Wednesday, October 20, 2010

a wonderful medical birth

I really like the birth story of my friend Rachel for two reasons:  first and foremost, you can tell by her writing that she felt in control and respected.  Secondly, every intervention was far from routine; it was cleared first by her and went extremely smooth.  I think this is the kind of birth the majority of American women hope for today:
"So on Friday I woke up about 4:30 am with contractions, but they weren't consistent, so I decided to just sleep. They were only about 30ish seconds long so I figured that I had some time, and I had a scheduled doctor's appointment that morning, I would just talk to her then.

D and I had to go to my work to get "health screened" for insurance at 8 that morning, so we went there the whole time with me having contractions. It was kinda funny getting my blood drawn while in labor. D wasn't going to go to the doctor's office with me because it was supposed to be just a normal appointment, but with the contractions and all I asked him to come with me.

When we got to the office, the MA hooked me up to the monitor for the non stress test I had scheduled, 20 minutes later the strip showed that I had been having pretty good contractions (they had gotten to be about 45 seconds long and about 5 minutes apart), so the MA said that she wanted me to wait until the Dr. got there to check me out. Once Dr. Carillo got there, she came in to check my dilation. Just as she got in there to check, my water broke all over her and the table! I felt terrible! D says that I made a very strange noise when my water broke. haha She advised me to dry off (ha! like that is possible) and head over to the hospital. We decided it was easier to walk since it was just across the parking lot. I think I threw up about 3 times before we got to the maternity entrance. After every contraction I would get extremely nauseous! So we got to the hospital, and my Dr. had called in a direct admittance, so I didn't have to go through all the checking in, etc. It felt just like the movies; they came and got me with a wheel chair and took me back to the labor delivery place.

Once in our Labor and Delivery room, they asked if I wanted to have an epidural and I said yes, since I was at a 5 when I was at my Dr's office, and I had no idea how long I would be in labor, I said yes, but I didn't know when I wanted it. I didn't want it right then if I was going to be in labor for hours and hours more, but I did eventually want one. They started the IV and needed to get one bag of IV fluid in me before they could start the epidural. The contractions made me really nauseated and I actually puked really bad on the nurse one time. It got all over her and I felt terrible when that happened. Within an hour of being at the hospital I was dilated from a 5 to a 7 and the nurse kept telling me I sounded like a woman in transition (whatever that means) so they called in the anesthesiologist to get the epidural going since my labor was moving so quickly. I had always been afraid of the epidural hurting, but this guy was amazing!!! He timed it perfectly, I was having a horrible contraction as he asked me to curl my back so he could get the epidural in, he said a few things (I don't remember them since I was in such agonizing pain from the contraction) like, "you'll feel a little pressure," etc. I didn't even feel a thing! After the epidural got flowin, life was so much better. I could still feel the pressure of the contractions, so I knew they were happening, but I was numb from my tummy to about my knees. I could still feel my legs for the most part, so I could hold them up, which was really nice. I have to say that I really am grateful that I was not completely numb. At the beginning of my pregnancy I had actually wanted to give birth naturally, but slowly I had decided that an epidural was the way to go for me. So, having the best of both worlds was great for me, because I could feel all I needed to, but I was not blind with pain.

After I got the epidural, I figured it would be a while, so D decided to go grab some lunch so I could nap a little. After he was gone for about twenty minutes and I had had a few more contractions, I really really felt like I needed to push and I told the nurse that and told her we needed to call D from the cafeteria. After he got back, the nurse checked me again and told me I was "complete" and told me to roll on my side and start pushing because the Dr. would be right there. So I pushed that way for about a half hour when Dr. Carillo came in and started getting ready. The cool thing I had no idea would happen was the half of the bed at the bottom just unhooked and moved out of the way so I would be on my back.

I pushed a few more times (about a half hour more), the whole time having D and the Dr. telling me how much of her head was out, etc. It was very helpful to me to have that knowledge, even though I didn't want to see the actual birth from a mirror; it kept me motivated. After a while of pushing, Dr. Carillo asked if I wanted her to help me and of course I said yes, so she pumped me full of lidocaine and gave me a small episiotomy-she said about 3 mm. And out came Leila! They right away placed her on my belly and she was so perfect! For journals sake, I have to say, afterward Dave told me that he cried when he saw her. I didn't notice because I was too busy staring at my little angel, but he said that he did cry. Which makes me love him more.

The second that I met this girl I knew it was all worth it. I never knew I could love anything or anyone so much. I knew that she would be my whole life and I would do anything for her.

D got to cut the cord. Then they took her away to measure, weigh, etc her. It felt so good to have the whole thing over with and have her here with us, but then I felt like I still needed to push. I told Dr. Carillo that and she told me that I needed to wait a second and then started to pull out the rest of the umbilical cord and let me push out the placenta, etc. That was the real relief. The pressure was finally gone from my abdomen.

We were sent up to recovery pretty quickly after Leila was born and stayed there for the next two days. I think I left the room twice.

We are so happy we have our little girl in our lives now. She is such a blessing to us."

Thank you Rachel, and congratulations!

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