Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Pain free birth

So you wanted to hear it so here you go….
Why is it that women love to talk about their birth stories? Maybe because child birth is so empowering.
When I was pregnant with Myla (she was my first) people felt they needed to tell me all the horrible things that happen during their labor and that labor was really really hard. I went into having Myla scared and I did not have the understanding I have now about labor and what our bodies were designed for.

A short version of my birth story with Myla:

My water broke at 1 am, mind you Kirk and I were still awake watching a movie (dumb). I was so excited about having a baby that I called Kaiser and of course they said that I had to come right down. Kirk (having this be his third child) said when I told him my water broke that we were in for a long night and that we should try to get some sleep. That would have made to much sense. I packed my bag and off we went. I sat in a bed for hours not able to get any sleep. My contractions started but were not very close together (since I was sitting in a bed and not able to walk around) so they started pitocin. Pitocin by the way not fun! Anyway needless to say I got an epidural. I was totally numb and could not understand how to push since I could not feel anything. I had oxygen on my face while I was pushing (for three hours). Having her be my first I will always remember the feeling of seeing her for the first time. Hearing her sweet cry and feeling so grateful for my Father in Heaven for giving me such a wonderful gift. With that being said there was so much I did not like about my birth with Myla that when I found out I was pregnant with Sariah I was determined to have a different birth.

My ideal birth would be in the comforts of my own home. Since that is not an option I wanted to find something that would work and be educated so I could understand what my options were in a hospital and how to make my birth the way I wanted and felt was right.

Sariah’s birth story:
When I was five months pregnant my pelvic bone broke. It made walking very painful and sleeping at night, switching from side to side was almost impossible. I would scream out at night as I switched sides.

I went into labor on a Sunday morning. It was a great morning. Since I could not walk around or stand (the pressure was too much on my pelvic bone) I spent the morning on the couch. Kirk would come and sit by me and then go and play with Myla. We went to the hospital after laboring at home for three hours. Kirk, Myla and myself went to the hospital and my mom and sister met us there. When I got there I was a four and I was pretty happy with that and knew it would only be a few more hours. My sister was going to take Myla home with her but since everything was so calm she decided to stay for a while. During each contraction I would focus on my breathing and trust my body. I did not allow fear to enter in. My family would be talking quietly during each contraction which was just enough distraction for me and it worked perfectly. Between each contraction I would talk with my family and laugh and we really had a nice time. I think where birth becomes painful is when we fear what is coming next. That the pain is only going to get worse. transition is coming….. the pain is so bad….. When we allow our minds to think about these things we forget that God made our bodies to have children. Fear and faith can not coexists.
I wrote a very detailed birth plan and part of it I asked that the doctors or nurses to not ask about my pain level. They love to do that and it makes it hard to focus on anything but the pain.
If you have had a child before or understand how birth works you probably know the signs of when you enter transition. I knew when I entered transition but I did not allow my mind to think about it. I just kept breathing like I had been all along.
The midwife came in and checked me and I was a nine, she said that Sariah was face up and she wanted me to take a shower and see if I could get her to turn over. I had really strong back labor but I found a way to sit just right in bed with pillows behind my back that I did not feel the back labor at all. The only “pain” I experienced was when I tried to stand up and having a broken pelvic bone and she was so low that I had to sit right back down. Just standing up for a second was enough to get her to turn over and be in the right position for delivery.
I told the nurse it was time to push and she said no you are not ready yet. The doctor just checked you two minutes ago and you still need to progress a little. So I said ok and started pushing. Sometimes we know our body better than they do. I was making jokes even while I was pushing. I had the chance to deliver Sariah myself. That was amazing! If you have not done that it is soooo worth it. She was born into the arms of her mommy. Sariah’s birth was perfect. I felt so empowered that I could have a baby on my own. Pain free, no drugs and the way I wanted it to be.

I wanted to do a drug free labor more than anything. Kirk thinks pain meds have their place and purpose. So I think part of my desire was to prove Kirk wrong. I know that sounds bad. I am very stubborn and wanted to prove not that it matters but I wanted to prove I could do it.

Really it could have been a once in a lifetime experience and maybe it was just per luck.
The advice I could give would be to trust in your body, do as much research as you can about birth, and do not fear something this amazing. You will not die from the pain. Every second of discomfort is so worth it when you hold your little baby in your arms for the first time.


Lisa said...

I love how you say "when we allow our minds to think about (pain) we forget that God made our bodies to have children. Fear and faith can not coexist." Such a valid point. In fact, Forrest pointed out the same thing to me in almost those exact words when I was expressing some fears to him a while back, and it put me at instant ease. I think too many women have forgotten that giving birth is our divine right, and like you said, when you study childbirth and become aware of what our bodies do during labor and the natural mechanisms we have for coping, you realize it is nothing short of a miracle. I am always amazed at how our bodies release a "hormone cocktail" to perfectly orchestrate the events of labor and give us that post- birth "high." There's no doubt it is God's blueprint. Great story, Tiff.

Nikki said...

WOW! I'm so glad you posted this. I should direct any first time pregnant woman to this post! I got chills and tears when you said Sariah was born into her mommy's arms. That is beyond words, so amazing. I know I've heard these stories before but seeing it written out in detail was really uplifting. I think if you go into Capri's birth with the same attitude as you did with Sariah's you will have a very similar experince. Don't tell yourself it was a one time fluke but that it was YOU controlling YOUR emotions and you knew exactly what you needed to get the job done and with minimal pain. You can do it again!

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