Read this mom's birth story below the pictures, text version
Mom arrives at the hospital find that sitting on the bed while leaning on dad and having doula push on her lower back is her favorite position.
Mom is checked and found to be 8cm!
Mom announces that she feels like pushing...and dad's face shows his concern.
Immediately after delivery, mom is handed her new baby girl.
A beautiful baby girl meets her mom.
The baby is taken away to go into the NICU while dad makes phone calls.
Mom, dad, and doula.
Mom goes into the NICU to visit with her baby.
Baby nurses for the first time.
Mom, dad, and baby in the NICU.
On Monday, July 5, 2000 I had the first prenatal with my doula. And just in the knick of time. After much conversation we figured that due to my 32 to 33 day cycles my dude date was not August 17, as the u/s at 11 weeks had said, but August 2. I confirmed this by showing her how I could flatten from my navel upward on my belly. "Yep, she dropped alright" Hope said. On Tuesday, July 6, 2000 I was leaving the dentist's and began feeling contractions. Not painful unless I was sitting, but noticeable. After speaking with my doula and another doula who was a friend of mine I figured it was early labor. Regardless, I went to the hospital at 4:00am just to see if it was dilating me at all. It was not. I spent the next four days without sleep or comfort, but bathed in the joy of knowing my daughter would be coming soon. I was concerned because it would be early, but three weeks wasn't too bad. During my 28th, but in reality 31st, week I switched from a Perinatologists office after a hospitalization for asthma. Which was a good thing since I explaned my desire for a natural delivery and having everyone, including the receptionsit laugh at me. Didn't help the I was a primipara at 17 years of age. The new OB accepted my birthplan, but unfortunately left the practice 2 weeks after my change in providers. On Friday, July 9, I went in for a non stress test and regular check up. A different OB came in and introduced herself and said, "We need to discuss your birth plan". Oh boy, I knew this was coming at some point. We proceeded to have a heated argument on whether or not I would allow her to do an episiotomy, continuous monitoring, pitocin if I labored longer than 24 hours and forceps/vaccum extraction. Here I was, had not slept in days, was having contractions while lying on my back for this extra long NST and there is this OB telling *me* how *I* would give birth. Needless to say she walked out and after spending about fifteen minutes cooling off came back in and tried the conversation again. We both explaned our reasons. Hers was my child and myself's safety and mine was the preservation of my natural birth. We both agreed to handle it one step at a time. I knew I would like the OB. She checked me and I was barely 1cm. She told me to take Tylenol PM in order to actually sleep. Saturday night I was at my older friend's home. She is a wonderful, clairvoyant woman who is like a mother to me. I began begging her for lessons in self-hypnosis. If I was this miserable during early labor, I was horrible afraid of the real thing. She told me I didn't have enough time left. This little girl was coming and she was coming soon. My husband and I went home. I remember waking up at 5 am at some point feeling the pillow tucked between my legs was wet. I figured I had coughed and tinkled a bit. I was so tired from lack of sleep and tylenol PM I dreamed that I would just have to clean it up in the morning, I was not getting out of bed for anything. At 11am. I woke my husband up. There was clear sticky stuff that gushed out of me as I sat up in the bed. I shouted, "Chris? did we have sex?". "No" was his reply. "Oh my goodness... get up ! It is amniotic fluid!". So we both jumped up before the mystery goo could touch us. I went out onto our back screened in porch and began calling people. Chris, on the other hand ran around like a fool packing the bag. Around 1pm my doula arrived. Ed, my husband's friend was over as well as my mother in law. I sat on my birth ball waiting for a contraction while talking with my older daughter and her "other" mom . Marilyn, my wonder mother type figure, called around 1:30pm to tell me to not dilly-dally. Chloe was coming fast. She was not going to wait. I told her that I would go to the hospital once in active labor. She made me promise that I would.. she said I could wind up having this baby in the car. First child? Nah... I had at least 10 hours to go, more considering that I wasn't really contracting yet. Hope and I decided to go for a walk. I met up with friends on the street and announced that I was having a baby. "I can see that," my friend replied. "No, I am having her right now." What looks you get when announcing this while walking on the street. We arrived home shortly because I live in Florida.. it was July and hot. Hope the entire time reminding me to keep my hands above my belly, not below it. "Allow her to descend," she would say. She made me keep my feet apart, while outside talking she had me lunge. I was actually contracting regularly around 5pm. I decided to shower since I wanted to be clean for the birth and thought the water would help relax me. Labor really picked up in there. I found it so wonderful to get on my knees, lay my head on the bath tub floor and slowly breathe during each contraction. Since I had not been tested for group B strep yet, Hope felt we should go to the hospital just in case I need IV antibiotics. So, my mother in law came over and we left around 7pm or so. My husband floored it the whole way. I don't like yelling at him to slow down so my mother in law and doula can follow while in active labor. We stopped at a store for snacks and pretty much bought one of everything. We arrived at the hospital around 7:30pm. I entered through the Emergency Room and announced that I am not preregistered