My Birth Story pt 2

As I sat writhing in the back seat, moaning and arching my back with every exit we passed; I prayed that we wouldn’t get pulled over for speeding. I was barely coherent when we finally pulled in front of the Birth Center. As they helped me out of the car I steadied myself as another wave of contractions rolled over me. The walk inside was a blur as another one took over my body and I just went with the motion. I was on auto pilot as I put each leg in a cold stirrup. Upon inserting two gloved fingers into my cervix, the nurse midwife declared with a hint of surprise in her voice, that I was 8 cm. I bit my tongue to keep from retorting, “I told you I was in labor!”. I would be meeting my baby very soon (The cervix has to be 10cm dilated and 100% effaced for the baby to be born in a vaginal birth).

I slowly and steadily made my way up the carpeted stairs to my birth room. All of my demands in my birth plan went out the window along with my modesty as I was hastily undressed and offered a gown. The wonderful nurse asked if I wanted to continue my labor in the bath. I bobbed my head in agreement and shuffled the few steps to the bathroom, where a warm bath was awaiting me. As I made my way towards the tub, I had an overwhelming urge to move my bowels again, and told the nurses as much. They assured me that it was the baby’s head pushing against my perineum. I then gingerly stepped into the warm oasis and sunk down into a comfortable position. Dad-to-be held the shower head and kept a steady stream of warm water pouring over my prone back as I rolled attempted to twist and turn to ease the discomfort of the contractions. My water hadn’t broken yet, so the midwife ruptured it with an amnihook. This was in part (as far as I understood) to speed up the birth, and to make sure that there wasn’t any meconium (baby poop) in the amniotic fluid. If there is meconium in the amniotic fluid, that is a huge cause for concern because there is a big chance the baby can inhale/swallow it and become ill. Meconium in amniotic fluid would require an immediate transfer to the hospital. I’m not sure if the labor progressed rapidly because that was the natural pace or if it was due to my membranes/water breaking.

The midwife guided my legs to the indents in the tub and in a firm yet gentle tone, she informed me that I would need to start pushing at the next contraction. I then hooked my arms under my legs and tried (really hard might I add) to bear down and push. They asked if I wanted a mirror to see my baby and I hastily nodded my head in agreement. Placement of said mirror was the comedic relief that I needed at that moment. The mirror was at a precarious angle and I couldn’t make out anything but the tiles on the wall behind my head. When they finally managed to get it at a perfect angle it kept fogging up. At this point my doula made her arrival, and she, dad-to-be, the nurse and the midwife all attempted to encourage me to push. Pushing was the most difficult part for me. I was instructed to act as if I was having a bowel movement but I honestly didn’t have much luck with that technique. Little by little there was progress. The midwife announced that the baby was crowning and asked if I wanted to touch her head. I reached down and between my legs into the warm water with shaky hands and felt the uncomfortably soft head perched in my vagina.

After two pushes more pushes (I may or may not be making that up, details are fuzzy 😉 my little one’s head was out. Yay, all of this bearing down and grunting is working. The midwife announced that I would need to push three more times to get her out. At this point I realize we’re at the homestretch and I’m feeling very encouraged. She asks if I want to catch my baby and I of course nod frantically. This was in my birth plan. I was instructed to reach both of my arms down and when told, to grab my baby under her armpits and to put her on my chest. After the three pushes, I put my hands back in the water and grabbed my baby girl and placed her onto my chest. Oh my FRICKKIINNNNGGGG goodness. I was in shock and wonder and all I could say was “Oh my God. Oh my God.” At the moment the world stood still and it was just me and my love. The spell was broken by her sharp birth cry and it hit me; I am somebody’s mama. Again, oh my FRICKKIINNNNGGGG goodness. Dad cut the umbilical cord, and was handed baby as I was helped out of the tub.

Glad you stuck it out to the end. Come back for what happened next why dontcha.

A shot from my maternity shoot.  *My lo really does have my mean mug

A shot from my maternity shoot.
*My lo really does have my mean mug

The belly at almost 40 weeks

The belly at almost 40 weeks

Yay, she's here!

Yay, she’s here!

If you’re wondering, yes I edited the picture. I’m pretty transparent, but I didn’t want the internets seeing my nipple or me sitting in blood. You’re welcome.

5lbs 16ozs of perfection

5lbs 16ozs of perfection

I was so swollen lol, with love that is no I really was swollen and sore and I‘d do it a million times over for my love.

Advertisements

My Birth Story pt 1

This is part one of my birth story. It’s pretty lengthy, but well worth the read :).

