On this special day, my sons 1st Birthday, I wanted to tell you about my Natural Unmedicated Childbirth (NUC) using the Bradley method of Husband Coached Childbirth.
First off with my daughter birth, I tried to wing it for the most part, I tried doing research on natural birth, and I knew the reasons for going unmedicated. Unfortunately I didn't have much knowledge or support or family near to help me through it. The Chambersburg Hospital, located in Chambersburg, Pa was not very good at natural measures and very pushy on offering drugs to ease pain. One as to which made me hallucinate about birds, which a nurse said happened alot!
Though I labor without medication for about 8 hours or so, since the hospital was so big on their technology and meds, they didn't allow me much time to try to walk it out and try to ease pain naturally. They wouldn't even warm my a heating pad up for me in microwave!
So all in all after much pain of laying on my back during monitoring and not knowing my rights to walk, tell them to stop asking me about pain levels and meds, and much more...I gave into meds...the was told that there was not enough oxygen getting to daughter. Scared and stressed and unfamiliar to birth lingo ( though I did try to research it, during labor it pretty much all disappeared) I had an epidural...and eventually gave birth the my daughter. I don't remember much. Just holding her a few seconds, seeing her under a warmer and then walking up in a dark room with her next to me.
So now on to my NUC.
Justin and I both researched so much on a doula and midwives. We didn't have much money for them. Getting a doula we would enjoy working with was also very hard, since there wasn't very many in our area.
So we found Kay and Brandon who taught Bradley Birth Classes/ Husband Coached Childbirth.
We learned about every stage of labor, about how insanely harmful pain relieving medication was for a baby, healthy foods and good portion intake, relaxation techniques and pregnancy exercises that are the best ever for preparing for the labor that was to come.
Much of the learning was geared toward the father. For once a women is in labor everything she learned can pretty much fly out the window. The father is there to remember, guide, support and comfort and make sure that the birthing staff keeps with the birthing plan you prepared.
You can also invite an assistant birthing coach to join in learning in the classes. I choose my Aunt Gladys and my sister Teddy. Gladys join a class or two and review the workbook with Justin and I.
Birthing Joshua was a memorable and amazing experience!
October 24th 2012
That day I decided to clean and do errands while Justin was home. Jazmine was already at school and we walked and picked up a few things and also grabbed some subway. After getting home I whipped out the mop and windex and went to town on cleaning and moving things around. Which was very unusual to Justin because I do not like cleaning with chemical cleaners much, gives me a headache. He asked, "Are you ok, you having any contractions?" I reaponed, "The usual Braxton hicks ones, why?" He said, "You seem all putsy putsy." (Which I think he meant nesting, because putsy putsy was sign for low-mild contractions and first stage labor in the Bradley lingo) So I said,"if anything Justin, this is nesting." And I giggled and continued cleaning.
Eventually it was time to go get Jazmine from school. Justin gave me a relaxing nice back massage before heading out and I layed down to take a nap while he walked to go pick up Jazmine from school. While he was away I used the bathroom and noticed red discharge, most likely my mucus plug, I remember losing mine a day before giving birth to Jazmine. I figured I was going to be having Josh within the week.
After they returned, I told Justin about it and went back up to try and nap. Justin started preparing dinner. I was having a hard time resting and started feeling a tightening around my sides, almost like side stitches from when your not used to running. I sat up and they continued then eventually subsided. Not log after they continued again so I stood up and sorta moved about, it continued wether I was sitting or laying or walking. I wanted to time them and asked Justin for my phone. I didn't tell him yet because I wanted to be sure first.
Around 4:20 that day I started timing my contractions. They were 2 minutes apart. I couldn't believe it. So I continued timing for about 10 contractions or so in our room and eventually just went downstairs to us the bathroom again and also to change senory and see if they would stop. That maybe it was just Braxtonhicks being super charged. About 6 more contractions later I finally came out and told Jusitn.
"So honey, I am pretty sure I am having contractions."
"How far apart are they?"
Usually you would already be having very strong contractions and trying to make your way to the hospital by then.
I was still in the early stages and able to talk and walk through them. So I was fine for now.
Justin, "Well you should definitly eat something then, your going to need it."
I nibble at my food and we sat for awhile eatin and watching a Disney movie with Jazmine.
It started to get strong and I was excited and nervous and just couldn't really focus on my food, no matter how much I knew I needed to try and eat something.
After it finally getting intense, we called our sitter for Jazmine. Gave a call to Gladys and Teddy and told them I was having contractions. My sister lives in Philadephia, about 2 hour train trip to Lancaster, Pa, where we live. Keeping my figures crossed that my fast labor wouldn't be to fast, so my sister could make it here in time to be there for the labor an birth.
So I didn't get a chance to even go through the putsy putsy stage. I went right past that. The contractions become strong fast and were still 2 minutes apart.