and in labor. They sent a wheel chair down. People kept looking at me, breathing slowly during contractions. My mother in law holding this huge blue birth ball, my husband with several bags and my doula with bags herself looking like she was ready to jump in and help me at any point. The wheel chair arrived, I went upstairs. I was straggling behind everyone else into the room when I noticed I kept going in but everyone else was walking out. The nurse ordered me to come in and change into a gown. I told everyone to come back, nurse said no. I said "Wait... Husband, that is self explanatory . Doula, I hired her for a reason . Mother in law... she can go for now." I went in... still contracting strongly but not making a sound. The nurse told me to go in the bathroom and pee in the cup. I tried... but I could not. She got upset at this.. told me to get onto the bed and put the gown on. I told her that I would be laboring in the outfit that I had on. She argued, and I said, "This is for my comfort. Check with the doctor is you must". As I got onto the bed she said, "Well, you obviously aren't very far along...". She checked me and got this funny look on her face. Hope asked what she found. I was 5cm, fully effaced. "Great!" was Hope's reply. I drank some tea, which the nurse didn't like. Hope was trying to get me comfortable. The birth ball, she said... I sat down.. started a contraction and up I flew. That was not how I wanted to be. My mother in law was in there now trying to stay out of my way. Her only birth experience was with my other daughter, which didn't go well. I tried leaning on the bed.. but was tired. I decided to sit on the bed with my left leg hanging down the side.. my husband in front of me sitting so that I could hold him with my doula behind me digging into my lower bag with her fingers. I remember at some point, Suzette, my mother in law's ex -wife, getting me a drink of water. She began to ask if I wanted ice or a straw.. all I rememeber was thinking "water.. I dont care if you throw it on my face.. just give me water". I think I said it actually, and Suzy just said, "Ohh... ok.. here" and handed me the cup. My OB came in and checked me around 8:45pm or so.. I was 8cm. I remember thinking that maybe tylenol would ease it a bit.. but soon ignored that thought. It was pain. But I slowly breathed out as a contraction began.. maybe sometimes I would sigh when it hit. The whole time Hope is saying "You're doing great". I got to tired of hearing that. Then my husband and doula were watching the barely attached monitor show contractions off of the chart and saying "Oh wow.. look at that one". I welcomed the compliments on how good I was instead. Better than that other babble. I asked to be checked again at 9pm. I was 9.5 cm with a little bit of a lip left. Five minutes later I have the sudden urge to push and every part of my body pushed down so hard that I felt like I was lifted off of the bed gravitating for a moment. I announced that I was going to push. "Wait, lemme get the doctor," Hope said. I didn't care.. I was going to push anyway. The OB rushed in and said "Let her push". People rushed in because they still thought I was at 35 weeks gestation and prepared for a preemie. I laid back and fell asleep. The doctor said to push when ready and Hope quietly said, "Remember this is the rest period we spoke about." I started feeling the urge to push again. I didn't want to because I felt like I was pooping. It was the OB doing some great perineal massage. I asked if I was pooping and she told me that I was not, it was her stretching my perinium. So I pushed three times and out came Chloe Anna-Marie James-Faulkner. My husband had tears in his eyes as she crowned. He looked at me with total gratitude in his eyes. His daughter who he has been expecting for years had come. I saw her little face and she looked just like my father. The only thing I thought was, "Oh my God, I just gave birth to my father." I held her and she was taken away to go to the NICU. The OB said, "And you didn't even tear.. just a lil skid mark that doesn't even need a stitch". I lifted my head, said "I told you so" and laid back down to rest. My older daughter, Jasmine, came in and I explained that the baby she had waited for was out. She didn't understand. I was cleaned and taken to the NICU where I saw her for the first time. She was beautiful. Tiny. Born at 9:55pm on 7/11/99. All 5lbs. 5.9 ounces of her. She was 17 and a half inches long. Bright red. Lots of hair. Beautiful. My second daughter. I made a feeble attempt at nursing her. She would latch, but not suck. They had forced a bottle down her throat immediately after birth. I went back to my room to rest and my doula greeted Chris and I with food.
The rest of the story is a horrible one. I will never give birth in a hospital again. Apparently, even though my milk had not come in, I was letting her nurse too often. Every hour was too much, they brought her to me over night only every three hours so that she would no longer use me as a pacifier. Needless to say by Wednesday she had lost 13% of her body weight, was severely jaundiced, acidotic and severely dehydrated. I was able to get her home Friday afternoon after promising to bottle feed her. I refused to give her anyting but the breast and even though by Saturday she had lost 2 ounces.. She nursed like a champ Saturday night. She never left the breast willingly ever since. Believe in your body. Even though I was 17, I educated myself. I am still known at that hospital a year later for my natural birth. For trusting my body to do its job. I am a doula myself now. My first client is due any day at the same hospital with the same OB. Her birth plan replicates mine. She is so much like me. And she in turn will surprise others. She will pass on the word. And eventually, some day.. we will trust our bodies once again. We will someday give birth back to the mother.