As I look at my three month old baby girl I am overcome with so much love and passion. It took me 2 1/2 years to write my first birth story because of all the anger, pain, trauma I excperienced from my 1st hospital birth. To understand what I went through, you can read my 1st birth story at layda.org
. It is with great joy and excitement that I share this completely different and empowering birth story with you!
A few weeks before my daughter was born I wrote out my son’s birth story and I felt like a grey cloud of sorrow had permanently been lifted from me. Going into my second birth I desperately wanted things to be different so I went to a birthing center (New Birth Company, Overland Park, KS)
instead of a hospital. I felt such a breathe of fresh air the minute I walked into New Birth Company, knowing I was surrounded and supported by people who believe in a women’s ability to birth a baby naturally. I loved that I had midwives who met with me every month and not only spent plenty of time talking to me but they used their hands (not machines) to measure, feel and check the baby. I met with a pregnancy-certified chirocpratctor and massage therapist when my back issues started to arise and was so thrilled with my overall care. I especially loved that as I approached my “due date” and went for visits every week, nobody stressed me out about being “over-due”,even when I was a week “late” (a word they would never use). They didn’t try to do internal checks (until I was one week overdue) or thought to mention the word “induction” or “stripping” to me. They just checked to make sure that both my baby and I were ok and reminded me that the baby will come when it is ready.
The massage therapist at the New Birth Company was also a certified doula and right away I connected with her gentle ,loving soul and knew I wanted her with me during my labor. She met with my husband and I several times at our house to talk about the birth and come up with a game plan, so to speak. We talked and worked on releaseing the fear and pain from the previous birth that my husband and I held on to for so long. She really helped us to work on ourselves and get emotionally ready for this completely brand new birth experience. She gave me a great idea to write my birth story and give it to every midwife and nurse at the birth company so they knew what I went through and what my “triggers” were. Reading Birthing from Within also helped me to feel empowered and come up with new stratagies to use during labor.
Saurday, September 1, 2012 at 5:47pm a 9.6 pound (22 inches long) beautiful baby girl was born, naturally and I didn’t even tear. My labor lasted less than 5 hours and was such a healing experience. With my first birth, my labor lasted longer than 30 hours, I was forced to get an epidural at the hospital (because I wasn’t progressing fast enough) and I tore.
The night before my baby was born I went to bed early because I wasn’t feeling so great. For the previous month I was having a hard time sleeping because I couldn’t get comfortable. When I woke up at 7am on Saturday I was amazed that for the first time in a long time I slept the whole night uninterrupted, without tossing and turning. As I got out of bed I felt a heavy sensation in my utuerus. It was as if I was walking around with a 10 pound weight pounding on my bladder. In the next few hours I started to feel a slight tension in my uterus, every 10-15 minutes. I would describe it as intense period cramps. Looking back I knew exactly what this meant, but I didn’t want to accept that I was in labor. I wanted to go about my day and just let labor happen, without any pressure. My husband was a little anxious as my “cramps” started to come more frequent and I kept denying I was in labor. He called my doula, even though I didn’t want him to because I didn’t want to admit it was happening. We had a dear family friend staying with us, so she watched my son as Yosef and I took a walk around the block. On the walk it started to rain and I could tell the “cramps” were intensifying. I now had to stop and lean on Yosef during contractions,while I closed my eyes and breathed slowly in and out. Still I was not going to admit it was labor. We stopped at a friend’s house and as I tried to carry a converstation I could tell I was making everyone unconfortable with the frequency of stopping and deep breathing I had to do with each “cramp”. At that point my “cramps” were coming every 3-4 minutes.We walked back home and within a few minutes my doula “just happen” to show up. Her and Yosef had an aliby in place that they secretly discussed over the phone, “she was just in the neighborhood and was just going to stop by for a few mintus and then leave”.
I had a big smile on my face when I saw her and I knew she knew that this was it. I put my son down for a nap and decided to work on my “labor project”, which was to bake an orange cake with chocolate frosting. While cracking the eggs I started to loose my smile and happy nature during contractions and could feel they were getting really intense. I put the cake in the oven and told them that we could leave for the birthing center when the cake was done. During every contraction I needed my doula to put deep pressure on my lower back because I was feeling increase pain in that area. We had a great rythm going on and she knew from my face when to get up and help me. I could tell everyone wanted to leave for the birthing center ,but I was determined to bring my damm cake with me! What can I say, I wanted to make my baby’s 1st birthday cake. At this point the contractions were coming every 1-3 minutes and lasting about a minute long. The minute the cake was done everyone quickly got in the car. I guess they felt the urgency a lot more than I was willing to admit . On the way to the birthing center I told Yosef to pull the car over as I got out in order to better handle a contraction coming on. What was only suppose to be a 5 min. ride seemed to last 30 minutes (in my mind). The time was 2:30pm.
