Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Blood Scare (not a horror movie title)

That wonderful, disbelieving moment had arrived. Out of me came a crying baby girl with perfect skin. She has a perfectly round head and was a nice light pink color. As she was immediately placed on my chest, In the back of my mind I wondered why there was so much blood. It was on my chest and all over her.  I was on cloud nine, but as I slowly came back to earth, the look between the hospital staff put me on instant edge, opening my ears to their conversation. 

Jessie told me in a reassuring voice that on the way out, Adelia’s umbilical cord broke a couple inches away from her body. Okay, no big deal I thought in my addled brain. Sure I wanted to wait a few minutes, but weren’t they supposed to cut it anyway? It wasn’t until the midwife snatched her away, to place under the heat lamp while the Staff surrounded her furiously that I became aware that this was truly a life threatening situation. 

Adelia’s blood was pumping out of her with every heart beat. She was hemorging and they had to spot it. They did and she spent more time being examined than the average newborn.  In the end she had to have a LOT more blood drawn than usual for constant testing. This made me mad, the poor baby lacked blood to begin with! Her umbilical stump was shorter than usual as the first clamp didn’t take (she now has an outtie).  She is has no lasting effects from the ordeal and we’re totally thankful!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Welcome Sweet Adelia Jolyn

Once in that semi sideways position, things went so fast. Kay had me feel her head, which seemed like a big blob of mucus to me and not very reassuring. I tried hard to not push but take deep exhaling expansionary breaths that I learned in training. Though I stopped listening to my body and continued to do this even when I wasn’t contracting. I appreciate Kay calming me down once by saying that I should breathe my baby out, just like I learned. I forgot that she was a registered birthing hypnotist.
The ring of fire came but didn’t seem as intense or long as before. Surprisingly once Adelia’s head
came out, her shoulders presented an equal challenge. But, the flick of a switch, and the oddest sensation that one can only know if they’ve had a huge mass suddenly exit their body. December 30, 2010 at 6:20 am Adelia joined our world and labor was over 2 hours and 20 minutes after I arrived at the hospital. Thank you Jesus for our wonderful girl!

Labor Pains
Once I accepted that she’d be born at St Joe’s, I had a calm come over me. No matter what, I would relax, and go with the flow. As my original birthing plan was shot to hell anyway, any small changes after this seemed minor.
We ended up in a regular L&D bed with no birth tub. During labor, Jessie had me go into the bathroom tub, which actually didn’t feel so great after the first minute or two. It was probably due to the slant sitting position and that I was so far along. I got out soon and knew the end was near. Strangely, walking during transition this time was not a problem. I ended up on the bed.
It honestly wasn’t until this time that the realization came that I would have this baby vaginally, 100% medication free, and on dry land. While refocusing on the hypno music, this hit me like a ton of bricks, to the vagina of course. WTF? What I crazy? I did not plan to have a baby outside the water! Surprisingly
I didn’t freak out over this though. I was refocused and constantly calmed by Brian and Jessie. But this did pose some problems. I hadn’t researched, nor practiced birthing positions outside the water.
What has not changed in 16 years, it that hospital beds high up, thin, and are awkward. I did make one attempt, turned around on my knees facing the rear of the bed, hanging over it with my arms dangling. This was only semi-comfortable and it was then that they fight or flight reflex kicked in. What the hell was I doing there? I wanted badly to march right out of that room and not stop until I was in the water birth room. Frustration built up, and it became harder to focus, thus slipping further away from the deepest levels of relaxation I should have been at in this point of labor.
Exasperated, I turned around and slid down and felt guided to the bed. The intensity increased 10 fold and this ladies and gents, is when I lost it. Compared to last time, my behavior to was completely lady like but I did say things such as “I don’t want to do this anymore”. “I’m done, I’m done, I’m DONE!” and “Get her out now!” I’m sure those present can remember the complete repertoire.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

In a Hypnotic State of Mind

Apparently there was a rush of laboring moms right before me. I asked for a water birth room, but both were taken. Despite this, I was relieved when we were finally assigned a room, though I can’t remember the number. Due to hospital policy, I had to be on the fetal heartbeat/contraction monitor for 20 minutes, but they only checked me once, and I was already 8 cm. Guess the weeks of pre-labor had added up.

Once settled in this room, the nursing staff checked me and after that, it was a blur as I focused deeply on my hypnobirthing excersises. Many people have a misconception about hypnosis. I know until this year I was one of them. For one, you can only hypnotize yourself. Yes you can be guided by listening to music or someone’s voice, but you can’t go into this state without your consent. Also, people are confused on what hypnosis feels like. Have you ever watched a movie (as is common in movie theatres) or got so into a book where you get so caught up in the story, resulting in you loosing track of time, your surroundings and even your own body signals? That’s hypnosis! There are different practices to achieve this state, but, according to the Mongan method, which I followed, the deeper you can go into it, the longer you can maintain calm, focus and birth at a more natural state.

