I am excited to present our first Mama Birth interview! This is from Lyndsey, a mom with a fantastic story to share. I think that she is just really beginning her journey into the addictive world of natural childbirth and all that that includes! Nobody tell her how crazy we can get! My favorite thing about this interview and this mama is her incredible way of staying grateful and overcoming life's unexpected situations.
I love birth stories, so to introduce yourself, give us a brief synopsis of your births and how they effected you.
My name is Lyndsey, I'm 25 years old and live in Northeast Indiana. I have a husband of almost 3 years, Jay, and we have one son, Oliver Michael, who is 20 months old. We are hoping to conceive again late this summer/fall so that we may have another baby next summer.
When I was pregnant with Oliver, I was very scared of what childbirth would be like. I was scared of any sort of pain, so whether it be pain from or pain from an epidural, I was terrified. I did not have anyone around me who was supportive of me doing natural childbirth. Everyone kept saying "Don't try to be a hero, all that matters is you're going to have your baby. Make it easy on yourself."
My was fairly normal until I was about 29 weeks. That's when I went into the hospital with contractions. After getting some medicine to stop them, I was sent home and seen the next day by my OB/GYN. Because I wasn't working and was able to relax, he sent me home on restrictions. (Not total bed rest, but not lifting anything heavy and rest as much as I could.) That was fine until I hit 35 weeks. Overnight I swelled terribly and started having hard contractions again. When I went for another check-up, I was spilling protein in my urine and my BP was much higher than it had been all throughout my pregnancy. Home I went on serious bed rest. A week later I was checked again and I hadn't dilated although my cervix was soft and ripe. I was still having high BP and protein in my urine, but it wasn't getting any worse. I spent an afternoon in L&D for observation and was sent home to wait a few more days until I hit 37 weeks. At 37 weeks 1 Day I spent the night in the hospital with cervidel inserted. The next morning, on August 26, 2008 the nurses started pitocin at 8:36 a.m. I trusted my Dr and was OK with his decision to induce. He asked how I felt about an epidural and I said I didn't care either way. He suggested getting one to help my BP during the labor. He wanted me as rested and relaxed as possible. So at 11:00 a.m. I received an epidural. afterwards, I felt great.
I took a nap, and around 4:15 I woke up to SEVERE contractions. I asked the nurse if that was normal and she said she would give it a "boost" which should help. I explained that this was not just pressure I was feeling, these were painful contractions. I knew something wasn't right. She agreed, and when the "boost" of epidural didn't work, she said she was going to call the anesthesiologist back up to re-do the epidural. As she started to walk out the door, she turned back and said, "Wait, I need to check how dilated you are. She'll want to know that." Low and behold, I was 10 cm; no time for another epidural.
I was terrified. This meant I would be able to feel everything. Everything happened so quickly as they prepped to get me ready to push. At 5:17 p.m. Oliver Michael, my firstborn, precious son, was born. He was 6 lbs 14 oz, 19.25" long and healthy. They called in NICU nurses to check his breathing because something didn't sound right at first, but everything ended up being OK. He was born with clubfeet, a condition where his feet were turned completely in at a 90* angle. But to my eyes, he was absolutely perfect.
I felt great after the delivery. I had a 2nd degree tear from the delivery, but after delivering the placenta and receiving a few stitches, I was able to get up, go to the bathroom, and eat. We stayed in the hospital for 48 hours after which we got to come home and this new season in our lives.
What first got you interested in a natural lifestyle or natural birth?
Before Oliver was born, I was interested in natural birth but didn't think I could do it. After having my epidural go wrong and delivering without any meds, I am very interested in doing it completely natural next time. Now that I know I can, I'm all for it!
What subject would you say you are most passionate about (circumcision, birth, vaccines, etc) and why?I'm most interested in attachment parenting, does that count? :) I believe it started when we chose to "room-in" with Oliver in the hospital. He was rarely out of our sight. That continued when we came home. From the first day that we were home with Oliver I wore him in a sling. He wasn't in a stroller of any kind until he was about 9 months old! I never took his infant carrier car seat indoors, I always wore him. I still enjoy wearing him. We also co-sleep. The first week we were home my husband wasn't comfortable with it, and we spent many nights in a recliner with Oliver on our shoulders. When he was 8 days old he had his first set of casts on to begin the correction of his clubfeet. Neither my husband nor myself could stand the thought of him being away with us and in pain, so Oliver spent his first night in our bed. He hasn't left yet, ha ha.
I feel so passionately about attachment parenting because I saw first-hand how happy of a baby Oliver was. He rarely needed to cry because I was always there, and was able to meet his needs before he got too upset. I felt so passionately about attachment parenting because I felt it was the best way to parent a child. As a Christian, I felt privileged that God would give me this child to raise. Just as I feel the Lord hears me and answers me when I ask for His help, I would be there for Oliver when he needed mine. Helping my child feel secure and happy was, and still is, my top priority. Even now, as Oliver approaches 2 years old, I can see the benefit of our investment of attachment parenting. Oliver is a happy, secure toddler.
How do you incorporate your passions into your lifestyle through work or education? (ie doula work, childbirth education, blogging, or just talking to friends.)
I have exposed many of my friends to baby wearing and have helped them find baby carriers that fit them and their needs. I've shared my experience of co-sleeping, and although I have gotten much criticism for it, I've also found out that more people do it than you would think! I don't keep up on my blog as much as I would like, but I've always been very open about our lifestyle.
What are some of your favorite resources for new mothers? (books, web sites, etc)My absolute favorite books are the Dr. Sears books. All of them! Askdrsears.com is also an excellent source. I also enjoy the book "Attached at the Heart" by Barbara Nicholson and Lysa Parker.
What experiences have you had that made you think, changed you deeply, or made you more sensitive to the situations of others regarding a natural lifestyle. You know what I mean, those humbling, growth experiences.
My birth changed me deeply. It made me realize that childbirth can be done naturally, no matter what others say or how many others get epidurals. When I received my epidural I thought for sure I would be going through the birth feeling little pain. How wrong I was! :) But I also realized that I was stronger than I ever thought possible. So I see both sides of the coin: I understand why some choose the epidural; I also can support those who choose to go naturally.
My story with Oliver and his feet is a whole other subject in itself that I could go on and on about. But I will say this: having a baby that others saw as "not perfect" changed my life. I now can relate to others who have children that have difficulties. I can give them encouragement and hope and show them that my son is now walking and running and you would never know he was crippled at birth!
What do you see as the biggest challenge/problem in obstetrics today and how do you think it could/should change? How are you trying to bring about change.
I think the biggest challenge for obstetrics today is their quick dismissal of natural childbirth. I don't remember ever being encouraged to do natural childbirth. Perhaps if I had more strongly expressed my interest...I just remember hearing the stats of the high number of women who do go get epidurals. I hope that by going through with natural childbirths with my future children I can encourage others. I do think that women should have the option and be educated. But I think the education should be equal for both natural births and medicated births.
Share with us you blog or web site so everybody can get to know you better!
I don't keep up on my blog as much as I should, but I do have one: http://adaywithmama.blogspot.com. I also have a blog that shows my cakes and cookies that I do from my home at: http://blessedcakes.blogspot.com