Sunday, November 27, 2011

6 months baby - a birth story

6 months ago we welcomed our little man into the world.

Logan Henry

weighed 7 lbs 5 ounces 

and measured 21 inches

i never shared his birth story mostly because i needed some time to digest everything ;) please be kind if you decide to comment as this is my personal experience and know that i am aware that everyone is different and i am by no means judging anyone else's decisions on how they had or will have their baby :) if you are a first time expecting mom please be warned that even though this birth wasn't by any means horrible, there are some parts to this story that may worry you. again, everyone's experience is different. i had a very easy pregnancy without any kind of complications at all and this is my story...

this being our first child we had of course prepared ourselves for his birth since the day we found out we were expecting. i knew pretty much right from the start that i would do whatever it took to have a natural unmedicated childbirth. of course I was scared of the pain and maybe caving in at the last minute. we watched "the business of being born" which opened my eyes a lot and made my opinion on unmedicated childbirth even stronger. i decided that i wanted to try the bradley method and got a book to read. i would have liked to take the class as well, however it was a little pricey and pretty far away. due to my husband's work he was out of town a lot during the later months of the pregnancy when it would have been time to really crack down on bradley course preparation. so in the end we decided to just take the classes that were offered at our hospital. i think a home birth can be something very special and mostly safe as long as your pregnancy is low risk. having said that, we decided that since this was our first baby and even though we live only 10 minutes from the hospital, we still wanted to deliver at the hospital. i also couldn't really find any midwifes that would have been able to deliver at home here in pennsylvania. 
so we just read the bradley book and tried to practice as much as we could. the bradley method is all about relaxation and letting your body do the work and not working against the contractions. it also includes a lot of visualization of what is happening in your body during labor. 

logan was born at 1.21 in the afternoon. my mom had come in from germany and my mother-in-law ended up being in the room with us the entire time as well. 
i was a week overdue and of course my doctors were already talking about inducing me. there was no way i would let them induce me before 2 weeks overdue but i was definitely ready to have this baby out of me. so the morning of may 26th i went in for my appointment and had the doc sweep my membranes in hopes of helping the little man along a little. worked like a charm. around 8 pm that night i started having contractions. i probably had them earlier than that but since i never had any kind of contractions (not even braxton hicks) during the entire pregnancy, i don't think i knew i was having them until they got stronger. we had planned to stay home as long as we could before going to the hospital. i used a birthing ball (a regular $8 exercise ball), a warm bath and my bed for relaxation and comfort. the hubby was there helping me time contractions and giving back rubs. around 1 am the contractions had gotten a lot stronger and were about 3-4 minutes apart. off to the hospital we went. by the time they had me all situated in a room it was around 2 or 2.30 am. i asked them not to offer me any drugs and that i didn't want an iv. they were trying to convince me to get the iv put in but i insisted. they ended up telling me they had to make sure the doc was ok with it and i never heard another word about it. my contractions were a lot more painful and closer together and i believe i was about 3 or 4 centimeters by then. the next hours are all like a big blur to me. all i remember is that the contractions kept getting stronger and i just couldn't get comfortable. walking around didn't help and standing by the bed didn't either. i ended up spending most of my labor on my sides, in bed, holding onto the rails during contractions. i honestly couldn't focus on the way i was supposed to breathe or let everything go. i remember having the hubby rub and push on my lower back even though i didn't have any back labor at all. the nurses checked my progress a couple of times throughout the night and morning. by late morning i was finally at 10 centimeters. the nurse asked me if i wanted to push. this is where things got a little strange for me. see i had always imagined i would be able to feel the urge to push when i was finally at that point. well, nada, not me. i had no clue what to do. i obviously wanted this baby born more than anything else in the world so of course i told the nurse i wanted to push. they did all kinds of crazy stuff to the bed so that i ended up in a more upright pushing position. and here is when this whole experience became a little more dramatic than i had imagined it. 

i pushed for almost 3 hours. i pushed and pushed for probably close to 2 hours and had no idea what i was doing. i kept telling everyone around me that i couldn't feel it, (by "it" i mean the urge to bear down and push) which is pretty funny since i never got any drugs to numb anything. don't get me wrong, i sure could feel every contraction but i simply didn't know how to push. going back to that stage now i think i may not have been as ready as they told me i was. maybe i should have waited longer before i started to push? i really don't know. all i know is that afterwards i felt like there was something wrong with me, shouldn't my body have told me what to do? shouldn't i instinctively known how to push? i had heard from so many other women about how great the pushing stage was going to be... i guess it just shows how you are not supposed to compare yourself to others' experiences. people in the room kept telling me they could see the head and i kept thinking, hoping and praying that he would finally be here. the nurse tried to show me where to push (i'll spare you the details) and it finally got better. they called for the doc and i thought he was gonna be here any minute now. well, that doctor stood there for an awfully long time with nothing much to do but try to show me how to push. i was so exhausted and ready to give up. i kept seeing my family's faces as they went from smiling and cheerful to worried and unsure. 
my mom told me that nothing was gonna happen to me and thinking about it now, she must have been very worried to say that. i finally caved in and told the doctor that i was going to need some help to get this baby's huge head out ;) we decided to use the vacuum to help him along. this was totally on my request. the doc didn't even seem too worried yet and just kept encouraging me. i think he could tell that i didn't have much more to give though, so he agreed. i will not go into detail on how the vacuum extraction went. i am just praying to god i won't have to do it a second time. when we finally managed to get him out he was perfect. his eyes were wide open as if he wanted to take in all the sights after being in the dark for so long. 

his apgar scores were great, they wouldn't let me hold him right away due to the vacuum extraction. there was nothing wrong with him at all but they wanted to make sure of that first. so i just lay there while they cleaned him up and while they did whatever they still needed to do to me. it seemed like forever before i got to hold him. everyone else was already carrying him around, taking pictures but i was still trying to process what had just happened. when he came out i saw him with his eyes wide open and somehow i just knew he was ok. i never questioned his health at that point. 
i had never read up on vacuum or forceps extractions and the risks associated with them. i just knew they existed, i was almost born that way as well. i guess ignorance is bliss. i don't regret anything about my decision not to have a medicated birth. will i do it again? yes, probably, someday whenever the memories are maybe a little more faded ;)

the day logan was born was the most life-changing and also the most physically and mentally challenging day of my life. it is hard to put into word the things that change inside a woman when she becomes a mother. it is the most precious gift i have and will ever receive. 

today my baby is 6 months old.
he is absolutely terrific and perfect in every way.
he has reached so many milestones already. 
he sits, stands, crawls and climbs all over the place.
his hair is finally starting to grow.
he is so very curious and funny.
he loves to eat.
his poop is stinky ;)
he is 28.5" tall.
he weighs over 20 lbs.
he still has his baby blues.

he is growing up way too fast. 

and he makes us the happiest we've ever been.

happy 6 months mein dicker mann!

1 comment:

  1. Dear Sophie! Thanks for your courage to share this personal story. I'm glad to read that all worked out perfectly. To give birth without any pain relieving procedures is rather impressive. You're a very brave, young mom! Congratulations to your biggest treasure <3 Much love, Kathrin from Los Angeles


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