I did alot of pelvic rocks, standing and rocking of my waist. I walked from the bathroom to our loft steps many times.
Justin was cleaning and gettin our things ready for when we would head to the hospital. We called Kay our Bradley instructor for advice. I was having a harder time talking through contractions and wanted to know when we should start heading out. And also if my sister should definitly be catching the train sooner then later. She told me from what she can hear through my voice and my breathing (from what I can remember of the phone conversation) is it would be best for us to let her know to be headed here and that I could try and stay home a bit longer since I was still managing the contractions pretty well.
Within the hour I tried to eat a banana and drink water. And continued much rocking and calling for Justin to put pressure on my back. We were going to try to go for a walk...but I could barely walk outta the bathroom at that point. That was a dead give away to Justin that I was going from first stage labor early labor into active labor and that it was time to head to the hospital. We let them know we were on our way.
Triage waiting area at the Women's and Babies hospital was not to bad. I had to sign a few papers. The room and the experience itself in there was small, scary and the initial cervical check SUCKED. I cried through that, and every cervical dilation check, three in total, the only time through my whole labor I cried.
Eventually we made it to our labor and delivery room. The prepared the Jacuzzi tub for me to labor in and I stayed there through pretty much all of my labor. Unlike my first birth where they kept making me lay in bed for monitoring and where the asked I I wanted something for pain. They stuck with our birth plan and even jumped in to help with putting pressure on my lower back to relieve pain. Rather then offer drugs.
My Aunt and Sister got there while I was in triage and came to the room after the nurses setup me up.
It was so great having them there. They were so helpful and motivating! Even for Justin.
I pretty much labor in the tub on all fours while Justin put pressure on my back, my Aunt and sister timed and talked me through my contractions and let me know when I was at the peak (contractions are about a minute long for the most part. So around 30secs they start to subside) It helped me know when to start relaxing and when I could try and talk and when everyone around me needed to try and keep quite. Part of the Bradley Method.
In my head and to my self I worried about my hair and I was hot and sweaty feeling being in the tub but the water felt great on my back. I was enjoying the cold wall agaisnt my face and taking sips of water and cranberry juice between contractions. Thinking at times that I wasn't going to beable to get through it...hoping I wasn't going to give into meds and knowing even if I did Justin would be strong for me and not let it even happen. So many mixed emotions.
My water broke after/during one of my transition contractions.
(Transition – this is the shortest stage and most intense stage. It marks the complete dilation of your cervix. Typically only 10-60 minutes long, contractions are 70-90 seconds in length. Generally women only have between 5-10 transition contractions. Only 30% of women realize that they are even going thru transition.)
After awhile...not sure how long, I got the urge to push...I pushed a few times while in the water...I think...either way I eventually sorta shouted that I needed to push and they alerted the nurse and doctor and there was a huge crew laying down towels and prepping things, the tub was draining and they were trying to help me walk to the bed.
My legs were far apart in a squat position as I made my way to the bed...I didn't want to move...I just wanted to push.
The nurse or doctor said, "Come on now, you don't wanna be having thing baby on the floor do you?"
I made it to the bed. I was 10cm but a small lip of my cervix was swollen a bit over Joshua's head. The doctor had to help a bit to lift it away during a push.
I literally thought that I was going to poop...it felt like a ring of fire as well. I was embarrassed and scared but then they said he was crowning and I pushed again and his head was out! I pushed once more and there he was. The lifted him into my arms. I was shouting joyously, "I did it, we did it, he is here!" Looking and trying to let out an exhausted smile to Justin and holding Joshua close and seeing my sister and Aunt. Then a nurse said, "Is anyone going to take pictures?" As she smiled as well in excitement.
My Aunt and Sister took pictures. My aunt was in Awe at how well I got through the labor and birth. I felt so happy as she was so proud and joyous to beable to be there with me through it all.
Justin's shy excited smiles and his glossy tired beautiful eyes glowed with so much emotion as he watched and held Josh.
I could go on and on about the details.
It was so wonderful!
Just amazing to beable to remember so many exact details and to be ale to remember just about every moment after and even before his birth.
The drugs from when I gave birth to Jazmine had me lost in time. I didn't get to cherish the moment to much. It was so rushed and so controlled by the staff.
Josh was 6lbs 14oz he was born a week or so before his due date. He was suppose to be a November baby. Instead he was born on my grandmothers birthday at 11:01pm Oct 24th. I was in labor for 6-7hours.
We are so blessed and beyond Happy to have Joshua in our lives. It was and has been such an amazing year!
Thanks to Kay and Bradon our Bradley instructors, My aunt Gladys and Sister Teddy and to the most amazing man in my life and most wonderful father Justin.
I love you all!
Happy Birth Day Joshua!