I figure since a big part of my passions in life is birth, a good start for that subject on this blog would be my own birth stories.

The Bug’s Birth Story

My husband and I took a Bradley method course in preparation for our daughter’s birth. In retrospect, this class, while full of tons of good information on nutrition and exercise, just didn’t have enough relaxation tools for us. In defense of the class, the relaxation tools were very good. But not for me. I just can’t lie perfectly still during birthing waves and breathe and be relaxed enough. I have to move in between waves, but the way I understood the Bradley method, I was supposed to lie still and relaxed all the time.

Anyhow, the night before the bug was born, I started having birthing waves at about midnight. I went to bed and woke up at 4 am, with the waves gettting fairly intense. I tried to wake my husband, but he just rolled over went back to sleep. I ran a tub and soaked for a while, then sometime between 5 and 6 am I got my husband up. For the rest of the morning I lay on the couch, trying to relax in between and during pressure waves. My husband didn’t really do very much that I remember, and I recall him telling me after the fact that he did not believe I was actually in my birthing time, or ever going to have a baby. My mother called sometime that morning, and since my husband picked up the phone she knew that I was in birthing time, because he wasn’t at work.

We were watching a murder mystery, pausing during birthing waves, and I decided around 10 or 10:30 am to go get in the tub again. Unfortunately the people upstairs were running their dishwasher (we were in a basement apartment) and I was too polite to ask them to shut it off. It was about that time that I decided I wanted to go to the hospital. We left and got there around 11 am. They checked me in and I remember losing my mucus plug in the toilet  there, and telling the nurse that I was sorry, but I had flushed it (she said it was okay).

By sheer luck, we got placed in a corner room that had windows on two walls (not that we ever opened the blinds). As soon as we got in the room, I got in the tub. I think I spent an hour there. Transformation started while I was in the tub, and I got out, needing to move like nobody’s business.

The next while is pretty foggy. Then I kind of sort of felt like pooping. So the nurse checked me and said I could push. I started pushing, not really feeling any urge, but I kept going because I really wanted to be done. I pushed (I think) for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. I think that is because I didn’t listen to my body cues and wait until I really felt like pushing. My daughter was born at 5:04 pm.¬† I only had a couple of skid marks, no tears.

For the two years after I had The Bug, until I had my son, I felt somewhat unsatisfied with the birth. True, everything had gone as I wanted. I had no IV, no epidural, no Pitocin, no episiotomy, no interventions at all. I got to labor in the tub for a while. I had a nurse midwife. The Bug was born healthy and happy. They didn’t give her any shots or eyedrops.

But I didn’t feel in control at all. Part of that was just being a first time mom. I also felt that the Bradley method didn’t do a thing for me. The midwife also made a couple of comments to ‘help’ me push more effectively (‘If you don’t start pushing better, we’ll have to call the doctor in here to help.’) She also almost gave me an episiotomy, but I was able to push The Bug out before the time limit was up. I didn’t give birth squatting, they didn’t even bring in the squatting bar, just told me to hold onto the edge of the bed. And my baby was clear across the room while they put one stitch in the minuscule tear I had.

None of these were serious in and of themselves, but together they made for a somewhat unsatisfied mom. It took my next birth to heal completely from these mild emotional wounds.