So it’s no surprise that time and space was a blur for a while. Unfortunately, coming into this, I had problems achieving the deepest level of relaxation during practice. The reason I choose hypnobirthing in the first place because in my last birth experience with Lauren, which was in the water birth suite at St. Joe’s, I felt I did very well until about 8cm. That’s when I was told we’d be walking from the tub in the bath room to the birthing tub. Well during that tub I just lost all focus and upon entering the birthing tub I began to float, resulting in a complete loss of control of all my senses except those parts able to produce an assortment of swear words and thrashing around like I was possessed. Combined with not knowing what 100% natural child birth felt like, left me in shock and traumatized.

For the first time, I didn’t mind touch during labor, even at the very end, feeling the loving presence of my husband and doula while guided into mediation and self-relaxation.

Hyponobirthing carried me much further than I thought it would. Despite reading the book twice, constantly listening to the CD’s and reaffirming the philosophies of the Mongan Method, in the back of my mind, I had nagging doubts. I have no doubt that if I practiced the most deep mediation more often (I’m restless what can I say, it’s a challenge),the situation was more calm and I had a little more time to settle before labor got so intense, I would of made it to the very end in a relaxed, pain free state in deep meditation.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Let's Do This Already!

Quick Summary: Due Dec. 19th, delivered at 41 weeks, 4 days on Dec. 30th.

Long Version, Part 1: Having gone through labor and delivery successfully three times previously, I became confident that I had control over this process and could prefect it, like one does with an English essay or casserole recipe. This labor was beyond my scale of reference, was I in someone else’s body? Surely I would gradually go into labor before my due date, in an easy, gradual manner?

My due had had come and gone. During these excruciating last weeks of waiting, I had 4 false labors and prodromal labor lasting days. Every time it would start the contractions would get stronger, coming about 4 minutes apart and staying there. This would last a while and eventually I would become exhausted and fall asleep. Labor would diminish and I was left at square one. Nothing worked, birthing ball, stimulation, even, God forgive me, Castor Oil. It was like my uterus was an engine that just wouldn’t kick over. I honestly attribute this to my prescribed Trebutiline that I took so long to stop contractions.

On the night of the 29th, my stomach began hurting a bit. Brian warmed up a chicken pot pie I made but I barely ate any, choosing instead to leave the table early and take a nap. At 7:30pm, I woke up while laying on my left side, my back on the left had excruciating pain, such as the worlds worse Charlie-horse that just wouldn’t ease. Brian used the B&B works Vanilla Jasmine oil and massaged the area which felt good! I was relaxed knowing that I had made the decision, so this got me up and, knowing I was supposed to call St Joe’s Labor and Delivery at 6am to find out when I could be induced that day, decided to spend the night vegging in front of the TV. I didn’t go to bed again until 12:30am, but never entered a deep sleep. I woke up at 2:30 am with that same pain and contractions, coming every 6-10 minutes. This is when it occurred to me that this could be early stages of REAL labor, and what I felt was the infamous back labor. Wondering? It DOES suck! At 2:50am I finally woke up Brian, and he began to keep track of contractions, most of which were stronger, like my last false labor. Here they are…
So I finally called the Pearl Place emergency line. While waiting for a return call, I got excited, Bernie was on call Thursday (starting at 8am), and though before delivering at the Birthing inn was out because she would not break my water unless I was in labor. Here I was in actual labor and I dared to dream once again that the Birthing Inn would be it! Kay Jackson returned my call. She was at St Joe’s with 3 other patients from Pearl Place and could not get away. She’d call the manager of Pearl Place, who’d let me in and I could labor there until she arrived. Well after she spoke to the manager, I was disappointed to find out that the Birthing Inn could not be opened until 4:45am, as the manager was an hour away. Now all of my previous active labors have be subsequently shorter, 19, 12 and 8, but for some reason I knew I wouldn’t have enough time. Dashed again! So I decided to go to St Joseph’s Hospital instead where Kay was already with those other moms-to-be.

This particular morning, there happened to be snow on the ground and lots of black ice on the roads. Brian’s acquired Michigan driving skills came in handy, as he navigated smoothly, yet speedily, to the ER. I walked slowly in my slippers across an icy parking lot into the ER, where they, thankfully, didn’t ask me to sit down and admitted me quickly. I was appreciative that some good came out of my pre-term labor scare a few months ago, we knew where to go in the ER and where already in the system, making the whole process stress free and quick.
After being escorted to the 14th floor, I was surprised when they placed me and Brian in the waiting room. It felt like a millennium, but really only 30 minutes. At this point, Brian found the MP3 player. This quick, intense and chaotic labor experience would not of been survivable expect for two things. My MP3 programmed with my Hypnobirthing recording, and my Doula Jessie Keating, who arrived while in the waiting room. During this time I went from being able to talk freely to having to guide myself into the exercises for relief. Jessie was amazing; I totally recommend doulas in general and her specifically. She has a soothing voice and is very intuitive to what the mom needs, guiding me through contractions with a gentle touch of affirmation and guiding Brian in light massage and assistance. We both felt more empowered! I can’t thank her enough or stop singing her praises!