Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ainzley's Birth Story

Friday the 18th, my wonderful sister-in-law, Linda, drove from St. Louis to Springfield to be here to help with our home birth. Since she's had 2 home births of her own and has been there for me through so many tough times, I knew she was perfect for the job. She got here around 1pm and we ran to WalMart to get a few things for her and her daughter Ava. We spent the afternoon hanging out and catching up. We went out to dinner at a fun Hibachi grill here in Springfield where I started having mild contractions. Since they were identical to the contractions I had been having for weeks that led to nothing, I didn't think to much of them and we continued with our evening. After dinner, we went home and had a couple friends of ours (Shannon and Aaron) come over for games. We became fast friends with them after moving into the same ward and they are so great with David. Shannon is his nursery teacher and he really likes her. Anyway, I continued to be uncomfortable but the contractions fizzled out a little later. Shannon and Aaron went home and Linda and I started one of our marathon chat fests.

Around 2am, Jason came into the living room and told me I needed to go to bed. I came in and started my bedroom routine and felt something weird. I went to the bathroom to find I had passed a blood clot about the size of a half dollar and was bleeding a little bit. I yelled for Jason to get Linda and to call the midwife. Since I wasn't gushing blood or soaking pads or anything, I laid back down to try to get some sleep. Around 2:30, the contractions started. I knew something was different about them so after breathing through a handful of them, I went to get Linda. They were already 2-3 minutes apart and lasting a minute. Since I was bleeding, I wanted to make sure we were being careful. We called the midwife after a few more contractions and she said she was on her way. Once she got there, she checked out the bleeding situation and assured me that everything looked fine. She checked me and got a surprised look on her face. She looked at me and said "Amy, you're dilated to an 8 and completely effaced. I'm not sure the other midwife will even make it here before Ainzley is born." I couldn't believe it! We listened to Ainzley on the Doppler and she sounded great so Linda and I continued getting through the contractions. It was 5:15 in the morning.

Jason started filling the birth pool and called Shannon to come watch David if he woke up and we got out the birth supplies. Amazingly, Ava and David both slept soundly through this rather noisy period. Since we were boiling water for the birth pool, we were using every burner on the stove and the heat from that set off the fire alarms at least twice, lol. I continued breathing through contractions and eventually had to let everyone else finish the preparations as I had bigger work to do. My contractions were really starting to pick up right before the birth pool was ready so I laid on my side on the bed while they finished. When I was FINALLY able to get in the pool, I was more than ready to be there. The water helped lessen the strength (or at least what I was feeling) of the contractions. I was a little annoyed with the temperature - it was so hot! Well, at least to a woman in labor it was. We stayed in the pool for a little while before the other midwife arrived a little before 6am. We listened to Ainzley on the Doppler again and she was still sounding perfect.

After awhile, I was ready to get out of the tub. I got up, dried off and returned to the bed. Jason held my hand and stroked my hair - he did amazingly, too. Not long after I got out of the pool, the midwives came and talked to me. They were getting concerned about the bleeding and wanted to monitor Ainzley more frequently with the Doppler. After every contraction, we listened to her and she was still doing perfectly. By this point, the contractions were unbearable and I knew I was in transition. Not too many contractions after that, I noticed that my body had started to push during contractions. I announced to everyone in the room that I was pushing and couldn't stop it! lol Jason wanted to catch Ainzley so he got ready and Linda was by my side helping me focus. After the first push, something interesting happened, I birthed the amniotic sac. My water never actually broke before this point. Jason and one of the midwives broke the sac (which was difficult as it was very strong they said) and I pushed again. This time, Ainzley's head came with an arm crossed over it! She was born after only one more push at 7:20am. She was perfect in every way. Jason placed her on my tummy and it was love at first sight... she even pooped all over me to let me know, lol! I was given a shot of Pitocin after the birth to ensure the bleeding was kept under control. Ainzley and I both got cleaned up and finally had time to just snuggle - it was perfect!

Our home birth experience was amazing. Jason and I have talked several times over the past few days and both agree that while we're not "anti-hospital", we definitely prefer the more intimate home setting. There were lots of interesting and even some scary things that happened in our experience. The scary part being the bleeding throughout labor and delivery - my estimated blood loss was about 4 cups. 2 cups is considered a hemorrhage. We examined the placenta and found that it had started to age a bit which probably caused a small placental abruption. The more interesting/uncommon being the amniotic sac being delivered first and needing to be ruptured, and her head/shoulder/arm being delivered at the same time and the cord was wrapped around her neck and abdomen. I share these parts of my birth, however, to show the abilities of these amazing women - the midwives. I've been in their care since about 17 weeks pregnant and have not doubted their abilities. I've actually felt better taken care of by them than the doctor I started seeing in the beginning of this pregnancy! It makes me so sad that people would talk bad about midwives without even having any experience with them. It makes me ridiculously angry that some Missouri legislators are trying to make home birth midwives illegal again. Without my home birth midwives, Ainzley's birth would have been very different - More traumatic and definitely not what I wanted. I'll always be grateful to the wonderful women who helped me have the incredible birth I was after. Pics to come later

1 comment:

Cassie and Paul Becker said...

Wow. What a wonderful experience for you! I'm so happy that everything went well and that Ainzley was perfect. I can't wait to see more pics and meet her. Congratulations!! :)

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