Maya’s Birth, by Sabrina

Aug 1, 2012 by     Comments Off    Posted under: Birth Stories

“Before labor began, Kim gave me the confidence I needed to birth naturally. During labor, her words and images helped me to relax. She worked well with Chris and gave him guidance during my labor.”

June 23rd, Chris and I visited the midwife at UW Medical Center to check on my blood pressure. At the time I was 90% effaced and 0 cm. dilated. They took my blood pressure five times because of its elevated level. Then Maya had a nonstress test. She was doing fine. The midwife ordered me to bedrest except for eating and showering, which I really needed after working hard getting things prepared and the making sure things were running smoothly at our new house.

The next morning around 11:00am, I could feel the “early” contractions, however they didn’t hurt until 7:30pm. I called our doula, Kim Radtke, and she suggested that I talk to my husband, Chris, about coming home but not to alarm him. At 7:50pm I asked him to come home and also pickup $100 from the cash machine in case we needed money for the hospital. He said that he would leave our newly purchased cosmetic fixer house in twenty minutes. At 8pm , my contractions suddenly became a lot stronger. I had to stop walking during the contractions. Nothing seemed to ease the pain.

At 9pm, Chris arrived and with one look at me he thought the baby wanted out! He called Kim and she talked me through contractions for twenty minutes while Chris supported me standing up. Kim timed my contractions while listening to the sincerity of my pain. She timed my contractions to be 2 minutes apart and suggested that I call Cindy Rogers, our midwife, about going to the hospital. Kim said that she would meet us there.

Next came the difficulty of Chris loading all our stuff in the car in between my contractions. Chris supported me through contractions and then would run out and put another thing in the car. As we drove to the UW Medical Center, which was only 2 miles from our apartment, I was in the back seat on all fours moaning about every bump and contraction.

Kim was waiting for us at the UW Medical Center. We checked in, gave them our birth plan, and went to the triage room. Chris answered questions from our first nurse, Mary, while Kim supported me. I went to the bathroom at 10:30pm for their sample and this was the last time I could pee until after being catheterized at 7am following Maya’s birth. When Cindy came, they checked and found out I was 3 cm dilated which was big progress from the day before. However, my diastolic blood pressure was higher than the day before at 94 and Cindy said that they might have to put me on magnesium sulfate if it got worse but that we could wait and see. This would mean an IV which I didn’t want.

At 11pm the nurses changed. Kim requested of Mary that we get a really cool nurse. Sharon Holderbe was just that. All the large rooms were filled but one would be available shortly and they were better for the Birth & Beyond tub we rented so we decided to wait in the triage room. Chris and Kim thought this was best and I was doing fine as long as they supported me standing. Kim supported me while Chris went to get all of our things out of the car. While he was gone the anthesiologist took the opportunity to pop in the room. He asked me the same questions as Chris had already answered. It was really hard for me to answer because I was trying to rest between contractions since I wasn’t getting more than a minute break. Kim told him we had answered the questions. Then he asked me if I knew what an epidural was. Kim asked him if he had read my birth plan right outside the door. I told him I knew what an epidural was and I wasn’t getting one unless I would get a C-section and that was doubtful. He quickly left.

After this my throat started to get really dry. I had sips of water and Recharge through a straw. Kim kept offering me Recharge while Chris supported me. My varicose veins were really bothering me with all the standing that I had been doing. Kim suggested trying different positions such as the cat position and leaning on the birthing ball. Neither seemed to work. I told them it was too impersonal. I really needed a person to support me. Kim seemed a better height for me to lean on and Chris was getting tired. My voice was only in a whisper now. e finally found another position of me sitting on the toilet while leaning on Chris. Kim placed towels under Chris’ knees and wet facecloths on our necks to cool us off.

Time went by and finally around 1:30am our room was ready with the tub filled. I was very relieved. It was difficult to make it down the hall to the room. I didn’t want to walk without some support. Kim covered my back with a towel since I was leaning over and my butt was hanging out. When I saw the tub, I made a beeline for it, but the nurse and midwife intercepted me and got me up on the table for another internal exam. Cindy said I was 6 cm which was great progress again and cleared my way to the tub.

Then I got in the tub and hung over the side and held onto Chris hands. I was using deep first stage breathing through the contractions. They immediately seemed to slow down and become stronger. My diastolic blood pressure had come down to 77. Amazing! They used the intermittent Doppler to listen to Maya’s heartbeat. The pressure from the Doppler seem to make the contractions more painful. The Doppler had to be covered with a plastic bag because it was going under the water. Kim would say relax your shoulders and they would fall. Relax your arms and they would fall. It was amazing. She also asked if I hadn’t done this before since I seemed to be handling it really well. She asked if I wanted armotheraphy. At this point, I didn’t much care and they didn’t know where I had stashed it so we did without. She made sure Chris and I continued to sip Recharge. She was very reassuring that I was and could handle everything.

After a half hour of contractions in the tub, my breathing started to be filled with some grunts. I couldn’t control them and Cindy said to just let them come rather than try to control them. The urge to push got stronger and stronger. They encouraged me to just listen to my body. Chris got in the tub behind me. I wasn’t ready to change positions though. Kim continued to talk to me as I leaned over the edge of the tub. I began to push during the contractions. At some point, I felt a pop which must have been my water breaking. No one else could identify when it broke.

Finally I leaned back against Chris. I put my feet up floating against the side of the tub. My arms were stretched back across the tub. I knew Chris was getting pretty warm. I could feel his body heat but I just had to keep pushing. I began to roar like a lion from my prenatal yoga class at the Seattle Holistic Center. Chris had never heard me that loud but Kim assured me that I was rather quiet compared to some births she had attended. I could feel Maya’s head with my finger so I knew it would be soon but I just wanted Maya to come out. Kim suggested a mirror be brought out so we could see the progress. I could feel the stinging from her head coming through. Finally I pushed her head out. Then Cindy told me to push again for her shoulders. It was more painful pushing for her shoulders but after that she just came out. Instantly I felt better without her in me. Cindy put Maya on my stomach and Sharon tried to fit a cap on her slippery head. On June 25th at 3:21am, Maya arrived in the outside world. I asked the sex and they told me to check. It was a girl!

Chris used a pitcher to pour water over Maya to keep her warm. She was looking at us with her little blue eyes. I even saw her smile at Christopher. I tried to breastfeed but it was too slippery. We waited for twenty minutes or so but the placenta would not release. My bladder was too full. Chris cut the cord. I handed Maya to Chris and got out of the tub. Sharon and Cindy helped me to the bathroom carrying the cord.

Since I was unsuccessful at peeing even after drinking more water and running water to relax, they brought me up on the bed again. I had a shot of pitocin and a little while later the placenta was released. I still couldn’t pee though so I agreed to be catheterized. Kim warned me to be on the lookout for an infection due to the catheter, but it didn’t happen.

Everyone in the room was glad that I had successfully delivered Maya without medication and in the water. Kim showed me Maya’s placenta, “the tree of life”. I breastfed Maya. Then Maya was weighed at 7 pounds and 15 ounces which we rounded up to 8 pounds. Then she had her Vitamin K shot and her first bath. My varicose veins went down and I felt such relief and excitement for the days ahead. Chris and Maya fell asleep after all their hard work.

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