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Sunday, November 14, 2010

"Keep Calm and Carry On"- UC Birth Story of Eliza

This is just a lovely Birth Story - peaceful and natural and uninterrupted.... the way birth is meant to be!!!

By Meghan Schoenborn
Let me begin by explaining that not at any point during my wonderful, trouble-free pregnancy did I experience contractions, not a single pain…

I was “due” on August 2nd, and had survived the daily barrage of “anything yet?” phone calls for well over the past 10 days. Then around 3am the morning of August 13th, I awoke with an odd pain, it passed, and I returned to sleep. This cycle continued for the next 3 hours, until at 6am I could not return to sleep, so I got up and decided to go in the backyard for some fresh air.

The evening of the 12th was the second night of the Perseid meteor shower, and Venus, Saturn, Mars and the crescent Moon had aligned. I walked around the backyard with our white mini schnauzer Wally, I looked up and turned my bump skyward hoping that the moon and stars would let baby know that we were ready to meet them. I saw a meteor as I gazed upward and knew it would be a good day.

I came back in the house to hear a commotion in our bedroom, a sound I knew all to well. Our deaf Argentine Dogo, Braddock, was having a seizure. I ran down the hall to our bedroom and my husband had pulled him to the floor and was restraining him, so he would not hurt himself. Once he had caught his breath after a second grad mal, we decided to load him up and take him into the E-vet to check his med levels.

The pains of the early morning left my mind completely until we were sitting calmly at the vet ICU, then they would come and go. I would simply close my eyes and breath, the tightness would pass, and I would return to normal. Braddock was checked out and we set off homeward.

The whole way home the tightening continued off and on, stopping my conversation with Kyle from time to time. I had had requested pancakes and sausage for breakfast, so when we got home I camped out on the couch while Kyle made breakfast. I tried to time the contractions, they seemed all over the place, and I gave up tracking them. I even attempted to update my message board friends, but could not even type for long enough. Breakfast was ready, and smelled delicious, but I could not eat more than a few bites. I decided that I wanted to go lay down in bed if I could not eat.

I continued yet again to try to time the contractions, but gave up quickly once they regularly were around 8 minutes apart. I could not get comfortable and decided a soak in the tub would be nice. Kyle ran a bath of very hot water for me, and helped me in. He left me in peace and brought me some labor-ade. I soaked and relaxed in between contractions, and used the sides of the tub to push against during them.

At some point, I decided that the tub was not working anymore for me, and got my robe and went back to our bed. I lay on Kyle side, next to Braddock, who would let me push my back against him as I pushed on the wall with my feet during my building contractions. Even though I had eaten only a few bites of breakfast it came up at this point, and I felt better once it had. I wondered to myself at this point, if this “would go on all day?” and “if this was only the beginning?” what would “real labor” be like, (remember I had only been in labor since about 3am)? I then moved into our bathroom, a choice I can say looking back, must have been made on instincts, since it is a room within a room in the center of our home, a place that is very “protected”.

Once I got into the bathroom, I sat on our toilet, thinking that I had to “go,” and during each contraction, I could rock forward and back until it subsided. Then during one particularly strong contraction I tried pushing, it was not as difficult to get through, so then I used a steady pushing pressure during every subsequent contraction, because if I did not it was unbearable. Kyle came and checked on me several times, refilling my labor-ade, every time I would tell him that I was fine, or okay and that I couldn’t talk right now or that I just needed him to go away. When he was there I felt like I had to make it okay for him, I did not want him to freak out. He asked if he should get the birthing tub ready and I agreed. He left me to prep the house and make some hone calls.

I felt like I needed to let my bump hang so I got onto all fours on our bathroom rug, and took the pressure off my lower bump, thinking that this would allow the baby the most room to get into a good position for birth. Kyle returned to check on me and let me know that he was going to “take a very quick shower” so he would be fresh to catch a baby. I agreed and told him I was fine. He went into our guest bath and I heard the water start. The baby must have heard this as well; because it was at this moment, I knew “it was time.”

The urge to push was stronger than ever before, I had to push. I reached down and felt the top of my baby’s head. I grabbed our shower radio that had a mirror on it to get a better look, and I could see hair, but there was something covering the top of the head. Another contraction came on and I snapped back to pushing, keeping the pressure steady. I could watch as the top of the baby’s head would surge outward, then slip inward slightly with every contraction. A particularly strong contraction came on and I went from steady pressure to actually pushing to work the baby out. I watched as the head slid halfway out, then out slid the whole baby into my arms! The sac was intact, still protecting the baby, but drained of its fluid. I gently ripped it apart where the baby’s face was, and lifted my baby out. I raised its face to my mouth and sucked out the mouth and nose. My baby began to make noise and open HER eyes! I held her to my chest as I sat back on my heels and adjusted to that I could sit to look at her.

About this time, I heard the shower stop in the other bathroom. I waited until I heard Kyle open the curtain and called to him, “Kyle?” “Can you come in here and give me a hand?” He was there in half a second standing in our bathroom doorway, I looked up at him, our daughter in my arms, “I need some help getting up.” He stood there with a look of shock on his face and then ran back out of the room to grab supplies and the phone. I called to him and asked the time, “1:42pm,” He returned with pink string, surgical sheers and the baby scale, while calling our Doula who had been in route the whole time. By this time, I had raised the baby to my breast and she was happily eating away. We smiled at each other and he looked to she what she was, “okay a girl,” we exchanged blissful smiles. The Doula answered and he began to ask about cutting the umbilical cord. I had a sudden slight urge to push once more and out came my placenta, perfect and whole. I watched as the umbilical cord slowly stopped pulsing, delivering the last of its, to the babe still attached to its other end. Kyle returned and tied it off so he could snip it, I watched as my sweet baby girl was snipped from her placenta, the outlet that delivered life from me to her these past 41 weeks. Kyle helped us off the floor and I placed our daughter in his arms for the first time. We had after many, many rounds of name that baby, decided that if our baby was a girl we would name her Eliza Cady, and he drank in her sweet face in complete awe as I showered and we discussed the amazing thing that had just happed, adrenaline rushing through us both. I pulled on some yoga pants and one of Kyle big shirts, Daddy pulled out the video camera and recorded as we dress the girl for the first time and introduced her to our fur kids. Then this new little family headed out to the couch to snuggle and make some very important phone calls.

I call this birth story “Keep Calm and Carry On,” because this was my mind set during my labor and birth. To this day sweet baby Eliza loves to stare at a canvas wall hanging in our master bath, that says just that, it calms her when she is fussy if we simply walk in there with her, we call it her bathroom.

Eliza Cady
August 13, 2010
6 lbs, 1 oz

20 inches