A New Life, a New Experience (and lots of poop.) A Baby Story
( I was going to include some pics but the uploader isn't working right now so I will have to add them later. :)
Hahahaha. That title makes me laugh. I can't imagine the A Baby Story people ever running footage of this birth. Funny funny. Anyhow.
About ten months ago Captain Awesome and I were blessed with sweet baby number four! She is the coolest thing to hit us since number three! ;) I have posted in the past about my birthing experiences and many people were curious about this go-around because I was delivering her in a birthing center without any drugs. I KNOW.
I decided to do this for many many reasons. Namely, I have had just ok experiences (and a rather traumatic experience) in the hospital with my pretty cool ob/gyn (twice) and a terrible midwife (once.) But I really didn't want just an ok experience. I don't want to feel pressured to have the baby when they want me to the way they want me to. I didn't want to be scolded by nurses for doing things they way I want to or not letting them do things I don't want them doing. I don't want to be pushed into formula feeding or vaccinations or unnecessary procedures. Just LEAVE ME ALONE! But the problem is....I have a very hard time telling people that, especially when I am all preggo and emotional. I tend to cave in to pressure to keep everyone happy with me. But I have some non-mainstream ideas about medicine and my body so what was I to do???
So anyhow, I may get into the why's and such later but for now that is where I was in the decision making process. ;)
We found our birthing center by driving by it long before we had decided to have another baby. I knew I was checking it out the moment I got pregnant! So I did. Bella Birthing Center in McKinney, TX is the BOMB. It is run by midwife Kathleen Mayorga and I love and adore her. We met with her and did a mutual interview. She checked to make sure I was a healthy, natural candidate and I put out my feelers to make sure she was truly natural and knowledgeable. My last midwife was kind of a nightmare. (Watch for those hospital midwives...) Kathleen answered all my questions and said lots of things that reassured me she knew what she was doing: she is extremely knowledgeable in the areas of herbs, natural pain relief, how to detect an emergency situation (long before it is an emergency situation) and had an emergency plan if the need arose. She also did home births if I chose to have one. Plus her pricing was great! We don't have insurance so this was also VERY cost effective. She also gives a minister's discount. SCORE.
I had been doing a bunch of research into epidurals and the problem with unnecessary interventions in the birthing process and felt confident that we were much safer avoiding the hospital. Chase didn't necessarily agree but he supported my decision to go to the birthing center. Because he is Captain Awesome. ;)
If you really want to know my reasons for avoiding the hospital in a nutshell, watch "The Business of Being Born." It is on Netflix. ;) (Disclaimer: this is about women in labor so it has plenty of nudity and some language. ;)
Here is a short clip:
So my pregnancy moved along, slowly but surely. Getting ginormous and enjoying everything (well...some things) that goes into growing a new life. Mostly getting kicked from the inside. That is the BEST. I love it.
Anyhow her due date was coming and there was no sign of baby. She was still sitting really high although her head was down. Then she was facing the wrong way which Kathleen said was a sure sign that baby is not ready. I tried to make her be ready and rubbed some lavender oil on my back and while she did flip around, she did not want to come out.
My due date came and went and still no baby. I started taking herbs that are supposed to kick start labor. Nothing. I spent hours rocking on my hands and knees. Nothing. Chase rubbed my feet. Nothing. My AMAZING chiropractor (Dr. Bo Brantley in McKinney whom I highly recommend) was adjusting me two or three times a week and praying over me and with me. Nothing. Every "induce labor" trick we were told or read about we tried. (Except acupuncture. And only because we didn't have the money!) Nothing.
I totally started to feel like there was something wrong with me. I was broken. And then my mom told me that my great grandma carried my great uncle Mark for 12 months. Thank you Mom, for the encouragement. Hahaha. I prayed to the Lord so hard that this would not be a 12 month long pregnancy. My great grandma is a saint. Period. :)
Then Kathleen gave me an herbal tincture that was 90% effective at inducing but wouldn't work unless the baby was truly ready. Well guess who wasn't ready? :) Haha. I can laugh about it now. Thank goodness. :)
A few days later we went into uncharted territory- a place I swore I would never go. I would read about it and shake and say "No way, Jose!" but now we were desperate. This baby was going to be big and we were nervous about her getting bigger. There were concerns that if she didn't come soon I would have to go to the hospital and be induced anyway. (NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!) So we prayed and prayed and talked them into more time and did the unthinkable. Castor oil.
