Letters

About Your Birth…

For those who just want a quick story, my labor was 53 hours long with 4 hours of pushing. A chiropractic adjustment allowed me to have a natural birth without an epidural. Our doula was awesome and Dad was the best.

Dear Daughter,

You took your time coming into the world but it wasn’t really your fault.

I went into labor around 3 in the morning. My contraction pain was largely in my hip joints or sockets. It was very strange but I thought it might be your position or maybe just how early labor was going to feel for me. It wasn’t bad and I was not interested in heading to the hospital until things progressed. Dad and I hung out all day with me trying different things to relax in case it wasn’t true labor, and trying not to wear myself out before hard labor began if it was real.

Dad was antsy and worried about traffic going to the hospital since we easily live a hour away with traffic. Late afternoon, I finally agreed to go to the midwives, whose office is at the hospital, to get checked out, just to see what kind of progress we were making.

Turns out, we were doing pretty good, but I wasn’t particularly convinced anything was moving fast because my contractions had been the same all day. The midwife who checked me said to get something to eat and then check into the hospital because I would likely be ready in a few hours.

We decided to go to our doula’s house instead of hanging out at the cafeteria. Though nothing had changed for me, we went to the hospital around midnight or maybe a little before. (I really don’t remember, but it was dark and felt late.)

At the hospital I was checked again and nothing had changed. The midwife’s advice was to walk around and what-not for a hour or so and then see about progress. We walked a few laps and I was checked again to find no progress.

At this point, I’m still not overly concerned because the pain isn’t that bad and I know first babies can take longer. I get a shot to eliminate the pain and go back to our doula’s house so that I can get some sleep. If labor really began the shot would be ineffective and we’d go back to the hospital.

In the morning, the contractions continue and I’m starting to feel really worn out. See, the pain started off mainly in my hips and it was still there but it was also causing my thigh muscles to hurt really bad. By midday, I was basically just crying from the pain, largely because the pain wasn’t due to labor progressing. Our doula tried all kinds of methods trying to get you to move thinking that might be the problem but nothing worked. She called everyone she could think of for advice on what the issue might be and how to fix it.

Mid-afternoon I finally decided that I was going to have to get an epidural. I was sad about that but I couldn’t stand the pain anymore. Plus I was exhausted. We went to the farmers market to walk around a bit hoping to make some progress and to get a bit of food before heading to the hospital again.

While we were out our doula called in a favor and got me a last minute appointment at a chiropractor. I don’t know who came up with the idea of seeing a chiropractor but that saved us.

We stopped on our way to the hospital. The chiropractor did a very quick adjustment and the pain on the next contraction was different. My hips and thighs still hurt but it wasn’t from the contraction as much as it was just being sore.

At the hospital, I still had no progress, so I got the drugs to sleep again. Needless to say, the drugs didn’t work that time. I think Dad was able to get a little bit of sleep before I finally made him wake up to go back to the hospital. The pain was very intense and thankfully no longer in my hips and thighs.

This time when we got to the desk at the hospital, I basically demanded a room. Actually I was in a wheel chair this time. See we’d always had to enter the hospital through the emergency room and the first night I walked myself to the maternity ward. I intended to do that again but apparently I didn’t say so convincingly enough so they brought me a wheelchair. Anyway, the desk at the maternity ward wasn’t really aware that we were coming but I’d been in contact with the midwives on call throughout my labor process so whoever was on call already knew I was coming. The front desk was very confused because they were in the dark.

I got a room that time instead of being in triage. And really, I don’t remember a whole lot about labor after that. I remember trying a few different positions and not really being able to move myself. Dad and our doula moved me around. I remember my water breaking because the midwife was going to check progress and it broke before she could do that. And not only did it break, but it made a big mess. Water gushed and then as they were going to change the pads, it gushed again so that they had to change all the sheets – I sat on the toilet while that happened.

I remember pushing for a long time but it didn’t seem like four hours. I remember having to tell Dad to hush because he was giving me good feedback about what I was going but our doula and midwife was telling me to give more. That contradiction was difficult to hear and his positivity made me try less.

I remember whatever the midwife was doing ‘down there’ was painful. I think she was massaging me, trying to prevent a tear, but it hurt. I tore anyway and the stitches hurt.

I remember Dad telling me you were a girl. And I remember Grammy calling him as he was cutting the cord which made me kind of mad. (But that’s a whole other story.) I remember getting to told you skin to skin for the first time and I just wanted to touch your face and trace your features. I was doing this and your face was squishing up and I said something to our doula about you not liking it. Her response was something about how nobody particularly likes that – duh, haha.

There’s a lot more to the process of your birth, like the before parts and after parts. But overall this is the story. I’ll write another time to tell you about the rest.

Love, Mom.

 

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