Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The Birth Hope

Oh hey friends!

I've been MIA the past few days thanks to a fever that attacked my baby girl late on Sunday night. Poor little thing just has not been herself and I can just see her tiny body working so hard to fight off whatever this is. Thankfully, yesterday afternoon the fever seemed to break and we appear to be on the tail end of whatever this is. Last night while my darling husband cared for our peanut, I was able to sneak away with my mama to visit the hospital where I'll deliver Ziggy for a tour of the birth center. Yes, I am delivering at the same place where I had Kenley, and while you'd think I'd be all "been there, done that" going to the hospital always has and always will be a cause for anxiety for me. Going to back and getting a refresher was something I felt would be really good for me and would help calm my nerves about embarking on this crazy journey for the second time.

Touring the hospital again ended up being a great decision. I was really surprised by how much has changed in the past 3.5 years. Not only have the rooms received a facelift but our hospital has taken some great strides towards being more mama friendly. Don't get me wrong, we had a great experience with Kenley but I definitely didn't feel confident in voicing my needs and wants for my birth. During the tour they mentioned bringing a birth plan several times, they mentioned immediate skin-to-skin and delayed cord clamping, as well as adding hydrotherapy pools to 5 of the labor rooms {not for a water birth but for laboring}! All of these things were music to my ears and made me feel so much better about having an idea of what I want for this birth and feeling more comfortable about making those wants known without feeling high maintenance or judged.

Before I get in to what those wants are, I feel I need a little disclaimer...I am sharing this personal part of my pregnancy with all of you in hopes that it will help others, even if just one woman {or man} learns something or feels this is helpful then it's worth sharing. I do not post this to start arguments or debates or to get people worked up about their particular birth beliefs and even though it seems that unsolicited advice and opinions are an unavoidable part of pregnancy {annoying}, I just want to say that you can agree or disagree with my plans/ideas and that's
OK but if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all. Us mamas need support and encouragement and nothing else. Except maybe brownies. Lots of brownies.

So anyways...

When it comes to childbirth you can plan and plan until you are blue in the face and with the help of a baby daddy/birth partner/doula/midwife/doctor a lot of women are able to execute that plan pretty well. However, no matter the plan there are always elements of childbirth that just cannot be pre-planned. It is for this reason I have changed the name of my Birth Plan to my Birth Hope. I'm no dummy, I've been through this before and I know that there are some things that are absolutely in my control and some things that are just not.
I will start by saying that I am a big advocate for natural childbirth. Sounds silly coming from someone who had an epidural the first time, right? I'm not against pain interventions and I'm not against C-sections. I'm not against doctors or hospitals or any of those other things that some passionately feel strongly against. I believe a mom's health and a baby's health are absolutely the priority and whatever needs to be done to get a baby safely into the world is cool with me. I just also believe that every woman is capable of having a natural birth {it's what our bodies were made to do} and whether or not she does is a matter of choice {and some circumstance}. I was not able to do it naturally. I wanted to. It was the plan. But when it came down to it, it just hurt too bad and I was not mentally strong enough or prepared enough to get myself through it. And I'm 100% ok with that. I don't regret it, I don't have sad or disappointed feelings about my birth...I got my baby here and we were both healthy and safe and that at the end of the day was my only goal.

Beyond the ultimate goal of a healthy mom and baby, I do have hopes for my next birth. Hopes that have come from what I know and learned from my first birth as well as the books I've read, movies I've watched and birth stories I've heard. So with that, here are my Birth Hopes for Round 2.

1. Avoid a c-section at all costs. Like I mentioned, this isn't because I think they are bad or have any kind of judgement on people who have had them, it is simply because it scares the living crap out of me. Although routine, a c-section is a major surgery and being cut open and then recovering with a newborn and a 3 year old is just not something I want to do unless I have to. If there comes a situation in which it is ABSOLUTELY medically necessary for me to have surgery for the health and well being of my baby, of course I will do it. Of course I will. But, I will only cross that bridge if that time comes. Until then, my plan and my hope is to be educated on any other options I may have. 

2. Labor at home for as long as possible. If you haven't picked up on this yet, I hate hospitals. Up until a few years ago, I couldn't walk into one without throwing up. I hate knowing there are people in pain and people dying within those walls. It physically hurts me, makes me anxious and is what causes the vomiting. Silly, I know, but it's just one of my many quirks. If I didn't love my doctor and her practice so much and want the security of the hospital's equipment if necessary, I would be all about a birth center. I mentioned awhile back that I read Ina May's Guide to Childbirth and there was a part that stood out to me, "...I learned by observation and experience that the presence of even one person who is not exquisitely attuned to the mother's feelings can stop some women's labors..." This was so true for me with Kenley. The second I walked into the hospital everything hurt way worse and seemed way worse and I wasn't progressing at all. That anxiety I feel at the hospital mixed with people who didn't understand how I felt or what I wanted absolutely affected my progress. For this reason, I want to be at home where I am comfortable for as long as humanly possible. The hospital is only 5 minutes away and I don't want to go until my contractions are on top of each other and I'm screaming bloody murder. 