Let me tell you (in the least graphic terms possible) that that was the most disgusting pooping experience (and drinking experience) in my life. Also....I drank waaaayyyy too much. Apparently you only need to drink a couple of ounces for it to work and I drank like eight. So yeah. My bum has never been so sore. But the idea is that it makes your insides move so much that they cause contractions...which they did...and then they stopped. By then Kathleen had consulted with some other midwives who reminded her that two weeks late is not so bad. (Kathleen really does not see many women go over that much...or get as big as I do. Well she never said that last part.;) But she was willing to wait a few more days since this baby was obviously still not ready or else we would have had a baby by then! Supposedly castor oil ALWAYS works. Ha!
So days went by and my bum started to feel better. (lol) We walked a LOT. A LOT A LOT. And I was so miserable (it was SO hot!!!) my trying-to-be-healthy diet pretty much went out the window and I gained more weight. Hahaha! But still no baby. Every day I begged her to pleeeeeease come out and meet us and I begged God to pleeeeeeeease let her come out now. But no.
So about the time my bum felt as good as new, it was time to try again. Lol. So we doubled up on the inducing herbal tincture and the castor oil (MUCH less oil this time!) And we walked. And we walked and we walked and we walked. And contractions started happening! But they would stop as soon as I sat down so we walked and walked and walked some more. We got to the birthing center about 6 p.m. and walked and rocked on one of those awesome birthing balls. And drank more tincture. And walked some more. And ever so slowly there was progress. The baby came down and we were able to break the water at 11 p.m. I knew if the water was broken things would really get moving. And they did. Labor kicked into high gear and an hour and a half later I was in the birthing tub trying to breathe through my contractions. We were planning for a water birth and I was SO excited to be in the warm water. Labor is so much better in the water. It made the contractions much more bearable. Kathleen told me to lay on my left side and then left the room for a bit. About 30 seconds into lying on my left side I felt what I can only describe as "lock and load." I felt her head turn and then was like sucked down further and I felt the need to push. Chase yelled that I felt like pushing and Kathleen and the other midwife said "Reallllly????" all excited. But I didn't just feel like pushing, I HAD to push. I am pretty sure they were saying something about moving to the toilet to push but it was too late. I pushed. The baby did not come out but a whole bunch of other stuff did. (Labor is beautiful, eh?) Thank you, castor oil.
I can't believe I am sharing all this...but you all asked and I try to keep it real.
So then I was hosed off and moved to the toilet to push some more. Before the tub was even clean I was feeling it, the ring of fire. I had never felt that before! I had always had an epidural. And I knew what that meant, crowning. So they began moving me to the bed and I yelled that Nooooooo, I wanted a water birth. They told me there wasn't time and they were sorry. I was so upset and disappointed and now freaking out. In the books I read and the videos I watched the women were in pain but had time between their contractions to get calm again and to focus on pushing this baby out but there was NONE of that with me. No time in between contractions. Just time long enough to yell that I changed my mind...she could stay in there...I didn't want to do this anymore...make it stop etc. Not at all what I had pictured or was comfortable feeling. I hate being out of control and I was long gone. I was crawling up the wall or trying to and Chase was trying to get me to calm down but there was none of it. None. I think I yelled "YOU FLIPPIN' CALM DOWN!!!" in demon back at him. ("Flippin'" is a major honkin cuss word in our house, so excuse the language. ;)
It was bizarre. I felt cracking and popping and thought I was going to actually split in half and die But then Kathleen kept telling me "Grab your baby! Gina, grab your baby!" And once it registered what she said I reached down and grabbed my baby under her arms and pulled her the rest of the way out. And it was amazing. I only pushed for about 10 minutes. I guess the upside of having your contractions super close! ;)
Something I didn't expect was that it continued to hurt down there (which, duh' but no one ever mentions it or says anything on the birth videos so I was surprised.) and the umbilical cord was touching me and it bothered me and hurt a LOT. I wanted to jump out of my skin it bothered me so much. That surprised me too. But I had my BABY!!!! And she was GORGEOUS! She looked at me like we were long lost best friends meeting again. So funny and strange and wonderful. It was love.
