Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Birthing Excitement

Although my previous post was mostly about how I am NOT ready to have this baby quite yet, I must follow it up with a post about why I am very excited about the actual birth of my little man.

Although I am delivering at a military hospital and have received all of my medical care through the military providers, I had the option of going with the midwives rather than the OBs. Both my previous births have been with private practice OBs and my births, although both vaginal deliveries, were in private hospitals with those OBs.

I truly didn't have any real complaints about my previous births at either hospital or with either physician. I did not ask many questions. I just did what was "routine" for the hospital and providers.

With this pregnancy, I was intrigued by delivering with a midwife because it was different from what I had done in the past. I was induced at 39 weeks with both C and D for different reasons. Neither delivery was complicated or problematic, but I would describe both as "very medical." I knew I didn't want to be induced with this one. I WANT my body and this baby to decide when the time is right.

In my previous births, I walked in and was immediately hooked up to an IV. I stayed in the bed virtually the entire time. I received an epidural when the contractions became decently uncomfortable (I received it earlier with my second birth than with my first because with my first, I waited slightly TOO long to request it and quickly became very miserable). When I eventually reached 10cm dilation, my legs were put in stirrups, blue sterile drapes were placed over my legs and belly, and I pushed until the baby crowned and was born.

As a side note, I did receive episiotomies with both births. Neither developed any complications and neither caused me any more pain and discomfort than I think any normal vaginal birth would have caused.

I never looked back on my births and thought, "I wish things would have gone differently." I was extremely pleased with both my physicians and with the outcomes of both births - healthy 7lb babies!

BUT, there are things that I would like to experience differently this time. The biggest issue for me was how "medical" the whole thing felt. I know that women have birthed babies since the beginning of mankind. I am not comfortable delivering away from a medical setting because of the possibility of an emergency (though rare, it still frightens me), but I realize that birth isn't an event that needs extreme "medical" intervention. To me, a well trained nurse for me and a nurse for my baby is about all that is necessary unless a complication arises. In that case, of course I would welcome a respiratory therapist, and OB, and a neonatologist. And anyone else who may become necessary!

Okay, back to yesterday's appointment...

The midwife I saw answered all my birth related questions. She explained to me that there was no medical need for IV fluids during delivery, so although the nurses at the hospital would want to hook me up, she said I can request a hep-lock instead of a IV. She explained that this would basically provide them "access" to my vein incase they needed it, but that I would not need to receive any fluids through it unless it became medically necessary to have some medication via IV. (I am praying for a negative Strep B screening result so I don't have to have antibiotics during labor)

I asked about the blue sterile drapes that were laid all over me for both previous births. She shook her head and said that the midwives don't even break down the bed (for those of you who have never given birth, this means that they don't remove the bottom portion of the bed when you begin pushing). She said they don't use stirrups and she said many times, she doesn't even put on a gown.

She also told me that they will not cut an episiotomy unless there is true emergency and they thought it would help get the baby out faster.

I must say that I am SO excited about this birth. I do not intend to go drug free. I do plan on getting an epidural at some point. I understand that this requires a flush of a bag of IV fluids before it is given. I understand they will want to monitor my blood pressure when the epidural is in place. I am okay with all of this.

Mostly, I am excited that the midwife will be there to encourage me and to give me the courage to be my own advocate. She even told me to write up a birth plan.

I have so few true birth desires that I thought it wasn't even worth bothering with, but she said that I should write up whatever it is that I'd like - no matter how small or seemingly "short" my list of desires is. She said they want to know what I want and what I hope for.

I love the midwives already! Yay!

Of course I know that things may not go as I have planned or even as the midwife and I discussed, but I know that I will leave with my baby at the end of my stay. I know that they will support me no matter what happens. I will be in good hands.

And after all my hard work, my husband will again get to "cut the cord." I may let it pulse for a few extra minutes while the baby is placed on my chest (one of my few desires that I've never experienced) and rubbed dry with a towel. But this glorious, praise worthy moment will happen.

Praise God for birth and healthy babies!
This is D meeting us for the first time :-)
The most beautiful 7lbs 4oz that I've ever seen!


  1. I LOVE my midwives!! I've had one for each of my babies births and all were/are wonderful. I wouldn't change a thing. Mine have never let me be induced (although I begged for it with Aaron b/c he was so huge 8lb 11oz, I didn't think I could wait until my due date!) they said my body will know the right time (but if it was medically necessary they would). I hope you get the experience you want this time :)

  2. Loved your post...just sad I won't be able to witness and photograph this blessed event for you. I love you and can't wait to meet and hold my next grandson!

  3. Did I tell you they're transferring me to midwives?! I LOVE my OB doc but she's getting transferred to the trauma unit soon so she probably won't be there to deliver me. I'll have to chat with you about what midwife you like the best!
    We do have alot of the same thing going on.. hmm that's not a surprise!! Can't wait to meet these baby boys. I went and saw Stefanie today.. baby Gabe is soo tiny!!
    Btw, YES I would love to get a pedi with you!!!

  4. So glad you're getting to try birth as you want it:) A successful birth, to me, is where the mother is comfortable and happy with the decisions she arranges with her health care provider. That's going to be different for every woman. (And every birth, I'd imagine, of that woman.) I can't wait to hear your birth story!