My pregnancy with Eby went really well. I rarely had nausea, but Sea bands (and ginger tea) helped the nausea I did get. I loved pregnancy from the moment I felt the first kicks. Before that I was an anxious mess, wondering if Eby was ok. I think it’s normal to feel anxious, especially when it’s taken so long to get pregnant.
Papaya Enzymes helped my first trimester heart burn: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0014291SA/ref=as_li_ss_il?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B0014291SA&linkCode=as2&tag=thepne-20
Right before my last trimester with Eby, I looked into what birthing classes were being offered. I stumbled upon Bradley Classes in my quest and was very interested. I had every intention of having a natural birth without drugs and I knew I wanted a water birth: so Bradley Classes sounded like the perfect complement. If you can’t afford the classes, or you can’t see yourself attending 12 classes, buy this book. It’s a good overview of what is covered in the class. I highly recommend it!
The classes were great. It went above and beyond the book, looking at diet during pregnancy, the truth behind the commonly used pain medications, and homework exercises (some physical exercises, some bookwork). Unfortunately, we didn’t make it to the last three classes. Eby was three weeks early.
People say you are likely to be early or late based upon when your mom went. My mom was 5 weeks early with me, so I had an idea I would go early. Eby’s due date was August 18th, 2012 (or August 22 by my calculations).
My water broke around midnight on July 31,2012. I had just laid down to go to sleep whenI felt a trickle as though I was peeing myself. Was this me peeing myself or was it time? I waited to see before telling Dustin. I wasn’t sure. The peeing sensation continued. I told Dustin I thought it might be time. He felt flustered and unprepared. I got up and went to the bathroom. Sure enough it was the amniotic fluid. I put a pad on and felt slightly panicked and excited; we were NOT ready. Sure I had my bags packed roughly, but we weren’t sure what to do at all. We hadn’t finished our Bradley class yet, so we missed a lot of the practical last minute stuff. I wasn’t having contractions right away so I went and tried to pack the remaining stuff we would need (like food) and figure out what to do. Contractions came, and they progressed quickly. We decided to call the birthing center to find out when we should come in. I had tested positive for Group B Strep, and elected not to do antibiotics. Because we chose not to do antibiotics, we were encouraged to come in right away to do the hibiclens wash. The hibiclens wash is just as effective as antibiotics; however it only depletes the birth canal of bacteria, not the entire body. If I were to do it all over, I would have declined the hibiclens wash as well. I think it could be one of the reasons Eby struggled with Reflux. The bacteria babies get going through the birth canal is the first dose of good bacteria their little bodies get programmed with. For Eby, her first dose of healthy bacteria would have been breastfeeding.
Back to the birth story: We arrived at the birth center around 2:30 am. The midwife on call checked me and I was 2 cm. The protocol at the birth center was in order to get in the birthing tub you have to be 4 cm. So, the midwife left Dustin and I in our room to continue labor. I had back pain with each contraction, so I sought to find the best position for the least amount of pain. My place was in the shower with the water spraying directly on the tender spot in my back. I pretty much camped out in the shower for the next 2 hours or so. The next time the midwife checked me I believe I was 9 cm. I was begging to get in the birthing tub. However, Eby’s heart rate was up from the heat of the shower, so they filled the tub with lukewarm water to bring her heart rate down. The lukewarm water was not an effective means of managing the back pain. I encouraged Dustin to push on my back (and I mean full blown pushing as hard as he could) . Once Eby’s heart rate was down, I added some hot water. The tub was not as effective at managing the back labor. However, the midwife encouraged me to push. (Looking back I wasn’t ready to push, I didn’t have the urge. I should have waited.) However, I pushed with each contraction for the next 6 hours, determined to have a water birth. My contractions slowed down in the tub, so I wasn’t effectively laboring. Around 2 or so, the midwife firmly suggested I get out of the tub and try pushing on the bed. I didn’t want to lay down, as my back hurt worse. However, I obeyed and pushed as hard as I could; and finally Eby Grace Eplee came out, sunny side up, eyes open with a strong healthy cry. Dustin was beyond thrilled to deliver her. It’s a special memory for us. She came into the world at 3:20pm.
I can’t say my birth story went anything like I had planned, but I did have a natural birth and didn’t need stitches! If I had been at a hospital they wouldn’t have let me push for 6 hours. I’m sure I would have either been cut or been taken for a c-section. Thankfully that didn’t happen. We were able to go home 6 hours after we had Eby. I have fond memories of our birthing experience, and the pain, although hard at times is not unbearable. You(women) can do it!
Next time I may have a home birth…if God blesses us with another.
By the way, I read a study that said weekly acupuncture at 36 weeks on has been shown to shorten the duration of labor. I only had one session at 36 weeks. My labor was 15 hours which is around average for a first time mom. Time goes by quickly.