3. Remain mobile for as long as possible. With Kenley, being tied down to the bed with the fetal monitor was just about the worst thing I'd experienced. I had terrible back labor and laying on my back felt as though I was being tortured. I want to allow gravity to do it's thing, I want to be able to do what I need to do to handle contractions the best I can and I know for me that is not being attached to a bed. I am excited to have the option of a hydrotherapy pool. With both pregnancies being in the water has been so calming for me, whether it's the bath, a swimming pool or even just in the shower something about water relaxes me so much.

4. Try my stinkin' hardest to put off the epidural for as long as possible. With Kenley, I got the epidural at 5cm dilated after 13 hours of labor. With 5cm to go and the typical slowing that occurs with an epidural, I needed pitocin which lead to Kenley's heart rate dropping {as it very often does} and I found myself right on the verge of a C-section. This time I have a goal in my head that I want to make it to at least 7cm before asking for the juice. I realize I run the risk of it being too late, and truthfully I'm OK with that. If I am forced to have a natural birth, well, then I have it. Plus, waiting on the epidural will help me with hope #2 since as soon as I get the epidural, I'll be on my back in bed.

5. NO episiotomy! I had an episiotomy with Kenley and it lead to a really painful recovery. I had to sit on a donut for days and wasn't right down below for months. I also recently learned that Jason saw my doctor cut me and it's left a permanent scar on his brain {sorry babe}. I know that tearing is likely and probably inevitable but this time I'd like for it to just happen naturally. I feel like if it happens how my body needs it to it will heal as it's supposed to. I'm sure it's no fun either way, but I feel pretty strongly about this one this time.

6. Immediate skin-to-skin. I was passionate about this with Kenley and in the whirlwind of having just given birth didn't advocate for myself. They did her measurements and gave her the vitamin k and eye drops before I got to hold her and while it was just fine and we clearly had no problems bonding, I just didn't love it. I want to hold my baby the second he comes out, I've waited long enough to see him and hold him! I was so happy to hear that my hospital now has that as standard procedure. They give mama a chance to do skin-to-skin and nurse along with delayed cord clamping before taking measurements! Yay! 

It's truly crazy to think about going through all of this again. I was so anxious and nervous with Kenley because I didn't know what to expect. This time. I'm actually kind of excited! It's of course unnerving and a little stressful not knowing what will happen or how it will happen or when it will happen and no amount of birth experience can change that, but, I cannot wait to meet my baby and am looking forward to getting the ball rolling! I know it will hurt and be hard and I'm sure I'll grow more and more nervous as the big draws near but I feel more prepared now and feel that my support system and delivery team are on my side with my wishes.


P!nky said...

Having a plan is crucial but so is the mindset of going with what's best for mama and baby. I hope your HOPES come true and will be thinking of you when the day comes.

Curly Girl Confessions said...

Such good hopes, friend! I loved that my doctor WOULD NOT do an episiotomy. She fully believes the body does what it needs to do to push the baby out and if that is a stage 4 tear, so be it. I swear that's why my recovery was much more quick than many women I know who did get cut as well as tear along with it. I hope all 6 become reality when that baby boy decides to debut himself!

Erin LFF said...

I think birth 'hopes' are the perfect balance of knowing what you want and having your say, but understanding that whatever needs to happen for a healthy momma and baby is most important :) I have loved reading all your thoughts/choices through 2 pregnancies now bc it's helped me think about my own wants/hopes!! xo

Lauren Honeycutt said...

I think "Birth Hope" is a much more accurate phrase than "Birth Plan" because really, that baby is in control, so sometimes not everything goes the way you want. That being said, I think that you have excellent hopes for Baby Ziggy and I'm so excited for you!

Lisa @ Naptime Chai said...

Ah, we have so many of the same birth 'wants'! My first labor and delivery went NOTHING like I wanted, so I basically want a better experience this time around, whatever that looks like. I'm really, really hoping for a natural birth experience - so we'll see what happens! Last time that was the goal and I ended up with Pit and an epi and an emergency c-section... so yeah, I'll be trying t avoid ALL of that this time around! I'm definitely more aware this time how important it is to be flexible with expectations, so I guess that's a blessing in itself. GOOD LUCK! <3
-- Lisa | Naptime Chai

Bridget said...

I hope your second delivery happens like to the hospital dilated to an late for an epidural and born within the hour of arriving. Best delivery ever!!!

Celeste A. said...

I love that you have a list of "hopes" and I really hope it all goes just exactly according to what you want! I have so many many many comments I could make about all of the things on your list, but I will just say good for you and I am with you on all of them ;) Fingers crossed you have a MUCH quicker labor and delivery than I did - can't wait to see that squishy little baby!

Unknown said...

Well said my dear. xo m

Carolyn said...

This post is amazing Beeb! It's so informative and you definitely know what you want. This post is so cool to me... I love the labor process so much - not doing it but hearing about it! HA! I know you're going to do an amazing job and I can't wait to hold and snuggle Ziggy!

Brittany said...

I love your birth posts! Seriously my favorite. Like you I am so interested and intrigued by pregnancy and birth and have done a lot of reading on it. I can't wait for your babe to arrive and read his birth story.

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