Posted in Write for me Wednesday

Write For Me Wednesday – 4 Surprises from my Son’s Otherwise Standard Birth (Jocelyn’s guest post)

This week, I have another wonderful guest poster who agreed to share her birth story with all of you.  Jocelyn is the witty, talented and incredibly funny blogger behind The Home Tome.  She has guest posted for me before and I am so happy that she has accepted to do it again, this time helping me with my project of providing a multitude of different birth stories for expecting moms to read.

Enjoy your read!

4 Surprises from my Son’s Otherwise Standard Birth

Ian

My son (now 19 months) came into this world after a fairly standard vaginal birth in a hospital with an epidural. But there were a few surprises along the way…

1. Four days before I went into labor, my husband came down with a serious inner ear infection called labyrinthitis. This gave him a severe case of vertigo (i.e. he suddenly couldn’t stand up or go a few minutes without vomiting). I had to call an ambulance and we spent a scary night in the ER – we worried it was some kind of stroke or a brain tumor. Thankfully, it was neither of these. However, his dizziness and loss of balance would last for several weeks and even lingered to some degree for months – what a crazy way to become a new father. He was able to be by my side for the birth, albeit sitting in a chair. He was incredibly supportive and positive, despite the fact that his own world was rocking like a ship in a stormy sea.

2. My labor was 36 hours, from first contraction to birth. When I arrived at the hospital at 4 am, I had already been up all night and managed 12 hours of contractions – I assumed I was at least 4 or 5 cm dilated. Alas, I was only one centimeter. Because I hadn’t slept and wasn’t progressing too quickly, my OB ordered some morphine so I could get some rest. Already feeling guilty enough about wanting an epidural (hey, I was scared), I resisted this at first – I didn’t want this drug to cycle through my little guy even if it would supposedly be out of his system when he hit prime time. But I agreed and it was the right decision – I was able to relax a bit and I also experienced a hilarious and very specific physical sensation – my hands felt huge, like they were the size of bed pillows. Go figure. My husband and I laugh about my Big Hands to this day.

3. Because I was so nervous about the birth (even knowing that I’d get an epidural – hey like I said, I was truly terrified), we hired a doula from Northeast Doulas (http://www.northeastdoulas.com/) to help us through the process. This was especially fortuitous, considering my husband’s wobbly state. Lauren Porte Schwardsfeld was exactly as supportive as I was hoping. What I didn’t expect was how much she was able to decrease the intensity of contractions (pre-epidural) through massage. The way she put pressure on my lower back and hips during the rough parts was nothing short of miraculous. She. Is. An. Angel. She helped me manage the pain and the fear – this allowed the labor to progress naturally; without her, I suspect I would have gone the way of a C-section. If you think you might need a little extra support, I recommend a doula, whether you are aiming for a drug-free birth or not.

4. Unlike the movies, I didn’t embrace that “bonding” moment with my son the second after he arrived. Nope, I had just pushed for two hours – a physical exertion well beyond anything I’d done as a lifelong athlete. I was exhausted and disoriented. When they put him on my chest, I was like, “No, no, not ready.” Ha! The nurses must have had a good chuckle over that – after all, who is ready for this crazy adventure called parenting? No one. But when it’s time, it’s time: we snuggle that child, we coo, and – dizzy as we may be – we stumble into the wildest and most wonderful journey of all.

Thanks again Jocelyn for sharing your birth story with us!

Would anyone else like to share her birth story?

Posted in Parenting

To Doula Or Not To Doula?

It’s a question that I’ve been asking myself for a little while now.  In fact, I started wondering about this shortly after giving birth to Charles.

You see, though his birth went well, there are a few things that bugged me about the whole process and now that I’m pregnant again, I would like for Peanut’s birth to be different in some regards.  I know I don’t have control over everything that goes on, but I would like to keep what control I do have when I’m going to go into labour.

For instance, with Charles, I had initially thought of going for a home water birth with a midwife.  After discussing this option with my partner though, we ended up deciding upon a hospital birth.  Since this was our first experience with birth and so had no idea what to expect exactly, we ended up concluding that we’d be safer in a hospital environment in case anything went awry.

