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Letter M for Midwives

April 17, 2008

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April 2008 NaBloPoMo

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This is the second part of my childbirth post. I am thankful that giving birth to my son was a little easier than giving birth to my daughter was. Throughout my pregnancy I was cared for by many midwives. They work as a team and encourage mothers not to get too attached to any one of them in particular. That’s because they rotate hospital shifts and mothers won’t be able to predict which one will be available when it comes time to give birth. I became partial to Ann. As luck would have it, she was the one at the hospital on the day I gave birth to my son!

My labor was relatively slow to get started. I could feel contractions early in the morning. I told my husband to stay home from work that day because he needed to go with me. We left our daughter with my parents at our apartment. I checked into the hospital around noon. My cervix had already been a couple of centimeters dilated for a few weeks. Hours went by and I wasn’t making any more progress and tears welled up in my eyes. “I really want to give birth today, like now! I don’t know what’s taking so long,” I confided to Ann. I had been honest with the midwives that I was about to give birth to an unplanned child, an accident. I needed to talk about it again in order to reassure myself that I was blessed to become the mother to this baby. I just had to give myself a pep talk: “I’m going to have this baby and I’m going to love him just as much as I would have in other circumstances.” She talked to me and told me she could touch my cervix in a way that would speed up my labor. I trusted her and she trusted me to be able to handle the consequences.

My parents knew that I was laboring slowly at the hospital and they seemed resigned to waiting. They didn’t want to take our daughter to the hospital if it would mean being disappointed. They were going to wait for my husband to call them on the cellphone.

There was a pain chart with little faces ranging from 1 to 10. At various times that afternoon, I had to point to how I felt. I played a mental game with myself and kept my pain around the 6 to 8 range so that I wouldn’t feel overwhelmed. Even though I was sweating and groaning and whining I told the nurse that I was only having mid-range pains. I knew I could stand it.

I kept thinking I needed to go to the bathroom. I could feel so much pressure because the amniotic sac was still intact and was pushing against me. I was confused by that sensation. Finally the sac burst as I was standing beside the bed. I had my hands on the bed and was feeling sick. As soon as it burst I needed to push so I climbed onto my knees and grabbed onto the pillows with my hands. Ann told me to go for it. I was a little afraid of how fast I felt my son coming out and so I screamed, “No, no, no!” But at the same time I was really bearing down and he came right out. I was happy that I had pushed correctly that time! Even though labor had taken all day, the pushing phase only took minutes.

Ann was so proud of me and congratulated me for going with my instincts to be on my hands and knees. I was so tired and hungry. Just like the first time I gave birth my legs were shaking and my teeth were chattering. I had managed the pain with my attitude and without any medicine, but I needed the ibuprofen afterwards! The attendants worked quickly to change the pads and sheets underneath me. I think it was around 6:00 in the evening.

My husband called my parents and told them to come to the hospital. When they came into the labor and delivery room my son had already been taken away to be bathed. I was eating a sandwich and drinking juice. My mom said she thought maybe I shouldn’t be eating. They were so funny; they didn’t realize that I had already given birth so they were asking how labor was going. Then I knew they hadn’t understood what my husband said on the phone.

Being seen by midwives throughout my pregnancy and having Ann’s support during the birth made a big difference. If I have another child I will choose this same team of midwives.

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  1. April 17, 2008 3:40 pm

    That is so cool. When you get that urge to push, just push Dammit!! LOL!!!

  2. April 21, 2008 10:12 am

    What an awesome birth story! Listening to our bodies makes a HUGE difference, even in the pain. You are so smart!

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