Monday, January 27, 2014

About Childbirth

  • first of all, TAKE A CHILDBIRTH CLASS! Ours was free at our hospital and it was very helpful for a number of reasons. 
    • it helped me get used to the hospital (they make me uncomfortable) and seeing the birth suites and knowing what to expect while there helped soothe some of my first-timer anxiety. 
    • it helped my husband be more aware of what was going on at all times as well as what my wishes were as far as my birth plan
  • Write a birth plan! But keep it short and simple. Doctors and nurses want to do their best to keep you happy but they don't have time to sit there are read a ten page essay on why you believe in kangaroo care. Mine was a simple list of bulletins that went something like this:
    • please keep lighting low during labor so I can relax as much as possible
    • please ask me about an epidural when appropriate! I will want one! (so worth it fyi)
    • delayed cord clamping would be preferred if possible
    • if possible my husband would like to cut the cord
    • please place baby skin to skin with me following birth
    • no epesiotomy unless medically necessary
    • no pitocin unless medically necessary
    • no c-section unless absolute emergency
    • if baby has to leave the room please have my husband go with
Think of your birth plan as a best scenario wish list and be prepared to kiss some of it goodbye. Here's how my birth went.

I didn't want to be put on pitocin. But my blood pressure spiked and I had to go to labor and delivery. When they decided to admit me my bp was 176/115 and rising. NOT GOOD. They told me I was either going to be induced or have an emergency c-section which I DID NOT want. (I have this thing about being sliced open...) So pitocin it was. Ok.

I slept like hell all night in the hospital, they gave me cervadil to ripen the cervix and get the ball rolling. The cervadil cause enough cramping that I hardly slept. Not bad, just annoying as pain levels go. They started me on pit the next day around noon or so. Labor started progressing and around 3 I asked for an epidural. I was having contractions in my back as well as front and couldn't get up and move around or shower or do anything but lay there and deal with it because they had me on magnesium (an anti-seizure medication) and a catheder. So I was basically chained to the bed.

Let me just say that the epidural is amazing and I highly recommend it. I got my epidural and I slept. And slept. Till I felt some pressure down below. I let my nurse know and suddenly it was show time! It was a good thing I got all that sleep because my little darling was turned sunnyside up and I was pushing for just over two hours. Thankfully the doc was able to get him to turn but I was terrified it was going to turn into a c-sec the whole time.

Back to my birth plan, I didn't want an epesiotomy. Had to have one anyway. I wanted to delay cord clamping but the cord was wrapped twice around his little neck. BUT at least my husband got to cut the cord and I got to have a minute of skin to skin before they whisked him away to the NICU where he stayed for 8 days. I didn't get to see him again for about twelve hours. I kept turning on my phone and staring at the picture my husband had snapped of him in his little NICU box. I don't know how long I stared at it. It was no substitution for having him there.

Let me just say that to the mothers of NICU babies I feel your pain. There is absolutely no worse feeling than going home without your baby. My awesome delivering doctor kept me there an extra day or two in the hopes he would be released at the same time as us but it didn't work out. I was released on day 4 and my little one was there for about 4 more. I went every day to visit and try to nurse him and help care for him. And when I left I would be ok until I parked my car in front of my house. And then I'd just cry and cry.

I cried because I was coming home without my baby AGAIN. Because I knew he was ok and it was the best place for him, I know he would soon be coming home. I cried because there were too many other babies there, so much smaller and more fragile that my 7lb 13oz little tank that probably had more questionable prognosis. I cried for their parents and what it must feel like for THEM to go home without their babies. It was a hard few days. But it made it that much sweeter when I got to bring little man home.

I strapped that baby in and drove like hell before they could come up with yet another reason to keep him. 

So here's some of my top suggestions for anyone interested:

  • as stated above take a child birth class and write up a birth plan
  • remember that the nurses are there to help you. They are on your side. Try to be nice to them because most of them are angels in disguise and most of them will do ANYTHING for you. 
  • go for that epidural! it's amazing! And if it doesn't work or work properly say something ASAP because it can be adjusted and fixed. DON'T WAIT. 
  • don't worry about the actual birth. Your body kind of takes over. It knows what to do, just follow it's lead and do what feels right.

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