Once I got to the birthing center we walked in and saw that one of the midwives was holding a birthing class, in the main lobby. I smiled and said Hi! as I gave her the thumbs up motion that this was it and quickly walked to the back rooms. I later was told by her that the class just finished learning about the different stages of labor and what many women act like in each stage. Once I left the room, one of the students said that I looked like I was in the first stage because of my calm nature and smile as I walked in. The midwife who was teaching the class and knew me very well said, “Nope, I can tell she is in the last stage of labor because if she was in the beginning she would’ve stopped and talked with us”. What a great feeling to know that one of the midwives knew me enough to know that!
A different midwife checked me and said I was 9 centimeters dialated…I was so excited! They got the bathtub ready and I couldn’t wait to get in. As I got in, my birthing play list on my ipod was turned on, candles were lit and lights were turned down low. I felt like I was at a resort! My room had a huge purple bed (my favorite color!), private bathroom, birthing ball, rocking chair and gorgeous bathtub. My plan was to have a water birth but I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed if it didn’t happen. As the contractions became very intense and frequent I had a hard time in the tub because I really needed hand -to- back pressure from my doula, which she couldn’t do because of the shape of the bathtub. This wasn’t the type of tub you could squat in, like many people use to birth in. Laying in the tub was amazing in between contractions because it completly got me relaxed, until another surge came over me. At that point I was told that my water hadn’t broke yet, I was now 10 centimeters dialated but the baby was still pretty high up. I started to do a lot of pushing to try to lower the baby. I soon became exhausted and worn out.
With each surge I would get into a different position and push but I felt nothing. I kept thinking I had to poop and would go back and forth to the toilet. The “poop” of course was my baby who was facing “sunny side up” and pressing on my lower back. We thought it was time to break my water to see if that would help lower the baby. At the birthing center they had me involved in the that decision, giving me facts and options, unlike the hospital that just told me that was what they were going to do (with no regard to my opinion or thought on the matter). Once my water was broken the midwife noticed meconium (I only found out about this after the birth) and she quickly emptied the bath since having a water birth was now out of the question. They listened to the baby’s heart beat with every contraction using a portable machine so that I could move around. At that point my husband, doula, 2 midwives and a nurse were there (and in the background I saw them getting emergency equipment, like oxygen out, just in case) but nobody seemed alarmed or worried and I truly felt like we were on a team and I was calm knowing that I was getting such loving support from each of them.
I became so exhausted and out of it that my pushing seemed to be in vain and was just drowning my energy. That was the point that I felt I was done, I just wanted to go to sleep and try again the next day. I laid on my back on the bed but kept wanting to get up and go to the bathroom. The “poop” sensation was driving me crazy and making me so restless. After going back and forth over and over, my midwife finally said, “I want you to poop on the bed!” and I guess that is what I needed to hear to let go of the self consciousness. I started to embrace the “poop” feeling and push through it with each contraction. Soon my doula said she could see the head coming. The midwife could “hear” that the cord was around the neck and that the baby was stuck in the canal. As the baby’s head came down the birthing canal and rotated into the proper position (not “sunny side up”), its body stayed in the “sunny side up” position so the midwife had to rotate the baby’s shoulder to help get her out. One hour later, after intense pushing, my baby was born. My midwife quickly removed the cord from my baby’s neck and put her on me. The same thing happened to my son and the doctor in the hospital cut the cord right away because it was around his neck, which almost cost him his life. I quickly looked to see if it was a boy or girl (because we didn’t find out beforehand) and started crying and shouting over and over, “Its a girl, I knew you were a girl, I just knew it!!!” I can’t even put into words the intensity of emotion and happiness that showered over me. I layed there holding my baby girl as the cord stayed connected pulsating, just the way I wanted it to be. A few minutes later I delivered the placenta and the midwives and nurse got the cake and started singing “Happy Birthday” to our little girl!
For the next hour Yosef and I just layed there holding and loving our bundle of joy! The midwives checked, weighed and measured our daughter, all while she was in my arms, never taking her away from me. After 30 minutes our baby girl was ready to breast feed and she seemed to know exactly what to do. Her and I then took a bath together, filled with herbs and I now I really felt I was in the world’s most beautiful resort. After four hours they checked both of us and told us we were able to go home (if we wanted to)! The next day they would send a nurse to the house to do further checking.
We left and got home at 10pm. It was so incredible to be able to sleep in our bed with our baby girl the very first night. I had the number of my midwife and was able to call her throughout the night if anything were to come up. At that point we still didn’t have a name for our daughter yet. The next morning when our son Eitan woke up, we brought him into our bedroom and he held her for the first time on our bed. As our family of four laid in perfect bliss together, we knew that God had truly answered our prayers!
We felt so blessed! Her birth was a complete healing and was such a beautiful experience. I truly felt I had a perfect birth! At the birthing center I felt listened to, supported, loved and empowered (100% difference from my hospital experience)! We decided to name our precious girl, Eliana, which means “G-d answered me” (in Hebrew).