Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Curtis John Voll, a birth story

When preparing for parenthood, I always knew I wanted to have a natural birth.  Needles going into my back, giving me numbing medication or making me doped up with IV drugs just didn't appeal to me.  I hate feeling numb or drugged up and I knew that it was so much better for me and the baby to stay 100% unmedicated and intervention free.

Brian and I intended to try to have children after we were married for 2 years.  Little did we know, we are apparently both very fertile people and we were only married 5 months before we found out we were expecting our first child.  I had just started going to a chiropractor for the first time and actually began babysitting for one of them that summer.  They had an 11 month old little boy.  Molly, the chiropractor's wife, was a labor and delivery nurse and a midwife (not practicing in NC) and taught Hypnobirthing classes.  When she told me about the course, I knew it was for me.  I didn't have any idea really how I was going to go about preparing to birth naturally, so this was a Godsend! 

Brian and I took the classes and it helped me so much.  The fear release was so important to "wash away" any bad thoughts about birth and bad stories people tell you to scare you.  The breathing techniques and the relaxation music were very relevant for me during labor and birth.

I came into the hospital at about 10:00am after having contractions since 4:00am.  I was admitted and brought into triage.  The nurse left to talk to the Dr to see if they were going to send me home.  I was 3-4cm and 90% effaced +1 station.  While the nurse was out talking with the doctor my water broke at about 11:30am.  It was then that they decided to admit me.  I was excited because I knew the baby would definitely be born today and I wouldn't have to go through any type of induction.  If I knew then what I know now, I would have stayed home longer, but being that it was my first baby, I was so excited and ended up going into the hospital ridiculously early.  Thank goodness I had a very explicit birth plan.

My hypnobirthing instructor, Molly, came for the beginning of my labor until she had to leave for Florida to go on vacation for her birthday.  She worked as a nurse at that hospital, so she helped get me settled in and made sure the nurses who were assigned to me were more natural birth oriented.  I was only 1 day after my "due date" but I had a scheduled non-stress test for the following week. Everything was going well and the nurses were pretty hands off.  The Doctor was a bit of a different story. 

He checked my dilation and I was at 5cm.  I'm not sure what time this was, but I know I hadn't been at the hospital too long and he immediately offered me pitocin.  I'm not sure why, since I was progressing and having great active labor.  I told him no and that it was on my birth plan to not even MENTION pitocin.  He also checked me for dilation purposely while I was having a contraction.  That was terrible!  Thanks for ruining my concentration.  Apparently that progression wasn't enough for that doctor and he wanted to "clean up" before the shift change. 

I was able to get back in my zone and Molly and I figured that the baby was possibly lying with its back against mine causing slight back labor.  I got on all 4s and he ended up turning himself after a few minutes.  I also got on the toilet facing backwards to turn him.  This was SO uncomfortable and really the only time I can consider myself in "pain" during labor.  Molly had to leave so she could go on her vacation.  I was so thankful that she was there to help me get settled at the hospital and set me up for a successful labor and birth.

I was checked again, at 6cm, and then I got into the tub.  I really fell asleep in the tub.  I was in there for about 1 1/2 hrs or 2 hrs (not sure bc I was out of it).  I heard the other doctor come in the room and speak very quietly to the nurse about my progress, and then he left.  He didn't want to check me?  Yes!  Finally, there was a doctor who just wants to leave me alone.  Right before transition, I felt the baby kick himself down with a contraction pushing his head into the pelvis.  Transition is different for everyone and I just felt nauseous and loopy.  I felt sick and did end up throwing up, but not a big deal after I got showered off.  However, the cool water from the shower (not sure why it never got warm) was not comforting and I started losing my concentration again. 

I got out of the tub and was then checked, and I was 8-9cm already. The doctor (a different one from the "pitocin" doctor) had left to go get dinner, so they had to page him.  I began feeling like I needed to start pushing already and I had to blow the air out through every contraction.  No more than 10 minutes after they had checked me when I got out of the tub, they checked me again and I was almost 10cm with just a tiny "lip" left.  They told me to push if I felt like it.

