Sunday, February 5, 2012

{birth notes} stages 2 & 3

after we'd given birth, the other mums in my ante-natal group arranged to meet at the lake with our new babies. our group was varied - a police woman, a doctor, a teacher - all now thrust into the inescapable reality of motherhood. we sat there on our picnic rugs bonding over our recent birth experiences. one mother shared her experience. the next shared her, more 'exciting', birth. another told about her, very dramatic, birth. the next birth story escalated to a thrilling tale of narrowly escaping death (pretty much).
i remember being so pumped that i had given birth naturally to Jada, and that my body had proved capable (who knew that it would actually be ABLE to DO what the Creator intended it to do?!) but with every story i felt more and more dis-counted because i had had no last-minute ambulance transfer, or 3rd degree tear or 12lb baby. when it came my turn to share, i said all there really was to say - 
"i had my baby".

the following is a collection of thoughts on my no-frills births:

{that moment} for me there is nothing in the world that tops that holy moment of giving birth to life from your own life - of that baby finally slooping out and lifting him up through the water; that moment of first seeing what your child looks like; of drawing him close; of finally physically touching him; of feeling his weight - no longer under your heart, but resting on it. 
it's far too brief for my liking and personally i'd hate to go through an entire pregnancy and be robbed of having that moment as a reward at the end. having experienced the sacred joy of that moment four times now, the loss would be unbearable.

{consider the child} one of the greatest flaws in child birth is not considering the experience of the one being born. i'm not just talking about checking the heart beat every few minutes, what i mean is birthing with an awareness for the bone-crushing entry your child has to this world.
all of my babies have worked hard - with lots of twisting and rotating through pelvic bones - and although it's not the most pleasant sensation for me i am aware that they are doing what they need to do to make it easier for the both of us and i really appreciate their help. and so, i give them lots of tummy-rubs and quiet verbal encouragement throughout labour and birth.
it's cheesy i like that my midwives have recorded how i praise my babies up when they're born - "good job, baby! you did such a good job!..." etc. :) i mean really, can you imagine the headache that kid has right then? yeesh~!

{tearing} i have never torn or had stitches - even with Monte who was 10lb. i'm not really sure why but i know i am really aware and, as far as possible, take my time. with Danny (#4) i remember even forcing myself to hold his head as it was crowning (in 'full-burn' position) just to give myself a few seconds to 'stretch'. 

{water-birth} the thought of a dry birth makes me weak in the knees. really! warm water is my pain-relief - it takes the edge, and weight, off. the thought of doing anything dry (especially on my back, pushing a baby uphill) makes me break into a cold sweat. i can't imagine any other way. (plus the water is great for the garden.../wink)

{siblings at the birth} ok,  so here's a hot potato and there are certainly family members who absolutely disagree with our choice, and fear that i may have put Jada off having children for life but here's a brief insight into why we've chosen to include our children in the birth of their siblings: 
1. positive point of reference - particularly for Jada. it is my sole purpose to override any skewed media influence may have on her as a birthing mother with personal, real-life experience.
2. a baby for the family - this new life is given to - and a part of  - the entire family not just mum, or mum and dad. we all welcome him/her to the team!
3. rivalry - there may or may not be any substance to this argument but from our experience there has never been any exhibition of hostility towards the baby from siblings, ever.

and just to clarify:
we talk a lot before the birth. my midwife does hour-long visits here at home with all the kids paying as much (or as little) attention as they wish. i don't yell or scream. i smile often and talk to the kids in between contractions. dad is calm but excited and mum is working hard but ok - they have never expressed distress or fear. as far as they are concerned nothing is abnormal about watching their sibling being born. they are usually only there right as the baby is born, not for the whole labour. they never get in the pool with me. they sit with quiet observance - as though they recognise the sacredness of the occasion. as soon as the baby is born they offer me food and drink and truckloads of affection for their new is a choice that we have made and not for even half of a second regretted. if you're tossing it up, i'd recommend it without hesitation.

{stage 3} placenta delivery 
i've always secretly quite liked it that there are only 3 stages to childbirth and that the third comes after baby is it's kinda like there's really only TWO stages! 
which probably explains why 3rd stage is my childbirth FAIL stage. 3 out of 4 births, i've ended up losing between 500-800ml of blood delivering the placenta. 
there are a few possible reasons but whatever it is, we are Game On for stage 3 this time. prevention, in my case, is nicer than the cure and i prefer to not to have the skin tone of a wax model for the first 6 weeks after baby is born. i like my blood being in my body thankyouverymuch.


i have left comments disabled - i don't want to justify our choices to you or want you to feel like you need to justify your choices to me - BUT if you do have a genuine question i'd love to hear from you.