Sunday, March 23, 2008

Natural Birth: Part One

** This post is back dated. It was written 3/23/13

A couple months ago I received a message from a sorority sister (Jane) who remembered I'd had a natural childbirth (with Josie) and wanted more information. I was excited to talk with her and share my story (probably WAY too much info). She sent me an update yesterday, telling me she had been able to have a 100% natural birth and had delivered a healthy baby boy. My heart JUMPED with excitement!

I decided to create some posts for people looking for more information about Natural Birth. I'm not doing this to belittle people who have C-sections or get epidurals…I simply want to give encouragement to women who think natural birth is an option for them. AND I want women who are unsure - to hear my story and at least consider learning more about it.

So - without further ado…

Natural Birth - Part One:
Let me begin by saying I am not a vegan or vegetarian. I don't really care for granola. I eat donuts and Oreos like it's my job. I also drink (more around Parent Teacher Conferences than normal). Why am I saying this? Because I want people to understand that a woman who chooses to have a natural birth can be a normal person (who sometimes makes poor eating choices and likes a beer {or two} every now and then). I'm not a hippie.

I'm also not someone with a super-amazing tolerance for pain. True Story: I was sick in 8th grade, right before our Track Conference. I was on a pretty killer 4x4 Relay team (we ended up with a school record - still a proud moment) and I needed to get healthy ASAP. So my Dad took me to the RediMed Clinic. They gave a diagnosis and wrote me a prescription for an antibiotic. Then the nurse went to get a shot (to speed up my recovery). I literally hid in the corner and cried. I was 13. Moral of the story: I'm actually a big wuss.

Fast forward to my first pregnancy. I was pretty laid back throughout my pregnancy. I read a book or two, but didn't take any classes. Instead, we watched some DVD's about childbirth and let our doctors tell us whatever else we needed to know. We were the typical "first time" parents. We had no idea what was in store for us.

When I was 35 weeks pregnant, my doctor scheduled an ultrasound because I was measuring "small." The ultrasound revealed that my baby boy wasn't growing.  The doctors feared my baby had IUGR and decided I should be induced at 36.5 weeks.  My induction was scheduled and I *thought* I was ready to have a baby. 

When I arrived at the hospital my blood pressure was through the roof. I was scared as hell. (who isn't?) From everything I had read online - this Pitocin stuff was considered to be the work of the Devil himself. I was hooked up to an IV and the day began. Everything was sunshine & butterflies for a few hours…and then the contractions got nasty. I was 5cm and asked for an epidural.

The anesthesiologist was tied up in an emergency situation in the OR. I waited, and waited, and waited. Almost an hour and a half later - he showed up and gave me the epidural. I was expecting relief…but when they laid me on my side - I screamed in pain! Everyone looked at each other confused. I explained the pain to the resident and she immediately checked me. I was 10cm and ready to push. I had labored through everything without the epidural…

I pushed for almost TWO hours and little Jack was born at 3:51pm on January 8, 2010. He was perfect and healthy. He weighed 6lbs 3oz…and at that moment, I realized DOCTORS DON'T KNOW EVERYTHING. 

I know a new mom is supposed to feel completely IN LOVE with her new baby. But I didn't. And I thought there was something wrong with me. I held him and looked at him and thought, "Who are you, little guy?" When they took me to my maternity room, they took Jack to the nursery for some tests and his first bath. Tyson, my parents, and my in-laws all went with him.  Because my legs were still numb from the epidural - I was confined to my bed and I sat in my room alone.  I remember feeling so disconnected. My body was a mess and I looked like hell. I sat and cried.

Fortunately, I snapped out of my funk and kept my sweet boy with me overnight. We bonded as we both tried to figure out the whole breastfeeding thing.

Before I was discharged from the hospital I noticed that my right thigh was still completely numb. I asked my nurse about it and she told me that sometimes women experience nerve damage while giving birth. I thought it was a lingering side effect from the epidural and asked to speak with an anesthesiologist. In typical hospital fashion - the anesthesiologist skirted around many of my questions and concerns. I left, in tears, afraid I'd never be able to feel my leg again.

Six months later, the feeling came back. I'm still not sure what caused the problem, but when I got pregnant with Josie - I vowed things would be different.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Leave some LOVE!