A Mother Chooses To Have Her 3rd Baby In A Different Way Than Her First Two
When my husband and I learned that we were pregnant with our third child, I knew that I wanted this birth to be different then the first two. With our daughter, I wound up with a vacuum extraction after an extremely short labor (only in the hospital 1-1/2 hours when she was born). With our second child, I was in the hospital, in a "birthing room" with my ob/gyn delivering. During this birth I was told I "had" to have an enema, "had" to have my feet in stirrups, and "had" to have an episiotomy. I knew with our third baby, I was the one who wanted to be in charge. I found a great group of midwives and a free-standing birthing center about 45 miles away. I enjoyed every visit because they discussed whatever I wanted, for as long as I wanted. They were educators as well as midwives. We attended special classes because we planned to have the baby in the birthing center and come home less than 24 hours later. We learned how to take my and the baby's vitals, and were ! reassured that a midwife and nurse would visit our home after we went home.
Well, the day came -- not surprisingly 14 days early (the other two were 2-3 weeks early too). My water broke at 3 am on Mother's day. How appropriate! I spent the entire day walking around, taking showers, drinking a little castor oil, anything to get my contractions started full swing. I knew that if I went longer than 24 hours, I would have to use the hospital because of the risk of infection. My midwife called me every couple of hours to see how I was doing.
Finally, later that evening, my contractions began steadily. We knew that it was finally time. My husband and I jumped in one car, while my parents (who had just happened to be visiting that weekend from out of state)took our two oldest in their car and we all flew along in the night to the birthing center. During the next few hours, I labored steadily. We were the only ones at the center that night and I had two midwives and a nurse attending me. Talk about lots of attention! My parents and the kids set up camp in the living area and watched the movies we had brought along. During the labor, my mother apprehensively ventured back to the room and got to hear a baby's heartbeat for the first time. I was amazed that she had never heard an unborn baby's heartbeat before. It made the birth even more special.
After jumping into the whirlpool tub, I was finally able to push. During the time, my husband, Chuck, was busy helping me to push harder and trying to operate the remote control on the video camera at the same time! This pushing was extremely painful for me but I insisted on no meds and no episiotomy. I really wanted to do this naturally.
Finally, at 3:04 am, 24 hours after my water broke, we welcomed Benjamin Braden into the world. What a relief to have him! He seemed so big compared to the other two children. At 8 pounds, 11 ounces, he was 2 pounds heavier and a long 22-1/2" in length. Even though Benjamin had to be transported later that morning to the nearby hospital NICU for a suspected infection (which he did not have, by the way), I would whole heartedly recommend a birthing center birth. I received so much wonderful attention and care. The midwives were truly caring. If we ever had another, I would definitely use a midwife again. They empowered me as no doctor had ever done.
A book that helped me immensely, especially emotionally and spiritually throughout my pregnancy was Spiritual Midwifery by Ina Mae Gaskin. This is an excellent book with inspiring birth stories and down to earth medical information. It's a great book for anyone who is pregnant, not just those that are planning a home/birthing center birth.