I was “due” December 6, 2013, but I never believed that my lovebug would make an appearance that early. I assumed that she would make her way out the 9th, 10th or 11th . When December 6th came and went, my midwife scheduled me for an ultrasound and a nonstress test for Friday December 13th. This was to make sure that the baby’s heart rate was fine and that everything was going well developmentally, as well as ensuring that there was enough amniotic fluid as the baby continued to grow. My plan all along had been to give birth at the Birth Center but it looked as if baby and I had different plans. Per Birth Center policy, I wouldnt be able to give birth there if I went to 42 weeks and a day. I could either elect to give birth at the hospital or I could be induced. So being the control freak that I can sometimes be am, I allowed my midwife to schedule me to be induced.

On Friday, December 13th I made my way to Cambridge Hospital for the two exams. I was having infrequent contractions all day. Although they weren’t painful and nothing to call home over, I knew my lovebug would be making an appearance either that night or the next morning. I also knew that I didn’t want to have a Friday the 13th baby. The nonstress test consists of having a band attached to the belly and it monitors the baby’s heart rate. The person administering the test could tell whenever I would have a contraction because of the changes in my love’s heart rate. Ideally, they want to see that the heart rate fluctuates, that is a sign of a healthy and thriving fetus. The ultrasound was uneventful as well. That past weekend I decided against being induced because I felt like I would be doing it for all of the wrong reasons. Neither my nor the baby’s health was in danger and yet I was willing to endure an invasive (although pretty moderate intervention) so that I could have the birth experience that I wanted. I kept telling my belly that it better find it’s way out so that we could do a nice mellow birth that didn’t include a hospital visit.

Later that day, as I was ensconced in my apartment, I attempted to take a nap but the excitement was too much. Around 11pm the contractions became pretty strong but they were still far enough apart that there wasn’t a clear pattern. I know this because I attempted to track my contractions on the contraction app that I downloaded. Around 12ish things began to pick up even more. The contractions were getting stronger and I just wanted to curl into a ball and sleep it away, but alas that wasn’t an option. I can’t say the contractions were painful, they were just intense. It felt like really bad cramps that kept coming over and over again. I was managing the discomfort by walking and swaying whenever a contraction came over me. I also did my version of a birth dance by dropping it low and whining my hips when a contraction came. While attempting to track my contractions I felt the urge to move my bowels. Things were starting to get serious. Then the delicious soup that I ate earlier that day made it’s way up my throat. Not once, not twice, but three times. The third time happened when I went to move my bowels for the second time that night. There’s nothing like sitting on a toilet and then having to turn to vomit in the sink. Good times folks. Good times. I realized at this point that I was in transition. It basically means that I was in active labor and things were really picking up. At this point I thought to call the nurse midwife on call to let them know that I was currently in labor. As luck would have it (sarcasm) the midwife didn’t think I was in active labor because I sounded too calm, so she suggested I call back in a few hours or when the contractions were much closer together and I didn’t feel that I could labor at home any longer. Yeah, um I’m not the hysterical type and I knew what to expect, at least in the general sense; so I was pretty calm. My mother and the dad on the other hand weren’t taking things so well. According to them I was pushing it because we should’ve been en route to the Birth Center already, lest I have the baby at home.

I called the Birth Center for the second time around 2am. The contractions were now coming back to back and I knew we needed to hightail it out of Brockton because the baby wanted to make its entrance. Once again the midwife was unconvinced that I was actually in active labor but she relented and said that we could head on in. Keep in mind that I live in Brockton, which is South and we were heading to Cambridge which is North I believe. I waddled to the bathroom one last time before I was to become a mom. Upon wiping, I saw that I was bleeding. Yay!! The highly anticipated bloody show (bloody mucus that was covering the cervix during pregnancy) that I learned about made an appearance. It was on like Donkey Kong!

Stay tuned for part two.

Natural Birth

Anyone who knows me well, knows that I am very passionate about *holistic health and empowering women through education about their bodies, especially their pregnant bodies. I believe that birth is a natural event in the lives of many women and that these women are entitled to the best holistic care so that they can have a healthy birth. My labor and birth were better than I could have ever imagined. I had such an easy pregnancy, like if not for the obnoxious bump where my stomach once was, I could forget that I was hosting a growing person. I received my prenatal care at the Cambridge Birth Center, it’s part of the Cambridge Hospital. I knew that I wanted to have a natural birth with little to no interventions (pain relief, vacuum, forceps etc). I had a competent and skilled nurse midwife for my pregnancy. I wrote a birth plan (more on that later) and I also attended a childbirth class. I wanted to arm myself with all of the necessary tools so that I could have the birth of my dreams. Tune in on Thursday to read my birth story.

