Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Natural Birth

In honor of Wesley's birthday, I'm posting his birth story along with some pictures.  I have a passion for natural birth and I love sharing my story with other people.  I had such great experiences both times with my births that it makes me long to have more children.  I know, lock me up in a padded cell, but I really DO love giving birth!  Weird huh?  Here is Wesley's story.

Wesley Eric Voll was born on September 2, 2009 at 11:11am weighing 8lbs 8oz and 20" long.

I went to my Dr's appointment on the 1st at 5 days late, after 2 separate times of having long early labor.  One time lasting 5 hours, another time lasting 18 hours.  The nurse practitioner informed me that I was 3cm and 50% effaced.  She said I just needed something to kick start labor.

Went home slightly discouraged even though I knew I didn't want to be induced at all.  We discussed how long they would let me go over my due date and she just scheduled me for a NST and ultrasound the next Tuesday when I would be 41 weeks 5 days.

I ate dinner and all through dinner and after, I was having contractions fairly regularly.  Contractions were between 7 and 5 minutes apart, but seeing that I had 18 hours of early labor before, I didn't want to be an alarmist.  They really started to pick up around 10:30pm.  I called Rachel in Asheville to let her know that I thought it was finally the real thing.  She left right away and I was so excited that she would be there soon!

Rachel got here at 1:30am and we visited and made some comfrey tea for ice packs.  I finally decided we both needed a nap around 4:00, so we both went to sleep.  I took a shower and got a couple hours of sleep.  Around 8, we all got up and ate breakfast, then we got dressed and took Curtis for a walk on his tricycle.  I would stop and take breaks when I had a contraction and just breathe through it.  I was actually very comfortable just walking around outside.  I had no idea how far dilated I was, what station, etc.   I didn't care.  All I cared about is that it felt right and I knew I'd be holding my baby very soon!  I didn't want a nurse or a doctor telling me what my body was already telling me!  After about 45 mins of walking, I decided it was time that Brian take Curtis to Doug and Katy's house.

I got ready for the hospital while Brian was dropping him off.  When Brian got back around 9:45, I told him it was time I think about going in.  I had called the Dr's office, but no one had called back yet (figures), so we just went into the hospital.  I started my MP3 player with the hypnobirthing tracks I had put on there and got into the van.  When we left, I was still able to breathe through and walk through my contractions, but by the time we took the 2 minute drive to the hospital, I no longer felt that I could walk through them, but was able to still breathe through them just fine. 

They wheeled me upstairs to the L&D floor.  I had 4 nurses ask me if I was scheduled to come in for induction because I was so calm.  They were asking me "are you in labor?" "Are you sure, you seem so relaxed".  I told them that was the whole point!  I worked hard preparing and kept myself relaxed so I could have an easy peaceful birth.  They got me into a room and hooked me up to monitors (yuck).  While getting the gown on, the contractions were intensifying again and Rachel applied counter pressure to my lower back, which was very helpful. 

After being hooked up to the monitors for about 10 minutes, they started filling the tub, then after 5 more minutes the nurse checked me for dilation and said I was at 8cm! WOW!  I didn't think I'd be that far progressed when I came in.

They finally let me get into the tub.  I was able to try to relax for a few minutes, but then transition hit me hard.  My hands, arms, legs, and feet were so tingly, like someone had sent an electric pulse through them.  I have read that during transition in natural labor that you feel a sort of natural high.  I definitely did with this birth and it was so amazing!  I can honestly say that Rachel's aromatherapy lavender oil she added to the bath was so calming.  The peppermint she used to help with possible nausea was awesome too.  The contractions were getting very intense and the counter pressure was no longer helping much.  I felt the need to push after a few minutes on the first push my water broke.  I could feel the baby's head and knew it wouldn't be long.  I was still in the tub and as much as I would have loved to stay in there and birth in the tub, they don't allow it.  I figured I might as well get out so I don't break the rules.

Once out I began to push.  No one told me not to push and I just did whatever I felt comfortable doing.  The nurses paged Dr V. who came running in shortly after.  Dr Vuong just told me to push in whatever position I felt comfortable.  I really loved having Dr Vuong.  She was very reassuring and calming.  She used the olive oil we had for pereneal massage and the baby was coming very fast.  It was burning a lot like I was going to tear because of how fast the baby was crowning.  Finally his head came out and I could feel his little ears and hair.  One final push and his shoulders and body came out.  Brian announced "It's a boy" and I just kept saying "I feel so much better" and started talking to the baby.

Dr. Vuong left Wesley on my chest while she waited for the cord to finish pulsating so she could cut it.  She said I didn't need any stitching!  I couldn't believe it!  NO tearing!  I didn't have any with Curtis either, just a bit of a paper cut, but nothing with Wesley!  The cord finished pulsating, so she clamped it and Brian cut it.  The placenta delivered a few minutes later and was so neat to see. Yes, I'm one of "those" people who like to see it :)

I let them take Wesley after a few minutes to get weighed and he was 8lbs 8oz 20" long.  I expected him to be bigger since he was 6 days late.  He got a diaper on and then I cuddled with him in bed and nursed him for the first time.  He latched on so well and loved to nurse.  I felt so blessed to have such a healthy baby boy!  He even lifted his head off my chest.  He was very strong for a newborn.

I came into the hospital around 10:15 and he was born at 11:11am only 10 minutes after my water broke and 5 minutes of pushing.  I was so amazed by how quickly things went and attribute it all to being so relaxed and using good breathing techniques.  I never had the chance to really use my hypnobirthing besides the breathing techniques because I was so calm and comfortable just walking around outside before we went in and talking with Rachel kept me distracted and eased any anxiety I had.

It was the best birth experience I could ask for and all my birth plans were followed to a T.  The nurses and Dr Vuong were very accommodating.  I feel so blessed to have experienced such a great birth in a hospital.  I really longed for a home birth, but this was fantastic.  The recovery was quick and I felt great!  Rachel was a huge part of why I was so relaxed and she was so great with the aromatherapy oils.  I loved having her there and so did Brian.  We were very lucky to have her as a birth assistant!

Keep in mind, I was 8-9cm here and this was 15 minutes before he was born!  I guess I look pretty good considering.

Right after he started crying.  He was starting to pink up.

I love you little Wesley

After his first bath, he folded his hands like this by himself.  What an angel.

A year later and I can still picture what it was like to meet my second little boy for the first time.  Some things are a blur, but I love having pictures to look back and see what a neat experience it was.  I feel so incredibly blessed that I have gone through 2 extraordinary births.   I hope that if we do decide to have more children that I can have a home birth, but for now, we are done having kids.

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