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A wonderful feeling to finally meet our daughter

posted Sep 29, 2015, 11:30 AM by Lisa Baracker   [ updated Sep 29, 2015, 11:31 AM ]
My husband and I wanted to give our daughter a natural childbirth. We weren't sure about hiring a doula, but at 39 weeks and six days, I was getting nervous about our doctor and the hospital staff honoring our wishes for a non-medicated delivery. I thought I'd feel better if we had someone to be our advocate in the labor and delivery room. We asked our birth class teacher for a doula recommendation, and she told us about Blythe, Lisa and Cathy. Lucky for us, they were available and took us on as clients.

At just over 41 weeks, we had met with our doulas. We really liked and trusted them. The problem we were facing was that I had not started labor. My doctor was getting nervous. He scheduled me for a hospital induction at 42 weeks and one day. He explained that the induction would consist only of administering pitocin, because my cervix was soft and I was 90% effaced. He dismissed my idea about using a foley bulb. From what I've heard, pitocin makes contractions very intense and frequent. I thought that if I was given pitocin, I might not be able to resist asking for an epidural. I didn't want a cascade of intervention to take over my labor. I talked to the doulas about seeking induction via acupuncture. They thought it was a good idea. Additionally, they told me to try stimulating my pressure points and Lisa recommended that I research some homeopathic medicines. I had four acupuncture sessions and started using a moxa stick. At 41 weeks and five days, I was experiencing contractions, but they varied from six minutes apart to 20 minutes apart, to hours without feeling anything. I had heard that caster oil might help step things up, so the next day I ate a castor oil and egg scramble. I had another day and night of contractions, but nothing steady enough to be counted as full on labor. The next day was full of contractions (still nothing consistent), and two more doses of castor oil. 

In the early morning of 42 weeks and one day, I was experiencing stronger and more frequent contractions. That was also the day I was scheduled to go to the hospital for induction. Lisa came to our house so my husband and I decided to just *not* go to the hospital. I wanted to labor at home as long as possible. If I had gone to the hospital, I might have been induced with pitocin. For hours I walked around and sat on my birth ball to help with the contractions. I was feeling woozy from lack of sleep and from labor. One thing that was pretty painful for me was trying to pee. I kept drinking water, but was unable to go to the bathroom. Lisa thought I might be dehydrated, so she recommended that we go to the hospital. 

By the time we got to the hospital, it was 3 p.m. and I was dilated 4 centimeters. Hooray! I was in active labor! I asked the nurse who was assigned to help us how she felt about natural birth. She said she was very comfortable with it, she used to be a doula. Lisa, my husband and our nurse were the perfect team to help me through labor. The most comfortable position for me was standing. Lisa thought I should sit down to conserve my energy. She found a comfortable seat for me and played music that I like. Time was a blur for me, I'm not sure how long I was sitting. I know that Lisa and my husband were there, getting me through what seemed like endless contractions. 
I was in a lot of pain, and at one point, asked my husband if I should get an epidural. He told me that I should try one more contraction, and see how I felt. That worked like a charm. I decided I should try and stick it out. (I think) our nurse had to monitor my and the baby's heartbeat, so I got up from my seat. I kept complaining that I felt like I had to pee, but I couldn't. Finally, I was given a straight catheter. What a relief! I had a liter and a half of urine evacuated from my bladder. My daughter had been right on top of my cervix from (at least) the time that we arrived at the hospital. I think she had probably been blocking my ability to pee, and it was painful to have her bouncing on my bladder. After the catheter, I sat in the shower and my contractions didn't feel nearly as painful as they had when my bladder was full. When I got out of the shower, my cervix was checked. I had opened way up! Soon, I was ready to start pushing.

I had heard from many of my friends that they just pushed three times, or for a few minutes before delivering their babies. I was counting on having an easy time of it too, but I was wrong. My doctor wanted me to push from a prone position. I tried that for a while, but it was difficult. My doctor left the room, and Lisa recommended that I try a hands and knees position. That wasn't working for me either, so Lisa recommended that I try squatting. The squatting pushes felt much better, but my baby's heartbeat slowed down in that position, causing my doctor to strongly request that I push while on my back. He also made a comment about the time, which made me focus on the clock. I ended up pushing for two hours. It was really intense work. At 1:24 in the morning, we finally met our baby! She was placed on my belly and tried to nurse. It was a wonderful feeling to finally meet her.

It was invaluable to have Lisa with us for the birth of our daughter. I can't give her enough love and praise for what she did for us! Thank you, Lisa!
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