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Ayla’s Birth Story – more detailed

Posted by Sandra on January 4, 2008

I was asked to write out a better description of my childbirth for a childbirth publication.  I thought I would cut and paste what I sent the author and what I could recollect from Ayla’s birth here.  The other three were just about as uneventful!  I’m backdating this to January, even though I just wrote it this month (Sept 08). 

I have been fortunate and blessed enough to have four pain-free natural childbirths.  I will recant the story of my fourth, the most vivid in my mind, but very similar to the others.

Being 40 years old and getting ready to have my fourth child, I never dreamed I would make it to full term, 40 weeks.  My doctor also felt the same… so as my due date of January 1st got closer, we got more and more anxious for the day to arrive.  We anticipated having the baby around mid-December.  Well, Christmas came and went and still no little bundle of joy… but then on the morning of January 1, around 3:00 a.m., my water broke (my water has broken at home for all of my children).  I called the doctor to let her know what had happened, but I was not having any contractions so I didn’t feel it was time to head to the hospital.  I know there’s no urgency even when water has broken.

Then my doctor reminded me of how long my last labor was – 46 minutes from the time my water broke.  Okay, maybe she has a point.  Baby #1 took 89 minutes.  Baby #2 took 43 minutes.  My doctor didn’t make it to baby #3’s birth… but she wanted to be there for #4, so she instructed me to go ahead and head on in.  We lingered a little while at home, taking our time, and letting our teenager know we were leaving and that he was in charge of the family and would be back home in a few hours.  We got to the hospital around 4:00 a.m. or so.

This time they put me in the room across the hall from the coffeemaker.  See, they learn.  🙂

I had refused all internal exams up to this point (at the doctor’s office and in the hospital) because frankly, they’re pointless.  So I could’ve been at 0 or at 10, we didn’t know.  My Birth Plan was very very clear in it’s instructions to the hospital, so when I arrived, I was left to my own devices.  I was escorted to a private room, where the lights were dimmed and my husband and I were left alone to enjoy labor.  I had no IV, no silly rules saying that I couldn’t eat or drink, no being stuck in a bed.  No nurses or doctors came in to intrude on this natural experience – no continuous fetal monitoring, no exams, nothing – it was perfect, just the way it was meant to be.

At 5:00 a.m., I felt the first real contraction.  I allowed my doctor to check me at that point, just as a baseline measure.  I also allowed her to put the fetal monitor on for a few minutes, again as a baseline.  I had my coffee in one hand, hubby’s hand in the other, and was enjoying this beautiful experience.  The contractions were coming fairly regularly, and as I did with the other three, I simply envisioned the rollercoaster ride – going up the hill is always a little scary, but when you hit the apex, you realize it’s all downhill from there – until the next incline… but they all are so brief, and yes, pain-free.  The mind is an amazing tool, it can make your body feel pain, or make your body reject pain.  It is true.  Through a form of modified hypnosis, I controlled the pain, and there was none.  Don’t get me wrong, there WAS discomfort, but never ever a moment when I felt real pain.  And since I went into all of my labors knowing medications and interventions were NOT an option for me, I didn’t have that “out” to think that I couldn’t complete my labor and deliver an alert, happy, healthy baby with no dangerous drugs in either of our systems.

I know some disagree and say you must be prepared for every situation, but I believe that as long as I didn’t have that “out” of medication, I was less likely to think about taking it.  I highly recommend this for every mother.  It’s absolutely possible to control the pain, control the situation, control your own childbirth.  Unless my life or my baby’s life was in imminent danger, drugs would never be allowed near us.  Period.

So, the contractions had begun.  I choose the sitting position for my labors because I believe that’s the most beneficial for gravity and nature to do it’s job.  So I was sitting, and riding through my roller coaster contractions, and truly having a good time.  Really.  The lights were kept low, I was in a birthing suite that didn’t make it seem like a hospital room, no staff other than my doctor were present, and all of my wishes from my Birth Plan were honored.  I was having fun.  At 5:49, I told my doctor to get ready, she was coming… at 5:50, I pushed her out.  My little miracle Ayla arrived in our world.  Weighing in at 8 pounds 5 ounces, she is tied with my second son for weight (my first was 8 pounds 10 oz., my other daughter was only 6 pounds 4 ounces).   My doctor counts labor as the time from contractions starting to the time she arrived, so we chalked up our third labor under an hour – 50 minutes.  And again, I fully believe my mind controlled the entire situation.

Per our instructions, she was left on my chest for quite a while – no doctors interfering with the natural bonding process between mama and baby (and Daddy too!).  She took to breastfeeding like a champ.  I did not authorize shots or other tests, that’s not for the baby so soon in her life. 

We left the hospital at 10:30 that morning, a short five hours after she was born (personally, I think it’s a waste of gas to go to the hospital at all, but that’s another story altogether).  Recovering at home was so much better than staying in a hospital, I can assure you of that!  I highly recommend that every mom and baby head home, providing all is well, immediately after birth.  I was so much more comfortable in my own bed, with my own shower, and surrounded by all of my family and friends.


And there’s my story! 😀


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