The placenta came out easy breezy (or the "ugly twin" as my OB used to say! lol) and I overheard the midwives discuss that it would be perfect to show medical students what an "old placenta" looked like. A textbook example of an old placenta. It was good the baby came out when she did. :)
We delayed the cord clamping until it has stopped pulsing and Chase cut the cord. Then she weighed in at 10 pounds 4 oz. TEN POUNDS AND FOUR OUNCES!!! I am just so glad I didn't know she was that big beforehand. Hahaha! And 20 1/2 inches long. The most barrel-chested baby I had ever seen in my life. Nearly perfectly round and SO stocky.
Meanwhile I am bleeding and not stopping. Ugh. My uterus got the baby out and was done. So Kathleen did the "massage"-the-uterus thing....but like it had never been done to me before. That tiny woman has got serious strength. Wow. It hurt SO bad I wanted to go back to labor. I was holding the baby with one hand and trying to pull Kathleen off of me with the other. I begged her to stop and let me die. She said she was so very sorry but no. It was awful. Awful awful awful. She kept massaging and the other fabulous midwife got the pitocin ready. Using pitocin the way it was actually meant to be used! Haha. But I was annoyed to need it at all. After what seemed like forever (but just a few minutes) the bleeding stopped and so did the torture. I know I am probably sounding harsh right now. Believe me I am thankful for Kathleen and her work! But it really took me awhile to process. It was another situation where I couldn't control what was happening to my body or what someone was doing to it and that really does a number on me. (Probably normal, right?) It was something else that was unexpected that I had no control over. It just happens. It is labor. Even still-I would do it again instead of a pit/epidural birth at the hospital. In a heartbeat.
So anyway, a few minutes went by and the baby, (who we named Zoey) started to crawl up me to breastfeed! Amazing. I had heard of new babies being able to crawl up to feed but had never seen it. SO cool. And just like that she was eating. :) Definitely the easiest start to breastfeeding I ever had. (Maybe because she wasn't drugged??? ;)
After she was finished Chase woke up the kids and brought them in to see their new sister. It was about 2 in the morning by then. (Zoey was born at 1:10 if I remember correctly.) They counted her toes, fully inspected her and gave their approval. Then went back to sleep in the clinic's waiting room. :)
By 3:30 we had been fully checked, fully informed and were released to go home!!! That was the best. I hated the two days in the hospital with a new baby....I always just wanted to go home. So I was so happy that we were able to go home and go to bed with our new baby.
Recovery for labor was easy breezy. My underside felt so much better so much faster than the previous times. I generally even felt loads better than the times before also. What really hurt was the bruising and swelling from stopping the bleeding. I couldn't move without my middle being in mega pain for two weeks. That was the worst of it. If I would have been thinking I would have taking some homeopathics for pain and bruising and swelling but you know baby brain! :) Also, I wish I would have known about belly binding. I think that may have helped too.
So next time, if there is ever a next time I would like to do some research on getting my uterus to be more proactive. It doesn't like to start labor and quits a little early. Looking back it has been like that for every delivery. If anyone has any info about things I can do I would love it. :) I hope to go to Kathleen again and use the Bella Birth's Birthing Center because I LOVE her and I LOVE it there. Again, I would still choose the natural labor I had over any of the non-natural labors I had previously. :) And I would choose Kathleen over my previous providers. Hands down. :) And no, I was not paid or anything to say anything. I just love her.
Her name is Zoey Dorette:
Zoey is from the Greek word, Zoe which means life or more specifically, the kind of Life you can only have through Christ. As in, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him with not perish but have everlasting Zoe."
Dorette is a form of Dorothy which also comes from Greek and means "Gift of God." We chose Dorette after her Great Grandma and Great Great Grandma Dorette on her father's side and her Great Great Grandma Dorothy on her mother's side. All very special and precious women to us.
God is unbelievably good to us to entrust us with another life. Unbelievably good.
Thanks for sticking around for this long, often gross story! :)
If you want more info (and humor) on healthy pregnancy, delivery and breastfeeding, check out my pinboard /HERE
If you want to see some really cool pregnancy and baby products or crunchy ideas check out my pinboard HERE
If you want to see some of my favorite pics of bellys, babies, families and whatever else I love, check out my other pinboard HERE