Thursday, November 24, 2011
My First Birth Story- Much To Be Grateful For
I am grateful that I knew before I went into labor that labor could run the rage of very long to very short. When contractions started out an hour apart for just thirty seconds each, I knew that I wouldn't be heading into the hospital right away.
I am grateful for a husband who was kind, supportive, positive, and who made me eat so that I had the energy to labor.
I am grateful that I was able to labor at home for two full days before I went to the hospital. My bag of water was leaking on and off that whole time. As I felt my baby move and I had a normal temperature I just knew that everything was fine. I was grateful to be at home without constant vaginal exams.
I was grateful for my Bradley teacher Donna. She finally told me after two days of labor that I needed to get walking! I was so afraid that it would hurt more but that advice finally helped things pick up. I was glad I listened to her.
When I did decide to go to the hospital, I was grateful to have dilated to an eight! Yippee! I was so excited. I thought it would never end before that news.
When we arrived, I had the most kind and gentle midwife. The midwives worked random shift rotation, and though I had never met her, she was wonderful and peaceful to be around. I was grateful too for a nurse who hardly said a word, just did her job and let me be.
I was SO grateful for the tub. It made my labor feel like it had totally stopped for a few moments. I couldn't believe the power of water to relive pain.
When I started pushing, I was grateful that that same midwife encouraged me to move and push in every position known to man. I was so exhausted by this time that I had forgotten everything I had ever learned about technique and pushing positions. Were it not for her I wouldn't have moved.
I was grateful for her again when she didn't call in a surgeon when I still hadn't had the baby after an hour. She "let me" push for four hours. Babies heart tones were good and I wanted a natural birth- and she helped me get it by giving me the opportunity to push out my baby under my own power.
Everyday I am grateful for that- I know that if she had told me after two hours that I needed a c-section I was too tired to have argued. But she believed in me. She believed in my ability to birth my child. She is one of the reasons that my other births were wonderful- I got the gift of vaginal birth in a c-section happy world.
I was so grateful when he finally emerged! Healthy and screaming with good APGAR's. Having a baby is a miracle.
I was grateful for the lactation consultant that FINALLY helped me get him to nurse. We had a long and wonderful breastfeeding relationship that I know impacted his health for the better.
I am grateful that I never gave up nursing because it was so incredibly hard the first few weeks as my tired and jaundiced baby and his overwhelmed and exhausted mother struggled to make things work.
When we struggled to nurse, I was so grateful for a husband who looked me in the eye and told me that I could breastfeed. He never doubted me. I was grateful to for a family that expected it and a mother who had nursed all of her babies and never expected anything else from me.
I was grateful that he grew and learned and was always content in his mothers arms. I am grateful that he was my first child. He taught me so much about motherhood and sacrifice and personalities and love.
Today I am grateful for a little man who is growing up to be a bigger man. I am grateful that he seems to innately understand right and wrong, and has a moral compass that is strong and steadfast. I am grateful for a boy that is dedicated and persistent and serious about the things that matter.
Sometimes I hear people say that birth doesn't matter. I hear of doctors making fun of women for wanting to birth a certain way or mocking women who feel wounded by the way their babies were born.
I know birth matters. Not only that, I know that it is SUPPOSED to matter. Whether designed by nature or God, birth has a powerful impact on the mother and the child, and it lasts forever. Women never forget the way they felt when they were bringing their babies here.
I am so grateful for the luck, the people, the miracles, and the kindnesses that came together to give me a wonderful child in a spectacular way. Does it happen everyday? Of course- every minute in fact. And yet it still touches us all so deeply- that is one of the many miracles of birth.
Birth is both everyday and spectacular all at once.
May you all have blessings, peace, and much to be grateful for at the births of all of your miracles.