December 14, 2010

My Labour and Delivery - A Birth Event

I had wanted a natural childbirth . A silent approach to bringing my baby into the world.
After all my baby was worth it. I had a lot of after birth pain and bled quite a bit. Post-Partum bleeds are more common after many babies and with big babies. The uterus gets more stretched and has farther to contract afterwards. Why , with a near 11 pound baby , it stands for certain! I had a 2nd degree tear to the perineum, it was unfortunate but understandable.

Pre-natal pains are called Braxton Hicks contractions. These are necessary for the cervix to ripen and are a lot like menstrual cramps. This pain should give you an idea of what to expect and how to relax, and you need to practice deep breathing because it is written: ‘In pain you shall bring forth children’.

In pre-natal class we are told to time the contraction, and to know if they are coming at regular intervals. I went into labour on the eve of May 25th, 1994 following a month of Braxton Hicks. It took only 7 hours from the first stage of labour to the 2nd , to transition.
-At 7:40 pm I called my labour companion Karen, informing her that my contractions were 20 minutes apart lasting 30 sec. She came over, and I packed my Lamaze bag. -
Contractions were about every 7-10 minutes and occurring regularly.
-Now listening to relaxation tapes on my walkman, drinking water, contractions every 3-5 minutes lasting 60 sec.
-It was 9:45 pm. It was eventful and exciting. Soon I was going to have my baby.
-At 10:30 pm Karen phoned the Labour and Delivery unit at the foothills hospital to let them know we were coming soon. I pre-registered in pre-natal class, and was planning on having my baby at the hospital . I would have liked to have a home birth, because the hospital did not allow you to stay normally longer than 24 hrs. This added to the stress of having a baby and I did not need it.
-I told my labour companion that I should be about 5 cm dilated.
-We left for the hospital pre-labour room. Concentrating, deep breathing with each contraction, I was reassured I was doing Great! I went to the bathroom in the pre-labour room. Frequent visits to the washroom is good and especially if you’re drinking a lot of liquid.

-Internal examination was done while standing , cervix was posterior, therefore the exam was done while laying down. 100% effaced (thinned) and showing 4-5 cm dilated.
I was doing great and I felt fine.
-To the LDR room, sitting up, drinking water and juice, my labour companions presence was helpful. She was very supportive. Everyone was very nice and sympathetic.
-The fetal monitor was put on . While on the monitor the contractions sound like waves of the sea. As the top of the uterus pushes and forces the baby downwards during a contraction, your cervix is pulling and stretching outward like real currents in an ocean. God has a big part in a baby being born. He is the Great Physician! His own hands form and shape you so you better believe His hand is there delivering that baby!

I can remember praying to God to deliver my baby. It was God who was making everything happen the way it should. I felt assured and I trusted in Him.
-The monitor was taken off and I went into the shower. I tried using the joggers sniff and sigh breathing, taking sips of water. I was tired for it felt like I wasn’t progressing fast enough. My water hadn’t broke yet, as I moved slowly into bed sat up and tried lying on my side.

-The next contraction was unbearable and became more intense in the 2nd stage of labour.
After 2 or three heavy painful contractions it was apparent I was in transition , totally concentrating I made progress quietly and in control.
-Examined internally showing 10 cm dilated -1 station.
-The doctor arrived. He speeded things up naturally by rupturing the amniotic sac.
-Immediately, in transition at the height of the contractions I began pushing. I pushed quietly Huff huff puff, without a word. Only after 2 pushes the babies head was born, shoulders stuck, Cord pulsing. The doctor pulled on his/her head and nothing. It helps to push with each contraction and then Huff-huff-Puff breathing slow and in control until another one.

Out of my body the baby was out. What a big boy! He was suctioned right away, and looked pretty blue. The doctor handed baby right to me after he was reminded. Baby was not pinking up, because his face was bruised in the birth process. His nose and eyes were all swollen. He felt so warm, and slippery. The doctor pushed on palpating fundus and pulled on the umbilical cord once placenta was pulled away from the wall of the uterus. Placenta was born. Holding my baby, he was so perfect, I was complaining of after birth pains, drinking water, the tear was stitched up.
The episiotome was a very uncomfortable procedure. My legs could not stop shaking .

I began nursing my baby on one side. He was very alert and awake and did very well and seemed to enjoy it. It was a greeting most enjoyable for both of us. The doctor quickly examined the baby and then left.
-I was given Tylenol with 30 mg of codeine for pain. -The baby was suctioned and oxygened and taken to be weighed . It was a big boy indeed, I lost unusual amounts of blood. They needed to transfer me to a post-partum unit and I got in a wheelchair but complained of feeling dizzy and I requested oxygen and lied down. My blood pressure was low, and my pulse racing. The head of the bed had to be lifted down to keep me from passing out . I was bleeding quite heavily .
-The oxygen was given in a mask, B/P was 60/40 . They constantly were massaging the uterus to stay contracted, and that felt better. The nurses got things under control. -We both had a nap. Baby was sleeping in isolet and I was given a new I.V bag.
-I woke up after a short rest and my labour companion was still by my side. I was unable to go to the bathroom or to urinate.
-It was 6:45 in the morning when they wheeled me down to the post-partum unit. Baby had been dropped off in the nursery to get check-up . He weighed 10 lbs 15.3 ounces. THE END

I realize each women is different, so not every birth experience will be the same but as I attempt to recount my childbirth experience I hope that you will have a greater awareness of what it is like for a women to have a baby. This was my 5th childbirth experience and what a grand experience it was. 

 Thanks to Karen for keeping the timeline of these events  

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