Which Love Language Do You Speak

I am a lover. I enjoy the quiet moments where he and I are just being. Our breaths are in sync and our minds are in tune. I like to express my love to mine by telling him how great he is and by making myself available to him and filling him up on my abundant energy. I love how I’d like to be loved but unfortunately life has a way of letting me know that it really isn’t about me (can you believe that?). Of course if I love how I’d like to be loved then in return he loves how he wants to be loved. Sounds fine and dandy right? Well it’s great unless you both do not love the same way. Then the conflict arises because if he’s not supporting me how I’d like to be supported and if he’s not telling me that I can conquer the world and if he’s not nourishing my spirit and feeding my soul then I don’t feel the love that I need. Now hold on, don’t start saying to yourself “Marie, you are too picky, too demanding, you require too much”. There is some truth to what I’m saying. It’s called 5 Love Languages. According to Dr. Gary Chapman, there are 5 love languages. We all express our love in different ways, and how we love others is often how we want to be loved in return. The 5 languages are quality time, physical touch, words of affirmation, acts of service and receiving gifts. Check out the website for more information on each love language and take a quiz to find out which love language you speak. Even before taking the quiz, I was sure that my primary language was words of affirmation. I need to hear that I am doing well, that I’m enough, that I’m capable, loveable and that it may hurt now, but I will get through it. That is how I know you’re in my corner and that I am loved. I also knew that it’s important and vital (in all of my relationships) for me to spend quality time with my partner. I’m a bit of a know it all fyi. Learning about the 5 love languages was such a huge breakthrough for me. Everything clicked, and I got a better understanding of my previous relationships. Why we didn’t work out, what I needed to do to become a better me and what I needed to let go of. So run, don’t walk to your nearest computer and read about the love languages, take the quiz and talk to your partner and hopefully things will make more sense for you. I’ve been telling everyone and their supervisor about the 5 love languages.

Which love language do you think you speak?

Food Makes Me Happy

I currently volunteer as a conversation partner. Fancy title huh? I basically converse and do activities with ESL students in the hopes of helping them acclimate to American culture and  learn the language. I have two partners, one from Taiwan the other from South Korea. Both are very nice young ladies who I look forward to learning more about. We went to brunch at Masa on Sunday. I’ve been to Masa numerous times for tapas, but I’d never been there for brunch. They have a prixe fixe menu and that’s what we ordered from. Our starters included cornbread and another kind of bread with an assortment of spreads, jellies and jams. One even had jalapenos, quite tasty. DSCN6557  Continue reading

Truth Tuesday

 

Hi,

It’s great to see you around these parts! Let’s see, my truth for today is that I have officially learned my limitations. I thought I would be able to have two full time jobs and maintain my school demands. I have unfortunately learned the hard way that I can’t. At least not successfully. I feel as if I’ve been on auto pilot these last few months. Sure I’m always able to wake up and go to work and school, but I know for a fact that I’m not doing well in either areas. I jokingly told a friend that although immigrants have the stereotype of being able to hold down several jobs and do well in school, I’m not one of them. I’ve been in America for too long, and I’ve lost that trait. So it is with excitement that I look forward to the end of the semester. I will also be giving notice to the weekend job. So here’s a toast to the return of my sanity, stillness and a fresh start to live a fuller life.

 

Up in My Emotions

 

I never really talk about my feelings on this blog. I’m not sure why though. Maybe it’s because my feelings are often fleeting, sometimes I don’t acknowledge them at all, so it makes me feel like they don’t exist. But lately, I am realizing that I need to look my feelings/thoughts/emotions in the eye. I don’t want to be a slave to bottled up emotions or feel the noose of my feelings tighten around my neck as I attempt to navigate this craziness that I call life. I’m not sure if this blog is the best forum to do that, but if I can’t tell you guys who can I tell? So, onto it I guess.

As the cold sweeps in and night-time blinds us earlier and earlier, I find that I’m getting very restless and a little lonely as well as chilly. I can’t say that I want to be in a relationship right now, but I definitely wouldn’t mind some companionship. I so don’t have the time, energy or desire to invest in a relationship right now. I’m not sure when that’s going to change. I do however long for and miss the companionship. I’m all about the long conversations on everything yet nothing, occasional outings and of course the consistent sex. Basically I want everything good that’s in a relationship or an understanding. Impossible I know, but a girl can dream right? Due to my crazy work and school schedule I haven’t been out to mingle and interact, so my mischievous little mind took it upon itself to entertain the idea of reconnecting with a past flame. She and I both know no good would come of it. It would be nice, easy and comforting at first, then the poison that is an ex flame would slowly seep into my veins and kill whatever goodness I thought I was able to salvage. I mean someone is an ex for a reason and I’m usually smart enough not to repeat the same man over again. So here I am sharing these thoughts in the hope that my pride won’t let me rip open old wounds in a pitiful attempt to fill a carnal void.

 

Mai High of the Week

Hello hello!

Mai High of the Week is knowing that the campaign is finally ending. No more negative ads. I’m not big into politics, but I like to stay informed about what is going on in the country and world at large. Anyone who rides with me, knows that if I’m not playing Kompa (popular genre of Haitian music), then the radio is on NPR (public radio). So I’m anxious to find out what the election results show. Hope you did your civic duty today if you are able.

 

What is your high of the week?