The Beginning of WeeMan PT:2

I first heard about homebirth from my Husband. He was born at home & before meeting him and my eventual mother-in-law, I had no knowledge that it was even a choice people made. (Incidentally, he exposed me to many crazy new ideas. A Christian democrat? A male vegetarian? Shocking stuff, let me tell you!) When my mother-in-law told her homebirth story, I am pretty sure my exact words were, “that is not for me! I want to be doped up from the moment I find out I’m pregnant. My motto is feel nothing.” I definitely had to eat my words.

Choosing to birth in my home, under my conditions was empowering. I found myself truly embracing pregnancy and I devoured every bit of info I could find on labor, delivery, breastfeeding and natural parenting. I watched more birth videos than I can count. I quizzed my midwife. I studied the Bradley Method. I took hypnobirthing classes. It wasn’t long before I felt like a childbirth expert.  I was ready!

Then labor hit.

I wasn’t ready!

It started out slow. I was almost a week late and getting a little nervous since my midwife was leaving on vacation in a few days. She decided to help my body along by rimming my cervix. It worked. Within a half hour of my appointment I was feeling definite contractions. We went home and I chilled out on the bed for a few hours while watching The Office. My contractions started getting more noticeable so Husband and I left for the supermarket to pick up food for everyone to have available during full on labor. By the time we got back to the car I was seriously uncomfortable. I also realized that I was only feeling the contractions in my back. Husband called my midwife and she assured us that it was probably nothing to worry about. She said that many women start out with back cramps that eventually turn into real contractions.

I began walking. And walking. And walking. Around and around our living room I went and nothing changed. My labor pains stayed in my back. Worry began to set in and Husband called my midwife again. She  told me the baby was most likely turned the wrong way and she also told me to stop walking.(Meanwhile, she was stuck at another birth.) When I stopped walking, the pain started creeping into unbearable levels. I searched my brain for all the tips I had read about. I got into the shower, hoping the water would help ease the pain. Once in the shower, the contractions began rolling over each other with barely a break and they stayed only in my back. (The best way I can describe my back labor is that felt like someone tore their way into my flesh, grabbed my spine and ripped it out of my body. The few contraction that I felt in my abdomen were a welcome relief.) My midwife arrived and immediately checked me out. She informed me that the baby was not turned wrong, but that I must be one of those women, the ones whose bodies just naturally labor in the back. Oh Joy!

By the time my midwife arrived, I was at seven centimeters and ready to get into my birth tub. It wasn’t long before I was ready to push. Forty-five minutes later I was holding the most precious little bundle. He just stared at me, barely even making a noise. At that moment everything was worth it. Every hour of pain that brought me my son is an hour I would do over and over again for that little life.

On that snowy February morning, I fell in love…..again.

The Beginning Of WeeMan PT:1

I have history of panic attacks & for anyone who has never had one, let me tell you, they are horrendous little beasts. Anything that would dull my senses would trigger one. First my heart would start beating quickly, then my breathe would speed up, my eyesight would blur, my palms would get sweaty, my mind would race, a general feeling of doom would set in & before I knew it, I would be in full-blown panic mode – sure that I was having a heart attack. Let me tell you – not fun! The doctors I consulted just wanted to feed me drugs that carried a long list of side effects, the worst of which was suicide. Since I was living completely alone, far away from family and friends and with a husband deployed, I decided to not take the risk and I declined the drugs. Instead, I learned my triggers, things like alcohol, pain meds, numbing agents (like at the dentist), red food dyes, and even exhaustion. I began to avoid those triggers like the plague & to search out natural and herbal calming agents. Things began to get a little better.

Then I got pregnant.

I began to worry about my labor and delivery. I racked my brain and couldn’t come up with more than a few women I knew who had had natural labors; most had ended up with an emergency c-section. C-section!?!? C-sections meant numbing agents! Numbing agents meant beating heart, hyperventilating, blurry eyesight, sweaty palms, racing mind, and feelings of doom. In other words, a panic attack! There was no way on earth that I wanted a c-section. So, I began researching. I devoured everything I could find on natural labor and c-section rates. What I discovered is that American hospitals have horrible c-section rates. All these “emergencies” that end in wheeling a mother off to the cutting room floor are often caused by too many interventions by doctors. Things like inductions, administration of pitocin, the breaking of water, and epidurals all significantly up the chances of a labor ending in a c-section. I also learned that by their very nature, American hospitals are not conducive to natural births. They are primarily a business and they make money by filling their beds. Natural labor is a slow process & it involves a whole lot of waiting. C-sections allow for more women to get in and out faster, which means more money for the hospitals.

With all this newfound knowledge rattling around in my brain, it wasn’t long before I uncovered a solution.

Homebirth.