me to puke twice.  My midwife then checked my progress and I was only dilated to two centimeters (the goal is 10, for those who don't know).  This was extremely disappointing and demoralizing.  The contractions already hurt this bad and I was ONLY at a 2!  How long would it take to get to 10?!  This was about the time I starting feeling that I had made a huge mistake.  All I could think about was a giant needle diving into my lower back, delivering a cold stream of relief.

My midwife told me to relax, make myself as comfortable as possible, and then she drew me a nice warm bath.  She said we would wait about and hour, check my progress again and see where I was at.  I got in the tub and it definitely helped.  It should be noted that the tub was legitimately warm.  Not like at hospitals, where most of the time the water is 1 degree warmer than ice cold.  The bath tub really helped to at least get relaxed.  Between contractions I would lie back letting the warm water wash over my belly, but during contractions I would sit up on my knees and swing my hips from side to side.  Moving your hips helps to get the baby into position, but it also just felt better in my situation.  While in the tub, I told my midwife and my husband many times that I wasn't sure I could do this.  The pain was really bad.  Both of them were very supportive and reassuring the entire time.  My midwife told me to relax my neck and shoulders, take deep breaths and breath down through the baby.  These little tips also helped tremendously.

I was only in the tub for about a half hour before I felt like I wanted to stand up.  Oh, and I forgot to mention that I threw up two more times while in the tub.  Not IN the tub, but in a trash can beside the tub.  When I stood up, I could really feel the baby getting lower and lower.  I told my husband that I felt like was really, really close to pushing.  It's amazing how in sync you are with your body when you can actually feel it.  My midwife came back to measure my progress again.  I was at 8cm!  It had only been about 45 minutes since I measured 2cm.  My confidence shot way up.  I was moving fast and this horrific pain wouldn't last that much longer.  At my follow up appointment 2 days later, they told me that sometimes this happens.  Your body starts heavy labor, and your cervix takes a little time to catch up.

I was now standing and doing a little dance every time a contraction hit.  I'm sure I looked ridiculous, I literally "put my hand upon my hip, when I dip, you dip,we dip".  But I didn't care.  That hip movement combined with the breathing was the only little bit of relief and comfort I could get.  It perhaps had less to do with the movements and more to do with diverting my focus from the pain to my little dipidy routine.  When my midwife suggested that I lie down on the bed, my husband says I got kind of bitchy (maybe even demonic) as I declined.  I needed my hip dip!

About 15 minutes after measuring at an 8 we were pushing.  My previous experiences with pushing were watching lines jump up on a monitor and then pushing as hard as I could.  This time I was told to let the baby do the pushing.  Of course I couldn't help but also give it some conscious effort (after all, I was ready to get this over with!), but my body really was doing a lot of the work on it's own.  It was such a weird feeling.

I don't remember exactly how many pushes it took, but less than 2 hours after arriving at the birthing center Oliver was born.  It's a boy!  And that means that I was wrong. I had called girl!  He came straight out of the womb and onto my chest vs into a clear plastic box.  He was nursing within minutes.
My inlaw's took my son with them to their house after Oliver was born so he could get some sleep, but my daughter refused to leave.  She wouldn't even tell them good bye because she thought it was a trick.  Can you tell how tired her and my husband are here?

I lied down on the bed with Oliver on my chest while the midwives (the assistant midwife came just as Oliver was born.  She would have been there sooner but I had progressed very quickly) cleaned me up.  They insisted that he finish getting his first meal before they took him to get his measurements.  Just another little thing they do at the birthing center that caters to mom and baby instead of catering to procedure and protocol.

I was really cold and shaky after giving birth and they said it was because of all the effort I had put out plus the fact that I puked up my previous meal.  They gave me a bunch of juice boxes and we sent my husband to get me something to eat.  It was 5am, and what's the best early morning/late night meal in Texas?  Jack In The Box!  He brought me a ham egg cheese croissant and two tacos.  It was delicious.

At 6:30, a mere 4 hours after arriving, we were loading up our new bundle and headed home.  I kept crying a little on the drive home, just because it was all so surreal.  Did I really just have this baby?  Less than 12 hours ago I was walking home from the track!  I was also just so f#@$ing proud of myself.  I did it!  One of my favorite quotes in 'The Business Of Being Born' is "I came to a wall and I scaled it".  I really did come to a wall where I didn't think I was strong enough to handle the task at hand, but I did it.

Here I am almost a week later and I feel fantastic.  I can't believe how much different my recovery time has been.  Most people attribute the quicker recovery to the fact that your body isn't having to purge itself of medication.  I don't know exactly, but I know that I like it.  I usually endure an entire week of what I call the "my body hates me" phase where your back hurts, your boobs hurt and your lady parts especially hurt.  As of day two, nothing really hurt.

My birthing center experience was everything I wanted in this birth.  My midwives were attentive, supportive, and allowed me be in charge of my own birth process.  The center itself is a very relaxing place.  No giant fluorescent lights in my eyes, no swarms of people in and out of our room and in the hallways.  It was a very peaceful place and I couldn't have asked for anything better.
Daddy rocking his newest son at the birthing center.
-Hugh Jass


  1. what a really cool birth story! congratulations on your new arrival. he's a cutie!

  2. I'm so proud of you! This made me miss my big day w Tripp :) it's amazing what you can tolerate without all the unnecessary intervention! I was stunned it could go so well, and I can see yours did too (and even faster! Yay!) beautiful boy!!!

  3. WOW, that does sound like a great experience.
    Without medication?! Amazing! Quite an accomplishment!
    I am so happy for you :)