My doctor wasn't there yet so in walked a bunch of nurses and a midwife, who was so sweet.  Her British accent really made me laugh. It was kind of a blur for the next few minutes and I asked them if they could see the head.  That's when they told me it was right there and crowning.  They also said my Dr was on his way and might not make it.  The midwife massaged the perineum a lot, which stung a little, but I knew it was the best, so I envisioned the opening of the flower to help the pain disappear.  I touched his head and saw it in a mirror too, which was a great motivator, let me tell you.  

I really began to push a lot and it helped when they told me to imagine pushing up towards the ceiling.  No counting, I just pushed when I felt it, took a deep breath and pushed some more and rested between.  My sister kept giving me lots of water, which helped a ton.   I must have looked really thirsty.  I remember my tongue was so dry!  I only pushed for 30 minutes and the doctor made it for the
last 10 minutes.  I only had 2 stitches total which probably weren't really necessary.  

After the final push, the doctor showed him to us and Brian announced it was a boy!  He was 8lbs 4oz and 21 ½ inches long.  Only cried a tiny bit when he was born and when placed on my chest with a blanket, he was totally calm.  The placenta came out within about 2 minutes and they cut the cord.  He stitched me up (no big deal, couldn't feel it) and they took the baby to check him out and weigh him.  His apgars were 9 and 9 and he was perfect.  
During labor I was running a low grade fever and I had low blood pressure, but the baby looked good any time I was monitored, so it was ok.  I did end up asking for an IV because I just couldn't keep hydrated well with water since I just didn't really feel like drinking much.  I think I was just so excited! The temp went down after he was born and my blood pressure returned to normal shortly after as well.  It must have been my body's response to labor.  I naturally have low blood pressure anyway.  I felt kinda faint the whole time, but I worked through it.

Without hypnobirthing, I would have not been prepared to have a totally natural birth that I'd dreamed of always having.  It was the best experience I've ever had.  I was laughing, smiling, talking, sleeping, breathing, and just enjoying every minute of my labor and birth.  Curtis was a very calm baby.  He only fussed when he was hungry.  I always got comments on how well behaved he was as a baby and he's a joy to be around.  I credit this to hypnobirthing.  It was such an amazing experience and made me very excited to have more children in the future.

First meeting :)

Check out the cone head!

My grandma Penny.  She passed away in 2008.

Now!  Awe, my handsome boy.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Oh Gym, where have you been all my life?

I must admit, I'm out of shape.  Having 2 kids not only makes your body change A LOT, but it makes it very difficult to find any time for yourself.  That being said, I've never really been in "tip top shape" so to speak, but I was once more muscular.

Been feeling sorta down and stressed out lately.  I'm sure a lot of that has to do with the weather being so horrible.  Didn't I move to North Carolina to get away from the Ohio weather?  Um yes... and this year I feel like I'm back up there!  (except w/o my family :(   )

So anyway, I decided to join a gym.  I don't have a lot of spending money every month, but decided to dedicate a little bit of it each month towards a gym membership.  So far, money well spent.  I LOVE it.  Usually I had to wait till the weather was nice, or the kids were napping, etc... before I could go for a run or do a workout video.  Let me tell you, this is so much nicer!  I don't have kids hanging on me while trying to get in a good workout, I'm around ONLY adults, and the temperature is always (generally) the same.  No more waiting for the perfect moment.

Right now I am trying to figure out the best time to go.  Either after Brian gets home or after Wesley goes to bed.  I met with a personal trainer today for some pointers.  It's free for the first couple times, so I just did it for fun.  It was great!  I really got some great ideas.  I had no idea how to use the free weights correctly and what exercises I can do to help me.

It's already helped my stress levels and the tension in my back.  There are TV's on the treadmill and elliptical machines, and you can plug in your earphones and watch whatever you want.  Then, of course, I have my MP3 player so I can listen to whatever music I want to get me motivated :).

If you have any pointers on websites to go to get different exercise routines/ideas, let me know.  I'm so excited about this new "me" time.  Maybe if I get brave enough, I'll take some "before" pictures of my bad areas so I can track my progress.

This is my gym