Saturday, April 18, 2009

Processing at Month 1.

I've spent a lot of time in the past month thinking over Rohan's birth. It all went so fast that it was a wild ride I was taken on, and as a result I didn't have much time AS it was happening to really stop and take note of things. But now that Rohan is a month old, I've had a few thoughts I want to get down, just for posterity. In no particular order:

1. I am so amused at the fact that the morning Rohan was born, I posted a blog entry about how nothing was happening and how good I felt. And then I made a cheeky comment about all the cramping I'd had previous nights possibly meaning a shorter labor. And I was very not serious, since labor with Luca was 27 hours. Who would have guessed I'd be right....?

2. I was also laughing because my mom and I were talking on our way home from shopping and lunch that day (around noon) about how I was having cramps. I told her I'd had them for about a week every night, but they would go away, and that I was sort of hoping they would mean a faster labor. "But not TOO fast," I enthused. "I'm not hoping for a whirlwind 3 hour labor, but I'd be happy for 8 oe 12 hours." I had Rohan in my arms a mere 4.5 hours later. Hmmm.

3. I think what 'they' say is true about needing to be in the right situation for your body to really LET labor happen. I was contracting, but when I spoke to my MW at about 1:30, I was able to talk to her THROUGH a contraction that was 2 minutes after the prior one. I was also able to take some laundry from the washer and put it in the dryer and to sit on the floor with my friend and her beautiful 8 month old and have a conversation. It wasn't until I saw my husband's face as he came to check on me in the bathroom that it hit me like a ton of bricks that I WAS in labor. Seeing him lifted a weight, and made me feel safe and ready to give birth. From that point on, there was no going back. I was IN LABOR, and hard labor at that.

4. I think it's funny how many people have said they envy my fast labor. First, because I actually wish labor had been a bit longer. I wanted time to use the birth pool to relax. I wanted to be able to hang out with Luca a bit and see how she was handling watching me in labor, rather than having to make a snap decision to get her out of the house. I wanted to walk through contractions and use my birth ball. And, I admit, I REALLY wanted a labor that lasted long enough that I could get some back rubs and hair brushing out of my husband between contractions.

5. I've been wondering what the experience was like for Darrick. The day after, he told me he dreamed about the birth that night, and that he couldn't stop thinking about it. I didn't think to ask what he meant, until today. He told me his memory of the birth is peace. He felt at ease and safe and happy, and he was never worried about how it would turn out. He was proud. He was at peace. That made me smile.

6. My only real regrets as far as things I had some control over were that I didn't call and have Darrick come home sooner (like around noon when I was pretty sure this was going to be the day but still thinking I must have HOURS left) and that I didn't open my eyes and see Rohan as he was born. I wish I'd asked my MW and her apprentices to tell me to open my eyes.

7. One more thing about the speed of this labor. Even if I HAD planned on going to the hospital, I'm fairly certain I never would have realized I truly was in labor and made it there in time to get an IV and pain meds. And then I would have been birthing pain-med free in an uncomfy bed. No thanks.

8. I always felt like having this baby at home was the right thing. I never really worried about things going wrong or complicating the pregnancy or birth. I knew transfers happen to some people sometimes, but I never even entertained the thought that I could be 'some people'. I just expected things to go 100% fine and I am SO glad I believed in that. For one, if I'd been under the care of an OB and consistently measuring 1-2 weeks ahead (as I did this entire pregnancy), I probably would have been given an ultrasound to measure baby. And they probably would have guessed him to be pretty large and pushed me for either an induction or a c-section. I would have said no, but I don't know how successful I would have been at fending it off. Say I WAS successful, and ended up going into labor on my own in a hospital and he had that nuchal hand (nuchal hand = hand by the face, which he did indeed have). I knew he was stuck for a few minutes, since I could feel myself pushing but him not moving. My MW handled it by trying to help me push more effectively and by recognizing what was happening and pulling his hand out so he could be born without it impeding progress. Would an OB have done the same? Or would an OB have either pushed for a c-section OR done an episiotomy and then used a vacuum to pull Rohan out? And if the OB HAD used the vacuum, would Rohan's cephalohematoma (which resolved totally on its own by 1 month) have been worse...possibly even causing a skull fracture as they sometimes do when caused by a vacuum? I don't know...but I am damn glad I trusted my body and my MW trusted my baby and me, and I don't HAVE to know the answers to those questions. Once I had time to really THINK about all the different ways this birth could have played out with an OB and a hospital, I knew I made the right choice birthing at home.

I'm still in awe. Honestly, after this experience, in spite of the pain that comes with birth, I almost wish Darrick didn't want to stop at 2 kids. I would love to do this again.

1 comment:

Speedracer said...

I've been reading Ina May Gaskin's book and other hypnobirthing books and everything you wrote in this post makes sense. I still don't know where I would birth #2 (not even conceived yet!) but i have a lot to think about now, in a good way.


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