Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Why I chose to go natural at a birthing center

I put on jeans.  That counts as getting dressed, right?  Eleanor's arrival has made "getting out of yesterday's clothes" something I have to put on the to-do list. 

A few days ago, I blogged about Eleanor's birth story.  You can read about it here.  I really could not have asked for a better story.

Why did we choose to go natural?  And why did we choose to deliver at a birthing center? 

Initially, I started looking into going natural because of my crazy fear of needles and doctors.  I knew that I would not be able to get an epidural.  So, if I wasn't going to get an epidural, I started looking into other options.  I am not going to post all the reasons after that that further convinced me that this was the best option for me.  You can research for yourself about birthing center vs. hospital, natural vs. not.  I am not going to try to convince someone to change your mind.  There was nothing wrong with me, so we didn't feel the need to be at a hospital.  Ultimately, the person birthing the child has to choose where and with what they are going to be most comfortable. 

The last statement of the previous paragraph is what I really wish other people would take to heart.  I had so many people try to point out the error of my decision by stating things that as a whole are just not true about birthing centers or hospitals, by telling me how much pain I would be in if I felt everything, and by guilt-tripping me by saying that if something went wrong, I would have to live with that decision.  Ouch!  Totally not appropriate!

I had Eleanor at Inanna Birth and Women's Care in Denton.  I could not have asked for better care.  Instead of spending an hour in the waiting room, the midwives would spend an hour with me.  When we did have complications at the end of the first trimester, I was sent to a specialist.  The birth center will not take high-risk patients.  Fortunately my issue resolved itself, and I was able to continue my care at the birth center.  During labor and delivery, I had a birthing assistant that stayed with me the entire time in addition to two midwives.  The best part was being able to take my daughter home hours after her birth and spend the first night at home as a family. 

If Eleanor keeps sleeping, I am going to blog about pain-coping strategies and overcoming my fear of birth.

Thanks for reading,

Friday, February 21, 2014

Eleanor's Birth Story (Yes, she is already here!)

I cannot believe that Eleanor is already a week old today.  This has been the fastest week of my life.  I wanted to share her birth story with you.  If you were like me, pre-pregnancy and even pre-birth, I was always a little apprehensive to click on birth stories because it seems that there were far more negative experiences than positive.  This is a very positive story!

Friday, February 14th
6:30 Wake up just like normal.  I was running around trying to find something cute to wear to our Valentine's Day party.  I told Anthony I wasn't feeling well, but I thought it was just cramps. 

7:30  Got to school.  My main goal was to finish my sub plans for maternity leave and put my grades in for the 6 weeks. 

8:00 Emailed Anthony to let him know something was happening.

8:30 Told my kids to pretty much work independently and leave me alone because I felt sick.  I was having cramps periodically, and I was especially irritable during those times. 

9:30  Went to the office to see if there were any half day subs in the building who would be willing to stay the rest of the day with my class.  I told them to look around for a sub but not to do anything yet as I wasn't sure how I was feeling.  I left the office, and a sweet teacher volunteered to go watch my class for a bit, so I could go have a cry.  I just felt sick and wanted to be home laying in bed.

10:00 Went to the bathroom, lost my mucus plug, and was spotting a bit.  I called Anthony.  He suggested that he leave work, but I declined because I wasn't sure yet.  Besides, I wasn't sure that I even had a sub, how could I possibly leave?

10:15 My kiddos went to special areas, and I was ready to leave.  I felt like I was sick, and I didn't feel like being sick in front of my kids.  I wasn't for sure if it was labor or not.  Everyone had always told me that I would definitely know when I was in labor, so I didn't think it was for real.  In fact, I kept telling my team that I would feel like an idiot if I left, and it was nothing. 

10:30 My team took me home.  I definitely realized that I was having contractions on the way home.  During the 15 minute drive, I probably had about three contractions that were incredibly difficult to talk through.

10:45  Arrived at home and sent my team away because they had to be back by 11.  In hindsight, I should not have let them leave me alone.  Anthony was still not home.  At this point, I was moaning through my contractions.  I started timing them.  They were about 4 minutes apart and lasting about 45 seconds.  In between contractions, I was scurrying around trying to finish packing my bag.  Baby girl wasn't supposed to be here until the end of February.  I wasn't ready.

11:15 Anthony got home.  He helped me grab some more things and called my midwife and doula.  I was grabbing things like games and art journals.  I still thought I had a long ways to go, and to avoid being bored during labor I wanted to have things to do. 

11:50  I arrived at the birth center.  Fortunately, it was only 20 minutes away.  They checked me for the first time and PTL I was already 9 cm and completely effaced.  Ummm hello!  Baby was coming soon.  I was a little scared when I arrived because I didn't know how I was going to last through like 12 more hours of labor with this kind of intensity of contractions.  It was a huge relief to be so far along.  My doula arrived shortly thereafter.  I labored on the bed and in the tub.  It was all back labor.  Less than two hours later, Eleanor Joy Houston had arrived. 

God blessed me with a great labor.  He was so gracious to provide breaks during labor where I could relax, to provide me with a great support team, and to help me deliver a beautiful baby girl.  I am so pleased with me and my husband's decision to go all natural and at a birthing center. 

This is the short of it.  Hopefully in the next coming weeks I can talk specifically about our decision to go natural, pain coping techniques, the education I received to help me feel empowered, and some of the fears that God helped me conquer throughout my pregnancy.