I had also filled out a birth plan in which I had decided that I wanted the least amount of interventions.  I was gunning for a med-free birth.  However, when my water broke during the night at 40 weeks, I followed hospital procedure, gave the labour and delivery wing a call and we made our way there at 3am.  I started to have very weak contractions for the first time in my pregnancy (no Braxton Hicks for me, it seems) on the way there.  Upon arrival, I was checked (I was 1/2 a cm dilated!), strapped to monitors and told to try to get some sleep until 8am when the first ob/gyn would start their shift.

I listened to the nurse and managed to squeeze in a few more hours of shut-eye that night.  Then, at 8am, when the nurse realized that my contractions had become weaker and more spaced out, I was started on the hell that is Pitocin.

Had I known that I’d be leaving the comfort of my bed to go to a hospital bed, I probably would have stayed home.  In fact, had I known that moving about was likely to get my contractions going naturally, I probably would have stayed away from my bed and done just that: move (cleaning the house or even going out for a walk).

I pretty much stayed strapped to my hospital bed during labour as I tried to work through the pain of the contractions.  By 1pm, I was going into shock from the pain and was given an epidural (poor anesthetist who had to get his job done through my uncontrollable back muscle spasms).  After that, it was pretty much smooth sailing until I delivered at 6:26pm.

Now this time around, I can’t have a midwife.  You see, out here in Quebec, there are only 15 midwifes that graduate annually.   Here is a great article about the reality of natural birth with a midwife here.

Anyway, that got me thinking about having a doula this time around.  A doula, or labour coach, can be hired to help a mother/family before, during and after delivery.  Befor labour, they can help with a birth plan and preparing older children to the arrival or a new sibling.  During labour, they can provide physical assistance by the means of massage or just suggesting different birthing positions and emotional support.

I’ve actually started researching doulas and have found a few that have experience, references, a doula certification and other types of training (massage, rebozo…).  Now, I just have to call to see how much a doula costs.

I still haven’t made up my mind yet though, because I *did* enjoy having just my partner (and medical staff that kept popping in and out) with me during my son’s birth.

Did you consider a doula for one of your births?  Did you ever consider hiring one?

Posted in Parenting, Ten Thought Tuesday

Ten Thought Tuesday: Late

TTT

  1. Yes, yes, I know.  Technically, I should have posted this yesterday, but my spring break so far has yet to be “springy” or “breaky”, so I’m posting today.
  2. I’m now 14 weeks along and though the energy has returned (hey, my house actually almost doesn’t look like a tornado went through it anymore!) and the nausea is dissipating (no diclectin for the past week!), I still can’t stand the smell of meat cooking…
  3. The little guy is sick today.  He’s got a stuffy nose and is rather miserable.  He is so conked out that he fell asleep in my arms at 10:30 this morning as I was walking with him from his room to the living room (about 20 steps).  He slept until 11h45 in my arms (I actually took the time to appreciate it and soak it in) and I was able to put him down for a nap at 2pm!  Usually, he just naps from 1pm – 2:30pm.
  4. Since my daycare is closed all week, I haven’t had any time to work on the assignment for the masters course I’m doing.  But my mom, who also teaches and thus is on spring break, has kindly accepted to let the little guy sleep overnight at her place and look after him tomorrow so that I can get back on track.  Yay!
  5. Yesterday, Charles and I went to my grandparents’ place with my mom.  So cool to ha four generations in the same household!  We had a very good time.  (J’vous aime les GPs!)
  6. This evening, we have an appointment at the bank to renegotiate the terms of our mortgage.  We’re not sure if we’re going to go for a short term (3 years) or for a longer term (10 years).
  7. Last week, the little guy helped me make some fettuccine!  He was so happy to help mix the ingredients and knead the dough and he loved it so much that he ate two platefuls at supper (I seriously have no idea where he puts all the food he eats sometimes…).
  8. I’m debating whether I should hire a doula or not for Peanut’s birth.  I’m currently working on a post about this and am hoping to get it up by next week.
  9. My partner is officially back in town (which is great!), but income tax season is starting so he’ll be working six days a week soon (which is less great) for a couple of months.  Oh well, that’s what happens when you decide that you want to live with an accountant 😉
  10. I discovered that Little Dude likes pink grapefruit.  I was peeling one for myself and he asked for some.  I figured that he’d try it, spit it out and that would be the end of it.  He tasted, grimaced, took the piece out of his mouth, put it back in and then asked for more over and over again.  He ended up eating nearly half of the grapefruit that I had meticulously prepared for myself!

Hope everyone is having a good week!