[shared with permission]
I had not thought a lot about birth before I became pregnant with Preston. All I did think about birth was mainly negative and never in my wildest dreams would I have thought it could be such a positive experience. I think if more women shared their positive birth stories, we would have a different view of the whole birthing process. Before I start I do believe that every woman is entitled to bring her child into this world how she wants to. So here is how Preston entered this world, hope you enjoy it and take something from it.
Tyler and I decided that we really wanted to bring Preston into this world without medication or interventions during labor. We started working with our doula, Julie, who educated us on how to follow through with the birth we wanted. Tyler and I read and read and researched and took classes and met with Julie and asked probably a million questions. We learned how to labor together and different methods to help ease the pain of labor. Finally the day was here!
January 24th, 2009
I woke up with a lot of back pain and just did not feel good. Tyler and I went for a long walk and still the pain did not ease up. Needless to say I spent a lot of time in the bath and having Tyler apply counter pressure to my back. We watched a movie and I tried to sleep but could not.
January 25th, 2009
We called Julie around 6:30 a.m. and she told us to try and get some rest. I got into bed and ended up sleeping for about 3 hours. Thank goodness I got at least that because little did I know I was about to do the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. Julie decided to come by and check Preston’s position (most posterior babies put a lot of pressure on the back during labor causing the mother to have back labor). Julie walked in at 11:54 and my water broke at 11:57. I remember being excited and scared all at once. We were going to have a baby and I was going to meet Preston, but at the same time I knew that I had a big job cut out for me. My labor progressed quickly. Julie wanted to try to see if Preston would rotate, so that he would be anterior and take some pressure off my back. After doing what she called the “rotisserie,” Preston flipped.
Labor was starting to get very challenging and I just kept pacing and had not gotten my rhythm down to get through my contractions. My personality is so independent and I think I can do everything myself but I realized that I needed Tyler and I needed to allow him to help me through these contractions. I finally got into a ritual during my contractions. I leaned on Tyler and held his hands over my face and rocked back and forth. Strange, but it seemed to work. My contractions were getting so intense; we decided to head to the hospital. I have to admit in the back of my head I was thinking that natural childbirth was for the birds and I was wondering what I was thinking doing it naturally! The car ride was interesting, my contractions seemed to be back to back and Tyler was driving like a race car driver to get me there. I think he was a little nervous about birthing a baby in the car. I remember not wanting to hear any noises, it was like I was so deep into myself that everything around me was a big blur.
We arrived at the hospital at 3:30 p.m. and instantly I wanted to push. It was a feeling that was welcomed and one you cannot resist. It is funny how your body just takes over and knows exactly what to do (if you allow it to). We walked in and got into the room and immediately I was pushing. The nurse tried to get my IV in, but she failed because my contractions were coming and I could not help but move. I was exhausted and I really wanted to just rest. I kept thinking if I could just rest then maybe I could do this, but I had to dig deep way down inside me and find the strength to continue pushing. Julie and Tyler were great and really helped me to find the strength I needed to get Preston here. I remember thinking that this was much harder than I ever thought it was going to be, but then I felt Preston start to crown and I knew that Tyler and I would be able to meet our son soon if I could just keep pushing. At 5:27 pm Preston was in my arms and it was the best feeling in the whole entire world. Tyler and I created this beautiful child and all that work during labor was what got him here.
Labor is not easy and it was the hardest task that I have ever done; however it was the most rewarding. After Preston’s birth I felt stronger than I have ever felt in my life. There were many times during my labor where I hit walls and I wanted to quit, but I did not. I climbed them and that feeling is a remarkable feeling. Tyler and I are closer today than we have ever been. Going through the labor experience together fused us together even more than we were before. It took “us” to a new level. Looking back at Preston’s birth it was one of those memories that I will treasure forever. Did it hurt? Yes. Was it hard? Yes. But I learned more about myself and what I am capable of in those 6 hours than I could ever imagine. So childbirth can be a positive experience and I cannot wait until I get to do it again! It is a beautiful part of life and I am blessed to have experienced it.
[I would like to add that Brady made many healthy choices in her pregnancy. She also made the difficult choice of switching care providers and hospitals in her last few weeks to a more natural birth-friendly practioner. When I saw Brady and Tyler at a postpartum home visit, they were beaming with respect for each other and adoration for their baby. It is such a pleasure to watch them grow into a family!]